Monday, February 24, 2014

Or Does It Explode?

Following up on recent and not-so-recent mentions of guard labor, this from Richard Florida on intentional homicide rates in cities around the world.

What correlates with higher murder rates?

  • Income inequality (also the culprit when it comes to guard labor)
  • Gender inequality 
  • A high score on the "macho index"
The latter two are hallmarks of honor culture as well, which makes sense. As Steven Pinker pointed out in The Better Angels of Our Nature, the New England states, which have murder levels almost as low as Europe's, see just as many people killed in robberies as the Southern states. It's killings that start from arguments and maintaining honor (as described by Carl Hart when talking about his upbringing) that make much of the South more violent than much of the North.

Florida closes with this:
It's important to remember that correlation does not equal causation, but, overall, it is certainly intriguing to note that inequality, rather than poverty, appears to be associated with higher levels of violence — and that pride and machismo appear to be significant factors as well. Not surprisingly, the more that proud people are reminded of how powerless they are, the more likely they are to explode.

No comments: