Repost: The Classification of the Vietnamese Language

This ran first a long time ago, but I just sold an ad on this post, so I decided to repost it. Rereading it, it’s a great Historical Linguistics post.
One of the reasons that I am doing this post is that one of my commenters asked me a while back to do a post on the theories of long-range comparison like Joseph Greenberg’s and how well they hold up. That will have to wait for another day, but for now, I can  at least show you how some principles of Historical Linguistics, a subfield that I know a thing or two about. I will keep this post pretty non-technical, so most of you ought to be able to figure out what is going on.
Let us begin by looking at some proposals about the classification of Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese language has been subject to a great deal of speculation regarding its classification. At the moment, it is in the Mon-Khmer or Austroasiatic family with Khmer, Mon, Muong, Wa, Palaung, Nicobarese, Khmu, Munda, Santali, Pnar, Khasi, Temiar, and some others. The family ranges through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, China, and over into Northeastern India.
It is traditionally divided into Mon-Khmer and Munda branches. Here is Ethnologue’s split, and here are some other ways of dividing up the family.
The homeland of the Austroasiatics was probably in China, in Yunnan, Southwest China. They moved down from China probably around 5,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient Austroasiatics are probably the Senoi people, who came down from China into Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. Others put the time frame at about 4-8,000 YBP (years before present).
A major fraud has been perpetrated lately based on Senoi Dream Therapy. I discussed it on the old blog, and you can Google it if you are interested. In Anthropology classes we learned all about these fascinating Senoi people, who based their lives around their dreams. Turns out most of the fieldwork was poor to fraudulent like Margaret Mead’s unfortunate sojourn in the South Pacific.
The Senoi resemble Veddas of India, so it is probably true that they are ancient people.  Also, their skulls have Australoid features. In hair, they mostly have wavy hair (like Veddoids), a few have straight hair (like Mongoloids) and a scattering have woolly hair (like Negritos). Bottom line is that ancient Austroasiatics were probably Australoid types who resembled what the Senoi look like today.
There has long been a line arguing that the Vietnamese language is related to Sino-Tibetan (the family that Chinese is a part of). Even those who deny this acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of borrowing from Chinese (especially Cantonese) to Vietnamese. This level of borrowing so long ago makes historical linguistics a difficult field.
Here is an excellent piece by a man who has done a tremendous amount of work detailing his case for Vietnamese as a Sino-Tibetan language. It’s not for the amateur, but if you want to dip into it, go ahead. I spent some time there, and after a while, I was convinced that Vietnamese was indeed a Sino-Tibetan language. One of the things that convinced me is that if borrowing was involved, seldom have I seen such a case for such a huge amount of borrowing, in particular of basic vocabulary. I figured the  case was sealed.
Not so fast now.
Looking again, and reading some of Joseph Greenberg’s work on the subject, I am now convinced otherwise. There is a serious problem with the cognates between Vietnamese and Chinese, of which there are a tremendous number.
This problem is somewhat complex, but I will try to simplify it. Briefly, if Vietnamese is indeed related to Sino-Tibetan, its cognates should be not only with Chinese, but with other members of Sino-Tibetan also. In other words, we should find cognates with Tibetan, Naga, Naxi, Tujia, Karen, Lolo, Kuki, Nung, Jingpho, Chin, Lepcha, etc. We should also find cognates with those languages, where we do not find them in Chinese. That’s a little complicated, so I will let you think about it a bit.
Further, the comparisons between Chinese and Vietnamese should be variable. Some should look quite close, while others should look much more distant.
So there’s a problem with the Vietnamese as ST theory.
The cognates look like Chinese.
Problem is, they look too much like Chinese. They look more like Chinese than they should in a genetic relationship. Further, they look like Chinese and only Chinese. Looking for relationships in S-T outside of Chinese, and we find few if any.
That’s a dead ringer for borrowing from Chinese to Vietnamese. If it’s not clear to you how that is, think about it a bit.
Looking at Mon-Khmer, the case is not so open and shut. There seem to be more cognates with Chinese than with Mon-Khmer. So many more that the case for Vietnamese as AA looks almost silly, and you wonder how anyone came up with it.
But let us look again. The cognates with AA and Vietnamese are not just with its immediate neighbors like Cambodian and Khmu but with languages far off in far Eastern India like Munda and Santali. There are words that are found only in the Munda branch in one or two obscure languages that somehow show up again as cognates in Vietnamese.
Now tell me how Vietnamese borrowed ancient basic vocabulary from some obscure Munda tongue way over in Northeast India? It did not. How did those words end up in some unheard of NE Indian tongue and also in Vietnamese? Simple. They both descended long ago from a common ancestor. This is Historical Linguistics.
The concepts I have dealt with here are not easy for the non-specialist to figure out, but most smart people can probably get a grasp on them.
A different subject is the deep relationships of AA. Is AA related to any other languages? I leave that as an open question now,  though there does appear to be a good case for AA being related to Austronesian.
One good piece of evidence is the obscure AA languages found in the Nicobar Islands off the coast of Thailand. Somehow, we see quite a few cognates in Nicobarese with Austronesian. We do not see them in any other branches of AA, only in Nicobarese. This seems odd,  and it’s hard to make a case for borrowing. On the other hand, why cognates in Nicobarese and only in Nicobarese?
Truth is there are some cognates outside of Nicobarese but not a whole lot. In historical linguistics, one thing we look at is morphology. Those are parts of words, like the -s plural ending in English.
In both AA and Austronesian, we have funny particles called infixes. Those are what in English we might call prefixes or suffixes, except they are stuck in the middle of the word instead of at the end or the beginning. So, in English, we have pre- as a prefix meaning “before” and -er meaning “object that does X verb”. So pre-destination means that our lives are figured out before we are even born.  Comput-er and print-er are two objects, one that computes and the other that prints.
If we had infixes instead, pre-destination would look something like destin-pre-ation and comput-er and print-er would look something like com-er-pute and prin-er-t.
Anyway, there are some fairly obscure infixes that show up not only in some isolated languages in AA but also in far-flung Austronesian languages in, say, the Philippines. Ever heard of the borrowing of an infix? Neither have I? So were those infixes borrowed,  and what are they doing in languages as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, and none in between? Because they  got borrowed? When? How? Forget it.
Bottom line is that said borrowing did not happen. So what are those infix cognates doing there? Probably ancient particles left over from a common language that derived both Austronesian and AA, probably spoken somewhere in SW China maybe 9,000 years ago or more.
Why is this sort of long-range comparison so hard? For one thing, because after 9,000 years or more, there are hardly any cognates left anymore, due to the fact of language change. Languages change and tend to change at a certain rate.
After 1000X years, so much change has taken place that even if two languages were once “sprung from a common source,” in the famous words of Sir William Jones in his epochal lecture to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, there is almost nothing, or actually nothing, left to show of that relationship. Any common words have become so mangled by time that they don’t look much or anything alike anymore.
So are AA and Austronesian related? I think so, but I suppose it’s best to say that it has not been proven yet. This thesis is part of a larger long-range concept known as “Austric.” Paul Benedict, a great scholar, was one of the champions of this. Austric is normally made up of AA, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai (the Thai language and its relatives) and Hmong-Mien (the Hmong and Mien languages). Based on genetics, the depth of Austric may be as deep as 30,000 years, so proving it is going to be a tall order indeed.
What do I think?
I think Tai-Kadai and Austronesian are proven to be related (more on that later). AA and Austronesian seem to be related also, with a lesser depth of proof. Hmong-Mien seems to be related to Sino-Tibetan, not Austric.
The case for Vietnamese being related to S-T is still very interesting, and I still have an open mind about it.
All of these discussions are hotly controversial, and mentioning it in linguistics circles is likely to set tempers flaring.

References

Author and date unknown, What Makes Vietnamese So Chinese? An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies.

Do Chinese People Lack Humanistic or Humanitarian Values?

Commenters are suggesting that Chinese people are ruthless, coldblooded elites who lack humanistic and humanitarian impulses and care nothing about those less well off or lower on the income or class scale than they are.The problem is that this depends on which Chinese we are talking about.
Perhaps this is a good description of the Overseas Chinese of Southeast Asia and surely that is the view of the Taiwanese regime. However, even here, the record was mixed as the Malaysian Chinese for whatever reason were the main supporters of the Malaysian Communist insurgency for many years. The Chinese in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam tend to be more of the typical ruling class Chinese elites.
However, I knew several Taiwanese people who, while not favorable to Communism, smiled when I told them I was a socialist. “Oh, you are a socialist?” They asked. “Yes,” I said. And then they smiled. So I doubt if Taiwanese are ill-disposed to socialism.
People must also understand that Chinese people lack the individualistic values that Westerners often have. The Chinese are collectivists. Collectivist people tend to be more supportive of things like Communism and socialism.
People must understand that although yes, Chinese do value and money, status and class, the reason for this is not genes or IQ, it is Confucian values. It is a misconception that high IQ people tend to be lacking in empathy.
I do not know about Chinese people, but China is still run by a Communist Party called the CCP. I know quite a bit about this party and it is a lot more commie and socialist than the media or just about anyone else will tell you. They actually believe in the greatest good for the greatest number, something most capitalist countries abandoned long ago. Their policies in China reflect that. All land is owned by the state. There have been proposals to get rid of that, but the CCP wants to keep it in because if they get rid of it then a lot of people will lose their land. They want the rural people to still have land so that if they can’t make it in the city as is often the case, they can always go back to the countryside and farm.
There is little hunger in China. Malnutrition is at about 6%. Minorities can receive education in their native language. Only 6% of the population has no toilet facilities and more or less shits outdoors. Compare that to India with 60% shitting outside. China is a world leader in green technology and solar power in particular.
All education is free through the graduate level. There is no homelessness. Any homeless in big cities are either sent back to their village or put up in homeless shelters. The Chinese government is spending an unbelievable amount of money on upgrading the rural areas. something few capitalist countries will do. They are worried because the conditions out there are not that great and it is resulting in a lot of immigration to the cities.
Fully 45% of the economy is publicly owned by either the state or more commonly local municipalities. How is China a radical laissez-faire free market Libertarian country when the state owns half the economy? All of the public enterprises are still officially owned by the workers. The workers get a check every month for their share of all of the income of the enterprise. The state then deducts 95% of that to plow back into the enterprise. So enterprises that do very well have workers that make very good money.
The #2 leading television manufacturer in the world is a Chinese state firm owned by the workers. It has successfully competed with countless capitalist firms throughout the world and has out-competed almost all of them.

Why Nations Need Currency Controls

If you don’t put in currency controls, “social democrat” and “liberal” George Soros will sweep in and speculate on your currency so as to ruin your currency and destroy your economy. He will do this if you do not do what this Jew orders you to do. Soros has already destroyed a number of economies around the world, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico.
Soros’ “social democratic” pals in Berlin recently pulled the same fast one on Belarus by speculating on its currency, ruining its value and wrecking the economy. Hence socialist Lukashenko has had to go hat in hand to the IMF and World Bank for loans. The Germans probably took out Belarus because they actually do have a socialist system in that country, and there’s nothing the EU “social democrats” want to destroy more than a socialist country in Europe.

"Time of Monsters," by Peter Tobin

Peter Tobin is a Marxist activist and author who is an experiment on the recent goings in in Nepal especially with regard to the Maoist revolutionaries who recently fought a brutal civil war there and are now part of the government. Turns out that with disarmament, a lot of the Maoists sold out completely on almost all of their revolutionary principles, become rightwingers and in the process become millionaires with huge mansions. In addition, as you might have guessed, all and I mean all of the Maoist leaders were Brahmins.
And this was an anti-caste revolution.
In this part of the world, caste is like dirt. No matter how many times try wash the dirt off, there’s always some on your skin. And no matter how many attempts are made by South Asians to cleanse the body politic of caste, there’s always some of it remaining on the skin of their culture. you can’t take enough showers to wash all the dirt off and you can’t do enough reforms to wash caste out of the culture. It’s looking like caste in now an integral part of South Asian culture like curry, saris or gurus.
Warning: This work is very long. If it was a book, it would be 60 pages, long enough for a novella if it was fiction.

Time of Monsters

by Peter Tobin

The cartoon above reflects a widespread perception among many Nepalese that the four parliamentary parties are servants – in varying degrees – of New Delhi. It appeared in the 2013, August edition of Nepal – a popular monthly – showing Prachanda (UCPN(M), Nepal (UML), Sitaula (NC) and Gaddachhar (MJN), (Brahmins all!) blubbing uncontrollably as Nepal against history and the odds beat India 2-1 in the South Asia Football Championships in July 2013.

Nepal’s Brahminical State and Problems of Legitimacy

From Machiavelli:

What’s more, you can’t in good faith give the nobles what they want without doing harm to others; but you can with the people. Because the people’s aspirations are more honorable than those of the nobles: the nobles want to oppress the people, while the people want to be free from oppression.
Machiavelli, The Prince, 1516, p.39. Penguin 2009.

To the present day:

How can people trust them to run the state? Our boycott is therefore a political act to expose the failure of this parliamentary system. To build a new democracy and renew the revolutionary process we must go in a different direction.
– Mohan Baidya, ‘Kiran’, Chairman, CPN-Maoist, October, 2013

Introduction

Political parties in all societies reflect specific histories and display the balance of social and political forces at any point in their narratives. Nepal is no exception to this truism; the classes and strata arising from the socio-economic conditions obtaining in the country’s history gave rise to caste, party and faction. The aim of this article is to provide detail of their historical gestation as a means of examining and explaining the present impasse in Nepalese society.
This is presently evidenced by argument as to whether a Consultative Assembly, elected in November 2013 in a disputed ballot, has authority to promulgate a new constitution and is another issue of serious division that pervades every sphere of Nepalese society – political, cultural, social and economic – that cumulatively call into question the legitimacy of the essentially unreconstructed state founded by Prithvi Nararyan Shah in 1769.
The article will argue that discord has been inherent since the state’s inception in the mid-18th century, with the campaign of unification driven by a minority elite imposing a nationality upon a multi-ethnic majority and which despite changing modalities of state power in the succeeding two-hundred and fifty years, remains the dominant power in Nepalese society, surviving monarchical absolutism, feudal clan autocracy, constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, successively appearing as contrasting if not antagonistic systems.
It is certainly the case that internecine power struggles among ruling Nepalese elites, regarding modalities of power, are crucial to understanding the forces shaping the present. However, evident systemic discontinuity should not obscure persistence of upper caste, particularly Brahmin ascendancy, surmounting every upheaval, and turning every change of polity into a vehicle for retention of power and privilege.
Responding to the pressures of the modern world, and with long experience in judging the vagaries of historic authority, these same castes have melded seamlessly into the local bourgeoisie – domestically hegemonic but internationally subservient.
Not every ancien regime is oblivious or impervious to demands for change from formerly subaltern classes. Note the nationalist leader Tancredi’s maxim, in di Lampedusa’s epic novel The Leopard about the 19th century Risorgimento (Italian unification):

“Things have to change so that everything can stay the same.” (“Tutto deve cambiar perche tutto reste uguale.”) (Il Gattopardo, G. di Lampedusa, 1958)

The Nepalese ruling castes are exemplars of this paradox, having survived successive changes in polity, a point underlined in contemporary Nepal where the major constitutional parties and organs of state are dominated by the same higher caste/class, as supreme in the new democratic republic as they were under the preceding Hindu God-Kingdom created through war and conquest by their Brahmin/Rajput ancestors in the 18th century. Unification was more empire than nation building, pitting a warlike Indo-Aryan warrior caste against a rural majority comprised of over sixty Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, each with its own languages and specific Buddhist/pantheist/shamanist cultures.
Over time this may not have precluded the forging of national identity: consider the example of Britain, which emerged from English subjugation and colonization of the tribal Celtic peoples that flourished on the periphery of the later named, with breast-beating triumphalism, British Isles.
Similarly the English had emerged as a distinct people following military invasion and occupation by French Normans over Anglo-Saxon natives. Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism already provided a common ideology for conqueror and conquered. In the centuries following, the former lost both their French language and territories with the European feudal system they imposed upon Anglo-Saxon England taking root and dominating until the emergence of bourgeois capitalism in the Late Middle Ages.
Nepal has never overcome the contradictions engendered by its violent birth which was compromised by its Hindu ruling castes retaining political, cultural and economic ties with caste peers governing India the sub-continental empire, and who, since Bhimsen Thapa, Jonge Bahadur and the Ranas, have, unlike the nation-builders of medieval Europe, proved unable or unwilling to act with national impunity.
The notion of the present ruling caste elite representing the national interest is presently even more unlikely as their growing cosmopolitan class interests political, ideological and economic necessitate the country continuing as neo-colony of Brahminical India, subject to the ubiquitous, all-conquering global market and the multinational institutions established by US and other First World powers after 1945.
The last serious threat to centralized caste power was the People’s War from 1996-2006, which saw a 12-point peace agreement between parliamentarians and revolutionaries, following the success of these two former bitter enemies allying to overthrow King Gyenendra in the 2006 second Thulo Jana Andolan (Great People’s Uprising/Revolution). It did not, as promised, lead to a ‘New Nepal’, instead seeing the elites of ‘Old Nepal’ regrouping, and remaining ensconced in power.
This had also happened after the 1990 Jana Andolan, when the Brahmin leaders of the democratic movement summoned the Janjatis (ethnic minorities) and oppressed castes and classes to join the struggle for democracy against King Birendra and the feudal Panchayat system.
Promises made, offering cultural and political autonomy to redress historical injustices, were later reneged on, with the subsequent constitution drawn up by the victorious New Delhi-backed political parties even retaining Nepal’s status as a divine Hindu Kingdom. It was not until 2008, with the declaration of a republic, that the monarchial system was finally abolished.
However, that was the only tangible political gain from ten years of People’s War, while the major socioeconomic and cultural inequities that had provoked it were left in place, with attempts to ameliorate them blocked or sabotaged by a resurgent rightist bloc that seized the political and military initiative in the years following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Nepal’s political parties are defined by which side they take in relation to this history; whether they want to either preserve the existing system, albeit with minor tweaks and modest reform, or completely replace it with a new dispensation. Conservatives and revolutionaries are adversaries in the struggle for the body and soul of the nation.
First, some empirical details about the country that provide the inescapable, epidemiological conclusion that the socio-economic antagonisms fermenting in Nepalese society point inevitably to further eruption.

Economy and Society

Nepal is an aid-dependent, landlocked country, accessed principally from India, with a population of approximately 28 million. It has over sixty ethnic groups or Janjatis (called Adivasis in India) reflecting a rich linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 80% of its peoples are rural inhabitants, mostly dependent on subsistence farming. The agricultural sector contributes approximately 38-40% to GDP, with the tourism/service industry adding 47-50%, and the industrial/craft sector contributing 10-13% (1).
The CIA World Factbook estimates its labor force at 16 million: 70% of those employed are in agriculture and 18% in the services sector with the remainder in industry and craft production. The imbalance between numbers of population engaged respectively in these sectors and the value each one adds to GDP is striking. What distorts the figures is that 25-30% of the tourism/service GDP (where it measured by income) comes from Gurkha pensions and increasingly over the last decade from émigré labor remittances (2).
As its contribution to GDP shows, the manufacturing sector is small, with carpet weaving dominating its light industrial sector and the rest made up of skilled handcraft production in metal, stone and wood. Since the decline of the jute industry based in Biratnagar, heavy industry is negligible, and Nepal has to import everything from cars to computers – necessities of modern life – which add to its trade deficit.
Nepal has always faced the difficult situation of being a small economic power next to a big one that is denied economies of scale that accrue from size, thus insuring that Nepali companies could not compete with bigger Indian ones in the home market. This problem has, for example, caused the virtual collapse of its cotton and garment industry. Exports are inhibited because India imposes high import duties to protect its own industries.
The pan-Indian Marwari Corporation/Clan dominate the domestic industrial and commercial sector in collusion with the traditional caste elites of Ranas/Shahs. A further aspect of its neocolonial status is that Nepal is forced to concede an open border with India and must endure a ‘take or leave it’ in terms of trade with India, a market that accounts for nearly 70% of Nepal’s total exports. In some instances Delhi has even reneged on prior agreements in order to sabotage specific Nepalese attempts at establishing nascent industry (3).
Nepal’s manufacturing base was further weakened by the global march of neoliberal capitalism (4) that saw, for example, Structural Adjustment Programs introduced in Nepal from the mid-1980s’.
SAP’s are loans to aid-dependent, underdeveloped or economically unstable countries that have strong conditional clauses requiring adoption of rigorous free market policies, including privatization, trade and finance-sector liberalization, prices determined by the market and precluding and retreating from state intervention in any form.
They were implemented by the IMF and World Bank, acting in a ‘bad cop/bad cop’ scenario and affected all sections of Nepalese society; the removal of subsidies on such items as cooking gas hit many homes, while those on fertilizers reduced agricultural production. Privatization programs ended public enterprises, many of which had been initiated by a dirigiste Rana regime in the 1930’s in a desperate attempt to modernize.
There was, for example, sustained pressure from multilateral development financial institutions – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in particular – forcing a sale of water utilities, resulting in their complete privatization by 2006. Tariffs protecting indigenous industries were also removed and the penetration of multinational capital was facilitated across all sectors.

Inequality and Poverty

This regime, which does not even manufacture a needle in the name of a self-reliant and national economy, has handed the whole economy to a dozen families of foreign compradors and bureaucratic capitalists. This handful of plunderers has become billionaires, whereas the real owners of this country and the national property – the toiling masses of Nepal – are forced to eke out a meager existence of deprivation and poverty.
– (CPN(M) leaflet, distributed on the eve of the start of the People’s War, 13th February, 1996.

The UN Human Development Report 2014 listed Nepal as the 31st poorest country in the world and among those classified low in Human Development indices with glaring inequalities in incomes and lifestyles that has the top 10% owning 42% of wealth and the bottom 10% accruing 2.7%. The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which measures schooling, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and access to clean water among its criteria for standards of modern life, puts incidences of poverty at 65% whereas an income-poverty criteria at $1.25 per day gives a 55% figure of those suffering deprivation. (5)
Government Household Survey statistics for 2010/11, by contrast, estimated deprivation at 25% of population but only by using a smaller cohort, with the sole criterion defining poverty as daily consumption of less than 2,220 calories. By whatever measure, poverty is endemic and exacerbated by increased levels of unemployment that since 2000 have inexorably risen to nearly 50% of the working population in 2014. By conflating the above figures along with other relevant indices, the Gini Coefficient statistics for 2010 (6) showed that inequality has worsened over past two decades of western-style parliamentary democracy and capitalism. (7)
While the majority of Nepalese are rural dwellers, the agriculture sector is weak and inefficient; hilly and mountainous topography with subsequent scarcity of arable soil apart from the southern Terai plains allows mostly for only subsistence farming. A poor infrastructure of roads and communications inhibits movement of produce. The continuing failure to reform land ownership sees huge, growing numbers of landless Dalits, Muslims and other minorities, especially in feudal and populous Terai. The failures to implement scientific management and introduce modern technology combine to render Nepal dependent on importing foodstuffs from or through India.
The failure of the present system to provide necessary conditions of existence for an expanding demographic adds greater urgency to the antagonisms between the Establishment Right and Radical Left. These will be further accentuated given that India’s newly elected BJP administration has signaled the intention of pursuing more aggressively expansionist policies and is fully committed to the neoliberal economic project. The latter is being promoted as ‘shock therapy’ necessary for economic lift-off that will rescue the Indian people from poverty and deprivation.
It is it problematic because it is set out as an ideological as opposed to an economically rational project deliberately masking the aim of increasing the penetration of Western monopoly capitalism into the Indian economy through the mediation of the Brahmin/Banyia oligarchy. One of the new regime’s first acts was to increase hikes in diesel prices, allowing the state subsidy to shrivel, while signaling an intention to do the same to fertilizer subsidies. It has since announced that the health budget is to be slashed in a country that already has one of world’s lowest expenditures in this sector.
When all such state aid is rolled back, if wealth ‘trickles down’ perhaps by the conspicuous consumption of luxury commodities and lifestyle of a privileged cosmopolitan caste elite or charity (not a noted Brahmin characteristic) and alleviates some poverty – so be it, but it will be serendipitous. Such an outcome is not what drives au courant ‘capitalism with its coat off’ mutation, (4) so eagerly embraced by India’s caste elite as greed is a noted Brahmin characteristic.
However, for all the Hindutva histrionics and bravura posturing of the demagogue Modi, his BJP regime is in fact morphing effortlessly from Mohan Singh’s Congress Party Administration’s line of march. This became apparent in 2005 US/India Memos of Understanding (MOU) which, inter alia, initiated opening up India’s agricultural research establishments to American monopolies and activated policies of ‘rapid commercialization’ of already hard-pressed Indian farmers.
One commentator noted at the time:

The treaty is a partnership between two unequal partners. American agriculture is highly mechanized and organized, energy-intensive and market-centric. Indian agriculture, by contrast, has been for millennia the way of life for the vast majority of the population. (8)

The present Nepalese establishment invariably marches in step with New Delhi and accordingly rolled out the red carpet for the newly-elected PM Modi’s August 2014 official visit to Kathmandu. Addressing the Nepalese Parliament, he emphasized his government’s neoliberal economic priorities and the benefit Nepal would derive from deepening existing bilateral links by “…taking our relationship to an entirely new level.”
Nepal’s establishment parties were receptive, as the post-1990 administrations had closely shadowed India’s descent into neoliberal policies, and Modi’s regime was seen as continuation of this course.
The August visit was also marked by concluding agreements that increased Indian access to Nepal’s vast untapped water resources, which the revolutionary opposition denounced as a blatant example of neocolonial subservience to Indian expansionists and betrayal of the national interest.
The argument over this abundant but as yet untapped natural resource constitutes a longstanding fault line in Nepalese politics that bears examination; it concentrates many existing socioeconomic and political contradictions in one issue.

The Politics of Water and Unequal Treaties

On September 6th 2014 the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist announced its intention to publicly burn copies of the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) recently negotiated between India and Nepal which allows for the construction of hydropower projects by Indian companies so as to facilitate energy trading, cross-border transmission lines and grid connections between the two countries. (9)
The coalition government concluded a further agreement with the Indian company GMR to construct a 900MW hydropower project on the Upper Karnali. It was claimed that combining these two accords would enable Nepal to utilize its hydropower resources to produce enough surplus to permit the already agreed export of electricity to India and help reduce the country’s trade deficit.
The extraction of Nepal’s water resources began in 1920 when the Indian Raj signed the 1920 Treaty of Sarda that secured access to the Mahakali. After independence, India’s Nehru’s Administration continued in a similar manner with the 1954 Koshi and 1959 Gandak Treaties that saw dams constructed solely to irrigate the thirsty Gangetic Plains of North India. There was outrage at these one-sided deals from Nepalese nationalists and communists, which led to greater caution by successive regimes faced with India’s insatiable water demands paralleled with failed attempts in securing international aid or a loan from the World Bank to develop the country’s hydropower resources independently.
After the 1990 upheaval that ostensibly reduced Birendra to constitutional status, the fledgling democracy experienced renewed pressure from New Delhi that led to the 1996 Mahakali Treaty which was described as revealing:

“…the larger neighbor as bulldozer and the smaller one as hapless and internally divided.” (10).

While this treaty was supported by the both the constitutional communist party, the Unified Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which turned full circle from the anti-Indian position of its mother party in the 1950’s, and the always reliable pro-Delhi Congress Party (NC), it was denounced by CPN (Maoist) spokespersons who pointed out that Nepal would only get 7 out of the projected 125 megawatts output. (11)
The symbolic burning of the present PTA as ‘against the national interest’ by the new Maoist party was manifestation of an ongoing campaign for retaining Nepalese jurisdiction over its water resources, resisting New Delhi’s strategy to monopolize them. This is underscored by observation that Nepal has huge hydropower potential estimated at 40,000 MW but is presently realizing only 600 MW.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of daily power cuts and the fact that 60% of the population have no access to electricity. Harnessing hydropower resources will provide the means of modernizing and enriching the country, putting its growing young unemployed to work and ending its dependent, underdeveloped status.
Lenin famously stated that for USSR: ‘Communism was Soviet power plus electrification’ to which Nepal’s unreconstructed Marxist-Leninists paraphrase the end as: ‘plus hydropower’; reflecting the importance of this power source for realizing an independent socialist Nepal.
The PTA is described by patriots of left and right as yet another unequal treaty among the many that began with the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli imposed by the East India Company. This is now seen a British land grab that resulted in Nepal ceding one-third of its territory to the Company, including Sikkim and what is now called Uttarakhand.
The reduction of ‘Greater Nepal’ to its present territory resulted from military invasion and defeat. Treaties covering trade and resources have been facilitated by the Nepalese ruling caste/class acting in collusion with first imperial Britain then Brahminical India .
The Brahmin/upper caste supporters of the power deal tend either to not recognize or to remain oblivious to the idea that any treaty agreed with brother India has ever been ‘unequal’. The same political class once again faced a 2011 furor over by the ‘Bilateral’ Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) which allowed for greater penetration and increased security for Indian capital in Nepal. This sellout document earned the parliamentary apparatchiks, parties and the Bhatterai Administration who negotiated and agreed to it epithets from the stooges and hirelings of the extra-parliamentary Maoist opposition and royalist factions.
The definition of unequal agreement is where an imbalance of power, political, military or economic, exists between the parties to the agreement. Chinese nationalists and communists in the 20th century used the term to describe all treaties extracted from China in its ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of Western imperialists in the 19th century.
These treaties between Nepal and India involved loss of Nepalese sovereignty over territory and domestic markets and facilitated imports of commodities, including, notoriously, opium produced by East India Company, accompanied by the threat or use of superior military force. The period also saw the emergence of indigenous merchants acting as East India Company agents/intermediaries described as ‘compradors’.
Nepalese patriots use the term “unequal treaties” to describe a history that began with Sugauli, was carried over from the East India Company to the Raj and continued in postcolonial India with the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty formalizing Nepal’s neocolonial status by allowing India increased access and control of the Nepalese economy and veto over Nepal’s foreign relations with third parties.
It guaranteed Nepal as a captive market for Indian commodities and along with further revisions and succeeding agreements allowed exploitation of Nepal’s natural resources, principally water as described above, and access to cheap Nepalese migrant labor.
New Delhi was driven as much by geopolitical considerations; Nehru saw Himalayan Nepal as a bulwark on India’s northern frontier against Communist China, and serving along with Bhutan and Sikkim as part of a “chain of protectorates,” so described by Curzon, a particularly bellicose, expansionist Raj Viceroy at the turn of the 20th century.
Nehru was a ruthless autocrat and saved his fine words regarding nonintervention and non-aggression for the Pansheel Principles set out as a stratagem to bamboozle Mao’s Communists, burnishing India’s Gandhian credentials and non-aligned status in 1954 Treaty with the PRC. Nehru accordingly extracted the 1950 Treaty from the last Rana PM three months before he authorized an invasion of Nepal from India by a joint royalist/ democratic army which signaled the beginning of the end for Rana rule.
Independent India under the imperious Pandit owed more to the martial warrior spirit of the Maharbarata than it ever did to the myth of Hinduism’s essential ahimsa (pacifism) peddled by the casteist charlatan Gandhi. Recent information shows that Nehru may have slaughtered even more Muslims in Manipur in 1947 than Modi managed in Gujarat in 2001.

Constitution or Revolution?

The new Maoist party, the CPN-M, is extra-parliamentary and does not accord legitimacy to the present institutions of state, distinguishing it from the three major parties in the Constituent Assembly, who supported and negotiated the PTA. In descending order of electoral strength, they are: Nepali Congress, Unified Marxist-Leninist CPN; and Unified CPN (Maoist). The first two are in coalition government, with the NC leader GP Koirala as Prime Minister. Koirala’s family is a Nepalese political dynasty akin to India’s Gandhis.
A split in the third biggest party, the UCPN(M), in 2012 led to the launch of the CPN-M by cadre led by veteran Maoist leader, Mohan Baidya (‘Kiran’) (12), increasingly disillusioned with perceived growing revisionism of the UCPN(M) under the leadership of Prachanda and Bhatterai. They concluded that following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the UCPN(M)’s political practice had degraded into reformism, conforming to Lenin’s bitter reasoning for the ultimate treachery of the German SPD’s voting for war credits in 1914:

…by making a fetish of the necessary utilization of bourgeois parliamentarianism and bourgeois legality.

In the view of many cadre, the party had lost its revolutionary edge and has been remade to suit New Delhi’s requirements. The party was guided by two leaders, Dahal (Prachanda) and Bhatterai, reconnecting with their Brahminical caste roots.
The final betrayal was the surrender by Bhatterai’s ostensibly Maoist-led administration of the People’s Liberation Army and its weapons to the Nepalese Army in 2011 after being laagered in UN cantonments following the 2006 CPA. In reaction to this and policies such as handing back expropriated land to the feudal landlords, the new CPN-M declared a return to revolutionary first principles and building on the foundation of the principle of People’s War as a precondition for future political work.
A fourth political bloc represented in the Constituent Assembly (the National Assembly – an upper house created in 1990, was abolished in 2007, and Nepal now has a unicameral system) is the United Democratic Madeshi Front representing landed property class parties from the Terai, a region of flatlands in southern Nepal and topographically an extension of the Gangetic Plains of North India.
Ethnically and culturally the Terai’s upper castes are closer to India, so this group’s political support for increasing bonds between the countries is guaranteed. The Terai was formally a NC fiefdom, but party membership collapsed when leaders and activists principally drawn from the Bhadraloks (Terai upper castes) deserted the party which they believed had become dominated by the Brahmins of the Kathmandu and the Central Hill regions referred to as Pahadis (Hill People).
This political bloc, following the 2006 Peace Agreement, appeared to upper caste Madeshis to be too weak to stand up to the Maoists, perceived as all-powerful after ten years of People’s War and a real threat to feudal and zamindar (landlord) interests in the Terai. Madeshi parties subsequently emerged seeking either regional autonomy or direct integration with India.
The more militant among them advocated armed struggle and were instrumental in driving the 2006/7 murderous conflict with the Maobaadi (Nepali for Maoists) in order to defend the status quo in the region. Indian security services were rumored to have been heavily involved in arming and funding these groups, signaling New Delhi’s growing alarm at the threat to Indian interests posed by the Nepalese Maoists as they stood on the verge of a takeover.
There are 22 other parties represented in the CA, the largest two being royalist – the Rastriya Prajantra Party (Nepal) and the Rastriya Prajantra Party – representing the ancient regime and seeking in one form or another a return to divine Hindu monarchy abolished when the Prachanda’s 2008 UCPN(M)/UML coalition government declared the republic. However, many monarchists are patriots with a deep distrust of India to the extent that some prefer China in all circumstances.
After the RRP(N) and the RPP, there are many small socialist, communist and peasant parties reflecting the patchwork and multirepresentational nature of Nepalese politics. This plethora of parties is also apparent among the forces outside the CA led by CPN-M in a 33-party alliance.
The CPN-M (13) and its allies – other communist, socialist and social democratic parties along with Janjati (ethnic) organizations – came together in 2013 to boycott the November election for a second Constituent Assembly. They argued it was a ‘phony, rigged election’, promoted by the same forces that had blocked a progressive federal constitution in the first CA. Now the parliamentary ‘Four Party Syndicate’ was seeking a mandate to forge an anti-people constitution ensuring that power was retained by upper castes and that in any event, asserted the boycotters, would be written in New Delhi.
Among the international supporters of the second CA election were the US, China, EU, India, the UN, NGOs like the Carter Center, ANFREL etc. 70,000 police, army and paramilitaries along with 50,000 temporary police personnel were mobilized to counter the campaign organized by the CPN-M, leading a 33 party alliance around the slogan:

Boycott this corrupt/so-called election (Kathit nirbaachan bahiskaar gare).

The election duly took place, pre-weighted through the creation of a High Level Commission that excluded all other parties, ensuring the ‘Four Party Syndicate’s unchallenged control of proceedings. Rs 30 billion was allocated to pay for it, a staggering amount considering only Rs 2.8 billion was spent on the 2008 election. The election was further tainted as turnout figures were disputed, with nearly five million voters disappearing from the 2008 election rolls. There was also no postal vote provision for the estimated two million émigré workers scattered through the Gulf States and South East Asia.
Each side claimed higher or lower percentage turnouts, but the significant result was the major setback for Prachanda and Bhatterai’s revisionist UCPN (M). The party lost its place as the biggest party gained by a shock victory in 2008 election, where it garnered 40% of the vote but was now reduced to third party status after the NC and the UML.
In any event, the CPN-Maoist ‘Dashists’ did not halt the election, but held their nerve in spite of powerful domestic and international enemies, a sustained hate campaign from the Brahmin/bourgeois controlled media sequestered in Kathmandu led by the Kantipur Corporation, Nepal’s largest media house, and internal party tensions. Notwithstanding the final number of votes cast, the election showed that the boycotters represented a critical mass of the citizenry. Whatever the outcome of the charade, Kiran said emphatically, they would burn any constitutional declaration emerging from the new CA and “write one in the streets.”

The Caste System & Democratic Deficit

However, it may also be stated that most Dalit leaders are right when they blame the ‘Brahminical’ order of society for the grievous discrimination practiced against them…the reification of the caste system, even to this date, depends for its authority on the socioreligious observances of Brahmins, the high priests of Hinduism.
– V. Rajan “Dalits” and the Caste System in India, p 3, 2010)

As in India, it is formally illegal under the Nepalese Constitution to discriminate on grounds of caste, and the education system is also nominally open to all. In reality though, the caste system remains pervasive with the upper castes constituting 70-80% of personnel in all institutions of the state, education, media, commerce and health sectors, while forming  only approximately 20% of the population.
The Kathmandu Valley Newaris, for example, form 3% of the population but occupy 13% of civil service posts. In the 1990’s it was shown that 80% of civil service, army and police posts were shared among Brahmin and Chetri castes. (14)
A more recent study in 2004 showed little change. Brahmins, while forming 13% of the population, accounted for 74% of top civil service posts. (15) Brahmins also lead the establishment parties which espouse the virtues of western-style multiparty democracy and the global market.
Nepalese Brahmins in politics, culture and business defer easily to fellow Brahmins ascendant in India, claiming a realism similar to the pragmatism of a small boy before a bigger sibling.
This assumes that Nepal and India are ‘family’, albeit one where might confirms right. They also note admiringly that Indian Brahmins have since Independence retained power and privilege in alliance with the Kshatriyas, the military caste, and the Banyias, the commercial and merchant caste, making a mockery of the great Dalit scholar/statesman Ambedkar’s 1947 Constitution prohibiting discrimination on grounds of caste and guaranteeing equality for all citizens.
Words were also cheap in the 1972 Amendment to the Indian Constitution that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ to the original declaration of ‘sovereign, democratic republic’. Against the evidence and from the beginning India was also touted in the capitalist West as rival to Red China’s ‘totalitarian ant heap’ and gushingly described as the ‘World’s Biggest Democracy’.
Yet caste and democracy are mutually exclusive; caste rule is anti-egalitarian, and democracy requires equality. India and Nepal are clear examples, still controlled by the same caste configuration that in the political sphere refracts into parties and factions with acquired skills, resources and enough cohesion to collectively jump through regular electoral hoops. Effective democratic camouflage disguises elective oligarchy. A lesson well learned from the White Sahib’s mastery over and increasing sophistication in the dark arts of electoral manipulation and illusion, important because the popular mandate confers legitimacy to uninterrupted ascendancy of the bourgeois capitalism.
The Dashists and their allies program the end of the upper caste monopoly of state power by establishing a New Federal People’s Democracy that represents the hitherto excluded Janjatis, Dalits, minorities, working classes and urban underclasses. Federalism is crucial to New Democracy as it means breaking up the centralized Brahminical state by devolving power to previously oppressed national minorities.
It will correct the historic wrong that began with the autocracy founded by Narayan Shah and extended by the Ranas through King Mahendra’s Panchayaat and continued since 1990 with elective dictatorship coalescing around establishment parties as they cartelized political and state power.
It was significant that one of the organized manifestations that followed victory in the 2006 Andolan was the mocking of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s statue in Kathmandu by Janjatis, indicating both that there is continuing antipathy to the oppressive central power he founded and that this historical wound remains very much open. The event was complemented by royalist outrage at such desecration, further testament to the irreconcilability of contending forces in Nepalese society.

Maoist “New Nepal”

From Marx:

…the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalist regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation…
Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, p. 73

To the present day:

Gender, Dalit and regional issues are important, and they are tied into the class struggle. But working to solve just these issues will not bring a full solution. This can only be reached by completing the class struggle.
– KB Bishwokarma, Prakanda.

