Psychopathia Criminalis

In the Bleak Mid Winter, Grateley

Psychopathia Criminalis

Richard Lynn, Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality: An Evolutionary AnalysisAugusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers (In Press), Pp 368., US $ 29.95., reviewed by Evelyn Quinn

Professor Richard Lynn, the doyen of differential psychology, is well known for his work on national and racial differences in intelligence. In his latest book, he breaks new ground, proposing that there are also race differences in psychopathic personality. He was inspired here by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve (1994). It showed that in the United States, blacks have the lowest intelligence and whites the highest, while Hispanics are intermediate. These intelligence differences supposedly explain why a number of social pathologies, notably crime, poverty, welfare dependency and single motherhood, are unevenly distributed across divergent populations.

Concerning black-white difference in crime rates, Herrnstein and Murray state that when IQ is taken into account, “…we are still left with a non-trivial black-white difference”. For instance, with crime rates set at 1.0 for whites, blacks had a rate of 6.5. When blacks and whites were matched for intelligence, the rates were reduced to a black-white ratio of 5:1. Thus, blacks with the same IQ as whites, still had a higher crime rate. Herrnstein and  Murray conclude that some other factor must account for part of these race differences in crime. Lynn argues that this other factor is racial differences in psychopathic personality.

In presenting this case, Lynn treats psychopathic personality as a continuously distributed personality trait. He calculates the race differences from studies of self-assessment with personality questionnaires and from rates of crime, conduct disorder in children, cheating in sport, sexual promiscuity, pathological gambling, inability to delay gratification, drug abuse and child neglect – all behavioural expressions of psychopathic personality. Studies are also summarised for race differences in pro-social personality treated as the antithesis of the selfishness and lack of social concern of the psychopathic personality and assessed by organ donation and charitable giving.

Lynn contends that psychopathic personality is strongest in Australian Aborigines, followed successively by sub-Saharan Africans and Native Americans, New Zealand Maori, Hispanics and South Asians, and is weaker in Europeans and weakest in North East Asians. These race differences are the reverse of those in intelligence that Lynn reports in his Race Differences in Intelligence. He proposes that they both evolved as adaptations to the climatic environments to which the races were exposed. The North East Asians experienced the coldest winters and springs and the Europeans experienced the next coldest, and that these exerted selection pressures both for higher intelligence and for weaker psychopathic personality.

The author identifies three selection pressures against psychopathic personality and for the enhancement of pro-social personality in North East Asians and Europeans; to wit, pressures for the evolution of stronger male-female pair bonding; for an increased capacity to delay gratification; and for a greater need to maintain harmonious and co-operative social relations.

Stronger male-female bonding based on love evolved as a result of the need for both parents to provide care for their children. This would have been strongest for North East Asians because they experienced the greatest need for co-operation between parents for provisioning children in the cold winters and springs during which plant and insect foods were not available and women and children needed men to provide them with meat foods that they had to obtain through hunting. The men in question required long term commitment from their female mates and children to provision them and more responsible and concerned parenting, and they did this because they were strongly pair bonded with their women partners. This requirement was a little weaker in Europeans, and considerably weaker in the races that inhabited the less severe environments of the Americas, South Asia and the Pacific Islands, and was weakest in Australia and sub-Saharan Africa in whose benign climates women could feed their children throughout the year by gathering plant and insect foods with little or no help from men, and for whom male-female bonding based on love was therefore the least important.

Concerning the aforementioned increase in the capacity to delay present gratification, many foods in Eurasia were only available at certain times of the year and these had to be stored for future consumption. For example, salmon are plentiful when they return from the sea and run up rivers and many of them can be caught. They can then be stored in ice boxes or smoked and kept for months. Collecting and storing these for future consumption would have required foresight and the ability to delay present gratification.

The third selection pressure of cold winters and springs was for an enhancement of pro-social personality as men became increasingly reliant on group hunting. For this they needed to develop a greater capacity for co-operation, the maintenance of harmonious social relations and stronger control over aggression towards other group members. Lynn surmises that the reduction of testosterone, the male sex hormone responsible for aggressive behaviour, was the principal neuro-physiological adaptation by which these components of psychopathic personality were reduced in the Europeans and North East Asians. He cites evidence for race differences in testosterone measured directly and indirectly through race differences in male genitalia.

Lynn makes a powerful case that differences in psychopathic-pro-social personality are as important as those in intelligence in explaining racial differences in a wide range of social and economic phenomena, both within and across nations. Here, arguably, is the missing link posited by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray in The Bell Curve.

