Genes, Not “Culture”—Why the Japanese Don`t Loot

As Japan`s
agony grinds on, more and more foreign observers are
marveling at the

disciplined, orderly behavior of the victims
of one

the greatest natural disasters
of our time. Homeless
Japanese patiently stand in line for food and water.
They huddle uncomplainingly in cramped shelters. They do
not loot. Why is the aftermath of catastrophe in

so unlike that in


New Orleans?

expert after Japan expert has been rolled out to give
the obligatory one-word answer—culture.
But that`s not an explanation. All these experts do is
describe the Japanese: they are community-minded, polite, honest,
stoical, they care about
face, etc. We knew that already. Tell us
why they are that way.

implication of this mantra-like repetition of the word
implies that cultures drop out of the sky, that the

lucky Japanese
got a good one and

the Haitians got a bad one
. This implies that
patterns of behavior are essentially arbitrary and any
group can acquire them. If Haitians could

live in
for a few generations they would behave just like

people know better than the experts. When Ed West in the
London Daily
wrote a brief article asking why the Japanese weren`t
rioting, he got nearly 4,000 comments in three days—and
not very many were about culture. [Why
is there no looting in Japan? – Telegraph Blogs
number of

has begun to shrink as the
Daily Telegraph
deletes the ones it doesn`t like.)

generally had two explanations: (1) There must be
something about the genetics of the Japanese, and (2)
they benefit from homogeneity.

A few days
ago, I

on my website
that the main thing that keeps the
Japanese from looting is the fact that they are not
black, but that was flip. The question deserves a longer

I am
certainly as willing as
Daily Telegraph
readers to credit genes and homogeneity for all
manner of good things, but the experts may not be
completely wrong about
either. It is conceivable that others could acquire
some of the traits that help the Japanese deal with a
crisis. Let us consider genes, homogeneity, and culture,
each in turn.


crucial genetic contribution
to the exemplary
behavior of the Japanese is intelligence. Liberals like
to pretend that, even if there really is such a thing as
intelligence, it has no moral value, and people of low
intelligence can be just as
“good” as
smart people. But, as Michael Levin (Why Race Matters,
New Century Books, 2005) and others have
pointed out, this is not true. High intelligence is
invariably associated with greater law-abidingness.

experts such as

James Q. Wilson
note that it has long been known
that criminals have sub-normal IQs. Despite the
impression we get from trials of

high-profile stock fraudsters
and pyramid-scheme
bandits, sub-normal IQ is the norm even for white collar
crimes such as fraud and forgery.

intelligence is associated with a limited ability to
conceive of the pain or loss of others and an
unwillingness to sacrifice today for benefits tomorrow.
These traits are central to the smash-and-grab mentality
both of common criminals and post-disaster looters (who

are often the same people
). A high-IQ society—and
Japan`s average IQ of 103 to 105 puts it at the top of
the world ranking (Richard Lynn, Race Differences in Intelligence,
2006)—tends to be a low-crime society. Such societies
stay true to form even when the forces of order are
paralyzed by a natural disaster.

national groups also have what could be called an
in addition to an average IQ. Though
personality is less intensively studied than
intelligence, traits other than intelligence contribute
to group differences. In

The Bell Curve
, Richard


Charles Murray
found marked group differences in
rates of crime, illegitimacy, poverty, and professional
achievement even after controlling for IQ. A black with
an IQ of 115, for example, is more likely than a white
of the same IQ to be

behind bars
or have an

illegitimate child
. And a white is more likely to be
in those predicaments than an Asian of the same
intelligence. IQ explains a lot, but doesn`t explain

Lynn has found consistent racial differences in the
distribution of psychopathic personality as measured by
standard tests. For example, US scores on the
Psychopathic Deviate Scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI) show a consistent pattern:


American Indians
next, whites at the mid-range, and
Japanese and Chinese lowest. [Race and Psychopathic Personality,
American Renaissance, July 2002]

therefore have a very favorable combination of genetic
traits: a high average intelligence, combined with a low
incidence of personality factors associated with crime.

As for

, the comments to article about looting
at the Telegraph
show that ordinary people are not fooled by fashionable
rubbish about

diversity being strength.
And, again, their
intuitions are correct.

In what is
undoubtedly the most comprehensive study of the subject,
Tatu Vanhanen of Finland finds correlations of 0.6 to0
.9 between population diversity and sectarian violence.
(Tatu Vanhanen, Ethnic Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism, JAI Press, 1999.) Mixed societies like

, w:st="on">Sudan, and the former

have chronic tension; homogeneous ones

, w:st="on">Japan, and w:st="on">Korea do not.

Occasionally, people who are not even writers
suggest that this rule could apply to the United States.

Roberto Suro
] of the Pew Hispanic Trust has

that as many

Hispanics as blacks rioted in Los Angeles in 1992

after the verdict in the

Rodney King
beating trial. Why? “To
people here, this is still a foreign place that belongs
to someone else”
[Roberto Suro, Strangers Among Us: How Latino Immigration is Transforming America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), p.
225.] In a multi-culti society, some people inevitably
feel like outsiders—and behave that way.

matter whom the country belongs to, people have more
trust and sympathy for people like themselves than they
do for people who are different. In the Moscow subway

Russian beggars get the most money from fellow Russians
while Central Asian beggars get money from other Central
. In Florida, older whites are reluctant to
pay taxes for schools that are educating mostly black
and Hispanic children, whereas in


, and

West Virginia
, older whites are happy to pay for the
education of people who are, racially and often
literally, their own grandchildren. [Eduardo

The Divisions That
Tighten the Purse Strings,
New York Times, April
29, 2007.] This quite expression of racial solidarity is
so well established, it even has a name: the Florida

“Diversity” is a source of conflict and tension, not strength, and
the Japanese know it. Thanks to very restrictive
immigration, Japan is one of the most homogeneous
nations on earth. Its people know that the country
belongs to all of them, and they treat it and each other
that way. If Japan had let in just a few of the

and Pakistanis who would love to come, there
would not be as many admiring accounts of
post-earthquake endurance and self-control.

Let us
not forget that even the well-behaved Japanese can run
amok in the face of diversity. After the

Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923
killed more than
100,000 people, rumors spread that resident Koreans were
looting and setting fires. The Japanese considered the
Koreans expendable colonial rabble, and
an estimated 6,000.

Likewise, during the

Second World War
, Japanese

prisoners and enemy civilians. Much as

have tried to downplay it, the Japanese
government now concedes that Imperial troops massacred

thousands of people and looted indiscriminately

during what is known as the
“Rape of Nanking”.

what brought out the murderous worst in the Japanese was
confrontation, in times of war or crisis,
with aliens.
In the case of

or conquered civilians, they were what the
Japanese considered inferior aliens. Today`s earthquake
survivors are exclusively among their own people. And
they treat each other with courtesy and respect.

where does culture take over from heredity and
homogeneity? That is hard to say. If there were a
homogeneous population of Japanese that had been living
away from Japan long enough to have lost many of the
cultural qualities we think of
“Japanese”, it would be possible to make instructive comparisons
about crime rates and social cohesion.

test population:

Japanese Americans
, who are famous for low crime
rates, high academic achievement, low illegitimacy
rates, etc., even after they have been here for
generations. Although they live in
, where

certain groups are well known for rioting and looting,

it is not hard to imagine Japanese Americans behaving
almost exactly like the Japanese in w:st="on">Japan—even if they left so long ago
that they no longer speak Japanese and are indifferent
to the Emperor. Something about being Japanese has

Perhaps an even better example: Japanese

who emigrated to Brazil
and then came back to

in the 1990s. The largest number left

between 1906 and 1941, and many went as plantation
laborers. Most of those who returned had forgotten their
Japanese, and they have had a rocky time trying to
reintegrate. Native Japanese consider them dim,
crime-prone, unreliable, and no longer really Japanese.
With high unemployment in Japan, the government has
actually started offering to pay their way back to
Brazil. [Sun
Sets on Migrants` Japanese Dreams
, by Lindsay
Whipp and Jonathan Wheatley,
Financial Times
, August 26, 2009]

According to official statistics, Japanese-Brazilian
crime rates are indeed about 20 percent

higher than that of natives
. But is that a lot or a
little? It depends on your point of view. In a country
with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, 20
percent might seem like a lot. However, in the United
States, crime rates can vary by race by as much as 1,000
percent (in the case of blacks and whites or blacks and
Asians) [Color Of
There can even be big regional differences even within
the same race. Whites in w:st="on">Texas are

several times more likely
to be

locked up
than whites in
. In the US, a 20
percentage point difference would hardly be noticeable.

accounts for the difference? Is it because
Brazilian-Japanese were lower-class laborers before they
left Japan, and would be more crime prone even if they
had stayed? Is it because they don`t speak Japanese,
face discrimination, and have bad jobs? Or is it because
they picked up
`s inferior
culture? It`s hard to disentangle all this, but there
does seem to be something about the Japanese—even poor,
unpromising ones—that runs deeper than culture.

It is
also possible to compare the Japanese with other Asian
populations. For example, the geneticist

Luigi Cavalli-Sforza
finds that the population most
to the Japanese is the Koreans, even though
the genetic distance between the two groups is about the
same as that between

and Basques, whom we hardly think of as
identical peoples.[See

many ways Koreans—and Korean Americans—behave a lot like
Japanese: low crime, high achievement. The Japanese
think of Koreans—there`s a small expatriate population
of Koreans in Japan–as more individualistic than
themselves and less respectful of authority. They have a
saying that because Japanese work together better, any
10 Japanese can whip any 10 Koreans but you never know
the outcome of a one-on-one contest. Korean murder rates
higher than in Japan
, but assault rates are lower..
The long-established 600,000-strong Korean minority in
Japan actually has lower crime rates than the host
Japanese. So the genetic similarity is accompanied by a
similarity of behavior. And whatever the genetic or
cultural differences between Japanese and Koreans, I
suspect Koreans would be almost as well behaved as
Japanese in the wake of a disaster.

It is
current PC dogma, of course, to assume that all people,
everywhere in the world, are different only in
superficial ways, and that in the same environment all
people would act the same. However, there is not the
slightest evidence for this. Africans tend to behave
like Africans

wherever they are
, no matter how long they have been
there. And the same is true for

North Asians.

evidence even suggests that different human cultures are
rooted deeply in biological differences. People
obviously change in different environments. Japanese who
emigrate to w:st="on">Brazil
speak Portuguese rather than Japanese, but there is
something about their essential nature that appears to
persist. For the same reasons, most populations could
live in Japan for generations and not behave as the
Japanese do.

don`t expect to hear anything about this from the Main
Stream Media “experts”.

Altogether now: if the Japanese do not loot, it is only
because they were lucky enough to get a

Jared Taylor (
him) is editor of

American Renaissance

and the author of 
With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in
Contemporary America
(For Peter Brimelow`s review, click

The long-awaited sequel,

White Identity: Racial Consciousness In The 21st
Century, will be published this year.