Why East and West Don’t See Eye-to-Eye

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience, May 8, 2014

Years of research (and culture clashes) have shown that East Asians are more collectivistic than their individualistic Western counterparts. Now, new research argues that this cultural gulf may stem from what those peoples’ ancestors farmed.

Within China, people from traditional rice-farming areas have a more collectivist mindset than people from traditional wheat-farming areas, the new study finds. Other factors, such as climate or urbanization, fail to explain the cultural differences.

Though the study is limited to China, “I think this can go at least part of the way into explaining the differences between East and West,” study leader Thomas Talhelm, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia, told Live Science. Europeans historically grew wheat and a similar crop, barley.

The cultures of China

Talhelm first got the idea to study the effect of farming on Chinese culture while living in Guangzhou and teaching high school in 2007. Guangzhou is in southern China, and Talhelm noticed that when he later moved to Beijing in northern China, residents were less conflict-averse and more straightforward. It’s a difference Chinese natives notice as well, he said.

“They’ll call people from the North more direct or more brash,” Talhelm said.

Certain changes in dialects also occur as you move from southern China to northern China, Talhelm learned, with the Yangtze River acting as a dividing line. The Yangtze, it turns out, is also the point at which rice farming in the South transitions to wheat farming in the North.

Rice farming is labor-intensive and requires irrigation, which forces a community to work together, Talhelm said. Wheat farming, on the other hand, is a more individualistic pursuit. Thus, he wondered if the cultures that evolved out of these two methods of farming might still persist.

Collectivism vs. individualism

To find out, Talhelm and his colleagues recruited 1,162 students, all from the Han ethnic group, from cities across northern and southern China: Beijing, Fujian, Guangdong, Yunnan, Sichuan and Liaoning. China is an ideal place for this sort of analysis, as the country has had one central government for a long time, and as the Han ethnicity makes up about 92 percent of the population. This uniformity prevents politics or ethnic background from confounding the analysis.

Each participant performed several tasks, meant to measure his or her level of collectivism and individualism. In the first, the person was presented with images of three objects, such as a train, a bus and tracks, and asked to pair two together. Previous research finds that people from individualistic societies tend to pair the train and the bus, lumping them into the abstract category of “modes of transportation.” People from collectivistic societies take a more holistic, relational view, typically pairing the train with the tracks.

The researchers also asked participants to diagram their social networks, drawing circles to represent themselves and their friends. Previous studies have shown that people from individualistic cultures draw their own circle larger than those of their friends. People from collectivistic cultures draw their circle the same size, or sometimes smaller, than their friends’ circles.

A third task tested how people would choose to punish and reward friends versus strangers; people from Asian countries are more likely to reward their friends than punish them, while Americans are more prone to punish friends who are dishonest than reward those who are helpful, as compared with Singaporeans.

Wheat and rice

In each task, people from northern China scored as more individualistic than people from the South, Talhelm and his colleagues report today (May 8) in the journal Science. The differences were large, noted Joseph Henrich, a University of British Columbia psychologist who was not involved in the study, in an accompanying editorial. For example, people from historical wheat-farming areas in the North matched objects based on analytic categories (putting together the bus and the train, for example) 56 percent more often than people in rice-farming areas in the South.

Likewise, people from wheat-farming areas drew their social network circles about 0.06 inches (1.5 millimeters) larger than those of their friends, while people from rice-farming areas made their circles and their friends’ circles the same size.

In comparison, Europeans draw their circles 0.14 inches (3.5 mm) larger than their friends’, and Americans draw theirs 0.24 inches (6 mm) larger. (“Americans are number one in the world in self-inflation,” Talhelm said.)

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The researchers also found that while modernization has sent divorce rates up countrywide, wheat provinces had 50 percent more divorces than rice provinces. And patents held on inventions, which are more common in individualistic cultures, are disproportionately held in wheat provinces.

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The participants in the study were all college students, and likely none of them had ever farmed, Talhelm said. But the idea that ancestors’ cultures influence people in the modern day is not a new one. Cultures that arise from a herding lifestyle, known as “honor cultures,” tend to be more violent and concerned with personal reputation than are farming cultures. In the United States, regions settled by Irish and Scottish honor-culture immigrants more than 200 years ago continue to have higher rates of accidental death and homicide, particularly murders related to defending one’s honor.

The rice-wheat split probably doesn’t explain all of the difference between East and West, Talhelm said. The magnitude of the difference between North and South China is about 60 percent of the cultural difference seen between East and West. But the finding might explain why modernized, urbanized nations like Singapore, Japan and South Korea remain very collectivist despite GDPs that match those in the West, Talhelm said–all three are historically rice-growing regions. It’s not clear how these traits are passed on, Talhelm said, who cautioned that he is not arguing that they are genetic in origin.

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  • IstvanIN

    Basically, based on geography and various survival pressures, human groups have evolved to fit those environments in order to survive. Why is this so hard to except?

  • Intrep1d

    Individualism is more susceptible to divide and conquer. Being somewhat more collectivist has helped them preserve their racial integrity.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Yeah but collective cultures sacrifice their individual freedom for top down totalitarian control of all aspects of their lives. But you do pose an interesting question; is it better to be a free White man in a multiracial society, or a shackled White man in collective White society? Is it even possible to have freedom (a la 1776 – 1861 USA) in a multiracial society? That’s what I find so interesting about Heinlein’s work. He seemed to believe that a prosperous and peaceful multiracial society was possible in the future, but only under the jackboot of a fascist military government collective.

      • The Verdict of History

        Sorry to be knit-picky, since this doesn’t really have much to do with your central claim, but:

        I doubt that a truly fascist government would preside over a “multiracial society”…

        Fascists have tended to strive for, or at least fetishize, ethnic homogeneity.

        • Aussie_Thinker

          Apart from the governments we have now. I’m not saying they are fascist, just that if they were to turn that way now, it wouldn’t lead to ethnic homogeneity.

        • bear grylls

          Good example is north Korea.

        • Anna Tree

          I also think fascist-like societies tend to strive for ethnic homogeneity.

          If they allow some diversity, the minorities will know their place like in muslim countries where non-muslims (or even the outnumbered muslim sects) are discriminated against and demographically/culturally/economically controlled/subdued. Or like in the cast system of India. But then you get communist societies like former Yougoslavia or former Romania where some kind of multiculturalism/multiethnicity was going on, but any friction was strongly suppressed, and indeed like So CAL Snowman wrote, everybody except the few elite communist families, were shackled. Indeed multiracialist free societies don’t exist in my opinion too, or not for long…

        • gemjunior

          Well, this seems to be one rare case here, because our own jackbooted fascist military government collective is not striving for or fetishizing ethnic homogeneity. Rather they are fetishizing ethnic heterogeneity, possibly at the point of a sword (or gun more likely) in the near future. Even though history repeats itself, there’s been a complete about-face here and it’s all due to leftist insanity.

    • Anna Tree

      Good of the nation vs personal choice. There is limit to both, a balance should be seek or it is chaos and pain. I think some cultures, i.e. some races, think more about society (the pack), while others more about the individual (the wolf). It seems that here again, N-E Asians are in the first group, blacks in the second and as usual whites are (or were!) somewhere in the middle between the two.

      I think whites though have embraced individualism too much in the last decades. The dangers increased twofold because we became less homogeneous as well (and for example trust and unity have decline as a consequence.) We have broken the status quo and delicate balance between” the need for order and
      the imperative to change”: (From Michael Crichton’s The Lost Word)


      “…
      complex systems [show] certain common behaviors. [… those seem] to arise from the spontaneous interaction of the components […] therefore called “self-organizing.”

      […] “two are particular interest to the study of evolution. One is adaptation. We see it everywhere. Corporations adapt to the marketplace, brain cells adapt to signal traffic, the immune system adapts to infection, animals adapt to their food supply. We have come to think that the ability to adapt is characteristic of complex systems – and may be one reason why evolution seems to lead toward more complex organisms.”

      […] “But even more important,” he said, “is the way complex systems seem to strike a balance between the need for order and the imperative to change. Complex systems tend to locate themselves at a place we call ‘the edge of chaos.’ We imagine the edge of chaos as a place where there is enough innovation to keep a living system vibrant, and enough stability to keep it from collapsing into anarchy. It is a zone of conflict and upheaval, where the old and the new are constantly at war. Finding the balance point must be a delicate matter – if a living system drifts too close, it risks falling over into incoherence and dissolution; but if the system moves too far away from the edge, it becomes rigid, frozen, totalitarian. Both conditions lead to extinction. Too much change is as destructive as too little. Only at the edge of chaos can complex systems flourish.”

      He paused. “And, by implication, extinction is the inevitable result of one or the other strategy – too much change, or too little.”

      I think that there is a need of a balance between individualism and collectivism. How much individual freedom vs. health of a society is the question… In my opinion “radical personal freedom” doesn’t trump every other issue, that be miscegenation, altruism, gay marriage/adoption, extreme religious dogmas, one full generation deciding to bring children only at age 35+, dangerous people on the loose or the epidemy of lewdness in our universities etc.

      • gemjunior

        “I think whites though have embraced individualism too much in the last decades. The dangers increased twofold because of many dangerous liberal leftist dogmas (we became less homogeneous as well, trust and unity have decline as a consequence, miscegenation increased, family values destroyed etc.) “

    • Anon

      Really? Name one collectivist society that wasn’t a total scam where by certain specific individuals benefitted very much at the expense of most others? In other words, name one example of collectivism that wasn’t utterly corrupt. Where it was a normal situation.
      Neither of these things exists in reality. And never has. What you are talking about is morality. The normal and natural way of things is, freedom and the individuality that is its basis, depends on the nature of that individual to already be of a mind to contribute to his family and, by extension, his race….kith, kind and kindred (immediate family, clan and people). CRIMINALS. In other words, those who aren’t of a mind to do so already….have to be forced. And the ultimate expression of such force is to strip them of their identity and literally force them to identify with those they should already be of a mind to take care of already. If neither of these situations exist, the society dies.
      Also….at no time in human history has one group comprising individuals that can be trusted to be free individuals been anything other than magnitudes of power greater than collectivist societies. Collectivism is a reaction to sickness and weakness. A last gasp before death of the society.

