Family, Nation, and History

What does it mean to belong?

Despite my inauspicious start, it turns out that I do have history of my own. For privacy reasons, I can’t give too many details, but so far, after reading family histories assembled by my grandparents, I’ve found immigrants in the early 1700s, the 1600s, and sometime between 60 and 12,000 years ago–the exact dates of that particular migration episode is still being debated–but none in the 1800s or 1900s. (This may, of course, be merely an issue of incomplete genealogy.) I can count over a dozen ethnic groups in my family tree (though I should note that I consider the “American Nations” ethnic groups, which you may not.)

If anyone has a right to call themselves an “American,” then I suspect I do.

My husband’s family I laughingly refer to as immigrants. Okay, half of them are good, old-stock Americans. The other half, though, seem to have immigrated at some point during the 1800s. Or maybe even the early 1900s.

I have no connections to the old country; indeed, I don’t really have an old country–there is no one place that a majority of my ancestors came from. I have never had any sense of being anything other than what I am, and for much of my life, not even that. For many years, actually, I operated under quite incorrect assumptions about my origins.

On a practical level, of course, it doesn’t really matter–I would still be me if it turned out I arrived here as an infant from Kazakhstan and my whole “history” was a colossal mix-up with someone else’s. But this is my history, and as such, it is special to me, just like that ragged old bear in the closet my grandmother made. It might be worthless to you, but it’s mine.

What does it mean to have a history?

When I read about the various Bering Strait theories, I think, “Some of my ancestors were there, hunting mammoths.”

When I look at the British, French, and Spanish colonies and the American Revolution, I get to think, “Some of my ancestors were there.” Indeed, some of them were influential folks in those days. When I think about the values of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, I can say, “These were my ancestors’ ideals.”

When I look at the Civil War, well, there’s a lot of family history. My grandmother still tells the stories her great-grandmother told her about watching the Yankees burn down the family farm.

Some ancestors were pioneers. Some were farmers and some professors and some scientists who helped develop technologies that sent satellites into outer space.

And yet… Nationalism isn’t really my thing. Bald eagles, Stars and Stripes, the Pledge of Allegiance… they’re all a big nope. I don’t feel much of anything for them. I have no interest in the “Southern Cause,” and I don’t even have a particular affection for Americans–most of my close friends are immigrants. And as previously stated, I am not a white nationalist–IQ nationalist is a much better description. I like smart people.

I look out for American interests because I happen to live here. If I lived in Japan, I’d look out for Japan’s interests, simply because anything bad that happened in Japan or to the Japanese would also be happening to me–even though I’d be an immigrant with no particular history there. It is natural (particularly among leftists) to assume, therefore, that immigrants to the US may do the same.

(Edited to clarify: Commonly assumed things are often wrong. Many on the left assume that unprecedented numbers of immigrants from non-Western cultures will adopt American culture in a way that does not substantially change it. The whole point of this post is to discuss the nebulous effects of cultural change and ethnic identity. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of graphs for “How proud I feel while looking at a picture of George Washington,” so this is difficult to express.)

In fact, I know plenty of immigrants who have far more nationalism for their adopted country than I do.

(Edited to clarify: I happened to write this after visiting the home of an immigrant family that had framed versions of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Signing of the Declaration of Independence on their walls. I recognize that these people are really glad to be in this country, which they consider a vastly superior place to the one they came from.)

Is it of any importance that people have some sort of cultural connection to the place where they live?

I’ve tracked down a bunch of graphs/pictures related to immigration over time:

Map+ethnic+homelands+U.S.+new

Picture 20

(Oops, looks like a bit of text snuck in when I cropped the picture.)

Picture 21

ETA: Note that % of immigrants in the population is really at unprecedentedly high numbers, and the countries they come from have changed radically, too:

regions

Total quantity of immigrants by region of origin.

Picture 22

Picture 19

Picture 14

ETA: I thought this was obvious, but immigrants from whatever country they happen to come from tend to bring with them the norms and values of their own culture. Sometimes those norms easily mix with American ones. Sometimes they don’t.

pie-births-country-full

Picture 23

immigration-graph-irg

ETA: Another graph showing the ethnic makeup of American immigrants.

