A letter to HBD_CHICK
RE: “l’explication de l’idéologie”
First, I meant to write earlier so apologies for the delayed comment
Second, translating your argument into an economist’s language:
1) “Signaling” is the term economists use to describe behavior that demonstrates fitness for mating. Status determines access to mates. Signaling conveys ‘status’. There are, statistically, fewer ‘superior’ male mates than female mates, partly because of the wider distribution of male IQ’s. However, unmarried males are a ‘problem’ and most societies tend to favor norms that ‘civilize’ more males.
(PS: I”m pretty sure we can demonstrate that younger women are attracted to higher testosterone and familiarity and more mature women to status. I can’t prove it but the evolving data from dating sites seems to suggest it. Excess testosterone is positively correlated with impulsivity, unpredictability and risk taking and violence. A woman woman who is familiar with a category of male behavior more easily understands it. But that says nothing about the male’s fitness. Likewise the data shows that ‘crazies’ as men refer to them, who are highly impulsive are demonstrating a successful reproduction strategy — Dawkins’ ‘Selfish Gene’ revisited.)
2) I’m not sure, but are you missing inheritance patterns and property rights as determining access to mates? I think they’re inextricably linked, and mutually dependent but I don’t see you directly addressing it. (Individual property rights vs shareholder “collective” property rights.)
3) I’m pretty sure that the causal difference in the development of western individualism is martial (not marital, but martial): the highest status in society was held by a minority of highly skilled warriors who had to self-finance their equipment, using expensive technology to compensate for their inferior numbers, employing battle tactics that required individual initiative, and to whom fell control of agrarianism’s productive resources: land. In that model, individualism is a necessary consequence because the ‘epistemology’ of war is unforgivingly evolutionary.
Otherwise, I agree with the general trend of your thesis.
In an effort to make sure we’re not reactionaries attempting a form of social Luddism we might argue that evolution of norms progresses unabated: Joel Kotkin and Peter Meyer take the opposite end of the spectrum going forward: that a ‘people’ is a competition between fairly immobile lower castes, and highly mobile diasporic upper castes – of which the English (my tribe) and the Jews are just forming a global upper class with the diasporic hindus, chinese, armenians and others. David Goldman (Spengler) argues that all civilizations that adopt consumer capitalism also commit demographic suicide, thereby leaving us at a crossroads of ideological confusion. We have turned the Manorial system on it’s head, genetically expanding the underclasses and genetically constraining the upper classes – precisely because, under democracy, the natural aristocracy – the upper classes — are no longer responsible for rule.
Possibly covering too much ground here in an vain attempt at brevity but hopefully it makes sense.