Steve Hsu links to an unpublished paper that Unz wrote as a freshman at Harvard under E. O. Wilson. His theory is remarkably similar to Greg Clark’s regarding the English (Clark said the major difference is that the English were quite filthy, and the resulting disease burden led to higher per-capita wealth, with another difference being the fratricidal tendencies of the aristocracy). There are a number of typos in the paper, but the oddest one which goes uncorrected is the frequent reference to “epigenetics” as the alternative to culture. He seems to be treating it as synonymous with “genetics”, as there is certainly no reference to gene regulation or methylation.

Another interesting bit is that Unz, who I’d thought was a libertarian, referred to old rural China as a “nightmare” of unrestricted free-market social darwinism. Mancur Olson thought its too-stable economy was distorted by trade associations (I’m a bit intoxicated at the moment, but I recall a story about a defecter from a cartel being bitten to death by hundreds of his peers). The more things change.