Immigration+U.S.+Germ+Engl+Irish+1840s+50s+60s+graph

ETA: So what happens when immigration goes up? Well, for starters, it looks like a lot more crime happens:

 

600px-Homicide_rates1900-2001 11217607.0002.206-00000002

And wages seem to stagnate:

fig2_prodhhincome

(The increase in household median income is due to women entering the workforce, thus increasing the number of workers per household.)

chart-01

I know there are other things going on in these time periods that could also affect income inequality, but that graph looks remarkably similar to the immigration graphs. Also:

U.S._Compensation_as_Percent_of_GDP_-_v1 Real-Wages-Long-Term   us-income-inequality-1910-2010

A lot of these came from Migration Policy Institute, but I’ve tried to use a variety of sources to avoid any particular bias or inaccuracies.

Now here we began with poetic waxing about one’s ancestors, and are whining about Irish criminality in the 1800s and how hard it is to get a job. BTW, Irish criminality was a real problem.

The correlations are suggestive, but unproven, so let’s get back to nostalgia:

From, "Most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014"
From, “Most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014

In the period from 1890-1920, the most common elements in the song titles seem to be family relations, friends, and nostalgia: Pal, Mammy, Home, Land, Old, Uncle, etc. This is in stark contrast to 1990-2015, when some sort of apocalyptic accident destroyed our ability to spell and we reverted to a savage state of nature: Hell, Fuck, Die, U, Ya, Thang.

Even in my own lifetime, historical nostalgia and appreciation for America’s founders seems to have drastically waned. As a child, Westerns were still occasional things and the whole mythology surrounding the settlement of the West was still floating around, though obviously nothing compared to its height in the 50s, when people were really into Davy Crockett:

800px-Davy_Crockett_by_William_Henry_Huddle,_1889

 

(Look like anyone you know? hqdefault, 1438571327352)

 

The “American Girls” line of books and toys was a big deal when I was a kid, featuring historically-themed dolls and books focusing on the American Revolution, Pioneers, Civil War, Industrialization, and WWII.

Today, the line has been re-branded as “Be Forever,” with far more focus on modern girls and cultural groups. Even the historical books have been re-designed, with “American Girl” reduced to fine print and “Be Forever” scrawled across the covers. The Revolutionary War, Pioneer, and WWII dolls have all been “retired” from the line. Yes, American history without the Revolution. The Civil War doll is still there, though.

Are slavery and the Vietnam protests the only parts of our history that we remember anymore?

Old:  51LVeMm95jL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_  New: Picture 6

History is dead.

(Sadly, since Mattel bought the company, they’ve become delusional about the amount of pink and purple girls historically wore.)

 

What would the US look like if all the Johnny-Come-Lateys from the migration waves of the 1800s had never arrived?

I have no idea. (This is an invitation for you to discuss the question.)

In the casually pagan style of our Christian forebears, the US Capital Building rotunda features a painting titled The Apotheosis of Washington, painted by Greek-Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865:

Apotheosis_of_George_Washington2

Apotheosis_of_George_Washington

This is not the only painting by this title:

The Apotheosis of Washington by John James Barralet
The Apotheosis of Washington, by John James Barralet

hb_52.585.66

Apotheosis of George Washington, by H. Weishaupt

How about a few more on the general theme?

Greenough_Geo_Washington

Statue of Washington in the style of Zeus

420px-TheApotheosisLincolnAndWashington1860s

Apotheosis of Washington and Lincoln, 1860s.

rzawashington

washington_rushmore-P

 

Things change. Life moves on. Nothing new.

 

Is a nation’s history worth preserving? How do our identities and personal histories influence our values, cultures, and connections? What does any of this mean to you?

ETA for the clueless: This is an invitation for you to present your own opinions/answers to the questions.

 

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37 thoughts on “Family, Nation, and History

  1. “I look out for American interests because I happen to live here. If I lived in Japan, I’d look out for Japan’s interests–even though I’d be an immigrant with no particular history there. It is natural to assume, therefore, that immigrants to the US may do the same.”

    Yes, if there’s one thing that comes through very clearly in your blog, it is how incredibly normal you are. It is therefore very wise to infer that your feelings and experiences will be shared by pretty much everybody.

