Reply to Peter Frost's most recent bizarre attempt at rewriting history (part 1)

Peter Frost has previously claimed:
Anti-racism was neither solely nor primarily a Jewish invention. It initially arose through a radicalization of the abolitionist movement in the early to mid 19th century, its adherents being overwhelmingly of WASP origin. It then fell into decline, largely in response to the failure of black emancipation and the growing influence of Darwinian thinking in the social sciences. It was this half-discredited antiracism that Jewish immigrants, like Franz Boas, encountered in the late 19th century and the early 20th. With the rise of Nazi Germany, antiracism made a resurgence, and Jewish intellectuals certainly contributed to this resurgence for obvious reasons. But it was at all times as much a northeastern WASP cultural trait as a Jewish one.
He's now back with more of this:

How did [Franz Boas's] views on race evolve over the next twenty years? This evolution is described by Williams (1996), who sees his views beginning to change at the turn of the century. After getting tenure at Columbia University in 1899, he became immersed in the elite liberal culture of the American northeast and began to express his views on race accordingly. [. . .]

From 1900 to 1930, Boas seemed to become increasingly liberal in his views on race, but this trend was hesitant at best and reflected, at least in part, a change in the audience he was addressing. As a professor at Columbia, he was dealing with a regional WASP culture that still preserved the radical abolitionism of the previous century. A good example was Mary White Ovington, whose Unitarian parents had been involved in the anti-slavery movement and who in 1910 helped found the NAACP. Boas was also dealing with the city's growing African American community and, through Ovington's contacts, wrote articles for the NAACP. Finally, he was also dealing with the growing Jewish community, who identified with antiracism partly out of self-interest and partly out of a desire to assimilate into northeastern WASP culture.

It's an outrageous distortion of history to suggest Jews supported antiracism "out of a desire to assimilate into northeastern WASP culture".

Most northeasterners, of any class, were never abolitionists (antislavery does not equal abolitionist), and even most abolitionists did not advocate anything approaching modern anti-racism.

No major constituency in America denied the existence of biological differences between blacks and whites when Boas immigrated, and advocating such views provided no quick path to social advancement (though obviously, at a deeper level, Boas was no doubt motivated by a desire to eliminate "anti-semitism").

It would have been very strange indeed for a physical anthropologist in 1890s America to outright deny the existence of race or obvious racial differences. What matters is the direction in which Boas differed from his contemporaries. And there's no question Boas was promoting "anti-racism" from the outset. Frost selectively quotes Boas's 1894 address "Human Faculty as Determined by Race", but even the excerpts chosen by Frost should make clear which direction Boas was pushing. Boas was not disinterestedly speaking race realist truth to an anti-racist American establishment, but lecturing Americans that no differences in civilizational potential had been proven to exist between the races of man, and insisting that any mental differences that existed could not be large, as the opening and conclusion make clear:

Proud of his wonderful achievements, civilized man looks down upon the humbler members of mankind. He has conquered the forces of nature and compelled them to serve him. He has transformed inhospitable forests into fertile fields. The mountain fastnesses are yielding their treasures to his demands. The fierce animals which are obstructing his progress are being exterminated, while others which are useful to him are made to increase a thousand fold. The waves of the ocean carry him from land to land and towering mountain ranges set him no bounds. His genius has moulded inert matter into powerful machines which wait a touch of his hand to serve his manifold demands.

What wonder when he pities a people that has not succeeded in subduing nature; who labor to eke a meagre existence out of the products of the wilderness; who hear with trembling the roar of the wild animals and see the products of their toils destroyed by them; who remain restricted by ocean, river or mountains; who strive to obtain the necessities of life with the help of few and simple instruments.

Such is the contrast that presents itself to the observer. What wonder if civilized man considers himself a being of higher order as compared to primitive man; if it is claimed that the white race represents a higher type than all others.

When we analyze this assumption, it will soon be found that the superiority of the civilization of the white race alone is not a sufficient basis for this inference. As the civilization is higher, we assume that the aptitude for civilization is also higher; and as the aptitude for civilization presumably depends upon the perfection of the mechanism of body and mind, the inference is drawn that the white race represents the highest type of perfection. In this conclusion, which is reached through a comparison of the social status of civilized man and of primitive man, the achievement and the aptitude for an achievement have been confounded. Furthermore, as the white race is the civilized race, every deviation from the white type is considered a characteristic feature of a lower type. That these two errors underlie our judgments of races can be easily shown by the fact that, other conditions being equal, a race is always described as the lower the more fundamentally it differs from the white race. This becomes clearest by the tendency on the part of many anthropologists to look for anatomical peculiarities of primitive man which would characterize him as a being of lower order, and also by the endeavors of recent writers to prove that there exist hardly any anatomical features of the so-called lowest races which would stamp them as lower types of organisms. Both these facts show that the idea dwells in the minds of investigators that we should expect to find in the white race the highest type of man. [. . .]

Although, as I have tried to show, the distribution of faculty among the races of man is far from being known, we can say this much: the average faculty of the white race is found to the same degree in a large proportion of individuals of all other races, and although it is probable that some of these races may not produce as large a proportion of great men as our own race, there is no reason to suppose that they are unable to reach the level of civilization represented by the bulk of our own people.

Barbara Ehrenreich: a more representative example of the non-"ethnic" element of our present elites than Garry Trudeau

Ehrenreich, one of Peter Dreier's "Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century", is the daughter of upwardly mobile, working class parents (her father was a copper miner who ended up a corporate executive).

Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town".[6] In an interview on C-SPAN, she characterized her parents as "strong union people" with two family rules: "never cross a picket line and never vote Republican".[2] In a talk she gave in 1999, Ehrenreich called herself a "fourth-generation atheist".[7]

"As a little girl", she told The New York Times in 1993, "I would go to school and have to decide if my parents were the evil people they were talking about, part of the Red Menace we read about in the Weekly Reader, just because my mother was a liberal Democrat who would always talk about racial injustice."[8] Her father was a copper miner who went to the Montana State School of Mines (now part of the University of Montana), and then to Carnegie Mellon University. He eventually became a senior executive at the Gillette Corporation. Her parents later divorced.

While, owing to heritable factors, we expect present elites will on average have forebears who are at least slightly above average in social status, the vast majority of their ancestors a generation or two ago were relatively unremarkable middle or working class people. The far-from-perfect heritability of social status and the fact that middle and working class people greatly outnumbered elites means there would have been significant upward social mobility in any case; but the massive expansion in the ranks of the college educated and white collar workers over the past century, along with mass immigration, means the overwhelming majority of present US elites have no special connection to the 19th-century or earlier American upper class.

Even if we limit ourselves to the non-"ethnic" elements among present leftist elites, I have no doubt Ehrenreich is much more typical than Trudeau.

An acquaintance was telling me about the joys of rediscovering her ethnic and religious heritage. "I know exactly what my ancestors were doing 2,000 years ago," she said, eyes gleaming with enthusiasm, "and I can do the same things now." Then she leaned forward and inquired politely, "And what is your ethnic background, if I may ask?"

"None," I said, that being the first word in line to get out of my mouth. Well, not "none," I backtracked. Scottish, English, Irish--that was something, I supposed. Too much Irish to qualify as a WASP; too much of the hated English to warrant a "kiss Me, I'm Irish" button; plus there are a number of dead ends in the family tree due to adoptions, missing records, failing memories and the like. I was blushing by this time. Did "none" mean I was rejecting my heritage out of Anglo-Celtic self-hate? Or was I revealing a hidden ethnic chauvinism in which the Britannically derived served as a kind of neutral standard compared with the ethnic "others"?

Throughout the 60's and 70's, I watched one group after another--African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans--stand up and proudly reclaim their roots while I just sank back ever deeper into my seat. All this excitement over ethnicity stemmed, I uneasily sensed, from a past in which their ancestors had been trampled upon by my ancestors, or at least by people who looked very much like them. In addition, it had begun to seem almost un-American not to have some sort of hyphen at hand, linking one to more venerable times and locales.

But the truth is, I was raised with none. We'd eaten ethnic foods in my childhood home, but these were all borrowed, like the pasties, or Cornish meat pies, my father had picked up from his fellow miners in Butte, Montana. If my mother had one rule, it was militant ecumenism in all matters of food and experience. "Try new things," she would say, meaning anything from sweetbreads to clams, with an emphasis on the "new."

As a child, I briefly nourished a craving for tradition and roots. I immersed myself in the works of Sir Walter Scott. I pretended to believe that the bagpipe was a musical instrument. I was fascinated to learn from a grandmother that we were descended from certain Highland clans and longed for a pleated skirt in one of their distinctive tartans.

But in Ivanhoe, it was the dark-eyed "Jewess" Rebecca I identified with, not the flaxen-haired bimbo Rowena. As for clans: Why not call them "tribes," those bands of half-clad peasants and warriors whose idea of cuisine was stuffed sheep gut washed down with whisky? And then there was the sting of Disraeli's remark--which I came across in my early teens--to the effect that his ancestors had been leading orderly, literate lives when my ancestors were still rampaging through the Highlands daubing themselves with blue paint.

