Economy Are some countries doomed to high unemployment due to their genetic pool ?

I was reading in The Economist that "many of society's ills, from economic stagnation to poor social mobility, could be solved by creating a more entrepreneurial society." The timing couldn't be better as I had been thinking about that very issue lately. Why is it that northern European countries, especially Germanic ones, have for so long had a lower unemployment rate than other countries, regardless of the economic climate ? I believe this indeed has something to do with the fact that northern European people are a particularly entrepreneurial bunch. Not only are they less afraid of taking risks, they are also more individualistic and independent than almost any other cultural group on the planet. Northern Europeans are therefore more likely to be self-employed or to start their own company.

Eight years ago I wrote about individualism vs collectivism and the five cultural dimensions used by IBM psychologist Geert Hofstede to compare working cultures around the globe. The two most interesting dimensions are individualism and uncertainty avoidance.

Individualism is a trait shared by ethnically Celtic and Germanic countries. For instance, North Italy (Celtic) is very individualistic, while South Italy (Greek) is far more collectivist. All non-European cultures are strongly collectivist. Collectivist-minded people like to feel part of a group and are much more likely to become employees or civil servants. That is why in a country like Japan (Asian therefore collectivist), as developed as it is, people will almost always choose to work for a company (the bigger the better) rather than be self-employed. Even professionals like doctors, lawyers and architects prefer to work in shared offices or firms than have their own office as they would in northern Europe.

Uncertainty avoidance is a slightly more difficult concept to grasp. People with a high uncertainty avoidance will take all the measures they can to limit risks and have things under control at all time, trying to foresee any eventuality. They would plan a trip well in advance, booking their hotels ahead and knowing exactly where they would be going. Ideally they prefer to travel in organised tours rather than by themselves. It's safer and more comforting. Individuals with a low uncertainty avoidance will take a last minute flight without knowing exactly where they would be going and adjusting their plans on the spot.

Even legal systems reflect the level of uncertainty avoidance. Roman and Napoleonic legal system (high uncertainty avoidance) trying to codify every possible infringement of the law. In contrast, English common law is much more compact and flexible, privileging a case-by-case approach at the judge's discretion.

Like for collectivism, the "default" (or ancestral) human nature is a high uncertainty avoidance. According to Hofstede's scores, only the Scandinavians, Brits, Irish, Chinese and Vietnamese have a low uncertainty avoidance (the lowest being the Danes). There is surely a genetic factor too, since neighbouring populations (the Dutch, Finns, Southeast Asians) have an average score, and all other nationalities have a high score (even the Germans, who are more Celtic or Slavic in that regard).

When I was a student, I backpacked for a few months around Australia, and I was quite baffled by the fact that out of the hundreds of other backpackers I met, about 40% were English (not British as I only met one Scot and no Welsh), 30% were Dutch (but not a single Fleming), 20% were Scandinavian (mostly Danish), and the remaining 10% covered all other nationalities (mostly Japanese, German, Irish and French with a few occasional American, Canadian). Wherever you go around the world, you will always meet English and Dutch people. They have travel in their blood. The more out-of-the-beaten-track and adventurous the destination, the higher their proportion to other nationalities. I talk from experience, having myself travelled to about 50 countries.

I haven't met a single southern European backpacker in Australia and very few in India or Southeast Asia. I think that tells a lot about the cultural difference between northern and southern Europe. Interestingly, England and the Netherlands have the lowest combined scores for uncertainty avoidance and collectivism. In other words, English and Dutch people are individualistic, independent risk-takers. It is no surprise that they are so entrepreneurial too, and that they spawned vast colonial empires developed almost solely by private entrepreneurs (East & West India Companies) as opposed to state-sponsored expeditions like in the case of France, Spain, Germany or Japan.