    “In fact, I know plenty of immigrants who have far more nationalism for their adopted country than I do.”

    And I’ll bet you don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon, either.

    At least we can agree that the immigrants you know are likely to be a representative sample of immigrants everywhere. It would be super weird and unexpected if you somehow managed to interact with people who are systematically different from the mean in any way.

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  2. “Is a nation’s history worth preserving? How do our identities and personal histories influence our values, cultures, and connections? What does any of this mean to you?”

    Aspies are so weird.

    It’s funny that you’ve been posting so much about disgust lately. Seeing you ask these questions disgusts me; it makes me want to hurt you. This is true even though I intellectually recognize, understand, and sympathize with the mindset that causes you to so innocently pose them. Obviously some sort of evolved mechanism for sniffing out potential traitors and nipping them in the bud before they get out of hand.

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      • I didn’t miss it. I rejected it.

        An aspie telling someone else that they need psychological help for exhibiting psychologically normal behavior and attitudes is pretty funny. You’d think so too, except, well… =P

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      • Interpreting my comment as a threat suggests that YOU need psychological help, especially in light of your recent post on stress. I don’t know who you are or where you live and don’t have any interest in finding out. If I did know who you were or where you lived, then I never would have made the comment, because then it COULD be reasonably interpreted as a threat. In this context (where you are completely anonymous and likely to remain so for the indefinite future), the remark was intended as an amusing observation on the relationship between some of your recent posts and this one. In addition, I thought you might find the fact that I experienced a brief and subtle sensation of disgust and then anger to be interesting. I would never commit an act of physical violence over a freaking blog post. Finally, this is not “in public.” We are both anonymous. My comments here will almost certainly never be attached to me personally, and so there is no reputational risk to saying things that are socially inappropriate and frowned upon but nevertheless true. (Isn’t that why you post this blog anonymously?)

        Seriously, you are reaching absurd levels of REEEEEEEE here, and I wish you would stop. I’m sorry for attempting to interact and share information with you. I won’t do it again.

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      • “your recent post on stress”

        was referring to your recent post on anxiety. For some reason my brain coded that as “stress.”

        Just to clarify.

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      • “[I]want to hurt you” is not a productive way to start a conversation, and you darn well know that.

        However, in the interest of good faith, I have posted clarifications to the points you requested.

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      • “‘[I]want to hurt you’ is not a productive way to start a conversation, and you darn well know that.”

        (Classical) liberal context denial in action. I did not attempt to start a conversation with those words, nor did I ever even say them. You have modified my words to make them seem more offensive and threatening than they were as part of an unconscious effort to maintain the ego-satisfying belief that your initial response was justified. But it was not justified. You are an overly-anxious aspie. Accept this.

        To put it another way:

        “[I, evolutiontheorist, am a child molester. I regularly enjoy sexual relations with boys and girls under the age of three. I am also a killer and a cannibal. I have killed and eaten perhaps a dozen people over the years. I am not sorry for any of] this.”

        -evolutiontheorist

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  3. evolutionistx, you are, of course, very familiar with HBDchick’s work on clannishness. While it’s true that there are outliers in any group who will fit in better with another group, unless your immigration process selects for those outliers that fit in better with your group, your immigrants will not tend to be more nationalistic in your favor than your own people.

    Your IQ-oriented view is somewhat idealistic in light of demonstrable racial clannishness, and I’m not sure how you reconcile these ideas.

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    • High-IQ people who are a good match personality wise and are willing to marry into the existing population and embrace its norms, and whom the existing population would like to have, and in numbers that do not overwhelm or strain the system seem perfectly fine to incorporate into one’s group.

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      • Well that sounds very reasonable, but it’s only a small step from ethnonationalism. I’m not sure your readers are picking up on this.

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  4. “…What would the US look like if all the Johnny-Come-Lateys from the migration waves of the 1800s had never arrived?…”

    We would have flying cars. Single stage to orbit rockets. Colonies on the moon. Mining the asteroid belt. No deficit and a decent monetary system. We would not be fighting in the middle east. We wouldn’t have that stupid sign on the Statue of Liberty,” ..give us your wretched..” Put on by the Jews who didn’t pay for the statue or the base. Just paid for that stupid sign and bribed enough people to get it pasted on.

    We would be happier. White Women would have more children and love them. We wouldn’t have endless TV programs telling us how evil White people are and constantly belittling White Men. All deceptions of God on TV would not be Black Men. They wouldn’t be taking Alexander Hamilton off the ten dollar bill. All the manufacturing wouldn’t have moved to China.

    And least of all California would have plenty of water.

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  5. I think Max’s answer is illustrative of why people with high IQs aren’t quite as enthusiastic about a white nation- the IQ differential tends to makes people want to hurt us, and someone inevitably does.

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    • I received perfect scores on both the SAT and LSAT. After having read evolutiontheorist’s blog, I can say with virtual certainty that my IQ is much higher than hers.

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      • That is an excellent and intelligent question. It is certainly true that no one with a lower IQ can ever have anything to say that might be of interest to someone with a higher IQ. It is also true that having a higher IQ than someone else automatically grants the higher-IQ individual access to every piece of information that the lower-IQ individual possesses. We know, for example, that the highest-IQ individual in the world has never bothered to read anything produced by another human. Why would he bother?

        It is also invariably true that smarter people are better than dumber people, and I am glad to see you acknowledge this fact.

        There is no possibility that I find value in her thoughts despite her occasional commission of errors that I would not make and expression of values that I do not endorse. Everybody knows that you should only read things by people who make fewer errors than you and share your general worldview. Learning about others via voluntary exposure to their thinking is evil and should be avoided at all costs.

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    • You mean like when I shared the idea that exposure to comments by evolutiontheorist seeming to suggest a lack of loyalty to a group that we both belong to and that she profits from being a part of caused me to experience disgust and anger, and she responded with hostility by suggesting that I need psychological help, have abnormal aggression levels, and do not know how to comport myself in public?

      In all seriousness, though, “sharing an idea” is such an enormously broad category of behaviors that I do not think it need be at all “sudden” or surprising when an act falling into said category elicits hostility. “I think you are a piece of shit and hope you get hit by a bus” is one example of idea-sharing that no one should be surprised to see provoke a negative response. Telling a Muslim that you think Muhammad was a morally repugnant figure (if he even existed at all) is a more context-sensitive example.

      As a matter of fact, I rarely receive hostile reactions from lower-IQ people (of any color), because I am not an aspie, and so I generally tailor my behavior (and the ideas that I share) to the people that I am around, rarely saying things that I expect will be considered offensive. The problem you are describing is the result of poor social skills, not IQ disparity. In the eternal words of Raylan Givens: “You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole; you run into assholes all day, YOU’RE the asshole.”

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  6. This is not how you foster group loyalty. You are failing this IQ test. You merely reinforce my assumption. You are, perhaps, smarter than the average, but not certainly not smarter than our host, and you get mad like the retired school teacher who I started talking to about un-schooling did. He just tilted into full retard anger and couldn’t even talk. If he were younger, he might have tried to take a swing at me. I didn’t do much more than broach the subject, and obviously, indicate my enthusiasm.

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    • I’m not trying to foster group loyalty, this isn’t an IQ test, and if you think that I have at any point in this comment section experienced more anger than the passing flash that I mentioned, then you might be even more of an aspie than our gracious host. You seem to be so busy trying to status-signal your superior intelligence that you can’t even correctly comprehend the things I’m saying, instead pattern-matching my remarks to the nearest negative image your mind conjures up for reasons that I don’t pretend to fully understand, though the fact that you began this thread with a reference to it would certainly seem to be relevant, as it implies that the interaction’s psychological availability influenced your mind’s making of the analogy more than did its accuracy (which also causes me to doubt your recollection of the incident itself, as lazy minds tend to be lazy in more ways than one). Furthermore, as an aside, you probably shouldn’t tell people who have devoted their lives to schooling that schooling is bad, but if you do, you shouldn’t be surprised when they take it badly. I hope this advice will help you to develop some social skills and be less of an asshole in the future.

      Learn your place, and stop this silliness.