Motherhood put the screws on me, ethnicity-wise. I had hoped that by marrying a man of Eastern European-Jewish ancestry I would acquire for my descendants the ethnic genes that my own forebears so sadly lacked. At one point, I even subjected the children to a Seder of my own design, including a little talk about the flight from Egypt and its relevance to modern social issues. But the kids insisted on buttering their matzohs and snickering through my talk. "Give me a break, Mom," the older one said. "You don't even believe in God." [. . .]

But, then, on the fumes of Manischewitz, a great insight took form in my mind. It was true, as the kids said, that I didn't "believe in God." But this could be taken as something very different from an accusation--a reminder of a genuine heritage. My parents had not believed in God either, nor had my grandparents or any other progenitors going back to the great-great level. They had become disillusioned with Christianity generations ago--just as, on the in-law side, my children's other ancestors had shaken off their Orthodox Judaism. This insight did not exactly furnish me with an "identity," but it was at least something to work with: we are the kind of people, I realized--whatever our distant ancestors' religions--who do not believe, who do not carry on traditions, who do not do things just because someone has done them before.

[. . .] In my parents' general view, new things were better than old, and the very fact that some ritual had been performed in the past was a good reason for abandoning it now. Because what was the past, as our forebears knew it? Nothing but poverty, superstition and grief. "Think for yourself," Dad used to say. "Always ask why."

In fact, this may have been the ideal cultural heritage for my particular ethnic strain--bounced as it was from the Highlands of Scotland across the sea, out to the Rockies, down into the mines and finally spewed out into high-tech, suburban America. What better philosophy, for a race of migrants, than "Think for yourself"? What better maxim, for people whose whole world was rudely inverted every 30 years or so, than "Try new things"?

The more tradition-minded, the newly enthusiastic celebrants of Purim and Kwanzaa and Solstice, may see little point to survival if the survivors carry no cultural freight--religion, for example, or ethnic tradition. To which I would say that skepticism, curiosity and wide-eyed ecumenical tolerance are also worthy elements of the human tradition and are at least as old as such notions as "Serbian" or "Croatian," "Scottish" or "Jewish." I make no claims for my personal line of progenitors except that they remained loyal to the values that may have induced all of our ancestors, long, long, long ago, to climb down from the trees and make their way into the open plains.

People have different interests and different dispositions. The "values" Ehrenreich belatedly claims as her cultural inheritance are subject to significant genetic influence. Though a range of political opinion has existed within every class throughout recent American and European history, traditional elites tended to favor the right, out of self-interest and likely also because some of the biologically-influenced traits associated with political conservatism favored entry into and retention in the elite. We now have whole segments of the elite where entry among non-"ethnics" is restricted to those who actively forsake their group and traditionalism. This does not favor "elite WASPs", but people who are genetically predisposed in that direction and relatively rootless to begin with.
I have to talk about my family a little bit. There is a reason in my case why the constant linkage of God, family, and flag is upsetting to me, and it has to do with the history of my particular family. I am a fourth-generation atheist. My freethinking ancestors were not members of the "liberal elite" who are always getting bashed for being anti-religious, who are so hated by the current conservative elite. My atheist ancestors were miners, railroad workers, farmers, farm workers. Once they had been religious people, many of them Catholics.

The story is told that my great-grandmother, a Montana farmwoman named Mamie O'Laughlin, sent for a priest when her father was dying. The priest did not want to be bothered. (This is western Montana, the late 19th century, the trip would have been dangerous.) And he sent back a message to Mamie that he would come but only if she would pay him a fee of $25, which was a huge sum in those days and way beyond the means of my great-grandmother. So her father died without the consolation, whatever it may have been, of the sacrament. [. . .]

At one time there were dozens of freethought newspapers published throughout the United States. The freethought movement was very much connected to movements for social change of different kinds. In the Northeast, the freethought movement was linked to the working men's movement of the early 1800s, which was a progenitor of the trade union movement. In the West it flourished among miners and other low-paid working people who were drawn to the Wobblies and other unions at the early part of this century. [. . .]

But this is not how it worked in my family. My dad was a really hardline atheist. I am not as hardline as he is. He used to read us Ingersoll on Sunday mornings--that was family quality time. He really believed some of the things, I later found out, that it says in the bible; like that we shall be judged by the way we treat "the least amongst us." He believed that, because he had been one of those "least amongst us" in his life. [. . .]

Here's a strange story from my great-grandfather John Howes whose earliest rebellion against religion--I am slightly embarassed to say--was to pee in the holy water before Easter service when he was a young Catholic boy in Canada.

Related:

Garry Trudeau: weak, sensitive boy traumatized by prep school, not a product of "old money liberalism"

The Myth of Old Money Liberalism

Haidt on moral foundations 1/2

Haidt on moral foundations 2/2

The liberal progress narrative and moral foundations

"No Irish Need Apply": A Myth of Victimization

Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429
"No Irish Need Apply": A Myth of Victimization
Richard Jensen
Retired Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago

Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory. [. . .]

Ethnic origins of The Nation's "Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century"

Fifty "progressives" influential in twentieth century America, as selected by Peter Dreier. While Dreier is (in this venue) perhaps overly modest about the Jewish contribution to twentieth century American leftism, my interest here is mainly in dissecting the origins of northwestern European portion of the list (which should provide a sample that's reasonably unbiased with respect to regional and sub-NW European ancestry).

Even on this list, weighted towards a time when people of colonial American stock, and particularly those with early New England ancestry, made up a much larger fraction of the US population than they do today, Yankees are a distinct minority. Only 5 out of 50 (10% of the total list, and 17% of the NW European portion of the list) are of over 1/4 New England ancestry, and 4 of those 5 were born in the 19th century.

As a point of reference, people of Puritan stock made up a much larger fraction of distinguished American scientists:
Cattell in his 1904 questionnaire to the scientists starred in 1903 (and to some additional persons who were almost starred, included to increase the number of returns to about 1000) found that "more than half of the scientists were at least of half Puritan stock." Since 1904, the Puritan stock in America has formed a declining percentage of the total population, partly because it was the first major American group to practice rigorous birth control. Also the millions of immigrants who have arrived in America since 1800 have contributed an increasing share of our population. These changes increase the desirability of obtaining information on the subject by the 1946 questionnaire. A total of 873 of the 905 scientists who replied reported on their "racial stock or blood." Tables 10-20 and 10-21 show the percentages which had various fractions of the chief "bloods." The Puritan stock led in each of the categories, full or nearly full bloods, 3/4 or more, half or more, quarter or more. However instead of the "more than half" found by Cattell, their contribution has declined to 31 percent which are half or more Puritan. Other English stock is second, German third and Scots and Scotch-Irish
Note also that even on this somewhat whitewashed list, the total amount of New England ancestry (adding up to the equivalent of 6 1/8 individuals) falls below the amount of Jewish ancestry (6 Jews and one 1/2 Jew), despite the fact that the proportion of New England genes in the US was vastly higher than the proportion of Jewish genes for the period in which most of these people were born.

Related: "The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media" (2009) by ancestry


NW European (30/50)

Eugene Debs (1855–1926) (1 of 51) [Alsatian: "Eugene Debs was born on November 5, 1855, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Mari Bettrich Debs, who both immigrated to the United States from Colmar, Alsace, France."]

Jane Addams (1860–1935) (2 of 51) [Something like 7/8 Pennsylvania German, 1/8 Pennslyvania English ancestry.]

Florence Kelley (1859–1932) (4 of 51) [Mid-Atlantic (including Irish) ancestry.]

John Dewey (1859–1952) (5 of 51) [New England ancestry. "Dewey was born in Burlington, Vermont, to a family of modest means.[5]"]

Lincoln Steffens (1866–1936) (6 of 51) [1/2 Canadian, 1/2 English.]

Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) (8 of 51) [Southern (including Scottish) ancestry.]

Margaret Sanger (1879–1966) (9 of 51) [Irish Catholic ancestry.]

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) (10 of 51) [New England ancestry.]

Roger Baldwin (1884–1981) (11 of 51) [New England ancestry.]

Frances Perkins (1880–1965) (12 of 51) [New England ancestry.]

John L. Lewis (1880–1969) (13 of 51) [Welsh: "Lewis was born in or near Cleveland, Lucas County, Iowa (distinct from the present township of Cleveland in Davis County) to Thomas H. Lewis and Ann Watkins Lewis, both of whom had immigrated from Llangurig Wales."]

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) (14 of 51) [3/4 mid-Atlantic, 1/4 Southern (including Scottish) ancestry.]

Norman Thomas (1884–1968) (15 of 51) [1/2 Welsh, 1/8 Scottish, something like 1/8 to 1/4 New England, and 1/8 to 1/4 mid-Atlantic.]

A.J. Muste (1885–1967) (16 of 51) [Dutch: "A.J. Muste was born January 8, 1885, in the small port city of Zierikzee, located in the Southwestern province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. Muste's father, Martin Muste, was a coachman who drove for a family that was part of Zeeland's hereditary nobility.[1]"]

Henry Wallace (1888–1965) (18 of 51) [Something like 3/4 mid-Atlantic, 1/4 New England ancestry. "The Wallace family was of Scots-Irish Presbyterian stock, and had originally emigrated from Ulster, Ireland, to Pennsylvania."]

Walter Reuther (1907–70) (20 of 51) [German: "Reuther was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on September 1, 1907, the son of a socialist brewery worker who had emigrated from Germany." / "In the same year that he became president of the Labor Federation, Val Reuther married Anna Stocker, a recent immigrant from rural Swabia in southern Germany."]

Woody Guthrie (1912–67) (23 of 51) [3/4 Southern, 1/8 Irish, 1/8 New England. "Guthrie was born in Okemah, a small town in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, the son of Nora Belle (née Sherman) and Charles Edward Guthrie.[4] His parents named him after Woodrow Wilson, then Governor of New Jersey and the Democratic candidate soon to be elected President of the United States."]

Earl Warren (1891–1974) (24 of 51) [1/2 Norwegian, 1/2 Swedish.]

Rachel Carson (1907–64) (28 of 51) [At the level of her grandparents, appears to be 1/2 Scotch-Irish from Ireland and 1/2 Scottish or Scotch-Irish from America. "Carson was born on May 27, 1907, on a small family farm near Springdale, Pennsylvania, just up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. She was the daughter of Maria Frazier (McLean) and Robert Warden Carson, an insurance salesman.[4]"]

Harry Hay (1912–2002) (30 of 51) [Something like 1/2 Scottish (at the level of his grandparents), 1/4 Southern, and 1/4 mid-Atlantic (some ancestors in this last 1/4 were born in New England, but they don't appear to have colonial New England ancestry, their ancestry instead being New York Dutch, recent English, Scotch-Irish, etc.]

C. Wright Mills (1916–62) (33 of 51) [3/4 Southern, 1/4 Irish Catholic. Born in Texas.]

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006) (34 of 51) [Scottish Canadian: "Galbraith was born to Canadians of Scottish descent, Sarah Catherine Kendall and Archibald "Archie" Galbraith, in Iona Station, Ontario, Canada"]

David Brower (1912–2000) (35 of 51) [Appears to be around 3/4 mid-Atlantic and 1/4 likely New England.]

Pete Seeger (1919–) (36 of 51) [Roughly 3/4 New England, 1/8 mid-Atlantic, 1/8 French]

Michael Harrington (1928–89) (39 of 51) [Irish Catholic: "Michael Harrington was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 24, 1928, to an Irish-American family. He attended St. Roch Catholic School and Saint Louis University High School"]

Tom Hayden (1939–) (44 of 51) [Irish Catholic.]

Billie Jean King (1943–) (47 of 51) [Something like 2.75/8 mid-Atlantic, 1.25/8 Southern, 1/8 New England, 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 Canadian, and 1/8 unknown.]

Bill Moyers (1934–) (48 of 51) [Born in Oklahoma. Southern ancestry.]

Barbara Ehrenreich (1941–) (49 of 51) [It appears that through her father she is 1/4 Southern and 1/4 a mix of Scottish and Irish, while through her mother she is 1/4 English and 1/4 Scottish (by way of Canada). 'Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town".[6] In an interview on C-SPAN, she characterized her parents as "strong union people" with two family rules: "never cross a picket line and never vote Republican".[2] In a talk she gave in 1999, Ehrenreich called herself a "fourth-generation atheist".[7]']

Michael Moore (1954–) (50 of 51) [Moore's father's mother was born in Ireland; his father's father was roughly 1/2 mid-Atlantic and 1/2 Southern, likely with more English than (Scotch-)Irish ancestry, but evidently this side also came to be identified as "Irish" within Michael Moore's family: "Both sides of the family originally came from Ireland -- the last to arrive being his grandfather, William Connors and grandmother Mary (Hogan) Connors, both of whom hailed from County Cork. The entire family was not only proud of being Irish, they were also grateful for its gifts of humor, Catholicism and music (though not necessarily in that order)." His mother's father was born in Canada, parents having been born in Ireland (I think they were likely Northern Irish Protestants, but presumably have been imagined as Irish Catholics within the obese director's Catholic family). His mother's mother's ancestry is 1/2 New England and 1/2 Northern Irish Canadian. In summary, it looks like Moore's ancestry is 5/8 Irish (part of this probably Northern Irish Protestant), 1/8 mid-Atlantic, 1/8 Southern, and 1/8 New England. "MICHAEL MOORE: Yeah, that's true ['had a very strict Catholic upbringing']. My parents are good Irish Catholics." '“My Irish American background has a lot to do with my work, both in terms of the values that I was raised with -- that we’ll be judged by how we treat the least among us -- and that the rich man is basically up to no good,” he says.']


Jewish (7/50)

Louis Brandeis (1856–1941) (3 of 51)

Sidney Hillman (1887–1946) (17 of 51)

Saul Alinsky (1909–72) (22 of 51)

I.F. Stone (1907–89) (26 of 51)

Betty Friedan (1921–2006) (38 of 51)

Harvey Milk (1930–78) (41 of 51)

Gloria Steinem (1934–) (43 of 51) [1/2 Jewish: "Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934.[2] Her mother, Ruth (née Nuneviller), was a Presbyterian of Scottish and German descent, and her father, Leo Steinem, was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland.[14][15]"]


Black (11/50)

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963) (7 of 51)

A. Philip Randolph (1889–1979) (19 of 51)

Paul Robeson (1898–1976) (21 of 51)

Ella Baker (1903–86) (25 of 51)

Jackie Robinson (1919–72) (27 of 51)

Thurgood Marshall (1908–93) (29 of 51)

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–68) (31 of 51)

Bayard Rustin (1912–87) (32 of 51)

Malcolm X (1925–65) (37 of 51)

The Rev. Jesse Jackson (1941–) (45 of 51)

Muhammad Ali (1942–) (46 of 51)


Hispanic (1/50)

Cesar Chavez (1927–93) (40 of 51)


Arab (1/50)

Ralph Nader (1934–) (42 of 51)




When readers of The Nation were asked to make their own nominations, the resulting list came out much more heavily Jewish than Dreier's original list:

NW European (4/11)

Robert La Follette Sr. (1855–1925) (3 of 11) As a US congressman (1885–1890), governor of Wisconsin (1901-1906), US senator (1907-1925), candidate for President (1924) and editor of La Follette's Weekly Magazine (founded in 1909 and later called The Progressive, still based in Wisconsin), "Fighting Bob" La Follette consistently and effectively challenged corporate power and militarism and inspired generations of reformers and radicals. [3/4 Southern (including Scottish or Scotch-Irish), 1/8 French, 1/16 New England, and 1/16 mid-Atlantic ancestry.]

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) (4 of 11) Day founded the Catholic Worker movement, combining militant pacifism, radical economic redistribution and direct service to the poor, including the homeless. [Dorothy Day was born on November 8, 1897, in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She was born into a family described by one biographer as "solid, patriotic, and middle class".[1] Her father, John Day, was a Tennessee native of Scots-Irish heritage, while her mother, Grace Satterlee, a native of upstate New York, was of English ancestry.]

John Muir (1838–1914) (5 of 11) Muir was the "patron saint" of the environmental movement, the founder of the Sierra Club and a major force in the creation of America's National Parks system. [Scottish: "John Muir's birthplace was a four-story stone house in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. His parents were Daniel Muir and Ann Gilrye."]

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) (8 of 11) As president during the Great Depression, FDR instigated economic and social reforms that saved and humanized capitalism, despite the barbs of many critics, including most newspapers and business leaders, that his New Deal agenda was leading America to socialism. [Something like 3/4 New England, 1/4 Mid-Atlantic ancestry.]


Jewish (6/11)

Howard Zinn (1922–2010) (1 of 11) Zinn, an activist and scholar, changed the way Americans view their history.

Noam Chomsky (1928–) (2 of 11) Chomsky first made his mark as a brilliant linguist, but since the 1960s has been better known as a left-wing critic of the political and economic establishment, particularly on issues of war and human rights.

Amy Goodman (1957–) (6 of 11) Goodman is a progressive journalist, best known as host of the daily show Democracy Now!: The War and Peace Report, broadcast on over 800 radio and television stations as well as the Internet.

Emma Goldman (1869–1940) (7 of 11) Goldman was one of the most prominent radicals in twentieth-century America, an eloquent and inspiring speaker and writer who advocated anarchism, free speech, women's suffrage, birth control, free universal education without regard to race, gender or class and workers' rights.

Paul Wellstone (1944–2002) (10 of 11) Elected to the US Senate from Minnesota in 1990 by beating a much better-financed and better-known Republican incumbent, Wellstone became the most progressive senator, serving as the voice for labor, antipoverty, family farmers and antiwar movements.

Studs Terkel (1912–2008) (11 of 11) Terkel was a remarkable radio personality and oral historian whose interviews on his Chicago radio show and in his many prize-winning books celebrated the achievements of both ordinary and famous people.


Black (1/11)

Angela Davis (1944–) (9 of 11) Davis became a public figure almost by accident. In 1969, Davis was an acting assistant professor of philosophy at UCLA, a member of the Communist Party and an ally of the Black Panther Party. At the urging of California Gov. Ronald Reagan, the University of California's Board of Regents fired her because of her membership in the Communist Party. The controversy catapulted Davis into the public eye.

