[VDARE.COM note: The preamble to the U.S. Constitution says its purpose is "to form a more perfect union… [for] ourselves and our posterity" – the Founders` posterity, not posterity in general. Now read on!]
Last week I pointed out that the triumph of capitalist democracy over communist tyranny didn`t bring "the end of history" (as Francis Fukuyama forecast in his famous article by that name) because the stuff of history is not so much conflict between ideologies as between groups—groups — what Lenin called with brutal brevity: "Who? Whom?"
I then came across a new population genetics study (in PDF format) that offers a remarkably lurid example of "Who? Whom?" in action. (Here`s my UPI article on the subject. Nicholas Wade, the excellent genetics reporter, should have his version of the story in the New York Times on Tuesday, Feb. 11.)
A famous historical figure left such a massive genetic footprint on a continent that his impact leaps out of the data. (I won`t tell you right away who it was so that you can try to guess.)
The Y-chromosome is found only in men. So it is passed down virtually unchanged from father to son to grandson and so on, like a surname. The world population has grown about 20 times since this famous historical figure was in his prime about eight centuries ago. So his male contemporaries on average now have 20 descendants alive today, carrying their Y-chromosomes. (Of course, many men who were alive in 1200 now have no direct descendants in this paternal lineage—or in any lineage.)
In contrast, this famous historical figure`s Y-chromosome is now found in about 16 million men across a vast stretch of Asia from Afghanistan to Manchuria. In some regions, at least a quarter of the living males are his direct male line offspring.
He has been roughly 800,000 times more successful at propagating his Y-chromosome than the average man of his era.
So, who was this mega-Who?
Genghis Khan had six Mongolian and many foreign wives, and a rule that he got the pick of all captured women (and horses).
Of course, this Darwinian imperative to spread ones` genes is all ancient history now, because nobody in our sophisticated modern world competes for land, resources, and status for their descendants` sake. That`s so barbaric.
Oh, except that—as you see in the newspaper every day—people everywhere still do exactly that.
Personally speaking, the dynastic urge burns less vigorously in me than it did in Genghis Khan. Still, I do have certain hopes for my progeny.
For example, I would like my sons to be able to afford to marry and have grandchildren before I`m dead and gone. (Everybody who has gone through the work of having children wants the pleasure of having grandchildren.)
Here in Southern California, though, judging by the weddings I`ve attended recently, it`s becoming more common for middle class men to delay getting married until they are approaching 40. Marriage out here is increasingly reverting to what it was in Jane Austen`s novels: a luxury that many cannot currently — and some may never — afford.
A big cause: the increasing difficulty Californians now face in scraping together the money to buy a house large enough to raise a family in. A television character actress recently bought the home next door to me in not terribly fashionable Studio City (1700 sq. feet on a 1/5th acre lot) for…$539,000.
Beyond real estate prices, state income taxes are a severe burden—in sizable part to pay for educating the children of illegal aliens.
And most of us in Los Angeles` bourgeoisie don`t want to send our kids to public schools full of illegal aliens` kids. So we must also shell out for private schools.
Obviously, mass immigration has hit Southern California harder than in most of the country. But these kinds of impacts are spreading nationwide—as both immigrants and California natives find the once-Golden State increasingly unsatisfactory, and leave.
Sure, housing is still reasonable in, say, Lancaster out in the high desert, where the scorching winds blow the dust every afternoon. But if you want to buy a house with a yard somewhere close enough to the Pacific Ocean to enjoy a Mediterranean climate (say, 50 miles) well, then—like Austen`s characters—you should choose your parents wisely.
Namely, pick ones who will make a big wad and then kick the bucket young, leaving it all to you.
My sons, however, definitely chose imprudently in regard to parental wad-making (and, I hope, in regard to bucket-kicking as well).
Is it too much to ask that my family get some help from our elected officials?
Merely enforcing the immigration laws would be a start.
It would be very unfortunate if Genghis Khan`s reproductive strategy turned out to be the best.