Kin recognition in an annual plant

Even plants prefer their own kind.

Abstract: Kin recognition is important in animal social systems. However, though plants often compete with kin, there has been as yet no direct evidence that plants recognize kin in competitive interactions. Here we show in the annual plant Cakile edentula, allocation to roots increased when groups of strangers shared a common pot, but not when groups of siblings shared a pot. Our results demonstrate that plants can discriminate kin in competitive interactions and indicate that the root interactions may provide the cue for kin recognition. Because greater root allocation is argued to increase below-ground competitive ability, the results are consistent with kin selection.

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The Racist Truth About Canadian Immigration

Like England, Australia, and America prior to the 1970s, Canada had no confusion about its white identity.

A HREF=””>Canadian black pundit Rachel Decoste writes:

Following Confederation, the newly formed country of Canada began to develop its own national immigration policies. Between 1869 and the 1930s, Canada received over 100,000 orphans, juvenile delinquents, and unwanted persons from the British Isles. The open-door policy helped attract a more diverse group of arrivals than ever before, but not all the new immigrants were welcomed with warm embrace.

To avoid spoiling Canada-China relations, the federal government could not outright forbid Chinese immigration. Therefore, Canada passed the Chinese Immigration Act, which put a hefty head tax on Chinese immigrants in the hopes that this would deter them from entering Canada. No other ethnic group had to pay this kind of tax at the time. The head tax would prove to be profitable for the federal government, while effectively stifling the flow of Chinese newcomers. I it would prevent wives and families from joining their husbands or fathers in Canada.

There was — as government correspondence in Ottawa records now makes clear–a long series of letters exchanged among immigration authorities worried about how to be functionally anti-Black without seeming anti-Black. Since much of its recruitment of immigrants was done by mail, it became difficult for immigration officials to discern the race of African-American postulants. In U.S. cities where there were no Canadian immigration agents present to discriminate openly, civil servants would write to the local (presumably white) American postmaster and ask whether the applicant was Black. Those few Blacks in Canada had apparently got to here either by persistence or through accident.
In 1910, for instance, the Edmonton Board of Trade passed a resolution to stop the undesirable influx of Negroes. Six months later, Canada would shift its underhanded discrimination policy to bar Blacks overtly.

PM Laurier’s Minister of the Interior from 1896-1905, Clifford Sifton, was eager to populate western Canada with farmers in order to stimulate the economy and help pay the national debt. The government offered free homesteads to qualified applicants. Canadian immigration authorities rated newcomers according to their race, perceived hardiness and farming ability: If British immigrants are not available, other white immigrants would do. White immigrants from Eastern Europe (Italians, Portuguese, South Slavs, Greeks, Syrians, Jews) were reluctantly accepted in large numbers, but Black and Asian immigration is discouraged.

Then-Clerk of the Privy Council, Rodolphe Boudreau wrote on the restriction of immigration from the Orient,in particular British East Indians: “Experience has shown that immigrants of this class, having been accustomed to the conditions of a tropical climate, are wholly unsuited to this country”. He further goes on to write that the restriction of newcomers from India is “no less in the interest of East Indians themselves, than the interest of the Canadian people”. Then Deputy Minister of Labour W.L. Mackenzie King, went on a mission to England to negotiate an agreement by which Canada was made “distinct” in the British Empire, thus allowed to refuse certain classes of immigrants based on country of origin.

In 1891, B.C. provincial legislators were complaining that Japanese immigrants were “just as injurious” as the long-despised Chinese, going so far as to exclude Japanese residents from the 1891 census. In 1897, Premier John Herbert Turner’s provincial legislature unanimously asked the federal government to prevent immigration of Japanese, citing concern about “the lower class Jap” who competed in the labour market. Heeding to xenophobic pressure, only six Japanese immigrants entered Canada in the years 1901-4, while the “gentlemen’s agreement” with Japan to limit immigration to 400 a year only became official in 1907.

900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany embarked on a ship towards the Americas – notably Halifax’s Pier 21, which had already welcomed hundreds of thousands of newcomers. At the time, Frederick Blair was director of Canada’s immigration program, and fought to keep certain people out. He then hid behind the difficulties resulting from stateless refugees from the First World War to justify his anti-Semitic ideology, adding “coming out of the maelstrom of war, some of them are liable to become public charges”. Blair, other immigration officials and cabinet ministers hostile to Jewish immigration persuaded the Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to refuse sanctuary to the ship. In his 1941 annual report, Blair candidly admitted “Canada, in accordance with generally accepted practice, places greater emphasis on race than upon citizenship.”

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Evolution of contingent altruism when cooperation is expensive

Abstract: The ubiquity of cooperation has motivated a major research program over the last 50 years to discover ever more minimal conditions for the evolution of altruism. One important line of work is based on favoritism toward those who appear to be close relatives. Another important line is based on continuing interactions, whether between individuals (e.g., reciprocity) or between lines of descent in a viscous population. Here, we use an agent-based model to demonstrate a new mechanism that combines both lines of work to show when and how favoritism toward apparently similar others can evolve in the first place. The mechanism is the joint operation of viscosity and of tags (heritable, observable, and initially arbitrary characteristics), which serve as weak and potentially deceptive indicators of relatedness. Although tags are insufficient to support cooperation alone, we show that this joint mechanism vastly increases the range of environments in which contingent altruism can evolve in viscous populations. Even though our model is quite simple, the subtle dynamics underlying our results are not tractable using formal analytic tools (such as analysis of evolutionarily stable strategies), but are amenable to agent-based simulation.

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The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation

Torah has no doubts that the more unified and cohesive the Jewish people, the more powerful and effective they will be. I see no reason why this same principle would not hold true for not just all peoples, but for all living organisms.

Abstract: Recent agent-based computer simulations suggest that ethnocentrism, often thought to rely on complex social cognition and learning, may have arisen through biological evolution. From a random start, ethnocentric strategies dominate other possible strategies (selfish, traitorous, and humanitarian) based on cooperation or non-cooperation with in-group and out-group agents. Here we show that ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates. Selfish and traitorous strategies are self-limiting because such agents do not cooperate with agents sharing the same genes. Traitorous strategies fare even worse than selfish ones because traitors are exploited by ethnocentrics across group boundaries in the same manner as humanitarians are, via unreciprocated cooperation. By tracking evolution across time, we find individual differences between evolving worlds in terms of early humanitarian competition with ethnocentrism, including early stages of humanitarian dominance. Our evidence indicates that such variation, in terms of differences between humanitarian and ethnocentric agents, is normally distributed and due to early, rather than later, stochastic differences in immigrant strategies.

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Northern Europeans less prone to “blaming the other”

Kevin MacDonald writes: A recent paper by Sebastian Pothoff et al. published in Personality and Individual Differences finds that Northern Europeans (Germany, Netherlands) are less likely to “blame the other” than Southern Europeans: “Self-blame includes thoughts that relate to blaming yourself for a traumatic or stressful event. Other-blame is the process of blaming others for what happened to yourself.”

They also discuss evidence that northern Europeans score lower on power distance, where power distance refers to the degree to which less powerful people in a culture accept power inequalities; in other words, Northern Europeans are more egalitarian.

These findings fit well with the theory that there is a north-south cline in individualism and egalitarianism (see here toward the end), with the north being higher on both. Re egalitarianism, Scandinavian society in general has a history of relatively small income and social class differences. An anthropological study of hunter-gatherers found that the economic inequality approximated that of modern Denmark (Eric A. Smith, et al., Current Anthropology.51(1),19–34, 2010).

The difference in other-blame is particularly interesting in that it is consistent with the idea that Northern Europeans more readily take the point of view of the other when assigning blame. I think this is part of the deep structure of individualism. When Michael Polignano wrote a book titled Taking Our Own Side, he put his finger on a major problem for Western individualists: We tend to take a neutral point of view in moral issues — not biased in our own favor or what’s good for our group. We tend to take the point of view of the emotionally disinterested, rational observer, not swayed by personal interest. So we are less likely to blame others for problems and try our best to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.

So Swedes are more likely to blame themselves for migrant crime, no-go zones, and the hatred of many migrants for Sweden and its culture. For example,

the new curriculum [of the Stockholm Policy Academy] will be “progressive” with more focus on cultural sensitivity, ethical awareness, gender issues and more. The aspiring police officers will achieve “greater understanding of the intercultural perspective.”

Repeating some previous arguments, morality in individualist culture is defined not as what is good for the individual or the group, but as an abstract moral ideal — e.g., Kant’s categorical imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” We understand that people tend to be self-interested, but in designing legal and moral systems, we understand, implicitly or explicitly, that everyone has interests. Proper behavior therefore is behavior that would be appropriate for anyone — Kant’s “universal law.”