Why do you think it is that English colonies fared so well ? Because more people migrated there to populate them ? Yes, but why ? British people having a low uncertainty avoidance, more individualistic and entrepreneurial, they were less afraid of leaving everything behind and migrate to the new colonies to start a new life. They were more successful at it too. In contrast, the Spaniards conquered the Americas in search for gold, silver and precious stones. They were motivated by greed, then usually came back to Spain to spend the fortune they had acquired. Others just went to convert the pagans (religious zeal). The most ethnically European former Spanish colonies today are Uruguay and Argentina, which both have big non-Iberian communities (French, Italian, German), mostly from 20th century immigration (far less adventurous than in past centuries). French colonies were almost only settled by the King's soldiers to protect the state's interests, but didn't attract a lot of immigrants. English colonies were not commissioned by the state, by individual enterprises, and each colony was completely independent from the next.

The Dutch colonisation of South Africa is the one rare other example of a major European colony founded by a group of people just leaving their homeland of their own will to create a new colony of their own without seeking fortune or thinking of extending their country's dominion. Actually the Dutch, Danes and Swedes all had minor colonies in North America that were all later absorbed by the mass of British migrants. This included New Amsterdam (now called New York), and what would become the states of New Jersey and Delaware (New Sweden).

I am convinced that entrepreneurialism, like individualism and uncertainty avoidance, is deeply rooted is one's genes. One cannot choose if he/she is individualistic or not, no more than he/she can choose if he is a risk-taker or not. The ugly truth behind this is that countries where the gene pool has a high percentage of entrepreneur-minded, independent ("self-employed-minded") people will naturally have a lower unemployment in equal circumstances compared to a country of collectivist-minded people with a high fear of risk. This is undoubtedly why northern European countries as well as Canada and Australia, founded mostly by risk-taking entrepreneurs from northern Europe, will always cope better in the adversity than southern European countries (or most non-Western countries). When the economy is bad, employees and civil servants get fired and less people are hired to replace those who retire. You can't lose your job if you are self-employed. You don't have to worry about being hired if you start own your business.

Instead of waiting for a company or the government to recruit them, the 50% of unemployed Spanish youths should try doing something useful and start their own businesses, instead of blaming society or the economy. Unless they just can't because their genes is preventing them, riddling them with fear. But who is to blame then ?
 
If individualism is indeed genetic (as I believe it is), it is probably located on just one gene, or a few SNP's on a few genes. The overall autosomal similarity is therefore irrelevant. As I said before, there can be big differences in individualism levels between members of a same family, depending on which individual inherited the mutation(s) and which didn't. This is particularly obvious in interracial couples. If one parent is very individualistic (e.g. Northwest European) and the other is very collectivist (e.g. Southeast European or East Asian), the children will either inherit one parent's individualist mindset or the other parent's collectivist mindset.

I know from observing such families that it isn't a matter of education, because the signs of individualism already show in the behaviour of babies before they can speak (thus before going to preschool or being influenced by the local culture or society). Individualistic babies can stay by themselves without crying or play alone by themselves, while collectivist ones need a constant parental presence
These are my observations too. You have well thought through case here Maciamo. Good Job.
 
Last edited:
What about "sense of duty"? I don't mean, obedience, to do a job right because someone, like boss, told me too. I mean something more like "obedient to yourself". For example, if I plan to do maintenance around my house for a weekend, I can't rest, I can't stop till the plan is done. If the plan is interrupted I feel bad with uneasy feeling. If the plan and work is done, it feels great with this accomplishment. Nothing else but my internal feelings are forcing me to do and finish my job. Even if I hate the job. I can't explain it better than genetics. I was always like this, since I can remember, my mother is like this, but my father (who was supposed to teach me work ethics) is totally opposite.

:unsure:
And I always though that Anglo-Saxon culture of work, personal responsibility, sense of duty stem out of religious believes... It doesn’t mean that you have to be religious to work well, but there is something in the general attitudes in how people are brought up and it comes to us through generations.
Usually it the protestant countries are better of economically than catholic ones, even if they have very similar starting positions. The merchants of Venice wanted to build palaces whereas merchants in England build factories …
 
The merchants of Venice wanted to build palaces whereas merchants in England build factories …[/FONT][/SIZE]

Capitalism was almost invented Venice. Until the 1600 Venice had the highest GDP per capita in the World. It was however completely marginalized when most of trades took place in the Atlantic ocean.