The CPN-M Dashists affirm their wish to break with global capitalism and establish economic autarky featuring tariff walls to protect infant industries along with land reform and infrastructural development, all through socialist state planning and ownership. Nepal, they argue, has failed to straddle the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and its traditional ruling classes have been incapable and unwilling to provide effective governance to tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality. Since 1990 it has increasingly aped India’s development, a huckster capitalism overseen by wholly corrupt caste elites dressed in “emperor’s new clothes” of bourgeois Western multiparty democracy.
Maoists maintain that socialist transformation will improve conditions for the people and ensure genuine national sovereignty. Kiran, citing Mao and Stalin, argues that the national question in the case of Third World countries like Nepal is a class question. These weaker states have become subject to the interests of a dominant First World requiring them to be maintained in various stages of underdevelopment and to enable open markets for imported goods and foreign investment and to increase the plunder of their natural resources to feed insatiable Western consumer societies.
Third World countries are further valuable sources of low-paid indigenous labor for production of cheap commodities intended for the Western market, dramatically highlighted by the 2013 Rana Plaza clothing factory tragedy in Dhaka. These nations also provide a reservoir of migrant labor for international capital projects, graphically exposed by the slave-like conditions endured by émigré workers, many of them Nepalese, on the notorious Qatar World Cup project.
Even if not dramatically affected as migrant workers, neoliberalism, through international institutions led by IMF and World Bank, impacts on the Nepalese masses by shackling its government along with those in other impoverished, underdeveloped Third World countries to market-based austerity policies and denying whole populations benefits of modernity, decent infrastructure, modern schools, basic health care, access to clean water and sanitation, decent housing &c. Measuring everything by market criteria also blocked welfare programs, food subsidies and all state intervention aimed at reduction of poverty or stimulating domestic growth.
In Nepal it has led to growing numbers of Sukumbasi (squatters), increasing, persistent mass unemployment, landlessness, rural flight to towns/cities, especially Kathmandu, exacerbating already high urban poverty, bonded, émigré and child labor; all salient features of a failed state, where a traditional elite continue to flourish, retaining social and economic privilege.
This elite increasingly lives in ‘forts of gold’, while the world and the city outside crumbles over the head of the excluded and increasingly impoverished majority. Kathmandu is symptomatic, where, as in many Third World urban centers, the spectacle of private affluence for the few contrasts starkly with increasing public squalor for the many.
Hope for a more egalitarian Nepal following the 1990 transition from monarchical absolutism to multiparty democracy was quickly dashed in the years of corruption and reaction that followed, when a newly empowered political elite proved even more venal than the Panchas they had supplanted. Ideologically colonized, like the Brahmins of Congress India, they were transfixed by western liberal democracy, whose representative institutions and personal freedoms, they were conditioned to believe, enshrined universally applicable and superior European Enlightenment values.
Whereas imperialists once hawked a Christian Bible, their contemporaries now peddle the snake oil of capitalist democracy as salvation for, in Kipling’s infamous phrase from the poem Recessional, “lesser breeds without the Law”. Just as missionary societies once flourished, now Human Rights industries thrive and NGO’s promoting Western values and practices proliferate, employing some indigenous educated and enlisting them into the comprador class while sustaining patchwork schemes in a parody of development.
From the beginning the conditioning of native elites through education invariably inculcated western values and ideologies which, on one hand informed and articulated claims to national independence and produced the leadership for anticolonial struggle, while one the other, ensured the same leadership was sufficiently psychologically colonized to slavishly adopt after independence the parliamentary model, including the flummery. An exotic plant in wholly unsuitable conditions. (16)
As Franz Fanon caustically opined:

 The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its narcissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual that the essential qualities remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course.(17)

Bourgeois parliamentary institutions emerged in the Europe of the Late Middle Ages as a revolutionary and contingent challenge to residual feudal control by divinely mandated monarchs scattered across the kingdoms of Europe. Increasingly, with bourgeois power assured, they became functional requirements for regulation of class interests and instruments of chauvinist aggression against other nations, initially in Europe. In their early gestation they provided an arena for systemic compromise where differences could be aired and reconciled by parties representing old and new forms of propertied ruling classes in given historical transitions.
This occurred in England following the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, establishing a constitutional rapport between Whigs, the nascent bourgeoisie, and Tories, the old landowning class, but significantly this same transformation did not emerge from Les Etats Generaux of Bourbon France, making inevitable the 1789 Revolution and bloody, bourgeois victory over L’Ancien Regime. However, modern First World states, despite the potential democratic threat of universal suffrage, increasingly stabilized, and bourgeois capitalism established unchallenged supremacy.
Parties are now even less class-based, representing sectional interests within the ruling class competing for control of the state apparatus, with elections determining which of the intraclass rivals accedes to government, enabling exercise of executive power and policy implementation until the next poll. Among the mature Western democracies this increasing homogenization of parties barely masks elective bourgeois dictatorship, now tricked out in ballot box ritualism, steeped in what Marx derided as ‘parliamentary cretinism’ and nailed by Engels as:

…an incurable disease, an ailment whose unfortunate victims are permeated by the lofty conviction that the whole world, its history and its future are directed and determined by a majority of votes in just that very representative institution that has the honor of having them in the capacity of its members.
– Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany, 1852, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 370)

Yet this system was adopted by the ex-colonies of the British Empire in Asia and Africa, all of which have signally failed. India is the worst example, especially after the collapse of Nehru’s dreams of socialist democracy involving state ownership, five year plans, and deficit spending within integument of a mixed economy, etc. all evaporated in the early 1960’s, following the disastrous defeat in the war of aggression launched against China in the Kashmir Aksai Chin. Nehru had always allowed for a degree of corruption, but after him it was unchecked; reflected in the Lok Sabha which degenerated into the kleptocracy presently extant.
In Nepal, similarly, after 1990, the new democratic state institutions quickly became synonymous with cronyism, nepotism and carpetbagging. A pervasive corruption disfigured Nepalese society and subsequently Nepal scored 2.2 on the 2011 World Corruption Perception Index, where 10 is ‘very clean’ and 0 is ‘highly corrupt’. (18) The economist Arun Kumar further estimated that the Nepalese black economy, in 2006, accounted for $4 billion in contrast to an official GDP of $7 billion, an even higher percentage than India where the same phenomenon accounts for a still eye-watering 50% of GDP.
Like a fish stinking from the head, the godfathers or Thulo Hakimharu of NC and UML contributed to this state of affairs by pursuing a brazen policy of enrichessez-vous as vigorously as the state campaign of terror and foreign-funded mayhem they unleashed before and during People’s War against the Left and rural agitators who challenged the new corruption.
Nevertheless, communists are not anarchists, grasping that participation in bourgeois elections is often a tactical necessity, so that if on occasion normative bourgeois control of electoral process as a result of political, economic or military crises is problematic, then communist parties should participate, particularly if it offers them the possibility of advancing proletarian interests. It was on such practical eventualities as well as principles that Marx and Engels campaigned for universal suffrage in the Communist Manifesto. They saw communists using the extended franchise to subvert the elective dictatorship of the bourgeoisie:

Transforme, de moyen de duperie qu’il a ete jusqu’ici, en instrument d’emancipation. (Changed by them from the usual means of deception, into one of transformation.)
(K. Marx, Manifesto for French Workers’ Party, 1880. ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 546)

It was in this spirit that the  CPN (M) following the CPA entered the 2008
election campaign for a Constituent Assembly from which it emerged as the biggest party with 40% of the vote, to the surprise of many and to the particular alarm of domestic and foreign reactionaries. Prachanda had used his premature cult of personality, giving him unique authority over the party, PLA and United Front, to promise that the CPA would provide access to the towns and cities, enabling the party to use a CA as an engine for bringing the urban masses into the revolution.
The Maoists were aware that they had considerable support in towns and cities but could not connect with it as People’s War had reached military stalemate, with the PLA controlling the countryside and the RNA and Armed Police Force (APF) paramilitaries the urban centers, particularly Kathmandu. It was a logjam that had to be broken if the Prachanda Path strategy, the fusion of Maoist protracted rural struggle and Leninist urban insurrection, was to succeed and the revolution carried through.
In any event, the CPN (M) formed an administration in alliance with the UML with Prachanda as Prime Minister.
The administration’s first act was to abolish the monarchy and declare a republic, but an attempt by Prachanda to bring the army under civilian control by sacking the insubordinate CoS, Katawal and the royalist generals around him for refusing to integrate PLA ex-combatants en corps into the NA as per the CPA provoked a virtual coup openly orchestrated from New Delhi involving its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) foreign intelligence service acting in collusion with NA officers and apparatchiks from NC, UML and UDMF.
This resulted in Yadhev, Nepal’s first President, significantly one of the few remaining prominent NC Terai Madeshis, exceeding his constitutional authority and reinstating the insubordinate Katawal.
The UML, following instructions from New Delhi, pulled out of the coalition, and with the Maoists now unable to secure a majority in the CA, Nepal’s first Maoist-led government collapsed after only eight months in office.
What provoked New Delhi to act with such speed and malice was triggered by Prachanda’s challenge to India’s right of veto over Nepal’s foreign policy by ‘playing the China card’, repeating Birendra’s ‘mistake’ with an attempted arms purchase from the PRC. Any hint of a China/Nepal alliance was anathema also to the Nepalese officer class and high command, who were historically close to India, and had, post-9/11, forged a deep relationship with Washington and the Pentagon, based on dollars, weaponry and training in return for allowing Nepal to become another link in the US chain surrounding the People’s Republic.
When Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) was asked during the 2013 boycott campaign why he opposed elections, he replied that Maoists were not opposed to them per se as they were a ‘relative matter’. He opposed this specific one as political and financial larceny on a grand scale, attesting:
“It is a criminal conspiracy against the Nepalese working class.”
The 2009 coup showed that electoral results as democratic expressions of the popular will are also, when the occasion demands, a ‘relative matter’ even for those who peddle democracy as a universal panacea at least when it serves class interest but are as quick to ignore or subvert it when it doesn’t.

Class and Patriotism

It would not be incorrect, if very insulting, to say that Nepal’s top leadership vis-à-vis India, has been morally bankrupt, greedy, hypocritical and have served as no more than errand boys. People are tired of these slick, fast-talking politicians. In fact their reputation has gone down the drain. In a culture aimed above all at seizing power, with material motivations, political democracy and thereby sustained peace is unlikely.
– G. Thapa, Republica, Nepalese daily newspaper, September 30, 2013.

Marxist-Leninists argue that nation and class are linked in Third World countries. In these countries, traditional ruling elites and the emerging bourgeoisie have been suborned by transnational capitalism and accept
neocolonial status as preferable to revolutionary change and national independence. It is therefore not in their increasingly cosmopolitan class interests to seek genuine self-determination; only the exploited working and marginalized classes have a genuine interest in such an outcome. (19) The symbiosis of communism and patriotism is therefore contingent to the epoch of imperialism.
The lack of concern of the present ruling elite for its people is shown in the case of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar, cited above, because their remittances contribute over 25% when included within the tourist/service sector’s contribution to GDP. At the macro level they improve the immediate balance of payments but over a longer term contribute to decline in manufacturing and agriculture, which leads to rises in imports, augmenting the structural weaknesses noted earlier in the economy.
Aside from BOP advantages, the money sent back also reduces governmental responsibility for the alleviation of poverty, especially in rural areas. Consequently there has been little or no representation from successive governments for the rights and well-being of the estimated 2.2 million émigré Nepalese presently working in India, Malaysia and the Middle East. (20)
This echoes an early initiative of Jonge Bahadur, who established Rana power after 1846 Red Kot Massacre by reducing the monarchy to titular status. He negotiated a payment per head for every Ghurkha recruited into the British Army. (21) This was one aspect of a new strategic alliance with the East India Company through which the new rulers began to draw material benefit from trading their subjects as commodities in the form of mercenaries, while being left unchallenged in Nepal to establish Rana monopoly control over all trade and to plunder state coffers and lands with impunity.
The arc that connects the establishment of Gurkha mercenaries with migrant labor is one where benefit accrues to the same high castes exercising state power, albeit under superficially different political systems by different means of extraction in different epochs.
Kiran’s Maoists, in this sense, expand the concept of patriotism beyond concern for territory and existing culture into one that includes the justice and welfare of the people. This criterion goes beyond but does not ignore traditional concerns: the defense of borders against constant Indian encroachments, ending the shameless political obedience to Delhi, the rolling back of foreign ownership in vital economic sectors, and protecting Nepal’s largely untapped vast hydro resources from continued Indian predation.
The CPN-M Dashists are equally quick to point out that they are only anti-Indian to the extent that they oppose the Indian government’s neocolonialist meddling in Nepal. The hatred of Brahminical expansionist policies does not extend to the Indian people, who they argue have and are beginning to make their own revolution against the same enemy.
This internationalist perspective is axiomatic for the patriotism of national liberation struggles in countries oppressed by imperialism and distinguishes it from bourgeois chauvinist nationalism that breeds racist hatred and jingoist aggression. This was the ideology that fueled rivalry between the nascent European states and then mutated into the racial superiority engendered by the subsequent colonization and subjugation of native peoples in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Imperialism no longer requires direct colonial occupation but operates in neo- or semi-colonial form. Exploitation of peoples and resources continue, and even intensify, but are now fronted by local ruling elites, comprador upper castes and classes, conditioned and rewarded to front for and spare imperialist powers from the obloquy and resistance engendered by 19th century European colonial empires.
Mao described the modus operandi:

When imperialism carries on its oppression not by war but by milder means – political, economic and cultural – the ruling classes in semi-colonial countries capitulate to imperialism, and the two form an alliance for the joint oppression of the masses of the people.
– Mao Zedong, On Contradiction, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.331

The present Nepalese ruling class, in this respect, cannot represent the national interest, Maoists aver, as they constitute an anti-patriotic bloc sustained by and servant to international capital and great power geopolitics. Kiran concluded:

Both the King and the Nepali Congress Party represent the feudal, bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie.

Patriotism in Nepal and similar Third World countries, is not, argue the Maoists, ‘a refuge for the scoundrel’, but rather a home for the homeless and the hope of the hopeless. In this regard Pushpa Lal, when founding the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in 1949, absorbed Mao’s definition of patriotism and learned how the Koumintang degenerated from the patriots of Sun Yat Sen into the quislings of Chiang Kai Chek. He also derived lessons from the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Germany’s virulent, fascist imperialism. Patriotism in the modern age was, by these examples, anti-imperialist by definition.
Therefore, in the epoch of imperialism, the mantle of patriotism falls upon the shoulders of the proletariat in the oppressed Third World. The bourgeoisie in the metropolitan heartlands invoke it to mask imperial aggression and aggrandizement, while the big bourgeoisie of monopoly financial and industrial capital have transcended the nation-state and its parochial ideology, instead pledging allegiance to the ascending global megalopolis of money.

Communist Politics: 1949-2014

Inspired by China’s liberation in 1949, the newly founded Communist Party of Nepal took up arms against the Rana regime, which was in power via an alliance with NC led by the Koirala brothers and royalist forces under King Tribhuvan (Nepal’s Ivan the Terrible to the Ranas’ Boyars) Together they forged a Mukti Senaa (Liberation Army) which invaded from India in 1950/51.
These activities were supported, with arms, funds and facilities and funded by Nehru’s Congress government, and even included providing officer staff from Bose’s recently demobilized Indian National Army. Nehru had already godfathered the creation of Nepali Congress in 1948 from progressive Nepalese democrats exiled in India, and wanted to settle accounts with the pro-British Ranas. In the final event India limited their support to the NC, forcing it into a three-way peace agreement with the Ranas and the King.
There followed a short-lived NC/Rana coalition government, the collapse of which signaled a decade of political struggle between the NC and the King, followed by thirty years of monarchial executive government, with New Delhi steering a seemingly contradictory ‘Two-Pillar’ policy of supporting the monarchy and the aspiring democrats of Nepali Congress.
Lal, who, in 1949 first translated the Communist Manifesto into Nepalese, linked armed struggle to a domestic program, principally advocating a ‘Land to the Tiller’ policy in tandem with breaking up big feudal estates and following the example of China’s ‘New Democracy’ also proclaimed the intention of promoting state-sponsored national capitalism.
The party also advocated a Constitutional Assembly, which was agreed among all the parties, foreign and domestic, but reneged on by Tribhuvan’s successor, Mahendra, who, following the 1960 coup, replaced the parliamentary system with a feudal Panchayat, a series of interlocked consultative committees, starting at village level and ending with the King as final arbiter.
It was in these conditions of a Shah/Brahmin autocracy and the international US-led post-1945 onslaught to roll back Communism that saw the Communist Party and movement grow, recruiting from the intelligentsia, disillusioned radical NC members, urban workers, Dalits and oppressed rural minorities.
However, aside from having to operate underground, it faced the same problem as that of succeeding communist parties and cadre in maintaining a united revolutionary line. Lal’s CPN split in the early 1960’s between pro-Moscow reformists such as Tulsi Lal Amatya and pro-Beijing revolutionaries.
There was a parallel split between the Rayamajhi faction which scuttled off to serve the Panchayat system and Puspha Lal, who remained committed to proletarian revolution against domestic reaction and international US imperialism, supported by Mao’s communist China,  at least until Deng Xiaoping’s 1976 Rightist coup left the proletariat at home and abroad to its own devices.
After the Japha Uprising in 1971, Nepal’s first communist armed struggle, the UML emerged. But by 1990, it was fully committed to multiparty democracy and conciliation with Delhi, following the lead set by its homologues in Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Its transformation into a comprador bourgeois parliamentary party epitomized when the short-lived 1994 UML Adhikary administration instigated the Integrated Mahakali Treaty, which, under its NC successor, signed after an orgy of corruption, ceded sovereignty of the river to India. The UCPN (Maoist) path from People’s War into parliamentary politics and accommodation with Delhi has already been noted.
However, Nepalese communism, while disputatious, has shown great vigor, and unlike the post-1945 Western communist parties has never surrendered intellectual or political hegemony to the bourgeoisie. Schisms and splits followed deviations, but the result always ensured that the torch of patriotic, anti-imperialist revolution was passed to a new generation and party. The CPN-M is the latest manifestation of this cycle of action and reaction and may not be the last, but it has inherited the legacy of Puspha Lal Shrestha at a time when Luxemburg’s historical option of ‘Socialism or barbarism?’ confronts with even greater urgency, a century after she coined her prophetic question.

Jo Chor Usko Thulo Sor (Proverb: ‘He Who Steals Shouts Aloud’)

The feudal system was by no means brought complete from Germany, but had its origin, as far as the conquerors were concerned, in the martial organization of the army during the actual conquest, and this evolved after the conquest into the feudal system proper through the action of the productive forces found in the conquered countries.
– K Marx, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.72)

Nepal was unified in 1769 when the Gorkhali warrior state subdued the three kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley and created a myriad of fifty or more smaller principalities under the leadership of Prithi Narayan, who became its first Shah and centralized royal power in Kathmandu. It was not an organic process with common national identity evolving from a shared history, economy, language or culture but one of force majeure that involved conquest and subjugation over many indigenous ethnicities, each with their own language and customs.
Narayan Shah’s ruthless empire building was partly driven by desire to forestall the inexorable northeastern expansion of the East Indian Company, then easily colonizing small kingdoms in its path. The creation of a martial Greater Nepal did indeed halt the feringhees (foreigners) advance, which appeared unstoppable following Clive’s decisive victory at Palashi (Plassey) over the Nawab of Bengal in 1757. This battle secured Company rule over India until the precise centennial challenge of the first War of Independence in 1857, denigrated by the British using the euphemism, ‘The Indian Mutiny’.
However, a decade after Plassey, in 1767, Narayan Shah’s Gurkhali army routed a British expeditionary force under Captain Kinloch at Sindhulighadi and kept the greedy, expansionist British in the guise of the East India Company out of Nepal until the second decade of the 19th century and, many claim, helped ensure that the country was never formally colonized. It necessitated creating a domestic power imbalance with a minority ruling a majority that, apart from some cosmetic modification, exists to the present day and for a century was marked by Rana regimes so servile to British interests that invasion and colonization were rendered unnecessary.

1769 – The Dawn of the Hindu Kingdom

The extent of dominion had been acquired entirely during the last fifty years, by the systematic prosecution of a policy likened by the Goorkhas themselves, and not inaptly so, to that which had gained for us the empire of Hindoostan.
– HT Prinsep, The Goorkha War, p 9, 1825)

Prithvi Narayan Shah established a state in Nepal that in many way was analogous with those of European feudalism that emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire and lasted until the rise of capitalism in the late Middle Ages. It also was an agricultural society presided over by a divinely ordained monarch, nobility and priesthood existing on the labor and produce of a mass of serfs. Even the manner of its inception by force of arms echoes Marx’s comments on the origins of feudalism in Northern Europe as a response to anarchy and decay of the times:

From these conditions and the mode of organization determined by them, feudal property developed under the influence of the Germanic military constitution. (Marx-Engels, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist & Idealist Outlook, p.23. ME Selected Works, Vol. 1)

In this respect, Narayan Shah’s unification of Nepal was similar to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, where advanced military forces involving disciplined infantry and cavalry in integrated battle tactics was decisive in sweeping aside patchy and ill-coordinated Anglo-Saxon resistance.
In terms of comparative logistics and technical support, it was complemented by Narayan Shah’s adoption of modern weaponry and training of a third of his army along British lines that proved crucial to eventual success in a grueling twenty-year campaign culminating in the declaration of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom in 1769.
Gorkhalis and Normans conquered foreign lands and peoples, and Kings William and Narayan used countrywide grants of confiscated lands to their warrior and clerical castes as both reward for past service and to secure the future of the central regime. In each case repression was used to entrench the system and reduce respective populations to serf/Shudra servility. The speed and ruthless nature of Norman expropriations was such that by the end of William’s reign in 1087, 20% of the land was owned by the royal family, 25% by ten of his leading nobles and another 25% by the Church.
It was a more attenuated process in Nepal, but by the time of the Ranas in mid-19th century, similar patterns in ownership and access to land were firmly established that, despite some fragmentation and formal abolition of feudal land titles, remain into the 21st century for want of serious reform. A 2004 Human Development Report, UNDP, reported the top 5% owning 37% of the land, with the bottom 47% in possession of 15% (22). A decade earlier the Maoists presented more dramatic statistics calculating the top 10% as owning 65% of the cultivable land with exactly reversed percentages for poor peasant possession of land. (23)
From the birth of the new state, each of the subjugated peoples were subject to feudal rent in labor, goods or money in the case of Nepal where a sizable portion took immediate monetary form, while in Europe such remittance mode emerged gradually, attenuated by feudal society fragmenting under the impact of a growing urban society of flourishing markets and small-scale commodity production. In this situation money’s use-value as means of facilitating commodity exchange enriched and accelerated the rise of an increasingly prosperous merchant burger class that finally burst the constraints of European feudalism.

Land Tenure Post-1769

Should the direct producers not be confronted by a private landlord, but rather, as in Asia under direct subordination to a state which stands over them as their landlord and simultaneously as sovereign, then rent and taxes coincide, or rather, there exists no tax which differs from this form of ground-rent. Under such circumstances there need exist no stronger political or economic pressure than that common to all subjection to that state. The state is then the supreme lord. Sovereignty here consists in the ownership of land concentrated on a national scale.
– Marx, Capital Vol 3, p 791, New World edition)

Aside from the geopolitical considerations of blocking the feringhees, the Gorkha state was driven by hunger for land, and Narayan Shah particularly desired the fertile Kathmandu Valley. Brahmins and Rajputs who had settled across Nepal, having being uprooted from North India by Mughal invasion and settlement, were also instrumental in securing the new system established by Narayan Shah from the Kathmandu center.
They were particularly enthusiastic participants in the abolition of tribal land rights and the creation of a royal monopoly over all land under the Raikar Law. This allowed for individual/family use and transfer as long as taxes were paid to the King’s state treasury. Private ownership of land eventually mutated from this private use, creating a largely Brahmin landlord class.
When Raikar was abolished in 1950, the system accounted for 50% of cultivated land. Equally important for the Shahs and especially the later Ranas was Birta tenure where land was allotted to servants and soldiers of the King free of tax. When it was abolished in 1959, it accounted for 36% of cultivated land. (24)
The Guthi system further allowed for state or private grants of land to religious institutions and was free from tax and repossession by the donor. This continues to the present time but accounts for only 2% of cultivated land.
A specific subset of Birta was Jagir tenure, which was land in lieu of pay to army personnel, both officers and privates, which intensified expropriations of a scarce resource and entrenched the new order by, as one historian notes:

…granting of Jagir lands to such of them as received appointments in the government and army was an important factor contributing to the stability and organization of the newly established regime. Without the Jagir system it would have been virtually impossible for the government to distribute rewards to its nobility and military personnel.
Land Ownership in Nepal, p 74, MC Regmi).

Certain ethnic groups in Eastern Nepal had traditional rights to common land under the Kipat system. The Limbus in particular had these rights as quid pro quo for their agreement in 1774 to accept merger with Nepal under Narayan Shah’s sovereignty, which extracted a pledge that Kipat land would remain outside the Raikar system in perpetuity. This was never honored by succeeding shahs and particularly the later Rana regimes that relentlessly encroached upon these lands during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Limbus suffered especially as literate and legally informed Brahmins exploited their skills to dispossess them of their traditional lands. It was comparable to the enclosures of Tudor and Georgian England, where the gentry used Acts of Parliaments to dispossess an equally unwitting rural people of their common lands.
Rai Kipat land was largely untouched, reflecting the uneven development in the extension of royal autocratic hegemony mingled with deliberate divide et impera strategy. It shows how oppression was relative, with some national minorities eventually binding to and serving Narayan’s state, even applying stratification by caste among their own peoples, acquiescent in their deities’ acceptance as avatars of the Hindu God, &c.

Caste and the Feudal State

When born in the same way – all are one. None superior –none inferior. What is the use of caste that discriminates between human beings?
– From Basavanna’s Vachanas, written by a 12th century Indian philosopher/statesman.

The modalities of tenure imposed by the first Shah were pivotal in creating the economic and political sinews of a strong central state and went hand-in-hand with the imposition of the Hindu caste system throughout the country. This showed that feudalism in Nepal, while it shared features with the European variety, was deeply rooted in the culture of Indian tributary societies which flourished in the Middle Kingdoms between the first and thirteenth centuries.
The caste system originated as a means for a colonizing group of light-skinned Indo-Aryans to distinguish themselves from the indigenous dark aboriginal peoples (Adivhasis) they were colonizing by establishing three Varnas (Varna denotes color) – Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishaya in order of superiority.
However, according to scholars, by the time of Gupta Dynasty around 100 AD, this structure was recast as a socioeconomic hierarchy after large grants of land were given to the Brahmin priests, administrators, astrologers, temples and monastic institutions. This largesse had earlier been declared a sacred duty in the Dharmashastra, Hinduism’s foundational scripts where Brahmins are declared Pratigraha, the one caste entitled to receive gifts. There are further references along these lines in the epic poem Mahabharata.
The fourth caste, Shudras, were called forth during this period as an agricultural labor force in servile symbiosis with a rapidly expanding landlord class. Slaves at worst, chattel at best; a Shudra could be killed by a Brahmin with impunity. They were untouchables, subject to enforced endogamy and exclusion. The peasantry of contemporary village India are their descendants. Eventually a fifth category evolved, Dalits (Hindi for oppressed) which took over menial tasks connected with bodily waste, pollution and dirt – they and other tribal subgroups became the ‘Untouchables’.
This essentially was the system that Narayan Shah and his Gorkha warriors imposed upon Nepal, notwithstanding the Shah’s attempt at inclusivity by describing his Kingdom as ‘a garden of four castes and thirty-six subcastes’. No rosy description could, however, mask the reality of a ruthless struggle for land (intensified by salient, topographical fact that only 20% of the country’s area is cultivable) resulting in the new masters seizing the best land and extracting disproportionate produce as feudal rent.
Janjatis were accorded the same status as Shudras and Dalits, and aside from extractions of surplus and rent, had to provide free labor for specified periods and military service as necessary, under the Jhara Code, comparable to Corvee Labor in European feudalism. Hindu patriarchal law deprived Janjati village and farmstead women of property rights. This was accompanied by a sustained campaign to ban ethnic languages and culture that culminated in the Panchayat slogan: ‘One nation, one king, one language.’

Religion in Tributary/Feudal Society

In Kalikot, Hinduism has incurred into disfavor after the Maoist uprising, temples have been abandoned or even demolished. There was no use for them after the upper castes lost their land and moved to the city. In this place we had a temple of Dedhedu, and we were not allowed to enter the temple from this area onward. If we are not allowed to worship the idols that we ourselves made, then there is no point. We came to understand this and stopped maintaining the place.”
– Interview with Dalit Kalikot resident.

The Panchas did not add ‘One God’ to the attributes of the Khas nation as this was axiomatic to the state’s divine Hindu conception where religion was integral, functioning as means of ideological control over the laboring masses. It is strikingly similar to the role played by the pre-Reformation, Roman Catholic Church in European feudalism.
The Church of Rome preached that serfs were chattel, a property category introduced into the world as divine retribution for the original sin of Adam and Eve and carried from birth by their descendants. However, by virtuously accepting his/her lot and offering it up as penance in this life, a serf could attain a ‘state of grace’, ensuring admittance in the next life to Heaven at Dies Irae (Judgment Day). The Church was also a great land and serf owner and had a vested material interest in the temporal status quo. As is so often with organized religion, the basest of motives were tricked out as divinely inspired credo by ferocious, proselytizing clergy.
Their Hindu Brahmin homologues achieved the same end by teaching Shudras, Dalits, and other lower castes that their reward for accepting low caste in this life and creating good karma would be reincarnation into a higher one in the next. There is a potentially endless cycle of life, death and rebirth expressed in the concept of Samsara until the totality of Karma, achieved by soul’s migration through various physical manifestations is sufficient to achieve final mukti (liberation).
There are, of course, significant differences between Catholicism and Hinduism – one a transnational, centralized, corporate entity, the other a syncretic, subcontinental, decentralized network, but in credal terms of ‘justifying the ways of God to Man’ as mechanisms for strict hierarchical control, they were equally prescriptive. The Brahmins are as fanatical about  prohibiting intercaste marriage or upholding Sati as Catholic clerics were about burning heretics for denying the Trinity or Transubstantiation doctrines.
Each presented priestly castes functioning to reconcile the exploited and submerged masses to their inferior position by rationalizing the respective socioeconomic systems as ‘divinely ordained’ and eternal. The historian Kosambhi’s assessment below on role of caste in Hinduism could be equally applied to that of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe.

Caste is class at a primitive level of production, a religious method of forming a social consciousness in such a manner that the primary producer is deprived of his surplus with the minimum of coercion.
– D. D. Kosambhi, Combined Methods in Indology, p 59.

Consensus and Conquest

Whatever the arguments concerning the urban genesis of Indian feudalism (25) in the Gupta period (300-600 AD), there is no doubt that in Nepal it was driven from a central urban power in Kathmandu. Whereas towns and cities in Europe rose in opposition to the feudal countryside, in Nepal the city of Kathmandu was instrumental in superimposing a unified feudal system in a region, and the process was marked by an uneven impact upon urban and rural populations. For the former it was consolidation or even preservation, for the latter – a ’Big Bang’ whose reverberations, like the cosmic microwave background, are still detectable.
In this regard, the unification of the petty principalities, city states and major kingdoms within the Gandaki Basin of Central Nepal ranging from Pokhara to Kathmandu was facilitated by shared Indo-Aryan ethnicity, religion and language among the various protagonists. The regional ubiquity of Hindu upper castes – Brahmins, Chetris, Newaris, Thakuris and Rajputs – in various independent micropolities, petty principalities and kingdoms thus enabled Narayan Shah to develop a strategy that allowed for guile, diplomacy or force of arms to be juggled as necessary on a shared terrain as predominantly a manageable political or dynastic problem.
Most of the town and city statelets absorbed were, nolens volens, either feudal or proto-feudal, with rural lower castes and untouchables producing the agricultural surplus appropriated by urban higher castes.
Devout Hindus obviously welcomed the extension of the caste system that underpinned their privileged conditions of existence but were also roused by the Gorkhali King’s call to defend Hinduism against the Christian feringhees’ inexorable advance – Bible in one hand, rifle in the other. The warrior castes, forged in the wars against Buddhism and the later Mughal incursion, responded with particular fervor, ensuring them an influential position in the ruling elite thereafter.
For the Janjati Tibeto-Burman (26) peoples it was a military conquest by Indo-Aryans subjecting them to economic exploitation and cultural coercion. It created multifaceted oppression based on ethnicity, caste and gender that intensified under the Ranas who, led by Jonge Bahadur Rana, seized power in 1846. The Ranas were Rajput warriors (the name means, ‘field of battle’) raised originally by Narayan Shah, and their century-long rule was marked by persecution, corruption, and debauchery. In return for being left alone to plunder the country, a succession of mostly Shamsher Ranas developed a neocolonial relationship with the British that began seriously starting with the 1857 War of Independence.
Domestically, they used the Birta system extensively in order to seize more land, which increased rural deprivation and landlessness. Birta was particularly applied to award large tracts of the fertile Terai Plains to the Rana clan and other upper castes such as Thakhuris, Brahmins, Chhetris and Rajputs.
The 1854 Muluki Ain (Country/Civil Law) was essential to the process of freezing Nepal in the Middle Age. This set of laws derived from orthodox the Hindu sanctions and laws of the Dharmashastras, giving legal validation to the caste system by, inter alia, prohibiting intercaste mixing, regulating submission of peasants before landlords, and generally preserving the sociocultural and economic status quo. It also continued the tradition of Brahmins being exempt in law from capital or corporal punishment.
There was always resistance in some form to Rana autocracy – for example, the Gurung and Magar Risings in the 19th century and the mass movement inspired by a young widow, Yog Maya, a campaign for rural justice and against caste discrimination which lasted for two decades until the early 1930s. The response to any challenge to the existing order, whether socioeconomic or political, was always repression. In 1940 activists from the Prajaa Parisad (Citizens’ Council) Party were hung for daring to advocate a constitutional monarchy.
While the Ranas’ political grip was loosened after 1950, it has maintained military influence in the officer class and high command of the Nepalese Army, with the present Chief of Army Staff, J. B. Rana, one of the seven Ranas out of eleven occupants of the post since 1974.

Failure of Post-1950 Land Reforms

Towards the end of the uncertain 1950s’, Nehru’s duplicitous Delhi Compromise disintegrated, with the Ranas retiring from political, but not military, power. Nepali Congress and King Mahendra entered a struggle to determine ascendancy, as the democratically elected 1959 Koirala government tentatively began land reform with the twin aims of raising agricultural productivity and alleviating rural poverty.
This was undermined in 1960 by Mahendra’s military coup, proroguing parliament, banning political parties and trade unions, and beginning direct monarchical rule through a Panchayat system of ‘managed democracy’, and in 1962 implementing a pro-landlord program.
This provoked the American agronomist who had helped draft the previous NC administration’s progressive legislation complaining, in a 1963 letter,that landlords were an obstacle to reform because:

They opposed any attempt to improve the situation of tenants.
They were content with low productivity because it generated enough surplus that would be at risk from reform. They were pursuing narrow caste/class sectional interests at the expense of national prosperity and advancing the forces of agricultural production. (27)
Garibiko Bahas. Discussion on Poverty

However, by this time Mahendra had consolidated power with help of a ruling elite that included a significant tranche of landlords and therefore substantial reforms such as setting upper limits on land ownership, increasing access to land for marginalized groups, and greater legal protection for poorer tenants were rejected. Subsequently, his successors, kings and democrats alike, emulated this approach, paying lip service to land reform and radical transformation of the agricultural sector.
Probing Mahendra’s support for the landlords encapsulates the premise of this essay, limning a ruling elite that established its caste predominance by force majeure in 1769 and was still clinging to political power and economic privilege.
Looking at the composition of the landlord class extant at Mahendra’s accession provides a microcosm of Nepalese history, with soldiers and high civil servants from established Brahmin and Chetri castes forming a core of absentee landlords. This was leavened by in situ landlords who became the activists and officers (Panchas) of the Panchayat system and were instrumental in implementing the 1967 ‘Back to the Village’ campaign and generally eliminating rural opposition to the absolutist regime.
From 1964 on there were a succession of five Land Acts, none of which led to any perceptible change to the basic inequities suffered by the rural masses. Hopes for restructuring the sector were dashed when both NC and UML’s ‘Land to the Tiller’ policies failed to survive the transition from underground to legality, following the 1990 Andolan that humbled King Birendra and established for New Delhi a more amenable multiparty system.
The short-lived 1996 Adikhari UML-led coalition administration tried to pick up the pieces and set up the Badal Commission which recommended measures to increase access to land by hitherto marginalized rural peoples. Its recommendations fell with the government that commissioned it, and reform was off the agenda, as successive administrations preferred stasis to reform.
The NC-led Deuba regime, in 2002, did propose a program of radical change, ostensibly to aid poor farmers and tenants but which in reality turned out to be a political stratagem rather than a serious reform initiative, the purpose of which was to neutralize and outbid support for the Maoists’ truly radical rural agenda at the height of People’s War.
The only changes attempted by the many governments from 1990-2006 were guided by neoliberal policies enforced on loan-dependent Nepal by the IMF and World Bank. Permitting only market mechanisms, they enabled the landlord-moneyed class to acquire even more land through a Land Bank. Furthermore, land registration and government improvement grants were designed to benefit big Hindu landlords. Meanwhile, the governments resisted ceilings on land ownership aimed at sharing land more equably by creating tenancies among the hitherto landless and marginalized rural populations and also rejected improving rights and security of tenure for existing small and single family tenancies.

Failure of Post-1990 Land Reform

It was significant that the landlord class, following the collapse of the Panchayat system in 1990, flocked into the ranks of Nepali Congress, entrenching it further as a formidable conservative bloc, winning the 1991 election that, after a hiccup, saw the ferocious anti-communist GP Koirala installed as Prime Minister. He needed little urging to launch a harsh campaign of state repression against the urban Left and their Janjati allies in the countryside.
This commenced in April 1992 with police shooting demonstrators in Kathmandu and led remorselessly to the notorious 1995 Operation Romeo which subjected the western district of Rolpa to sustained police terror, lasting weeks and featuring arbitrary killing, rape and mass arrests, followed by detention and often torture. This insensate, brutal operation was decisive in swelling the ranks of a nascent Maobaadi (Maoist) PLA, and provided the spark that ignited a prairie fire of rural revolution marking the decade following 1996. Dr. Bhatterai provided an overview:

The most disadvantaged regions within the country include those inhabited by indigenous people since time immemorial. These regions, which were independent tribal states prior to the formation of the unified state in the latter half of the 18th century, have been reduced to the most backward and oppressed condition due to internal feudal exploitation and external semi-colonial oppression.
They have been left behind in the historical development process because of the blockade of their path to independent development and the imposition of sociocultural oppression along with economic oppression with the backing of the state, by forces that came from outside.
B. Bhatterai, Political Economy of People’s War, 1997, from PW in Nepal, Seddon-Karki, p 153)

It was no accident therefore, that the Maoists in 1996 chose to launch People’s War from rural West Nepal, beginning with the ransacking of an Agricultural Development Bank office located, with appropriate historical symmetry, in Gorkha District. Loan agreements lodged there, which extracted rent from tenant farmers by usurious repayments, were seized and torched, while ownership documents, held as collateral against the loans, were carefully retrieved and returned to respective titleholders.
It was no accident that land reform was a key element in 2006 negotiations for CPA, where Maoists wanted further confiscation of land from the big landlords without compensation and the application of ‘scientific management’ to agriculture. In so doing they were echoing longstanding communist aims of land reform, highlighted in the 40 demands promulgated in 1996 by CPN (M) and whose anticipated rejection was the trigger for People’s War.
Communists and anti-imperialists argue land reform is crucial for underdeveloped Third World countries if they are to gestate into modern genuinely independent societies. Forgetting the propaganda about it being the ‘world’s biggest democracy’, India is presently the world’s greatest failed state, with staggering levels of poverty and deprivation.
This stems from the failure to transform its inefficient feudal land system after independence, because, prior to it, Gandhi and Nehru had made an alliance with the feudal landlords and guaranteed their property and privilege. The much vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ of the 1960’s came and went without altering the systemic depressing reality noted by a leading economist:

Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940’s to 1970’s. Due to faulty distribution of food and because farmers did not receive the true value of their labors, the majority of the population did not get enough food. Malnutrition and starvation were a huge problem.
Sen, A. Poverty and Famine, 1981

In 2008 the World Bank estimated the global poor at 1.29 billion, of whom 400 million were in India. Communist China by contrast expropriated its landlord class and created over 70,000 communes that overcame residual difficulties and not only eliminated famines by 1970, but also, against the background of the mid-1960’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, provided the springboard for Deng Xiaoping’s launching China in the direction of state capitalism (28) after 1976.
Other socialist countries have followed this path: DPRK, Vietnam, and Cuba. Even Japan, post-1945, under MacArthur’s US imperium – initiated land reform clearing away feudalism as precondition for a capitalist future and a bastion against the march of communism in Asia. In all cases it was intended as precursor to industrial development and national autonomy. It is the only way for semi-feudal (29) and feudal societies to advance beyond  subsistence agriculture – by planning, collectivization and ‘scientific management’ in order to expand reproduction and accumulate the surplus necessary to feed the urban populations.
It is especially crucial in supporting a growing working class engaged on infrastructural projects or in domestic industries that hopefully flourish when protected behind tariff walls.
The nature of the society shapes its revolution’s priorities; as Dr Bhatterai, then in camp of revolution, detailed:

In a semi-feudal agriculture based economy like Nepal, the New Democratic revolution means basically an agrarian revolution. Revolutionary land reform, is, therefore, the biggest and the most important economic program of the New Democratic revolution. (B Bhatterai, ibid, p 158)

Summary – Historical Constituents of Discord

The imposition of a feudal system from the urban center created unresolved contradictions in Nepalese society. These contradictions are intensifying under pressurized conditions effected by the modern global capitalist market, but their provenance lies in Narayan Shah’s successful, ruthless unification campaign. More conquest than consensus, it seeded the antagonisms that continue to flourish in a divided, heterogeneous society and are recapitulated below.
1). The urban and rural paradox, which saw an urban center dominating the countryside as was touched on earlier, was an inversion of European feudal experience where towns and cities grew in dynamic opposition to the stagnant nature of rustic society. This caused Marx to remark in the Communist Manifesto that the one thing you could thank the bourgeoisie for, was that they built cities and rescued the mass of the people from ‘rural idiocy’. On the contrary in Nepal, unification and comprehensive extension of Hindu feudalism/Brahminism was driven by an autocratic, central state that remains largely intact and unreformed.
As with many capital cities in the developing world, Kathmandu has also come to epitomize uneven development, with the city growing into a First World citadel, in a Third World society, a progression expedited because its ruling elites in politics, the civil service, the armed forces, business and, increasingly, the media have been suborned by global and regional imperialism, manifested in mixtures of military, economic and cultural Soft Power.
In today’s Nepal, continuing resentment of central power, even dressed up as ‘democracy’, is revealed in dissension between those defending it against federalists seeking to liberate national minorities in the regions.
The CPN (M) placed decentralization among its 40 demands in 1996, and it has since provided detailed policy necessary to establish a federal state. The major parliamentary parties are opposed, wanting to either retain power in the Kathmandu center or gerrymander a federal state that ensures continuing upper caste/class hegemony.
2). Narayan Shah’s triumph is echoed in the confrontation between Hindu Khas chauvinists and Janjati national minorities, with the former from the outset dressing up socioeconomic oppression of the latter in religious and linguist garb. The Rana record of attempting to stamp out the many ethnic languages and cultures is attested, but successive Shahs and soi disant democratic politicians were no better.
As late as 1994, the Adhikari UML administration launched a Sanskrit radio station and tried to make its teaching compulsory in schools. Something to note – Sanskrit, the root of all Indo-Aryan languages as Latin for the European ‘Romantics’, has no linguistic connection with any ethnic minority language in Nepal, and the strategy of its imposition was another cultural humiliation, provoking an anti-Sanskrit campaign led by Janjatis.
This event was a particularly salutary example of the gulf between the UML’s communist appellation and its political practice, which in this case was distinguished by arrogant, implicit Hindutvaism.
Reflecting back to the 1066 conquest of England, Marx, quoted earlier, noted that the Norman system was grafted onto a pre-existing embryonic form of Anglo-Saxon feudalism. It could also be said that the two peoples shared the Catholic faith, perhaps offset by the Papal blessing given to William, rewarding his Ultramontanist credentials and the Church’s temporal interest in extending this more efficient and proven pious Norman feudalism and its own theological-political hegemony.
However, even points of concurrence did not disguise a brutal invasion followed by a century of military oppression at the hands of a French-speaking army and a new nobility ensconced in castle, on expropriated land. The evolution of feudalism into the more benign form of manorialism and the consolidation of Royal and Papal power in England was greatly facilitated by fact that within four generations, the hitherto alien invaders, kings and nobles alike, had abandoned the French language for an evolving English one. This linguistic event was crucial to the formation of the modern English language and vital in establishing a cohesive national identity.
It was not, therefore, unification by force-of-arms at the behest of foreign invaders that has precluded a similar Nepalese national identity from appearing; rather it is the failure to heal the original divisions created between vaunting conqueror and resentful conquered.
3). Landlord and tenant antipathy is rooted in the appropriation and expropriation of land that continued until the second half of the 20th century. The abolition of feudal land tenure and its subsequent mutation from private use to private ownership under market conditions benefited upper caste landlords by enabling them to consolidate their lands, with access to capital giving them immediate preference in acquiring released former royal/state lands.
As shown previously, the pattern of land ownership has scarcely changed since the covetous Ranas and upper castes used the state and its repressive apparatus to monopolize swathes of it. Reforms such as setting ceilings on land holdings were either resisted or circumvented. Small tenants were given few protections, and they either fell prey to usurers or were driven into sharecropping and landlessness.
This last group have swollen to include almost 30% of the rural population, mainly Dalits, ethnics, Terai Muslims, and together they form a reservoir of cheap labor, first supplementing and then replacing Kamaiya bonded labor after its abolition in 2002. Thus the feudal landholders devolved into landlords, rentiers – often absentee – and usurers. Over 80% of this last category were drawn from this traditional rural elite (30) despite the Asian Development Bank’s attempts to break their monopoly of usury. Consequently feudal relations continue to dominate an increasingly proletarianized rural workforce.
4) The crucial component defining the relations of production in the tributary system established by Prithvi Narayan Shah was the rigorous application of the Hindu caste system and the enforcement of it on Buddhist, pantheist, or shamanist Janjatis. The ideas of the ruling class, as Marx observed, tend to constitute the dominant ideas in any society, and in the subcontinent, caste was the Brahmin elite’s mechanism for maintaining and rationalizing oppression and exploitation.
It expressed a fusion of ideological and economic function in a society characterized by the rigid hierarchy of caste and rendered immutable by divine genesis and command:

The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
God made them high and low
And ordered their estate

This Christian hymn’s maxims are paralleled in the precepts of Hindu casteism as set forth, among other sources, by the God Krishna in the Bhavagad Gita:

“The caste system has been created by me…According to the differentiation of…Karma”
Ch 4, Verse 13
“…of (the castes) the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their nature”
Ch 18, Verse 41

The continuing grip of this system, however informal, is evidence of residual feudal mindset and practice. A contemporary Brahmin is just as likely today to be a newspaper editor, political boss, professional, or civil servant, as a Pujaari (priest) or Jyotisi (astrologer), but this has not diluted the influence of the caste; rather it has equipped it to expand into the many crevices of power in contemporary civil societies.
In all events, the secular opinion-former or the Thulo Hakim (party godfather/boss), laagered in Kathmandu, is no less the arrogant, prescriptive Brahmin, than is the cleric, functioning as interlocutor between humanity and God, under the gold roof of Pashupatinath Temple, on the banks of the Bagmati River that flows through Kathmandu and from where Dalits, as with all temples, are barred from entering.
Caste in Nepal often overlaps with class, with Brahmins and Kshatriya morphing into bourgeoisie, and Dalits in their designated laboring and semi-skilled occupations recalibrating as workers and forming unions. Whatever the taxonomy, caste discrimination remains deeply ingrained in a society dominated by upper caste Hindus, despite the advent of multiparty democracy. Dalits and their organizations and unions have consistently supported the Maoists, seeing the revolution as the means of consigning the system into the dustbin of history.
In this respect the CPN (M) were decisive in purging caste-discriminatory practices in liberated base areas, setting an example that stills cries out for general application.
5). The creation of Nepal under the auspices of deeply patriarchal culture was a qualitative setback for gender equality as post-pubertal females under Hinduism were regarded as domestic chattel to serve and gratify male needs and reproduce the species.
This conflicted with the more liberated mores of Janjati societies based the villages and valleys of the hinterland. They represented the close-knit, gemeinschaft ideal, where survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment, was problematic for both sexes, precluding prejudice and requiring cooperation and mutual respect. Consequently women were influential in the community and could obtain and inherit property.
This was prohibited under Hindu religion and law; women were also stopped from working in the fields under this rubric and generally subject to humiliation and constraints that marked their low status. They suffered the twin oppressions of class and gender, expressed in economic, social and political forms.
The Maobaadi slogan was:

Working Women of the World, Unite. You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Double Chains!!