Lifespan of the European Nobility from the Dark Ages to the Industrial Revolution

Neil Cummins summarizes his paper "Longevity and the Rise of the West: Lifespans of the European Elite, 800-1800":
European nobility specialized in the execution of violence. Their genealogies connected them to the Barbarian conquerors of Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. A large proportion of noble men died in battle. To investigate precisely how many nobles died from violence, I employed a general version of the famous birthday problem. First year statistics students are often introduced to probability via the surprisingly low number of people it takes to have a high probability of a shared birthday. If we take the number of exact-date deaths per year, n, and the number of deaths on a given day, m, we can calculate the probability that a given n-m combination occurs randomly or is likely the result of a battle. I use this ‘clumping’ technique to estimate the proportion of nobles dying from violence. My estimates are presented in figure 1 below. Violence suddenly declines within this warrior caste in the 16th century. [. . .]

Nobles live significantly shorter lives in the South and East relative to the North and West. My analysis indicates that this Mortality pattern has existed since 1000AD.

These results have implications for theories of the rise of Europe. The European Mortality Pattern revealed above correlates with those regions which later experience the Industrial Revolution first. Recent research has suggested that “The Great Divergence” of East and West is preceded by a little divergence of East and West, within Europe, around the time of the Black Death (1347). This research shows that North-West Europe was differentiated from the rest of the continent by its demographics centuries before the Black Death.

A new set of stylised facts has been uncovered that seem to raise more questions than they answer. Why were noble lifespans longer in Northwest Europe in 1000AD? What caused noble lifespan to shoot upwards in 1400? Why did violence decline so suddenly in the 16th century? Future research will tell us more.

From the paper:
ABSTRACT I analyze the age at death of 121,524 European nobles from 800 to 1800. Longevity began increasing long before 1800 and the Industrial Revolution, with marked increases around 1400 and again around 1650. Declines in violence contributed to some of this increase, but the majority must reflect other changes in individual behavior. The areas of North-West Europe which later witnessed the Industrial Revolution achieved greater longevity than the rest of Europe even by 1000 AD. The data suggest that the 'Rise of the West' originates before the Black Death. [. . .]

Further, a list of the 3,133 sources will be provided in a data file on my website, neilcummins.com. Following publication, replication files and data will be provided there too. [. . .]

This study has characterized noble lifespans from 800 to 1800. The results have many implications. Firstly, the sharp decline in the proportion of male nobles dying from violence, from at least 600 years of a steady 30% to less than 5% in the 16th century, predates the arrival of the Industrial Revolution by two centuries. The long run decline in violence 25 is cited as one of the principal correlates of the emergence of the modern World. Why did violence decline among European nobility? Was it a ‘bottom-up’ behavioral change (perhaps as a result of natural selection, as Clark (2007) suggests for the general population) or was it a response to changing ‘top-down’ institutional incentives (as argued by Acemoglu and Robinson (2012))? [. . .]

Finally, this paper documents a previously unknown European mortality pattern, Sim- ilar to that for marriage first documented by Hajnal (1965), the mortality gradient runs South-North and East-West, and has existed since before the Black Death 30 . The long existence of such a geographic effect has implications for recent work which stresses the ‘little divergence’ between the North-West of Europe and the South-East (Voigtländer and Voth (2013), Broadberry (2013) and de Pleijt and van Zanden (2013)). The Black Death is not the first turning point. There was something about the North-West of Europe long before 1346 that led to nobles living longer lives.

These results suggests that the ‘Rise of the West’ does not solely originate in institutional innovations of the 17th century (Acemoglu and Robinson (2012)) nor in social reactions to the Black Death (Voigtländer and Voth (2013)). Western exceptionalism exists in individual behavior differences that are present since at least the first millennium AD.

Social Mobility among the French Noblesse in the Later Middle Ages

A few figures are here necessary. Out of the 215 lignages that appear in records at one time or another in the thirteenth century, no less than 66, or 30.7% of the total, had disappeared before 1300, the male line having become extinct. During the next century, from 1300 to 1400, the rate of disappearance seems to have remained the same, in spite of the fact that it was a time of wars and pestilences: 80 of the 149 remaining families, or 53.6% of them, became extinct in their turn. Another 38, or 55% of the remaining 69, disappeared between 1400 and 1500. The process went on with the flow of time. By the time of the French Revolution no more than five of these 215 lines were still alive. Two of them remain to this day, if we rule out a third one which descends from a bastard branch but which managed to be maintained in its noble status by a decision of Louis XIV.15 From these figures it might be said that, roughly speaking, the nobility loses half its members within any given century. The average duration of a noble line is hardly more than three or four generations; let us say, to be on the safe side and to take account of the hazards of the records, between three and six generations, stretching from one to two centuries. This tallies with the findings of Mr. Sanders, who, analysing the descent of some 210 baronies from the Conquest to 1327, has shown (or rather I have worked out the figure from his catalogue) that only 36 of them remained more than two centuries in the hands of the same male line.16 English baronies, however, were partible between heiresses even when junior branches still possessed male members, so that the figures are not entirely comparable.

It must be pointed out here that this high rate of family-mortality bore no relation to the economic status of these lignages. Death strikes equally rich and poor, baron and squire, the eminent and the insignificant. Causes general to the times were at work: high mortality in spite of a high birth-rate; the hazards of war; those of political upheavals, with their train of attainders and confiscations - which, at least up to the fourteenth century, were less important in France than in England. Other causes are particular to such social groups as attain some sort of eminence. Thus, the necessity, in order to avoid splitting estates through partition between children, of sending younger sons into the Church, would sooner or later bring the line to an untimely end. [. . .]

New families were thus constantly replacing the dying ones. Some of the newcomers came from junior branches of the local nobility itself, who, through marriage with heiresses, replaced in their lordships the old lines now extinct.'9 Others belonged to the gentry of neighbouring provinces and settled in Forez in the same way.20 None of these was really bringing new blood into an otherwise dwindling social class. More important for our purpose are the new men, those who suddenly appeared as knights or squires with no known ancestry in the nobility and who, given the chance, founded new noble lignages. To know where they came from, we must work mostly by inference and generalise from a few well-documented cases. We can be sure, however, that these newcomers were not recruited from a well-defined social group, but came from widely different strata [. . .]

In a country and at a time when society was almost entirely rural, the largest group of new noblemen came, so it seems, from peasant- stock. In Forez, there was no sharp dividing line between peasants and poor squires, except their different birth. By the thirteenth century, serfdom was as unknown there as in Normandy; all peasants were freemen, even those who owed tallage and a few labour service restricted to one or two days a year.

[Edouard Perroy. Social Mobility among the French Noblesse in the Later Middle Ages]

Garry Trudeau: weak, sensitive boy traumatized by prep school, not a product of "old money liberalism"

"Old money liberalism" is a myth. The idea that upper class "WASPs" as a group lean left is a product of 1950s "conservative" political correctness and various combinations of aspirational leftist self-deception and manipulation.

Steve Sailer writes:

For example, consider Garry Trudeau. He was a scion of old money liberal Protestant good blood good bone folks (his mother went to Miss Porter’s School, for example)
1. Let's not exaggerate the wealth or social standing of Trudeau's family. While I don't doubt they easily fell within the top 5% in both respects, thousands of people of Trudeau's generation were born into richer families with more impressive ancestors, and most of these people did not become obnoxious leftists.

Trudeau's father and paternal ancestors going back several generations were doctors. His mother's father was a sales manager and Republican politician. Certainly respectable and likely prosperous people, but I'd say they belonged to the multigenerational upper middle class rather than the upper class.

2. It would have been more helpful for this narrative if Garry Trudeau's parents were actually liberal. Trudeau's mother belonged to a Continuing Anglican church. Trudeau's parents were Republicans. They did not encourage their son's faggotry. A fan lazily (or wishfully) attempts to frame Trudeau's leftism in terms of the make-believe construct of "old money liberalism":

Members of Trudeau's more recent family tree were not rabidly Republican, but their politics, perhaps because of their privileged social status, leaned to the right. As an educated, civically engaged family, they saw themselves as belonging, nevertheless, to a tradition of liberal egalitarianism. In his satire he has made the dissonance of these competing ideologies a major theme, continually returning to the ironies and hypocrisies of individuals and a society built on such conflicted ideas. In addition, having been raised at the intersection of the ethics of aristocratic gentility and liberal idealism, Trudeau seems to have adopted a sense of noblesse oblige that has fueled both his selfless devotion to promoting social justice through satire, as well as his supreme confidence in his worldview, his business ethics, and his position as social chronicler.

One may also speculate that Trudeau's populist indignation at corrupt authority, nepotism, and old-boy networks is rooted in a need to exorcise a sense of lingering guilt at having such fortunate opportunities. It has even been speculated that the depth of his intense loathing for the Bush family comes from his need to differentiate his own privileged, WASPy persona--one that is tempered by self-criticism and a championing of social underdogs--from that of other Ivy Leaguers who, from his perspective, have seemingly used their background and connections to increase their own wealth and power. For example, those strips which mock the elder Bush for his participation in the closed Skull and Bones society at Yale (the university attended by Trudeau as well) reflect a vehemence and particularity that belies his deep-seated, especially personal dislike for this other type of New England family. (At the same time, one could argue that the Bush family's adoption of swaggering, folksy, Texan personas was an effort to distance themselves from the type of liberal New England elitism they saw in families like Trudeau's; Bush indicated as much in 1988, when he charged that Trudeau only spoke "for a bunch of Brie-tasting, Chardonnay-sipping elitists" [Alter 67].)