Individualism implies an equality of interest—that everyone has interests but no one has a privileged moral position—philosopher John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance.” Arguments on morality therefore must necessarily seek an abstract sense of morality, independent of the interests of any particular individual; group interests have no privileged moral standing at all. As an extreme example, pro-slavery arguments that slavery is good for the nation (common among defenders of slavery in England during the eighteenth century) or for individual Whites but do not attach any moral significance to Blacks as individuals therefore fall on deaf ears.

On the other hand, collectivist cultures such as Judaism have a highly elaborated moral code that privileges ingroup membership. Slavery is not an evil in itself because it violates the legitimate interests of individuals; rather it depends on whether Jews benefit. There is an elaborate Jewish law on slavery that has never been abrogated, a long history of Jewish slave trading, and there are different ethical codes on how slaves may be treated depending on whether the slave is a fellow Jew; the same goes for criminal offenses (see A People that Shall Dwell Alone, Ch. 6). In collectivist cultures, group membership, typically the kinship group, is critical to moral evaluation.

Jews therefore are quick to “blame the other.” The purpose of Chapter 7 of Separation and Its Discontents (Rationalization and Apologia: The Intellectual Construction of Judaism) is to summarize the elaborate apologetics that Jewish religious leaders and philosophers have engaged in over the centuries in order to portray Jewish behavior as completely irrelevant to anti-Jewish attitudes. Further, The Culture of Critique discusses numerous Jewish theories of anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior based on psychoanalysis (e.g., many psychoanalysts, including Freud himself in his outrageous Moses and Monotheism, the Frankfurt School, the New York Intellectuals) in which such attitudes are the result of sexual repression or disturbed parent-child relationships, and many other Jewish writers have blamed an unfortunate Christian theology. Reading Jewish writers on this topic suggests to me that strongly identified Jews are utterly incapable of finding anything at all about Jewish behavior that could possibly contribute to anti-Jewish attitudes.

A morality of disinterest naturally leads to erecting moral ideals that do not reflect the interests of particular people or groups but are intrinsically good. Moral idealism is a powerful tendency in European culture, particularly since the seventeenth century apparent, for example, in the German idealist philosophers and the American transcendentalists. Universalist moral ideals are erected and then steps are taken to achieve the moral vision by changing the world, often accompanied by a great deal of moral fervor (see here). The anti-slavery movement in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is paradigmatic. This pursuit of moral ideals accounts for some of the dynamism of Western history.

The analogy with the contemporary world is obvious. The entire edifice of Political Correctness is framed as a moral in-group. Every attempt is made to shame and ostracize those who, for example, oppose massive non-White immigration or believe that Europeans, like other peoples, have legitimate interests in defending their territories. Labels such as “racist” function to define moral in-groups. All of the intellectual and political movements discussed in The Culture of Critique subjected to West a moral critique where dissenters are not just factually or theoretically wrong but evil.

And now we see the phenomenon of “principled conservatism” where moral ideals are erected (in the service of rationalizing control by elite donors addicted to free trade, an aggressively pro-Israel foreign policy, and open borders).

Thus the moral universalism characteristic of individualism is a liability in the struggle with other groups. Individualists are prone to acting against their own people on behalf of a moral principle—as in the American Civil War where a great many Yankees were motivated to go to war against the South in order to eradicate slavery as a moral evil. Such people place their moral ideals above ties of racial kinship.

There is an obvious sense in which such moral idealism can be fatally maladaptive. In the contemporary world of Political Correctness defined by the Cultural Marxist Left, moral ideals incompatible with the interests of European-derived peoples are constantly trumpeted by elites in the media and academic world. Such messages fall on fertile ground among European peoples, even as other races and ethnic groups continue to seek to shape public policy according to their perceptions of self-interest. The European proneness to moral idealism and disinterested moral reasoning thus becomes part of the ideology of Western suicide.

Luke says: I disagree with part of what Kevin MacDonald writes. Jews strike me as a frequently self-critical group. Look at the Hebrew Bible. It is full of in-group criticism. And that pattern continues down through the centuries in the various Torah commentaries. You can also find many examples in popular culture, such as Philip Roth. Hollywood often mocks Judaism.

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