There is also significant empirical evidence that discrimination has deleterious health effects, especially to lower-caste women. Nepal is unique because female life expectancy has always lagged a few years behind that of males, an inversion of the normative death rate gender differential obtaining in most societies. Up to 2000, the country had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world – 875 per 100,000, and it is little better now.
Lower caste women suffer further sexual oppression, are subject to rape with impunity by high caste males and are forced into sex slavery and prostitution. Hindu women, especially in urban centers, are made to observe Teej (husband worship), and the fifth day Tihar (Nepal’s Deepawali) is set aside for Hindu sisters’ Bhai Tikka (brother worship).
However, People’s War raised a challenge to the subordination of women in Nepal; the CPN (M) was committed to female liberation, from Marx to Mao a consistent communist principle, and proved this in the red base areas. There were dramatic effects on women in these zones, both indirect and direct. In the first place the conflict caused male displacement into PLA and militia and accelerated the increasing flight of men into migrant work, leaving the work traditionally assigned to them, from plowing the fields to repairing roofs, to be carried on by females.
That many women enthusiastically took up these challenges and supported the revolutionary cause is further demonstrated by the fact that by the time of CPA, one-third of the 30,000 PLA ranks were women serving alongside men in the front line. As with caste, the Maoists promoted and enforced equality, in stark contrast to the patriarchal and chauvinist Hindu culture of towns and cities. Even these urban centers were affected, as there was an increase in women’s’ organizations and agitation which owed as much to the impact of cosmopolitan petit bourgeois feminism as it did to urban Maoist women engaging in those legal or semi-legal campaigns for women’s rights that were open to them.
However, there remains a long struggle for full equality between the sexes on the subcontinent. The appalling treatment of many, especially Dalit, women in India, highlights the worst effects of Hindu male chauvinism. It is also apparent in culture with the Soft Power of Bollywood and in politics with the election of a Hindutva BJP government showing that patriarchalism is systemic and pervasive on the subcontinent. For Nepal, it forms part of Narayan Shah’s enduring legacy, and for those of Indo-Aryan stock, secular or Hindu, male chauvinism is reinforced by cultural and political mores emanating from ‘Mother India’.

Patriots and Compradors

The major divide between patriots and compradors is not directly attributable to the first Shah but began with the deliberate neocolonialist turn taken by the military clan he had called forth as the monarchy’s Praetorian Guard, the Ranas. Following Jonge Bahadur’s precedent, their subservience to the British rendered direct colonization unnecessary.
In the light of the post-1857 rebellion which the Ranas helped the British put down, the new Raj was more concerned with consolidating what he held than advancing into new territory and he actually returned to Nepal parts of the Terai seized following the 1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese war and Sugauli Treaty.
While the Ranas suffered for their pro-British proclivities in 1950, with Nehru aiding the King and NC invasion, the returned Shahs from Tribhuvan to Gyenendra were always ambivalent towards India. Mahendra, for example, was quite willing to play the China card after its decisive military victory over India in 1962 by securing Peking’s aid in constructing a modern highway from the Tibetan border to Kathmandu. Birendra’s humbling in the events of 1990 Andolan was precipitated by an Indian blockade on Nepal that closed four out of the five major roads and quickly brought hunger to Kathmandu.
This was prompted by the King’s attempt to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from China without consultation with and the agreement of New Delhi. These and other royal stratagems were nevertheless exercises and attempts at national sovereignty opportunistically exploiting interstices in the bedrock of Nepalese general political, cultural and economic deference to India and pragmatic royal acceptance of India’s strategic interests as the regional superpower. This ambivalence continues today as even the two RPP royalist parties are divided by pro- and anti-Indian sentiment.
It is all the more surprising that, from Nehru onward, Indian administrations maintained a ‘Two Pillar’ policy towards Nepal following the collapse of the Delhi Compromise which supported the king and the political parties. It was never a rational option; attempting to balance the conflicting interests of Royalist absolutism and popular democratic sovereignty was destined to end with the victory of one group or another. Tigers want blood – not grass, and New Delhi appears naïve not to have understood this.
It was especially puzzling that it involved India, as mentioned, supporting frequently freewheeling monarchs and marginalizing its natural allies in NC, and latterly UML, who had followed their Indian CPI comrades onto the parliamentary road and establishment status.
New Delhi had a major geopolitical stake in ensuring a compliant regime in Nepal as a bulwark against the threatened proletarian expansionism of the PRC and yet tolerated often opportunist, awkward Nepalese monarchs who, in their turn, were trying to maintain neutrality and pursue and independent foreign policy. They were conscious of Narayan Shah’s warning that: ’Nepal was like a yam between two stones’, therefore, cunning and room for maneuver was required to avoid being crushed.
Why successive Indian administrations continued to tolerate an, at best, ambivalent monarchy, when it had much more congenial partners in waiting is puzzling, especially given that the policy was not abandoned until 2005, when New Delhi finally lost patience and facilitated talks in India allowing the prorogued seven parliamentary parties and the Maoists to forge an anti-Gyanendra alliance.
NC, after all, was created under Nehru’s aegis, and he effectively betrayed the party in the aftermath of the 1950 invasion, with first the Delhi Compromise and next with the subsequent Two Pillar policy.
It may be argued that as the supreme arbiter of power on domestic and international issues, Nehru’s quixotic and capricious nature – if not Brahmin presumption – led to unchallenged contradictions. But even that does not fully explain the persistence of this approach post-Nehru, especially after the 1990 Andolan, which New Delhi precipitated and again drew back from by agreeing to having King Birendra stay on condition of accepting constitutional status (yet crucially allowing him to keep control of the army) in a ‘parliamentary democracy’.
A former Indian diplomat turned critical establishment sage noted in exasperation in 2003:

“There is a serious inherent conflict between the interests of multiparty democracy based on the concept of popular sovereignty and the King’s political aspirations and self-perceived divine role to rule. Even in 1990 the coexistence between the King and the political parties was neither natural, nor sincere nor honest.” (31)
– S. D. Muni

As this essay has argued, it was obvious from 1990 on that the parliamentary parties, governments and upper castes were either supine or in active collusion with Indian interests against the interests of the nation. They stood in even greater neocolonial submission to India than the Ranas before the British Empire. Their anti-national character was reinforced by functioning as agents/functionaries/transmission belts for imperialism in all its manifestations.
There is no role for independent states under the present global imperium. The modern state was called forth by the European bourgeoisie during the early progressive birthing struggles against feudalism. These states later degenerated into a struggle between these new nations across the European continent. It was nationalism distinguished by a xenophobic hatred, intensified when rivalry spread from the continent to a world stage in the age of mercantilism and colonialism as each European power fought rivals for a ‘place in the sun’.
The aim of these various rampaging states was to either exterminate or exploit native peoples and by blocking independent development maintain their subjugation. The aim of the First World has always been to kick away the ladder of protection it climbed up, from under Third World countries preserving them as arenas for super-exploitation. If there are domestic capitalist sectors in underdeveloped countries, they are crushed by unfair competition or leveraged out by multinationals using the dominant financial and political institutions and instruments of international capitalism.
Since national capitalist sectors are not permitted in underdeveloped countries like Nepal, no national bourgeoisie can exist. Only one that is comprador can flourish. Individuals from upper caste/bourgeois backgrounds do at times betray their caste/class interest and join the struggle for national liberation, and their contribution is not negligible, but patriotism finds critical mass among the rural and urban working masses because it is materially intertwined with class interest and takes political counteroffensive against oppressive conditions created by international capital.
For the ‘wretched of the earth’, Fanon’s memorable, passionate characterization, in Nepal and other Shudra states of the present global dispensation, there is no ‘trickle-down’ from the engorging imperial heartlands. The much-touted benefits of capitalism are chimerical, a Coca-Cola sign on a Third World shanty mocking poverty inside.
The gap between a banker on Wall Street and a sharecropper in an Assamese paddy field is as wide and unbridgeable as that between a patrician Brahmin or Newari Thulo Hakim in the gated Lazimpat area of Kathmandu and a barelegged Dalit sanitation operative sifting city filth and inhabiting a hovel in a less salubrious quarter. Capitalist imperialism has overseen Brahmin and bourgeois class rule equalized by mutuality of greed and hierarchical praxis.

Material Basis of Social Contradiction

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history; the simple fact hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even on ideas of religion, have been evolved,…..”
– F. Engels, Speech at the Graveside of Marx, 1883, Selected Works, Vol 3, p 162.)
“…an economic rationale can be provided for the origins of the Indian caste system as it can for European feudalism. All the great Eurasian civilizations being dependent on plow intensive agriculture needed some institutional means to tie labor…..Serfdom, indenture, slavery and the caste system were all ways to do so.”
D. Lal, The Abuse of History, p. 2.

The genesis of Nepal’s divisions principally lies in the system imposed by Narayan Shah after 1769. This was an economic process galvanized by political means, with a ruling elite extracting surplus from downtrodden peasantry in an agricultural society through control of the land. Following Professor R. S. Sharma’s taxonomy (32) of this phenomenon in India during the first millennium AD, the appellation feudalism is used. Asok Rudra created the term ‘Brahminism’ (33) to emphasize the unique nature of the Indian system, rejecting parallels with European feudalism.
What unites them, however, is mutual recognition that, whatever its discrete mechanisms and subsequent nomenclature, this was a tributary society. In other words, a type of pre-capitalist economic formation marked Eurasian history in this period. It was characterized by two main classes – first, a peasantry deployed in communal production, and second, a ruling class comprised of a priesthood, a nobility/military and an absolute monarchy that appropriated the surplus product/labor through control of land by repressive and extra-economic mechanisms
There were marked divergences in the forms taken by these societies in Europe, India and China, but all instantiate the level of class struggle at this historical stage, albeit subject to differential momentum, development trajectories and cultural configurations.
This is applying the methodology of historical materialism, précised in Engels’ quote above, which posits a sociopolitical superstructure arising from and sustained by an economic infrastructure which is appropriate to specific historical stages and the development of the forces of production therein. These successive modes of production encompass therefore not just the technological level of the productive forces but the corresponding relations of production under which they operate.
The conditions under which social formations organize immediate physical necessities such as food and shelter shape their culture and provide a dominant worldview consistent with specific modes of reproduction. There have been qualitatively distinct historical stages in systematizing preconditions of physical existence, each sustaining its appropriate ideology. Marx reasoned:

“The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish social relations in conformity with their material productivity, produce also principles, ideas and categories, in conformity with their social relations.”(34)
– Karl Marx.

Therefore European feudalism gave rise to Roman Catholicism with all souls subsumed in the Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and with divinely ordained functions complementing hierarchical society.
Capitalism, for its part, produces bourgeois individualism as an appropriate ideology for a dynamic or even unbridled society that is in constant flux.
Similarly the caste system on the Indian subcontinent, as has been argued earlier and noted by Lal above, is a socioeconomic phenomenon brought forward by exploitative elites applying superstitious doctrine to rationalize and mask their extraction of surplus. It is, as Dr. Ambedkar rightly concluded, a mechanism for the ‘social division of labor’ within an ’unequal hierarchy’.
Just as Hindu metaphysics spawned numerous avatars and manifestations of Para Brahman (the Supreme Being), increasing refinement in allocation of fixed, discrete socioeconomic functions gave rise to a plethora of subcastes and Jatis that remain determinate to this day, despite the impacts of urban cosmopolitanism and the phenomenon of many Dalits and lower castes forming their own organizations and joining trade unions. Hinduism’s credal syncretism contrasts strikingly with the rigidity of its hierarchical stratification by means of caste.
Religion is an ideological component within a general culture and along with political and legal systems is a constituent element of the superstructure which consistently corresponds to the economic base. It is called forth and shaped by ruling classes to serve the base and changes accordingly as it does. It cannot be otherwise. It is not economic determinism, acknowledging there is a reciprocal relationship between the two.
So, for example, changes to the social relations of production in the base give rise to distinct world views; while conversely, political activity in the superstructure such as revolutionary upheaval can transform the base. Feudalism gave way to capitalism, which reduced religion to residual role and developed education as mode of enculturation.
These are Blake’s “mind-forged manacles,” prefiguring Gramsci’s concept of hegemony in civil society, showing how a dominant class maintains ideological control over exploited classes and thereby complements its monopoly of the physical means of repression. Human societies have always commingled consent and coercion in varying combinations according to circumstances and history, but all rest on specific, sequential economic infrastructures that are ‘determinate in the last instance’:

“… According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimate determining factor is the production and reproduction of life.” (Engels to J. Bloch, 1890. ME Selected Works, Vol 3, p.487)

Conclusion

The ideal for any ruling class is where its ideology takes root and is accepted by the subordinate classes as expressing normative, eternal human verities. The lower classes then, as Marx held, “…share the illusion of that epoch” (35). In this essay I have argued that the brutal genesis of modern Nepal continues to engender resistance that precludes mass popular consent to such ‘illusion’ because its inceptional arrangements remain largely intact.
The caste system therefore remains pervasive and influential, if sotto voce, because the upper castes it benefits retain political and economic power, despite changes in polities from monarchy through the Ranas back to the return of monarchy and finally culminating in the multiparty parliamentary system, with each in turn representing a different modality of Brahminical predominance. This elite has lasted nearly two-hundred and fifty years, and it has managed to preserve a feudal/tributary mode beyond its epochal termination elsewhere.
Although circulation of money, small scale commodity production and burgeoning private property penetrated this society assisted by inherent Brahmin avariciousness mediated as hucksterism, it did not produce a strong national capitalist sector. Therefore, it was easily sold out by entrenched upper caste interests ready to accommodate the socioeconomic and geopolitical authority and objectives of India’s Brahminical oligarchs and international capitalism’s power elites and institutions.
Consequently the heirs of Narayan Shah via the neocolonial Ranas have mutated into today’s comprador ruling class, equally marked by cupidity, corruption and cultural capitulation.
The Seven Party Alliance was squeezed between Gyanendra’s royal coup complete with dissolution of parliament and banning of parties on the one hand and the Maoists, strengthened by the gains of Protracted People’s War, on the other. The parliamentary parties in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave formal assurances to the latter in order to defeat the former regarding restructuring the state and army.
In the following years, re-energized as a reactionary bloc and assisted/prompted by New Delhi and Washington, the same parties, led by NC and UML, decisively reneged on those commitments which they had conceded in a moment of weakness. Those promises, if translated into effective policies, would have effectively ended their role as Nepal’s traditional governing class functioning from the Kathmandu center.
Thus discord continues to disfigure Nepalese society and is characterized by a plurality of contradictions reflected variously as antipathy between landlord and tenant, Brahmin and Dalit, Khas Hindu and Janjati, comprador and patriot, casteist and egalitarian, capitalist and worker, patriarchalist and feminist, centralist and federalist, Maoist and Status Quoist.
They are all aspects and expressions of fundamental class antagonism, with a ruling elite on the right confronting the interests of the popular masses on the left.
Finally, I will conclude with a quote from an assessment made just after the 2006 CPA outlining the steps necessary to avoid a repetition of Protracted People’s War. It encapsulates the arguments made at greater length in the preceding pages. It is not from class warrior ‘usual suspects’ or any of more erudite and equally committed Nepalese specialists, but it hails from a well-meaning and of course well-funded Norwegian ‘Conflicts Resolution’ NGO:

The long-term conflict trends in Nepal are linked to whether or not one succeeds in replacing social, political and economic exclusion with more inclusive institutions, processes and practices. Continued exclusion on the basis of caste, ethnicity, gender or other means of distinction will provide the basis for continued armed conflict, including the possibility for further violence.
In political terms the key issue revolves around the ongoing efforts to establish legitimate political institutions accepted by all groups in society. In socioeconomic terms, this system will also have to, over time, succeed in becoming more genuinely redistributive that the current system.
In the short term, several factors might trigger increased violence in Nepal, including:
Increasing poverty: As noted above, the poverty and exclusion issue will remain central, in particular for the new regime when it will be established. Meanwhile, the government should succeed in providing at least some symbolic progress on the economic front in order to encourage belief in the system and indicate the way forward.
Ethnic mobilization: With widespread exclusion and discrimination still the norm across Nepali society, the danger will remain that some groups may mobilize on the basis of violence. This danger will grow unless the government and Maoists succeed in driving the negotiations forward and ensure redistribution in broad terms. (36)

These aims, necessary for Nayaa Nepal (New Nepal), have been either ignored or had their implementation blocked by a revived Brahminical status quo that despite its rampant corruption and its inability to provide functional government or generally represent the national interest still clings to power and privilege. Meanwhile the country decays and the people grow poorer while a younger generation takes up the challenge of the unfinished revolution.

“The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters.” (Gramsci, A. State and Civil Society, Prison Notebooks, p 276)

Gramsci’s apercu applies to the present right/left impasse in Nepalese society – for the moment.

Postscript

In these poor, underdeveloped countries, where the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by the greatest poverty, the army and the police constitute the pillars of the regime; an army and a police (another rule which must not be forgotten) which are advised by foreign experts.
The strength of the police force and the power of the army are proportionate to the stagnation in which the rest of the nation is sunk. By dint of yearly loans, concessions are snatched up by foreigners; scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nests, and there is not a soul down to the simple policemen or the customs officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.
– F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961, p. 138)

At the turn of the millennium, the Royal Nepalese Army had a complement of approximately 35,000 front line personnel, and bolt-action 303 rifles (first issued to the British Army in 1892) were the standard infantry rifle. Now, post-2008, as the Nepalese Army is 105,000 strong the and standard issue weapon includes the much more deadly American M-16 fully automatic, state of the art, high-velocity, assault rifle, replacing the substandard, fault-prone INSAS light machine gun, India’s generic AK-47.
This results from Washington’s geopolitical strategy of encircling a rising China with a chain in which Nepal forms an important potential link. Egyptianizing the Nepalese Army was important in advancing this aim. Under the pretext of post 9/11 ‘War On Terror’, following the 2002 Powell mission to Kathmandu, Washington agreed to help Gyanendra by equating Maoist rebels with Jihadis in a spurious world ‘crusade’.
In the following years, except for the brief blip of Gyanendra’s absolutist rule, guns, guidance and greenbacks have flowed in to the army as US military advisors implemented a strategy of re-equipping the army. The US has supplied the army with improved weaponry. In the air, the US is supplying aerial reconnaissance and attack capability with helicopters and short take-off-landing aircraft (STOL). And the US has introduced counterinsurgency training. All of this for an army that, prior to being sent into serious action against the PLA following the pro-Maoist King Birendra’s assassination, was only experienced in UN peacekeeping duties in various hotspots.
Through the Office for Defense Cooperation, Nepal’s top military convene monthly at one of the two US Embassies in Kathmandu under the auspices of the US Commander in Chief – Pacific (CINPAC). (37) Many of the NA high command and officer class are Sandhurst trained, and like their Indian Army homologues are willing Koi Hais, the Indian colonial term for a native servant.
Collusion with Uncle Sam, allowing him a forward base in Nepal in return for practical assistance turning the NA into a primarily domestic counterinsurgency force, came easily with this pedigree.
Aside from the Pentagon’s infantry weaponizing of the NA, most of the army’s supplies have come from India. In 2013, India resumed its role of supplying most of the army’s other military requirements, including means for ground and air mobility. This followed an eight year break that had begun in protest against Gyanendra’s coup but was also motivated by suspicion and resentment at growing US presence in India’s traditional sphere of influence.
The recent unity of purpose between Washington and New Delhi in regard to Nepal is evidence of a broader and deeper economic and strategic partnership between the two countries. This has been extended into the military sphere with the Pentagon providing guidance for Operation Green Hunt, a counterinsurgency campaign launched in 2009 aimed at defeating Maoist and Adavasi rebels who are resisting the plunder of resources and destruction of their traditional lands by insatiable multinational corporations in the five states comprising India’s ‘Red Corridor’.
There is also a 40,000 strong paramilitary group, the Armed Police Force (APF). This group was originally set up under Deuba’s NC 2001 administration to offset Gyanendra’s NA monopoly of state repressive potential. With the advent of the republic, it morphed into common purpose with NA, giving the state nearly 150,00 armed personnel at its disposal. The UK, with twice the population of Nepal, has an army half its size of the NA.
Further, Britain’s imperial heritage marks it as a singularly bellicose state, permanently at war with someone somewhere, usually as faithful deputy in various American campaigns of international aggression.
Apart from the People’s War, the Nepalese Army fought a minor war in the 1970’s, routing a marauding Khampa rabble in Mustang Province that had been trained and primed by the CIA to cross into Tibet and continue America’s war-by-proxy against the People’s Republic. Nepal is not threatened by imminent military invasion from either of its neighbors and has a particularly casual arrangement of an open border with India without even a dedicated border guard. The Nepalese Army’s UN peacekeeping duties involve 4,000 personnel at most at any one time.
It is obvious that the NA and APF are primarily intended as forces for domestic repression; they are ostentatious and ubiquitous across the country, with six fixed army divisions straddling the regions, backed up by three mobile specialist brigades. They have used the years since 2006 to improve fortified positions and entrenchments in rural areas and are everywhere in urban centers. Katmandu City itself is like a military camp, with never less than 20,000 personnel in barracks dispersed across the City like chocolate chips in a cookie.
Soldiers regularly patrol streets and thoroughfares, man major chowks (public squares and intersections) and parade in Tudikhel Park, a private army marching ground in the center of the city which, apart from the national football stadium is the only grass covered area in Kathmandu. Strutting their stuff, the soldiery are designed as much to intimidate as impress.
The army is the elephant in the room in the Nepalese situation, and has been referenced throughout this paper for its role and influence at key points in Nepal’s history from its birth under Narayan Shah, to the early years of the 21st. century. In the last decade it has become bigger and better armed, equipped and trained than at any point in its history.
It proved politically decisive in forcing Gyanendra’s surrender that signaled the victory of the April 2006 Andolan, and crucially succeeded in overthrowing Prachanda’s administration when it attempted to enforce the CPA provision that the PLA regulars be integrated as a corps into the NA. The further seizure of PLA weapons from the UN cantonments in 2011 on paper cemented the Brahminical state’s monopoly of violence in Nepal.
Its comprador officer corps and high command, well-groomed by American and Indian patrons, have demonstrated in such interventions decisive executive ability; dumping a malfunctioning, hubristic King, blocking army reform, martialing the phony 2013 election, and holding an informal veto over policies or proposals inimical to the status quo.
The officer corps is dominated by Chetris and Thakuris and represents a military ascendancy formed under the banner of Narayan Shah. It stands ready for counterrevolution either as a state of emergency or military dictatorship as possible options should the existence of the state be problematic or in imminent danger of collapse. The State’s political class presents no coherent power, and in any event is presently sunk in corruption, paralyzed by the specific difficulty in getting the existing order ratified in a bogus constitution and its sheer general uselessness in providing clean, functioning government.

Unfinished Revolution

War hath determined us, and foil’d with loss
Irreparable: terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed, or sought: for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted?
And what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge though slow
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 330/40.

However, the People’s War may resume in some form based on the announcement in early December that barely two years after the CPN-M (Dashists) broke from the UCPN(M) (Cashists), the CPN-M (Dashists) haves also split, with a faction led by Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) forming the CPN Maoist.
At the time of writing, the Two-Line Struggle’s policy differences that prefigured the rupture are not fully understood, but the new party is driven by what it perceives as the treachery and reversals of the eight wasted years since 2006 and declaring that if provisions given by SPA on behalf of the status quo are not honored then struggle will resume, and organs of dual power will be revived in re-established liberated zones.
The split does not appear as politically and ideologically rancorous as that between the Cashists and Dashists and may exhibit a generational difference regarding timing; Biplav and many around him are in their forties but have considerable battlefield experience from the People’s War. On the other hand, Kiran’s close comrades are in their fifties and sixties, and while many are primarily political figures, they also include active-service veterans.
Each party recognizes that the stalled revolution is certain to recommence at some point, but the lack of technical support makes any attempt in the short term to ‘go back into the jungle’ or resume any form of armed struggle against a new, domestically refocused, re-equipped, and expanded state repressive apparatus militarily inadvisable if not suicidal.
A more immediate likelihood is military and police repression of the party that, whatever its evident caution, has openly declared the task of completing the revolution, sooner rather than later. That is why its launch was held at a secure location in the Kathmandu Valley, but there was still a palpable sense of urgency behind Biplav’s opening statement that, failing the NC-led elite unblocking and implementing the reforms of the 12-point agreement of 2005 between the SPA and CPN (M) that were ratified the following year with the post-victory CPA, there would be a return to:

Armed struggle in order to protect national unity, integrity, sovereignty and rights of people. (38)

The Nepalese security establishment and its foreign advisers have every reason to take Biplav seriously. He was an effective military leader during the People’s War. With his close ally Khadga Bahadur Bishwkarma, Prakanda (Mighty) offered a vision of a reformed PLA with the creation of a youth wing in the CPN-M, the National Volunteers, that made a strong impression during the 2013 election boycott with uniform red T shirts and formation marching. It is a proto-army and significantly, most of its cadre have gone over to the new party.
State surveillance agencies will also note Kiran’s statement:

We will meet if Chand will raise arms and fight for people (39).

All of which makes a pre-emptive strike by security forces a rational option. It also demonstrates that the understanding that ‘political power comes out of the barrel of gun’ is the one point of agreement between implacable enemies. This is not only perceived in abstraction, an axiom that distills a precondition for establishment and maintenance of power in human society from its tribal origins to the contemporary nation-state, but it is directly informed and shaped by Nepal’s recent history since unification in the late 18th century.
The major and inescapable lesson is that violence was the midwife of the new state and has marked every significant subsequent upheaval since. From Prithvi Narayan Shah to Jonge Bahadur’s seizure of power in the Red Kot Massacre that established a century of brutal Rana despotism to the NC/Royalist 1950 invasion and uprising to Mahendra’s 1960 feudal coup to the People’s War and Andolans of the last decades to the 2001 assassination of Birendra which paved the way for Gyanendra – all of these events combine to confirm that there has never been any significant change in Nepal without the use of physical force.
All of the present political parties have their roots in violence; the RPP, NC, UML, UMF, and UCPN(M) all emerged sequentially from Nepal’s history through force of arms.
This paper commenced with Machiavelli’s comment on the right of the people to engage in struggle against the ruling class nobility of his time and so will conclude with an equally apposite rubric from the first great European political scientist. It expresses a truth understood by revolutionary communists everywhere on necessity for the revolution to have an experienced, disciplined, combat-ready armed wing, and is reflected in the author’s his rueful conclusion on witnessing the execution of the charismatic Florentine preacher Savonarola in 1498 following Rome’s condemnation of heresy:

That is why the visionary who has armed force on his side has always won through, while unarmed even your visionary is always the loser.
– Machiavelli, The Prince, p 23, Penguin ed.

Peter Tobin, December 2014

Citations/Footnotes

(1) Index Mundi, Nepal Economic Profile, 2014.
(2) Karobar National Economic Daily, 05/10/2013.
(3) Economist, “The Trouble With Ghee”, June, 2008.
(4) A political project to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and restore the power of economic elites.
See A Brief History of Neoliberalism, D. Harvey, p 19. Harvey provides further elaboration of neoliberalism’s elevation of market criteria over all aspects of life, particularly the shrinking of the state’s responsibility for welfare, economic planning, subsidies, &c. From the 1970’s on, it began dethroning Keynesian policies, with neoliberals believing that the Keynesians’ emphasis on state deficit spending as means of stimulating employment and production distorted the market and lacked fiscal rectitude. The phenomenon has also been described in popular parlance as, “Capitalism with its gloves off.”
(5) OPHI Country Briefing: Nepal,  2010.
(6) B. P. Bhurtel. 17/10/2013. “Rich Man’s World as Wealth Gap Grows in Nepal.” The Nation/Kathmandu Post.
(7) However, it can be argued that the link between bourgeois capitalism and bourgeois democracy is purely contingent, with neoliberal capitalism flourishing equally in dictatorships and democracies both. It is worth noting in this respect that Pinochet’s Chile was chosen by Washington as an experiment in extreme free market capitalism, dispatching Friedman monetarist acolytes of the ‘Chicago School’ to Santiago and placing them in charge of the Chilean economy.
This is not because contemporary transnational capital is neutral but because it has become a superior executive power reducing political systems and governments to irrelevance. A review in Le Monde, 10/10/2014, of the German scholar Wolfgang Streeck’s Du Temps Achete – La Crise Sans Cesse Ajournee Du Capitalisme Democratique (Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy) quotes his comment describing advancing global capital as class avatar:

“…elles est inapte a tout fonctionment democratique, par le fait qu’elle pratiquee en tres grande parti, en particulairement en europe, comme une politique international – sous la forme d’une diplomatie financiere interetatique.”
– Wolfgang Streeck. Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy.

A rough translation of which argues that it is incapable of functioning democratically, because it is, in fact a politically dominant power, especially in Europe, in the guise of interstate financial diplomacy. He uses the word ‘post-democracy’ to describe this stage of the present era.
(8) K. P. Prabhakaran Nair. February 2006. Grist for US Mills. GMWATCH. It is salutary to note that up until 2014, over 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide as a result of such policies reducing rural populations to immiseration and destitution.
(9) Republica (English language Nepalese daily newspaper) 07/09/2014.
(10) D. Gywali/A. Dixit. April, 2000. “How Not to Do a South Asian Treaty.” Himal South Asian.
(11) H. Yami/B. Bhatterai. 1996. Nationality Question in Nepal.
(12) ‘Kiran’ is a nom de guerre for Mohan Baidya. It means Ray of Light. All Maoist leaders adopted one during People’s War. ‘Prachanda’ (P. K. Dahal) means ‘Fierce’, ‘Biplav’, (N. B. Chand), means ‘Revolt’, &c.
(13) Colloquially known as ‘Dashists’ because of the –M in their name. Conversely, the UCPN (M), the party the Dashists split from, are called the ‘Cashists’ by their opponents because their leaders and many cadre were accused of falling before ‘sugar-coated enemy bullets’ after ‘coming out of the jungle’ and decamping to Kathmandu and corruption in 2006, following the CPA.
(14) 1991. “Caste and Ethnicity,” Ch. 7 in Nepal – A Country Study.
(15) R. Dangal. Administrative Culture in Nepal,  p.95, Table 9: Caste Distribution of Higher Civil Servants.
16) This needs an essay in itself! Briefly parliamentary/presidential, multiparty systems emerged as systems to meet needs of emerging bourgeois capitalist society in the West. The various parties represented class interests devising contingent institutional solutions. Part of Western hubris is claim their necessity in all circumstances.
It was applied unilaterally by an indigenous elite in many postcolonial situations. Apart from a democratic deficit, adoption of this project indicated loss of nerve and residual ideological colonization among otherwise resolute anticolonial political leaders of independence struggles such as Nehru, Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Kaunda, and Bandaranaike, &c).
But the main reason it proves ‘wholly unsuitable’ is total failure to provide effective governance in postcolonial situations anywhere and to have descended into nests of thieves and similar mechanisms of naked class aggrandizement when not replaced by sanctioned western ‘strongmen’ or red revolution.
Going hand in hand with capitalism and its contingent institutions demonstrated how indigenous elites were fostered and suborned by their colonial masters.
Marx, enthused, saw the inception of the program:

From the Indian natives, reluctantly and sparingly educated at Calcutta, under English superintendence, a fresh class is springing up endowed with the requirements for government and imbued with European science.
– Marx, Future Results of British Rule in India, 1853, M/E Selected Works p. 495.

Nehru is an exemplar of the success of this project:

“By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim and Hindu only by an accident of birth.”

He epitomized Macaulay’s ‘Brown Englishmen’. His pretensions, along with his secularization of Hindutva, are set out in his 1943 magnum opus, The Discovery of India, (written in English of course) where he establishes the existence of a precolonial Hindu ‘golden age’ civilization and his particular ancestral call to restore its historic harmony expressed in language reflecting his Cambridge education in the classics with references to Pericles, Demosthenes, et al, although when required he could refer to:”..the old Vedantic spirit of the life force.”
(17) Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 36. Marx benignly notes emerging use of education as conditioning and improvement mechanism, A hundred years later Fanon is responding to its deleterious postcolonial effect as the ideological component of a comprador class.
Vide (16) above re Nehru shows how this strata were eventually conditioned to reproduce bourgeois polity, albeit in ersatz, parodic form.
(18) WCPI, 2011. Transparency International,
(19):

…the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement…there is no national movement without the peasant army, nor can there be. That is what is meant when it is said that, in essence, the national question is a peasant question.
– J. V. Stalin, The National Question in Yugoslavia, Works, Vol 7, pp. 71-72.

(20) Prachanda’s short-lived 2008 administration might be excused, as it was forced out by a military coup orchestrated by New Delhi in league with NC & UML. But Bhatterai’s second ‘Maoist’ administration, 2011-13, had less excuse for being so supine.
(21) Ghurkhas are not an ethnic group but, according to their websites are a warrior caste claiming descent from the Hindu Rajputs and Brahmins of Northern India. Their valor, tenacity and loyalty deeply impressed the British enemy. After a successful invasion and defeat in 1814-16, the East India Company began recruitment into a specially created regiment that, in modern times, has been mainly drawn from the Rai, Limbhu, Magar and Gurung ethnic nationalities.
The added glory of Hindu provenance (possibly a retrospective embellishment), but their cry “Jaya mahakali – Ayo gurkhali!”  (“Glory to great Kali – Gurkhas are coming!”), shares an evocation of Kali as the goddess of destruction and death with the Rajputs, belonging to the Kshatriya warrior caste, spread across Northern India, many driven into Nepal by the Muslim invasion of North India.
In the Terai they became one of the ruling Bhadralok castes mutating into professional occupations as doctors, lawyers &c. Also Narayan Shah was from a Kshatriya jati, although he was pragmatic enough to recruit given national ethnicities into his army while raising up Hindu upper castes and establishing a divine Hindu Kingdom.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymological root of Gurkha as:

 ORIGIN name of a locality, from Sanskrit goraksa ‘cowherd’ (from go ‘cow’ + raks – ‘protect’), used as an epithet of their patron.
Oxford English Dictionary

This lends credence to Gurkhas’ claims of provenance from Hindu warrior castes.
(22) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 23.
(23)  CPN (M). 1997. One Year of People’s War in Nepal. GS’s Report.
(24) J. Adhikari. Land Reform in Nepal, p 39.
(25) The early Marx claimed centralized despotism as the essential feature of the Asiatic Mode of Production – a pre-capitalist form that he believed existed in static, ossified, oriental societies.
He infamously commented:

Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history.
Marx – Future Results…ME Vol 1, p. 494. 1853.

and, while acknowledging the base motives of the English colonizers, he thought that imperialist incursion would, nolens volens, drag it into the modern world. However, after the first War of Independence in 1857 and subsequent study he revised AMP and undermined the despotic, stagnant society premise by declaring the uprising a ‘national revolt’, and expressed support for the insurgents. Though he never accepted that India, precolonial incursion, was feudal, he conceded that it could be described as in transition to feudalism.
In this respect he wrote in 1859:

In broad outlines, Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society.
Marx – Preface to Critique of Political Economy, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 504, 1859

The concept has been an issue for polemic and debate among Marxists and communists and survives more as an analytic than a descriptive term. Whatever the taxonomy, Marx, by looking at the relations of production, outlined how an elite could appropriate surplus using the state as a mechanism for generalized exploitation. Dalits and Sudras stood before their Brahmin masters in the same relationship as a slave before a slaveowner, a serf before a lord, or a worker before an employer.
(26) These are linguistic categories used by modern ethnographers, and while there were obvious physical differences between the two groups that added to perception in the case of Nepal, they are not a racial classifications. For example, the other linguistic group in South India is Dravidian, with minimal physical differences between its speakers and those of the Indo-Aryan bloc.
(27) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 25.
(28) ‘State capitalism’ is as fraught a term as feudalism, with multiple definitions, inspired by political polemics not only expressed between left and right but also a lively source of debate within the left denoting ultimate political allegiance .
For the right, it can mean any state intervention either through ownership or control such the post-1945 policy of Dirigisme in France where, apart from extractive and heavy industry, private ownership dominated in a free market but was subject to indicative planning from a government setting national objectives.
It could also be applied to the Scandinavian and British mixed economy model that was discarded after the 1980’s. In the case of France, state intervention predated capitalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie, and in the form of Colbertism, was initiated under Louis IV’s first minister, J. B. Colbert.
The concept of ‘state monopoly capitalism’ has also been applied by left wing and extreme rightwing free marketeers to describe the state protection and support for the big corporations in the USA. The Military-Industrial Complex that emerged in the new triumphal global imperium following the Second World War is often cited as example because huge contracts are awarded rather than won, characterizing a cozy symbiotic relationship between business and the political functionaries of the American ruling class.
For anarchists, Neo-Trotskyites and the Ultra Left, it is what happened after 1917 in Russia and 1949 in China, or indeed anywhere else there has been a socialist revolution. It assumes that party apparatchiks and bureaucrats inevitably become a new ruling class, owing to their control of the means of production and the appropriation and direction of the resulting ‘social dividend’ (surplus value).
For Marxist-Leninists/Maoists it is what occurred in the USSR after Stalin’s death with Khrushchev’s failed attempts to follow Yugoslavia’s ‘market socialism’ and re-occurred with a vengeance in the PRC after Deng Xiaoping’s seizure of power in 1976.
Apologists for China’s system describe it as a ‘socialist market economy’, where the commanding heights of the economy, the banking sector and land are state owned and where the state is responsible for macroeconomic policy with microeconomic decisions left both to management of state enterprises and licensed capitalists operating as private companies in designated Special Economic Zones.
Therefore the political decision to allow free market mechanisms to determine price and allocations of goods and services with retention of profit by private companies, commentators opine, is more indicative of state capitalism especially when set against the background of scrapping the egalitarian, ‘Iron rice bowl’, full employment guarantee from the heroic period of socialist construction and mass mobilization. Therefore, it should be said that, like feudalism and indeed semi-feudalism, the concept of state capitalism is often used subjectively, indicating class or political orientation. See following note.
(29) ‘Semi-feudal’ obviously relates to accepting the thesis of pre-existing feudalism on the subcontinent, Samantabaad is the Hindi and Nepalese word for feudalism and derives from the nobility of the Gupta Period, which some historians claim led the emergence of feudal society in India. The Samantas were also influential during the Licchavi Dynasty (400-750 AD) who established the first central state in Nepal.
Even those who do accept the taxonomy applied recognize that it was a tributary society of a type that flourished the early city states, empires and later, nascent nation-states. European feudalism was one type of tributary society, with the exception that it enabled the growth of classes and productive forces that eventually burst its integument and established the capitalist society and mode of production.
Marx did not recognize this dynamic in the Orient, and his AMP was his initial response in distinguishing its ossified despotisms with those of medieval Europe. It was this formulation that, while recognizing the utter venality and brutality of the British, nevertheless led him describe them as unwitting agents of progress, in breaking down the ‘Chinese Walls’ of societies incapable of generating internal change.
Subsequently it has been argued that Indian society, pre-colonization, was subject to change, but that compared to Europe’s historical transformation it was imperceptible (as indeed was most of its history at that time). This had important political ramifications for Indian communists because they refused acknowledging any positive results from imperialist incursion and applying the term feudal to describe periods of Indian history implicitly underpins this position. Plus ‘Down with feudalism’ is less of a mouthful than, ‘Down with the Asiatic Mode of Production!
The notion of semi-feudalism follows this thesis because it posits transitional developments. In the case of Nepal, it is marked by backwardness of the productive forces, sharecropping, increased tenancies and the growth of usury. The last are linked, representing the dominance of money payment in feudal rent, reflecting generally growth of a market economy but specifically the transition of feudal owners into capitalist rentier landlords.
Semi-feudal is also used to describe relations of production continuing after their originating conditions of existing have changed, as expansion of agricultural capitalism has led to increasing numbers of landless and sharecroppers, who are objectively proletarianized but are learning to recognize residual feudal deference as subjective flight from their objective class reality. As descriptive tools, these terms are a continued source of argument not only between Marxists and bourgeois, but also intestinal within these respective groupings.
As a slogan, however, ‘Down with Feudalism’ and the commitment to abolish ‘neo/semi-feudalism’ is a political call to the oppressed to break free of feudal/exploitative relations in order to confront the reality of capitalist modes of employment and exploitation in the agricultural sector. (cf: Pushpa Lal’s CPN’s program and Mazumdar’s for the Naxalite struggle in 1960s.).
(30):

The informal rural credit markets of Nepal seem to be characterized by an aggregate constraint at the village level and oligopolistic collusion on price discrimination. Entries of new lenders are likely to be rare, due to high initial information cost. Lenders need to interact with the borrowers for a long period to be able to screen the borrowers and enforce payments….
Although it is reasonable to target poor households, the analysis indicates that one may as well target the higher priced segments. The analysis thus supports credit programs that target low status castes. Examples from Nepal are programs that target ethnic groups living in Terai. These households pay real interest rates that are almost double of the rates paid by high castes living in the hills.
– M. Hatlebakk. 2000. “Will More Credit Increase Interest Rates in Rural Nepal?” Technical Report and Recommendations, pp. 42-43. Nepal Rastra Bank.