But no support whatsoever is offered for claims that the family professed "a tradition of liberal egalitarianism" (nor have I been able to find evidence for this elsewhere), and his parents do not seem to have been active in politics.

(As for the assumed connection to New England, only one of Trudeau's great-grandparents was born in Vermont; the other seven and proceeding generations were born in the mid-Atlantic. In total, no more than 1/4 of Trudeau's ancestry traces back to New England; 1/8 of Trudeau's ancestry is French, his great, great-grandfather having been an evidently incompetent Confederate officer and doctor from New Orleans; the remainder of his ancestry came by way of the mid-Atlantic and includes Dutch and German.)

The facts actually presented by this author paint a picture not of a self-assured aristocrat driven by a sense of noblesse oblige and carrying on a tradition of "liberal idealism" picked up from his family, but of a sensitive bitch who couldn't hang with other members of his class, who because of this developed a resentment of winners, and who imbibed his liberalism from popular culture.

By Trudeau's own description, he was an awkward teenager. Physically weak, athletically slow, pigeon-toed, and small for his age, he did not fit into the popular crowd. About his time at St. Paul's prep school in New Hampshire, he says, "I was not the class clown. In fact, I was pretty shy. . . . [It was a] tortured time for me [because] I was the second or third smallest in my class" (Alter 64). As a result of being ostracized from the elite cliques at school, Trudeau's inner, imaginative life was given ample time and space to develop. He found solace in art--an interest that did not help his social life; a classmate recalls that the prep school was "an unbelievably bad climate to be an artist," and as a result, "Garry took a lot of grief" ("Doonesbury: Drawing and Quartering" 60).

The traumas of his teen years--including seeing his parents divorce--gave him ulcers and probably contributed to his career-long sympathy for people in minority or underdog positions in society. He has little nostalgia for this awkward period in his life; for example, he stated in an interview in 1986 that "Adolescence is, I think, an unpleasant time of life no matter where you spend it and with whom you spend it. I didn't like being a teenager. I didn't like teenagers when I was one. And I still don't like them. It's a very selfish time of life" (Grove D15).

As Trudeau entered into his young adult years--the point at which he was expected to follow his father's lead in becoming a physician--his interest in art and theater put him at odds with his extended family. One can see how Trudeau's creative and sensitive personality did not mesh his father's worldview, a philosophy that can best be summarized in the maxim he repeated often to his son: "Life is not something to be enjoyed, so just get on with it" (Weingarten W14). In some way the disconnect between Trudeau's aspirations and his family's expectations was typical of many family conflicts in the late 1960s when staid lifestyles of the older generation clashed with the newly bohemian, countercultural ethics of their children. Trudeau was not a rebellious kid in any radical sense, but his affinity for the arts seemed to place him within the general parameters of this dissenting youth culture. Trudeau jokes that during his teen years his grandmother "would plead with my parents to send me to Outward Bound, because she had read in Life that the counselors were very good at reaching troubled teens" (Trudeau, Flashbacks 90). [. . .]

In light of Trudeau's adult dedication to following politics with a wonk-like intensity, it is interesting to note that, although he had vague countercultural leanings as a youth, he did not have a deep understanding of politics or any strong convictions about particular parties or candidates during his formative years. Here he describes this teenage detachment:

I wasn't particularly politically attuned growing up. There wasn't much debate at our dinner table. My parents were Republicans, so the GOP was my team, and Ike was our genial manager. In '60, I was too young to really respond to JFK's charisma as intuitively as I was repelled by Nixon's sleaziness, and in 1964, I was so disengaged that I actually designed placards for both parties at my high school. Later I came to admire Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, but more as pop figures than as visionaries who changed the world. Vietnam was the wake-up call. That's when I really started paying attention, and by then heroes were in scarce supply. Besides, who needed role models? We had the certainty of youth. (Bates 62)

[. . .] This gradual success of the strip also won for Trudeau some grudging praise from his family. His father offered him barbed congratulations, saying, "You're lucky you were born when you were. In my day you'd have been a loser" (Trudeau, Flashbacks 16). Similarly, his mother quipped after hearing he had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, "I'm perfectly thrilled and delighted. I've kept my fingers crossed for fear he might end up in jail" (Trudeau, "Investigative Cartooning" C1).

[Kerry Soper. Garry Trudeau: Doonesbury and the Aesthetics of Satire.]

Size Matters: How Height Affects the Health, Happiness, and Success of Boys--and the Men They Become
Wherever boys play games, as on the playing fields of nature, where predation and aggression have shaped animal behavior for tens of millions of years, sheer size makes a difference. You won't find that fact in many textbooks, but it may be the single most important lesson of unsupervised schoolboy existence.

The way those feelings of beleaguerment, insecurity, and behavioral adaptation live on in an adult psychology has been insightfully captured by the cartoonist Garry Trudeau, the creator of Doonesbury. In a lovely 1996 essay called "My Inner Shrimp," Trudeau admits that "for the rest of my days, I shall be a recovering short person" with "the soul of a shrimp." Trudeau, unlike some of us, benefited from a delayed but explosive growth spurt that propelled his final height to over six feet. But it's the feelings he experienced at age fourteen, when he was the third-smallest kid in his high school class, that still perfuse his adult soul. Trudeau sometimes pondered going to a high school reunion to show off all those postpubertal inches. But the Little Man Inside nixed the idea.

"Adolescent hierarchies," he writes, "have a way of enduring; I'm sure I am still recalled as the Midget I myself have never really left behind."

Related:

We do have some preliminary evidence that Conservatives and Liberals vary, on average, in their testosterone-estrogen ratios, with Conservatives males higher on the testosterone side, and Conservative females higher on the estrogen side. This means that the Liberal females and males are closer to each other in their testosterone-estrogen ratios, and the Conservatives further apart.
Formidability and the logic of human anger
Individuals with enhanced abilities to inflict costs (e.g., stronger individuals) or to confer benefits (e.g., attractive individuals) have a better bargaining position in conflicts; hence, it was predicted that such individuals will be more prone to anger, prevail more in conflicts of interest, and consider themselves entitled to better treatment. These predictions were confirmed. Consistent with an evolutionary analysis, the effect of strength on anger was greater for men and the effect of attractiveness on anger was greater for women. Also as predicted, stronger men had a greater history of fighting than weaker men, and more strongly endorsed the efficacy of force to resolve conflicts—both in interpersonal and international conflicts.
Facial Structure May Predict Endorsement of Racial Prejudice

Studies have shown that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is associated with testosterone-related behaviors, which some researchers have linked with aggression. But psychological scientist Eric Hehman of Dartmouth College and colleagues at the University of Delaware speculated that these behaviors may have more to do with social dominance than outright aggression.

[. . .] “Racial prejudice is such a sensitive issue and there are societal pressures to appear nonprejudiced. More dominant individuals might care less about appearing prejudiced, or exercise less self-regulation with regard to reporting those prejudices, should they exist,” says Hehman, who conducted the research as a graduate student at the University of Delaware.

The researchers asked male participants about their willingness to express racially prejudiced beliefs and about the pressure they feel to adhere to societal norms. The results revealed that men who have higher fWHR (determined from photos of their faces) are more likely to express racist remarks and are less concerned about how others perceive those remarks.

Alex Shoumatoff on St. Paul's School
For the past 150 years St. Paul’s School, the “exclusive” (as it is invariably called) boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire, has been the Eton of America’s upper crust. Or perhaps it is its Hogwarts, as Harry Potter’s fictional academy is called, providing the country with many of its most accomplished wizards—not just at making money, although that is what its graduates have tended to do, but in practically every endeavor. Its main constituency has traditionally been the conservative old Wasp families of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia—the plutocracy that has been running the country for generations. But this is changing. Since the first black student was admitted—in my class, which graduated in 1964—the school’s admissions policy has been progressively more meritocratic. The “natural aristocracy,” based on virtue and talent, to use Thomas Jefferson’s distinction, has been displacing the “artificial aristocracy,” based on wealth and birth. Every year there are fewer “legacies,” fewer fourth- or fifth-generation Paulies, among the 533 students, who now come from 37 states and 21 countries.

Despite its reputation for being a breeder of staunch, old-line Republicans, St. Paul’s has also turned out a distinguished roster of liberals, including the cartoonist Garry Trudeau and Senator John Kerry. Kerry was in the class of ’62, two years ahead of me, and even then he seemed to be plotting his run for the presidency. [. . .]

The fourth element of the St. Paul’s calamity had been incubating for years: the allegations that, from the late 1940s through the early 90s, dozens of the school’s masters (as the teachers were known until women joined the faculty, in 1972), including several revered ones, had sexually molested students. [. . .] But boarding schools attract sexually conflicted adults. [. . .]

The faculty was also at odds with the rector and the board. Partly it was because the teachers were liberals, and the trustees were for the most part stodgy conservatives “who have not crossed the postmodern line into the world with the rest of us,” as one faculty member put it. And partly it was a class issue: the trustees acted as if the teachers were underlings, when in fact it is the teachers who dedicate their lives and careers to fulfilling the school’s mission.