      • Intrep1d

        The purpose of life isn’t societal or technological advancement.

  • This is interesting enough in terms of group evolutionary strategies. Where I part ways with studies such as this one is that everyone seems to have an either-or mentality about individualism and collectivism, that you can only have one and never the other. When in reality, I think every society worth a damn is going to have elements of both individualism and collectivism, dynamically working together and cooperating. It’s just that some societies will be more C than I, and some more I than C, but none will be one alone.

    It’s like Sam Dickson said at AR quoting Kipling, the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

    • Anna Tree

      Oops, should have read your post before commenting Intrep1d’s post…

      It seems that here again, N-E Asians are in the first group (C, i.e. pack), blacks in
      the second (I, i.e. wolf) and as usual whites are (or were!) somewhere in the middle
      between the two, enjoying and getting rewards from both groups. I think now we are imitating blacks in that regard too, sadly, like Puttnam analyzed, diversity brings disunity and lost of trust, i.e. individualism…

  • Yeah, well the slant eyes have a collectivist political party ready and waiting for them when they make it to the promised land. It’s the Democrat party. Republicans who think they can appeal to the collectivist mind are self-deluded. Coming from an individualist culture, I’d rather fight for my freedom than submit.

  • JohnEngelman

    Rice farming probably contributes to innate differences between Chinese and Western personalities. Other factors were important as well.

    Years ago I read that even when they are only a few days old the babies of Chinese American couples tend to cry and move less than the babies of white American couples.

    Because China dominated the Far East, warfare was less of an evolutionary factor in China than in Europe. On the other hand, control over irrigation and the ever present threat of floods and famines have given Chinese governments more control over their subjects than European governments have had.

    Chinese governments have always been authoritarian. They have had effective ways to reward deference and to punish insubordination.

    Europeans have often had to fight for survival. For Chinese it was usually a better idea to ask politely.

    • Anna Tree

      I think it is less about direct than about indirect survival, i.e. competition.

      Europe and China were well enough off, but white Europeans fought each others, that is competed for lands and therefor for superiority in warfare, triggering search for better weapons, consequently bringing scientific/technological/medical etc progress* , the Chinese Empire had achieved peace and so… stagnation…

      * same nowadays, I will try to find the article I read on the subject, a bit sad but fascinating

      • willbest

        But the hippies assure me the competition is the most inefficient form of production.

  • AncientMason

    “They’ll call people from the North more direct or more brash.” I’ve noticed the same thing.

  • SiniticMan

    What a useless on-the-surface study. Agriculture is a fairly new “thing” in human history so whether you farm rice or millet has nothing to do with any noticeable/significant outcome in behavior amongst neolithic peoples. The researchers added insult to injury by exclusively choosing Han Chinese as their sample when It is widely known amongst Chinese anthropologists that the Han Chinese were far from the ones who first engaged in rice agriculture in the first place. It was either the Hmong-Mien or Austro-Asiatic/Tai peoples south of the Yangzte that started it.

    What is more relevant to whether a culture turns out to be more collectivist or effeminate has to do with the threat of annihilation in their history. An even more relevant question is why certain cultures act the way they do once faced with the threat of annihilation. The more sensible thing for a culture to do when faced with the threat of annihilation is to annihilate the males of their immediate neighbor, steal their resources, females, and ideas. When other cultures fail to annihilate other cultures and thus become either extinct/absorbed, the question becomes why and how did it happen. But at the end of the thought, the bottom line is that the more effeminate/individualistic culture gave in and no one knows why or how, it just was. This is where racial history is crucial. What preceded agriculture, civilization, commerce, and effeminacy was human evolutionary history. An unrecorded story of scarce resources, violence, and sex that was most extreme amongst the Altaic speaking Mongoloids. The Han Chinese are a hybrid Nomadic/Barbaric (northern) and Agricultural/Civilized (southern) group. And German people are 70% barbaric and 30% civilized. Southern Europeans are 100% civilized. The French are 75% civilized and 25% barbaric. English people are 50/50.

    Westerners rarely come into contact with Mongolians but any Chinese that has will tell you one thing about them. No other race exceeds them in barbarity, evil, and cunning. Turks are quite like Mongols in barbarity and in their evil laughter so I guess westerners do have an idea but not as clear. The point here is that the Mongols were fierce, barbaric, tough, and thus collectivist because of their harsh barren environment for most of their history (so in that sense evolution was continuous for them). If anything, agriculture makes races more civilized, individualistic and effeminate (pursuing their own goals and discoveries in civilization). Because the Chinese are a hybrid barbaric/civilized group, they were able to put up a greater more effective resistance against the Mongols. Because Europeans were more democratic, verbal, and effeminate, they were completely run over by the Mongols. One way to translate individualism in Chinese (often when describing westerners) is through the use of a word that means “crumbled” or “fractured”.

