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2008 July 22 Tuesday
Hibernia Girl On Cousin Marriage And Veils

Hibernia Girl observes Muslim societies with higher rates of cousin marriage also have higher rates of requiring female head covering such as with the hijab and niqab. She sees these veils as an attempt to control female reproduction by preventing men from being attracted to women.

But what is the flow of causality in this relationship between head covering (and body covering) and cousin marriage? A man who is married to his cousin has daughters who are genetically closer to him than his daughters would be if he married a woman from a distant place. A man who is married to his cousin whose parents and grandparents were also cousins has even more in common with his sons and daughters. Does this genetic relatedness by itself cause men to seek to ensure their offspring will marry close relatives?

Or does the desire to marry cousins flow from the need for alliances in personal life and that need for alliances and loyalty cause men to exercise reproductive control over their offspring by covering up their daughters?

I also wonder about the connection between consanguineous marriage and Islam. My suspicion is that Islam provides a belief system that empowers men in Muslim societies to unite in defense of the customs that allow them to control female reproduction. This empowerment of men in this fashion retards political development in Muslim countries with high rate of cousin (consanguineous) marriage (and in that post you can find links to my old posts and writings of others on cousin marriage).

Cousin marriage is an enemy of Western liberal democracy and of our culture. I think we should want to keep the practice of cousin marriage out of the West and also to keep Islam out of the West as well. Hibernia Girl does not want Ireland to step centuries into the past.

Hijabs (and female circumcision) simply have no place in modern Ireland because we are simply no longer marrying our cousins on a regular basis and, therefore, are no longer interested in controlling the reproductive rights of our women so strongly. Sure, Da and Mammy will still want to have a say on who ye marry (or with whom ye mate), but those decisions are largely left up to the individual nowadays -- unless, that is, we want to step back several centuries into our past.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 July 22 10:25 PM  Civilizations Clash Of


Comments
rhine said at July 23, 2008 1:17 AM:

Could you go over this again and try to be clearer? I'm sorry, you're usually an exceptionally lucid writer but I don't get what you mean by the possibility that cousin-marriage is a _response_ to the "need for alliances in personal life." Do you mean because of the tribal society, the lack of universal law? But where then would that come from?

And how does Islam provide the belief system? By endorsing polygamy or what? (I'm not very knowledgeable about the subject)

Kenelm Digby said at July 23, 2008 3:06 AM:

Pakistan(where most muslims resident in Britain originate from) is an extremely poor, wretched nation, and that part of the sub-continent has been so for centuries.
Hence competition for food, land and wealth is very intense - which explains most of the well-known negative characteristics of Pakistan, and the practice of cousin marriage (it really is only a means of keeping wealth within the family).
Really it's pure Malthus.

Randall Parker said at July 23, 2008 6:06 PM:

rhine,

Sorry, I've written on this before (and link to my older writings on the subject) and do not lay out every detail every time.

The need for alliances: First off, people are more willing to help their brothers and sisters than their cousins. But they are more willing to help their cousins than to help strangers. Okay, so suppose a man marries his female cousin. Now both he and his wife can go to her brothers and ask for help. They are far more inclined to provide that help because they'll be helping not only their cousin but also their sister with the same act of help.

But if you are married to your male cousin's sister and he is married to your sister you are both far more loyal to each other. But if you are far more loyal to each other you are far less loyal to everyone else. This creates problems in the society as a whole because then there's less motivation to treat all people fairly and do perform acts that benefit everyone.

Middle Eastern societies are very corrupt. Their governments are very inefficient and have bureaucracies that are hard to deal with. You have a hard time getting fair treatment from their bureaucracies and court systems. Why? Lots of the workers in those organizations have primary loyalties outside of the government that are very demanding on them. They've got to cheat and steal from non-relatives in order to fulfill their extended family obligations.

The need for alliances grows out of the lack of ability to deal anonymously with organizations. You've got to have family connections in order to get by. This feeds on itself in a vicious cycle. If you need cousin marriage then you engage in it to help yourself. But that makes you more inclined to screw others which means they need cousin marriage too.

JSBolton said at July 23, 2008 7:08 PM:

A phrase that has been used is "a nation within a nation". Ethnic groups, large families, etc. are sometimes called a nation within a nation, but specifially contrasting with a larger population which retains a capacity for larger loyalties. Populations which can sustain these larger loyalties form larger nations than others, larger armies all on one side, larger corporations, universities and more. Does this arise from a custom against cousin marriage for the most part,though, or from capacities of spontaneous cooperation which will benefit all if there is little or no cheating, or both or neither?

rhine said at July 23, 2008 11:28 PM:

Randall, thanks. I had always thought of it as the problems of tribal societies following from the inbreeding, but I hadn't thought of it as a full chicken-and-egg issue: that the inbreeding also becomes necessary to live in the societies.

Hibernia Girl said at July 24, 2008 7:37 AM:

Parker: I also wonder about the connection between consanguineous marriage and Islam. My suspicion is that Islam provides a belief system that empowers men in Muslim societies to unite in defense of the customs that allow them to control female reproduction.

I think your suspicion is absolutely right, Randall. It's not Islam at all that's driving men (AND women, mind you) to demand that women be covered up in certain Muslim societies. Islam is just the belief system layered on after that "decision" has already been made -- it's the "excuse" given as explanation for why this needs to be done.

Cousin marriage (especially father's-brother's-daughter marriage, which as you know is of key importance) came first in the Middle East/Saudi Arabia -- Islam afterwards.

One groups who has (I believe) been practicing cousin marriage for a very, very long time -- possibly since the practice was adopted in the Middle East -- are the Druze. Druze women are veiled as well, of course -- and I think it's interesting that both men and women wear outfits that are almost uniform-like. They really seem to want to get rid of any uniqueness about an individual.