(31) S. D. Muni. 2003. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, p.61. Muni is perhaps too close to see the Brahminical tree from the wood, he is a pragmatic, secular ex-diplomat critical of and puzzled by the ambivalence of Nepalese policy that allowed King Mahendra, e.g. to block: “India’s legitimate and enlightened interests in Nepal.” (ibid, p 62).
His views are an apologia for Indian expansionism, pitting progressive capitalism against residual feudalism, which synchronically informed the position of Dr. Bhatterai, earning him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. India’ in anti-revisionist Maoist ranks. I would also speculate that the attitude towards the last divine Hindu monarchy was schizophrenic, with even ostensibly Westernized secularists like Nehru acknowledging the weight of Brahminical Chaturvarna tradition and unconsciously deferring to caste supremacy, however apparently exotic and uncongenial to a Cambridge-conditioned cosmopolitan world statesman.
Nehru was a Hindutva with an occidental humanist face. Successive Indian administrations, particularly Rajiv Gandhi’s administration, elided further into more open Hindutvaism, which, mixed with growing accommodation with Western capitalism in triumphalist form following the suicide of Gorbachev’s USSR and collapse of Soviet Bloc, was Modiism avant la lettre.
(32) R. S. Sharma, Indian Feudalism, 1965.
(33) A. Rudra, Non-Eurocentric Marxism and Indian Society, 1988.
(34) Marx. 1847. The Poverty of Philosophy, p.105.
(35) Marx, Feuerbach. 1846. Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, ibid, p 43.
(36) NORAD. 2007. Report on Conflict Sensitivities, pp. 67-68.
(37) Tobin, P. 2011. “Balance of Military Forces in Nepal” Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay, website.
(38) http://www.ekantipur.com, Chand Announces CPN Maoist, 02/12/2014.
(39) Republica, D. B. Chhantyal, 06/12/2014.

References

Adhikhari, J. Land Reform in Nepal – Problem & Prospects.
Bhatterai, B. Monarchy vs. Democracy & Articles, Essays from People’s War.
Dangal, R. Administrative Culture in Nepal, 1991.
Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth.
Karki/Seddon, (eds.) The People’s War in Nepal – Left Perspective.
Kumar, A. The Black Economy in India.
Lecomte-Tilouine, M. (ed.) Revolution in Nepal, Collected Essays.
Marx/Engels, Selected Works. 3 Vols, Poverty of Philosophy, Anti-Durhring, Capital, Vols 1 &2.
Maxwell, N. India’s China War. 1970
Muni, S. D. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal.
Nehru, J. The Discovery of India.
Prinsep, H. T. The Gurkha War – 1814-16.
Regmi, M. C. Land Ownership in Nepal. 1976
Sharma, R. S. Indian Feudalism.
Thapa, D. A. Kingdom Under Siege – Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency – 1996-2003.
Upadhyaya, S. P. Indo-Nepal Trade Relations – 1858-1914 .

General

Rough Guide to Nepal.
Studies in Nepali History & Society, Vol. 15.

Reports/Commissions

NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) Report on Conflict Sensitivities in Nepal – 2007.
Transparency International. “Nepal.” World Perception Corruption Index – 2011.
UN Human Development Report – 2014.

Articles

Ambedkar, R. B. The Annihilation of Caste.
Basnyat, P. S. Nepalese Army in the History of Nepal.
Dak Bangla, Nepal’s Civil and Military Relations and the Maoist Insurgency.
Habib, I. Kosambi. Marxism & Indian History.
Lal, D. The Abuse of History.
Puniyami, R. Hiding the Truth About Caste.
Rajan, V. ‘Dalits’ and the Caste System in India.
Tobin, P. Balance of Military Forces in Nepal – in Relation to PLA Integration – 2011.

Newspapers/Journals/ Periodicals/Websites

Dak Bangla – website.
Democracy & Class Struggle – website.
Economist – magazine.
Himal – South Asia – magazine.
Himalayan – newspaper.
Kathmandu Post.
Nepal Monthly – magazine.
Red Front – One-off English language version of Krambaddha (Continuity) Pro-Kiran 2012 journal, editor, Prem Darnal, Bikalpa (Alternative).
Republica, newspaper.
Worker, English-language journal of CPN (Maoist).

What Race Is This Person (Singapore)?

13043717_1174597142564927_1383531800797081546_n
An interesting phenotype from Singapore.

This is the aunt of a friend of mine. The family is from Singapore. They are part of an ethnic group called the Pernakans, a Southern Chinese group that moved to Malaysia ~600 years ago for some reason, possibly due to overcrowding in Fujian or worse, the terrible wars that periodically raged through the region.
Chinese groups have been leaving from this part of Southern China for a very long time now, especially in the last 200 years. In the past couple of centuries, this part of China has become very crowded. Possibly as a result, wild and vicious wars periodically raged through the area, sometimes killing 100,000’s of people. If you study Chinese history, you will hear about these wars a lot. It is not uncommon to read that invaders conquered several large cities and exterminated the whole populations of perhaps 300,000 people, men, women and children. This is how the Chinese have often fought wars. Chinese wars are unbelievably vicious and savage.
The Pernakans moved to Malaysia, and over time, bred in with Dutch and Portuguese and to a lesser extent British Europeans. All three were colonists in the region. I believe that they were Min speakers, but their Hokkien has gotten so changed, in particular from massive borrowings from Malay, that these languages in general are no longer intelligible with Amoy or Taiwanese Hokkien Proper.
Most Pernakans now are somewhat Eurasian, Chinese crossed with Dutch, Portuguese and sometimes British. The Pernakans had their own patriarchal culture and were known as very hard workers, often at manual labor type jobs like farming, timber harvest are working on rubber plantations. They committed little crime and had very orderly societies. The European colonists marveled at their high level of civilization. They did keep slaves, but they probably treated their slaves better than any slaves have ever been treated, and in many cases, slaves were freed.
Over time, most Pernakans also bred in with Malays. Pernakans are now a Chinese/Malay/European race, but the Asiatic tends to be prominent over the European in the stock. The mixing of cultures over 600 years in Malaysia resulted in some very interesting fine cuisine.
Many of these Chinese migrated to Singapore, where they, along with Teochew speakers (another Min group) and a large group of Cantonese Chinese, form what is known as the Singaporean Chinese, one of the wealthiest and most economically advanced ethnic groups on Earth. There is still a division of labor in Singapore, with Chinese on top, Malays on the bottom, and Southern Indian Dravidian speakers in between. Nevertheless all three groups are substantially mixed by this point. Most Chinese have Malay blood, and a lot of Malays have some Chinese in them. Malays and Indians are now intermarrying quite a bit. There is some ethnic conflict but not a lot possibly due to the wealth and everyone being so mixed.
Although this woman has a somewhat archaic phenotype (note prognathism), these archaic types are fairly common in Southern China. Many can be seen in the mountains of Yunnan Province. The archaism may be due to incomplete transition from Australoid -> Mongoloid, as the transition happened much later in Southern China than in Northern China, and prominent Australoid types were common in the far south of China only 3-4,000 YBP.
I also believe that this woman may be admixed with Caucasian. And I think the Malay admixture is quite clear. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think I see some Vedda influence here. That would not be unusual, as Malays were Veddoids only until quite recently, and the Senoi are Veddoids to this day. The Mani Negritos are also still extant.
The transition in Malaysia went from Australoid Negritos (Mani) and Orang Asli -> Australoid Veddas (Senoi) -> Paleomongoloid Southeast Asians (modern Malays). The Malays appear to be aware of this transition, as they state that the Mani and Orang Asli are their ancestors. The bloodline of the Orang Asli goes back 72,000 YBP, so this group has been present in Malaysia since the very first Out of Africa groups, and their archaism is about on a par with the Andaman Islanders, another Australoid group which is also the remains of some of the earliest OOA groups.

Tolerance for Male Homosexuality in the Muslim World

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf countries tolerate it well, and it is said to be epidemic in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There is also quite of bit of it in Syria, Egypt and Morocco.
It is not tolerated at all in Iran, Iraq, or Shia Lebanon, as Shia Islam is much more condemning of male homosexuality than Sunni Islam.
It is not that Sunni Islam necessarily is more tolerant of male homosexuality but that there is more variation in the Sunni world.
Palestine is not tolerant of male homosexuality at all, as gay men are frequently killed there. They are also commonly killed in Iraq and Iran. Syria used to be relatively more tolerant, but the parts of Syria taken over Islamists are very intolerant of gay men to the point where they are murdering them.
I have no data on male homosexuality in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan or Sunni Lebanon.
I also know nothing about it in the Muslim Sahel, Horn of Africa and West Africa.
I know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Europe such as Bosnia and Albania, although I assume it is more tolerated there than elsewhere.
Turkey is a mixed bag, as there is said to be a lot of male homosexuality, but it is also officially not tolerated. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing.
I know nothing of male homosexuality in the Caucasus, Muslim Russia, the Stans, India and Xinjiang.
I do not know what it was like before, but a lot of gay men are being murdered now in Bangladesh. I think there have been 30-40 such murders in the past couple of years. Gay rights advocates rather than gay men in general have been targeted.
I also know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Thailand, Muslim Burma, Muslim Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Male homosexuality is pretty well tolerated in Thailand and the Philippines, but I am not sure how ok it is in the Muslim parts of those nations.
Admittedly I am not the best person to ask about the situation for male homosexuality and gay men in the Muslim World.
Any further information would be interesting.

Some Notes on the Homeland and Early History of the Tai-Kadai Language Family

A fellow who I believe is Chinese came to the site a while back with some very interesting ideas about the earliest speakers of the Tai-Kadai languages, of which Thai and Lao are the most famous. His statement is in blockquotes below.

He argues for a close relationship between Austronesian and Tai-Kadai, two huge language families in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Tai-Kadai researchers have long opposed this notion, including a professor who I worked with quite a bit while obtaining my Master’s Degree.

French linguist Laurent Sagart has recently proven to my satisfaction that Austronesian and Tai-Kadai are indeed related. I have looked over the evidence, and it looks very good. Sagart is clearly an expert on the language families of the region, including Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and Austronesian.

However, the field has not yet accepted Austro-Tai. Historical Linguistics has become so conservative in recent years that one wonders whether any new prominent language families will ever be proven to the satisfaction of the field. In this sense, ultra-conservative “scientism” has clearly taken over Diachronic Linguistics, and the only people making any headway these days are the trailblazers who are practicing what boils down to “fringe science” and are expectedly being trashed from here to Kingdom Come for not going along with the ultra-conservative mindset of the day.

The problem is that like cryptozoology, psi, ghosts, UFO’s and so many other fields, ultraconservative people practicing scientism and not science have set up the biggest roadblocks imaginable for dismantling any paradigms or in fact discovering anything new or breathtaking.

Modern science reminds me of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. It’s  another faith-based fundamentalist philosophy. I guess we already know everything there is to know, and there’s nothing more to learn. In fact, incredibly, some scientistic practitioners are actually making statements along these lines.

Sagart’s new language would be called Austro-Tai, from which two branches, Tai-Kadai and Austronesian, descended. We know that the homeland of the Austronesians was in Taiwan and on the mainland adjacent to Taiwan possibly 5,000 YBP. From there, they mostly spread to the east – to Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, with some going back to Mainland Southeast Asia (most prominently the Malay, but also the Chams, etc.)

That Tai-Kadai and Austronesian were together as a macro-language on and west of Taiwan over 5,000 years ago makes intuitive sense on a lot of levels. They split up, with Tai-Kadai moving west and inland and Austronesian moving out to the islands to the west as the Lapita Culture.

Here it is below, with some edits and additions:

I have some words about the Zhuang to tell you. First of all, your article claims that the Proto-Tai came from Central Asia. That’s a questionable study. The most recent research on linguistics has revealed that the Proto-Tai-Kadai migrated back from Taiwan and they are closely related to the Austronesians.

The basic lexicon between the two branches of Hlai and Kadai in Tai-Kadai language family shows a striking similarity to Austronesian, i.e. Indonesian. However, examining the Tai branch, linguists see that original lexicon in the Tai branch were replaced by some other linguistic stock. That shows a linguistic contact between Proto-Tai and other groups in the ancient times and the genetic mix-up may also have taken place.

In conclusion, according to linguistic studies, the original Tai-Kadai Uhrmeit may have been the Austronesian-inhabited in Taiwan island. Then later, when moving back to the mainland of Southern China, they probably mixed with other ethnolinguistic groups.

It’s also worth mentioning that a trace of old Kam-Tai language from 2-3,000 YBP, an earlier form of Proto-Tai, has been discovered in southern part of the ancient Chu State (1030 BC–223 BC) by comparing the non-Sinitic words on unearthed inscriptions materials with reconstructed Old-Chinese.

This indicates that the geographic distribution of Proto-Tai speakers may have been quite different from our current understanding. And the identity of the group that they mixed with that replaced much of their original Austro-Tai lexicon is still not known. The location of Tai-Kadai speakers, especially the present-day Tai speakers in Yunnan in South China is quite a ways away from the location of most Austronesian speakers such as Malay and Indonesian speakers in Mainland and Island Southeast Asia.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

I plan on posting a number of articles abut this catastrophic TPP agreement that sadly looks like it is going to become law. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrific this trade agreement is. In a nutshell, it does away with all governments and makes it so corporations rule the world. Any government that passes any law that limits current or future profits of a corporation could be sued on the grounds that that law was a “trade barrier.” The corporation can sue in a kangaroo court made up of corporate types for damages,and the corporation will always win and the governments will always lose.

Government have had to pay out many millions of dollars to corporations for passing laws that limited their profits under NAFTA. And yes, all laws dealing global warming can also be challenged by this Frankenstein of a bill.

As you can see, it encourages the murder of labor leaders, union members and organizers because killing union members would not be a violation of the Labor Section of the agreement. The parts of the TPP dealing with labor and the environment are written in boilerplate and are entirely voluntary, while the sections that allow corporations to rule our lives in written in very strict legalese.

It’s worse than a catastrophe. It’s an out and out nightmare, and it’s the end of representative government as we know it. All governments will become irrelevant, and in their places, we will all be ruled by corporations. In other words, multinational corporations will become our de facto governments. It is stunning how crazy that is.

All the Republicans are for it.

Of course the Democratic Party is down with this agreement all the way. Obama is pushing it like crazy. There was a brief uprising a few months ago when it looked like the bill might not get through the Congress because so many Democrats were against it. This was followed by maniacal lobbying on the part of corporate lobbyists and an all-out propaganda blitz by the US media, 100% of which (note that we have a “free” press) supported the bill.

The “liberal” New York Times came out very strongly in favor of it and said that Obama’s legacy would ride on whether he could get this bill through or not. In other words, according to the “liberal” New York Times, if Obama could not get the bill through, then that would mean that his Presidency was a failure. So the Times threatened Obama with complete humiliation and damage to his mark in history if he could not get the TPP through.

Note that the entire “liberal” media came out in favor of this monstrosity. Note that “liberal” Obama came out in favor of it. I know some Democratic Party stalwarts who seem to support this nightmare bill. They think that people who oppose it are “extremist nuts.”

These people support anything that Obama does. If Obama is for it, then they support it. He can push the most reactionary stuff you could imagine, and these stalwarts will never oppose Obama or any other Democrat for one second. We really need to get away from this insane partisanship, as it is irrational.

To these folks, everything Republicans do its bad and everything Democrats do is good. Unfortunately, once you take that POV, Democrats are free to act as rightwing as they want to, and their moronic stalwarts will support everything they do because it’s treason to oppose a Democrat.

I will be posting more abuo9t this awful and insane trade agreement in the coming days, but this will be good for a starter.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

by Eric Zeusse, from Global Research

U.S. President Barack Obama’s capstone to his Presidency, his proposed megalithic international ‘trade’ treaties, are finally coming into their home-stretch, with the Pacific deal finally being made public on Thursday November 5th.

The final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed treaty would leave each signatory nation liable to be sued by any international corporation that objects to any new regulation, or increase in regulation, regarding climate change, otherwise known as global warming. In no terminology is that phenomenon even so much as just mentioned in the “Environment” chapter.

Regarding labor issues, including slavery, the “Labour” chapter of the TPP contains merely platitudes. (Obama allowed Malaysia into the compact despite its notoriously poor record of non-enforcement of its ban on slavery, because he wants the U.S. to control the Strait of Malacca in order to impede China’s economic and military expansion; it’s part of Obama’s anti-China policy. Almost everything that he does has different motives than the ones his rhetoric claims.)

Throughout, the treaty would place international corporations in ever-increasing control over all regulations regarding workers’ rights, the environment, product safety, and consumer protection. But the environmental and labor sections are particularly blatant insults to the public — a craven homage to the top stockholders in international corporations. The World’s Richest 80 people own the same amount of wealth as the world’s bottom 50%; and Obama represents those and other super-rich and their friends and servants in the lobbying and other associated industries. But he also represents the even richer people who aren’t even on that list, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the world’s richest person. It’s people such as that who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama’s ‘trade’ treaties. The public will be harmed, enormously, wherever these treaties become law.

The full meaning of the terms that are set forth in the TPP agreement won’t be publicly known for at least four years, but the explicit terms that were made public on November 5th, and that will be presented to the 12 participating nations for signing, are entirely consistent with what had been expected on the basis of Wikileaks and other earlier published information.

The 12 participating nations are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Three countries were excluded by U.S. President Obama, because the U.S. doesn’t yet control them and they are instead viewed as being not allied with the main axis of U.S. international power: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. Those three outright-excluded countries are Russia, China, and India. (India, of course, has hostile relations with Pakistan, which is Sunni and therefore part of the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey portion of the U.S. international core, basically the Sunni portion of the core. By contrast, Russia and China have been determinedly independent of the U.S., and are therefore treated by President Obama as being hostile nations: he wants instead to isolate them, to choke off their access to markets, as much as possible. This same motivation also factored largely in his coup to take control of Ukraine, through which Russia’s gas passes on its way into the EU, the world’s largest gas-market.)

6 nations that Obama had invited into the TPP were ultimately unwilling to accept Obama’s terms and so were excluded when the final text was published: Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” don’t appear anywhere in the entire TPP document, nor does “climate” nor “warming” — it’s an area that’s entirely left to international corporations in each one of the separate participating nations to assault as much as they wish in order to gain competitive advantage against all of the other corporations that operate in the given nation: i.e., something for each corporation to sacrifice in order to be able to lower the given company’s costs. That raises its profit-margin. This also means that if any international corporation claims to be subjected in any participating nation, to global-warming regulation or enforcement which poses a barrier or impediment to that corporation’s profits, then that corporation may sue that given nation, and fines might be assessed against that nation (i.e., against its taxpayers) for such regulation or enforcement. National publics are no longer sovereign.

The “Labour” chapter is a string of platitudes, such as, “Article 19.7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Each Party shall endeavor to encourage enterprises to voluntarily adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives on labor issues that have been endorsed or supported by that Party.”

President Obama’s Trade Representative, his longtime personal friend Michael Froman, organized and largely wrote Obama’s proposed trade treaties: TPP for the Pacific, and TTIP and TISA for the Atlantic. Froman told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that’s of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or the enforcement of them. On 22 April 2015, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t a Violation, and Michael McAuliff reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that [Obama] administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

In other words: This is, and will be, the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP etc., just as it is already, in the far-smaller existing NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton had helped to pass in Congress during the early 1990s). (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all campaigned for the Presidency by attacking Republicans for pushing such ‘trade’ deals. Their actions when they gain power, contradict their words. America and virtually the entire world has become rule of a suckered public, by perhaps as many as a thousand psychopathic aristocrats who own the international corporations and ‘news’ media, and who regularly do business with each other though they wall themselves off from the public.

Typically, at their level, it makes no real difference which country their passport is from.) “Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself had managed to get nominally implemented on paper. “Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.”

Furthermore: “’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’”

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both Obama’s TPP, and his TTIP & TISA.

The most important chapter in the TPP treaty is “Dispute Settlement,” which sets forth the means by which corporations will sue countries for alleged violations of their stockholders ‘rights’ to extract profits from operations of those corporations in the signatory countries. The underlying assumption here is that the rights of international stockholders take precedence over the rights (even over the sovereignty rights) of the citizens of any participating country.

Instead of these suits being judged according to any nation’s laws, they are allowed to be addressed only by means of private arbitration “Panels.” The Dispute Settlement chapter contains “Article 28.9: Composition of Panels.” Section #1 there is simply: “The panel shall comprise three members.” Each of the two Parties will appoint a member; one for the suing corporation, and the other for the sued nation; and both of those members will then jointly select a third member “from the roster established pursuant to Article 28.10.3”; and this third member will automatically “serve as chair.”

Article 28.10.3 says that anyone who possesses “expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements” may be selected for the roster, so long as the individual meets vague criteria such as that they “be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party.” No penalty is laid out for anyone on the roster who lies about any of that. Basically, anyone may become a person on the roster, even non-lawyers may, and even corrupt individuals may, especially because there are no penalties for anyone on the roster, none at all is stated.

Then, “Article 28.19,” section 8: “If a monetary assessment is to be paid to the complaining Party, then it shall be paid in U.S. currency, or in an equivalent amount of the currency of the responding Party or in another currency agreed to by the disputing Parties.”

There is no appeals-process. If a nation gets fined and yet believes that something was wrong with the panel’s decision, there is no recourse. No matter how much a particular decision might happen to have been arrived at in contradiction of that nation’s laws and courts and legal precedents, the panels’ decisions aren’t appealable in any national legal system. Whatever precedents might become established from these panels’ subsequent record of decisions will constitute no part of any nation’s legal system, but instead create an entirely new forming body of case-law in an evolving international government which consists of international corporations and their panelists, and of whatever other panelists are acceptable to those corporate panelists. Voters have no representation, they’re merely sued. Stockholders have representation, they do the suing, of the various nations’ taxpayers, for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders.

The roster of authorized panelists available to be chosen by any corporation’s panelists in conjunction with by any nation’s panelists, is customarily composed of individuals who move back and forth between government and private-sector roles, through a “revolving door,” so that on both ends of that, the ultimate control is with the owners of the controlling blocs of stock in various international corporations. This is the newly evolving world government. It will not block any nation from legislating protections of workers, or of consumers, or of the environment; it will simply hold a power to extract from any participating nation’s taxpayers fines for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders in international corporations. Citizens will increasingly be held under the axe, and the top stockholders in international corporations will be holding it. This isn’t the type of world government that was anticipated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, the founders of the U.N., and by the other early (pre-1954) proponents of world government. But, since 1954, the plans for this anti-democratic form of emerging world government were laid; and, now, those plans are the ones that are being placed into effect.

Thus, on 26 October 2015, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, the international legal expert Alfred de Zayas, headlined, UN Expert Calls for Abolition of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Arbitrations. That’s the system, otherwise called “ISDS,” which already exists in a few much smaller international-trade treaties, and which is now being introduced on the largest scale ever in TPP and in Obama’s other proposed treaties. The U.N. press release, calling for its “abolition” or explicit outlawing, said:

In his fourth report to the UN General Assembly, Mr. de Zayas focuses on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements and calls for the abolition of Investor-State dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that accompanies most of these agreements.

“Over the past twenty-five years bilateral international treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state-dispute-settlement have adversely impacted the international order and undermined fundamental principles of the UN, State sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. It prompts moral vertigo in the unbiased observer,” he noted.

Far from contributing to human rights and development, ISDS has compromised the State’s regulatory functions and resulted in growing inequality among States and within them,” the expert stated.

Earlier, on 5 May 2015, I headlined, “UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘A Dystopian future in Which Corporations and not Democratically Elected Governments Call the Shots’.” I close now by repeating the opening of that report:

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,”because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

MH17 – The Silence of the Liars

Exactly.
Exactly.

The Dutch report on MH17 is out today. As I suspected, it is a complete whitewash. Worse than that, it is an attempt to frame Russia and the rebels. Looking at the conclusions, I do not think there is a single true sentence in this entire report. The lies probably start with the first sentence and end with the last one. Truly pitiful.

Malaysia Apparently Accusing Ukraine of Shooting Down MH17

Figures.
Malaysia is said to be very unhappy with the way the investigation of the MH17 disaster has unfolded.
For instance, the black box was turned over to the British, some of the worst criminals on Earth. The British have sat on that black box for a long time without issuing the slightest peep about it. That is very bizarre and makes no sense.
Further, there was apparently an agreement between the Netherlands, Ukraine and Australia to hide the cause of the crash. Each party would have a veto on releasing the data. They all signed a non-disclosure agreement about releasing the results of the investigation of the crash. That is very odd.
There have been persistent calls for the Nazis to release all of their air traffic control tapes from around the time of the accident. A Spanish air traffic controller reported that the chatter in the Kiev ATC tower at the time of the shootdown was that the Nazis did it. In fact, some wings of the Nazi government were saying, “We shot down that plane. Who gave the order to do that?” An hour after the shootdown, Nazi officials came into the tower and confiscated all of the ATC tapes. They also threatened to confiscate each controller’s computer.
Despite constant calls for the Nazis to release their ATC tapes, they have not yet released them. Not one single Western media outlet has reported on this fact, nor have they pressured the Nazis to release the tapes. Nor has one single Western nation pressured the Nazis to release the tapes. That is all extremely suspicious.
The Obama Administration says it has hard evidence that the rebels shot down the jet. Yet despite many calls to show us that evidence, they have refused to present any of this evidence. Not one single Western media outlet nor one single Western government has reported this fact, nor have they pressured the Administration to release their data. Apparently the Obama team will not even release this data to the CIA.
One of the top US investigative reporters wrote that his CIA sources told him that there are people in the CIA who think that the Nazis shot down the plane. These CIA elements are asking Obama to show them his evidence that the rebels shot it down. Obama has so far refused to do this. Not one single Western media outlet has reported on the opinions of these CIA analysts.
The Malaysian government is said to be very angry at the way the investigation is taking place or not taking place. They say that they are breaking away from the other teams to form their own investigation of what  happened, implying that the other teams are not reliable investigators.
Right now, the Malaysians are saying that their intelligence investigations on the cause of the shootdown are “pretty conclusive.” This probably means that the Malays think the Nazis shot down the plane. A large contingent of 133 Malay investigators went to the Ukraine to gather evidence. A reporter for the New Straights Times got close to the investigative team and leaked their findings.
According to his article, Malay intelligence reports had concluded that the Nazis shot down the plane. First they shot a Buk at the plane, which missed. Then the Nazi fighter that had been following the jet fired an air to air heat-seeking missile at the jet which blew up the engine of the plane. Then the cockpit was shot up by the fighter’s 30mm cannon.
So unless there was strong political pressure by the Malaysian state to doctor the investigators’ findings, I assume that the article is saying that they Malays are quite sure that the Nazis shot down the jet.

New MH17 Revelations

Here. The latest charges.
This is very interesting, but I have nothing to add to that. To my knowledge, this is the only time a Buk missile has been seen in the hands of either the rebels or the Russians. The rebels have no Buks. They seized four of them, but they are worthless as they were disarmed by the Nazis before they were seized. You can’t fire a missile that has a hole in it.
This is the only reference I have ever seen to the Russians having a Buk missile in the Ukraine. Yes, there are Russian forces there, and yes, they have a lot of equipment, but I have never heard a report of even a single Buk. Why is it that the only reference to a Buk appearing on the rebels’ side is a Buk that mysteriously shows up right before the plane shootdown and then mysteriously vanishes right afterwards? What’s the point? The Russians moved the Buk into Novorussia solely to shoot down a jet and then moved it back to Russia. What sense does that make? Why would they do that?
There are many problems with this story other than that this is the first and only reported Buk ever seen in rebel territory.
Let’s assume that this crazy story is true. If the Russians did not shoot down the jet on purpose, then let us say shot it down accidentally. You have to train on a Buk system for a very long time. Furthermore, it has more than a missile. It also has a number of other components, including a truck with radar on it. There is no way on Earth that a trained Buk crew of the Russian army would ever shoot down a passenger jet by accident. Not possible. Ever.
The article says that the jet appears to have been hit by a missile of the Buk type. That is a complete lie. The only experts who have given interviews have said that there was no indication whatsoever that the jet had been hit by a ground missile. Zero. None. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not there. Forget it. Instead they said what they noticed was that the cockpit was shot up by what looked like a machine gun. That could only have come from the Nazi fighter that was tailing the jet.
Furthermore, the Russians have photos showing five Nazi Buks near the site of the shootdown at the time. Their radar was very active for days before the shootdown, getting more active every day. On the day of the shootdown, the radar was the most active of all. The only radar operating in the area at the time of the shootdown was coming from a Nazi Buk crew. After the shootdown, the radars became much less active. One of the five Nazi Buks was placed near the edge of rebel territory. The day after the shootdown, this Buk was moved back to its original position.
The Russians have a video, which I have seen, that shows a Buk on Nazi territory right before the launch. The video also shows the Buk launching a missile at the same time that the jet went down. The images come from a satellite, and the resolution is so clear that it can be seen that the Nazis manning the Buk are wearing Ukrainian uniforms.
The latest thinking is that the Nazi Buk launch was supposed to take down the jet, but it missed. Then Plan B was put into effect, which was for the fighter tailing the jet to shoot down the jet. It did, first with a missile that blew up the engine – fighter missiles are heat-seeking missiles – and then with a 30mm gun that shot up the cockpit from both sides. This was the theory of the Malaysian experts who released their report blaming the Nazis for shooting down the jet. They said there were three attacks – first a Buk launch that missed, second a fighter missile that blew up the engine, and third a 30mm cannon that shot up the cockpit.
I am not sure what to make of this latest revelation, but I am quite certain that an innocent explanation will be found for it sooner rather than later.

America Lied, People Died Part 23,842: Complete Cave-In On Investigation over M17 Jet Shootdown

The vile, despicable, scummy Dutch government said the other day that the findings on the M17 black box and and the air traffic control tapes in the Kiev control tower around the time of the M17 shootdown will not be released! The Netherlands and two other evil countries, the US and UK, reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement about the contents in the black box and and the ATC tapes. The Kiev government has refused to release the ATC tapes for a very long time now. No one in any Western government and not one single Western media source has called on Kiev to release the tapes.
Word is that although the huge investigative team (they brought 133 investigators with them to the crash site) from Malaysia concluded that the Ukrainian government shot down the jet with an SU-25 fighter jet that was tailing the jet, the Malaysian government is trying to cover up the findings of the commission. Malaysian government officials are on record as saying that the reported findings of the commission are not true – they denied that the commission determined that the Ukrainian government shot down the jet with a fighter plane.
The investigators found that the fighter first fired an air to air missile at the jet. This heat seeking missile hit the jet in the engine, setting it on fire. The fighter then attacked the jet with a 30mm machine gun, riddling both sides of the cockpit with bullet holes. Investigators said that the inside of a cockpit looked like a bloodbath. Photos of the cockpit do show what appear to be holes from some sort of a gun.
A Spanish air traffic controller working in Kiev tweeted for some time before the shootdown that a Ukrainian fighter jet was dogging the plane. He then tweeted that the plane had gone down and that the word in the air traffic controller tower was that the Ukrainian government did it. He tweeted that the fighter shot down the jet.
He was also privy to Ukrainian government communications in the tower. Apparently only one part of the Ukrainian government had planned the shootdown; the rest of the government knew nothing about the plot.
He heard a communication from the Interior Department that said, “Our guys just shot down that jet. Who gave the order to do that? Why did we shoot down that jet?”
An hour after the shootdown, Ukrainian government officials came into the tower and confiscated all of the air traffic control tapes. They also told all of the controllers that they were confiscating their computers. All foreign air traffic controllers were fired on that day. The Spanish government tried to cover for the murderers by insisting that the Spanish controller named Buka did not work there. They issues a statement that said, “No Spanish citizen is working in that ATC tower.” However, Life News managed to confirm the man’s identity and also confirmed the fact that he worked in the tower. This means that the Spanish government was in on the coverup for the murderers.
The US had a spy satellite right over the area of the shootdown at the time the jet went down. In addition, a US Navy vessel equipped with fancy intelligence capabilities was in the Black Sea at the time not far from the shootdown site. Other Western countries also have extensive intelligence capabilities in that region. It would seem that judging by US’ intel capabilities in the area at the time, US intelligence must have known who shot down that plane pretty quickly, probably within no more than two hours. I would imagine that some other Western countries also discovered the truth on their own at this time, or, if not, they were notified soon afterwards by the US.
The fact that the US and other Western countries, who must have known that the Ukies shot down the jet, immediately waged a savage propaganda offensive covering up for the murderers and accusing Russia and the rebels of mass murder is absolutely sickening and shows the depraved and debased state to which the US and the rest of the West has sunken. One wonders what the media knows. At the very least, the media should not have been so quick to recite state propaganda word for word. What is the Fourth Estate anyway? An independent entity or an arm of the states of the West.
Deliberate falsification of history was described by George Orwell in 1984 as one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state. By that metric, all of the Western states are now totalitarian states. How pitiful is that?
Even Malaysia itself is, unbelievably as it sounds, covering up for the murderers of its own people and trying to frame an innocent state. As you can see here, the official state line now about M17 is “it’s time to move on.” Gee, I wonder why they are saying that? Do you think someone pressured them or threatened them? Could it possibly have anything to do with this headline: Malaysia, US Armed Forces in Joint Exercise?
The only way this can be characterized is to say that the US, the rest of the West and even Malaysia itself are all now accessories after the fact to mass murder in the shooting down of a passenger jet. Malaysia is an accessory after to the fact to the murderers who shot down their own airplane full of their own people. Truly incredible. Furthermore, they are not only guilty of participating in mass murder, but they are also trying to pin the crime on an utterly innocent party.
What is incredible is that the only people in the US government with any integrity on this issue and who are refusing to completely cover up for the murderers are some elements of the CIA. A very famous investigative reporter has stated that his CIA contacts told him that some CIA analysts now believe that the Ukrainian government shot down the plane.
When the CIA is the only part of the state left that is not completely sociopathic, you know the government is seriously gone.
The only decent people left in the US government are in the CIA!?
WTH?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Robert Parry, "US Analysts Conclude MH17 Downed by Aircraft"

AP reporter Robert Parry, a well-known US journalist who became famous during the Iran-Contra scandal, says that his US intelligence contacts have told him that some US intelligence analysts have come to believe that the Novorussian rebels had nothing to do with shooting down the MH17 jet and that they felt that the Ukrainian government itself had shot down the jet.

This lines up with the conclusion of the Malay team investigating the incident, which handed in a report on July 26 which blamed the Ukrainian government for shooting down the plane via Ukrainian jet. Further confirmatory evidence was offered by an OCSE investigator who said that the cockpit appeared to have been shredded by machine gun fire, which at that altitude can only come from another plane.

US Analysts Conclude MH17 Downed by Aircraft

Intelligence analysts in the United States had already concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by an air-to-air missile and that the Ukrainian government had something to do with it according to sources cited by AP reporter Robert Parry.

This corroborates an emerging theory postulated by local investigators that the Boeing 777-200 was crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a fighter that had been shadowing it as it plummeted to earth.

In a damning report dated Aug 3, headlined Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts, Associated Press reporter Robert Parry said, “Some US intelligence sources had concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame”.

This new revelation was posted first on GlobalResearch, an independent research and media organization.
In a statement released by the Ukrainian embassy on Tuesday, Kiev denied that its fighters were airborne during the time MH17 was shot down.

Malaysian Government Blames Ukrainian Government For the Shootdown of M17

Malaysian government says the plane was shot down from the air.
Malaysian government says the plane was shot down from the air.

According to a stunning article in the New Straits Times, the official Malaysian government investigation into the shoot-down of the M17 is now saying that they think the plane was shot down from the air. They believe it was hit first by an air-to-air missile from a Sukhoi S-25 Ukrainian jet that was following the plane. As the plane spiraled out of control, a 30mm cannon finished off the plane by riddling the cockpit with gunfire. Investigators on the ground concurred, saying the cockpit looked like a bloodbath. In addition, the damage to the cockpit area of the jet looks exactly the same as the impact from a 30mm cannon. SU-25 jets come equipped with a 30mm cannon.
An interview with a British man who is studying the jet downing and who was at the crash site quoted him as saying that he thought the jet had been hit by some sort of a machine gun fire. Cannon fire looks like machine gun fire when it hits an object.
The Russians reported that they were tracking an SU-25 tailing the M17 jet just before it went down. People on the ground said that they saw no Buk missile launch near the area where the Ukies said it launched, however, many of them did say that they saw a fighter flying right behind the jet and they thought that odd. In fact, many people on the ground, when asked how the jet went down, offered that they thought it was shot down by the fighter that was following it.
In addition, one of the US’ top journalists who covered the Iran-Contra scandal and is widely regarded, stated that his US intelligence sources told him that sectors of US intelligence now feel that M17 was shot down by the Ukies. These same sectors are asking the Barack Obankster Administration to release their evidence for their case that the Novorussians shot down M17.
There has been endless talk in the scum Western media that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile. As it turns out, it was probably not downed by a Buk at all, but that was apparently the plan. As soon as they decided it was downed by a Buk, they immediately said that if a Buk shot it down, the Novorussians must have shot it down. Because, you know, Novorussians = Buks! Right? They also said that Buks come from Russia, so if a piece of weaponry comes from Russia, then that automatically means the rebels own it. But wait! All of Ukraine’s weaponry came from Russia too!
The problem with all of this insanity is that it never made sense in the first place to assume Buk = Novorussians. That’s because the Novorussians have never had any Buks. They did seize four of them a while back, however, they were disabled by the Ukies before they abandoned the base to rebels. It’s hard to shoot a rocket with a hole in it.
Since then, there is no evidence that the Novorussians have ever used even one Buk to shoot down a Ukie plane or helicopter. If they had a working Buk, they would have used it by now as they have downed a number of Ukie planes, all with inferior MANPAD’s. So the Novorussians have four Buks, but they are mere trophies that don’t even work. No one has ever seen them in the field, probably because they don’t work.
But here is why the argument was crazy in the first place: the Ukies have 35 working Buks right in the Donbass Theater, scattered all around. What they need them for, I have no idea, but the Ukies definitely have antiaircraft batteries in the field. Furthermore, there were Buks in the near vicinity of the plane shoot-down area when the plane went down. Not only that, but one of those Buks was moved close to Novorussian territory the day before the shoot-down. The day after the jet went down, it was moved back to its location.
In order to shoot a Buk, you need working radar. The Novorussians have no working radar. When the jet went down, the Russians noted that there was indeed radar tracking the jet closely, but that was Ukie radar. So, only Ukie radar was tracking the jet.
In addition, the Russians have now released a video shot of the precise launch of a Buk from Ukie territory at the same time the jet went down.
However, it seems that this Buk, which was intended to frame the Novorussians by shooting down the jet, messed up the plan. It missed the jet. So Plan B was put into effect, whereby the fighter downed the jet.
Sources close to the investigators now believe that there were three attacks on the jet.

  1. First shot was from a Buk launched from Ukie territory. Apparently missed the jet.
  2. Second shot was from a 30mm cannon from a Ukie SU-25 that was following the jet. This one hit the jet and the jet began spiraling down.
  3. As the jet was spinning down, the SU-25 finished off the jet with a blast from a 30mm cannon that riddled the cockpit, killing everyone in the cabin.

After the West sickeningly accused Russia and the Novorussians of shooting down the jet and then screamed about that in the controlled press for a couple of weeks, that all died down and the media seemed to ignore the story, only to reference now and then when they want to get in some Russia-bashing.
However, this blockbuster NST piece came out the other day, and it was utterly ignored by the entire Western media. Furthermore, and oddly so, the next day, a source in the Malaysian government appeared to backtrack on the notion that the Malay government was accusing Ukraine of doing the deed. However, the investigative piece by Harris Hussain and Tasnim Lockman was an expertly done and carefully written piece that was based on extensive interviews with the very investigators who have been working on the case. Apparently somebody, probably the US, threatened the Malay government into backtracking on their conclusion. But we know what the investigation committee really thinks.