You're Catholic/protestant economic division isn't that relevant since catholic countries like Belgium were more economically efficient like Protestant countries like Scotland or Ireland until the mid 20th century.
Look at Germany now, Länder like Bavaria are far more ahead in term of economic efficiency than the northern and eastern Länder.
 
hmm seems like a nature vs nurture debate.
 
Eh, I don't get how it could be genetic, since celtic and slavic people are very similar because both are unmixed descendants of the original Indo-European steppe people. Yet, the people favoring the "nature" side, claim that celts and germanics have the "entrepreneurial gene" but not Slavs. But germanic people are a mix of the indo-europeans and the native cro-magnon. It makes no sense. So the way I see it there are 3 options:

1) Indo-europeans carried the "entrepreneurial gene"
2) Cro-Magnon (haplogroup I carriers) carried the "entrepreneurial gene" (therefore the presence of it in celtic populations is the result of mixing with Germanics/or the original inhabitants of the celtic areas)
3) the nature argument is a load of baloney
 
...
Ed Miliband gave a speak at the Labour conference talking about the culture of 'individualist capitalism' that has destroyed societies and peoples lives, money made at the cost of everything else. video

I wonder why Miliband blames individualism, since it historically it was a part of humanism, human rights etc (18th, 19th century), which should be a leftist agenda. Further, when I imagine how many of those capitalists were actually competing for social status, they would be collectivists and Miliband blamed the wrong side then. That would be a pity. I'm very sceptical when politicians make use of the individualism-collectivism terms.
 
Last edited:
First of all the idea that individualist/collectivist tendecies are genetically determined is totally ridiculous. It's obviously determined by culture, values and one's life experiences.

Second of all individualism vs. collectivism is a false paradigm created by current socio economic system where people have conflicting interests. Individual interest IS collective interest, and collective interest IS individual interest. Society which hurts the individual hurts itself, an individual who hurts society is doing the same.

Entrepreneur-ism is the result of a society filled with ego, where everyone thinks he is the smartest and wants to be the boss. Thre is no need for many companies making the same products> there is an optimal way of making every product and science is the way of discovering it. People learn from each other and experience. With companies ideas, minds and knowledge is seperated and restricted, not to mention the restriction that comes from patents and so called "intellectual property laws"

So collectivism is hurting the GDP? Well if all you want to do is increase it, why don't we bomb half the country just so e cal rebuild it. People should wokr to make something, not for the sake o working.
 
First of all the idea that individualist/collectivist tendecies are genetically determined is totally ridiculous. It's obviously determined by culture, values and one's life experiences.

Then how do you explain that each individual within the same culture, or even in the same family, obtains a different score in tests of individualism vs collectivism ? The values given for countries by comparative cultural psychologists like Hofstede are averages. If you saw the data for each person tested within a country, you'd see some huge gaps between the top scorers and the bottom scorers. Every country has its individualists and collectivists; it's just that some countries have far more individualists or ultra-individualists than others. These variations between national cultures are concordant with variations in the percentage of gene(s) for individualism inside a national gene pools.

Second of all individualism vs. collectivism is a false paradigm created by current socio economic system where people have conflicting interests. Individual interest IS collective interest, and collective interest IS individual interest. Society which hurts the individual hurts itself, an individual who hurts society is doing the same.

Visibly you are not well acquainted with the methodology of cross-cultural studies, and particularly cross-cultural psychology. You also didn't read my explanations above. Individualists obviously cares about the welfare of society just as much, if not more, than collectivists. That's why the most developed welfare state system are found in individualistic societies like Scandinavia or Britain (note that the NHS is one of the very few completely free for everyone public healthcare system in the world). If you can't understand that you have not the slightest chance of understanding the intricacies of this topic, once we start confronting cross-cultural psychology and economics.


Entrepreneur-ism is the result of a society filled with ego, where everyone thinks he is the smartest and wants to be the boss.
That is also one facet of ultra-individualism.