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  7. Now I have a new hypothesis, given that Max writes like a social justice warrior: white identity politics is a subset of identity politics, and as such, is a potential Trojan horse. The Cultural Marxists use their positions in schools to inculcate an identity construct into the children. I began to suspect this is the way it works, because so many Christians have created the “Jesus as Revolutionary” myth, and function as a fifth column, despite having conservative morals.
    The identity construct is at variance with the person’s being, allowing exploitation. Feminists who think that having children will destroy their identity become good little corporate workers and consumers. The trans-gendered value identity more than the integrity of their bodies, and they function well as sacrificial victims for leftist causes.
    Others, having consciously rejected the identity progressives gave to them, nonetheless appear to have the construct running underneath. They need deprogramming, and, assuming the highly improbable event that we get anywhere, we’ll probably need a test to see whether or not the identity construct has been removed.
    The IQ difference gets them confused.
    The identity construct makes them hostile, violent, and defensive to discussions that favor their being over their identity.

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    • Or maybe he was just having a bad day. I know I was.

      I remember being young and dumber; I got in a lot of stupid internet flame wars because I was just randomly aggressive toward people and had trouble stepping back, taking a deep breath, and analyzing whether I was over-reacting or maybe misinterpreting the other person. Eventually I realized I was not doing myself any favors and needed to mellow the fuck out.

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  8. I’m not into the whole “family heritage” thing. My preference is to see myself as a new, unique individual who began at conception. An emphasis on heritage can be problematic.

    For one, heritage brings too much historical baggage and creates conflicts. For example, “My ancestors were in land X, thus I’m entitled to land X.” Human history is filled with violent conflicts based on competing historical claims to land.

    (On a side note, if we’re going to have a system of private land-ownership, I may prefer a system where inter-generational land transfer is abolished and every newborn is simply assigned a land by lottery. You own your land for your life; nothing more. This policy helps to even the socio/economic playing field, i.e. more meritocracy.)

    Another concern I have with heritage is that people tend to be inconsistent in linking themselves to their ancestors.

    For example, they’ll be happy to take credit for things their ancestors did as if they did it themselves. “My father built this land, so I have more right to it than others even though my position is a result of accident of birth.”

    At the same time, they’ll refuse to accept the sins of their ancestors. “If my father robbed someone, I shouldn’t have to pay the victim back.” I get that. Heck, I don’t want to go to prison because my ancestor was a criminal.

    But that inconsistency is unfair. A fairer, more principled position is all or nothing: you either own all of your ancestor’s history, or you don’t. I choose the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s research that shows a correlation between ethnic identity and mental health, and conversely, lack of ethnic identity and lack of health. So I suspect that humans are wired in such a way that identities (in moderation) are useful.

      The real world out there is often random and devoid of meaning, but we don’t process it that way. So in the same way that people read and enjoy fiction, and can feel motivated in real life by things they’ve read in books, so I think people “feel” this connection to their histories even though, of course, they had nothing to do with it.

      Everyone has some sort of cultural norms they think are good, like democracy and freedom, tradition and honor, and want to pass on to their children. One of the easiest ways to attempt to do that is to say, “Here is our great hero Bob, who is one of your cousins many times removed because you two have the same ancestors, and who did this great important feat of daring impressiveness!” But you might leave out the story of Great Grandpa Joe who was a shame to the tribe, (aside from as a general cautionary tale to not be like Joe,) because it’s more useful to go around saying to yourself “I should exemplify great traits” than to feel bad because Great Grandpa Joe sucked.

      Cohesion is good for getting groups of people to work together (even when they aren’t related.) The military accomplishes this by traumatizing its recruits, (hacking normal loyalty circuits,) which creates identity–and the military does what it does fairly effectively. (Whether one likes it or not.) Without cohesion, groups tends to fall apart at the least stress.

      I think identity is useful *in moderation*; too much identity, and you go from “let’s work together” to “let’s kill everyone else!” Which tends to go badly and other people really don’t appreciate.

      I agree that the whole “My ancestors were in land X, thus I’m entitled to land X,” thing is dumb and unworkable. The real world does not work that way. Humans move.

      But I do think that inter-generational land transfers should exist, both because the history of land redistribution is really bad and because I think that encouraging multi-generational improvements to land is useful. (Plus there’s the breeding incentive; if every newborn gets a plot, you’re incentivising everyone to have as many kids as humanly possible, which I think you’re against.)

      Like

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