Editorial note; According to Jordan Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, psychometrics has been subjected to such relentless scrutiny that it is now the most robust component of contemporary psychology.

Evelyn Quinn has a Ph.D. in Psychology from University College, Dublin

Posted in Book Reviews, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. as Judge, Jury, Executioner

Qasem Soleimani

The U.S. as Judge, Jury, Executioner

Ilana Mercer on the assassination of Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general, was assassinated by a U.S. drone air strike, at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). The Iraqi-born Soleimani was traveling with one Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Like Soleimani, al-Muhandis was an Iraqi, born and bred. He was even elected to the Iraqi Parliament, in 2005, until the U.S. intervened. (Yes, we intervene in other nations’ elections.)

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was furious, denouncing “What happened [as] a political assassination.” Unanimously, Iraqi lawmakers “responded to the Soleimani assassination by passing a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to end foreign-troop presence in Iraq.” Yes, it’s a complicated region. And America, sad to say, still doesn’t know Shia from Shinola.

The consensus in our country is that “Soleimani deserved to die.” That’s the party-line on Fox News—and beyond. It’s how assorted commentators on all networks prefaced their “positions” on the Jan. 3 killing of this Iraqi-born, Iranian general. Even Tucker Carlson—the only mainstream hope for Old Right, anti-war, America-First columns like this one—framed the taking out of Soleimani as the killing of a bad guy by good guys:

“There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all, it’s not our job.”

Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

ENDNOTES, January 2020

An oversized bust of Beethoven on the rear of the former piano shop and warehouse

Endnotes, January 2020

In this edition; Biss plays Beethoven and the BBC Philharmonic performs British tone poems, reviewed by Stuart Millson

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. Already, orchestras and ensembles across the world are planning commemorations – and here at home, BBC Radio 3 is devoting dozens of hours of broadcasting time to Germany’s great composer. How fitting, therefore, that we begin 2020 with an appreciation of a recently-issued CD, on the Orchid Classics label, of Beethoven piano sonatas, performed by the world-renowned soloist, teacher and academic, Jonathan Biss. Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, Biss plays three sonatas: No. 7 in D major, Op. 10; No. 18 in E flat major, Op. 31; and Beethoven’s last foray into this particular genre, the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 – dating from 1822.

With so many interpreters of the highest calibre scaling the heights of the Beethoven sonata repertoire (Barenboim, Brendel, Bavouzet et al) it is perhaps hard to make a case for yet another cycle. Yet somehow, Jonathan Biss brings a liquid, lyrical, lightness to the concert platform – especially in the truly delightful scherzo and menuetto movements of Sonata No. 18. The menuetto (with the additional markings, moderato e grazioso) typifies Beethoven’s ability to combine the pathos of a gentle little monologue, with a seriousness and nobility – ensuring that his music always rises above simple, pleasing emotion or tone-painting for the sake of effect. The opening movement of the sonata, too – an allegro – surprises the listener for its un-allegro-like feel. This movement’s animation comes in the form, not of a rush (as in the last part of the ‘Moonlight’ sonata, for example – Beethoven’s most famous solo piano work) but as lightly-flowing as a bubbling brook – the sort of happy, “awakening”, country spirit which infuses the Sixth Symphony, the infinitely cool and beautiful ‘Pastoral’.
Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, ENDNOTES:Music, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Passing of Traditional Canada

Canadian Stamp, 1859

The Passing of Traditional Canada

by Mark Wegierski

On November 2, 2019, I attended the Annual Alumni Dinner of the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), where I was a pupil for six years between 1973-1979 (Grades 7 and 8, and four enriched /intensive years of high school). Four years at that time was an accelerated program, as Grades 9-13 were then standard in Ontario. 2019 was the 40th anniversary of the Class of ’79.

UTS was founded in 1910 as a “model” school for gifted male students. The plural in the name refers to the fact that a separate school for girls had originally been planned, but it didn’t actually materialize. UTS became a co-educational school in September 1973. Entrance to UTS is determined by competitive examinations, for which there are usually ten times more applicants than places available. In 1973, it was even more competitive, as 50% of the places had been reserved for girls. The incoming year at that time consisted of about 70 persons. The tuition fees in the 1970s were about $300 (Canadian) a year. The tuition fees now are about $27,000 (Canadian) a year. One of the reasons for this is that, in the early 1990s, the socialist New Democratic Party government of Ontario withdrew all public funding to the school, because of accusations of “elitism”. UTS could now be seen as just another expensive private school. The student body consists of about half East Asians, and a quarter South Asians, in marked contrast to the 1970s, when it was mainly white. The Alumni Dinner engendered gloomy reflections on how everything traditional is passing away in the current-day Canada. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Women’s Legal Landmarks