So collectivism is hurting the GDP? Well if all you want to do is increase it, why don't we bomb half the country just so e cal rebuild it. People should wokr to make something, not for the sake o working.

How can I take seriously anyone coming up with that kind of arguments ?
 
First of all the idea that
individualist/collectivist tendecies are genetically determined is totally
ridiculous. It's obviously determined by culture, values and one's life
experiences.

I'm not that sure. Mild forms of autism can be hereditary for instance.

Second of all individualism vs. collectivism is a false paradigm created by
current socio economic system where people have conflicting interests.
Individual interest IS collective interest, and collective interest IS
individual interest. Society which hurts the individual hurts itself, an
individual who hurts society is doing the same.

A valid definition of collectivism and individualism would be possible, but you are right, the traditional one lumps too many conflicting or irrelevant attributes together and ignores important other ones.

Entrepreneur-ism is the result of a society filled with ego, where everyone
thinks he is the smartest and wants to be the boss.

That is only partially correct. According to the traditional C/I paradigm, "wants to be the boss" can be a collectivist trait, because it may be the desire for social status or power above other people. A true individualist would not like to join the game with others at all, neither as a master nor as a slave. Entrepreneur-ism is in my opinion something independent from individualism or collectivism.

So collectivism is hurting the GDP? Well if all you want to do is increase
it, why don't we bomb half the country just so e cal rebuild it. People
should wokr to make something, not for the sake o working.

The traditional definition of "individualism" takes only into account the individualist's duties but entirely ignores the individualist's rights. Those who dare to defend their individualist rights are called collectivists. That's why GDP likes this kind of individualism.
 
First of all the idea that individualist/collectivist tendecies are genetically determined is totally ridiculous. It's obviously determined by culture, values and one's life experiences.

QUOTE]

I totally agree.
I strongly suggest reading (or get trained for that matter) on Spiral Dynamics, or better read the "Never Ending Quest", the originial (saved) work of Clare W. Graves. It is the most comprehensive, logical and scientific bio-psycho-social approach of human(s) development.
From the Spiral Dynamics point of view German society actualy is in a "blue" system which is a collective one "WE" combined with the "orange" which is "I" entreprenurial. There are no pure entreprenurial genes and less entreprenurial genes. In the Hitler time the German society was on its peak "blue" system.
 
What is ridiculous is to claim no genetic influence on our cultures.
Start thinking basic, no genes, no humans, no culture. Why dogs don't speak to communicate, because nobody taught them to, right?

Things like collectivism and individualism are extremely hard, and always will be, to evaluate in genetic equations. Possibility of hundreds of genes influencing these traits makes this case difficult, but it doesn't negate genetic predispositions. On contrary, all we know about genetics tells us that they influence almost everything in our lives. They even explain why some people go against main stream culture. For example, why some people don't believe in god, or why some are gay in spite of strong social pressures. And yes, here is a news for some of us, even the devil originates in our genes, lol. (but name of a devil is cultural for a change).


We have already evidence of cultural trends being directed by genes, especially in case of single genes, which are easy to decipher.
Central Europe is dairy oriented capital of the world. It has a deep culture of milk drinking, cheese eating people. This is only place on this planet where on can find milk bars/restaurants.
Do you think, that this strong behaviour comes from free choice, or is overwhelmingly cultural in nature? You could be wrong on two counts, if you do.
It all comes to genetic mutation that enabled Europeans (maybe originally IE) to digest cows milk and it's byproducts. This innovation unleashed extra calories and gave an edge to our ancestors. Now we call it lactose tolerance.
In contrast, east Asians are 99% lactose intolerant, and for that reason, their culture doesn't include milk drinking and cheese eating. They have to settle for less caloric tofu and soya "milk". It is strongly influenced by genetics, and not by a choice of wise Chinese preferring healthy tofu and soya, over unhealthy milk and cheese.

I'm pretty sure, it is a matter of time, when we would be able just looking at someone genome, to determine if a person will be more individualistic or social.
 
