Inbreeding and sadism — on a vast scale

I have been reading and enjoying Leslie Carroll’s Royal Pains: A Rogues’ Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds.  Focusing on Eastern and Western Europe from the 12th century onwards, it’s a brisk walk through royal excesses.

Having read about half the book now, I think that “bad seeds” is the operative phrase in the title. One of the stand-out features of European royalty is the inbreeding, because the royals confined themselves to an extremely small pool of available matrimonial candidates.  This meant that cousin marriages were normative. That inbreeding didn’t just lead to such features as the infamously ugly Hapsburg jaw, it led to insanity.  When that insanity was mixed with a toxic, already violent environment and unlimited power, it all too often manifested itself as grandiose sadism.

The most deranged royal killers were all the products of inbreeding mixed with extremely violent environments (cultures that tortured, violent parents, war and dislocation, etc.).  Examples are Caligula, Vlad Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory, Ivan the Terrible, the Duke of Cumberland, and Peter III of Russia.  As you can see, with the exception of the Duke of Cumberland, who used the military discipline structure to play out his sadism, the most famous sadists were unfettered totalitarian monarchs in the Roman Empire, Russia and Central Europe.  Western European monarchs had stronger structural limits preventing the worst excesses of their insanity.  They went insane (Juana of Spain, Ludwig  of Bavaria), but they were pathetic, not violent.

And the ones I’ve named were very, very violent indeed.  Although all lived in times that thought nothing of rape, torture, and mass murder, and that considered executions a form of public entertainment, the rulers I’ve named were infamous in their own times for the imagination they brought to causing suffering, for the scope of their sadism, and for the manifest, often sexual pleasure, they derived from their bloody, pain-filled escapades.  They killed, not just for political advantage (or, in Bathory’s case, not at all for political advantage), but because they delighted in causing the maximum amount of pain to their victims.

The above essay isn’t just to introduce you to an interesting book, or to ruin your current meal.  It’s a lead-in to an American Thinker article about the inbreeding that goes on in the Muslim world.  I’ve long known about the inbreeding, but I really never thought of it on the scale that Ann Barnhardt describes:  1,400 years of inbreeding.

I also knew that inbreeding causes diseases and mental defects (and think about that on a 1,400 year time line), but it wasn’t until I read Carroll’s books that it occurred to me that inbreeding, plus a violent culture, correlates to sadism.  This may help explain why Islamic countries, aside from being tied to their Koran, have never been able to abandon their medieval approach to punishment (stoning, cutting off limbs, whipping, public hangings, etc.):  It’s entirely possible that, as a result of birth defects, a significant part of the population, or at least of the rule classes, enjoys the spectacle at a very deep and sick level.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • David Foster

    I wouldn’t be surprised if sexual practices also have something to do with sadism in these societies. If the vast majority of women have their clitorises (clitori?) removed, often using especially brutal methods, and are hence unable to enjoy sex at all and indeed in many cases find it always to be painful, then it is going to be difficult for most *men* to enjoy sex unless they are at least somewhat sadistic.

  • Randall Woodman

    I went and read that article.  Very interesting.

  • jj

    I don’t know whether inbreeding causes, per se, mental defects.  Certainly Egypt at its BCE height in the greatest dynastic pharaoh households went well beyond mere inbreeding and straight into out-and-out incest, and it doesn’t seem to have caused much in the way of horrific behavior.  It was in fact the norm during the centuries of Egypt’s Golden Age.  So I don’t know – I see the problem, remain uncertain of the cause, and of course geneticists have been warning us against cavorting with too small a pool – or our first cousins – since there have been geneticists.
    But what we do know happens in too small a pool is that when a virus gets introduced, it very quickly spreads and becomes a common feature.  The British royal house (I knew England a lot better than Vlad the Impaler’s family) was mostly okay for a long time, in part because it was never very close to being the identical royal house for very long.  The Plantagenets were an entirely different genetic path and bloodline, except for a couple of cousins, than the Tudors (who had as much right to the throne as the average cart-horse, but there you go).  The Tudors bore only a touch-and-go relationship to the Stuarts – distant cousins – and the Stuarts connect to the subsequent Hanoverians by one marriage.
    And that’s where their problem comes: the admission into the family of the German blood.  Which is almost a joke – sorry – but the fact is when the Hanoverian blood showed up, so did a (apparently, because it continues right to the previous generation) dominant, very strong, practically-unkillable, nearly-impossible-to-eliminate strain of genuine lunacy.  The first regnant with the blood of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover was George I – not so bad; George II – kind of wobbly, George III – as the English say: barking.  So was his kid, George IV – absolutely barking.  His brother William IV not completely insane but not real swell – and his brother had a daughter named Victoria who, not satisfied with the “cousins-to-be-named-later” already in loony-bins all over England married the Sax-Coburg and Gotha blood, which fit right in with the Hanoverian blood.  Victoria’s kids were not great (aside from spreading hemophilia through the royal lines of Europe), and her grandson, who was probably not Jack the Ripper (because that would have taken some functional brain cells and he had just about none) should have been confined for his own protection.  Her great-grandson David, Edward VIII, had the mind of a child as his letters and diaries have shown – it was actually quite lucky for England he abdicated – and he had two female cousins who, as Elizabeth admitted a few years back, she had only seen a couple of times in her life because these aunts spent their entire lives confined.  The world didn’t know they existed until she copped to it back in the nineties.
    And of course things have probably not been improved by the addition of the Spencer genes.  Diana was a nice girl, certainly; but when the going got tough she did not get going, did she?  Her reaction to stress was to go a little nuts.
    So I don’t know.  I don’t know if too small a pool is causative of the problems, or if it just allows the virus entry, from which point – owing to the smallness of the pool – it has the opportunity to spread to just about everybody.  I know the Mountbatten-Windsors have produced a continuing strain of genuine insanity that is directly traceable to the introduction of the German blood – they are in fact cousins of Ludwig III.  (Who was nuts, but a hell of an architect.)  But the point is, they didn’t produce that strain pre-Kraut blood.
    I don’t know – it’s an interesting thesis.  Since the population bottleneck with the eruption of Toba in the not-so-distant past, and the ensuing global cooling disaster that knocked the human race down to as few as a couple of thousand breeding females (I’ve seen estimates that place it at fewer than a thousand – all seven billion of us are much, much closer genetically than we should be), maybe we’re all nuts.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Even if not “incest” and at the risk of sounding Freudian, how many of the world’s ills can be explained on the basis of unrequited and otherwise problematic relations between men and women or sex in general? Herein perhaps lies the explanation for why so many societies have/ used-to-have complex taboos pertaining to “sex.” 

    I’ve often wondered if the role of societal taboos was to act as behavioral circuit breakers, preventing behaviors that would inevitably lead to bad things happening in society, even if the taboo behaviors appeared innocuous in and of themselves.

    Taboos, of course, went out of fashion long ago. Breaking taboos (e.g., incest) may not have had immediate consequences, but over time their disastrous consequences became evident. 

  • Ymarsakar

    Most genetic strains are dormant until triggered by external environmental factors or stresses. Coincidentally, Arabic and Muslim family and society are extremely dysfunctional. There are plenty of negative stimuli to bring out the worst traits in the human genome.


    It’s official – they’re nuts, with or w/o the inbreeding.
    Muslim faithful who had come to perform Asr prayer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah were shocked when a man snatched the microphone and declared he was the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam who is expected to come prior to the Day of Resurrection.

    According to eyewitnesses, the imam has just started the prayer when the man grabbed the microphone and made his announcement. Security officers inside the mosque quickly arrested the man, who was said to be an Egyptian national in his 30s.
    Security officers took the man to the police station at the mosque’s premises for investigation.
    Police deduced that the man was suffering from mental problems.

