What is the Hajnal Line? What are its origins?

Hajnal_line.JPG

The Hajnal Line is a line running between western and eastern Europe. The line denotes where the type of family structure changes in societies on each side of the line.

Countries on the left side of the line use the nuclear family model. Countries on the right side of the line use the clan family model.

Nuclear families are social networks between two parents and their children. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins are part of the extended family.

Clan families are social networks between parents, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins. Extended family is not different from the family. There is just the family and strangers.

In addition, the nuclear family model has several unique traits:

http://www.collective-action.info/_THE_MarriagePatterns_EMP

Hajnal Line Traits.png

The line is named after John Hajnal, who observed that these differences exist between western and eastern European families in his work, “European Marriage Patterns in Perspective”:

https://www.scribd.com/document/115001673/John-Hajnal-1965-European-Marriage-Patterns-in-Perspective

Hajnal 1.PNG

Hajnal 3 - Copy.PNG

So how did the Hajnal Line develop? There are three main reasons:

1. The Banning of Cousin Marriage

2. The Creation of Manorialism

3. The Enforcement of Monogamy

Why does the ban on cousin marriage matter? Kin selection has to be understood to know the answer. Kin selection means that your genes survive if you help people you are genetically related to. Kin selection becomes even more rewarding in an inbred community, because the genetic similarities are even stronger.

Are Genes Really Selfish? – Instant Egghead #57

Banning cousin marriage prevents inbreeding. This means that kin selection is less rewarding, because the genes for always helping kin over strangers are not rewarded. A nepotist is not genetically rewarded for helping his family members if his family members are less genetically similar to him due to the lack of inbreeding.

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Marrying cousins also reinforces family bonds and makes the inner circle of family members larger. Clan-families are larger, and they prioritize their large family groups over larger communities like towns or nations. Clan-families can afford this because they are relatively self-sufficient. They are large groups of family members who work together.

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The Roman Catholic Church banned cousin marriage. The Eastern Orthodox Church did not. The split between the two churches in 1054 roughly corresponds to the Hajnal Line:

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church8.png

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The reason why the Catholic church banned cousin marriage is because they were following Roman Law. The Romans banned cousin marriage, and the Catholic Church followed their example:

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A Summary of the Roman Civil Law

A Summary of the Roman Civil Law 1.PNG

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Consanguinity (in Canon Law)

Roman Catholic Church on Cousin Marriage.PNG

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Augustine and Thomas Aquinas were Catholic Church theologians who also saw that banning incest helps people make more friends. By extension, this also applies to other forms of inbreeding such as cousin marriage. Thomas Aquinas explains this in his book, Summa Theologica:

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Whether incest is a determinate species of lust?

Augstine and Aquinas on Incest.PNG

Banning cousin marriage helped people make more friends outside of the groups their family lived in. It also made kin selection less rewarding for nepotists, who were selected out of the gene pool. Making relationships with people you are not related to is how cooperation and friendships are made. It also prevents corruption from spiraling into nepotism. The western European nations are very cooperative societies with relatively little corruption or nepotism.

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Some people assert that group selection explains how large groups of humans work, and they say that kin selection is an inferior theory. So what is group selection? Stanford professor, Robert Sapolsky explains what group selection is:

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Robert Sapolsky – Group Selection and Multi-Level Selection

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There is a big debate in the biology community on whether kin selection or group selection is true. Richard Dawkins is a firm believer in kin selection, and he supports his position in his famous book, The Selfish Gene.

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The big difference between kin selection and group selection is how to explain natural selection. Natural selection is “the survival of the fittest”. The “fittest” are who survive and reproduce again. However, does natural selection refer to the fittest groups or the fittest individuals? Kin selection believes in the former. Group selection believes in the latter:

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Kin selection, group selection and altruism: a controversy without end?

Kin Selection or Group Selection Debate.PNG

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The answer to kin selection and group selection in humans is probably a little bit of both. Kin selection makes more sense to someone when he is very genetically-related to the relative he is helping. Nepotism is advantageous in inbred communities where cousin marriage exists.

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Group selection makes more sense when social networks, friendships and large-scale cooperation make very large communities possible. Nationalism is a kind of group selection.

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The Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriage was very important towards dissolving the barbarian clans of Europe. The western European nations would not have been able to facilitate large-scale cooperation without it. HBD Chick and Jayman are the anthropologists who are primarily responsible for putting  this information together.

Relevant Materials


lhttp://www.collective-action.info/_THE_MarriagePatterns_EMP

https://www.scribd.com/document/115001673/John-Hajnal-1965-European-Marriage-Patterns-in-Perspective

Are Genes Really Selfish? – Instant Egghead #57

A Summary of the Roman Civil Law

Consanguinity (in Canon Law)

Whether incest is a determinate species of lust?

Robert Sapolsky – Group Selection and Multi-Level Selection

Kin selection, group selection and altruism: a controversy without end?

https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/big-summary-post-on-the-hajnal-line/

https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/clannishness-the-series-zigzag-lightning-in-the-brain/

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