The old Robert E. Howard version is actually pretty much what happened

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

David Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here addresses some fascinating questions of prehistory, and reviewing it gives Steve Sailer the opportunity to repeat what he’s found in his own reading:

For example, India played a large role in the development of European conceptions of race. In 1786 British judge William Jones delivered a lecture in Calcutta suggesting that Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin were all descended from the same lost language, a ghost tongue now called Proto-Indo-European.

Jones went on to hypothesize that an ancient invasion of Dravidian-speaking India by Proto-Indo-European-speaking Aryans from Iran could help explain the curious distribution of language, skin color, and caste within the Hindu world today.


Hitler thus culturally appropriated the Hindu swastika.

Since 1945, the notion of Aryan invaders has been unsurprisingly unpopular.

In Europe, anthropologists have promoted the “pots not people” theory to argue that trade and changes in fashion must explain why Corded Ware pots suddenly showed up all over Europe about 4,900 years ago. (So did battle axes; indeed, early scientists called this the Battle Axe Culture. But that sounded too awesome. Hence, more recent academics renamed it after its pottery style to make these brutal barbarians sound dweebier and thus less interesting to boys.)

In India, the notion of Hindu culture as a giant conspiracy by Aryan invaders to enshrine their descendants at the top of the social order for the rest of eternity perhaps struck a little too close to home.

But Reich’s laboratory has found that the old Robert E. Howard version is actually pretty much what happened. Conan the Barbarian-like warriors with their horse-drawn wagons came charging off the Eurasian steppe and overran much of Europe and India.


Much more acceptable to Indian intellectuals than the idea that ancient conquerors from the Russian or Kazakhstani steppe took over the upper reaches of Indian culture has been the theory of Nicholas B. Dirks, the Franz Boas Professor of History and Anthropology at Columbia, that the British malignantly transformed diverse local Indian customs into the suffocating system of caste that we know today.

Now, though, Reich’s genetic evidence shows that caste has controlled who married whom in India for thousands of years.


This is in harmony with economic historian Gregory Clark’s recent discovery in his book of surname analysis, The Son Also Rises (Clark loves Hemingway puns), that economic mobility across the generations is not only lower than expected in most of the world, but it is virtually nonexistent in India.

Just as you’d imagine, Reich found that the highly nationalist Chinese turn out to be genetically quite homogeneous, while the Indians are genetically diverse due to caste divvying them up into thousands of inbreeding groups.


In general, “migration” and “mixture” tend in Reich’s book to serve as euphemisms for genocide of the native males and rape of the native females. Reich lists numerous examples from around the world where genetic data show that newcomers enslaved or murdered the local men and turned their women into concubines.

Fortunately, for the past 4,500 years, “ancient Britons harbored a blend of ancestries very similar to that of present-day Britons.” The Roman conquest didn’t leave much of a genetic mark, and the later Anglo-Saxon, Danish, and Norman invaders were genetically similar enough to earlier Britons that geneticists have only recently begun to disentangle them.

After 1066, the island race enjoyed a long halcyon era without new invaders raping and pillaging. But all good things evidently have to come to an end. As Benjamin Schwarz has pointed out, “In fact, Britain today receives more immigrants in a single year than it did in the entire period from 1066 to 1950.”

Reich is upset that his genetic discoveries have more or less upheld the old German archaeologist Gustaf Koussina’s theory that Germans were descended from Aryans.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    In Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., P. Menozzi, and A. Piazza’s The History and Geography of Human Genes, the authors’ demonstrate the reality of races and posit an evolutionary tree for them. Conspicuously, however, they were forced (?) to insert a disclaimer that they had not in fact demonstrated the reality of races and that races did not exist. But their own data contradict them.

    E pur si muove.

    And we “Moderns” are so contemptuous of the Renaissance Church and Cardinal Bellarmine.

  2. Kirk says:

    Much of modern “scientific belief” is as much a religion as the old dogmatic faiths descending from Abraham.

    Problem is, the adherents of such refuse to recognize that fact, and treat the pronouncements of their prophets as both irrefutable and unfalsifiable. The amazing thing to me is that many of the most vociferous will malign those of faith, and yet will not recognize that they themselves are similarly haunted by the unthinking demons they imagine the faithful to follow.

    Race exists, I’m afraid. I don’t know that I follow the usual precepts about inferiority and superiority, though: I frame the issue as more in the realm of adaptation. Certain consistencies in behavior and action are observable as heritable across lineages; those lineages are generally also coincidental with some externally observable traits. They’re not always consistent, but it’s akin to the way that when you domesticate animals, the principles of neoteny are observable across species, with similar effect on behavior and appearances. The question is how much this affects the manner in which we should conduct ourselves?

    I do not think that the behavioral traits which we receive in our biological heritage are necessarily immutable; if you are descended from child-raping molesters in multiple generations, you are emphatically not doomed to become one yourself. You may have the inclination; you may have the desire; but… You are not forced by those genes or whatever it is lurking in the cell structures which expresses itself as behavior to actually act on those things. You have the ability to override inclination and desire; you may transcend the gifts or curses bestowed upon you by your lineage.

    Racism is a crutch, one that utilizes stereotypes, and sadly it is often a useful one. You see a crowd of young black men bearing down on you outside the Minnesota State Fair, and they’re dressed like gang-bangers…? Well, you can either act rationally on what your personal experience has been with that sort of group, or you may find yourself the victim of a “beat whitey” incident. That’s not racism, per se–That’s pure survival-oriented pragmatism. But, you’d be termed a racist by all and sundry, on the activist left.

    In an ideal world, you should be able to ignore the outward markers of race. Unfortunately, the outward markers are often indicative of probable behavior, and ignoring those signs and visible symptoms is something you can only do at your peril.

  3. Alistair says:

    Gods, yes, I remember reading Cavalli-Sforza, huge WTF moment; lucid and devastating, and quite beautiful charts.

    Then I went away and read all the maths behind it, which was interesting too.

    Our descendants will treat the denial of human biodiversity by our civilisation with the same scorn we mock Lysenkoism and Phrenology; the triumph of politics over science.

  4. Kirk says:


    And, the one thing you can count on? They’ll have their own set of foibles and intellectual disorders analogous to ours and the ones you call out.

    It’s all part of the human condition, I fear. The truly rational man ain’t evolved yet, and I somehow suspect that when and if he does, he ain’t gonna be viable in this world of ours.

  5. Jim says:

    Kirk – No doubt if you want to be a platypus you can transcend your genes and magically transform yourself into one.

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