Parker: I think we should want to keep the practice of cousin marriage out of the West and also to keep Islam out of the West as well.

I'm with you! Unfortunately, neither Ireland nor the UK (nor most countries of Europe) bans cousin marriage. As I've written before, normally I wouldn't care if cousins married cousins -- if it happens in low numbers, I don't think it has much effect on society -- and normally I think people should be allowed to make such life choices on their own. But, the mass immigration of Muslims to Europe and the West is NOT normal. We need to ban cousin-marriage (and the related arranged marriages) if we're ever to stand a hope in h*ll of assimilating all of these Muslim immigrants.

BTW -- HUGE hat-tip to you (and Steve Sailer and Stanley Kurtz) for all your thinking and writing about cousin-marriage practices and politics, etc! It was your writings that got me to thinking that institutionalised cousin-marriage must also have other effects on societies as well. (You're permanently listed in my "Important Publications" section in my blog's right-hand column, see?) Cheers! :-)

Hibernia Girl said at July 24, 2008 7:43 AM:

Oops! Those links that I tried to leave are:

Cousin marriage (especially father's-brother's-daughter marriage, which as you know is of key importance) came first in the Middle East/Saudi Arabia -- Islam afterwards.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/3774053

As I've written before....

http://hiberniagirl.blogspot.com/2008/02/david-mcwilliams-on-muslim-integration.html

Hibernia Girl said at July 24, 2008 7:59 AM:

JSBolton: Populations which can sustain these larger loyalties form larger nations than others, larger armies all on one side, larger corporations, universities and more. Does this arise from a custom against cousin marriage for the most part, though, or from capacities of spontaneous cooperation which will benefit all if there is little or no cheating, or both or neither?

I think that low inbreeding rates have played quite a big part in the ability of some peoples to form larger, stable nations.

I don't think it's coincidental that, on the one hand, the Catholic Church banned cousin-marriage from quite early on and that, on the other hand, Europe/the West turned out (eventually) to be the way that it is -- more-or-less democratic, stable, cooperative peoples, relatively strong personal freedoms including for women, etc., etc. (I don't think the Church's intentions in banning cousin-marriage were for the good of the people or society, mind you -- prolly something to do with weakening extended families' property rights or something like that -- especially families that were in competition with aristocratic families who were allied with the Church -- or who WERE the Church!) There's more to it than cousin-marriage, of course -- but I think it -- or its absence -- has played a significant part.

The question then is, can one have too much out-breeding? (Or, is there an ideal balance somewhere and, if there is, what is it?):

http://bnww.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/toward-a-scientific-conception-of-xenophilia/

Dave said at July 24, 2008 1:06 PM:

But many years ago wasn't cousin marriage normal throughout the West too? Before easy long distance transport. Howcome it didn't have the same effects as you say it causes Middle-Easterners?

Hibernia Girl said at July 24, 2008 4:51 PM:

Dave: But many years ago wasn't cousin marriage normal throughout the West too? Before easy long distance transport. Howcome it didn't have the same effects as you say it causes Middle-Easterners?

Historically in western Europe cousin marriage was never as pervasive as it is in, for instance, the Middle East or countries like Pakistan & Afghanistan today. For example, the Saudis have a 50%+ rate of cousin-marriage nowadays.

Also, there is a specific form of cousin-marriage practiced in the Middle East today that, I think, makes a difference. Rather than many people marrying any, old first cousin (as was the case in Europe once-upon-a-time), Saudis and others marry males specifically to their paternal cousins (father's brother's daughter). So, you get these strong clan/genetic bonds built up via the male lines -- very paternalistic.

If you think about it, males inherit their Y-chromosome from their fathers, right? And so on down the line. If a male marries his paternal cousin, the woman's father has guaranteed that his grandsons (via this union) will also have his Y-chromosome (that he shares with his brother). This wouldn't have happened if she married her maternal cousin. The male lines are, therefore, very inbred in Middle Eastern/some South Asian societies.

This father's brother's daughter form of marriage has been institutionalised in these countries. Such a practice was never so in the West.

skot german said at July 25, 2008 6:34 AM:

"Historically in western Europe cousin marriage was never as pervasive as it is in, for instance, the Middle East or countries like Pakistan & Afghanistan today." But it was pervasive?

Then, cousin marriage in European populations did not have reproductive advantages that caused it to become institutionalized. This is another piece of evidence that points to innate psychological differences between Middle Easterners and Europeans. Psychological differences between Middle Easterners and Europeans makes cousin marriage reproductively advantageous for Middle Easterners but not for Europeans.

We are not all the same inside. Middle Easterners cannot be turned into to Europeans by simply banning some of their practices.

JSBolton said at July 26, 2008 3:53 PM:

Replying to HG: Isteve.blogspot.com of Saturday, February 9, 2008 has...
"The Darwinian Sweet Spot: 3rd Cousin Marriages?
It's long been understood theoretically that there must exist a Darwinian fitness trade-off between too much inbreeding and too much outbreeding, but nobody knew where that was..." and the comments also discuss the issue of the present post, i.e. consequences on political organization of excess inbreeding. I argue that the faux-idealization of outbreeding is a smear method of propaganda, serving power ambitions.
It is good to raise this question though, especially since it
reveals a major, insuperable contradiction for the power-greedy on the left and moderate right: we're pro-diversity and against inbreeding no matter how broadly defined, AND we're pro-diversity when this includes extravagant tolerance of immigrants' arranged marriages of 1ST cousins! The contradiction reveals extreme dishonesty, insincerity and bad faith on the part of the conspicuously pro-diversity, and there is no way out of it. Hammer away at it as long and as hard as you can or would


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