Mary Wollstonecraft, Original Stories from Real Life, Illustrated by William Blake

Women’s Legal Landmarks

Women’s Legal Landmarks, ed Erica Rackley and Rosemary Auchmuty, Hart Publishing, 2018, ISBN 978-1-78225-977-0, reviewed by Angela Ellis-Jones

This collection of short articles by mainly female authors marks the centenary of 1919, the  year which saw the entry of women into the legal profession. Each chapter covers a ‘landmark’, a significant  event in legal history as it affected women. The format for each chapter is four sections on Context, The Landmark, What Happened Next, and Significance. The landmarks are drawn from the four nations of the United Kingdom. The first chapter deals with the laws of the Welsh King Hywel Dda (early tenth century). Hywel codified the laws of Wales, which dealt with crime, property, tort, contract and the position of women: ‘Whilst they did not provide equality, the laws are noted and recognised for their enlightened attitude to  women’ (26) – far more so than in many other European countries at the time, including England. The next landmark is Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), the fons et origo of the modern feminist movement, which called for equality and the extension of civil and political rights to women. The nineteenth century saw one of the most important of these rights extended, the Married Women’s Property Act 1882  (covered here), which enabled a  married woman to hold all the property brought by her to the marriage or subsequently acquired as her ‘separate property’.

The great majority of these legal landmarks covered occurred  in the twentieth century. They include pieces of legislation e.g. The Representation of the People Act 1918, which enfranchised women over 30, the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which enabled women to enter the professions and public functions, and events  e.g. the Dagenham Car Plant Strike 1968, when women won a pay rise which led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Over the Water – over the Hill

Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie, by Louis Gabriel Blanchet, 1738

Over the Water – over the Hill

Bill Hartley, in the land of lost causes                                  

There is romance to lost causes that people find attractive. In the North of England, which has plenty to choose from, there is a society devoted to the Jacobites. Judging by the post nominals held by some members, this is a serious historical society which has attracted eminent scholars. However, an acquaintance of mine, a retired academic, tells me that it has a fundamentalist wing.

Not many of us lie awake at night struggling with the question of a monarch appointed by the state versus one put there by the deity. According to my acquaintance though, there are members of this society who believe in the divine right of kings. Clearly, in Britain, there is a group to meet the needs of almost any opinion, no matter how outdated or odd.

In the past, it might take a long time for kindred spirits to find each other and form a club. Things happen more quickly these days aided by social media. For fans of lost causes it is also worth looking on Facebook at the various Jeremy Corbyn supporters’ pages. At first it all seemed light hearted. There was a pre-election call for supporters to get out and help in a marginal seat. No-one seemed to mind when I posted a message saying that I couldn’t find one in County Durham. Post-election, the messages began to change, and the Branch Davidians retreated into the online equivalent of the Waco compound. Originally, messages had been of the simple and supportive kind: Mr Corbyn, decent chap, misrepresented in the media, man of principle etc. etc. The sort of thing you might expect from people rallying behind their leader. Subsequently, they took on a darker hue. Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Generation Identity

Abstract Art Britto

Generation Identity

The Identitarians: the Movement Against Globalism and Islam in Europe, José Pedro Zúquete, 2018, University of Notre Dame Press, reviewed by Ed Dutton

José Pedro Zúquete is a Research Fellow at the Social Sciences Institute of Lisbon University. He received his doctorate from Bath University and has also worked at Harvard. One of the key advantages of Zúquete’s comprehensive study of ethno-nationalist politics is that, unlike some political scientists who have explored related areas, he is scrupulously neutral. He sees himself as an ethnographer. He attends meetings, imbibes literature, and interviews those interested in ethno-nationalist politics, including such relatively well-known names as Richard Spencer, Martin Sellner, Alex Kurtagić and the Finnish philosopher Kai Murros.

Indeed, in his postscript, Zúqute notes that reviewers of the manuscript told him that it was ‘depressing’ – because it indicates that ethno-nationalism in Europe is becoming more influential – and that he should end the book with ‘a sort of therapeutic, healing finale’ which would ‘appeal to students’ humanism and tolerance’ (p.364). He rightly refused, insisting that the book should be an objective, academic analysis.

Zúquete begins with the history of this nationalist cultural movement. Its precursor is the French Nouvelle Droit (‘New Right’) which took off in 1969 with the formation of GRECE (Research Study Group for European Civilization). The leading light in this group is the French philosopher Alain de Benoist. This thinker, influenced by the German philosopher Ernst Jünger (1895-1998), who explored how war could be a transcendental experience, is highly critical of both globalization and Christianity. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Behemoth in the Bedroom?

Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie

A Behemoth in the Bedroom?

David Ashton does sex, lies and videotape

The controversy over “randy” Prince Andrew, reputedly the Queen’s favourite son, and “pervy” financier Jeffrey Epstein [1], might be clarified in more detail by interviewing their long-term “sassy” mutual acquaintance Ghislaine Maxwell [2], reputedly the favourite child of “dodgy” tycoon Robert Maxwell. An international espionage asset, the “Bouncing Czech” was larger than life – and also in death, when senior dignitaries in Jerusalem eulogised his colossal – if partly undisclosed – services [3].

Mr Epstein was accused of recording sexual acts by politicians and celebrities among his guests, possibly for subsequent entertainment and/or profitable “compromise” [4]. Ms Maxwell is “also under investigation for allegedly procuring girls for Epstein [but] denies all wrongdoing” [5]. At this time of writing, her whereabouts are unknown, although it is claimed that she is planning a televised rebuttal with a US network [6].

A further question is whether any intelligence agency would have an interest in such events, or even some involvement. Surveillance of important friends and foes by security services is hardly unknown, Russian “honeypot entrapments” being especially notorious [7]. Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Fathers & Sons, review of La Traviata

Simon Keenlyside as Giorgio Germont and Liparit Avetisyan as Alfredo Germont, photo by Catherine Ashmore

Fathers & Sons, review of La Traviata

La Traviata, opera in three acts, music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, conducted by Daniel Oren, directed by Richard Eyre, a further revival of the 1994 production, Royal Opera, 17th December 2019, reviewed by Leslie Jones

Aristotle, in the Nichomachean Ethics, distinguishes between hedonism, living for pleasure, and eudaemonism, living in accordance with wisdom and virtue. Witness Violetta (played by soprano Hrachuhi Bassenz), conflicted and torn. In Sempre libera degg’i, she advocates a life of pleasure. But in the opening scene of La Traviata, something of a bacchanalian affair, she tells Alfredo that she has never loved or been loved but that she fantasised about an ideal lover. Alfredo, in his aria Un di, felice, eterea, acknowledgethat love, the “heartbeat of the universe”, entails both pleasure and pain. Violetta is evidently ambivalent about emotional dependence.

La Traviata is replete with the crowd pleasing arias and duets characteristic of bel canto. Warwick Thompson refers to the “cruel coloratura demands of [the aria] Sempre libera” (‘Why is champagne not mentioned‘, Official Programme). But after an understandably nervous start, Ms Bassenz warmed up and her vocal pyrotechnics were rewarded by a prolonged ovation at the end of Act 1. Liparit Avetisyan, as Alfredo, graciously accepted being upstaged. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, QR Home | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ENDNOTES, December 2019

Michala Petri

ENDNOTES, December 2019

Danish and Faroese recorder concertos; piano music from Leipzig, performed by Eleanor Meynell, reviewed by Stuart Millson 

Recorded in the Musikkens Hus, Aalborg, Denmark, with an acoustic of all-embracing warmth, yet with the tiniest detail clearly registering, and engineered to capture every level of the soloist’s involvement, is an engrossing trio of contemporary Danish and Faroese recorder concertos – specially chosen by the OUR label, an enterprise which seeks to turn the obscure into the mainstream.

The composers featured in this collection may well be new names for most British listeners: Thomas Koppel (1944-2006); Pelle Gudmunsen-Holmgreen (b. 1932) and Sunlief Rasmussen (b. 1961). According to the biographical notes presented in the CD booklet, the composers assembled generally represent a break with what may broadly be described as the naturalistic, romantic Scandinavian era of music, as embodied by Sibelius or Nielsen. Thomas Koppel, for example, was a composer motivated by concerns about the dispossessed – although his Moonchild’s Dream creates nevertheless an unexpectedly ethereal, watery atmosphere – a Nordic nocturne of lyricism and gentleness. Meanwhile, Holmgreen and Rasmussen offer a more “jagged” sound, perhaps closer to the symphonic works of Uuno Klami (1900-61) which exists somewhere in between the most austere Nielsen and the harder edges and angles of the avant garde. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, ENDNOTES:Music, QR Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment