The Biological Origins of Higher Civilizations

The majority of this article will be about human biodiversity, however first let’s start with some quotes by Fredrich Nietzsche in order to get acquainted with the idea I am about to argue regarding how great civilizations come into being.

“Let us acknowledge unprejudicedly how every higher civilization hitherto has ORIGINATED! Men with a still natural nature, barbarians in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and desire for power, threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races (perhaps trading or cattle-rearing communities), or upon old mellow civilizations in which the final vital force was flickering out in brilliant fireworks of wit and depravity. At the commencement, the noble caste was always the barbarian caste: their superiority did not consist first of all in their physical, but in their psychical power–they were more COMPLETE men (which at every point also implies the same as “more complete beasts”).” –Fredrich Nietzsche from Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter IX, paragraph 257 (emphasis mine)

“There is MASTER-MORALITY and SLAVE-MORALITY,–I would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities, but one finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes their close juxtaposition–even in the same man, within one soul. The distinctions of moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled–or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts.” –Fredrich Nietzsche from Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter IX, paragraph 260 (emphasis mine)

Now obviously there is an IQ requirement in a population for any civilization to develop out of it, however, even in  parts of the world where the average IQ is relatively high, such as Europe, and East Asia, we observe that higher, more innovative civilizations, which value both the individual and the collective, develop only under specific genetic conditions, namely a combination of humans who have evolved in a settled agricultural lifestyle over millennia, being genetically pacified, with little or no disposition towards competitive, highly independent, domineering behavior, and a different, aristocratic group, exercising “master-morality”, usually recently descended from hunter-gatherers, who act as the domesticators of other humans; these are Nietzsche’s “barbarians” from the quote above. I will set forth two examples: Northwestern Europe and Japan. This should hopefully clear up why, for instance, Japan has been more open to an individualistic, free-market economy, whereas China exists as a quasi-communist state with totalitarian rules on how many children one can have etc. It should also show why it was countries such as Britain, France, Germany, and Scandinavian countries which have both become very wealthy and made the most scientific and technological advancements in the modern era, whereas much of Southern and Eastern Europe lagged behind. To put it in visual terms,  I attempt to put forth ideas regarding why the following two maps are different:

National IQs from here (yes, I know Lynn’s data  is not always accurate, but I haven’t seen a good alternative)
Researchers per Million Inhabitants from here

As a side note, one leftist National Socialist website (aryanism.net) which I have previously criticized, prizes the agricultural, genetically pacified phenotypes as “Aryan”, arguing that this is the phenotype necessary for civilizations to develop while condemning the paleolithic phenotypes. This, however, is an incomplete view of the entire picture, for, as I have started to argue, and will continue in arguing, a combination of neolithic and paleolithic phenotypes is ultimately what has produced the greatest civilizations of mankind.

Europe

It has been fairly well established by geneticist Iosif Lazaridis that Europeans owe a great portion of their ancestry to early farmers who wandered in from Anatolia around 7000 BC during the Neolithic (here). However, in the present day, North-Western Europeans only owe about half (probably less, actually) of their ancestry to these farmers, the rest coming from various hunter-gatherer groups, and their descendants, such as Indo-European pastoralists from the Pontic Steppe (here). The net effect is that Europeans occupying a broad belt from Ireland to Western Russia possess large quantities of ancestry both from early agriculturalists and from hunter-gatherers who only started using agriculture more recently, during the late Neolithic and Bronze Age. If one goes too far north, the genetics of the hunter-gatherers predominate, and as one goes to the south of this central region, into the Mediterranean basin, the genetic admixture from Neolithic Anatolian Farmers becomes dominant.

Distribution of the Early European Farmer (EEF) admixture in and around Europe

It is my opinion that the most successful civilized nations of Europe, namely, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, (and to a lesser degree, Northern Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and Russia) have been so successful, not necessarily due to early adoption of manorialism, but rather due to this balance of genetic input from both genetically pacified farmers, who were accustomed to a settled, relatively peaceful existence, as well as the more mobile, “barbaric” in Nietzschean terms, Indo-Europeans who were descended primarily from hunters and fishers who had recently adopted a highly competitive pastoralist lifestyle on the Pontic steppe (see David W. Anthony’s The Horse the Wheel and the Language). The aristocracies of early Greece and Rome would have also possessed this ideal mix of genetically inherited traits, being descended from Indo-European invaders who married local Neolithic farmers, introducing the early Greek and Italic languages into the Mediterranean basin. This aristocracy is practically gone now, however, through an overwhelming genetic absorption into the conquered Neolithic farmer populace, who were ultimately descended primarily from early Near-Eastern agriculturalists.

The end result of the ideal genetic admixture which I have described is a people which are both civilized and politically organized, and also are also willing to innovate, take risks (like exploring the New World), and challenge old notions of thought, as was done in the scientific revolution.

Japan 

The Japanese, compared to some other East Asian populations, such as the Han, possess large amounts of ancestry from a group of hunter-gatherers who did not partake in early rice farming during the Neolithic (these hunter-gatherers were known as the Jomon people). This is assessed quantitatively in the following study, which you can read here. An excerpt from the abstract reads: “Our results showed that the genetic contributions of Jomon, the Paleolithic contingent in Japanese, are 54.362.3% in Ryukyuans and 23.139.5% in mainland Japanese, respectively. Utilizing inferred allele frequencies of the Jomon population, we further showed the Paleolithic contingent in Japanese had a Northeast Asia origin.”

Source

The Jomon people had long inhabited Japan since the Palaeolithic, whereas another population, the Yayoi, who brought intensive rice farming to Japan, were effectively newcomers from the Asian mainland, and perhaps the descendants of the original domesticators of rice themselves. Thus, like many Europeans, the Japanese owe their ancestry to both a population genetically pacified through evolution in a relatively peaceful, settled, agricultural society and another population primarily descended from paleolithic hunter-gatherers, who ultimately would have organized into tribes and needed to compete over animals as a food source.

It is also interesting to note that the Japanese Emperor (whose lineage, according to legend, is around 2700 years old, predating the Yayoi period by almost 400 years) possesses Y-chromosomal haplogroup D (see source), which is found to a high degree in  Japan, and almost universally among the Ainu (who are mostly descended from the Jomon), but is also much less frequent in Korea and Eastern China where the Yayoi agriculturalists migrated from. Perhaps this is evidence that part of the Japanese aristocracy, as on might think from Nietzsche, was originally descended from the Jomon “barbarians”, and not the more civilized Yayoi from the East Asian continent.

If you want to see a full explanation of the genetic history of Japan and its relationship to the rest of East Asia, which I have abbreviated here, you can visit this website. In summary, the combination of the Jomon and Yayoi people in Japan of the has produced a highly orderly, but also innovative, culture which is more individualistic than its mainland neighbors of China and Korea. Just look at where Japan is on the world values chart below compared to other East Asian countries:

Inglehart-Welzel cultural map of the world

Conclusion

So, In addition to IQ, other factors clearly need to be addressed in understanding the success of a civilization.

If the people are too genetically pacified through evolution over millennia of non-competitive, settled agriculture, a civilization runs the risk of stagnation where innovation is minimal, and the individual’s wishes are grossly disrespected by the collective. This, for instance, is likely what contributed to the formation of communist China and fascist Italy. This is also likely why the historically-speaking, intellectually repressive Catholic Church has remained religiously dominant in the Western Mediterranean while being rejected by the less genetically pacified peoples of Northern Europe during the reformation.

On the other hand, if people have only been agriculturalized for a brief period of time, being descended largely from hunter-gatherers and having evolved for a tribal, often violent existence, civilization cannot develop easily due to a predominance of aggressive, often internecine warlike behavior, which does not allow for enough cooperation to develop an orderly society. The Vikings and early Germanic tribes perhaps come to mind the most here, but (throughout history) the Sottish highlands, the Baltic states, and Northern Russia, have also fallen within this description. Within East Asia, the Ainu are perhaps the best example of this type of a group descended primarily from hunter-gatherers, being a culturally independent people which has never had the organizational capacity to become politically dominant over the Japanese archipelago, but did, in fact, engage in repeated battles with the Japanese and Chinese during the late medieval period (according to Wikipedia).

So it is ultimately genetic balance (a golden mean as Aristotle might say) which must be achieved for an advanced civilization to continue. This usually occurs through the combination of a “barbarian” ruling class descended recently from hunter-gatherers, on top of a large, evolutionarily pacified agricultural class. Usually, these two classes mix to a degree resulting in individuals with the ideal balance of both traits, allowing for an organized, yet independent and innovative civilization. We might look to the future wondering of this ideal balance will continue to survive massive amounts of immigration.  An ethnostate is one solution to preserve this genetic ideal, as the Japanese pretty much already have. Northwestern Europeans, on the other hand, including many European-Americans do not possess this yet.

Postscript

I really recommend watching this recent video by Stefan Molyneux on why civilizations rise and fall if you found my article interesting.

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6 thoughts on “The Biological Origins of Higher Civilizations

  1. The interesting thing is that there was once a quite unopular Prussian thinker who thought that Prussia dominated the rest of Germany because it was a perfect mix of civilised German/Slav barbarians 😀

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  2. As far as its known by modern science genes both affect and are affected by the environment. But there is a catch: the “special” ability of humans to be able to think and rationalize makes cultural/environmental factors more relevant in most cases. Yes, you may be more/less prone to empathy or some diseases than others, but that wont let you be less creative, rational or better than other human beings in the right conditions. Love, family, respect, friends and education are the bases of good life, far more than people think.

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    1. This article was not intended to deny a genetic feedback loop; it was intended to show how the process of civlization usually begins. Human genetic variation came first, then civilization came as an aftereffect, which then created genetic feedback loop mechanisms.

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