  • Charles Martel

    “The first regnant with the blood of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover was George I – not so bad; George II – kind of wobbly, George III – as the English say: barking.  So was his kid, George IV – absolutely barking.”

    I would love to see a history book written by jj or Danny quietly replace all the Howard Zinn tomes that currently pollute U.S. schools.  

  • Spartacus

    “Even if not ‘incest’ and at the risk of sounding Freudian, how many of the world’s ills can be explained on the basis of unrequited and otherwise problematic relations between men and women or sex in general?”
    — Monsieur Lemieux
    Forgive me if this point has been made here before — especially if made by some insightful thinker whom I am through faulty memory failing to credit — but allow me to suggest that it may be partly sexual tension that drives otherwise-somewhat-normal Ahmeds to strap on vests made of the finest Semtex and demonstrate their explosive personality.  Just a thought.
    See, Islam promises all these hyper-hormonal adolescent males a society of docile and domestic females, several of whom any given zit-faced jihadi might just take as slav… er, wives.  They’re circumcised, so no need to worry about them running off with Ibrahim next door for a little fun, because it wouldn’t be fun.  And they are made to wear small tents, so no need to worry about Ibrahim wanting to run off with them, because… really, how sexy is a tent?  And Ibrahim won’t be lured in by her lively conversation, because  1) never having been allowed to go to school, she isn’t an edifying conversationalist; and  2) she isn’t actually allowed to speak to him in the first place.  So, in the subconscious reasoning of our budding young, zit-faced jihadi, no matter what a lamentable loser he may be, he can still count on being liberally lubricated by libidinous and liberation-lorn lovelies all his long life.
    Now enter from stage right Great Satan, Little Satan, and their dysfunctional, navel-gazing, socialist, satanic minions with funny accents.  They begin to sing in a chorus that circumcised tents are people, too.  And that circumcised tents should be allowed to drive cars!  And go to school!  And run for public office, from which they could overrrule even the beloved imam!  And that they should be allowed to wear anything they want to, and almost nothing if they want to, so that zit-faced Ahmed would be thrown into a chaotic supply-and-demand arena in order to secure for himself on his own (lacking) merits whatever libidinous lubrications he might desire!  And that all men should be fit into muzzles, chains and harnesses and sold into slavery to whip-bearing circumcised tents!  (Rashid and Mustafa mumbled something about how maybe the imam was exaggerating on that one, but if Great Satan and Little Satan are so evil anyway, who cares, because the end justifies the means, and the wise imam understands this.)
    Now, the arithmetically astute might point out that in a polygamous society, not all of the -gamous are going to be poly-.  In fact, not all are going to be -gamous at all.  And whom to blame for this profound unfairness?  The self-critical, zit-faced jihadi might consider that the long straws drawn by the imam and his wealthy friends might somehow factor into the short straw drawn by him.  (As a small consolation, he might consider that no circumcised tent would know about his short straw until he drew it upon her on their wedding night.)  But, reflecting upon the 72 virgins awaiting him in paradise… actually, some scholars point out that from the original, “virgins” might alternately be translated as “white raisins,” but would The Prophet (praise be unto him) reward his most faithful warriors with a mere six dozen shriveled grapes?  Hardly!  And so Ahmed trades in his dreams of a Goretex jacket (praise be unto the inventor of the Internet) for dreams of a Semtex jacket (praise be unto Allah).
    “I would love to see a history book written by jj or Danny quietly replace all the Howard Zinn tomes that currently pollute U.S. schools.”
    — Monsieur Martel
    I would love to see a history book written by jj or Danny LOUDLY replace all the Howard Zinn tomes that currently pollute U.S. schools.
    I would settle for a comprehensive and well-coded Javascript map of all the “schools” in the U.S. that are currently polluted by Zinnful* thinking.

    (Sorry, Sadie, am I stepping on your proprietary turf?)  😉

  • Charles Martel

    Spartacus, wow. That has got to be one of the best, most entertaining takedowns of Muslim thinking evuh.
    Also, a kudos for daring to pun in the presence of the punopposed Queen of Punnery, Sadie herself.

  • Ymarsakar

    One of the things I always wanted to see done was to kill terrorists by strapping bombs on them and making them blow up as we drop them from high altitude. We could then produce good propaganda claiming that we did so to honor their religious views while really just using it as a threat to make them talk. Until we dispose of them, at least.

    In fact, I really want to strap a bomb on them, put the bomb on the payload thingie of a fighter-bomber, and drop the terror guy and his bomb on his jihadi friends. That would be good. That would be beautiful. Right?

  • Ymarsakar

    Also, if I was running a shadow war against the Left, I would be seriously considering kidnapping or killing Leftist agents and pretending I’m the Islamic jihad doing so cause I was pissed off at Leftist feminism or something.

    Make both of our enemies fear, hate, and fight each other. Not this whole “let’s watch thing”. No. It’s the whole “let’s make them fight while we watch thing”. The former is being lazy and apathetic. The latter requires skill and risk taking.

    I mean seriously. The Left doesn’t do anything Islam tells them not to. That’s a serious strategic advantage for us if we can take on the mantle of the jihad, take a few on the Left, execute them, put the video up on Al Jazeera, and make ridiculous demands of the Left. Hopefully they either comply, weakening them in the eyes of us all, or they don’t, provoking even more “islamic rage”.

    Of course, most people in AMerica still think of the “Left” as their buddies or at least semi neutrals in the fight for America’s survival. *snorts*

    People are a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to things like organized evil. They were the same way with the KGB, thinking it was harmless… until the venona transcripts became available and the COld War ended.

  • Ymarsakar

    Interestingly, Caligula’s wiki bio appears like a shadow copy of Obama’s.

    Caligula accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by theSenate and entered Rome on 28 March amid a crowd that hailed him as “our baby” and “our star,” among other nicknames.[27] Caligula is described as the first emperor who was admired by everyone in “all the world, from the rising to the setting sun.”[28] Caligula was loved by many for being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus,[27] and because he was not Tiberius.[29] It was said by Suetonius that over 160,000 animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in the new reign.[30][31] Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula’s reign as completely blissful.

    According to Cassius Dio, a financial crisis emerged in AD 39.[41] Suetonius places the beginning of this crisis in 38.[42] Caligula’s political payments for support, generosity and extravagance had exhausted the state’s treasury. Ancient historians state that Caligula began falsely accusing, fining and even killing individuals for the purpose of seizing their estates.[43] A number of other desperate measures by Caligula are described by historians. In order to gain funds, Caligula asked the public to lend the state money.[44] Caligula levied taxes on lawsuits, marriage and prostitution.[45] Caligula began auctioning the lives of the gladiators at shows.[43][46] Wills that left items to Tiberius were reinterpreted to leave the items instead to Caligula.[47] Centurions who had acquired property during plundering were forced to turn over spoils to the state.[47] The current and past highway commissioners were accused of incompetence and embezzlement and forced to repay money.[47] According to Suetonius, in the first year of Caligula’s reign he squandered 2,700,000,000 sesterces that Tiberius had amassed.[48] His nephew Nero Caesar both envied and admired the fact that Gaius had run through the vast wealth Tiberius had left him in so short a time.

    In AD 40, Caligula began implementing very controversial policies that introduced religion into his political role. Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.[72]Reportedly, he began referring to himself as a god when meeting with politicians and he was referred to as Jupiter on occasion in public documents.[73][74] A sacred precinct was set apart for his worship at Miletus in the province of Asia and two temples were erected for worship of him in Rome.[74] The Temple of Castor and Pollux on the Forum was linked directly to the Imperial residence on the Palatine and dedicated to Caligula.[74][75] He would appear here on occasion and present himself as a god to the public. Caligula had the heads removed from various statues of gods and replaced with his own in various temples



    but allow me to suggest that it may be partly sexual tension that drives otherwise-somewhat-normal Ahmeds to strap on vests made of the finest Semtex and demonstrate their explosive personality.
    ….or a simple reading error. Ahmed beset with a zit infested face made his way to the nearest pharmacy to buy retinol. Directions on the product promised to ‘blast’ the zits away and return him to his pre-acne daze. Ahmed, dutifully following the local imam and part-time pharmacists instructions, applied the cream along with the imam recommended dose of C-5, which promised the boy wonder that he would  reach the acme of all things in his next life.


    Totally unrelated to the topic, unless the topic is a pun.
    Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood on air traffic controllers falling asleep at the switch.

    “I guarantee the flying public we will not sleep until we can guarantee that there’s good safety in the control towers when these planes are coming in and out of airports,” LaHood told ABC’s “World News.”

  • Tonestaple

    Back to what David Foster said, I have long suspected that, whenever some poor woman is getting lashed or caned or stoned, there are raging hard-ons underneath all those robes.  Maybe that’s why they still wear robes, to conceal the evidence.  There’s no way that the men with the power don’t relish their power and don’t want to use their power.  The easiest way to use it is against the least powerful, the women.  There’s no way this doesn’t have a sexual component.

  • Charles Martel

    Ironically, in Muslim societies women are perceived both as totally powerful and totally powerless. Their power is their ability to incite raging lust in men who have absolutely no clue how to respond to them in a civilized way. How do you court or treat gently a demon who can bring you to instant boil and loss of control simply by talking to you or showing an ankle bone?

    So, the best response is to assert control by taking all power away from them. Best of both worlds—you can subliminate your feeling of helplessness by asserting a mastery over women that your fragile and inept manhood could never otherwise muster.  

    Islam delenda est.

  • Ymarsakar

    Martel, they saw Bush as both being a fascist dictator as well as a powerless puppet that couldn’t do anything to them. Like, oh, putting up against a wall and shot for mouthing off.

  • Spartacus

    Ymarsakar, I think you’ve been watching Dr. Strangelove.  But with the hyper-accurate munitions guidance systems the USAF is using these days, I’ll bet you could accomplish the mission even without the bomb: just lash your terrorist tightly to a short pole, put articulated tailfins on his feet, a little nosecone on his head (just don’t call it a dunce cap, ’cause that would be deemed offensive), a guidance computer on his back, and… bombs away!  This solution would also be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional high-explosive munitions.

  • Ymarsakar

    No, strange enough to say, I came up with that idea on my own.

  • Ymarsakar

    i think the whole inshallah thing would make their terror human bombs mighty inaccurate.

  • Mike Devx

    Tonestaple #15:
    > Back to what David Foster said, I have long suspected that, whenever some poor woman is getting lashed or caned or stoned, there are raging hard-ons underneath all those robes.

    Do you have a Zach-approved link to prove that there are raging hardons underneath those robes?  And what is the median income of the robe-worthy?  And are those studies “highly respected” by those who enjoy declaring such studies to be “highly-respected”?  I’d declare your commentary “highly respected”, because it is by me, but somehow I suspect that won’t cut it with Zach.  I’m not on the approved list of the creators of highly-respected opinion making.

  • Charles Martel

    I linked to the site where the papers of the late Edward Said (pbuh) are kept. As you know, Said was the famous orientalist who proved that the West is irredeemably racist and imperialist in its notions about the Islamic world. He said that one of the West’s great misconceptions is that Muslim men are not virile, thus, their contempt for women. However, it is a well known fact, he said, that Arab Muslim men are so well endowed that the weight of their “packages” is what caused the dip between the humps on bactrian camels. Dromedary camels have escaped the body-changing effects of oversized Muslim, uh, parts, by having only prepubescent boy dancers assigned to ride them.

    Now, we all know Said is a highly respected source. So he has said it. So it is.