Ukraine Sitrep August 12, 2014

This report is by me.
Heavily defended Russian column was heading towards into Novorussia at 12:53 AM Pacific time, whatever time that is in Ukraine? 3.5 hours hours ago. The column consists of 257 KAMAZ trucks with 15 tons of food each.
Novorussian sources say there will be a huge Ukrainian offensive to try to take Donetsk in the next few days. The city is more or less surrounded, but the Ukies are not inside the city. They are not in Lugansk either. They are only on the suburban outskirts of both cities, which is where all the fighting is taking place. Cities are being shelled because Ukies are mad that they can’t break through Novorussian lines. It will not be easy to take either of those cities, especially Donetsk. Even if the Ukies “take” the cities, they end up with a Gaza situation of endless urban warfare in a permanently hostile city. Think Stalingrad.
Novorussians say US military are on the ground in Novorussia helping the Ukies. Novorussians say that a Novorussian special forces (sabotage and reconnaissance) group wounded a US general and three other officers in Mariupol behind enemy lines a few days ago. No confirmation.
Pro-Novorussian sabotage at Ukie arms factories in Kharkiv is being reported. Kharkiv decided not to vote to secede, but they are still hostile to Ukie regime, and guerrilla activity is now being reported in Kharkiv.
There are also guerrilla activities taking place in Mariupol. Heavy artillery reported along with fighting around the airport and at Ukie checkpoints. Guerrilla activity is also reported in Kramatorsk. There may also be guerrilla activities in Kherson Oblast. People come from all over East Ukraine to train with then Novorussians, then they go back to their area and start guerrilla activities. Ukies are shelling Russian territory every week for some time now.
Transcarpathia, home to Rusyns in far SW Ukraine, is in open rebellion. 1/2 of regions have taken up arms and put up roadblocks everywhere where they only let you through if they know you. This region declared independence some time ago. They do not want to be part of this new Ukraine.
Among Novorussian civilians, Novorussians have 75% support, 20% are with the Ukies, and 5% are neutral. The longer the Ukies stay there, the more people they anger. Ukies treat Novorussia as if it is enemy territory with a hostile population similar to IDF in Gaza, except Ukies act far worse than IDF. In occupied cities, Ukies steal cars, people often disappear (Who knows where?), people are arrested for fighting with militia or helping the militia and taken away. Reportedly some are executed.
Ukies never completely controlled Slavyansk after they conquered it. Novorussians stayed behind and there have been many attacks since it was conquered. 27 attacks have been reported in recent days, and ~59 Ukies were casualties.
Novorussians have huge spy network all through territory. No town is really safe even after it is conquered as invisible guerrilla ghosts can attack at any time. Guerrillas pretend to be terrified civilians seeking shelter from fighting. Many civilian men in conquered towns were/are working for militia.
Even if the Ukies conquer Novorussia, they will have to go back in later or will have to deal with endless guerrilla war. So Novorussia is really the Gaza of the Ukraine. The analogy is excellent. Novorussia wants to be part of the Ukraine about as much as Gaza wants to be annexed by Israel as it was earlier.
Russia is probably not giving tanks and armored vehicles to the Novorussians since they only have a few of them.
NATO Canadian forces unloaded nonlethal supplies for the Ukies at Kharkiv Airport. NATO is guarding the airport. However, reports say that lethal aid (Javelins) were included in the shipment. Angry locals blocked a convoy containing Javelins.
Malaysian state commission charged with investigating M17 shoot-down issued a report blaming Ukies for shooting down the jet.
There were reportedly 3 separate attacks in short order.
1. Attack from ground, apparently with a Ukie Buk.
2. Attack with machine gun fire, probably from the Ukie SU-25 that was trailing M17. 30mm cannon fire at cockpit. Cockpit was described as “a bloodbath.”
3. Attack via air to air missile by the SU-25.
Russia vehemently claiming Ukies shot M17 down, claims to have good evidence.

An Interesting NE Asian Phenotype

Repost from the old site.
White Nationalists like to go on and on and on about the glorious color of their skin: white. For some odd reason, this white skin is superior to darker-colored skins of folks who evolved in hotter zones. Truth is, darker skin color is a perfectly rational evolutionary response to high rates of UV radiation in areas where it is very hot.
And in some areas of the globe, people can have fairly light skins if they stay out of the sun, but they get dark quite easily if they go out in the sun. Italians and Greeks come to mind. Here are photos of Italians, Greeks and Spaniards who have stayed out of sun, and then the same folks after they got tanned.
The same page also shows identical phenotypes commonly seen as European-only, like Nordics, Mediterraneans and Alpines, in both their European and extra-European forms from Arabia, North Africa and Central Asia. Often the darker skin you see in a lot of Southern Europeans is nothing but a tan.
On the other hand, Northern Europeans, and possibly other Northern types, don’t tan very well (they often burn) and even when they do, they don’t get all that dark. The very dark skin of Blacks, Papuans, Melanesians, some Aborigines and some South Indians is simply a result of evolving in those parts of the Earth where the sun shines brightest of all.
But Whites ought to give up the fantasy of about their white skin being best of all – because other races have some very white skin too. See the Korean woman in the photo below for example.

A Korean woman. She has a shade of White on her skin that is lacking in almost all Caucasians – it is probably only seen in Ireland and Scotland and it’s probably even lacking in Sweden and Norway. But this very White phenotype seen in some Koreans and Northern Chinese differs from that of European Whites in that it is more glossy. European White skin looks more chalky or powdery.
This phenotype also has skin that looks more like porcelain and is reflective of light. The very light European skin tends to be less light-reflective.

Here’s a pretty cool chart showing degrees of skin lightness versus darkness around the world.

UV radiation chart along with zones of skin color. Zone 1 has the darkest skin of all . Zone 2, which includes Italians and Spaniards, has skin that tans easily. Zone 3 contains light skin that enables residents to absorb as much Vitamin D as possible from the sun due to lack of sunlight at higher latitudes.
Note that there is also pretty high UV radiation in parts of South America (Peru), in the heart of Mexico, in Southwest Arabia (especially Yemen), in Southern India and Sri Lanka and in Indonesia, Malaysia, Southern Philippines and New Guinea. Indonesians and Malaysians are known for being darker than many other SE Asian groups.
According to this chart, the darkest people of all are Blacks from Mozambique and Cameroon in Africa and Aborigines from Darwin in North Australia. A look at the same chart, much expanded, in the original paper, shows that the next darkest are Blacks, the Okavango in Namibia and the Sara in Chad (Table 6, p. 19). The chart shows that the lightest people are in Netherlands, followed by Germany and then the northern parts of the UK.
Note on the map that Tibet and parts of the Amazon should have some very dark-skinned people, but those who live there are lighter than you would expect based on UV. The paper suggests that the Tibetans are lighter because it is so cold there that most of their body is covered up all the time and only the face is uncovered.
The face is lighter to collect what Vitamin D it can as so much of the body cannot collect Vitamin D due to clothing. The Amazonian Indians are known to be shade-seeking and the paper suggests that this may account for their lighter skin.

Most Whites don’t really have White skin anyway. I am looking at my own skin here as I type, and it looks more pink than White.

References

Jablonski, N. and Chaplin, G. (2000) The Evolution of Human Skin Coloration. Journal of Human Evolution. Available on this blog here.

Journeys in Asian Prehistory

Repost from the old site.
In this post we will look at the prehistory of the Asian or Mongoloid Race and some its subgroups. After humans came out of Africa about 70,000 years ago, they moved along the coast of Arabia, Southwest Asia, South Asia and eventually to Southeast Asia.

One Asian man’s rendering of modern Asian expansion, contrasted with the typical model. I don’t agree with either model, but I like the one on the left a little better. For starters, the yellow line on the map to the left should be hugging the coast quite closely and the brown and red lines should be radiating out from a base somewhere along the yellow line. Unfortunately, my artistic skills are not good enough to draw my own map.

We think that these people looked something like the Negritos of today, such as those on the Andaman Islands.
At some point, probably in Southern China, the Mongoloid Race was born. The timeline, as determined by looking at genes, was from 60,000-110,000 years ago. As humans are thought to have only populated the world 70,000 years or so ago, it is strange that the timeline may go back as far as 110,000 years.
One thing that is very interesting is that there is evidence for regional continuity in Asia (especially China) dating back 100,000’s of years, if not millions of years. This is called the multiregional hypothesis of human development.
Though it is mostly abandoned today, it still has its adherents.
Some of its adherents are Asian nationalists of various types, especially Chinese and Indonesian nationalists. They all want to think that man was born in their particular country. Others are White nationalists who refuse to believe that they are descended from Africans, whom they consider to be inferior. The problem is that the Asians can indeed show good evidence for continuity in the skulls in their region.
A good midway point between the two, that sort of solves the conundrum, is that humans came out of Africa, say, ~70,000 years or so ago, and when they got to Asia, they bred in with some of the more archaic types there. The problem with this is that the only modern human showing evidence of pre-modern Homo genes in Mungo Man in Australia from 50,000 years ago.
There is evidence that as late as 120,000 years ago, supposedly fully modern humans in Tanzania were still transitioning from archaic to modern man. Ancient South African humans 100-110,000 yrs ago looked like neither Bantus nor Bushmen.
Nevertheless, we can reject the multiregional theory in its strong form as junk science. We also note cynically that once again ethnic nationalists and regular nationalists, including some of the world’s top scientists, are pushing a blatantly unscientific theory. Yet again ethnic nationalism is shown to be a stupidifying mindset.
There must be a reason why ethnic nationalism seems to turn so many smart people into total idiots. I suspect it lies in the fact that the basic way of thinking involved in ethnic nationalism is just a garbage way of looking at the world, and getting into it distorts one’s mind similar to the way a mental illness does.
We think that the homeland of the Asians is in Southern China, just north of the Vietnam border. This is because the people with the greatest genetic diversity in Asia are found in Northern Vietnam. Since the Vietnamese are known to have largely come from Southern China, we can assume that the homeland was just north of the border. From there, all modern Asians were born.
This means all NE and SE Asians, Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians came out of this Asian homeland.

School kids in Hothot, a town in Inner Mongolia. There is some question about whether China really has a right to control this area. These Northeast Asians originally came from a homeland in SE Asia near the China-Vietnam border. As this race is only 9,000 years old, NE Asians could not possibly have gone through an Ice Age that molded their brains for high intelligence, as the racist liar and scientific fraud Richard Lynn claims .

There is even evidence that the Altaics of Siberia originated from the SE Asian homeland. They are thought to have moved out of there to the west and north to become the various Altaic groups such as the Buryats. Later Caucasian lines came to the Altaics from the West.

A Mongolian man on the steppes with a grazing animal and possibly a yurt in the background. Yurts are conical structures that the Mongolians still live in. I believe that Mongolians also eat a lot of yogurt, which they cultivate from the milk of their grazing animals. Note the pale blue eyes and somewhat Caucasian appearance.
My astute Chinese commenter notes: “While Mongolians do have ‘Caucasian genes’, they look distinct from Uighurs, who are mixed. I’m thinking Mongolians and Central Asians lie in a spectrum between Caucasoids in West Asia and “Mongoloids” in Northeast Asians, while Uighurs were the product of Central Asian, West Asian, and Northeast Asian interbreeding.”
In fact, all of these populations are on the border genetically between Caucasians and Asians.
A Mongolian woman. Note short, stocky appearance with short limbs to preserve heat in the cold. Note also the long, moon-shaped, ruddy face, possibly red from the cold weather. Are those ginseng roots in her hand?
More Mongolians, this time with what look like grazing reindeer in the background. Mongolians herd reindeer? Note once again the long, flat, moon-shaped face, the almost-Caucasian features and especially the pale blue eyes of each woman. I cannot help but think that both of these women also look like Amerindians. Neither would be out of place at a pow wow.
More Mongolians, this time a Mongolian boy. Other than the eyes, he definitely looks Caucasian. He looks like a lot of the kids I grew up with in facial structure. Mongolians are anywhere from 10% Caucasian to 14% Caucasian.

From their Altaic lands, especially in the Altai region and the mouth of the Amur River, they moved into the Americas either across the Bering Straight or in boats along the Western US Coast. Another line went north to become the Northeast Asians. And from the Northeast Asian homeland near Lake Baikal, another line went on to become the Siberians.

An Evenki boy with his reindeer. Prototypical reindeer herders, the Evenki are a classical Siberian group. Strangely enough, they are related to both NE Asians and other Siberians and also to Tibetans. This indicates that the genesis of the Tibetans may have been up near or in Siberia.

From 10-40,000 yrs ago, the Siberian population was Mongoloid or pre-Mongoloid. After 10,000 yrs BP (before present), Caucasians or proto-Caucasians moved in from the West across the steppes, but they never got further than Lake Baikal. This group came from the Caucasus Mountains. They are members of the Tungus Race and are quite divergent from most other groups genetically.

More Evenkis, members of the Tungus Race, this time some beautiful women and kids in traditional costumes. But this photo was taken in some Siberian city, so they may have just been dressing up. They probably have some Caucasian genes, as the nearby Yakuts are 6% Caucasian. Many of the Evenki women have become single Moms, because the men are seen as violent, drunk and a financial drain.

Soon after the founding of the Asian homeland in northern Vietnam 53,000-90,000 yrs ago, the proto-Asians split into three distinct lines – a line heading to Japanese and related peoples, another heading to the North and Northeast Asians, and a third to the Southern Han Chinese and SE Asian lines.

A beautiful royal member of the Southern Han Dynasty in Hong Kong, member of the South China Sea Race. This race consists of the Filipinos, the Ami and the Southern Han from Guangdong Province. The Ami are a Taiwanese Aborigine tribe who made up the bulk of the Austronesians who populated much of island SE Asia over the past 8,000 years.
These Southern Chinese people never went through any Ice Age, and the SE Asian Race is only 10,000 years old anyway. So why are they so smart? Unlike some NE Asian groups, especially those around Mongolia, the Altai region, the Central Asian Stans and Siberia, the Han have no Caucasian in them.
A bright Chinese commenter left me some astute remarks about the South Chinese IQ: “Some possible reasons for high South Chinese IQ’s: Chinese culture is very… g-loaded. For example, understanding the language requires good pitch, recognizing Chinese characters takes visual IQ and good memory, Chinese literature and history span 3,000-4,000 years for references, etc.
For several thousand years testing determined your social position (and it still does to some extent in Confucian nations). Those left in the countryside were periodically left to famine and “barbarian” invasions (slaughter).
Likewise, when Chinese people interbreed, there is strong pressure to breed into the upper class of a native population. Whatever caused the high selection when Chinese and Mon-Khmer/Dai groups interbred probably gave the Chinese immigrants leverage to marry into the upper classes when they did. This is something the Asian diaspora still tends to do.”
Regarding South Chinese appearance, he notes, “Lastly, the Chinese in Fujian have distinct features. They have thicker lips, curlier hair, more prominent brow, less pronounced epicanthic folds, etc. I’m in Taiwan now and I do notice it. I was at a packed market a while ago and was noting the way people look.”

As a result of this split, all Chinese are related at a deep level, even though Northern Chinese are closer to Caucasians than to Southern Chinese. Nevertheless, we can still see a deep continuum amongst Asian populations.

A Northern Chinese man with distinctly Caucasian features. Although they have no Caucasian genes that we can see anymore, they are still closer to Caucasians than to the Southern Chinese.

The major genetic frequency found in Japan, Korea and Northern China is also found at very high levels in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand, and at lower levels in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Incredibly, even higher levels are found in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand than in Northern China.
The proto-NE Asian or North Asian homeland was around Lake Baikal about 35,000 years ago. The Ainu and a neighboring group, the Nivkhi, are thought to be the last remaining groups left from this line. The Ainu are related to the Jomon, the earliest group in Japan, who are thought to have originated in Thailand about 16,000 years ago and then came up to Japan on boats to form the proto-Jomon.
The Jomon culture itself formally begins about 9,000 years ago. Japan at that time was connected to the mainland. Jomonese skulls found in Japan look something like Aborigines. Later, around 2,300 years ago, a group called the Yayoi came across the sea from Korea and moved into Japan.

The woman on the left is more Yayoi and the one on the right is more Okinawan. The Okinawans, members of the Ryukyuan Race, seem to be related to the Ainu, and they have a long history in the south of Japan. The Ryukyuan Race is a very divergent grouping.
Most Japanese are members of the Japanese-Korean Race (like the Yayoi woman at left) but there is a divergent group in the South called the Southern Japanese Race, made up of the Honshu Kinki (the people around Kyoto) and the island of Kyushu. They may be more Okinawan than the rest of the mainland Japanese.

Over the next 2,300 years, the Yayoi slowly conquered and interbred with the Ainu until at the present time, the Ainu are nearly extinct as a cultural and racial entity. The Ainu have always been treated terribly by the Japanese, in part because they are quite hairy, like Caucasians.
The hairy body is thought to be a leftover from proto-NE Asian days, as some other groups in that area also have a lot of body hair. Despite the fact that they look down on the Ainu, about 40% of Japanese are related to the Ainu, and the rest are more or less related to the Yayoi. Actually, Japanese genetics seems a lot more complicated than that, but that’s as good a summary as any.

The Ainu. Though despised by the Japanese in part due to their Caucasian-like “monkey hair” on their bodies (note the guy’s hairy legs), the Japanese themselves are about 40% Ainu. The Ainu are members of the Ainu-Gilyak Race and are one of the most diverse groups on Earth.
A photo of Ainu Yasli Adam in traditional garb. I love this photo. Note that he could be mistaken for an Aborigine or a Caucasian. For a long time, the Ainu were considered to be Caucasians, but recent genetic studies have shown conclusively that they are Asians.
The Ainu language is formally an isolate, but in my opinion it is probably related to Japanese and Korean and thence to Altaic, nevertheless I think that both Japanese and Korean are closer to Altaic than Ainu is. Genetically, the Ainu are closest to NE Asians but are also fairly close to the Na-Dene Amerindians. Cavalli-Sforza says they are in between NE Asians, Amerindians and Australians.

At this time, similar-looking Australoids who looked something like Papuans, Aborigines or Negritos were present all over Asia, since the NE Asians and SE Asians we know them today did not form until around 10,000 years ago.
There are still some traces of these genes, that look like a Papuan line, in modern-day Malays, coastal Vietnamese, parts of Indonesia and some Southwestern Chinese. The genes go back to 13,000 years ago and indicate a major Australoid population expansion in the area at that time. Absolutely nothing whatsoever is known about this Australoid expansion.

God I love these Paleolithic types. A Papuan Huli man, member of the Papuan Race, who looks somewhat like an Australian Aborigine. Although it is often said that Papuans and Aborigines are related, they are only in the deepest sense. In truth, they really do form two completely separate races because they are so far apart.
Once again, while Afrocentrists also like to claim these folks as “Black”, the Papuans and Aborigines are the two people on Earth most distant from Africans, possibly because they were the first to split off and have been evolving away from Africans for so long. I don’t know what that thing in his mouth is, but it looks like a gigantic bong to me. There are about 800 languages spoken on Papua, including some of the most maddeningly complex languages on Earth.
NE Asian skulls from around 10,000 years ago also look somewhat like Papuans, as do the earliest skulls found in the Americas. The first Americans, before the Mongoloids, were apparently Australoids.

The proto-NE Asian Australoids transitioned to NE Asians around 9,000 years ago. We know this because the skulls at Zhoukoudian Cave in NE China from about 10,000 years ago look like the Ainu, the Jomon people, Negritos and Polynesians.

Waitress in Hothot, Inner Mongolia. Zhoukoudian Cave is not far from here. Note the typical NE Asian appearance. Mongolians are members of the Mongolian Race and speak a language that is part of the Altaic Family.

We think that these Australoids also came down in boats or came over the Bering Straight to become the first Native Americans. At that time – 9-13,000 years ago, Zhoukoudian Cave types were generalized throughout Asia before the arrival of the NE Asians.

Northern Chinese prototypes from a photo of faculty and students at Jilin University in Northern China. People in this area, members of the Northern Chinese Race, are closely related to Koreans. Note the lighter skin and often taller bodies than the shorter, darker Southern Chinese. The man in the center is a White man who is posing with the Chinese in this picture.
My brother worked at a cable TV outfit once and there was a Northern Chinese and a Southern Chinese working there. The Northern one was taller and lighter, and the Southern one was shorter and darker. The northern guy treated the southern guy with little-disguised contempt the whole time. He always called the southern guy “little man”, his voice dripping with condescension.
This was my first exposure to intra-Chinese racism. Many NE Asians, especially Japanese, are openly contemptuous of SE Asians, in part because they are darker.

Native Americans go from Australoids to Mongoloids from 7,000-9,000 years ago, around the same time – 9,000 years ago – that the first modern NE Asians show up.

Prototypical NE Asians – Chinese in Harbin, in far northeastern China. This area gets very cold in the winter, sort of like Minnesota. Keep in mind that this race is only 9,000 years old. Note the short, stocky body type, possibly a cold weather adaptation to preserve heat.

Some of the earliest Amerindian skulls such as Spirit Cave Man, Kennewick Man, and Buhl Woman look like Ainu and various Polynesians, especially Maoris.

A Hawaiian woman, part of the Polynesian Race. Kennewick Man does not look like any existing populations today, but he is closest to Polynesians, especially the virtually extinct Moiriori of the Chatham Islands and to a lesser extent the Cook Islanders. Yes, many of the various Polynesians can be distinguished based on skulls. Other early Amerindian finds, such as Buhl Woman and Spirit Cave Woman also look something like Polynesians.
It is starting to look like from a period of ~7,000-11,000 years ago in the Americas, the Amerindians looked like Polynesians and were not related to the existing populations today, who arrived ~7,000 years ago and either displaced or bred out the Polynesian types. Furthermore, early proto-NE Asian skulls, before the appearance of the NE Asian race 9,000 years ago, look somewhat like Polynesians, among other groups.

An archaeologist who worked on Kennewick Man says Amerindians assaulted him, spit on him and threatened to kill him because he said that Kennewick Man was not an Amerindian related to living groups, and that his line seemed to have no ancestors left in the Americas.
Furthermore, most Amerindians insist that their own tribe “has always been here”, because this is what their silly ancestral religions and their elders tell them. They can get quite hostile if you question them on this, as I can attest after working with an Amerindian tribe for 1½ years in the US.
To add further insult to reason, a completely insane law called NAGPRA, or Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, mandates that all bones found on any tribe’s territory are the ancestors of that tribe and must be returned to the tribe for reburial. This idiotic law is completely anti-scientific, but most Amerindians, even highly educated ones, get pretty huffy about defending it (Trust me!).
Hence there has been a huge battle over the bones of Kennewick Man. Equally idiotically, White Nationalists insist that Kennewick Man is a Caucasian, so that means he is one of theirs. They also use this to conveniently note that Whites occupied the US before the Indians, and therefore, that the Amerindians implicitly have no rights to the place and that the land-theft of Amerindian America by Whites was right and proper.
This is even more insane than Zionism by orders of magnitude. First of all, Kennewick Man is not a Caucasian! He just sort of looks like one. But that is only because Polynesians, the Ainu and even Aborigines look somewhat Caucasian. This is not due to Caucasian genes, but is instead simply a case of convergent evolution.
These dual episodes above, like the Asian paleontologist morons above, adds weight to my hypothesis that ethnic nationalism, and nationalism in general, turns people into dithering morons. Among other reasons, that is why this proudly internationalist blog casts such a wary eye on nationalism of all kinds.
The prehistory of SE Asia follows a similar storyline. Once again, all of SE Asia was inhabited by Australoids. They probably looked something like the Negritos of today. Skulls from 9,000-11,000 years ago in SE Asia (including Southern China) resemble modern-day Australoids.
The oldest skulls in Vietnam look like Negritos. 25,800 yr old bones from Thailand look like Aborigines and the genes look like the Semang, Negritos of Thailand and Malaysia. There are skulls dating back 44,000 years in Malaysia and these also look like Aborigines. Some say that the Semang go back 50,000 years in Malaysia.

Andaman Islands Negritos. This type was probably the main human type all throughout SE Asia, and a variation of this type was in NE Asia too. These are really the first people to come out of Africa. Afrocentrists like to say that these people are Black, but the truth is that these people are very far away from Black people – in fact, they are Asians.
Andaman Islanders have peppercorn hair like the hair of the Bushmen in Africa. This would differentiate this group from the woolly-haired Negritos in the Philippines. Genetic studies have shown that the Andaman Islanders are quite probably the precise remains of the first people to come out of Africa.
Genetically, they tend to resemble whatever group they are living around, with some distinct variations. In truth, this group here, the Andamans, is one of the “purest” ethnic groups on Earth, because they have been evolving in isolation for so long. This is known as genetic drift. At the same time, I think there is little diversity internally in their genome, also due to drift.
The Andaman Negritos are part of the Andaman Islands Negrito Race. Their strange and poorly understood languages are not related to any others, but there is some speculation that they are related to Kusunda in Nepal, a language isolate. I tend to agree with that theory.
One of the problems with genetic drift is after a while you get an “island” effect where the population lacks genetic diversity, since diversity comes from inputs from outside populations. Hence they tend to be vulnerable to changes in the environment that a more genetically diverse population would be able to weather a lot better.
Although racist idiot Richard Lynn likes to claim that all people like this have primitive languages, the truth is that the Andaman languages are so maddeningly complex that we are still having a hard time making sense out of them.
As in the case of Melanesians, Papuans and some Indian tribals, Afrocentrists like to claim that the Negritos are “Africans”, i.e., Black people. The truth is that Negritos are one of the most distant groups on Earth to existing Black populations. Negrito populations tend to be related, though not closely, with whatever non-Negrito population are in the vicinity. This is due to interbreeding over the years. Furthermore, most, if not all, Negritos are racially Asians, not Africans.
Another misconception is that Negritos are Australoids. Genetically, the vast majority of them do not fall into the Papuan or Australian races, but anthropometrically, at least some are Australoid. There is a lot of discrimination against these people wherever they reside, where they are usually despised by the locals.
White Supremacists have a particular contempt for them. As a side note, although White Supremacists like to talk about how ugly these people are, I think these Negrito women are really cute and delightful looking, but do you think they have large teeth? Some say Negritos have large teeth.

Around 8,500 years ago, the newly minted NE Asians, who had just transitioned from Australoids to NE Asians, came down from the north into the south in a massive influx, displacing the native Australoids. We can still see the results today. Based on teeth, SE Asians have teeth mixed between Australoids (Melanesians) and NE Asians. Yet, as noted above, there are few Australoid genes in SE Asians.

8,500 years ago, NE Asians moved down into SE Asia, displacing the native Australoids and creating the SE Asian race. If NE Asians are so smart though, I want to know what these women are doing wearing bathing suits in the freezing cold. Compare the appearance of these Northern Chinese to other NE Asian mainland groups above.

A prominent anthropology blogger suggests that a similar process occurred possibly around the same time in South Asia and the Middle East, where proto-Caucasians moved in and supplanted an native Australoid mix.
One group that was originally thought to be related to the remains of the original SE Asians is called the Yumbri, a group of primitive hunter-gatherers who live in the jungles of northern Laos and Thailand. Some think that the Yumbri may be the remains of the aboriginal people of Thailand, Laos and possibly Cambodia, but there is controversy about this.

Yumbri noble savages racing through the Thai rain forest. The group is seldom seen and little is known about them. They are thought to number only 200 or so anymore, and there are fears that they may be dying out. This paper indicates via genetics that the Yumbri are a Khmuic group that were former agriculturalists who for some odd reason gave up agriculture to go back to the jungles and live the hunter-gatherer way.
This is one of the very few case cases of agriculturalists reverting to hunting and gathering. The language looks like Khmuic (especially one Khmu language – Tin) but it also seems to have some unknown other language embedded in it. Genetics shows they have only existed for around 800 years and they have very little genetic diversity.
The low genetic diversity means that they underwent a genetic bottleneck, in this case so severe that the Yumbri may have been reduced to only one female and 1-4 males. It is interesting that the Tin Prai (a Tin group) has a legend about the origin of the Yumbri in which two children were expelled from the tribe and sent on a canoe downstream. They survived and melted into the forest where they took up a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
The Khmu are an Austroasiatic group that are thought to be the indigenous people of Laos, living there for 4,000 years before the Lao (Thai) came down 800 years ago and largely displaced them from the lowlands into the hills. The Austroasiatic homeland is usually thought to be somewhere in Central China (specifically around the Middle Yangtze River Valley), but there are some who think it was in India.
They moved from there down into SE Asia over possibly 5,000 years or so. Many Austroasiatics began moving down into SE Asia during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties due to Han pushing south, but the expansion had actually started about 8,500 years ago. At this time, SE Asia was mostly populated by Negrito types. The suggestion is that the Austroasiatics displaced the Negritos, and there was little interbreeding.
The Austroasiatic languages are thought to be the languages of the original people of SE Asia and India, with families like Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, Indo-European and Dravidian being latecomers. There are possible deep linguistic roots with the Austronesian Family, and genetically, the Austroasiatics are related to Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and the Hmong-Mien speakers.

There is an interesting paradox with the Southern Chinese in that genetically, they look like SE Asians, but they have IQ’s more like NE Asians, around ~105. There do not seem to be any reasonable theories about why this is so. It is true that NE Asians came down and moved into SE Asia, but they moved into the whole area, not just Southern China, yet SE Asian IQ’s are not nearly as high as Southern Chinese IQ’s.
Of relevance to the IQ debate is that Asians, especially NE Asians, score lower on self-esteem than Blacks, yet they do much better in school. This would tend to argue against the contention of many that Black relatively poor school performance is a consequence of them not feeling good about themselves.
This seems to poke one more hole in Richard Lynn’s theory that a journey through the Ice Age is necessary for a high IQ, as the Southern Chinese made no such sojourn.
As a result of the Northern and Southern mix in Southern China, groups such as the Yunnanese are quite a mixed group. Yunnanese are mostly southern and are extremely distant from NE Asians. The Wa are a group in the area that is almost equally mixed with northern and southern admixture.

Two pretty Laotian girls being starved to death by murderous Communist killers in Laos. The Lao are related to the Thai and are members of the Tai Race that includes the Lao, Thai, Aini, Deang, Blang, Vietnamese, Muong, Shan, Dai and Naxi peoples. The Lao language is a member of the Tai language family.
The Thai are related to the Tai group in Yunnan in Southern China. They evolved there about 4,000 years ago and then gave birth to a number of groups in the region. The modern Thai are latecomers to the region, moving into the area in huge numbers only about 700 years ago to become the Lao, Thai and Shan. The Lao are the descendants of recent Tai immigrants who interbred heavily with existing Chinese and Mon-Khmer populations.
Gorgeous Dai women in China. The Dai are an ethnic group in China, mostly in Yunnan, who are related to the Thai – they are also members of the Tai Race and speak a Tai language . It looks like the Thai split off from the larger Dai group and moved into Thailand in recent centuries.
The Dai were together with the Zhuang, another Yunnan group, as the proto-Tai north of Yunnan about 5000 years ago. They moved south into Yunnan and split into the Zhuang and the Tai. There were also Tai movements south into Vietnam via Yunnan.
More Dai, this time two young Dai men from Thailand. They do seem to look a bit different from other Thais, eh? They look a little more Chinese to me. The Thai are not the only ethnic group in Thailand; there are 74 languages spoken there, and almost all are in good shape. These people apparently speak the Tai Nüa language.
A proud Dai father in China, where they Dai are an official nationality together with the Zhuang. He’s got some problems with his teeth, but that is pretty typical in most of the world, where people usually lack modern dental care.
A photo of a Thai waitress in Bangkok getting ready to serve some of that yummy Thai food. Note that she looks different from the Dai above – more Southeast Asian and less Chinese like the Dai. The Thai are also members of the Tai Race.
Another pic of a Thai street vendor. The Thai are darker and less Chinese-looking than the lighter Dai. The Tai people are thought to have come from Taiwan over 5,000 years ago. They left Taiwan for the mainland and then moved into Southwest China, which is thought to be their homeland. Then, 5,000 years ago, they split with the Zhuang. The Zhuang went to Guangxi and the Tai went to Yunnan.
A Thai monk. Am I hallucinating or does this guy look sort of Caucasian? In Thai society, it is normal for a young man to go off and become a monk for a couple of years around ages 18-20. Many Thai men and most Lao men do this. I keep thinking this might be a good idea in our society. Khrushchev used to send them off to work in the fields for a couple of years at this age.

Nevertheless, most Yunnanese have SE Asian gene lines and they are quite distant from the NE Asians (as noted, NE Asians are further from SE Asians than they are from Caucasians).

More beautiful women, this time from Yunnan, in Communist-controlled China. Look at the miserable faces on these poor, starving women as they suffer through Communist terror and wholesale murder.
Yunnan was the starting point for most of peoples in the region, including the Tai, the Hmong, the Mon-Khmer, the Vietnamese, the Taiwanese aborigines and from there to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.
In a sense, almost all of SE Asia was settled via a southward and southeastward movement out of Yunnan. Why so many groups migrated out of Yunnan is not known, but they may have being pushed out of there via continuous southward movements by Northern Han. Yunnan was seen as a sort of rearguard base and sanctuary for many Chinese ethnic groups who were being pushed out of their areas, mostly by Han expansions.
The terrain was rough but fertile. At some point, the Han started pushing down into Yunnan and that is when many southward expansions into SE Asia over the last 5000 or so years took place. A discussion of Asian racial features and their possible evolution is here.

Tibetans are close to NE Asians genetically, though they are located in the South. This is because they evolved in NE Asia and only recently moved down into Tibet. After coming into Tibet, they moved down into Burma. Many of today’s Burmese came from Tibet.

A Tibetan tourist in India. This woman has more of a classic Tibetan look than the younger woman below. Tibetans characteristically have darker skin than many NE Asians – Tibetans are actually NE Asians displaced to the south in fairly recent times. Although it is high and cold in Tibet, the region is at a more southerly latitude. Nevertheless, UV radiation is very intense in Tibet, which probably accounts for the darker skin.
It looks like all humans were pretty dark at the start and in some cases have lost melanin in cold climes where they needed to lighten to get Vitamin D. White skin in Europe is merely 9,000 years old, so European Whites never went through any brain-sharpening Ice Age either.
Tibetans are members of the General Tibetan Race, which includes the Tibetan, Nakhi, Lisu, Nu, Karen, Adi, Tujia, Hui and Kachin peoples. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, part of the larger Sino-Tibetan family.
My observant Chinese commenter notes about the Tibetans: “As for the Tibetans, they seem to be primarily Northeast Asian (they look to be the most “yellow” of any Asians) with some other (South Asian-looking) element that interbred with them fairly recently. They tend to also be more ruddy, and have skin tones from reddish to yellow to brown.
You can see some similarities with Burmese, but they are distinct. Another thing to note is that the prevalence of colored hair and eyes is relatively higher in Tibet.
A gorgeous Tibetan woman, but to me she does not look typically Tibetan. Note that she seems to have put some whitening powder on her face – note contrast between her face and her darker hand.
Although this blog supports Tibetan freedom and opposed the colonial Chinese takeover and racist ethnic cleansing of the Tibetan people by the Chinese Communists, it should nevertheless be noted that the wonderful regime that the Dalai Lama apparently wants to bring back was one of the most vicious forms of pure feudalism existing into modern times, where the vast majority of the population were serf-slaves for the Buddhist religious ruling class.
Yes, that wonderful religion called Buddhism has its downside.
The Buddhist paradise of Burma, run by one of the most evil military dictatorships on Earth (No satire in that sentence). I thought Buddhists were supposed to be peace loving?
A Burmese woman with classic Burmese features. The Burmese, better known as the Bamar, are members of the General Tibetan Race. Boy, she sure is cute. And yes, I do have a thing for Asian women. I think I need to retitle this post Hot Asian Babes.

There are several interesting points in the sketch above. First of all, much as it pains them to be compared to people whom they probably consider to be inferior, all NE Asians were originally Australoids similar to the Australian Aborigines.
NE Asians like to accuse SE Asians of being mostly an “Australoid” group, an analysis that is shared by many amateur anthropologists on the web. We will look into this question more in the future, but it appears that both NE and SE Asians are derived from Australoid stock. Further, there are few Australoid genes left in any mainland SE Asians and none in most SE Asians.
It is true that Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians are part-Australoid in that the latter two are derived from Melanesians, who are derived from Austronesians mixed with Papuans. Any analysis that concludes that non-Oceanic SE Asians are “part-Australoid” is dubious.
If anything, NE Asians are closer to Australoids than most SE Asians. The Japanese and Koreans are probably closer to Australian Aborigines than any other group in Asia. I am certain that the ultranationalist and racialist Japanese at least will not be pleased to learn this.
Second, we note that all Asians are related, and that the proto-Asian homeland was in northern Vietnam. It follows that NE Asians are in fact derived from the very SE Asians whom the NE Asians consider to be inferior. A NE Asian who is well versed in these matters (He was of the “SE Asians are part-Australoid” persuasion) was not happy to hear my opinion at all, and left sputtering and mumbling.
NE Asian superiority over SE Asians is a common point of view, especially amongst Japanese – the Japanese especially look down on Koreans (Their fellow NE Asians!), Vietnamese, Filipinos (the “niggers of Asia”), the Hmong (the “hillbillies of Asia”) and the Khmer.

The beautiful, intelligent, civilized and accomplished Koreans. Tell me, the Japanese look down on these people are inferiors why now? Note the rather distinct short and stocky appearance, possibly a heat-preserving adaptation to cold weather. Note also the moon-shaped face.
The Koreans seem to have come down from Mongolia about 5,000 years ago and completely displaced an unknown native group, but don’t tell any Korean that. Koreans are members of the Japanese-Korean Race and the Korean language is said to be a language isolate, but I think it is distantly related to Japanese, Ainu and Gilyak in a separate, distant branch of Altaic.
My Chinese commenter adds: “I get the impression that Koreans are at least comprised two major physically discernible groups. Some of them have a shade of skin similar to the Inuit or Na Dene. But I think they have intermixed quite a lot during some relatively stable 5,000+ year period, which results in a fairly even spectrum.”

Third, Richard Lynn’s Ice Age Theory takes another hit as he can explain neither the Southern Chinese high IQ, nor the genesis of high-IQ NE Asians from lower-IQ SE Asians, nor the fact that NE Asians do not appear in the anthropological record until 9,000 years ago (after the Ice Age that supposedly molded those fantastic brains of theirs), nor the genesis of these brainy folks via Australoids, whom Lynn says are idiots.
Fourth, the Negritos, who are widely reviled in their respective countries as inferiors, are looking more and more like the ancestors of many of us proud humans. Perhaps a little respect for the living incarnations of our ancient relatives is in order.

Genocide in Australia

Repost from the old site.
Looks like it was way worse than the genocide of the Amerindians in the US. The wiping out of the Amerindians was done mostly by disease. The much-repeated story of blankets poisoned with smallpox apparently occurred in once, back East.
There was a large poisoning of maybe 200-300 Amerindians in the Shasta area of California in the 1800’s, and there was a massacre of 200-300 Amerindians near Eureka at the same time. California was actually one of the worst places of all. There was an all-out war against the Amerindians here.
I spent months going over old newspaper archives in a library as part of work I did for an Indian tribe here in the Sierras (now doing great with a casino).
In the 1850’s and 1860’s, the California Indians were fighting back. The governor himself was making wild proclamations about how this war a war of one race against another, a war that had to lead to the extinction of one or the other.
For 15-20 years or so, it was more or less legal to kill any Indian you wanted in the Sierras and Northern California and for any reason. You could rape an Indian woman too if you want to, and take an Indian child captive. All of this was more or less legal.
Of course this was taking place against the backdrop of the utterly insane mass criminality and homicide of the California Gold Rush, a crime wave the likes of which the state has never even come close to seeing since.
Too many young unmarried men, hardly any women, few to no families, lots of money in the form of gold, little law enforcement, all the ingredients were there. The law that existed was a brutal one, and men were hanged right and left in the Gold Rush for all sorts of things, but preying on Indians was not one of them.
On Sundays, the men would all go to church, then they would head back to the camps to drink, take drugs, steal, fight, kill and just in general act like animals.
There were regular hangings at the camps, and these were well-attended. Folks would go watch the hangings, then head back to camp to commit more crimes later that evening. Sometimes, even capital punishment just doesn’t cut it. Recall the stories of the pickpockets that roamed through the crowds in England at the hangings. This was when pickpocketing was a capital offense.
Until 1870 or so, an Indian in this part of the state kept his head down and his mouth shut and hoped to stay alive. Epidemics and disease took their toll. By 1890, 95% of the Indian population on the Central Sierra Nevada foothills was dead.
That’s interesting to folks who insist that genetic change in humans takes a long time. Not necessarily, when something happens that kills 95% of a group, and the survivors have some characteristic that enabled them to survive, you can get some pretty extensive genetic changes pretty quickly.
Those who tally such things say that ultimately, Whites killed 7,000 Indians and Indians killed about 11,000 Whites. It’s true, the Indians were could be brutal and women and children were at times killed, but they also often kidnapped them and made them members of the tribe.
There are a couple of stories in my family about encounters with Indians. These all stem from one line of my family, who actually came over with the first invaders on the Second Ship of the Mayflower.
Sometime in the 1640’s in Massachusetts, Indians attacked the village where all the men were off hunting. They rounded up the women and children and prepared to set fire to them.
Some of the women started singing a pretty song, and the Indians stopped to listen. Well, this was long enough for the menfolk to return, chase off the Indians and save the day. Two of my ancestors were in that group, a woman and her young child.
Later, in late 1700’s Virginia, one of my relatives was taken captive by Indians with his friend. They made them run the gauntlet, a popular thing that Indians liked to do with captured Whites. As you ran the gauntlet, the Indians beat on you.
Well, the friend was apparently killed in this process. My ancestor, though, when prodded to run the gauntlet, started jumping around and squawking like a chicken. The Indians all started laughing and decided he did not have to run the gauntlet.
I’m not sure if it’s the same story, but one of my ancestors at one point was either captured by Indians or joined them. This in late 1700’s Virginia again. His family just gave him up for dead. Well, 10 years later, the son returns home, about 30 years old, and he’s walking up to his father’s house all dressed like an Indian.
His father got out his gun and was ready to shoot his own son until he recognized him. Back in those days, if an Indian was coming onto your property, you shot him.
My family goes back to 1600’s Virginia and it’s said that if you can trace your line back that far, you have a 50% chance of being related to Pocahontas. So there may be a bit of Amerindian (less than 1%) in me after all.
The first two stories are probably apocryphal.
If you notice the themes: clever Whites use their ingenuity (and common human nature) to fool the Indians by disarming them and appealing to their sensibilities for comedy and appreciation of music. As the Indian is a barbarian savage in both tales, at the same time, he is a fellow human, revealed by his ability to appreciate a clever joke or a beautiful song.
At the end of the day, there is really no way to figure out if such stories are true or not. But they got passed down through the family for years for a reason that is at once egotistical and at the same time a warning: our line is a clever line, able to cheat death by our wits. Remember this, and use this lesson in the close calls you may experience in your own dangerous times.
The treatment of the Aborigines looks like a real genocide. There were sterilization attempts, deliberate attempts at “breeding them out”, mass imprisonments for minor infractions, infantilization throughout life by being confined to child-care like institutions where even their shit had to pass muster.
In these homes, both sexes experienced mass sex abuse, and this went on for decades. Single women were not allowed to have sex, and males were punished for being a “menace to White women”. Half-breeds were taken away to be raised by Whites, and many Aboriginal children were stolen from their families. There was a conscious attempt to make this race fade into history.
There are not many full-blooded Aboriginals left. There are not that many in cities, and most are in remote areas. They still have very serious problems, but they are hardly any kind of threat to the rest of Australians in any way. At the moment, alcohol and drugs are the worst problems, and fetal alcohol syndrome is epidemic among them. The damaged children are petty criminals and find it hard to function on their own.
When the Whites first showed up, Aboriginals were waging their own war of extinction on the Negritos of Australia, who may have been there even before the Aborigines showed.
The Negritos are the first people out of Africa 70,000 years ago, who moved along the Indian Ocean to SE Asia, leaving trace populations (or relatives) behind (possibly) in Yemen, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands, Malaysia, the Philippines and New Guinea.