Nobody is predestined to eat dairy food, we all have certain human genes but how we turn out it depends on our life conditions which is our programing. Read "Virus of the mind" a wonderful book, if you do not want to read Dawkins.

In the table below are the systems that are at work among humans according to Graves and SD. However these are very rough description since each human now has more than three systems in him/herself at work, plus there are entering phase, peak phase, exiting phase. And people or societies can be centralized in one system more then another, but the healthy system is the one that is openned, while we have arrested societies or people in one system or worse those that are blocked and cannot change, these people or societies are unable to adapt to changing life conditions. Below are the coping systems that we use in our everyday life. What applies for one person applies for the group of people as well as the nations. Here are the systems at work according to SD:

LIFE CONDITIONS
BRAIN/MIND
COPING CAPACITIES

A
State of nature and biological urges and drives: physical senses dictate the state of being.

BEIGE
N
Instinctive: as natural instincts and reflexes direct; automatic existence.
B
Threatening and full of mysterious powers and spirit beings that must be placated and appeased.

PURPLE
O
Animistic: according to tradition and ritual ways of group: tribal; animistic.
C
Like a jungle where the tough and strong prevail, the weak serve; nature is an adversary to be conquered.

RED
P
Egocentric: asserting self for dominance, conquest and power. Exploitive; egocentric.
D
Controlled by a Higher Power that punishes evil and eventually rewards good works and righteous living.

BLUE
Q
Absolutistic: obediently as higher authority and rules direct; conforming; guilt.
E
Full of resources to develop and opportunities to make things better and bring prosperity.

ORANGE
R
Muitiplistic: pragmatically to achieve results and get ahead; test options; maneuver
F
The habitat wherein humanity can find love and purposes through affiliation and sharing.

GREEN
S
Relativistic; respond to human needs; affiliative; situational; consensual; fluid.
G
A chaotic organism where change is the norm and uncertainty an acceptable state of being.

YELLOW
T
Systemic: functional; integrative; interdependent; existential; flexible; questioning; accepting.
H
A delicately balanced system of interlocking forces in jeopardy at humanity’s hands; chaordic.

TURQUOISE
U
Holistic: experiential: transpersonal; collective consciousness; collaborative; interconnected.

We all need to learn and understand in order to escape the judging out of our egos. The worst thing is the complex of superiority or inferiority which again has to do with our life programing, not our genes.
 
that one did not work. Here is the table again, hoep it works this time.

LIFE CONDITIONS
BRAIN/MIND
COPING CAPACITIES

A
State of nature and biological urges and drives: physical senses dictate the state of being.

BEIGE
N
Instinctive: as natural instincts and reflexes direct; automatic existence.
B
Threatening and full of mysterious powers and spirit beings that must be placated and appeased.

PURPLE
O
Animistic: according to tradition and ritual ways of group: tribal; animistic.
C
Like a jungle where the tough and strong prevail, the weak serve; nature is an adversary to be conquered.

RED
P
Egocentric: asserting self for dominance, conquest and power. Exploitive; egocentric.
D
Controlled by a Higher Power that punishes evil and eventually rewards good works and righteous living.

BLUE
Q
Absolutistic: obediently as higher authority and rules direct; conforming; guilt.
E
Full of resources to develop and opportunities to make things better and bring prosperity.

ORANGE
R
Muitiplistic: pragmatically to achieve results and get ahead; test options; maneuver
F
The habitat wherein humanity can find love and purposes through affiliation and sharing.

GREEN
S
Relativistic; respond to human needs; affiliative; situational; consensual; fluid.
G
A chaotic organism where change is the norm and uncertainty an acceptable state of being.

YELLOW
T
Systemic: functional; integrative; interdependent; existential; flexible; questioning; accepting.
H
A delicately balanced system of interlocking forces in jeopardy at humanity’s hands; chaordic.

TURQUOISE
U
Holistic: experiential: transpersonal; collective consciousness; collaborative; interconnected.
I
Too soon to say, but should tend to be I-oriented; controlling, consolidating if the pattern holds.

CORAL
V
Next neurological capacities. The theory is open-ended up to the limits of Homo sapiens' brain.

The theory is open-ended, with the possibility of more systems ahead...
 
Nobody is predestined to eat dairy food, we all have certain human genes but how we turn out it depends on our life conditions which is our programing.
Terms predestined or destiny won't lead us nowhere in understanding of our nature. Surely people with lactose tolerant gene can refuse to eat dairy products, and people with lactose intolerance can drink milk if they really want to, exercising free will. There are strong consequences though of such actions, which could be deemed unnatural or against destiny if you will. First person will limit his sources for extra calories, which was very vital for survival in the past, in times of constant hunger. The second person will get very limited benefits, or will get violently ill, depending on amount of lactose consumed.

It's OK to be different and not in full control, it actually makes our lives rich and interesting. It doesn't mean we are lesser humans, and it doesn't mean we all shouldn't be equal in our rights or treatments. Acknowledging our differences is crucial in understanding roots of many problems, which in turn will help us to create the right solutions.
Think of it as of personalized medicine, the medicine of the future. Even for the same sickness you will get different doses of medicine or even a different medication.
Now, if we were only different because of life experience, doctors and scientists wouldn't be even talking about personalized medicine, why would they?
 
Regarding the cheese eating people and milk restaurants, you should come to Kosovo or Albanian restaurants in Skopje (Macedonia) and see how much cheese and dairy products are consumed, it is unbelievable. I always hate going to UK where they do not serve cheese(s) for breakfast and even when they do, it is not a proper cheese.

Albanians always have to have "kos" (there is no English word for it, you know it as "Greek Yogurt") as a companion to our main dishes, drink diluted yogurt with pies (not as European pies), have starters with peppers in "mazë" (another word that cannot be translated in English but it is a sort of cheese made out of double cream) or "gjizë" (the closest is ricotta).

When having problems with stomach and indigestion we usually have cheese (only local one) with bread and "kos" (thick delicious yogurt)! (there is much more that what I presented because dairy products are the basis of our cooking)

Well considering this above, your claims about "a certain edge" become very interesting :). It is quite funny for me actually since if an Albanian would be claiming what you are claiming everybody would hurry to call him an insane nationalist :)!
 
What is ridiculous is to claim no genetic influence on our cultures.
Start thinking basic, no genes, no humans, no culture. Why dogs don't speak to communicate, because nobody taught them to, right?

Things like collectivism and individualism are extremely hard, and always will be, to evaluate in genetic equations. Possibility of hundreds of genes influencing these traits makes this case difficult, but it doesn't negate genetic predispositions. On contrary, all we know about genetics tells us that they influence almost everything in our lives. They even explain why some people go against main stream culture. For example, why some people don't believe in god, or why some are gay in spite of strong social pressures. And yes, here is a news for some of us, even the devil originates in our genes, lol. (but name of a devil is cultural for a change).


We have already evidence of cultural trends being directed by genes, especially in case of single genes, which are easy to decipher.
Central Europe is dairy oriented capital of the world. It has a deep culture of milk drinking, cheese eating people. This is only place on this planet where on can find milk bars/restaurants.
Do you think, that this strong behaviour comes from free choice, or is overwhelmingly cultural in nature? You could be wrong on two counts, if you do.
It all comes to genetic mutation that enabled Europeans (maybe originally IE) to digest cows milk and it's byproducts. This innovation unleashed extra calories and gave an edge to our ancestors. Now we call it lactose tolerance.
In contrast, east Asians are 99% lactose intolerant, and for that reason, their culture doesn't include milk drinking and cheese eating. They have to settle for less caloric tofu and soya "milk". It is strongly influenced by genetics, and not by a choice of wise Chinese preferring healthy tofu and soya, over unhealthy milk and cheese.

I'm pretty sure, it is a matter of time, when we would be able just looking at someone genome, to determine if a person will be more individualistic or social.

Um I think it is between 90 to 94 percent. 99 percent sounds astonishingly high to me, I can't be one of the 1 percent East Asians out there who can consume cheese and yogurt everyday. :unsure:
 
I agree. I've been always sensing that there is a strong genetic component how countries are governed, how people behave or how orderly institutions and businesses function in different countries.

I have an observation about collectivism. It looks like it has a duel or split personality. Collectivism of southern countries is strong on personal level. People bond strongly, let's say very emotionally with people that they know, like family, villages, work places/ workers unions. They also have strong national identity, but it stops at identity. They mistrust governments, they don't want to pay taxes, and underground economy is rampant. On this level they strongly divide big social construct, like country or big business, between they and we. "We don't want to share with them, they always cheat and use us". But when family and friends come for a visit southern hospitality is unsurpassed.
North Europe is different in this regard. People are more willing to pay taxes, people care more about common property, people are more willing to share wealth with all national we. North collectivism goes easily international giving to the whole world. On other hand, when guest and family come for a visit, you better bring your own food, lol.
There was a great example of collectivism in Germany during this recession. When most businesses in the world were rushing to cut jobs, Germany's businesses, instead of letting unfortunate people go, decided to keep all workforce and cut everybody's working hours and salaries. That's collective sacrifice at it's best, and there wasn't much resistance from the work force to do so. It's all we, it was all for us.

So, who is more collective, south or north? I guess we need to create sub groups for collectivism.

I wrote personally about this subject and wanted to use the quote above, because it illustrates an important point. Germanics are very collectivist in that they consider the needs of the whole when giving. But when receiving they are individualistic. They don't feel weak in needing to constantly lean on a group, but are willing to give to the group. Also they simply don't mind working hard and working long hours without constantly being forced to actually work.

Most non-European or extreme southern European groups are the opposite. They want to take from the group/community but not give anything back. When it comes time to reap the field they are all collectivist. When it comes time to plow the field they are all individualist.

I do believe that southern european, ashkenazi and east asian societies are actually superior in that they feel a stronger sense of clannishness. They do a lot for their family, race etc. Whereas Germanics are like that cattle of the world. They do all the necessary work of bettering the world, always giving to others etc. often at their own expense. Now England for example is mired in debt, third world immigration (associated crime and economic stagnation) and the Germanic race soon faces extinction.

Jewish communities seem to strike a good balance between the "giving" nature and also the "clannish" nature. They are more than willing to strike out in individual enterprise, to do for themselves, to debate and go against the grain of society and to challenge social conventions. At the same time they have a strong sense of family and ethnic loyalty. This is probably why they are more successful than Germanics or any other group on average.

Also about the characterization that England and Netherlands had people who were adventurous and colonizing the world this is a bit wrong. Firstly there may be certain social factors involved in a historical time period. We would need to use many examples to really have an accurate picture rather than looking at one single event. Secondly, the largest immigration to the United States were Germans. Even in early centuries there were large numbers of German and Dutch as well as French. Eventually they simply absorbed the English culture.

French fur trappers were the most bold. They were the first into a new wilderness and went where no one else would go. Of course their primary motivation was personal success. I'm not sure any other reason to take risks (English colonized the new world simply from a desire to travel? I don't think so- most of them wanted better opportunities or religious freedom).

It would seem historically the French showed the most ability to go into dangerous areas, be the first to arrive into a new wilderness etc. The big difference was that the French brought almost only men. Then they often inter bred with natives or with the English. England primarily brought men as well, but in much larger portions brought families, women children etc. with the goal to create a colony. Thus over time the English bred mostly with other English in the early years. By contrast French, Spanish, Dutch etc. mostly inter bred with locals or went home for lack of women. This seemed to have more to do with the decisions of the national leaders. Spain relied more heavily on slave labor and natives rather than trying to establish spanish peasants to work the land.

Also about genetics: genetics is ever changing and "drifting" with each generation. It's totally possible to change the genetics of any given group through selective pressures (which could be cultural or involve national laws etc.). So no group or nation is "doomed" by its genes. Eugenic processes could solve most problems as well genes interact with the environment.
 
Um I think it is between 90 to 94 percent. 99 percent sounds astonishingly high to me, I can't be one of the 1 percent East Asians out there who can consume cheese and yogurt everyday. :unsure:
Well, even 1 percent of East Asians is 30 million people, so it is not that unlikely that you could be one of them. On top of it, if you're lactose intolerant it doesn't mean that you can't consume some dairy product. You can eat them but you can't digest lactose. Some people act violently like allergic reaction, some can hold food nicely even if they don't digest it.
Real test would be to try drinking couple of glasses of fresh milk, full bodied milk straight from a cow, and see what happens. :shocked:
Funny thing is that even lactose tolerant people might not be able to hold fresh cow milk if they are not use to drinking it daily. If one is not used to certain foods, one is missing vital bacterial flora in one's guts. Without the right bacteria we can't digest food well and it can lead to diarrhea. With any diet change we have to increase new food slowly to makes sure bacterial flora has time to adjust to these changes.
As with everything in life, it is not that straightforward as one could think. ;)
 
LeBrok said:
I have an observation about collectivism. It looks like it has a duel or split personality. Collectivism of southern countries is strong on personal level. People bond strongly, let's say very emotionally with people that they know, like family, villages, work places/ workers unions. They also have strong national identity, but it stops at identity. They mistrust governments, they don't want to pay taxes, and underground economy is rampant. On this level they strongly divide big social construct, like country or big business, between they and we. "We don't want to share with them, they always cheat and use us". But when family and friends come for a visit southern hospitality is unsurpassed.
North Europe is different in this regard. People are more willing to pay taxes, people care more about common property, people are more willing to share wealth with all national we. North collectivism goes easily international giving to the whole world. On other hand, when guest and family come for a visit, you better bring your own food, lol.
There was a great example of collectivism in Germany during this recession. When most businesses in the world were rushing to cut jobs, Germany's businesses, instead of letting unfortunate people go, decided to keep all workforce and cut everybody's working hours and salaries. That's collective sacrifice at it's best, and there wasn't much resistance from the work force to do so. It's all we, it was all for us.

Very true. Or take also the famous scandinavian sense for paying high taxes for the common social welfare.

So, who is more collective, south or north? I guess we need to create sub groups for collectivism.

I wrote personally about this subject and wanted to use the quote above, because it illustrates an important point. Germanics are very collectivist in that they consider the needs of the whole when giving. But when receiving they are individualistic. They don't feel weak in needing to constantly lean on a group, but are willing to give to the group. Also they simply don't mind working hard and working long hours without constantly being forced to actually work.

Most non-European or extreme southern European groups are the opposite. They want to take from the group/community but not give anything back. When it comes time to reap the field they are all collectivist. When it comes time to plow the field they are all individualist.

I very much agree to what you both say.
I also already pointed out somewhere else in this forum that what is called "individualism" of northern countries refers only to individual DUTIES, but not to individual RIGHTS. For me that's ultra-collectivism since it is very beneficial for society/collective but very opressive for individuals. Thats why I reject the traditional collectivism/individualism dimension. Else, northern countries rather resemble Japan. But japanese society is considered collectivist. I think the reason for the economic success of northern countries and Japan is in their similarities (obedience and sense of duty), not their differences (detail vs. wholistic thinking etc.).

Regarding south european "collectivism", they in fact care more directly about their individual integrity than north-euros. But as a result, personal ties to close family members emerge as a strategy to defend ones individuality. The turkish-german comedian Serdar Sumuncu once issued his personal amazement about the german unparticular desire to be part of any group (so-called "Vereinsmeierei"). I agree with him only partially and would add that in turkey on the other hand, the importance of family is strong. After all, I believe it has mostly to do with rural vs. urban lifestyle.

For me there is only one way to be individualistic, and that is to be a neutral loner. That in turn means to avoid both, duties AND rights, since duties and rights are both collectivistic things.
 

This thread has been viewed 229049 times.

Back
Top