"The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media" (2009) by ancestry

The first list of influential liberals I found, from Forbes.
The exercise is subjective, by definition, and Forbes Opinions editors canvassed the views of more than 100 academics, politicians and journalists. The list that follows is a distillation of that survey.
Jews make up over half the list. Apart from Jews, non-whites, Irish Catholics, and a Greek, we have:

13. Bill Moyers Host and commentator, Bill Moyers’ Journal ["Born Billy Don Moyers[1] in Hugo in Choctaw County in southeastern Oklahoma, he was the son of John Henry Moyers, a laborer, and Ruby Johnson Moyers. Moyers was reared in Marshall, Texas.[2]" Enough said.]

21. James Fallows National correspondent, The Atlantic ["born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jean (Mackenzie) and James Albert Fallows, a physician"; mother has a Scottish name; looking at his father's ancestors going back a couple generations, I find ancestors from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Germany, but none from New England; update: I've now checked farther back on both sides, and find German, Scottish, and non-Puritan English ancestry; I've continued to find no New England ancestry, and can rule out any meaningful Puritan contribution.]

23. Kevin Drum Blogger, Mother Jones [You can see his ancestry here, directly from him. 3.5/8 of his ancestors appear to be Irish Catholic and 3/8 German or Swiss; at most 1/4 of his ancestry is colonial American, with half of that being Pennsylvania German; he has one great-grandparent born in Connecticut, but with a Scottish name, so unlikely to be of entirely early Puritan ancestry.]

24. Kurt Andersen Writer and host, “Studio 360? [born in Omaha, Nebraska; Scandinavian name; update: I checked his twitter account, and based on comments he's made Andersen is 3/4 Danish and 1/4 German, confirming he has no Puritan ancestry]

So even limiting our consideration to the 4 apparent NW Europeans on the list who don't identify as Irish Catholic, we see vastly more Southern and mid-Atlantic ancestry than New England ancestry, and more known or likely German, Scottish, and Irish ancestry than Puritan ancestry. The people who imagine Puritan descendants form a dominant segment of modern leftists for the most part have no idea what a descendant of Puritans actually looks like. They simply circularly identify northern liberals as "descendant of Puritans" and ignore southern liberals, while frequently trying to rationalize away the very obvious actual trends in ethnic overrepresentation.

Jewish:
1. Paul Krugman Op-ed columnist, The New York Times
3. Fred Hiatt Editorial page editor, The Washington Post
4. Thomas Friedman Op-ed columnist, The New York Times
5. Jon Stewart Host, The Daily Show
7. Rachael Maddow Host, The Rachel Maddow Show [1/4 Jewish; raised Catholic]
8. Joshua Micah Marshall Founder and editor, Talking Points Memo
9. David Shipley Op-ed editor, The New York Times
14. Christopher Hitchens Writer [3/16 Jewish; born in England]
16. Matthew Yglesias Blogger, ThinkProgress [1/2 Jewish]
17. Hendrick Hertzberg Columnist, The New Yorker [1/2 Jewish]
18. Glenn Greenwald Blogger, Salon.com
20. Gerald Seib Executive Washington editor, The Wall Street Journal
22. Ezra Klein Blogger and associate editor, The American Prospect
25. Michael Pollan Writer and journalism professor, University of California, Berkeley

Non-white:
6. Oprah Winfrey Presenter, The Oprah Winfrey Show
10. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (“Kos”) Founder and publisher, Daily Kos
11. Fareed Zakaria Editor, Newsweek International

Irish Catholic:
12. Chris Matthews Anchor, Hardball [mother is Irish Catholic; father's parents are English from England and Northern Irish from Northern Ireland]
15. Maureen Dowd Op-ed columnist, The New York Times
19. Andrew Sullivan Senior editor, The Atlantic The Daily Dish

Greek:
2. Arianna Huffington Founder and columnist, The Huffington Post

The Port Huron statement: not a product of "Puritans"

Colin Woodard:
Combining the utopia-seeking moral impulses of secularized Puritanism, the intellectual freedom of New Netherland, and the tolerant pacifism of the Midlands, the social movement sought to remake and improve the world by breaking down the very sorts of traditional institutions and social taboos Dixie whites were fighting to protect. The Port Huron Statement, a 1962 manifesto considered the founding document of this “youth movement,” was an amalgam of core Yankee and Midlander values.
This presumably would have been a surprise to the Irish Catholic and Jewish drafters of the statement.
In the 50 years since its initial publication, Hayden has attracted the bulk of media attention surrounding the Port Huron Statement. He wrote much of the original text and served as its high-profile articulator and leader of its execution. But it’s the lesser-known Robert Alan (Al) Haber, ’65, still living in Ann Arbor, who is credited as the “big brain,” the “visionary,” and the “indispensable element” of the student movement.

[Port Huron Statement turns 50]

Important founders of Jewish background included Al Haber, Richard Flacks, Steve Marx, Bob Ross, Mike Spiegel, Mike Klonsky, and Mark Rudd. Nearly half of the delegates to the 1966 SDS convention were Jews, and a number of Jews became SDS chapter presidents at major universities [. . .] Jews also made up a significant portion of the movements intellectual vanguard. [. . .]

Other analysts continued to emphasize the strong historic Jewish commitment to the left since European emancipation. [. . .] The left-wing historian Arthur Liebman has suggested that the young New Left Jews had inherited a tradition of radicalism from their parents and had been emersed in a whole network of socialist-inspired institutions since childhood. The sociologist Nathan Glazer supports Liebman's contention, adding that the radical secular tradition was reinforced by the strong emphasis on intellectual activity.

[Seth Forman. Blacks in the Jewish Mind: A Crisis of Liberalism.]

Mark Rudd on "Why were there so many Jews in SDS? (or, The Ordeal of Civility)":
the numbers on Jews in SDS are clear. The author Paul Berman, himself a Jewish veteran of Columbia SDS, in his excellent book, “A Tale of Two Utopias,” gives the following data from reliable sources: two-thirds of the white Freedom Riders who traveled to Mississippi were Jewish; a majority of the steering committee of the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Movement were Jewish; the SDS chapters at Columbia and the University of Michigan were more than half Jewish; at Kent State in Ohio, where only 5 percent of the student body was Jewish, Jews constituted 19 percent of the chapter. I might add a strange statistic which I became aware of in the course of two trips to Kent State to commemorate the events of May, 1970: three of the four students shot by the National Guard at Kent State were Jewish. This, of course, defies all odds. [. . .]

I invoke Roth to let you in on the insularity of the world I grew up in. My family carried the Jewish ghettos of Newark and Elizabeth with them to the suburbs. We may have lived in integrated neighborhoods, that is integrated with goyim (there were only a few blacks in the town) and we may have gone to integrated schools, (of course there were no blacks in my elementary school) but we were far from assimilated, if that means replacing a Jewish identity with an American one. At about the age of nine or ten I remember eating lunch at the house of a non-Jewish friend and reporting back that the hamburgers had onion and parsley in them. “Oh, that’s goyish hamburger,” my mother said. I lived a Philip Roth existence in which the distinction between Jews and gentiles was present in all things: having dogs and cats was goyish, for example, as was a church-sponsored hay-ride which I was invited to by the cute red-haired girl who sat in front of me in my seventh grade home-room. My parents didn’t allow me to go, and, since repression breeds resistance, that was probably a signal event in my career of fascination with shiksas and things goyish, a career which paralleled that of young Alexander Portnoy in “Portnoy’s Complaint.” [. . .]

I got to Columbia University as a freshman, age 18, in September, 1965, a few months after the United States attacked Vietnam with main force troops. There I found a small but vibrant anti-war movement. In my first semester I was recruited by David Gilbert, a senior who had written a pamphlet on imperialism for national SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. David was one of the founders of the Columbia SDS chapter, along with John Fuerst, the chapter Chairman. Both were Jewish, of course, as were my mentors and friends, Michael Josefowicz, Harvey Blume, Michael Neumann, and John Jacobs. Ted Kaptchuk and Ted Gold were Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Columbia SDS the year before I was elected Chairman, along with my Vice-Chairman, Nick Freudenberg. All of us were Jewish. It’s hard to remember the names of non-Jewish Columbia SDS’ers; it was as much a Jewish fraternity as Sammie. [. . .]

Identifying with the oppressed seemed to me at Columbia and since a natural Jewish value, though one we never spoke of as being Jewish. [. . .]

But World War II and the holocaust were our fixed reference points. This was only twenty years after the end of the war. We often talked about the moral imperative to not be Good Germans. Many of my older comrades had mobilized for the civil rights movement; we were all anti-racists. We saw American racism as akin to German racism toward the Jews. [. . .]

What outraged me and my comrades so much about Columbia, along with its hypocrisy, was the air of genteel civility. Or should I say gentile? Despite the presence of so many Jews in the faculty and among the students—geographical distribution in the admissions process had not been effective at filtering us out, our SAT’s and class-rank being so high—the place was dripping with goyishness. When I got there freshmen still wore blue blazers and ties and drank sherry at afternoon socials with the deans. At the top of the Columbia heap sat President Grayson Kirk and Vice-President David Truman, two consummate liberal WASP’s who privately claimed to oppose the war but maintained the institution’s support of it. [. . .]