The journey taken by early man out of Africa 70,000 years ago. As you can see, one line goes to Australia. Negritos, not Aborigines, were probably the first people in Australia.

The first Whites witnessed Aborigines hunting Negritos the way man would hunt wild animals. They were killed just for the pleasure of it, and because they were small.
Early investigations revealed and photographed some relict populations in Southwest Queensland around Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tin Can Bay, Fraser Island, Blue Lake National Park, Gympie, Tewantin, Cooloola National Park, Tiaro, and the general area of the Mary River. There was another large population in Northeastern Queensland around Cairns and Cape York. Tasmanians also seem to have had Negrito characteristics.

A photo of Australian Negritos from the Cairns rainforest, taken in 1890, found by Tindale in 1937. He went looking for some Negritos in the area and found a few of them. I haven’t seen any genetic studies on these people, since there are few if any of them left, but studies did seem to show that like most Negritos, they are most closely related genetically to the people around them, in this case, the Aborigines.

Native Tasmanians are now apparently extinct. They were also hunted like animals for decades.
The people that we commonly know as Aborigines (or at least one group called Carpentarians named for the Gulf of Carpentaria in Northern Australia) seem to have come much later from Southern India (and seem related to the Veddoids) and largely replaced the Negritos, a genocide that was in its final phases when the Whites showed up.

Indo-Melanid Yanadi boys in Southern India. Note the resemblance with Aborigines. Unfortunately, cranial studies do not show a relationship with Veddoid types and Aborigines. However, genes did seem to show a link a while back. Nevertheless, cranially and surely genetically, these Yanadis are Caucasians.
They may be some of the most ancient Caucasians of them all. It’s fascinating to think that the Aborigines as we know them are the original people, but were actually later arrivals from India and the Pacific Rim respectively.

The Carpentarians showed up about 15,000 years ago, were darker and had little body hair.
A classic Aborigine, probably a cross between an Ainu type and an early South Indian type. These types were generalized across India and SE Asia about 24,000 years ago.
Another group, called Murrayians, are apparently related to the Ainu, and arrived 20,000 years ago. The Ainu are thought to be the remnants of the original people of Northern Asia. They were stocky, wavy-haired, hairy, and fairly light-skinned.

A photo of Ainu Yasli Adam in traditional garb. I love this photo. Note that he could be mistaken for an Aborigine or a Caucasian. Anthropological studies suggest that Ainu types showed up in Australia about 20,000 years ago. There seems to be evidence of them in Thailand around 16,000 years ago, and about this time they went to Japan to form a very early Japanese culture called the Jomonese. There is a suggestion that proto-Jomonese people were also in Thailand around this time.
At the same time, the Americas were being populated by types that best resemble the Ainu. These are the Paleoindians, and the Amerindians today are no relation, no matter how much they scream. The famous Kennewick Man is also a Paleoindian most closely related to an Ainu or a Maori. He only appears Caucasian because the Ainu types do look Caucasian. However, in facial structure, they are Australoid, and genetically, they are Asians.
Complete moron White nationalists claim that Kennewick Man is a White Man, and this proves that Whites were here before Amerindians, and therefore the whole continent is ours. Stupid or what? I’m going to do a whole post taking these clowns to task over this. In traditional early anthropology of the Philippines, a group called the proto-Malay is postulated.
They arrived after the Negritos and after an Australoid group called Sakais, who seem to resemble Veddoids or the Senoi of Malaysia. The proto-Malay are described as short and very hairy. A hairy Asian sounds like an Ainu, and indeed, there were Jomon types in Thailand, and Ainu types may have settled Australia 20,000 years ago, and the Americas 12,000 years ago.
In short, Ainu types were on the move around the Pacific Rim from 12-20,000 years ago, and may even have settled in the Philippines. This is real cutting-edge stuff here and I am totally going out on a limb. Feel free to dive in.

An Australian fossil called Kow Swamp from 20,000 YBP curiously looks more like Homo Erectus than Homo Sapiens.
The Negritos were least advanced, then the Murrayians, then the Carpentarians.
Tindale and Birdsell did the best work on the peopling of Australia long ago and much of it stands to this day. In between the 1960’s saw such idiocies as pan-Aboriginalism, which mandated that all Aborigines had to come from a single source.
Ridiculous theories postulated Negritos not as ancient remnants of the first modern humans in their regions, but as the result of microevolution (in particular, to living in a rain forest) and evolutionary drift.
This same scenario plays out in Africa, where Bantus kill Pygmies just for the fun of it, and take special pleasure in eating them. This old habit has come back with the horrible civil war in Zaire that has killed 5 million people.
In the Philippines, Negritos have been murdered by settlers for their land for decades now, with few legal consequences. The remainder are a defeated people, their lands stolen by Filipinos, working for Filipinos on their former lands as agricultural labor, living in squatter villages, families falling apart, riven by alcohol, dope and even pornography.

A full-grown Ati woman. The Ati, a Philippines Negrito group, live on Panay Island, where they number about 1,500. The Filipinos have been stealing their land and killing them when they resist for decades now, and the government could care less. The Negritos of the Philippines are starting to look like a defeated race.

On the Andaman Islands, most of the Negritos have gone extinct due to disease. The few remainders, for some odd reason, are afflicted with very low fertility, that is, the women seem to be unable to bear children. Is this nature’s way of marking the extinction of a race?

Andaman Islands Negritos. Contact with advanced civilization is fatal to them. They have some immunity to malaria, but none to Hepatitis, venereal diseases or even the common cold or the flu. They quickly succumb to venereal disease, violent crime, beggary, and sloth upon contact with modern civilization.
There is a group on the Sentinel Islands that attacks all researchers who come near. Indian nationalist fuckheads keep sending expeditions to “bring them into civilization” but every Andamans group that has come to the modern world has been destroyed. Long may the Sentinelese prosper in the Paleolithic glory.
I actually think these Stone Age chicks are kinda cute. Hell with modern woman anyway. Every one I meet wants to know my net worth. Think these babes care? Hell with Late Capitalism, how do I get me one of these Negrito chicks anyway?

How Long Have Modern Humans Been In India?

A new commenter is disputing many things in the anthropological threads. First he said that humans only who showed up in India 8-10,000 YBP. Not so. Their genes go back 45-60,000 years and we have data showing them in India 76,000 YBP.
He also said that all humans have African genes, or must have African genes, since they all came out of Africa. It’s true that they all came out of Africa, but no one can find any modern African type genes left over from the out of Africa people, so we say that modern OOA moderns simply do not have any African in them. Europeans and Middle Easterners have African blood, mostly dating from the last 3,000 years. No one else does. So it’s true we came out of Africa a long time ago, but there are no African genes remaining in us from that time.

76,000 years in India, you say. Homo Sapiens (modern) at the earliest reached Australia, via India 60,000 years ago. There is no evidence of earlier homo sapiens in Asia. There were probably more than one migration out of Africa, later than the 65,000 to 70,000 years BCE when the first Homo Sapiens Sapiens left Africa. Where is your data from?

Yes, it is a fact. Homo sapiens is in India 76,000 YBP. But they were wiped out by the Toba volcano eruption that occurred in 73,000 YBP, an eruption that wiped out much life in Asia and even Africa. Keep in mind that Toba may have wiped out so much Homo sapiens that we were down to the last 500-1000 humans on Earth, although I think that many more survived in West Africa. It’s possible that the remaining bands were holed up in the Mt. Kilimanjaro region where they had some refuge from the nuclear winter type climate collapse that followed the eruption.
It is from this tiny band that the Earth was populated. Anyway, I think it is quite clear that the OOA people were part of a tiny band of 500-1,000 people who survived the eruption in East Africa. It is for this reason that the OOA people are so closely related, and the other Africans are so far apart from all the rest of us.
Recall that by 75,000 YBP, Africans had split into 40 extremely divergent lines, and only two of those lines left Africa. The other 38 of the 40 stayed in Africa and kept evolving separately. That’s why Africans are so different. They are not only different form us but from each other. Supposedly two Nigerian tribes 25 miles apart are further apart than an Englishman is from an Aborigine.
This extreme divergence is why the racists on Chimpout, etc. say “Niggers aren’t human LOL,” but that isn’t the case. They can easily breed with us, so obviously they are human. However, Africans are very, very different not only from everyone else but from each other.
The people he is talking about that hit Australia 60,000 YBP were the post-Toba people. The Orang Asli in Malaysia have genes going back 73,000 YBP I believe. Most ancient out of Africa genes on Earth.
Where on Earth does he get this idea that he is going to find “African genes” in all humans on Earth owing to the fact that they are out of Africa? You won’t find any.

More Comments on the Genetics of Filipinos

The question involves whether or not Filipinos have some Negrito genes. The Negritos are the original Australoid peoples of the Philippines. The Filipinos are the modern, SE Asian Mongoloid types that we all familiar with.

SE Asian Australoids are people like Papuans, Melanesians and Negritos.

It is possible to be part this or that in your background, but it won’t show up in genes or in skulls. I think we are all aware that SE Asians in general are a mix of a Mongoloid type with more primitive Australoid types = Negrito or Melanesian types, that were already living there. But when we look at skulls, we see nothing. SE Asian skulls do not look Australoid, other than Negritos and the Senoi.

Classic SE Asian appearance in a young Filipina with relatively dark skin, an adaptation to the tropical climate. She also somewhat resembles a Taiwanese aborigine.

When we go looking for Australoid genes, we can’t seem to find much of those either. Just a few here and there along the coast of Vietnam, in Malaysia and in Indonesia. Though there are a lot more in Eastern Indonesia.

So, yeah, Filipinos may well be part Melanesian/Negrito going way back when (Heck, all SE Asians are) but there’s little to nothing obvious left of the Australoid presence, other than maybe some vague look in the faces won’t plot on a chart (Filipino skulls won’t plot with Australoid skulls on charts).

Emilio Aguinaldo, a famous Filipino independence fighter. This look, often said to be Australoid, actually shows resemblances to the Taiwanese Ami.

The analogy with Amerindians is a good one. Amerindians in the US have quite a bit of White genes. Most are only part Amerindian anymore. But Whites do not have a lot of Amerindian genes. Sure, we have some (I am 1/3000 Amerindian as I am related to Pocohontas), and perhaps a majority of Americans have Amerindian genes, but they only have small amounts of them.

Vast amounts of White genes went into the Amerindian population. Few Amerindian genes went into the White population. Both via genocide and genetic swamping effects.

A similar situation may have existed in the Philippines. Aeta genes now look Filipino, but Filipinos seem to have few Negrito genes that I am aware of.

Wilma, a Filipina girl from Siteo Pader, Angeles City. This Filipina girl has a classic Filipina look to her. She is much closer to a Taiwanese Ami than to a Negrito, as you can see.

The Negritos were simply genetically swamped out. Vast amounts of Filipino genes went into the Negritos, but few Negrito genes went into the Filipinos.

A Negrito woman from the Philippines. Do Filipinos look like this? No. Hence, don't have many Negrito genes.

All of this is complicated by the fact that the original Austronesians may well have been Australoid types. At 5000 YBP, the Taiwanese aborigine Ami, the source of the Filipino population, are Australoid.

An Ami girl from Taiwan. The Ami, Taiwanese aborigines, are the source population of most of the Philippines and the closest relatives of Filipinos.

They transition to Mongoloid over the next 3000 years. Probably a similar transition occurred in the Philippines, as the Ami in the Philippines slowly turned into Mongoloids along with the rest of SE Asia.

A chart showing the near-perfect relationship between the Taiwanese Ami and the Filipinos. The relationship is clear and unmistakable. Note that other Taiwanese populations could not have been the source.

It is true that there are Bornean genes from Borneo in the South of the Philippines, that is, the South Filipinos of Mindanao are part Bornean.

The heavily-Austronesian (Ami) people of Sabah. People from Sabah went up into the Southern Philippines (Mindanao) at some point in the past. P.S. The lady in the middle is a cutie. Same with 3rd one on the top and 3rd one on the left.

The proto-Daic genes from 15,000 YBP that make up 80% of the Indonesians were from an Australoid people. Proto-Daics (the ancestors of the present day Dai people of Yunnan in South China) 15,000 YBP were Australoids. I am not sure what they looked like. Maybe something like an Aborigine or a Melanesian. The Indonesians then transitioned to Mongoloid types over the next 13,000 years or so.

An Indonesian with a strong Australoid appearance. Quite a few Indonesians retain some Australoid features.

The Anuids or Ainu types probably passed through the Philippines two times.

An Ainu woman with quite a bit of Japanese in her. Most Ainus are now heavily Japanese. By the way, she's a hottie.

The first time, going from Thailand as the Ainuid Jomonese to Japan on boats to form the Japanese Jomonese 16,000 YBP.

An Ainu chief showing the typical Ainu appearance before Japanese gene flow.

Possibly the same migration brought the Jomonese to Australia as the Ainuid Murrayans, a formative element in the Aborigines.

Typical Aboriginal women.

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Jews Versus Overseas Chinese

Repost from the old site. I am not convinced that being a market-dominant minority is the smart thing to do, but some groups just outcompete others. Jews outcompete White Gentiles (the real reason for most anti-Semitism) and Overseas Chinese outcompete Malays, Indonesians and Filipinos.
After a while, the people in the country get tired of a group of “outsiders” numbering perhaps 1-3% of the population taking control of 25-70% of the nation’s wealth and the inevitable pogrom/backlash takes place. Think about it. How many countries are going to put up with that, no matter how fairly it was acquired?
Still, I think there is a smart way (Overseas Chinese, Armenians, East Indians, Lebanese) and a dumb way (Jewish) to be a market-dominant minority.
Uncle Milton commented on a previous post of mine that dealt peripherally with the overseas Chinese. I will deal with his comments at the end of the article:

Robert Lindsay: There are differences between Jews and Overseas Chinese. The Overseas Chinese tend to keep their heads down, keep out of politics, and are not endlessly meddling in the cultural and political affairs of the nation – they just focus on making money. Jews focus on making money too, but they can’t seem to help trying to change society, a habit that arouses mountains of anti-Semitism.
Uncle Milton: I would say this is incorrect. Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand (and one of the richest if not the richest men in Thailand) was deposed by a military coup is ethnically Chinese.
There were also many ethnic Chinese who were very close to Suharto and received special favors and privileges from the Indonesian government.
The Chinese in Indonesia, however, have had to play a background role because the Indonesians, especially the Muslims, resented them. Basically, as recently as 1998 there were pogroms against ethnic Chinese. (One could also say the anti-communist purges of the mid 60s were heavily directed against ethnic Chinese.)
In other words ethnic Chinese in Indonesia were never tolerated previously as much as Jews have been in the US in the past five decades, so they had no basis on which to build a political or cultural movement. In recent years however, China has given aid and been an important foreign investor in Indonesia.
I suspect ethnic Chinese influence using mainland China with it’s rising economic prowess (and potentially it’s substantial army) will increase (outwardly) in Southeast Asia.
As for the Philippines, their national hero Jose Rizal was part Chinese as was the first president after Marcos’ dictatorship ended: Razored Aquino.

I really do not know much about the Overseas Chinese. I do not think that they would go on Jewish-type jihads to wage radical change in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines no matter what. Overseas Chinese just do not care about such things. They just care about making money and keeping the pogroms away and little else.
Sure, they have gained quite a bit of political power, as one might expect due to their money. However, I believe that Indonesia and certainly Malaysia still have some very anti-Chinese laws on the books.
The Communist revolutionaries in Malaysia were mostly Chinese, but the Chinese got into this movement not due to any love of Communism so much as a way of changing a government that they saw as heavily biased against the Chinese.
In this way, they may be somewhat comparable to the many Jews who flocked to the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Communists in Poland during and after World War 2 not necessarily because they loved Communism so much, but more because the Communists were offering to crack down hard on anti-Semitism, and Polish and Russian anti-Semitism has not been a picnic for the Jews.
It’s quite common for Filipinos, especially the urban university educated middle and upper classes, to be part-Chinese. The Chinese have been coming to the Philippines in large numbers for 800 years now and they bred in pretty heavily with the locals. Filipinos with some Chinese ancestry are quite common. The real Overseas Chinese are the pure Chinese who are 3% of the country and control 70% of the wealth.

Uncle Milton responds: I would say any ethnic minority group that controls 70% of a nations wealth inherently has a large amount of societal and cultural control, albeit indirectly.
Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia (with the exception of Thailand) are probably in a position similar to Jews in the US around 1950 with the although the ethnic Chinese control a much larger percentage of the wealth in the Southeast Asia than Jews control in the US.
The rise of political and cultural influence from Jews (US) came fairly soon after WWII and the formation of Israel and really got rolling by about the mid-60s. In my view US Jews have probably hit their peak influence or are past it. Basically it’s a numbers game, Jews are declining rapidly in number both nominally and as a percentage of the population.
The average number of children born to Jewish women is 1.1; even this number is skewed towards Orthodox Jews, who tend to have larger families and generally do not get involved in politics. The ongoing Hispanicization of the US will, in my opinion, ironically (since multiple Jewish groups promote immigration to the US) mark a decline in Jewish influence.
Latino Catholics tend not to be interested (and if anything are somewhat anti-Semitic) in Judaism unlike many evangelical Whites, many of which are Zionists and and tend to be very pro-Jewish.
I tend to believe the Overseas Chinese influence will strengthen in coming years, basically in conjunction with the rise of economic power in China. Effectively, over time, I believe we will see a Sinicization of all of East Asia with the exception of Japan.
In regards to repression of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia: those laws have been reversed. As for Malaysia, basically the laws are similar in scope to our affirmative action laws. It’s up to each individual, I suppose, to determine how oppressive affirmative action is. In addition, Malaysia has some quirky laws about Islam; the Constitution states that all Malays are Islamic and anyone marrying a Muslim has to convert to Islam.
I am convinced that any further pogroms against Overseas Chinese will be met with some sort of response by the PRC. Likely first an economic threat and if severe enough, a military threat.

I respond to Uncle Milton: I am not going to go round and round about this. My perception is that the whole Overseas Chinese (OC) thing has been to keep their heads down, focus on making money and getting along, and stay out of cultural stuff. They are the complete opposite of the Jews.
Now, why so many OC got involved in the Indonesian Communist Party in 1965, I have no idea. First of all, I am not even sure it is true. I am sure that there must also have been huge numbers of Indonesians involved. After all, that party was one of the largest political parties in the nation. It’s been outlawed since 1965 because the ruling Indonesian elites are so terrified of it coming back bigtime.
Communist parties (CP’s) are still a pretty big force in that region.
Vietnam and Laos are ruled by CP’s, Cambodia had a ruling CP until just recently (not the Khmer Rogue, but instead a pro-Vietnamese CP whose leader was named Hun Sen), the Philippines has a vast CP that is outlawed and has taken up arms in a huge insurgency, Nepalese Maoists are about to seize power, Indian Maoists are tearing up India, there is a Maoist insurgency in Bangladesh, there is an active armed CP in Burma, and China, the largest nation on Earth, is ruled by a CP.
Communism goes right along with the cultural and economic realities of the region very well, particularly with Confucianism and Buddhism.
Indonesia still has one of the most horrible and inequitable semi-feudal economies in the region. It’s not that different from the Philippines. A ruling elite who are little more than criminals has teamed up with the military to steal about every spare dime in the land. Hunger and malnutrition are widespread, and wages are ridiculously low.
The state for all intents and purposes as a guarantor of the rights of the poor, who are the overwhelming majority, simply does not exist. The ruling system under Suharto (pangasila) – an alliance between capital and labor along with very close ties between capital, the military and state, along with all sorts of para-state organizations – bears quite close resemblance to classical fascism.
The state even has bands of street thugs (usually Islamists) who conveniently assault striking workers. Leftists, dissidents and labor activists are also just out and out murdered by the state.
I am not sure about the Sinicization of the whole region, because so many nationalists in those countries are hostile to the OC. Even in Vietnam there is a lot of hostility towards the OC and to Chinese in general. Fact is, no one in Asia likes the Chinese. This is what I have been told by Asians. They are an 800-lb gorilla romping through the backyard and everyone is scared of them.
There is a Chinese nationalist who comes here every once in a while and he is furious at the way that these countries have treated their ethnic Chinese. He is urging the OC’s to just pack up, sell off their assets, and go back to China or Taiwan.
You may be correct that China may intervene in the next anti-Chinese pogroms, assuming that they occur.
The Jews are total morons for letting all of these anti-Semitic Mesoamerican Catholics in here. Jesus Christ, what were they thinking? I talk to these Hispanics now and again, and they are, as a group, way more anti-Semitic than the average US White Protestant. Jews are so stupid sometimes. You know that probably 80-90% of US Jews are 100% open borders too.
Jews play dangerous games a lot, and this is one more case of it. They don’t want to oppose immigration because that will set off White racism. They like immigration because it weakens the dominant ethnic-religious group in the nation – in this case, White Christians. Thing is, the Jews have done their work and the job is done.
White Christians are already sufficiently diluted that there is not going to be any racist backlash that is going to turn anti-Semitic and go after the Jews. Whites are like 64% of the US population and that was in 2000. You know we are probably like 57% now. That’s what this sudden burst of White nationalism is – the last cry of a dying majority. Historically, such backlashes can get nasty, but I think in this case, it’s too little, too late.
Amy Chua’s World On Fire is an excellent example of a modern-day Overseas Chinese polemic. Her OC aunt living in the Philippines was murdered by her Filipina maid, possibly in a fit of ethnic pique.

The Peopling of the Philippines

Repost from the old site. Updated April 2, 2012.
The peopling of the Philippines is a bit better understood than the peopling of Indonesia described in my another post. At least we know that most of the Philippines was first settled long ago by Negritos.

An Aeta Negrito woman of the Philippines. The Aeta live mostly in Northern Luzon. White Nationalists and Afrocentrists both insist that these folks are Black people, but they are very distant from African Blacks. White people are much closer to Blacks than these Negritos. Genetically, these people resemble the Filipinos they live with.Their skulls resemble other Australoid types such as Papuans and Aborigines. Genetically, they are classed as Asians. They are part of the Southeast Asian Major Race. Their minor race is known as the Philippines Negrito Race. It includes the Ati, Aeta and, strangely, the Palau of Micronesia.

There is also another Negrito race in the Philippines – the Mamanwa Philippines Negrito Race. The woman and child above are both Mamanwas. The woman has the typical woolly hair, but the baby has the wavy, Veddoid-like hair seen in many Mamanwas.
The Mamanwa are a group of Philippine Negritos from northeastern Mindanao that are very different from all of the rest of the Negritos in the area. They live in Surigao del Sur in northeastern Mindanao, especially near Mount Hilong-Hilong.
They are thought to be the last remains of the original Negritos to move into the Philippines. There are considerable differences in stature and blood proteins between the Mamanwas and the other Negritos, and they may represent separate migrations.
Excellent photos of modern-day Mamanwas, a group of only 5,000 or so people, can be seen here. I cannot help but notice the resemblance to the Veddoid people of India and Sri Lanka and the Senoi of Malaysia. A few have woolly Negrito hair, but look at how many have the wavy Veddoid hair.
The Mamanwa language seems to be in good shape, judging by the figure that only 7% of the Mamanwa can read and write in their second language. Most Philippine Negrito languages are in bad if not terrible shape; the Mamanwa probably benefit from isolation in the jungle.
Here is a linguistics text on Mamanwa. This called a “text”, in this case a “text” of Mamanwa. It means it is a snippet of Mamanwa, with English translation usually written interlineally so we can see not only what the text means, but what the parts of each word mean too, as even the words are divided into morphemes and translated as best they can be.
The text in most primitive groups usually has to do with myths, legends or stories of the ethnic group, rather than stories about day to day behavior. In this case, it is interesting that the Mamanwa, the oldest Negritos on the Philippines, have a story about the time of their ancestors, when the Mamanwa were “like children”. I guess this means that the early Mamanwa had not reached a very high level of civilization.
Sometimes these stories seem silly or boring to me, but usually they have a lot of meaning for the group who tells them.

Unlike many other places where the Negritos seem to have died out or transcended to other forms, in the Philippines they still exist in a relatively pristine form, even if they are going extinct, culturally, linguistically and probably racially.
Although some give the Negrito population at as low as 32,000, I say that there are 119,606 Negritos left in the Philippines, most of whom are still speaking Negrito languages, based on my estimate from here. The total Negrito population, including those who have given up on their native languages, is not known. They are found throughout the archipelago in various types.
They long ago lost their original languages and now speak Austronesian languages related to the Austronesian settlers who began arriving 5,000 years ago. Philippine Negritos have bred in heavily with standard-issue Filipinos such that the Negritos are now closer to Filipinos than to any other group.

A Dumagat Negrito woman from northern Luzon with her family. The hair at first looks like the Afro a kinky-haired African can grow, but it is actually woolly and not kinky. Dumagat is a generic name for speakers of many Negrito languages in northern Luzon.

On the other hand, Filipinos do not seem to have much Negrito in them. Genetically, we can see only tiny traces of the original Negritos in the Filipino genome. Similar traces can be seen in Micronesians and probably in Malays and Indonesians. These traces range from .02 to .11% – truly minuscule.
Anthropologically, Filipino skulls look SE Asian. Nor do Filipinos look Negrito. In appearance they resemble other Austronesians like Taiwanese aborigines, Indonesians and Malays.
While Philippines Negrito genes look Filipino, Negrito skulls look Australoid, clustering with Aborigines, the Ainu, Tamils, Aborigines, the Sakai of Malaysia, Papuans, Melanesians and Fuegian and Pericu Amerindians.
The Negritos have long been a small group in the Philippines, and the other Filipinos have long dwarfed them in population. Hence, a small amount of inbreeding quickly produced many Filipino genes in Negritos but few Negrito genes in Filipinos.

A Manobo, possibly an Agusan Manobo, man in traditional dress. Most Manobos today wear Western clothing. Some, like the ones who live near the Mamanwa in Surigao del Sur in northeast Mindanao, live off the forest and are being badly affected by deforestation. The Agusan Manobo have at least 2% Negrito genes, the highest level reported for any non-Negrito Filipino group in the Philippines.
Traditionally, the Manobos are considered to be among the Nesiot Austronesians. 54% of Agusan Manobo can read and write in their native language, which has 60,000 speakers. That is a pretty impressive figure for such an isolated group.
A very difficult linguistics paper on Agusan Manobo is available here. It deals with a subfield called discourse analysis, something I never studied and hence don’t really understand very well.
It analyzes language at the discourse level – beyond sounds (phonology), parts of words (morphology), words (lexicology), and sentences (syntax). It analyzes narratives and tries to locate patterns and truths about the way that humans use language to make narratives and tell stories. Believe it or not, the rules and patterns of language work at the narrative level too.
The Agusan Manobo allowed husbands to have multiple wives, common in many primitive cultures. This was usually relegated to those men who had the most money. In this tribe, only women can be religious leaders, which is interesting and resembles the Kalash of Pakistan. The Druze of Lebanon and Israel also have many female religious leaders. I think this is a great idea as I have been worshiping females all my life.

Some Filipino populations, such as the Manobos, described above, that have a somewhat higher level of Negrito genes, but even that level is very small, around 2%. The Manobos live scattered all through Mindanao, but some of the Agusan Manobo live next to the Mamanwas in Surigao del Sur and clearly there has been some interbreeding.

A cute Dumagat Negrito girl trying to read a book. Looking at her hair and features, she is clearly heavily mixed in with Filipino.

Most Filipinos have few if any Negrito genes. There are some Filipinos with Negrito ancestry, and this is readily observable in their woolly or kinky hair and very dark complexion.

A full-grown Ati woman. The Ati live on Panay Island, where they number about 1,500. Their language is still alive. I actually think she is attractive. She’s definitely cute in a child-like way anyway. Note the classical woolly hair of the Philippine Negritos. This is not the same hair as the kinky hair of US Blacks. Other Negritos in the Andaman Islands have peppercorn hair like the Bushmen of Africa.

There are many photos in the older literature of Filipino-Negrito half-breeds, and there is probably still some interbreeding going on. There is a lot of discrimination against Negritos in the Philippines.

A photo of a Negrito man, an Ati from Negros Island, from an anthropological text published around 1916. This text had many photos of mixed Negrito-Filipino types. The Ati of Negros have apparently gone extinct.

On Luzon there is a regular festival in honor of the local Negritos. Almost everyone at the festival is a non-Negrito. A few Negritos wander around the crowd begging and are treated with contempt and ridicule by their non-Negrito brethren.

In a sign that the Negritos may be getting treated better in the Philippines, Juliet Chavez, a Dumagat Negrito, recently won a beauty contest. She is not bad looking.

One of my Filipino contacts told me that the best description of the Filipino attitude towards Negritos is that they do not even exist.
The Philippine Negritos are related to the first groups out of Africa 60-70,000 years ago. They left via the Horn of Africa, got on boats and crossed over to Yemen, then went on boats or walked along the shore along the Indian Ocean to Iran, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia.

The journey taken by early man out of Africa 70,000 years ago. It makes the most sense to think that people migrated along the coast, especially in desert regions. Today in Oman, almost all towns are located along the coast.
There were widespread mangrove forests all along this route back then, though most of them have since died out. There’s plenty to eat along the coast, and the weather is much milder. A journey inland through deserts by such primitive people may have been deadly. Probably the first people undertaking this epic voyage, to which we are all indebted, were the Negritos.

It is generally accepted that Negritos or pre-Negritos probably arrived in the Philippines 30,000 years ago. Findings in caves on Palawan include a 22,500 year old skull called Tabon Man. The skull most resembles modern-day Ainu and Tasmanian people – hence, the Tabon Man people were an Australoid or Aborigine-type people. They were not Negritos.
However, there is also a fragment of a human tibia bone dated 47,000 years ago, so Negritos or pre-Negritos must have been present in the Philippines nearly 50,000 years ago. These caves show habitation going back, some say, 50,000 years.
Finds at the Tabon Caves are interesting in that giant tortoises and even elephants are found there, animals that have since died out on the Philippines.
At other sites, boars, deer, giant and pygmy elephants and rhinoceros have been found. Presently, large mammals are rare to lacking on the archipelago, a common characteristic of islands.
Some archaeologists believe that an even earlier man was present on the Philippines up to 250,000 years ago. This “Dawn Man” is thought to be related to Peking Man and Java Man, that is, he is a variety of Homo Erectus. No bones of this man have been found, but that has not prevented archaeologists from strangely speculating about his appearance.
Dr. Otley Beyer, an American anthropologist, is the one who postulated the existence of Dawn Man.
But findings at Tabon Cave date back at most 50,000 years, not 250,000 years.
Nevertheless, there are what some say are human artifacts in the Cagayan Valley on Luzon dating back 500,000 years, so Otley may have been onto something. Other reports indicate these tools date back 800,000 years, in the range of Java Man.
Others investigating similar sites in the Philippines question whether or not these are really tools, but even these people describe their own clear human artefactual finds as Acheulean and Lower Paleolithic.
These inhabitants must have been Homo Erectus, and were probably related to Java Man and possibly to Peking Man. Acheulean dates from 100,000 to 1.8 million years ago, and Lower Paleolithic spans from 120,000 to 2.5 million years ago. Clearly, the use of these terms by these Cagayan doubters means that even they feel that Homo was in the Philippines at least 120,000 years ago.
Palawan is at the very far end of the Philippines near Indonesia.
Indonesia has been inhabited by Homo derivatives for 2 million years. The theory is that Palawan was at one time connected to Borneo, and early man came to the Philippines via this land bridge.

A Batak Negrito woman of Palawan Island, possibly related to some of the first Negritos to show up in the Philippines. The Palawan Batak number 2,041, and about 1/2 the population speak the language. Note the woolly hair. Parts of Palawan near Tabon Cave are still pretty sparsely populated. Although Tabon Cave is now right on the seashore, it used to be 25-30 miles inland. Only 10% of Philippine archaeological sites have been dug up, and many of those are being looted.
All artifacts and bones have to be shipped out of the Philippines to more developed countries to be analyzed and then shipped back, since the Philippines, with its semi-feudal capitalist model, lacks the modern facilities to analyze artifacts. This is the one great thing Mao did for China – he built a modern country. Mao’s achievement is best seen in comparisons like this one. This blog supports the NPA in the Philippines.

The caves of Tabon show evidence of jar burial connected with the Plain of Jars in Laos and other sites in Sri Lanka. This is probably a Negrito culture in Sri Lanka and Laos.
The Negritos probably came to the Philippines from Malaysia, where they existed 50,000 years ago, down the Malay Peninsula, over to Borneo and up to Palawan in the Philippines, then to the rest of the islands. A map of land bridges in the area 50,000 years ago is here.
Today, the Negritos are known as Ati, Aeta, Agta, Arta, Atta, Alta and Ita, among other names. The word appears to be not their own name for themselves but an appellation placed on them by the surrounding Filipinos. In Austronesian languages, a word like ita often means “black”.

Aeta kids in the Philippines. Some of them look almost like Aborigines. The girl on the far right has a lot of Filipino blood based on her hair and features. The cute girl on the second to left is very heavily admixed with Filipino blood.

They practiced a Stone Age culture up until modern times.

A Pugot Negrito hunter of Southern Luzon with a small deer he has killed, in a photo from a travel guide in 1987. Note that he is clad only in a loincloth. They live around Quezon Province south of Manila and speak a language called Southern Alta, which has about 1,000 speakers.

Today, their lands have been invaded and stolen by non-Negrito Filipinos, and the Negritos labor as peasants on the lands of the Filipinos. Many are unemployed, and cultural collapse is evident. Marriages are unstable, domestic abuse is common, drunkenness is omnipresent, and watching pornography is a pastime. The languages are in a state of Language Death.
In the past few decades, there have been quite a few murders of Negritos by Filipino settlers. There have been few, if any, prosecutions for these crimes.

The Tiruray of Cotabato in Southern Mindanao . They are also known as the Ata and the Upland Bagobo. They may be related to Negritos, but they are clearly quite mixed. Traditionally, they are considered to be part of the second wave of Nesiot Austronesians from Taiwan. They are quite dark.
Being short and dark is an advantage in very hot climates. Dark skin avoids skin damage from UV waves and prevents the destruction of folic acid in the woman’s body during pregnancy, lack of which kills a high percentage of fetuses. Being short enables one to dissipate heat more quickly in a very hot climate. A large body quickly overheats in such a climate.The Tiruray language is in excellent shape. All 50,000 Tiruray speak it, and the literacy rate in Tiruray is 49%.

After the Negritos, two more possibly Australoid groups came to the Philippines, both poorly understood.
Traditional Philippine anthropology says that the Australoid-Sakais came first, and then the proto-Malay. It’s possible that it may have been the other way around, if their arrival in the Philippines mirrored their arrival in Australia.
My working of events reverses the traditional model and postulates that the proto-Malay appeared first, and then the Australoid-Sakais. The proto-Malay were short and very hairy – were they related to the Ainu? It is not known if they were Australoid or not. The nature of the proto-Malay is completely unclear.
A very hairy and early Asian seems to imply someone related to the Ainu. The proto-Ainu were in Thailand 18,000 years ago as the Jomon, when they got on boats and moved up to Japan. In Malaysia, the proto-Malay are the product of Austronesians from Taiwan breeding in with Veddoid Senoi.
It is not known if the proto-Malay described in the peopling of the Philippines are the same people as those in Malaysia, but these people do not seem to be hairy at all.
It seems more logical that the proto-Malay described here may have been the same Murrayan Jomonese-Ainu who came to Australia 15,000-20,000 years ago, possibly from Thailand, later mixed with the Carpinterians, and went on to become the Aborigines. As the Philippines is on the way from Thailand to Australia, it’s conceivable they could have moved into the Philippines along the way.
Australoid-Sakais were the next group to come to Philippines after the proto-Malay. The Sakais are the same as the Senoi in Malaysia.
The Senoi are the subject of the most flagrant yet little known anthropological frauds of our time – the Senoi Dream Theory fraud. A discussion goes beyond the scope of this post, but this exhaustive site fills in all the blanks.
They seem to be a part-Veddoid group with links to the Veddoids of India and Sri Lanka. They also seem to have some roots in Southern China 5,000 years ago. It appears that whatever movements brought them to Malaysia may have carried them over to the Philippines. The Sakai mixed in heavily with the Negritos.
It is quite possible that this is the same group as the Carpinterian Australoids who left India 10,000-15,000 years ago and went to Australia to mingle with the Murrayan Australoids and become the Aborigines. As the Philippines is on the way from southern India to Australia, it’s conceivable they could have stopped by the Philippines along the way.
All of these early Australoid groups – the Sakai, the proto-Malay and the Negritos – seem to have left little trace on the Filipinos of today.
The next group to come to the Philippines were the Nesiots. Some say the Nesiots were Austronesians from Taiwan; others say they came from Indonesia. Wherever they came from, their ancestors are the Tboli of Mindanao, Apayaos, Gaddangs, Ibanags, Lumad and Kalingas of Northern Luzon; the Tagbanuas of Palawan; and the Bagobos, Manobos, Mandayans, Bukidnons, Tirurays and Sabanuns of Mindanao.

A Tboli tribal from South Cotabato Province in Southwest Mindanao. These people are said to be proto-Malays who arrived even before the Austronesians who came to the Philippines 5,000 years ago. No one really knows where these proto-Malays came from. Some say they came from Indonesia, but that seems dubious. Perhaps genetics can sort all this out.
The Tboli language is in excellent shape, with 95,000 speakers, and there are 10,000 Tboli monolinguals. Tboli is spoken freely and everywhere by the group. Their literacy rate in Tboli is 50-60%, excellent for such a small language.
This document, Figurative Uses of ‘Breath’ in Tboli, is a linguistics text dealing with the field of Semantics, or the meaning of words. It’s easily readable by any reasonably educated reader of this blog, and you might find it interesting to dip into it.
In Tboli, one may combine the noun “breath” with 53 different adjectives and verbs to create different expressions of emotions, characteristics, or new verbs. Lengun nawa – “coffin breath” – worry, anxiety – is a cool example. More at the link.

The first wave of Nesiots came 5,000 years ago. They were tall and thin, and had light skin, deep set eyes, aquiline noses and thin lips. It is common to say that these people were part-Caucasian, but there is little evidence of this. Some of the Mangyan of Mindoro today do look somewhat Caucasian.

An Igorot of Luzon. They have a distinctive appearance that most Filipinos can recognize. These are among the last groups of Austronesians out of Taiwan. These people are also known as Bontoc, and speak two different languages, Central Bontoc and Northern Kankanay. Together these groups number 110,000. Note the terraced rice fields. Rice cultivation was brought to the Philippines by the Austronesians when they first arrived maybe 5,000 years ago from Taiwan.
Some Bontoks look quite Negrito – the woman in this photo obviously has Negrito blood.
An Alangan Mangyan woman from north-central Mindoro.The language has 7,694 speakers and is in good shape. Some say these people may be related to Negritos, but that is not proven. I have a friend on Mindoro who says she likes the Mangyan but prefers not to deal with them when they come into Calapan City where she stays sometimes. Asked why not, she said it is because they smell bad.
They live pretty primitive lives via slash and burn agriculture in the jungles of Mindoro, but maybe they don’t bathe all that much. They come into the cities now and then to buy stuff. The men, even today, are often clad only in a loincloth.

A second wave came later. They were shorter, bulkier and darker, with thick lips, wide noses and heavy jaws. As these groups are also related to the Sea Dayak of Borneo and the Batak of Sumatra anthropologically, and the Paiwan Taiwanese aborigines genetically, it seems strange to say that they came from Indonesia.
They were probably ancestors of the Paiwan who came to Indonesia and the Philippines by boats. Ancestors of the Batak later went on to populate Polynesia and from there Micronesia. I call the group made up of Sea Dayak, Sumatrans, Balinese and the Paiwan the Island SE Asian Race.
From 700-2,300 yrs ago, the last wave of Austronesians came from Taiwan, and these are the present day Pinoys. This group, traditionally called Malays, is almost exclusively related to the Ami aborigine tribe of Taiwan. An initial group of these Ami came 1,900-2,300 years ago and formed the primitive, headhunting groups in the Luzon hill tribes. These tribes include the Igorots, Ifugaos , Bontoks and the Tinggians or Tinguians.
Another group of Ami came from 700-1,900 years ago, and includes the Visayans, Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Bicolanos and Kapampangans. This group was much more advanced than the earlier group, and actually used an alphabet. The overwhelming majority of Filipinos today are related to this last group.
900 years ago, a large wave of southern Chinese came to the Philippines on boats and totally mixed in with the Ami-Filipinos.

Beautiful little Filipina girls. This is a classic Filipino phenotype.

Present-day Filipinos are mostly related to the Ami of Taiwan who came 700- 2,300 years ago, with heavy Southern Chinese admixture from the Chinese who came 900 years ago. The ancient Southern Chinese portion has totally mixed in to the point where we cannot see it genetically anymore, but it is there and can be seen by plotting Filipinos with Southern Chinese and noting that they plot quite close together.
More recently, there has also been some mixing with Chinese, but most Filipinos do not show evidence of this recent mixing. About 20% of Filipinos do have recent Chinese ancestry though.
Tales that the Filipinos are part-Australoid or heavily mixed with Negrito, very common beliefs among racists, racialists and amateur anthropologists on the Internet, are all in error, at least based on genetics or skull measures. The notion that Filipinos are part-Australoid is based on looking at their faces and noting that their faces appear somewhat Australoid.
This older anthropological method of dividing up groups into racial types a la Carleton Coon has fallen completely out of favor in recent years.

An old photo of Tagalogs on Luzon from the early part of the 20th Century. Some Filipinos are quite dark. Even these people are probably mostly Chinese people from Taiwan.

The Filipinos are first and foremost a Southern Chinese people, genetically related to the far Southern Han Chinese from around Hong Kong and the aboriginal Taiwanese tribe, the Ami.

A cute Ami girl from the Ami tribe of Taiwanese aborigines. Modern-day Filipinos, excepting some tribals, are extremely close genetically to the Ami of Taiwan, such that one can easily posit a Filipino-Ami subgroup. The most parsimonious conclusion is that most Filipinos today are derived from a large group of Ami who traveled via boat from Taiwan to the Philippines from 700-2,300 years.
There has since been a large infusion of Chinese to the Philippines. Many Filipinos in and around Manila claim recent Chinese ancestry. The Ami and other Taiwanese tribes were headhunters even as recently as the 1930’s. During the Japanese occupation, they were a perennial headache to the occupiers.
They had a tendency to behead the local Hokko Chinese (the mainland Chinese who came to Taiwan starting in the 1600’s). In one incident related in Time Magazine from the 1930’s, 100 Taiwanese aborigine women committed suicide en masse as their village was attacked by Japanese colonists, screaming that if their men warriors were killed defending the village, they would die too.

Map of Taiwanese aborigines showing the location of the Ami on the east coast of the island. The Ami were perfectly positioned to colonize much of island SE Asia.

Recent research shows some intriguing suggestions of closer link between Ami and the rest of the extra-Taiwanese Austronesian languages than between extra-Taiwanese Austronesian and the non-Ami Taiwanese languages. Austronesian is a vast family, but all of the main branches but one are on the island of Taiwan.

All extra-Taiwanese Austronesian languages form one vast family. There are cognates between such unexpected languages as Tagalog and Hawaiian, showing that the two peoples are related. The very deep diversity in Taiwanese Austronesian indicates that the Taiwanese languages have been evolving on the island for a very long time.

In fact, I was able to construct a compact race called that I called the South China Sea Race, composed of Filipinos, the Ami of Taiwan and the Guangdong Han, a shorthand for the Southern Chinese of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and the Taiwan Strait.

The ancient proto-Ami descendants of the Filipinos were the speakers of Austronesian ancestor language of all the Philippines, the Sama-Bajau languages and Gorontalo-Mongondow languages. They also founded the Zabag Empire and it’s successor Lusung Empire, ancient small kingdoms in the Philippines. There were ancient Yue Kingdoms in Guangdong that were originally founded by the Ami of Taiwan.
There have been complaints in the comments section at the end of the post that Filipinos and Hong Kong Chinese do not look much alike. I do not know Asians very well, and to me Southern Chinese from around Hong Kong have darker skins and more SE Asian features than any other Chinese that I have encountered.
Apparently, Hong Kong Chinese and Filipinos can be readily discerned by those in the know. However, some say that when they are in Hong Kong, they have a hard time telling the Filipinos from the Hong Kong natives. They says the only way they can tell them apart is by talking to them.
But my racial classification is not based on phenotype – it is based on genes and genes alone. Check the Capelli and Chu papers linked at the end of the piece for evidence linking first the Filipinos to the Ami, and then the Hong Kong Chinese to the Ami.
The Chinese in this area have some of the world’s highest recorded IQ’s of around ~105. Oddly, the Filipino IQ is only 86, but there is a tremendous amount of malnutrition in the Philippines, and the population is poorly educated as the semi-feudal state spends almost nothing on schooling the people.
Filipinos I have known of no more than average intelligence show typical Asian traits of behavioral inhibition, calmness, shyness, self-consciousness and even a degree of introversion in the females along typical Asian time preference and providence (willingness to work hard today in the interest of possible rewards at some unknown future time).
Improvidence is typically associated with lower IQ’s, while increased providence is associated with higher IQ’s, so it is interesting to see that the Filipinos, with a relatively low IQ of 86, have behavioral attributes of higher-IQ groups.
I have been completely stunned by the highly developed math skills of Filipinos who have only at best average intelligence. Asian intelligence is highly weighted towards math and visual intelligence. All of these things add weight to the notion of Filipinos being a Southern Chinese people.
India, with a national IQ of only 81, has developed an amazing high tech and call center economy. Call centers are moving to the Philippines, where, if anything, English skills are better than in India. I think that the Philippines shows good potential for IT, based on better than expected math skills. Lack of behavioral disinhibition and good time preference ought to be good traits in the Filipino labor force.
Like many people who evolved in the tropics, Filipinos are sunny, happy and seemingly carefree. They love to laugh, sing and party. In this way they resemble Thais, Cambodians, Laos, Malays, Polynesians, Micronesians, Melanesians, Indonesians, Caribbeans and even Africans.

Typical Filipinos of today. Note the easy smiles and carefree faces. Poster is from a government contraception campaign, badly needed in this overpopulated land.

The Philippines may have a better future in the modern economy than many think.
This blog does support the armed Maoist insurgency waged by the New People’s Army in the Philippines, but that is really the subject of another post.

References

Bulbeck, D., Rainer, D. Groves, C., Raghavan, P. 2003. “The Contribution of South Asia to the Peopling of Australasia” and the Relevance of Basel’s Naturhistorisch Museum to the Anthropological Collection to the Project Aims. Bull. Soc. Suisse d’Anthrop. 9(2):49-70.
Capelli, C., Wilson, J.F., Richards, M., Stumpf, M.P.H., Gratrix, F., Oppenheimer, S., Underhill, P., Pascali, V.L., Ko, T.M., and Goldstein, D.B. 2001. A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania. American Journal of Human Genetics 68:432-443.
Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., P. Menozzi, A. Piazza. 1994. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Chu, J. Y., Huang, W., Kuang, S. Q., Wang, J. M., Xu, J. J., Chu, Z. T., Yang, Z. Q., Lin, K. Q., Li, P., Wu, M., Geng, Z. C., Tan, C. C., Du, R. F., and Jin, L.. 1998. Genetic Relationship of Populations in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 95:11763-11768.
Gaillard, Jean-Christophe and Mallari, Joel P. 2004. The Peopling of the Philippines: A Cartographic Synthesis. Hukay: Journal of the University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program. 6:1-27.
Harihara, S., Saitou, N., Hirai, M., Gojobori, T., Park, K. S., Misawa, S., Ellepola, S. B., Ishida, T. and Omoto, K. 1988. Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphism Among Five Asian Populations. American Journal of Human Genetics 43:134-143.
Headland, Thomas N. 2003. Thirty Endangered Languages in the Philippines. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session 47.
Jablonski, N. and Chaplin, G. 2000. The Evolution of Human Skin Coloration. Journal of Human Evolution.
Miller, Jeanne and Helen W. Miller. 1978. Mamanwa [language texts].‭ In Evan L. Antworth (ed.), Folktale Texts, 80-90. Studies in Philippine Linguistics, 2(2). Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines and Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Omoto, K. 1984. The Negritos: Genetic Origins and Microevolution. Acta Anthropogenetics 8(1-2):137-47.
Omoto, K., Ueda, S., Goriki, K., Takahashi, N., Misawa, S., and Pagaran, I. G. 1981. Population Genetic Studies of the Philippine Negritos. III. Identification of the Carbonic Anhydrase-1 Variant With CA1 Guam. American Journal of Human Genetics 33(1):105-111.
Porter, Doris. 1977. Figurative Uses of ‘Breath’ in Tboli.‭ Studies in Philippine Linguistics 1(1):148-50.
Schumacher, Ronald L. 1986. Stative Verbs at Peak in Agusan Manobo Narrative Discourse.‭ Studies in Philippine Linguistics 6(1):80-93.

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A Reworking of Chinese Language Classification

