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06 June 2009

National vs. Family Loyalty

How does loyalty to one's country relate to loyalty to family? Do they conflict, or do they go hand-in-hand, or are they orthogonal?

The World Values Survey asks a couple questions that seem like decent proxies for these concepts. One asks "When jobs are scarce, employers should give priority to [one's countrymen] over immigrants?" Indeed, this very issue caused quite a stir earlier this when a "Buy American" provision was inserted into the U.S. stimulus bill. Europe, in particular, was quite upset. While not preferring jobs for one's countrymen over immigrants might not necessarily indicate disloyalty to one's country, it certainly suggests an elevation of certain concepts (like free-trade or international relations) above a visceral sense of national loyalty.

The other question asks respondents if they agreed that "One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud"? While most everyone wants to make their parents proud (83% agree worldwide), those who do not strongly agree apparently have other things in mind than family pride when pursuing a career.

It turns out these values correlate pretty closely - 59%. The data can be viewed here. But it's interesting to see which countries fall where:Western Europe (along with the Anglosphere) tend to score low on both national and family loyalty. East Asians are similarly less concerned about family expectations but are more nationalistic. Sub-saharan Africa has the highest levels of family pride, while Muslim countries score very high in national loyalty. In between are Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

As far as preference for co-nationals over immigrants, you can't really tell if it's actually national pride at work here or a more tribal chauvinism. Are Rwandans, for example, really looking out for Rwandans, or Tutsis/Hutus? If so, these very high levels of both family and country loyalty could reflect the "Big Man" syndrome in Africa, in which a successful man will bring his parents and immediate family fame and respect, but also a great responsibility of patronage to the tribe as a whole. The very high levels of national loyalty among the Arab/Muslim countries is also consistent with strong tribal/ethnic affiliations in these societies.

And while the U.S. scores low on this compared to the world at large, it is indeed on the rightward fringe among the developed world, consistent with the "Buy American" push in this recession.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only tangentially related hypothetical rhetorical question:

How would liberals respond if 50% of our kids started going to European "online" universities that were accredited over there, and had worked out a deal with the US State department that vis-a-vis accreditation would be accepted here because they accept students with degrees from US Universities there?

Lets say enrollements got very high for these European Schools, and the precipitous drop in enrollment here led to massive cutbacks and professors being unemployed.

Now my smart-assed question: Would liberals resent more European jobs going to their heros in Europe, and not lament the loss of professor positions here? Im kinda inclined to believe they would.

Smart-assed question number two: What if it became popular, I mean very popular, for -everyone- to start watching BBC newscasts online, and reading the BBC website online, and listening to BBC radio on Satellite to the extent that our own newspapers were going out of business, our own newscasts were hemorraging money, and our own radio programs were going off the air. Would liberals not feel bad about these lost jobs? Im kinda inclined to believe they would bitch to high friggin'heaven and tell us all how unpatriotic we are.

The only reason liberals dont mind outsourcing of US manufacturing and insourcing of tech help and cheap labor is that they despise the people that this hurts: regular everyday men and women in this country..............."the main enemy" according to liberal othrodoxy.

Yes, I know what a cruel sumbitch I am. Miles

June 08, 2009 9:10 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Also note how the Times reveres unions in other industries but views its own unions as major impediments to progress.

June 09, 2009 7:55 AM  
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May 19, 2011 1:14 PM  

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