More than twenty years ago I read a book called, “The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss and the Jewish Struggle With Modernity.” The author, an Irish-American sociologist named John Murray Cuddihy, advances a fascinating theory on the origins of Marxism and Freudianism. Jews were newly emancipated, that is, given legal and political rights, in Western Europe in the mid to late nineteenth century. But even bourgeois Jews were still excluded from civil society by customs and especially by manners. As Jewish (or formerly Jewish) outsiders ostensibly allowed in, but not really, Marx and Freud brought critical eyes to European bourgeois society. Marx said, in effect, “You think you’ve got yourself a fine little democracy here, well let me tell you about the class exploitation and misery that’s underlying it.” Similarly, Freud exposed the seamy, sexuality-driven motives, the up-raised penises controlling the unconscious minds of civilized, well-mannered bourgeois society.

We Jews at Columbia—and I would guess at colleges throughout the country—brought the same outsider view to the campuses we had been allowed into. We were peasant children right out of the shtetls of New Jersey and Queens screaming, “You want to know the truth about Columbia University, they’re a bunch of liberal imperialists! They claim to be value-neutral but when we asked them to stop their research for the Vietnam War and their racist expansion into the Harlem community, they not only ignored us, but they called out the cops to beat us up and arrest us. Up against the wall, motherfucker, this is a stickup!” Morally and emotionally we could not fit into the civilized world of the racist, defense-oriented modern university. Such was our ordeal of civility. [. . .]

I am so obviously Jewish that no matter how much carne adovada or fry bread I eat, I’m instantly recognizable as a Jew. I proudly acknowledge the drive for education in Jewish culture which made me want to read about the world and to understand it and to become a teacher. I also recognize that in my social activism I am one of thousands working in the grand tradition of Jewish leftists, the Trotskys and the Emma Goldmans and the Goodmans and Schwerners of the twentieth century. I honor this lineage. As Jews our advantage in the past, though, was that we were outsiders critically looking in; today Jews sit at the right hand of the goy in the White House advising him whom to bomb next in order to advance the Empire. [. . .]

As a child I never fell for the seduction of patriotism. It seemed so arbitrary, who’s an American and who’s not. If my relatives hadn’t emigrated, who would I be? Since I was also at core an idealist and a utopian—another Jewish tradition?—I wanted to skip all that obviously stupid and dangerous stuff that gave rise to wars and racism. In 1965 I began to identify myself as a socialist and an internationalist. I still am an internationalist since old religions die hard.

As for non-Jewish influences, Tom Hayden, in his book on how he's not white but Irish, claims:
C. Wright Mills was the American intellectual who had the single greatest impact on the New Left. He authored a series of books and tracts that explained the American power elite and the mostly white-collar society from which a majority of activists emerged. He tried to resurrect and idealistic Marxism from the bureaucratic clutches of Stalinist states. [. . .]

Mills was Irish in his origins and style. But as an iconoclastic American he replaced ethnic heritage as an explanatory category with issues of class, status, and power. Mills was a descendant of Irish Famine immigrants from county Leitrim. In a 1963 letter, Mills's mother described the family forebears - the Gallaghers and McGinnisses - not primarily as Irish but as Catholics "driven from Ireland in 1840 by persecution from England on account of their religion."

In fact, it appears Mills was only about 1/4 Irish Catholic; but he was born in Texas and it appears the rest of his ancestry was Southern -- which is similarly inconvenient for Woodard's effort to slot 1960s leftism neatly into his "American Nations" framework.

A taste of the depth and explanatory power of Colin Woodard's "American Nations" analysis

Deep Southern oligarchs finally got one of their own in the White House in 2000, for the first time since 1850. George W. Bush may have been the son of a Yankee president and raised in far western Texas, but he was a creature of east Texas, where he lived, built his political career, found God, and cultivated his business interests and political alliances. His domestic policy priorities as president were those of the Deep Southern oligarchy: cut taxes for the wealthy, privatize Social Security, deregulate energy markets (to benefit family allies at Houston-based Enron), stop enforcing environmental and safety regulations for offshore drilling rigs (like BP’s Deepwater Horizon), turn a blind eye to offshore tax havens, block the regulation of carbon emissions or tougher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, block health care benefits for low-income children, open protected areas to oil exploration, appoint industry executives to run the federal agencies meant to regulate their industries, and inaugurate a massive new foreign guest-worker program to ensure a low-wage labor supply. Meanwhile, Bush garnered support among ordinary Dixie residents by advertising his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, banning stem cell research and late-term abortions, and attempting to transfer government welfare programs to religious institutions. By the end of his presidency—and the sixteen-year run of Dixie dominance in Washington—income inequality and the concentration of wealth in the federation had reached the highest levels in its history, exceeding even the Gilded Age and Great Depression. In 2007 the richest tenth of Americans accounted for half of all income, while the richest 1 percent had seen their share nearly triple since 1994.
G.W. Bush: not, as far as Woodard knows, of "Deep Southern oligarch" ancestry (though Bush and his father do incidentally have some Southern ancestry). Not even raised in the part of Texas Woodard includes in the "Deep South". But still "one of their own", because he has ties to an industry that didn't exist in antebellum America but which is obviously dominated by "Deep Southern oligarchs".

I don't think anyone will question that British Petroleum is run by Deep Southern oligarchs.

But looking at some Enron executives: Ken Lay was born in Missouri, the son of a poor Baptist preacher. He probably had ancestors from both Woodard's "Deep South" and "Greater Appalachia", and he certainly was not born into wealth. Jeffrey Skilling was from Pennyslvania. Andrew Fastow is a Jew who was born in D.C. and grew up in New Jersey.

The reality of course is the resource extraction industry (like every other industry) has incentives to lobby for favorable regulations -- irrespective of the ancestries or birthplaces of those involved. Woodard's attempt at rewriting American history as an inane leftist morality tale features similar confusions throughout.

General impression of "American Nations"

I've now read American Nations, and it's more or less what I expected: a middle-brow liberal journalist's comic book version of Albion's Seed. Actually, I was expecting a book at least a bit more intelligent and less polemical than the often bizarre American Nations news analysis advertorials I'd seen from Colin Woodard in various web outlets, but it's just 300+ pages of comparable drivel. Woodard's stated premise:
Americans have been deeply divided since the days of Jamestown and Plymouth. [. . .] Each of our founding cultures had its own set of cherished principles, and they often contradicted one another. [. . .]

America’s most essential and abiding divisions are not between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, capital and labor, blacks and whites, the faithful and the secular. Rather, our divisions stem from this fact: the United States is a federation comprised of the whole or part of eleven regional nations, some of which truly do not see eye to eye with one another. [. . .] Few have shown any indication that they are melting into some sort of unified American culture. On the contrary, since 1960 the fault lines between these nations have been growing wider, fueling culture wars, constitutional struggles, and ever more frequent pleas for unity.

I have very consciously used the term nations to describe these regional cultures, for by the time they agreed to share a federated state, each had long exhibited the characteristics of nationhood. [. . .] A nation is a group of people who share—or believe they share—a common culture, ethnic origin, language, historical experience, artifacts, and symbols. Some nations are presently stateless—the Kurdish, Palestinian, or Québécois nations, for instance. Some control and dominate their own nation-state, which they typically name for themselves, as in France, Germany, Japan, or Turkey. Conversely, there are plenty of states—some of them federated—that aren’t dominated by a single nation, like Belgium, Switzerland, Malaysia, Canada and, indeed, the United States.

Regional divisions in the US are more "essential and abiding" than black-white differences -- and everything else. America's regions constitute "nations", yet racial differences are inconsequential. Yes, this really is the book's central conceit, which Woodard forgoes logic and historical accuracy throughout to uphold. We're talking about someone whose explanation for why blacker areas areas of Virginia vote Democrat is the "noblesse oblige" of the Tidewater's "aristocratic founders".

An isteve commenter claimed Woodard obviously identified with (and descended from) New Englanders. In fact, Woodard evinces a fair amount of loathing for early New Englanders. While he wishes to legitimate the sorts of concerns that animate MSNBC hosts and Atlantic bloggers by anchoring insane modern leftism in the American past, and while for status reasons Woodard and those of his ilk sometimes prefer to latch onto New England in particular, this does not mean Woodard actually has any liking for Puritans.

It's multicultural "New France", and the "highly communalistic", "environmentally minded", and "female-dominated" "First Nation", that come in for the greatest praise, with Canada overall being the model Woodard aspires to for America. As Woodard rationalizes it, it's only the "Deep Southern oligarchs" (and those duped by them) standing in the way of America's glorious future as Canada.

The compulsion of Woodard and his fans like JayMan to force all of history, politics, and ethnic conflict into Woodard's "American Nations" framework obscures much more than it clarifies about America. Differences between regions exist (some rooted in early history, and some not). There are much larger differences between different races and ethnicities and among those with differing economic interests and innate political predispositions within regions.

Anyone tempted to read this book would be well advised to skip directly to the "Acknowledgments and suggested reading" section. The books Woodard relies upon (including Albion's Seed and The Nine Nations of North America) are not without their own faults, but they contain much of actual interest concerning American history and regional differences. Woodard's "synthesis" adds nothing (apart from the oversimplification, anachronism, and distortion demanded by the inane overarching political agenda).

More broadly, I'd also recommend reading, e.g., Jonathan Haidt. People like JayMan, and Moldbug cultists, have a need for abstraction. But they settle on a muddled middle level of abstraction that makes little sense. There's benefit both in thinking about human nature generally, and in having a grasp of specific historical detail. JayMan and Moldbuggists are attracted to shiny, specious quasi-abstractions that promise them sweeping insights about history without the hassle either of making any serious effort to understand human nature or of actually having to learn much in the way of mundane historical fact.

People of the British Isles project paper

After long delays, the main PoBI paper has finally been published. At this point, it comes as something of an anticlimax (particularly since it appears access to the underlying data will be restricted, when researchers had previously implied it would be openly accessible).

In the past, it's been said this publication was held up because reviewers had problems with the dating and attribution of the various clusters by the authors. I'd presumed such reviewers must be anti-migrationist holdouts motivated by politics. But now that I've read the paper, I can't say I'm impressed with the authors's methods or conclusions.

After the Saxon migrations,the language,place names,cereal crops and pottery styles all changed from that of the existing(Romano-British) population to those of the Saxon migrants. There has been ongoing historical and archaeological controversy about the extent to which the Saxons replaced the existing Romano-British populations. Earlier genetic analyses, based on limited samples and specific loci, gave conflicting results. With genome-wide data we can resolve this debate. Two separate analyses (ancestry profiles and GLOBETROTTER)show clear evidence in modern England of the Saxon migration, but each limits the proportion of Saxon ancestry, clearly excluding the possibility of long-term Saxon replacement. We estimate the proportion of Saxon ancestry in Cent./SEngland as very likely to be under 50%, and most likely in the range of 10–40%.

A more general conclusion of our analyses is that while many of the historical migration events leave signals in our data, they have had a smaller effect on the genetic composition of UK populations than has sometimes been argued. In particular, we see no clear genetic evidence of the Danish Viking occupation and control of a large part of England, either in separate UK clusters in that region, or in estimated ancestry profiles, suggesting a relatively limited input of DNA from the Danish Vikings and subsequent mixing with nearby regions, and clear evidence for only a minority Norse contribution (about 25%) to the current Orkney population.

We saw no evidence of a general ‘Celtic’ population in non-Saxon parts of the UK. Instead there were many distinct genetic clusters in these regions, some amongst the most different in our study, in the sense of being most separated in the hierarchical clustering tree in Fig.1. Further,the ancestry profile of Cornwall (perhaps expected to resemble other Celtic clusters) is quite different from that of the Welsh clusters, and much closer to that of Devon, and Cent./S England. However, the data do suggest that the Welsh clusters represent populations that are more similar to the early post-Ice-Age settlers of Britain than those from elsewhere in the UK.

An example of their reasoning:
The observation (Fig.2 and Supplementary Table 4) that particular European groups(for example, GER3, FRA12, FRA17) contribute substantially to the ancestry profiles of some, but not all, UK clusters strongly suggests that at least some of the structure we observe in the UK results from differential input of DNA to different parts of the UK: the absence in particular UK clusters of ancestry from specific European groups is best explained by the DNA from those European groups never reaching those UK clusters. A critical observation which follows is that groups which contribute significantly to the ancestry profiles of all UK clusters most probably represent, at least in part, migration events into the UK that are relatively old, since their DNA had time to spread throughout the UK. Conversely, groups that contribute to the ancestry profiles of only some UK clusters most probably represent more recent migration events, with the resulting DNA not yet spread throughout the UK by internal migration. ‘Old’ and ‘recent’ here are relative terms—we can infer the order of some events in this way but not their absolute times. Although we refer to migration events, we cannot distinguish between movements of reasonable numbers of people over a short time or ongoing movements of smaller numbers over longer periods.
Thus, their estimate of Anglo-Saxon admixture comes from picking which of their "European groups" -- which do not, of course, represent actual ancient European groups but are merely synthetic clusters generated on data from present-day continental Europeans -- to associate with Anglo-Saxons. Going with the authors's approach, estimates of the Anglo-Saxon contribution can range from 10% to over 50%, depending on what one deems "likely".

Personally, I deem it unlikely they're picking up any signals dating back to "the early post-Ice-Age settlers of Britain". I would guess that most of their clusters are influenced by more recent patterns of migration and isolation than the authors tend to assume. More credible estimates of, e.g., Anglo-Saxon admixture in Britain will await sequencing of large amounts of ancient DNA.

R. A. Fisher on group selection in humans

Fisher, who's been called "the most important geneticist of the 20th century", like Hamilton saw a significant role for group selection in human evolution.

A.W.F. Edwards once confusedly mentioned "a passage new to the 1958 edition, where Fisher stresses the theme of the book, that it is individual, not group, selection that drives evolution", but the passage in question says nothing of the kind. The short section added to the 1958 edition of The genetical theory of natural selection is headed "'The benefit of the species'". In it, Fisher clearly acknowledges multiple levels of selection, and explicitly includes "co-operative communities" along with individuals as units of selection. Fisher is plainly responding to "good of the species" arguments, and merely points out that selection at the level of species or higher must, for empirical reasons, be relatively unimportant compared to selection on individuals:

There would, however, be some warrant on historical grounds for saying that the term Natural Selection should include not only the selective survival of individuals of the same species, but of mutually competing species of the same genus or family. The relative unimportance of this as an evolutionary factor would seem to follow decisively from the small number of closely related species which in fact do come into competition, as compared to the number of individuals in the same species; and from the vastly greater duration of the species compared to the individual. Any characters ascribed to interspecific selection should of course characterize, not species, but whole genera or families, and it may be doubted if it would be possible to point to any such character, with the possible exception, as suggested in Chapter VI, of sexuality itself, which could be interpreted as evolved for the specific rather than for the individual advantage. [p. 50]
Fisher obviously includes humans among those capable of forming "co-operative communities", as is clear from discussion elsewhere in the book:
The only animal societies in which co-operation is sufficiently highly developed to justify comparison with civilized men are those of the social insects.

Fisher has an entire chapter on social selection in humans, unaltered in the 1958 edition, in which he speculates about selection for traits like heroism in a landscape of intertribal competition, Fisher's conception of early human society being not unlike those of W. D. Hamilton and James Neel.

Note that while in this chapter Fisher emphasizes intratribal social selection favoring the kindreds of heroes, this sort of selection only makes sense in the context of intergroup competition; and in contrasting "selection on whole groups" -- which Fisher does not dismiss but which he notes will tend to be slow -- and selection on kindreds, Fisher is not at odds with people like Hamilton or Neel, who envision tribes expanding, fissioning along lines of kinship, absorbing other tribes, etc. The latter situation -- as opposed to one in which only unmixing platonic groups compete -- is exactly the one we would most expect to favor generalized adaptations for kin recognition and ethnocentrism, which in the modern world might quite adaptively be deployed in the context of interracial conflict (regardless of how difficult Cochran finds it to think generally about the issue).

It is necessary to emphasize this unity of culture because, unlike civilized societies having comparable unity, barbarian peoples recognize private, or more properly tribal war as a normal means for avenging and checking crime. The obligation to avenge a kinsman was felt extremely keenly as a moral duty, to shirk which would be incompatible with self-respect or an easy conscience, or, in Wilfred Blunt 's forcible phrase as 'almost a physical necessity'. The existence of this obligation requires that the tribes of kinsmen to which it applies shall be somewhat sharply defined, and with this obligation follows, of course, the obligation to pay, and the right to share, blood money, or to share in booty. A certain degree of economic communism thus characterizes these kindred groups, so that there is little exaggeration in saying that the economic and the military units in such societies are made to coincide. This is at least a convenient form in which to express the contrast with all civilized societies, in which the interests of the economic unit, consisting of a single individual and his dependents, may differ widely from those of the military unit, consisting of the entire nation to which he belongs. The interests of the kindred group as a whole, whose rights to life and property can only be safeguarded by military preparedness, are of course, in the first degree, founded upon military strength, and consequently, among other qualities, upon the fertility of its members.

More from Hamilton on kin recognition and intergroup hostility

Hamilton, who's been called "the greatest mathematical biologist of the last half of the 20th century", believed group selection "may be a really appropriate term for many human situations". See also Hamilton on inclusive fitness and social behavior in humans and Robert Axelrod on the evolution of ethnocentrism.

Some excerpts from "Selection of selfish and altruistic behavior in some extreme models":

RECOGNITION OF RELATIVES

Galton 36 stated that cows that have dropped out of a moving herd in order to calve will attempt to fight off predators, although a solitary condition is one which usually causes great terror. This phenomenon, of course, is well known with many normally timid species and as an aspect of parental care it is easily understood even in the classical models of natural selection. But the case can also be viewed as conditional altruism encouraged by a particular kind of assortation of like genotype s; the mother and offspring have half their genes in common by direct replication.

Other cases of relationship may be viewed in the same way. The relatives of an individual can be considered to carry his genes in a statistically diluted state with the dilution depending in a definite way on the structure of the relationship (see Part I of the paper in Chapter 2). Distant relationships are obviously more dilute. Indeed, the required precise measure of relationship corresponds more or less to the vague popular notion of 'blood' similarity.