Updated December 3, 2014. This post runs to 112 pages so far. On March 6, 2011, Sinologist Victor Mair took on the question of Mutual Intelligibility of Sinitic Languages.
The Chinese languages have undergone a lot of reclassification lately (Mair 1991), from one Chinese language a couple of decades ago up to 14 Chinese languages today according to the latest Ethnologue.
However, Jerry Norman, one of the world’s top experts on Chinese, says that based on mutual intelligibility, there are 350-400 separate languages within Chinese (Mair 1991). According to Gong Xun, a Sichuan Mandarin speaker in Deyang, China, by my criteria of distinguishing between language and dialect, there would be 300-400 separate languages in Fujian alone.
So far, 2,500 dialects of the Chinese language have been identified, and a number of them are separate languages.
I have been doing research on this issue recently. Based on the criteria of mutual intelligibility, I have expanded the 14 Chinese languages into 365 separate languages.
There are different ways of doing mutual intelligibility. I decided to put it at 90%, with >90% being dialect and <90% being a separate language. This is based on what appears to be Ethnologue‘s criteria for establishing the line between a dialect and a language.
In the cases below where I had intelligibility data available, a number of Chinese languages had no more than 65% intelligibility between them (Cheng 1991).
Intelligibility is hard to determine. I am not interested in typological studies of lects involving either lexicon, phonology or tones, unless this can be quantified in terms of intelligibility in a scientific way (see Cheng 1991). For the most part, what I am interested in is, “Can they understand each other?”
Reasonable, fair-minded and professional comments, additions, criticisms, elaborations, presentations of evidence, etc. are highly encouraged, as long as politics and emotions are left out of it. The purpose of the classification below is more to stimulate academic interest and sprout new thinking and theory. It is not intended to be an end-all or be-all statement on the subject, in fact, it is quite the opposite.
Interested scholars, observers or speakers of Chinese languages are encouraged to contribute any knowledge that they may have to add to or criticize this data below. So far as I know, this is the first real attempt to split Chinese beyond the 14 languages elucidated by Ethnologue.
There are lapses in the data below. I mean to present this data in outline form to make it more readable.
There are also problems with the data below. In many cases, “separate language” just means that the lect is not intelligible with Putonghua. Unfortunately, I currently lack intelligibility data within the major language groups such as Gan, Xiang, Wu and the branches of Mandarin. There is probably quite a bit of lumping still to be done below. Where lects are mutually intelligible below, I have tried to lump them into one language with various dialects.
It is reasonable to ask what background and expertise I have to write such a post. I have a Masters Degree in Linguistics and have been employed as a salaried linguist for a US Indian tribe. I also sit on a peer review board for a linguistics journal and will soon publish my first work in book form via a book chapter in a book on Turkic languages that will come out soon.
I assume it will be controversial. Keep in mind that this work is extremely tentative and should not be taken as the last word on the subject by a long shot. There are claims that this study claims to be “accurate and precise.”
In truth, it claims nothing of the sort. Initial studies, which is what this is, are de facto never “accurate and precise,” and you can take an extreme argument from scientific philosophy that no science is really “accurate and precise” but is simply “correct for now” or “correct until proven otherwise.”
Gan is a separate language, already identified as such. Many individual Gan lects are unintelligible to other Gan lects. In fact, it is possible that all Gan lects are unintelligible with each other, but that remains to be proven.
Outside of Gan Proper, Leping, while very diverse, is nevertheless intelligible with nearby Gan lects and with Nanchang (Campbell January 2009).
Nanchang and Anyi are apparently separate languages within Gan based on a 200 word Swadesh test (Ben Hamed 2005). Nanchang has a great deal of dialectal diversity, with several dialects covering different cities and the rural areas. Intelligibility is not known.
Jiangyu, spoken in Hubei, is very strange and at least unintelligible to Putonghua speakers, as is Huarong (evidence). Huarong is surely a separate language.
Similarly, Wanzai must surely be a separate language, as must Yichun, Ji’an, Wanan, Fuzhou, Yingtan, Leiyang, Huaining and Dongkou.
Nanchang and Anyi are within the Changjing Group of Gan, which has 15 different lects. Yingtan and Leping are members of the Yingyi Group has 12 lects. Jiangyu and Huarong are members of the Datong Group of Gan, which has 13 lects. Yichun is a member of the Yiliu Group of Gan, which has 11 lects. Wanzai is a member of the Yiping Group of Gan, of which it is the only member.
Leiyang is a member of the Leizi Group of Gan, which has 5 lects. Wanan is a member of the Jilian Group of Gan, of which it is the only member. Ji’an is a member of the Jicha Group of Gan, which has 15 lects. Huaining is a member of the Huaiyue Group of Gan, which has 9 lects. Fuzhou is a member of the Fuguang Group of Gan, which has 15 lects. Dongkou is a member of the Dongsui Group of Gan, which has 5 lects.
Gan has 102 separate lects in it. There are 30 million speakers of the Gan languages.
Within the Min group, Northern Min (Min Bei) and Central Min (Sanminghua) have already been identified as separate languages. There are 50 million speakers of all of the Min languages (Olson 1998). Northern Min has only 0-20% intelligibility with Min Nan.
Central Min has three lects, Shaxian, Sanming and Yongan, but we don’t know if there are languages among them. Central Min has 3.5 million speakers.
Northern Min is said to be a single language, although it has 9 separate lects. Most dialects are said to be mutually intelligible, but Jianyang and Jian’ou have only about 75% intelligibility. Northern Min has 10 million speakers.
The standard dialect of Min Dong or Eastern Min is Fuzhou.
Eastern Min has only 0-20% intelligibility with Min Nan.
Chengguan, Yangzhong and Zhongxian are separate languages, all spoken in Youxi County (Zheng 2008).
Beyond that, Eastern Min is reported to have several other mutually unintelligible languages. One of them is Fuqing, located near Fuzhou but not intelligible with it, according to Wikipedia, but others say the two are mutually intelligible, although speakers are divided on the question.
It appears that possibly Fuzhou speakers can understand Fuqing speakers better than the other way around. Fuzhou and Fuqing are about 65% intelligible in praxis, and it about the same with the rest of the Hougan Group (Ngù 2009).
Ningde, Fuding and Nanping are probably other languages in this family (evidence). Of these three, Ningde is definitely a separate language. According to George Ngù, a passionate proponent of Fuzhou, “Fuzhou is not intelligible even within its many varieties.”
It’s not clear if that applies to all of Eastern Min, but it appears that it does. Therefore, Changle, Gutian, Lianjiang, Luoyuan, Minhou, Minqing, Pingnan, Pingtan, Yongtai, Fuan, Fuding, Shouning, Xiapu, Zherong and Zhouning are all separate languages.
There are two other lects lumped in with Eastern Min. Manjiang is spoken in the central part of Taishun County, and Manhua spoken in the eastern part of Cangnan County. Both of these names mean “barbarian speech.”
Both are probably mixtures of Southern Wu (Wenzhou etc.), Eastern Min, Northern Min, and maybe even pre-Sinitic languages. Manhua and Manjiang are not intelligible with Fuzhou. However, Manjiang has affinity with Shouning in phonology, vocabulary and grammar. Whether or not it is intelligible with Shouning is not known. Min Nan speakers who have looked at Manjiang data say that it doesn’t even look like a Sinitic language.
Manhua is best dealt with as a form of Wu. I discuss it further below under Wu.
Fuding, Fuan, Shouning, Xiapu, Zherong and Zhouning are in the Funing Group of Eastern Min, which has 6 lects.
Fuzhou, Fuqing, Chengguan, Yangzhong, Zhongxian, Ningde, Changle, Gutian, Lianjiang, Luoyuan, Minhou, Minqing, Pingnan, Pingtan, Yongtai and Nanping are in the Houguan Group of Eastern Min, which has 16 lects.
Eastern Min contains 23 separate lects.
Within Min Nan, Xiamen and Teochew are separate languages (evidence). There is even a proposal to split Xiamen, Qiongwen and Teochew into three separate languages before SIL.
Amoy, Taiwanese, Jinjiang, ZhangzhouTainan, Taibei, Yilan, Taichung, Quanzhou and Lufeng are part of the Xiamen group.
Jinmen is apparently a separate language, as it has poor intelligibility with Taiwanese.
A much better name for Xiamen according to the Chinese literature is Quanzhang (Campbell January 2009).
Quanzhang is a combination of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, two of the most important dialects in the language. Xiamen has only 51% intelligibility with Teochew. Whether or not Zhangzhou and Quanzhou are intelligible in China itself is still somewhat of an open question.
Nevertheless, Quanzhou speakers in Singapore can no longer understand Taiwanese or Xiamen well, though they have partial understanding of them. They have only 30-40% intelligibility with Yilan. Nevertheless, they have good understanding of Zhangzhou. This implies that much of the understanding between at least some of the Xiamen lects was due to bilingual learning.
The Yilan dialect on Taiwan is so different that it alone has posed serious problems for the task of standardizing Taiwanese Min Nan, yet it is intelligible with the rest of Taiwanese (Campbell January 2009). Lugang is also very different but is also intelligible with Taiwanese (Campbell 2009).
There are some communication problems for Tainan speakers hearing Taipei, but it appears that they are still intelligible with each other (Campbell January 2009).
JieyangRaoping, Chaoyang, Shantou (Swatow) and Hailok’hong (Haklau) are lects in the Teochew Group (evidence) of Teochew. Teochew (Chaozhou) is the prestige version of Teochew. Chaoyang speakers can understand Jieyang, Raoping (evidence) and Shantou, but intelligibility is difficult with Haifeng and Lufeng. Shantou, Raoping, and Jieyang are then dialects of Chaoyang.
Zhangzhou and Quanzhou have marginal intelligibility with Teochew varieties. They are both spoken in Taipei, Taiwan. After all, Taiwanese itself is just a mixture between Zhangzhou and Quanzhou. The situation in Taipei was interesting. The dialects of the city were a mix of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou. The dialect of the center of the city was mixed between the two, with a slight Quanzhou lean to it. In Sulim (Shilin), people spoke with a dialect that heavily favored Zhangzhou. Other districts spoke a Tang’oann-type dialect, which is just Quanzhou mixed with a bit of Zhangzhou.
All these conditions are more common with the older generation because the new generation either does not speak Teochew at all or they favor the mixed Zhangzhou-leaning “Southern” style favored in the media, or they just do not speak the language at all. Hailok’hong (Haklau) is spoken down the coast between the Teochew zone and the Hong Kong area. It has marginal intelligibility with other Teochew lects. Nevertheless, Taiwanese speakers can no longer understand the pure Quanzhou spoken in the Chinese city of that name.
On the other hand, Chaoyang itself is unintelligible to some other Teochew lects. Shantou speakers cannot understand some of the other Teochew lects, and speakers of other lects often find Shantou hard to understand.
Sources report that Teochew lects can vary greatly in the pronunciation of even single words, and the tones can be quite different too.
There are claims that Teochew is intelligible with Zhangzhou and Quanzhou, but these claims appear to be incorrect (see above). That might make some sense, as Teochew are a group of Min speakers who broke off from Zhangzhou Min about 600-1,100 years ago. They moved down to northeast Guangdong, after hundreds of years, a heavy dose of Cantonese went in, producing modern Teochew.
chinese language map
Teochew has only 51% intelligibility with Xiamen.
Haifeng and Shanwei are members of the Luhai Teochew subgroup of Teochew, which differs markedly from Teochew and may be a separate language. Luhai is said to be halfway between Teochew and Zhangzhou. Luhai probably represents a later move from Zhangzhou towards northeast Guangdong by the same group that formed Teochew. This move may have occurred around 400 years ago.
Lufeng is said to have over 90% intelligibility with Xiamen, but if it is really halfway between, it should have 75% intelligibility. Intelligibility testing may be needed.
The Teochew spoken in Indochina – in particular, in Vietnam and Cambodia (Indochinese Teochew) may be a separate language. Some Indochinese Teochew speakers who have returned to their family villages say they could only understand 70% of the speech there.
Furthermore, intelligibility is difficult between Malay Teochew and other Teochew, such as SE Asian Teochew and Teochew on the mainland. Malay Teochew is spoken in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
The Teochew variant spoken in Malaysia is composed of many highly variant lects. Whether or not they are mutually intelligible with each other is not known. The variety spoken in Medan, Indonesia is particularly interesting. It has heavy Malay and Cantonese influence and cannot be understood by other Teochew speakers. Teochew has 10 million speakers.
Zhangping, though close to Xiamen, is a separate language according to a 200 word Swadesh test (Ben Hamed 2005).
Sanjiang appears to be a separate language .
Datian, in Fujian, is also a separate language.
A version of Hokkien called Malay Hokkien is spoken in Malaysia and in Indonesia in Sumatra and Kalimantan. In Indonesia, it is spoken in the city of Medan, the state of Riau, the city of Bagansiapiapi on Sumatra and in a few places on Kalimantan, such as Kuching and especially in Brunei. Malay Hokkien is heavily laced with Teochew.
Northern Malay Hokkien is spoken from Taiping along the coast formerly all the way to Phuket but now only to Pedang in Malaysia and in Indonesia in the city of Medan, the state of Riau, the city of Bagansiapiapi on Sumatra and in a few places on Kalimantan, such as Kuching and especially in Brunei. Speakers of Northern Malay Hokkien have a hard time understanding the Southern Malay Hokkien (see Singapore Hokkien below) spoken in Kelang, Malacca and Singapore. Northern Malay Hokkien is creolized, with Malay and Thai embedded deeply in the language.
Southern Malay Hokkien is less creolized, if at all. Singapore Hokkien lies between Northern Malay Hokkien and Taiwanese on the continuum. A very pure variety of Hokkien is spoken in the Indonesian city of Bagansiapiapi. It has avoided the Mandarinization of Hokkien that is occurring elsewhere. They speak like the Hokkien speakers of Tang’oann (Tong’an), China.
Kelantan Hokkien is spoken in the Malay state of Kelantan. It is wildly creolized with Malay and is probably not intelligible with any other form of Hokkien.
The version of Hokkien spoken in the Philippines is often called Binamhue, Banlamhue or Minanhua (Philippines Hokkien) by speakers, derives from a dialect on the outskirts of Quanzhou, and it may have drifted into a separate language. At present, it is sometimes not intelligible with Quanzhou or Xiamen. That is, some Philippines Hokkien speakers claim that they can only understand about 70% of Taiwanese television.
The version of Min Nan, Singapore Hokkien (Southern Malay Hokkien), spoken in Singapore, Kelang and Malacca is similar to that spoken in Taiwan, but many Singapore Hokkien speakers have a hard time understanding Taiwanese Hokkien, while others can understand it just fine. Older Singapore Hokkien speakers can understand Taiwanese Hokkien better than younger ones. This is due to bilingual learning more than anything else because younger Singapore Hokkien speakers are no longer good at understanding other Min Nan dialects due to lack of exposure to them.
The reason that Taiwanese speakers can seem to speak communicate well with Singapore Hokkien speakers is because they are using a simpler vocabulary. A Singapore Hokkien speaker, if immersed in Taiwan, could pick up Taiwanese fairly quickly, within say 3 months.
An umbrella term covering Malay Hokkien, Singapore Hokkien and Philippines Hokkien may be Nusantaran Hokkien.
Another language in the same group is best called Wan’an, comprising a number of dialects and possibly languages in Wan’an County of Fujian (Branner 2008).
Zhaoan, Pinghe and Yunxiao, also of Fujian, are separate languages.
Wan’an and Longyan are not mutually intelligible (Branner 2008). Longyan seems to have about 85% intelligibility with Taiwanese. Koongfu and Shizhong are apparently dialects of Longyan Min and are probably intelligible with it. Koongfu is spoken in Kanshi Township in Yongding County. Shizhong is spoken in southern Longyan County.
There are many varieties of Southern Min spoken in Western Fujian that may or may not be independent languages.
Liancheng Gutyan Junbao, Longyan Wan’an Wuzhai, Longyan Wan’an Songyang, Longyan Wan’an Tutuan, Longyan Baisha Youshui, Shiahtsuen Buhyun Liling, Shanghang Buhyun Liling, Liancheng Xuanhe Shengxing, Shanghang Gutian Laifang, Liancheng Xinquan Linguo, Liancheng Xinquan Lelian, Liancheng Pengkou Wangcheng, Liancheng Miaoqian Zhixi, Liancheng Gechuan Zhuyu, Liancheng Miaoqian Jiangshe, Liancheng Sibao Shangjian Zhenbian, Liancheng Juxi Gaoding, Liancheng Tangqian Dikeng, Liancheng Wencheng Hengming, Liancheng Xinquan Dongnancun, Liancheng Quxi Puxi Dongxiduan, Liancheng Quxi Qiaotou and Liancheng Liwu Nanban Zhangwu are spoken in Western Fujian. Shiahtsuen is spoken in Laiyuan Township in southeastern Liancheng County. (Branner 2000).
Whether or not these lects are dialects or separate languages is difficult to say. With many of these lects, they don’t understand each other at first, but after they talk to each other for a while, they start to figure out the other lect. (Branner 2008). Intelligibility testing needs to be done for these lects.
Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Singapore Hokkien, Philippines Hokkien, Xiamen, Amoy, Yilan, Tainan, Taipei, Taichung, Taiwanese, Jinjiang, Lufeng, Lugang, Jinmen, Zhangping, Koongfu, Shizhong, Nanjing, Zhaoan, Pinghe, Yunxiao, Longyan, Wan’an, Liancheng Gutyan Junbao, Longyan Wan’an Wuzhai, Longyan Wan’an Songyang, Longyan Wan’an Tutuan, Longyan Baisha Youshui, Shiahtsuen, Shanghang Buhyun Liling, Liancheng Xuanhe Shengxing, Shanghang Gutian Laifang, Liancheng Xinquan Linguo, Liancheng Xinquan Lelian, Liancheng Pengkou Wangcheng, Liancheng Miaoqian Zhixi, Liancheng Gechuan Zhuyu, Liancheng Miaoqian Jiangshe, Liancheng Sibao Shangjian Zhenbian, Liancheng Juxi Gaoding, Liancheng Tangqian Dikeng, Liancheng Wencheng Hengming, Liancheng Xinquan Dongnancun, Liancheng Quxi Puxi Dongxiduan, Liancheng Quxi Qiaotou and Liancheng Liwu Nanban Zhangwu are all members of the Quanzhuang Group of Min Nan, which has 50 lects.
Teochew, Shantou, Lufeng, Haifeng, Chaoyang, Jieyang, SE Asian Teochew and Malaysian Teochew are members of the Chaoshan Group of Min Nan, which has 12 lects.
Datian is in its own group in Min Nan.
Min Nan consists of 68 separate lects. Clearly, the dialectal relationships of Min Nan are confusing, as many of the lects are very closely related, if not fully intelligible. Intelligibility testing may be needed to sort out some of these issues. There are 30 million speakers of Southern Min.
Zhenan Min, spoken in Zhejiang Province around Pingnang and Cangnan and in the Zhoushan Islands, is a separate language. Zhenan Min contains 4 lects, Pingyang, Cangnan, Dongtou and Yuhuan, which may or may not be languages. Zhenan Min has 574,000 speakers. Zhenan Min is influenced by Eastern and Northern Min.
Qiongwen (Hainanese) is a separate language with 8 million speakers. It has the lowest intelligibility with the rest of Southern Min as any other Min Nan lect. Qiongwen itself has 14 separate lects, all spoken on Hainan. Whether or not any of them are separate languages is not known.
Longyan (Branner 2008) is a separate language, apart from Southern Min. It is spoken in Longyan City’s Xinluo District and Zhangping City and has 740,000 speakers. It has heavy Hakka influence due to the large number of Hakka speakers in the surrounding areas.
Another split in Min is Leizhou. Leizhou Min is a separate language and is now recognized by some as a separate branch of Min altogether, along the lines of Southern and Northern Min. Leizhou consists of 7 different lects. Haikang appears to be a dialect of Leizhou.
However, at least some of the other 6 Leizhou lects are very different in phonology and lexicon. Intelligibility data is not known, but they may be mutually intelligible. Leizhou Min, with 4 million speakers, has low intelligibility with Min Nan lects and has only 50% intelligibility with Hainanese.
Shaojiang Min, or Min Gan, is said to be a completely separate high-level division of the Min language like Leizhou Min. It has four lects – Shaowu, Guangze, Jiangle and Shunchang – that are said to be mutually intelligible. There are subdialects within these larger lects. The substratum of Shaojiang is not Min, Gan or Hakka – instead, it is the ancient Baiyue language.
Puxian Min has already been identified as a separate language. Puxian has 3 separate lects. There are minor differences between these lects.
However, there is a form of Puxian Min spoken in Singapore, Hinghwa, and presently it lacks full intelligibility with Puxian Min proper. Puxian speakers are a minority in Singapore, and their language has mixed a lot with Singapore Hokkien, Malay, English and other languages spoken in Singapore, resulting in a separate language.
A Min language called Longdu, located in Guangdong, is not only a separate language (evidence here and here) but seems to be in another Min category from Southern Min. It is spoken in the southwest corner of Zhongshan City in Shaxi and Dayong.
In Guangdong Province, there are other divergent lects of Min Nan. Two of these, Nanlang (also spoken in Zhongshan) and Sanxiang, are also separate languages. Nanlang is spoken 10 miles southeast of Zhongshan in Cuiheng. It is also spoken in Nanlang and Zhangjiabian. Sanxiang is spoken to the south of Zhongshan in the hilly rural areas.
In Chinese, Longdu, Nanlang and Sanxiang are referred to as All-Lung, South Gourd and Three Rural, respectively. Sources give Longdu and Nanlang 100,000 speakers and Sanxiang 30,000 speakers. 14% of the population of Zhongshan speaks Min. Nanlang now has mostly elderly speakers.
All of these seem to be in the same group, Zhongshan Min, and all are spoken in the Pearl River Delta near Hong Kong. Zhongshan Min has 150,000 speakers.
This group is possibly a Northern or Eastern Min group stranded way down in Guangdong. They are sometimes referred to in old literature as “Northeastern Min”. That’s not really a category. It often means Northern Min, but sometimes it means Eastern Min. These languages have all borrowed extensively from the type of Cantonese spoken in the Pearl River Delta.
Looking at the whole picture, it appears that various immigrants speaking Puxian Min, Northern Min and Southern Min all settled around Zhongshan. These various Min elements, along with a hefty dose of Cantonese, have gone into the creation of Zhongshan Min.
Sanxiang, Nanlang and Longdu are apparently not mutually intelligible, although Nanlang is close to Longdu. Sanxiang is more divergent. Further, there are more dialects within these three languages, and dialectal divergence is considerable, with possible communication difficulties among them.
Sanxiang has at least two dialects, Phao and Tiopou. Phao is fairly uniform across a number of villages, but Tiopou is quite different. Nevertheless, there is near-full intelligibility between Phao and Tiopou. For now, we will just list Sanxiang, Nanlang and Longdu as separate languages, with possible dialects Phao and Tiopou (Sanxiang); Nanlang A and Nanlang B; and Longdu A and Longdu B, among them.
A very strange lect is spoken by the She people in Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong. The She language was originally Hmong-Mien, then added a Cantonese layer, then a Hakka layer, next a Min layer, and in Zhejiang, a Wu layer. It is best described as a Hmong-Mien language that has been Sinicized. There are probably 200,000 speakers of this language.
There is also an original She language that is non-Sinitic (Hmong-Mien) and is spoken by only about 1,000 people in Guangdong.
In Eastern Guangdong, the She speak the Chaoshan She language. They live in the Phoenix Mountains in Chao’an County in Chaozhou prefecture. It has had heavy contact with Chaoshan (Teochew) Min group. This is probably a separate language, unintelligible with other She languages and also with Chaoshan Min.
Within Hakka, besides Hakka Proper (Meixia)Tingzhou is a separate language (evidence). Wuhua Hakka is intelligible with Meixian.
Fangcheng and Dabu are close to Meixian, but intelligibility data is lacking. Fangcheng has five different lects within it, but intelligibility data is not known. Hong Kong Hakka is not intelligible with the Hakka spoken on Taiwan, nor with Dabu.
Dongguan, spoken near Hong Kong, can understand Meixian, but Meixian cannot understand Dongguan.
Taipu or Taipo is spoken in the village of the same name in Hong Kong and is not intelligible with Meixian, nor is Wakia, also spoken in Hong Kong.
A variety of Hakka spoken in a part of Hong Kong called Shataukok is called variously Satdiugok, Sathewkok, Shataukok, Satdiukok or Satdiugok. It is said to be different from other Hakka, and evidence indicates that Shataukok may indeed be a separate language. Shataukok has dialects within it and they are different, but they are generally mutually intelligible.
All three of these are dialects of a more or less intelligible language called Hong Kong Hakka.
Located near Hong Kong, Shenzhen/Bao’an is a separate language.
Haifeng and Lufeng, located near each other in Guangdong, appear to be dialects of a separate language called Hailufeng.
Longchuan in northeastern Guangdong is a separate language (evidence), with poor intelligibility with other Hakka lects. Longchuan has four different dialects, Huangbu, Sidu, Chetian and Tuocheng. Sidu and Tuocheng are close and are probably dialects of Longchuan. Sidu Longchuan has 18,000 speakers.
Boluo and Heyuan are separate languages, not mutually intelligible.
Longchuan, Boluo and Heyuan are quite distant from other Hakka. Heyuan is spoken in central Guangdong.
Huizhou is mutually intelligible with Longchuan and also with Meixia and Dabu.
Sanxiang, spoken in Zhongshan prefecture, is different from all other Hakka, but intelligibility data is lacking.
It is possible that in northern Guangdong, there may be many different Hakka languages, since dialects tend to differ from village to village, and in many cases, communication is difficult.
The Hakka spoken in Kunming, Sarawak, in Malaysia, known as Ho Po Hak, is a separate language.
It is very different from the Hakka spoken in Sabah, Malaysia, and it is similar to Hopo, spoken in Hopo, near Meizhou. Hopo is not intelligible with Dabu, Hailu or Meixian. Hopo appears to be a dialect of Jiaoling. Hopo has deep influence from Teochew Min, because it is located right next to the Teochew area.
The Gannan Group (or Ninglong Group) from Southern Jiangxi, Mingxi from Western Fujian, and the Yuemin Group from Southern Fujian and Southeastern Guangdong are separate languages.
In the Gannan Group are multiple lects. One of them is Xingguo, spoken in Xingguo County in Ganzhuo Prefecture (evidence).
The Gannan Group is extremely diverse compared to the Hakka of Guangdong and Fujian. Gannan lects differ even from village to village.
With Gannan Hakka, we may be dealing with a situation of many different languages, as with Wu, Hui, Tuhua and Xiang. In fact, it quite possible that with Jiangxi Hakka, we may be dealing with every Hakka lect being a separate language, but that remains to be proven.
In Fujian Province, there is the wildly diverse Tingzhou Hakka Group mentioned above. Even within this group, there are separate languages, including Yongding, Liancheng, Changting, Xinquan, Qingliu, Mingxi, Ninghua and Shanghang (evidence). Gucheng is probably also a member of Tingzhou.
Sources say that each Hakka village in Fujian speaks its own lect, and that the lects are far enough apart to make communication from village to village very difficult.
Therefore, we conclude that in addition to the above, we will add Wuping, Longyan, Zhaoan, Yunxiao, Shangsixiang, Fuding, Fuan, Gucheng and Nanjing Qujiang.
Luoyuan She Hakka is spoken in Fujian. It is an extremely diverse form of Hakka that differs from all other Hakka. It must surely be a separate language.
Chengdu is spoken in Chengdu, Sichuan. It is quite different from other forms of Hakka and has poor intelligibility with other forms.
On Taiwan, the Miaoli (Four Counties), Dongshi (Dapu) and Xinzhu (Hailu) lects are not mutually intelligible, nor is the mixed Gaoxiong lect created in order that these three lects could communicate with each other.
Kunbei (Zhaoan) is very different and must be a separate language. Raoping may well be a separate language, but intelligibility data is lacking. In general, speakers of other kinds of Hakka find Taiwan Hakka to be hard to understand, possibly due to Southern Min influence.
Bangka Island Indonesian Hakka, spoken on Bangka Island in Indonesia, has diverged so radically with its tones that it is now a separate language. That is, speakers of other Indonesian Hakka lects say that they cannot understand Bangka Island speakers. It’s actually said to be a Hakka creole more than anything else.
In Indonesia, two other Hakka languages are spoken, Kun Dian Indonesian Hakka, spoken in Borneo, and Belitung (Ngion Voi) Indonesian Hakka. Kun Dian Hakka is the largest Hakka group in Indonesia. Most live at Pontianak and Singkawang, where they speak two different mutually intelligible lects, but they have spread all over Indonesia. Kun Dian Hakka is a dialect of Meixian.
Belitung Hakka is spoken mostly on Sumatra and Borneo, and is characterized by a soft way of speaking. Belitung Hakka and Bangka Hakka say they cannot understand Kun Dian Hakka, but Kun Dian speakers say they can understand the other two for the most part. East Timor Hakka is a dialect of Meixian.
Jiexi is spoken in southeast Guangdong. Dayu is spoken in southern Guangxi. Liannan is spoken northwest Guangdong. Dongguan Qingxi is spoken in south-central Guangdong. Wengyuan is spoken in northern Guangdong. Ningdu is spoken in Jiangxi. Mengshan Xihe is spoken in eastern Guangxi. Hong Kong Hakka is spoken in Hong Kong.
Zhaoan Xiuzhuan is spoken in southern Fujian.
Shanghang Pengxin, Basel Mission and Shanghang Guanzhuang Shangzhuo are spoken in West Fujian (Branner 2000).
Dayu, spoken in Jiangxi, is a separate language, not intelligible at least to Central, or Meixian, Hakka speakers.
Meixian, Wuhua and Bao’an are members of the Yuetai Group of Hakka, which has 23 lects. Within Yuetai, Wuhua and Dabu are members of the Xinghua subgroup, which has 5 lects. Xinghua has 3.4 million speakers. Bao’an and Lufeng are in the Xinhui subgroup of Yuetai, which has 9 lects. Xinhui has 2.4 million speakers.
Gaoxiong, Xinzhu, Dongshi and Miaoli are members of the Jiaying Group of Hakka, which has 7 lects.
Tingzhou, Yongding, Liancheng, Changting, Xinquan, Shanghang, Basel Mission, Shanghang Pengxin, Wuping, Ninghua, Qingliu and Mingxi are all part of the diverse Tingzhou Group of Hakka. All told, Tingzhou has 12 lects, all of which are separate languages.
Longchuan, Boluo and Heyuan are members of the Yuezhong Group of Hakka, which has 5 lects.
Huizhou is in its own subgroup of Hakka.
Xingguo and Ningdu are in the Ninglong Group of Hakka, which has 13 lects. This group is said to be very diverse, with lects differing from village to village.
Liannan and Wengyuan are members of the Yuebei Group of Hakka, which has 11 lects and must surely be a separate language.
Dayu is a member of the Yugui Group of Hakka, which has 43 lects.
Ho Po Hak, Bangka Island, Nanjing Qujiang, Jiexi, Dayu, Hong Kong, Mengshan Xihe, Zhaoan Xiuzhuan, Nanjing Qujiang, Fuan, Fuding and Haifeng are unclassified.
There are 12 major Hakka lects and 210 Hakka lects altogether. Others claim that there are over 1000 Hakka lects spoken in China. There are 30 million speakers of the various Hakka languages. The dialect situation with Hakka, as with Min Nan, is quite confused and somewhat contradictory. Intelligibility testing could clear up some of the confusion. Some speakers report adequate intelligibility between lects, while others report difficulty.
Putonghua is Standard Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect as of 1949, but it has since diverged wildly and many Putonghua speakers today cannot understand Beijing. Putonghua is being promoted as the national language of China. In addition to Putonghua, there 1,500 other dialects of Mandarin spoken in China. In general, other Mandarin dialects are not intelligible to Putonghua speakers (Campbell April 2009).
However, the Northeastern dialects and the dialects around Beijing may be more intelligible than the Mandarin dialects in the rest of the country. The implication is that there may be as many as 1,500 Mandarin languages in China. However, many of these Mandarin dialects are intelligible with at least some other Mandarin dialects. Hence, despite the lack of intelligibility with Putonghua, there is a lot of potential lumping within Mandarin.
The degree to which Mandarin dialects are intelligible to each other is very much an open question and in general is poorly investigated.
Within Mandarin, besides Putonghua, the main branch, Jinan (New Jinan), Beijing and Tianjin (evidence and here) are not intelligible with Putonghua; however, Tianjin may be intelligible with Beijing, on the other hand, Tianjin is looking more and more like a separate language.
For one thing, Tianjin’s tones are quite different from Putonghua’s, and its tone sandhi is much more complicated and it is more closely related to lects 150-500 miles away, since originally Tianjin speakers came from Anhui (Lee 2002). Some reports say that Tianjin is intelligible with Putonghua, so intelligibility testing may be needed.
Jinan is not intelligible with Putonghua, but may be learned over a period of weeks to possibly months, as it is close enough. Jinan is only 65% intelligible with Beijing.
Since Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing City, Hebei and all of NE Mandarin may be intelligible, I am just going to make a language called Northeast Mandarin and call Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Nanjing City dialects of NE Mandarin for now. Beijing is has low intelligibility with other branches of Mandarin: 72% intelligible with Southwest Mandarin, 64% intelligible with Jilu Mandarin and Zhongyuan Mandarin and 55% intelligible with Jiaoliao Mandarin.
However, many Putonghua speakers claim that Beijinghua is not inherently intelligible with Putonghua. Complaints about unintelligible taxi drivers in Beijing are legendary. At the very least, competing views of the intelligibility of Beijinghua and Putonghua deserve investigation.
On the other hand, Beijinghua may be intelligible with Hebei and Nanjing City. I think that Hebei is clearly a dialect of Beijing. The lect of Beijing’s hutongs and taxi drivers is legendary for being hard to understand. It would be interesting to see whether Tianjin and Hebei speakers can understand it. Tianjin may be a separate language, since it is not intelligible with Beijinghua.
What probably happened was that Beijinghua and Putonghua have taken separate trajectories. This has also occurred in Italian, where, though Standard Italian was based on Tuscan, Standard Italian and Tuscan have taken separate trajectories since. It is said that if you see old Tuscan men on TV in Italy, a speaker of Standard Italian from southern Italy would need subtitles to understand them, but one from northern Italy would not.
Others say that Putonghua was based on the language of the Beijing suburbs, not the city itself.
For whatever reason, Beijinghua often seems to have less than 90% intelligibility with Putonghua, though the question needs further research. Beijinghua, in its pure and least mutually intelligible form, seems to be spoken mostly in the innermost hutongs and among taxi drivers and other low income and working class people. The lect of people with more education and money is probably a lot more comprehensible.
I would describe the real, pure, Putonghua as “CCTV speech”, the lect you hear on Chinese state television. Evidence that Beijinghua lacks full intelligibility with Putonghua is here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
The question of whether or not Beijinghua is a separate language from Putonghua is sure to be highly controversial. Perhaps intelligibility testing could settle the question.
Beijing is in a group all of its own called the Beijing Group. It contains 43 separate lects, and may contain more than one language.
We should also note here that even Putonghua, the language that was meant to tie the nation together, seems to be evolving into regional languages.
Guangdong Putonghua is not fully intelligible to speakers of the Putonghuas of Northern China and hence is probably a separate language.
There are also varieties of Putonghua that are spoken in Singapore and Taiwan. Taiwanese Mandarin is about 80-85% intelligible with Putonghua and is a separate language. Claims that Taiwan Mandarin is fully intelligible with Putonghua are incorrect.
Shanghai Putonghua is often not intelligible with Putonghua from other regions. It has heavy interference from Shanghaihua, which seriously effects the Putonghua accent. Even after four years of exposure to it, Standard Putonghua speakers often have problems with it.
In addition, Jianghuai Mandarin Putonghua and Zhengcao Mandarin Putonghua Putonghua are not intelligible with Putonghua from other areas (Campbell April 2009). These varieties of Mandarin cause a particular interference with Putonghua Mandarin that results in a severe dialectal disturbance in their Putonghua.
These Putonghuas are spoken in the regions native to the Jianghuai and Zhengcao dialects of Mandarin. Jianghuai is spoken in Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei and to a much lesser extent Zhejiang Provinces. Zhengcao is spoken in Anhui, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, with one dialect is spoken in Hebei.
Although it is different, Singapore Putonghua is still intelligible with Putonghua. Malay Mandarin is said to be quite different but nevertheless intelligible. Nevertheless Malay Mandarin speakers say they have to make speech adjustments with Chinese speakers otherwise their speech is poorly intelligible. This implies that Malay Mandarin is indeed a separate language.
Yunnan Putonghua is intelligible with Putonghua from other regions (Campbell January 2009).
Cangzhou, spoken in southeastern Hebei, is a separate language. It is only partly intelligible with Putonghua. Renqiu, Huanghua, Hejian, Cangxian, Qingxian, Xianxian, Dongguang, Haixing, Yanshan, Suning, Nanpi, Wuqiao and Mengcun, all spoken in Cangzhou prefecture, are all dialects of Cangzhou.
Cangzhou shares some similarities with Tianjin, but it is only partly intelligible with it.
Jinan is a member of the Liaotai Group of the larger Jilu Group, which has 37 lects.
The Baotang Group of Jilu has 52 lects. Tianjin forms its own subgroup within Baotang. Cangzhou, Renqiu, Huanghua, Hejian, Cangxian, Qingxian, Xianxian, Dongguang, Haixing, Yanshan, Suning, Nanpi, Wuqiao, and Mengcun are members of the Huangle subgroup of Baotang, which has 25 lects.
Jilu itself consists of 170 lects.
Taiwanese Mandarin, while different from Putonghua, is intelligible with it. Singapore Mandarin has fewer differences then Taiwanese. Both are dialects of Putonghua.
Luoyang, Kiafeng, Changyuan and Zhengzhou, all in Henan Province, are not intelligible with Putonghua. However, all four are mutually intelligible with each other, so they are dialects of a single language, Henan Mandarin.
Xinyang, also spoken in Henan, is a separate language and cannot be understood by Luoyang speakers.
Nanyang has high but not complete intelligibility with Luoyang. After a few weeks of close contact, Luoyang speakers can understand Nanyang, but initially, comprehension is poor due to different tones. Nanyang has 15 million speakers.
Luoyang and Gushi are unintelligible with Putonghua. In addition, Gushi is different from Nanyang and may not be intelligible with it. Intelligibility between Xinyang, Gushi and Nanyang is not known. In general, intelligibility between many lects in Henan is not good, but after a week or two of close contact, they can start to understand each other.
In Shaanxi, Yanan, Xian, Huxian (evidence), Zhouzhi (evidence), and Hanzhong are not intelligible with Putonghua. Let us call this language Shaanxi Mandarin. Xi’an, for instance, is about 65% intelligible with other Mandarin groups.
Xining, spoken in Xinghai, seems to be very different from other Shaanxi lects, and is probably a separate language altogether (evidence here and here) .
In Gansu Province, Tongwei is not intelligible with Putonghua, and Gansu Mandarin seems to be very different from other forms of Mandarin. Gansu Mandarin appears to be a separate language.
However, within Gansu, there are divergent lects, such as Sale, which are unintelligible with other Gansu lects.
Bozhou (evidence), Yingshang (evidence), and Fuyang (evidence), spoken in Anhui, are at least unintelligible with Putonghua. Fuyang is very different. The lect spoken 300 km south of Jinan, around Mengcheng in rural Anhui, is said to be completely unintelligible with Putonghua, Tianjin and Beijinghua. For the time being, we will refer to this as one language, Anhui Mandarin. Intelligibility between lects of Anhui Mandarin is not known.
Anhui Mandarin Putonghua has poor intelligibility with Standard Putonghua due to its phonology. Therefore, it is a separate language.
Xian, Huxian and Zhouzhi are members of the Guanzhong Group of Zhongyuan, which has 45 lects.
Yanan, Hanzhong and Xining are members of the Qinlong Group of Zhongyuan, which has 67 lects.
Luoyang is a member of the Luoxu Group of Zhongyuan, which has 28 lects.
Kiafeng, Nanyang, Zengzhou, Changyuan, and Bozhou are members of the Zhengcao Group of Zhongyuan. The Zhengcao Group has 93 lects.
Xinyang and Gushi are in the Xinbeng subgroup of Zhongyuan, which has 20 lects.
Tongwei and Sale are part of the Longzhong Group of Zhongyuan, which has 25 lects.
Yingshang is a member of the Cailu Group of Zhongyuan, which has 30 lects.
The Mandarin spoken in Qinghai is very different from that spoken in Gansu, but it’s not known if it is a separate language. They are both usually two types of Zhongyuan Mandarin.
Zhongyuan has a shocking 388 lects. Zhongyuan Mandarin is not fully intelligible with Putonghua. Zhongyuan Mandarin has 130 million speakers (Olson 1998).
Yichang (evidence), Longchang (evidence), Chengdu, Chongqing (evidence), Guilin and Nanping (spoken near Mt. Wuyi evidence), Longcheng (evidence), Luocheng (evidence), Luzhou (evidence here and here), Lingui (evidence), Jiuzhaigou (evidence) Xindu, Wenshan (evidence), Mianzhu (evidence here and here), Yangshuo (evidence), Wuhan (evidence), and Leshan (evidence) are all unintelligible with Putonghua.
Guilin is not intelligible with general Southwest Mandarin speech. Wenshan at least is not intelligible with other Southwestern varieties (Johnson 2010).
Chengdu is part of a Sichuan Mandarin koine that is spoken in many of the larger cities in Yunnan. It includes Kunming, Bazhong, Dazhou, Neijiang, Zigong, Yibin, Luzhou, Chengdu, Mianyang, Deyang and Guiyang and is broadly intelligible (Xun 2009). Ziyang is intelligible with the koine but has a heavy accent (Xun 2009). Leshan is unintelligible with the koine, but it can be learned in a few weeks of exposure (Xun 2009).
Dali is also not intelligible with Putonghua, but that is because Tibetan Mandarin has heavy Tibetan admixture.
Chongqing speakers cannot understand Chengdu or Luzhou speakers. The many small lects around Mt. Emei are not intelligible with Chengdu, appear to be be very different, and may one or more separate languages.
Wuhan is not intelligible to speakers of Southwest Mandarin from other provinces, for instance, it is only 80% intelligible with Chengdu. The intelligibility of Wuhan and Yichang is not known.
Dahua, spoken in and around Dahua village on the Puduhe River near Dongchuan in Yunnan Province, is apparently a separate language .
Lanping, may be a separate language. Kunming not intelligible with Tuoyuan., so Tuoyuan may be a separate language also. The language spoken in Kunming is part of the Sichuan Mandarin koine that includes Kunming, Bazhong, Dazhou, Neijiang, Zigong, Yibin, Luzhou, Chengdu, Mianyang, Deyang and Guiyang.
Chuanlan is a little-known language spoken by the Tunbao people of Guangxi Province.
Yingshan is a separate language based on a 200 word Swadesh test (Ben Hamed 2005).
Menghai (evidence) may well be a completely separate language. The mutual intelligibility of Menghai, Guiyang and Kunming is not known. Guiyang is at least not intelligible with Putonghua. Guiyang is evolving into the Sichuan Mandarin koine, which is broadly intelligible with Kunming, Bazhong, Dazhou, Neijiang, Zigong, Yibin, Luzhou, Chengdu, Mianyang and Deyang.
Shaoshan, apparently Mao Zedong’s lect, spoken in Hunan Province, is a separate language. It was said although Mao had a secretary who could understand him well, not many others could.
Another language spoken in Hunan, in Zhangjiajie County, is called Zhangjiajie Maoxi. The Maoxi are a tribal group there that speak a strange variety of Mandarin.
Tuoyuan in Hunan is not fully intelligible with other Southwest Mandarin lects, or at least not with Kunming.
Junhua, or military language, is a language spoken by an ethnic group on Hainan in the city of Zonghe. It is said to be “Old Mandarin” and is probably not intelligible with other lects. It is a form of Southwest Mandarin known as the Junhua Group, which contains 4 lects .
Guilin, Luocheng, Yangshuo, Liuzhou and Lingui are members of the Guiliu Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 57 lects. Guiliu Southwest Mandarin is at least not comprehensible with Putonghua or Chengyu Southwest Mandarin.
Leshan and Longchang are members of the Guanchi Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 85 lects. Within Guanchi, Longchang is a member of the Renfu Group , which has 13 lects.
Yichang, Chengdu, Chongqing and Yingshan are members of the Chengyu Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 113 lects. Chengyu Southwest Mandarin is not comprehensible with Putonghua or Guiliu Southwest Mandarin.
Menghai, Kunming, Wenshan and Guiyang are members of the Kungui Group of Southwest Mandarin. The Kungui Group itself has an incredible 95 lects.
Lanping is in the Dianxi Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 36 lects. Within Dianxi, it is a member of the Baolu subgroup, which has 21 lects.
Taoyuan is in the Changhe Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 14 lects.
Wuhan is a member of Wutian Group of Southwest Mandarin, which has 9 lects.
Dali is a member of the Dianxi Group of Mandarin, which has 36 members. Within Dianxi, Dali is a member of the Yaoli Group, which has 15 members.
Nanping, Chuanlan, Shaoshan, Jiuzhaigou, Zhangjiajie Maoxi and Dahua are unclassified.
Southwest Mandarin itself has a stunning 519 lects and is not fully intelligible with Putonghua. There are 240 million speakers of Southwest Mandarin (Olson 1998).
Jianghuai Mandarin is a separate language.
Yangzhou is considered to be a separate language by a 200 word Swadesh test (Ben Hamed 2005). Yangzhou has about 52% intelligibility with the other branches of Mandarin.
Nanjing (evidence and here) is also a separate language – now mostly spoken in the suburbs, as city speech is not a separate language anymore. The city language is said to be intelligible with the general northeastern China lect spoken in Beijing and Hebei.
So I will call Nanjing Suburbs a separate language.
Lianyungang is a separate language, as is Yancheng and Huaian (evidence for both).
Nantong, a very strange variety of Mandarin on the border of Wu and Mandarin that shares many features with Wu languages, is a separate language, as is its sister language, Tongdong. Jinsha is a dialect of Nantong.
Rugao, next to Nantong, is also a separate language.
Also within Jianghuai, Hefei is considered to be a separate language by a 200 word Swadesh list (Ben Hamed 2005).
Rudong is at least not intelligible with Putonghua.
Anqing, in Anhui Province, is also not intelligible with Putonghua.
In 1933, there were three different languages spoken in Tongcheng, Anhui – East Tongcheng, West Tongcheng and Tongcheng Wenli. Tongcheng Wenli was the classical-based language spoken by the educated elite of the city. Whether these three languages still exist is not known, but surely some of the speakers in 1933 are still alive.
Chuzhou, spoken in Anhui, is not intelligible with Putonghua, although it is said to be close to Nanjing. Dangtu, also spoken in Anhui, is not intelligible with Putonghua.
Dongtai is a separate language (evidence).
The lects spoken in Dafeng, Taizhou, Xingua and Haian are said to be similar to Dongtai, so for the time being, we will list them as dialects of Dongtai.
Jiujiang, spoken in Jiangxi Province, is a separate language, as is Xingzi, located close by.
Intelligibility between Rudong, Anqing, Chuzhou, Dafeng, Taizhou, Xingua, Haian and Dangtu is not known.
Yangzhou, Lianyungang, Yancheng, Huaian, Nanjing, Hefei, Anqing, the Tongchengs, Chuzhou, and Dangtu are in the Hongchao Group of Jianghuai, which has 82 lects.
Dongtai, Dafeng, Taizhou, Haian, Xinghua, Jinsha, Nantong, Tongdong, Rudong, and Rugao are in the Tairu Group of Jianghuai. Tairu has 11 different lects.
Jiujiang and probably Xingzi are members of the Huangxiao Group of Jianghuai, which has 20 lects.
Jianghuai is composed of an incredible 120 lects and is not fully intelligible with Putonghua. Some suggest that all of the lects of Jianghuai are mutually unintelligible, but that remains to be proven. Jianghuai Mandarin has 65 million speakers (Olson 1998).
Northeastern (Dongbei) Mandarin is a separate language. Within Northeast, Shenyang is a separate language according to a 200 word Swadesh list (Ben Hamed 2005). Harbin is often listed as intelligible with Putonghua, but some Putonghua speakers can barely understand a word of it. Harbin may be a separate language. That classification is sure to be controversial, so intelligibility testing may be required to sort it out.
Shenyang is a member of the Jishen Group of Northeastern Mandarin, which has 44 dialects. Within Jishen, Shenyang is a member of the Tongxi Group, which has 24 dialects.
Harbin is a member of the Hafu Group of Northeastern Mandarin, which has 64 lects. Within Hafu, it is a member of the Zhaofu Group, which has 18 lects.
Lanyin Mandarin in the far northwest is also a separate language (Campbell 2004). Though Lanyin is said to be intelligible with Putonghua, that does not appear to be the case. Minqin (evidence) and Lanzhou (evidence) in Gansu are not fully intelligible with Putonghua, nor is Yinchuan (evidence) in Ningxia.
Intelligibility within Lanyin is not known, but Jiuquan at least appears to be a completely separate language inside Lanyin.
Jiuquan is a member of the Hexi Group of Lanyin, which has 18 lects.
Yinchuan is a member of the Yinwu Group of Lanyin, which has 12 lects.
Lanzhou is a member of the Jincheng Group of Lanyin, which has 4 lects.
Lanyin is composed of 57 separate lects. Lanyin Mandarin has 9 million speakers (Olson 1998).
The Jiaoliao Mandarin spoken in Shandong contains lects such as Qingdao (evidence here and here) and Wehai (evidence) which are not fully intelligible with Putonghua. Dalian is quite different from Putonghua. Intelligibility between Qingdao, Wehai and Dalian is not known.
Wehai and Dalian are members of the Denglian Group of Jiaoliao, which has 23 lects.
Qingdao is a member of the Qingzhou Group of Jiaoliao, which has 16 lects.
Jiaoliao is composed of 45 lects. Jiaoliao is not fully intelligible with Putonghua. Intelligibility inside of Jiaoliao is not known, but there may be multiple languages inside of it, because some Shandong Peninsula lects sound very strange even to speakers used to hearing Shandong Mandarin.
Karamay is an unclassified Mandarin language spoken in Xinjaing.
The Mandarin spoken around Tiantai in Zhejiang is not intelligible with Putonghua and may be a separate language. It is also unclassified.
Mandarin has 873 million speakers. There are an incredible 1,526 lects of Mandarin.
Although it is related to Mandarin, Jin is a completely separate language. Besides the Main Jin branch Baotou are apparently separate languages (evidence). As is possibly Taiyuan (evidence).
Within Hohhot Jin, there are two separate languages.
One is Hohhot Xincheng Jin, a combination of Hebei Jin, Northeastern Mandarin and the Manchu language.
The other is Jiucheng Hohhot Jin, spoken by the Muslim Hui minority in the city. It is related to other forms of Jin in Shanxi Province.
Yuci is a separate language from Taiyuan on a 200 word Swadesh test (Ben Hamed 2005).
Fenyang, the language used in Chinese director Jia Zhanke’s movie Xiao Shan Going Home is not intelligible with Putonghua.
Jingbian, in Shanxi, is a separate language.
Yulin is also a separate language.
Hohhot is a member of the Zhanghu Group of Jin, which has 29 lects.
Baotou and Yulin are members of the Dabao Group of Jin, which has 29 lects.
Taiyuan and Yuci are members of the Bingzhou Group of Jin, which has 16 lects.
Fenyang is a member of the Luliang Group of Jin, which has 17 lects.
Jingbian is a member of the Wutai Group of Jin, which has 30 lects.
Jin is composed of 171 lects, and some of them are separate languages. Jin has 48 million speakers (Olson 1998).
Besides Xiang Proper, assuming there even is such a thing, Shuangfeng and Changsha are separate languages, having only 47% intelligibility.
In fact, Changsha itself is divided into multiple languages in the city itself. We do not know how many there are, but we know that they exist. For the moment, we shall just add one lect to Changsha, and divide it into Changsha A and Changsha B, but there may be more. Furthermore, there are significant differences within the Changsha spoken in Changsha City and in the surrounding countryside.
Shuangfeng is also very different within itself, as the vocabulary changes every 10 miles or so. Intelligibility data is lacking.
Mao Zedong spoke Xiangtan, a notoriously difficult Xiang language in Hunan, about which it is said, “No one can understand it.” Xiangtan itself is internally diverse, with differences between the dialect of the city and rural areas, but intelligibility data is lacking.
Hengyang is apparently a separate language, as is Jishou (evidence). There is significant dialectal diversity in Hengyang, but intelligibility data is lacking.
Liuyang is a separate language, actually a macrolanguage, spoken in Liuyang county-level city in Changsha prefecture in Hunan. Liuyang is split into 5 divisions – Liuyang North, Liuyang South, Liuyang West, Liuyang East and Liuyang City.
Liuyang South and Liuyang East are separate languages, mutually unintelligible with the others. Liuyang City has recently arisen as a sort of a Liuyang “Putonghua” that is understandable to speakers of all Liuyang lects. So within Liuyang, we have three dialects – Liuyang City, Liuyang North and Liuyang West. Outside of Liuyang Proper, there are also two separate languages – Liuyang South and Liuyang East. None of the three Liuyang languages is intelligible with Changsha.
Even within this classification, each of the 5 Liuyang lects has multiple dialects. Each village is said to have its own lect in Liuyang.
Hengshan (evidence) is a separate language with vast dialectal divergence divided by Mount Hengshan.
There are two Xiang Hengshan lects on either side of the mountain – Qianshan and Houshan – that are very different and must be separate languages. Huayuan (evidence) is at least not intelligible with Putonghua.
In the city of Yiyang, Henan Province, 3 lects are spoken. One is a Yiyang Changyi Xiang lect, another is a Yiyang Luoshao Xiang lect, and a third is Luoyang Southwest Mandarin, a dialect of Henan Mandarin, described above. All appear to be separate languages.
We will call the two Xiang lects Yiyang Changyi and Yiyang Luoshao.
Baojing at least is not intelligible with Putonghua, yet it is said to be intelligible with Chengdu Southwest Mandarin.
Lingshuijiang, also spoken in Hunan by 300,000 people, may well be a separate language.
Ningxiang is said to be very different from Changsha. Given the dramatic divergence present even as background in Xiang, this must mean that Ningxiang is at least not intelligible with Changsha.
According to good sources, there is a tremendous amount of lect diversity in Western Hunan, and most of it probably involves Xiang lects, while most or all of these lects are not mutually intelligible. But until we get more data, we cannot carve any languages out of this mess yet.
Shuangfeng and Lingshuijiang are a members of the Luoshao Group of Xiang, which has 21 lects.
The Changshas, Hengyang, Xiangtan, Hengshan, Ningxiang and the Liuyangs are members of the Changyi Group of Xiang, which has 32 lects.
Baojing, Jishou and Huayuan are members of the Jixu Group of Xiang, which has 8 lects.
Xiang is composed of 74 lects. Many, or possibly all of them are separate languages. The various languages of Xiang have 50 million speakers.
Wu is a major group of diverse Chinese languages that is often divided into Northern Wu and Southern Wu. Northern Wu and Southern Wu are definitely mutually unintelligible languages. Southern Wu has 18 million speakers. In general, the list below just lists Wu lects that are utterly unintelligible with Putonghua. My opinion is that in general, the Wu lects are mostly separate languages, however, some are merely dialects of other Wu lects.
A good general rule for Zhejiang lects is that people say they can sort of understand the next city over, but two cities away was incomprehensible. For instance, in the Taizhou prefecture region, there are 4-5 unintelligible dialects across a 12 mile area. In Zhejiang, the mountains go all the way down to the sea, so there are few flat areas where language can spread out and become comprehensible.
Suzhou, Shanghaiese, Wuxi (evidence), Huzhou (evidence), Changzhou (evidence), Xiaoshan (evidence), Songjiang (evidence), Jiaxing, Hangzhou (evidence), Kunshan (evidence), Ningbo and Yixing (evidence) are separate languages.
Tongxiang also appears to be a separate language, as does Yuyao (evidence) and Zhoushan.
Qidong, spoken in the city of Qidong, is a separate language.
Lvsi, Qisi or Tongdong, spoken in the nearby town of Qisi, is a separate language from Qidong. Qidong is said to be very close to Chongming, so for the time being, we will list Chongming as a dialect of Qidong.
Haimen also appears to be a dialect of Qidong. However, there are 2 lects spoken in Haimen, and they are apparently not mutually intelligible. We will leave Haimen A as a dialect of Qidong, while we will set Haimen B as a separate language as it is not intelligible with Haimen A.
There are differences between Chongming and Haimen A, but the degree of them is not known. Changyinsha is very similar to Haimen, Chongming and Qidong, so it is probably a dialect of Qidong also. Another name for Qidong is Qihai, which refers to the speech of Qidong, Haimen and Tongzhou. For the time being, we will list Haimen A, Changyinsha and Chongming as dialects of Qidong. Chongming, and hence Qidong, is not intelligible with Shanghaiese.
Zhangjiagang, Changsha and Kunshan may be intelligible with Suzhou, but data is lacking. Suzhou is only 43% intelligible with Wenzhou. None of these lects is intelligible with Shanghaiese.
Ningbo has good intelligibility with Shanghaiese, but not vice versa.
Reports vary on the intelligibility of Shanghaiese and Suzhou. Some say they understand each well, but that is probably not the case at first due to serious differences in tones. Intelligibility testing is needed.
Pudong, the older form of the Shanghai language, is still spoken in the Pudong District of the city, but it is dying out. There is a question of whether or not it is mutually intelligible with Shanghaiese, but Shanghaiese speakers seem to feel it is not mutually intelligible (Gilliland 2006).
Several lects are spoken in the suburbs of Shanghai. Reports vary, but Shanghai residents generally report that these lects are not mutually intelligible with Shanghaiese (Gilliland 2006).
They are Baoshan, Fengxian, Nanhui, Jiading, Jinshan, Pudong (or Chuansha) and Qingpu.
Hangzhou is reportedly much different from the lects of Shanghaiese, Ningbo, etc. to the northeast, and is not intelligible with Shanghaiese, nor with Suzhou. Hangzhou has 1.2 million speakers.
Changzhou and Wuxi are not intelligible with Shanghaiese or Suzhou. Changzhou and Wuxi have high, but not full, intelligibility. Changzhou and Wuxi are part of a dialect chain in which eastern Changzhou speakers can communicate with western Wuxi speakers, but as one moves further west into Wuxi or east into Changzhou, intelligibility drops off. Like Czech and Slovak, it is best then to split Wuxi and Changzhou into separate languages.
Changzhou itself has considerable dialectal divergence, though apparently all dialects are intelligible. Changzhou has 3 million speakers.
Yixing, near Changzhou, is not intelligible with Shanghaiese.
Jiangyin is spoken in Jiangyin city. It is related to Changzhou and has high intelligibility with Changzhou and Wuxi.
All of the above are in the Taihu Group.
Taizhou, centered around the city of Tuzhou in Eastern Zhejiang, is composed of 11 separate lects, all of which are separate languages, Huangyan (evidence), Jiaojiang, Linhai, Sanmen, Tiantai (evidence), Wenling (evidence), Ninghai (evidence), Xianju, Leqing (evidence), Yubei and Yuhuan (evidence). (Evidence for all).
A single subgroup of Wuzhou, Yiwu – contains 18 separate languages, all mutually unintelligible. We will call them Yiwu A, Yiwu B, Yiwu C, Yiwu D, Yiwu E, Yiwu F, Yiwu G, Yiwu H, Yiwu I, Yiwu J, Yiwu K, Yiwu L, Yiwu M, Yiwu N, Yiwu O, Yiwu P, Yiwu Q and Yiwu R for the time being.
Pucheng is a separate language. Pucheng has 2 dialects, Nampo and North Dabei. Intelligibility data is not known. Pucheng is so diverse that some say it is a language isolate and is not even a part of Wu (Norman 1988).
There are two groups of Southern Wu which are said to be both highly divergent and to have very low intelligibility internally. These groups are sometimes called Jinqu and Shangli.
Jinqu consists of at least 30 languages: Jinhua, Jinhua Xiaohuang, Tangxi, Lanxi, Pujiang, Yiwus A-R, Dongyang, Pan’an, Yongkang (evidence), Wuyi (evidence), Quzhou (evidence), Longyou and Jinyun. Lanxi has 660,000 speakers (Rickard 2006). Quzhou is apparently not intelligible with Wenzhou. Jinqu is roughly equivalent to the Wuzhou Group.
Shangli contains at least 18 languages: Shangrao City, Shangrao County, Guangfeng, Yushan, Kaihua, Changshan, Jiangshan, Lishui (evidence), Suichang , Songyang, Xuanping, Qingtian (evidence here and here), Yunhe, Jingning, Longquan, Qingyuan, Taishun and Pucheng.
This group is roughly equivalent to the Longqu and Chuzhou Groups of Chuqu. Some members of this group extend beyond Zhejiang and into northeastern Jiangxi and northern Fujian.
We are going to cautiously classify all of these lects as separate languages since they are said to be much more divergent and much less mutually intelligible than Taihu, and Taihu itself seems to have pretty low internal intelligibility.
Wenzhou (evidence) is a separate language.
Ouhai, Yongjia and Ruian appear to be dialects of Wenzhou, but all of them are probably separate languages, since if you go 5 miles in any direction in Wenzhou, there’s a new dialect, and it’s hard to understand people.
Wenzhou is 43% intelligible with Suzhou.
Wencheng (evidence) appears to be a separate language.
Wenxi is a separate language within Oujiang, not intelligible with Wenzhou. It is spoken in one town in Qingtian County.
Jinxiang also has its own Wu lect, with Mandarin influences. This is a Taihu (Northern Wu) outlier.
In addition, in Taishun County, there is also an aberrant Wu lect spoken in the town of Luoyang, influenced by both Manjiang and Oujiang Wu.
There is another Wu lect similar to Manjiang Eastern Min spoken in the town of Hedi in Qingyuan County in Lishui.
Manhua is quite different. There is a controversy over whether or not Manhua is Macro-Min or Macro-Wu. It is probably Macro-Wu based on phonology and it also shares some similar Min-like traits with other Wu lects such as those in the Chuqu group.
Within Manhua, there is a northern group spoken in the town of Yishan and a southern group spoken in the towns of Qianku and Jinxiang. Qianku is the standard for Manhua. The northern/southern divide may impede intelligibility, but we have no information yet.
Wuhu is a separate language, unintelligible with Shanghaihua.
Nanjing Wu is a separate language
Jiaxing, Shanghaiese, Suzhou, Wuxi, Songjiang, Tongxiang, Qidong, Lvsi, Yunhe and Kunshan are all in the Hujia Group of Taihu. The Hujia Group contains 32 lects.
Changzhou, Yixing, Jiangyin and Haimen are in the Piling Group of Taihu. Piling has 12 lects. Piling has 8 million speakers.
Wenzhou, Ouhai, Yongjia, Ruian and Wencheng are in the Oujiang Group of Taihu, which also contains 12 lects.
Hangzhou has its own group, the Hangzhou Group of Taihu.
Shaoxing, Fuyang, Xiaoshan, Linan, Yuyao and Zhuji are in the Linshao Group of Taihu which also contains 12 lects.
Fenghua and Zhoushan are in the Yongjiang Group of Taihu. The Yongjiang Group contains 11 lects and has 4 million speakers.
Changxing is in the Taioxi Group of Taihu, which has 5 lects.
The Taihu Group is composed of 75 separate lects, many or all of which are separate languages. Taihu has 47 million speakers.
Lishui, Qingyuan, Jingning, Jinyun and Taishun are in the Chuzhou group of Chuqu, which contains 9 lects. Chuzhou has 1.5 million speakers. Chuqu itself contains 35 separate lects.
Pucheng, Shangrao County, Shangrao City, Jiangshan, Songyang, Guangfeng, Longquan, Kaihua, Changshan, Suichang, Longyou, Yushan and Quzhou are members of the Longqu Group of Chuqu, which has 14 lects and 5 million speakers (Olson 1998).
The Yiwu languages, Dongyang, Jinhua, Jinhua Xiaohuang, Lanxi, Tangxi, Wuyi, Pan’an, Pujiang and Yongkang are all members of the Wuzhou Group, which contains 27 separate languages. Wuzhou has 4 million speakers.
Nanjing Wu is unclassified.
The various Wu languages have 85 million speakers.
Within Hui, there are at least six separate languages (Hirata 1998). Actually, there are many more.
Xidi, spoken in a village at the foot of Huangshan Mountain, is a separate language. Xidi is unintelligible even to villages a few miles away.
Tunxi, Wuyuan and Xiuning are separate languages. The first two are spoken in Anhui, but Xiuning is spoken in Jiangxi Province.
Within the Jingzhan Group of Hui, JingdeNingguo, Qimen, Chilingkou, (spoken in Chiling, Qimen County), Meixi Xiang, and Shitai are separate languages.
Within Qimen County itself, there are 6 different Hui lects, with low intelligibility between them. It is quite possible that we are talking about 6 different languages here. One of them appears to be Chilingkou above. The others we will just call: Qimen A, Qimen B, Qimen C, Qimen D and Qimen F. All except Meixi are spoken in Anhui Province. Meixi is spoken in Meixi, Jiangxi.
Jixi, Hongmen and Shexian are separate languages.
Within Shexian, there are two different languages that we will only call Shexian A and Shexian B for now. Jixi and the Shexian languages are spoken in Anhui.
Dexing and Dongzhi are separate languages, the first spoken in Jiangxi and the second spoken in Anhui.
In the Yanzhou Group of Hui, Jiande and Chunan are separate languages.
There are two other lects in the group, Suian and Shouchang. Chunan and Suian are very diverse and are in all probability separate languages. Shouchang is also extremely diverse, and Jiande has some differences with Shouchang.
The Yanzhou languages are interesting because there is controversy whether they are Wu or Hui languages. Careful examination reveals that they cannot be subsumed under Southern Wu due to their great divergence, despite having some similarities with Wu. Some authors feel that they are Hui-Wu merged lects, and their similarity with both is given as a reason for merging Wu and Hui into a supergroup.
While it is best to classify them as Hui, they are much different from most Hui lects. All are spoken in western Zhejiang. The Yanzhou Group has four languages. Discussion here.
Huangshan, Tunxi, Wuyuan and Xiuning are members of the Xiuyi Group of Hui, which has 6 lects.
Meixi, the Qimens, Chilingkou, Shitai, Ningguo and Jingde are members of the Jingzhan Group of Hui. Jingzhan has 12 lects, all of which are separate languages.
Jixi, Hongmen and the Shexians are members of the Jishe Group of Hui. The Jishe Group has 6 lects .
Dexing and Dongzhi are members of the Qide Group of Hui. The Qide Group has 5 lects.
Xidi is unclassified.
The various Hui languages have 3.2 million speakers . There are 34 different Hui lects, at least 24 of which are separate languages. There is a possibility that all Hui lects are separate languages, but that remains to be proven.
Cantonese is a major language spoken in the south of China. They are said to be a mix between the Yue people and the Han. They have great pride in their speech which appears to be closer to ancient Chinese than Mandarin is. When Sun Yat-Sen was President of Republican China, a vote was held on which language to base Standard Chinese on. Cantonese only lost by one vote in favor of Mandarin.
Some Cantonese activists denounce Mandarin as a pidgin language spoken Manchu and Mongol invaders glommed onto the Chinese of the people they conquered.
Attempts to determine intelligibility through the use of complex lexical, tonal, grammatical and phonological formulae produce results that are excessively high in terms of percentage of intelligibility. A better method is presented in Szeto 2000, in which sentences in other lects are played to speakers of Lect A, and speakers of Lect A are asked to give the basic meaning of the sentences played to them. A sentence is recorded as correct if the basic meaning was ascertained.
By this better method, Standard Cantonese has only 31.3% intelligibility of Siyi, 7.2% of Hakka, 2.7% of Teochew and 2.5% of Xiamen. This paper also highlights the very important role morphological and syntactic differences play in intelligibility, even apart from phonology and other factors.
In contrast, the more complex method not relying on actual informants gives false positives. By this method, Cantonese has 54.7% intelligibility of Hakka, 47.4% of Xiamen 43.5% of Teochew. This method falsely overestimates the intelligibility of Hakka by 7.6 X, of Teochew by 16.1 X and of Xiamen by 19 X.
Cantonese is traditionally said to have nine tones, but phonemically, there are only six tones, since the last three are just three of the first six with a voiceless stop consonant on the end. These are often called entering tones in traditional Chinese scholarship.
Entering tones have disappeared from most Mandarin lects, probably about 800 years ago due to the influence of invading Mongols speaking Turkic languages, but are still present in Cantonese, Hakka and Min. The original entering tones of Middle Chinese have merged into one or the other or Mandarin’s four tones.
Traditional Chinese tones or contour tones end in a vowel or a nasal. However, in Cantonese, the entering tone has retained its original short and sharp character from Middle Chinese, so in a sense, it has a different sound quality.
Besides Standard Cantonese (the Guangzhou lect in the Yuehai Group), there is Siyi, or Sze Yup, a separate language. Siyi has 8 dialects, however, there are reports that there are intelligibility problems within the Siyi lects.
In particular, Enping speakers cannot understand some other dialects. Therefore, Enping is a separate language.
Kaiping, or Chikan, is not fully intelligible with Enping until they get used to each others’ sounds. Kaiping is so different from Taishan that it is hard to imagine how they can communicate well, though there is partial intelligibility.
In Xinhui, there is a dialect called Hetang that is very divergent and has many strange features not found in other dialects. Doubtless it is less than fully intelligible with other Siyi lects.
Actually, there seems to be many more than 8 dialects of Siyi. In Taishan County alone, there are 20 townships there may be a different lect in each one. For certain, there are at least three distinct dialects of Taishan, Taishan A, Taishan B and Taishan C. Even the lects in Taishan County can be quite different. However, all lects in Taishan County appear to be mutually intelligible.
Xinhui is somewhat different from Taishan, but appears to be intelligible. Heshan is said to be intelligible with Xinhui and Taishan.
Nevertheless, there are calls from Taishan speakers to split their lect off from the rest of Siyi. If Taishanese is unintelligible with the rest of Siyi, this would make sense, but that does not appear to be the case.
150 years ago, there was less, but still significant, difference between Siyi and Sanyi (Standard Cantonese), but Siyi was disparaged as a “hill dialect” of poor farmers, while Sanyi was elevated as the prestige lect of the cultured and cosmopolitan. This is why Sanyi became the Standard Cantonese lect. The Siyi incorporated this negative view into their self-image even to the point where they held overseas meetings meeting in Sanyi speech.
There are 3.6 million speakers of Siyi.
Vietnamese Cantonese is quite different from Standard Cantonese, but it is nevertheless intelligible with it. Malay Cantonese is also quite different from Standard Cantonese. Intelligibility data between Malay Cantonese and Standard Cantonese is not known. Both are dialects of Cantonese.
Hong Kong is a dialect of Guangzhou. Foshan and Nanhai are close to Guangzhou and may be intelligible with it. Nanhai and Shunde are mutually intelligible.
Some say that Shunde and Zhongshan are intelligible with Standard Cantonese, but others disagree. This requires further study, as they are obviously close. However, both are said to at the same time be quite different from Standard Cantonese.
Even within Yuehai, Panyu is said to be a separate language (Chan 1981).
Namlong, a poorly understood lect from the Pearl River area, is also a separate language, or at least it was one in 1949. Whether it still exists is not certain, but speakers must still be alive. Yuehai itself has 31 separate lects.
Danija, the Cantonese lect of the Tanka fisherpeople who live on boats off the coast of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan, may well be a separate language.
In Hong Kong, another Cantonese language, Gashiau, is spoken by a group of fisherpeople related to the Danija. This language is related to Danija but apparently not intelligible with it.
Maihua, a Cantonese lect spoken on Hainan, may well be a separate language also.
Nanning is a dialect of Cantonese, easily understandable by a Standard Cantonese speaker.
However, Lizhou is a separate language, with difficult intelligibility with Standard Cantonese.
Dongguan and Zhanjiang (evidence), are separate languages.
Shiqi, spoken in Guangxi, is a separate language. Speakers of Standard Cantonese cannot necessarily understand Shiqi, but Shiqi people can understand Guangzhou. Shiqi is spoken in the urban part of Zhongshan City.
Huazhou is a very divergent Cantonese lect that is very hard even for other Cantonese speakers to understand. It is surely a separate language (evidence here and here).
Maoming is an extremely diverse Cantonese lect that must also be a separate language.
Beihai and Hepu are reported to be very different, but intelligibility data is not known, nor is it known to what extent these two lects differ from other Cantonese.
But the Quinlian Group of which they are members must surely be a separate language.
One division holds that the Standard Cantonese (Guangzhou), Siyi, Zhongshan, Gaoyang and Guangfu groups are mutually unintelligible groups.
The Goulou Group of Cantonese appears to be a separate language from all of the rest of Cantonese, and is probably in a group of its own away from the rest of Cantonese, and linked with Pinghua and Tuhua. Yulin is a representative lect in Goulou, and is said to present form of Chinese that is closest to Old Chinese.
Siyi has at least 11 dialects, includes the famous Taishanese (includes Taishan A, Taishan B and Taishan C), along with Heshan, Jiangmen, Siqian, Doumen, Xinhui, Enping and Kaiping.
Nanning is in the Yongxun Group of Cantonese, which has 12 lects.
Zhanjiang and Maoming are members of the Gaoyang Group of Cantonese, which has 10 lects. Gaoyang has 5.4 million speakers.
Dongguan, Shunde, Foshan, Zhongshan, Nanhai, Panyu and Hong Kong are members of the Guangfu Group of Cantonese, which has 31 lects. Guangfu has 13 million speakers.
Shiqi is a member of the Zhongshan Group of Cantonese , which contains at least 3 lects.
Huazhou is a member of the Wuhua Group of Cantonese, which has 2 lects.
Beihai and Hepu are members of the Quinlian Group of Cantonese, which has 6 lects.
Namlong is unclassified.
There are 100 lects of Cantonese, and Cantonese has 64 million speakers.
Pinghua, now recognized as a major split off from Cantonese, is composed of Guinan and Guibei, which are separate languages. The Guibei lects are very different, but we don’t have any intelligibility data.
Guinan has 22 lects, and Guibei has 8 lects .
There is one Pinghua lect that is unclassified.
Pinghua has 31 separate lects. Ping has 2 million speakers.
Tuhua is a separate branch of Chinese spoken in Guangdong and Hunan Provinces. It has 26 separate lects.
In addition to Tuhua Proper, the best known of the Tuhua lects is Shaozhou, referred to here as Shaozhou Proper. Shaozhou is said to be very different from other Chinese lects. Shaozhou itself consists of many different lects which are often strikingly different from the others. Some say that Shaozhou is a branch of Min Nan, while others say it is related to Hakka.
In Lechang prefecture, there are five separate languages, Lechang Tuhua 1, Lechang Tuhua 2, Lechang Tuhua 3, Lechang Tuhua 4 and Lechang Tuhua 5, which are not fully intelligible with each other.
Additionally, many Tuhua lects are starting to splinter recently as influences from Hakka, Cantonese and Southwest Mandarin begin to affect the younger speakers such that the language of the youngest speakers is quite a bit different from the language of the older speakers.
One of the Shaozhou Tuhua lects, Longgui Tuhua, spoken in Qujiang County in Guangdong, is a separate language. Longgui Tuhua has 2,000 speakers.
Actually, Tuhua is not really a language group, but a wastebasket group for various lects derisively referred to as “tuhua” – or “farmer’s language.”
Xianghua, said to be an unclassified Chinese lect, is actually a branch of Tuhua that contains 6 lects of its own. Xianghua is a completely separate and highly diverse language that is spoken in Western Hunan.
Jiahe Tuhua is a completely separate language, unintelligible with other lects. Furthermore, there are huge dialectal differences within Jiahe Tuhua that may or may not constitute separate languages.
Jiangyong Tuhua is divided into two mutually unintelligible languagesNorth Jiangyong Tuhua and South Jiangyong Tuhua (Leming 2004). It is spoken in the rural areas of Jiangyong County in Hunan Province. There are multiple lects within these two languages, which have considerable distance between them.
A subdialect of North Jiangyong Tuhua – the suburban, or “upper street language” dialect, was the basis for the famous nishu, “women’s script”, a secret language of women, originating from the Shangjiangxu (Xiao River) region of northeastern Jiangyong County in Hunan Province, of which much has been written lately.
Also in Hunan, in Guiyang County, another Tuhua language is spoken – Guiyang Tuhua. This is apparently a separate language, and the northern and southern variants are so divergent that they are separate languages also – Northern Guiyang Tuhua and Southern Guiyang Tuhua. In addition, there are a lot of diverse dialects within the two Guiyang Tuhua languages, but intelligibility data is lacking.
Yantang Tuhua, one of these dialects, may well be a separate language, as may Yangshi Tuhua. Jiangyong and Guiyang are in the Tuhua branch of Tuhua. Yantang and Yangshi are unclassified.
Furthermore, initial examination suggests that a number of things.
First of all, that the Tuhua lects, especially those of Southern Hunan, are very diverse, possibly as diverse as Wu, Xiang and Hui. Many or all of them may well be separate languages. Further, they are poorly studied and dialectally very diverse. There are many dialects inside the known Tuhua lects, and these dialects are often very different. So there appear to be languages inside even the known Tuhua lects.
Further, there appear to be links with the Tuhua lects of Southern Hunan, the Tuhua lects of northern Guangdong and the Ping lects of northern Guangxi, which border each other. They all appear to be related, and to have descended from a common ancestor.
Danzou is a separate language. Danzou is spoken in the northwest of Hainan, and Hainanese speakers cannot understand it. It is either related to the language spoken by the Lingao or is the same language. Yet the Danzou people speak 9 different lects, including lects described as Hakka, others described as Cantonese and others described as Mandarin.
Maojiahua is a form of Chinese spoken by 20,000 Hmong in southwest of Hunan, in the northeast of Guangxi and in some areas of Hubei. It is a separate language already recognized by Ethnologue, but is incorrectly lumped in with the Hmong languages by them.
Linghua is an unclassified Chinese lect spoken in Yongzhou in Hunan. Linghua is a separate language. It is apparently the same as the Yongzhou Tuhua dialect.
However, the Yongzhou Tuhua language has 17 different dialects: Yongzhou Tuhua A, Yongzhou Tuhua B, Yongzhou Tuhua C, Yongzhou Tuhua D, Lanshan Tushi Tuhua, Lanjiaoshan Tuhua, Xintian Southern Rural Tuhua, Xintian Northern Rural Tuhua, Ningyuan Zhangjia Tuhua, Ningyuan Pinghua, Lanshan Shangdong Tuhua, Lanshang Taiping Tuhua, Daoxian Xianglinpu Tuhua, Daoxian Xiaojia Tuhua, Shuangpai Lijiaping Tuhua and Jianghua Baimangying Tuhua.
Of these, Lanshan Tushi Tuhua may well be a separate language.
Intelligibility between lects is not known, but dialectal divergence within Tuhua lects is typically great, and some or all of the above may be separate languages.
Pingde Yahua or Kim Mun, incorrectly classed as an unclassified Chinese lect, is actually one of the Mien languages. It is not a Sinitic language.
Wutun, or Wutunhua, is a Chinese-Mongolian-Tibetan mixed language spoken by 2,000 Tu in Qinghai Province. Whether it is a form of Chinese is controversial. Until it is proven to be Sinitic, we will not list it here.

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