    People do not realize the Mongols alone were responsible for the death of up to 100 million people in those old medieval ages where there weren’t as much people in the world as today. The Mongols killed everyone in the twin cities of Fangcheng and Xiangyang in their campaign against the Song dynasty. These were large cities/fortresses even by today’s standard. They took a western looping route into southern China, brought heavy siege weapons, broke down the walls and killed everyone with their curved swords. But this was in the 13th century. The Chinese have been dealing with Altaics for thousands of years prior to that campaign. The Manchus who later took over China regularly threatened with mandates to annihilate all Chinese males who had certain surnames or if they didn’t wear queues.

    • WR_the_realist

      Why is this useless? If measurable evolutionary changes can be found due to environmental conditions that have persisted for only a couple thousand years, that only buttresses the case that over a longer term the evolved differences among different human groups will be significant.

      • SiniticMan

        I think the difference between the northern Han and the southern Han in behavior and political culture has more to do with recent history rather than agriculture. People in the west are completely clueless about the wars, famines, floods, and displacement in northern China that occurred continuously for literally 4000 years even though it is well documented.(wars between the Han Chinese states/tribes and invasions from the northern Altaics). The Chinese viewed the British and other European powers in the 19th century more like crafty merchants with Mongol-like crafty forcefulness but not as severe and therefore didn’t feel the need to mass migrate. The Japanese were a different case. The Japanese to the Chinese were outsiders whom felt shunned by western outsiders and felt the need to rally Chinese against westerners. But the Japanese were always midgets to us to begin with even before the threat of westerners.

        But I digress. And because of all of this, the northern Han can be viewed as semi-nomadic, on their toes, and colder. Of course this will have some behavioral effects over 3200-4000 years. The northerners are more cold, political, and strict culturally and most Chinese people know this.

        The Han Chinese migrants who fled the north came into contact with settled Hmong-Mien peoples south of the central plains (places like Sichuan, Guizhou, Hunan, Fujian). The people there weren’t very political because of rice agriculture. I know this is over generalizing but it is true no matter which way you try to slice it. Han Chinese who grew millet in the north still fought wars not only between themselves but also with the Altaic peoples. The people down there were “timeless” and the Chinese have always viewed them as “romantic” in art and literature even until today (even though it has a marxist-leninist tone to it). The Chinese weren’t very sophisticated initially at labeling the groups down south but we now know today that they were the Hmong-Mien (Miao-Yao) and Tai-Kadai/Austronesian peoples who started rice agriculture.

        I think there is something about the calorie efficiency of rice that causes the people who farm it to be less political and more peaceful. But then again that is just my theory based on objective observations of history. Because I take into consideration and compare the good-natured rice farming people with the nomadic and crafty monsters like the Altaic peoples who would slaughter entire populations just to make a point.

        Close observers of Mongolians will see the uniqueness of the Mongolian upper lip. Their upper lip looks more like a complete “M” whereas with normal people, the middle part of the “M” is much smaller indicating a sensitive personality. People with upper lips where the middle “v” shaped indentation is wider often have evil personalities. Their fangs show out more when smiling, laughing, or talking. Ted Haggard’s upper lip is like this. If you watch his interview with Richard Dawkins where Haggard feels slighted by Dawkin’s pretentiousness, watch closely at Haggard’s upper lip and teeth. A moderate percentage of Mongols have this physical trait.

        • gemjunior

          Interesting stuff.

    • jeffaral

      Would you agree that the violent, nihilistic and irrational traits of Russians are due to their genetic and cultural tartar-mongolic inheritance?

      • SiniticMan

        Yes. The peoples residing between Russia, Turkey, Mongolia, Northern China and Siberia are culturally, genetically, and linguistically similar despite coming from different races. People there have a distinct evil laughter, are typically crafty, warlike and evil. Whenever I hear a central Asian, Turk, or Mongol laugh, it reminds me of their history. The surviving warriors from those groups laughed like that after they craftily fooled their opponents, annihilated them, stole all of their goods, and felt no remorse for it. Russians and Chinese are like them in some ways but not entirely. At their core and root the Russians and Chinese are not like Turkic or Mongolic peoples but have been influenced by them.

    • Anna Tree

      – Please, where/how did you get those numbers “German people are 70% barbaric and 30% civilized. Southern Europeans are 100% civilized. The French are 75% civilized and 25% barbaric. English people are 50/50” ?

      – Regarding the Mongols, do you think islam had some impact on their behavior?

      • SiniticMan

        I’ve observed that Germanic peoples are more martial and colder in temperament than Southern European types. Germanic peoples tend to be less verbal and more non-verbal therefore often more barbaric. I admire southern European types like Italians and Greeks for their verbalism and civility but too much of it is effeminate and indeed they do often tend to be emotional and effeminate. Southern Europeans are inherently verbal, civil, wise, and conscience so therefore I don’t think it is any accident that Italians/Greeks created and espoused Democracy/Christianity. The French are somewhere in between but I feel that they lean more towards civility and verbalism. English people are more fascinating to me because they seem 50/50 no matter which way I try to slice it. My observations of English people lead me to the conclusion that theyre usually 50/50 meaning theyre just as sharp eyed (non-verbal) as Germans, Dutch, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes and just as verbal as Italians/French/Greeks.

        Nordic peoples are indeed like East Asians in many ways both in physical features and behavioral temperament. Both groups have tall skulls/long torsos/long femur + short tibula/often poor runners/greater sub-cutaneous fat/lower testosterone/high intelligence. (of course East Asians are a bit more extreme in all of those traits) Just look at Ellie Goulding’s head height as an example of a Nordic person with a tall skull.

        The Mongols are inherently evil to begin with so if anything Islam would have a civilizing effect on them. You have to realize the Mongols butchered the Muslims by the millions for their impudence. Some historians have even stated that the Muslims alone caused the rampage of the Mongols but I think this is focusing too close on details and not on the larger picture. It was only a matter of the time that the Muslims and other non-Mongols would get butchered by the Mongols, not if. Its a scary notion of the way history works. Its not just the Mongols, a lot of Altaic groups and Turks are inherently evil as well because of their history. Humans know what evil is and no amount of semantics or denial will change that. But today, I think a lot of Mongols themselves know that they tend to be perceived as evil to non-Mongols and are making somewhat of an effort to change themselves but I think that would take just as long as it took for them to be so evil. I think that is why they decided to just melt in and disappear into the peoples they conquered.

        • MikeofAges

          Arab civilization in South Asia was devastated by the Mongols. This was detailed in a book called “The Lost Centuries” by John Bagot Glubb, a British officer who fought with the Arabs during the World War II era. The Merced County (CA) library once has a copy of this book, which was a real eye opener.

          The volume survived the first great book burning, which occurred when an outside consulting firm installed a computerized catalog around 1990. ALA guidline about what to keep in the collected were followed and many important books disappeared. The volume now is gone. Either it was burned, stolen or the dog ate it.

          From this book, I got the idea that Arab intransigence has its roots partially in the shame they felt at being unable to defend themselves against the Mongols, rather than in Islam. Cities as large million people apparently were annihilated, and never restored.

          • SiniticMan

            I know exactly what you’re referring to when you used the term Arab intransigence but I think the cause for that is much more deep rooted and racial. Islam is only an expression of their innate racial character. Therefore disrespecting their religion is the same as disrespecting their racial character. Violating an individual’s dignity based on racial and religious background is the ultimate slap in the face because essentially the violator is implicitly stating that the individual is a universally undesirable specimen. Therefore when a non-Muslim disrespects Islam, their reaction is not surprising to me. And when a lot of people disrespect Islam, that is not surprising to me either. Arabs and Malaysians who represent Islam have low average intelligence.

            Actually, a lot of southern Europeans are quite intransigent themselves. In the days of European nationalism, the British once claimed they owed nothing/learned nothing from Southern Europeans which is simply not true but it got a reaction from them nevertheless. Southern Europeans/Jews/Arabs are culturally and genetically similar in the larger picture. They often have an inferiority complex when they are among Nordics. They acknowledge that Nordics are the fairer, prettier, and evolved Caucasoid group and will react emotionally once someone brings it up even in the slightest way. Italian Americans remember well that they were once lynched in the South and know how they compare to Anglos. Jews remember they were bullied, repressed, and made fun of by all European groups. The difference is that they took it pretty well and didn’t mind being insulated to a certain extent. The protocols of zion was the culmination of the bullying when they could not longer stand being repressed after watching all the progress/equality around them.

            I don’t think Jews often hate Arab Muslims as much as they do European Christians. They’re both people who have been excluded from the party initiated by the west and I get the feeling that they are afraid of that party coming to an end today because of the clash/tension between intelligent Christian/secular Europeans and dull Arab Muslims.

            Jews and Germans didn’t mix very well in the early 20th century. One group is extremely verbal at one end and the other very non-verbal. I don’t think its any accident that Germans mastered rocketry/engineering which requires high non-verbal visuo-spatial intelligence. Thats why both groups had to learn the hard way in the end. Jews were systematically exterminated while Germans were severely raped. The lesson from that episode was that you can either miscegenate and disappear slowly or if you resist, quickly. The question is who resisted more between the two groups. Or who was the more intransigent.

