Thursday, July 10, 2014

My inbred Self

"The Scotch-Irish were stubbornly independent, even cantankerous — exactly the raw material George Washington wanted for his army. A Hessian officer even styled the American Revolution as 'nothing more or less than a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian rebellion,' while Washington himself said, 'If defeated everywhere else, I will make my last stand for liberty among the Scotch-Irish of my native Virginia.'" - Frank F. Burns

I am mostly Scots-Irish. Tennessee and Kentucky hillbilly. Redneck. Before Tennessee and Kentucky, Virginia. Before that, Border Reivers on the border between England and Scotland. (By the way, the Reivers wore steel helmets ("steel honnets") and did not wear kilts or paint themselves.)

Now one of the things I find interesting is that none of the men in my family - and that includes my ancestors - have worked for others. We work for ourselves. I decided long ago this is constitutional - genetic. How I do not know. But all of us are too independent to work for others.

I did the college degree thing. I still ended up working for myself.

This characteristic is apparently a characteristic of my Scots-Irish ancestors. How this happened, I do not know.

There are other odd things. I prefer it rather cloudy. I also prefer hills and trees. The first time my parents took to the Ozarks in southern Missouri I felt right at home.

I decided years ago these things are constitutional, i.e., inborn in me. Again, how this happened I do not know. But there had to be some kind of inbreeding to get these characteristics - especially the fact that every man in my extended family, dumb and smart both, works for himself.

There is part of us that wants to be free and part of us that wants to be a slave. Even Aristotle wrote of "natural slaves."

Some people, apparently, would rather be slaves, and others, more free than slave. I understand the latter viewpoint much more than I understand the former.

I also do not know how much of us is supposed to be "genetic." I keep hearing around 50%. If this is true, clearly there are ethnic groups in this country who should not be there, and we sure shouldn't be importing any more of them. Perhaps many of them are Aristotle's "natural slaves." The kind who expect the government to take care of them and so will destroy the country.


Anonymous said...

My ancestors are Old Prussian; Baltic people. A thousand years ago it was said of the Old Prussians that they would not suffer a king. If my family is any indication little has changed in those thousand years.

Glen Filthie said...

I don't think your independence came from the Scots or Irish Bob. Neither are known for their entrepreneurial aptitudes and if you want to be honest about it both countries have a history of intolerance of businessmen. If you went back to Scotland or Ireland I think you would be deeply disappointed in them. I regard them as sullen, shiftless, and can see how the British easily subjugated them. Anyone with any spunk and intellect got out generations ago.

AAB said...

"Neither are known for their entrepreneurial aptitudes"

Glen, the modern chemical industry and shipping industries were basically born in Scotland. And don't forget the Adam Smith, who's considered the founding father of Capitalism, was a Scot.

Here are some famous Scots inventors:
James Watt (1736–1819): the steam engine

Born in Greenock. Changed Scotland from an agricultural society to an industrial one. He provided the power for industry to develop. The electrical unit is named after him.

William Murdoch (1754–1839): gas lighting

Born in Lugar, Ayrshire. He invented the steam tricycle, steam cannon and waterproof paint.

James Young (1811–1883): discovered paraffin oil

Born in Glasgow. He invented way of extracting paraffin from oil-rich shale and coal and established world's first oil works in Bathgate. Made his fortune selling paraffin oil, wax and even fertilisers.

Lord Kelvin (1824–1907): thermodynamics

Attended the University of Glasgow at the young age of 10 years. He developed the science of thermodynamics and formulated the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature. He was the supervisor for the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable.

John Boyd Dunlop (1840–1921): modern tyre

Born in Dreghorn in Ayrshire. He invented the idea of an inflated rubber tube, which led to the creation of the Dunlop Rubber Company.

Unknown said...

The Scottish Enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

Bob, this is an older post and maybe you'll never see it, but I'll inquire anyway. I thought you said that your mother is of German ancestry.

Unknown said...

My mother had a German last name from her half-German grandfather, who married a Scots-Irish woman from the Ozarks. So if you want to look at it that way, I'm about one-eighth German and the rest is Scots-Irish.