            Regarding the Mongols, you have to give them credit where its due. The Chinese carried out many punitive expeditions against them but could never really put them down for good. Easier said than done. The largest expedition even reaching present day Xinjiang I believe which failed miserably. They’re barbaric but absolutely far from stupid. Other groups like the Manchus Khitans, and Turks are exactly like them in craftiness and martiality. They wanted equality and respect mostly but who could ever respect them when their culture is so evil. Thats why they went on their rampage bluntly speaking. They’re consistently warlike, uncultivated, evil, crafty, thieving, immoral, and trifling even until today. The Chinese are much too civilized, rational, and restrained and that was why they were enslaved by the Manchus. The Chinese couldn’t unite as effectively or as quickly enough neither did they ever have the desire to even bother them or devote their full effort into annihilating them. The Great Walls speaks for itself in a way but the Chinese often view the walls today as emblematic of a unenlightened past.

          • Anna Tree

            Please read the koran, sahih ahadith and sirat rasulallah before you make an opinion about Arabs or islam.

            1) The fact that non-Arab muslims, including Chinese or Bosnians, are just as aggressive as the Arab muslims points to the fact that race is not the strongest component in their aggressivity.

            2) More: in the first 3,100 years of recorded history – from 2500 B.C. to 600 A.D. – there isn’t a single chronicled episode of Arabs leaving Arabia to conquer, plunder, or terrorize any nation. There isn’t even a record of them terrorizing themselves or of them imposing tyrannies.

            But then at the dawn of the Islamic Era – 622 A.D. – everything changes. During the first decade of islam, according to all that we know about it, mohamed inspired and led 78 raids. All but two were aggressive. All but four were textbook terrorism in which armed muslims attacked defenseless civilians – just as they do today. But unlike today, every initial islamic assault was over sex, power, and money; none were fought for religion.

            During islam’s first ten years, mohamed and his militants raped, plundered, enslaved, and murdered everyone who weren’t rallying their troops. But the first muslims were equal opportunity militants, pirates and oppressors. According to the islamic koran and hadith, mohamed’s militants forced islam on all Arabs during the War of Compulsion—a war that was fought in 633 over money and power.

            Over islam’s second decade, the once freedom-loving and peaceful Arabs were transformed into killing machines. They ruthlessly attacked, conquered, and plundered Yemen, Persia, the Byzantines, Syria, today’s Israel, and Egypt. During islam’s
            first century, muslims wielding swords, not korans, stormed out of Arabia, reaching the boarders of France and India before they were finally stopped.The record of history is clear, undeniable, and rationally irrefutable. The thing that changed Arabs into killers was Islam. The scriptural evidence is equally clear, equally undeniable and rationally irrefutable. The islam of “prophet” mohamed, the islam of the koran and hadith, comprise a declaration of war against all humankind – they are a terrorist manifesto.

            “And fight with them until there is no fitnah (sedition), and religion should be only for Allah” Koran 2:193

          • Anna Tree

            I strongly disagree MikeofAges. Muslims have waged jihad centuries against Europe AND Asia. The same way that the Crusaders fought back, so the Mongols.

            The chronology of Mr. Glubb doesn’t add up (like the chronology of many ‘Orientalists’): jihad came before the Mongols attacks of the Chinese since 651, the Indus region/Samarkand in 712, Kyrgyzstan 751, Armenia 1071 etc:
            Gengis Khan’s and Hulagu Khan’s attacks on Islam from the siege of Bagdad in 1258 was a collective expression of resistance to Islam following continuous jihad on inhabitants of Mongols lands from 1050 (read about the Tatars for example) and from the memories of the pre-Islamic Persians who had settled in China and Mongolia, and the Turks who had been waging a struggle against Islam in the 8th to the 10th centuries.

            And Mongols almost succeed to eliminate islam, except that they took muslim women back and eventually their descendants converted to islam, turning themselves to jihadis, perpetrating towards their neighbors the horrors their ancestors suffered and fought against, like it happened to every people conquered
            by islam, from the Byzantines to the Indians.

            Arab intransigence has its roots in the islamic scriptures themselves. “prophet” mohamed started jihad (killing, enslaving, raping infidels and dissidents) and his sock puppet allah of course ordered it in the koran. He is the model to follow so muslim countries till this day, allow the crimes he did like child marriage, slavery, jihad and discriminations against non-muslims. Didn’t you hear about the sword verses like “Kill the non-believers wherever they are and until there is no religion but for allah”? Remark there is no limit neither in geography nor time. That is why jihad is done everywhere today too. Please read the koran, sahih ahadith and sira so you don’t defend what you don’t know and give outside islam excuses to the muslims’s aggressivity when none is needed because islam itself is violent. The problem is not the muslims, the problem is islam.

            Read more:
            islam-watch9dot)org/HistoryOfJihad/jihad_against_mongols(dot)htm

          • MikeofAges

            Aware of all that too. I think Middle Easterners were mean folks before the rise of Islam. All of the features were there already, the preoccupation with self and family at the expense of all other things. Polygamous marriage. Captured women and girls turned into wives. Autobratic government. The parsimonious land itself. It was all just awaiting a synthesis. But the depradations of the Mongol conquest didn’t help. Arab civilization by all accounts went downhill after an initial efflorescence of culture and cosmopolitanism.

    • MikeofAges

      Are you sure China wasn’t just “too big to fail”?

  • Anon

    There are two types of digestive system. Carnivorous and herbivore. One has teeth that tear and chew, absorbs nutrients from high density sources and eliminate a relatively high energy mass. The other is designed to grind. Low nutrient density foods are passed through several stomachs, barfed up and rechewed to get every bit of nutrition out. Any high energy elimination is re-eaten until the last bit of energy is pulled out of it. I have a pet rabbit, for example. She has two types of poop. Dry, hard pellets she leaves behind in her cage and wet masses, she consumes as soon as she passes them. She is an herbivore.
    Now which of those two types of digestive systems do humans have? To the liberal jackasses out there, I say, well…..you must be eating something I’m not, if you answered something involving vegetarianism.
    This basic fact has been known for a VERY long time. Before liberalism turned science into an anti-Christian religion, the effects of a non-meat diet was being studied in various human populations around the world. What they found was 1) societies eat meat, unless they can’t….and never mind the BS of certain pseudo-religions. And 2) any society that did not eat meat, became less and less fertile over several generations until it disappeared.
    Now….understanding all this. Re-examine what the article proposes. Is that reasonable or is it utter baloney.

    • Kenner

      No shortage of Hindus, however. Fueled by chickpeas.

    • WR_the_realist

      What a weird anti-vegetarian rant. Humans are omnivores, and have been for a long time. Humans can survive well with a wide variety of different diets. Vegetarian Hindus have had no trouble keeping up their population.

      We have a shorter digestive system than pure herbivores but a longer digestive system than pure carnivores. Also, we cook our food, and cooked vegetables are easier to digest.

      • JohnEngelman

        For thousands of years the diets of peasants, which is to say the vast majority of people living in civilized countries, was largely vegetarian.

        The staples of the Near Eastern diet have been wheat, barley, lentils, broad beans, and chick peas. The staples of the East Indian diet have been wheat, rice, lentils, and chick peas. The staples of the Far Eastern diet have been rice and soy bean products. The staples of the Hispanic diet have been corn, beans, and rice. From New England we get baked beans and brown bread. From the American Indians we get succotash, which consists of corn and lima beans.

        The human diet requires eight amino acids. Grains are short of lysine, but have sufficient quantities of the other seven. Beans are short of methionine, but have sufficient quantities of the other seven. Without understanding the chemistry behind amino acids agricultural peoples learned thousands of years ago that those who combined grains and beans in their diets were healthier than those who omitted either.

        An all vegetarian diet supplies all essential nutrients but vitamin B 12. Until the invention of vitamin pills in the twentieth century an exclusively vegetarian diet was unhealthy. That is why traditional peasant diets did include some animal protein.

        • MikeofAges

          Actually, there are some difficulties getting all all essential nutrients from a purely vegetarian diet, even apart from the issue of B-12. Can be done, but it requires some knowledge of how to obtain essential amino acids. I have never been a vegetarian, but I have heard enough about it over my lifetime. Contemporary vegetarians have considerable nutrition problems. Some quick research showed that the combinations you suggest will help an individual avoid nutritional problems in the short term, but maybe not in the long term.

          People who are both serious about being vegetarian and well informed know that they have to go to some lengths to maintain a true complete diet. Unlikely that any traditional people were totally vegetarian. Some may have eaten a highly vegetarian diet, but it is not likely they were phobic about animal foods.

          • JohnEngelman

            Vegetarians are less likely to suffer problems caused by saturated fat and cholesterol.

          • MikeofAges

            Probably true. But a change of subject nevertheless. I think the topic here is the capability of the vegetarian diet to provide all necessary nutrients. Back to the topic, my understanding is, people who eat diets free of all animal products have to do specific things to make sure they get enough nutrients. Many vegetarians may not be getting enough nutrients and may, in fact, end up suffering from malnutrition. Researchers say that.

            There is a difference between the diets of people who are substantially vegetarian and those who consume no animal products whatsoever. The latter will suffer nutritional deficiencies unless they make specific arrangements to avoid them. Only modern ideological vegetarians who have the benefit of modern nutritional research can eat a totally vegetarian diet and maintain complete nutrition. That doesn’t mean that the contemporary diet heavy on animal products, fats and processed foods is a good diet. But the people who eat it will not suffer from protein deficiencies.

            A National Institute of Health study reported: “The low dietary intake of protein and sulfur amino acids by a plant-eating population leads to subclinical protein malnutrition, explaining the origin of hyperhomocysteinemia and the increased vulnerability of these vegetarian subjects to cardiovascular diseases.”

            The study also reported lower lean body mass. Whether that, itself, is a problem is unknown to me. If the person has good nutrition otherwise, I would imagine not. It might even be a benefit.. But lower lean body mass could be a market for marginal nutrition.

  • ViktorNN

    I think another aspect that needs to be factored in here is the West’s innovation in developing democratic forms of governance while the East has always been mired in very intense forms of authoritarianism.

    The East’s brand of authoritarianism produces a kind of top-down coercive and conformist brand of collectivism while the West’s history of democratic self-rule is also capable of producing cooperative efforts, but in a style which is much more volunteeristic and innovation-generating.

    • JohnEngelman

      Even in the West democracy is a fairly recent development. The oldest representative democracy in the West is that of Great Britain. Even in Great Britain farm laborers and factory workers were only allowed to vote in the nineteenth century. It was not until 1928 that all women in Great Britain over the age of 21 were allowed to vote.

      Democracy works well in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. I am confident that it can work well in China and North Korea.

      • ViktorNN

        Your knowledge of the West’s very long history of democratic traditions appears lacking.

        At any rate, my point isn’t that the Asians haven’t adopted Western democratic principles and methods. After all, there’s nothing surprising about Asians adopting superior white European intellectual products.

        My point is that in understanding the difference between how Asians and whites approach cooperative practices, the nature of how the two groups govern themselves sheds some light. The Asians have a history of thousands of years of top-down coercive authoritarianism – this must surely have an impact on the Asian style of cooperation. Whites on the other hand, have a a history of thousands of years of various forms of democratic self-rule which has produced an entirely different style of practicing cooperation.

        Underlying all this, of course, is the fact that cooperation, styles of government, etc. are to some degree an expression of our different racial natures. The idea that some Asian countries will at some point “catch up” with the West when it comes to the practice of democracy is to miss the point of race realism. They will never ultimately practice Western forms of democracy in the exact same way because they’re not white, and never will be.

    • Intrep1d

      The slow processes of democracy are better suited to developed countries. A top-down command structure like China’s is more efficient at providing immediate help to those who need it. However, this system is also vulnerable to corruption. As their middle class expands, they will eventually have to give more power to the people and transition to a slightly more democratic state.

      On the other hand, India adopted British democracy too early, and it’s dysfunctional because their issues are vastly different from those of a first world country.

      • MikeofAges

        That’s exactly what the Maoist party says, that the Chinese people are not suited to Western democracy.

        India is a different case. India broke from the pacifistic tradition and embraced nationalism under Indira Gandhi. Up to that point the belief was, India’s caste system was a huge millstone that would have to be rolled out of the way before India could progress. India instead turned its caste system into a geopolitical asset, and sent its merchant and upper castes around the world to penetrate other societies. Today, India is a nuclear-armed world power with an economic and cultural presence in every continent.

  • JohnEngelman

    Most people are not allergic to gluten. Unless one is there is not reason not to consume a diet high in wheat. However, whole wheat is more nutritious than refined wheat, even when refined wheat is supplemented with nutrients.

  • Anna Tree

    Well it can’t be (just) aggression or greed, as other people have been much more those against their neighbors than us, but didn’t achieve anything like us.

    Thinking about our kings… maybe it was just that that aggression/greed was coupled with intelligence, vision and wishes at least a bit, for one’s people prosperity (so some altruism). And least but not last, hope for a legacy. For your posterity but also to give to your heir. Yeah, that is again… intelligence lol

    But competition doesn’t need aggression. I still think that (intellectual) competition between the European countries (and individuals), was the primordial mechanism, existing even in between wars. Still works today in time of peace (talking again about European and European descended people.)

  • MikeofAges

    There is a strong element of deceit in your post. I don’t know how representative of all vegetarians a sample of Seventh Day Adventist would be, although 73,000 and some is a large number. Then there is the question of what population this sample was being compared to.

    The obvious issue is that the non-vegetarian population could include people with very unhealthy lifestyles while a sample of religiously observant people would likely be heavily weighed toward people who were highly abstemious generally. For that reason, I have to categorize this report as a straw man argument until proven otherwise.

    When I see a study which compares like to like I’ll consider the results. The non-vegetarian population en masse includes almost all alcoholics, heavy smokers, overeaters, people who eat highly imbalanced diets, illicit drug users, prescription drug addicts and abusers, and so on.

    The vegetarian population en masse also includes people who are suffering from chronic malnutrition, people who are anorexics and severe undereaters, people who follow their eating regimen on account of mental illness, and smokers, alcoholics and illicit drug users prescription drug addicts and abusers who also are vegetarian.

    A comparison of the health and life spans of vegetarians who eat a sound diet with non-vegetarians who eat a sound diet might be interesting. What happens to others might be interesting to find out too. Without careful selection, all you end up proving is that a person can maintain themselves on a vegetarian diet and, if they do not have any dangerous habits, can maintain their health. I think we know that already. One thing which is pretty certain is a vegetarian will not suffer from any extremes of obesity. Most will not be obese whatsoever, although I am sure it is possible with a large enough caloric intake.

  • Michael Mason

    This is why communism works better in Asian countries. Another reason is that they have a narrower IQ distribution. They have less imbeciles but also less geniuses than we do.