How the Catholic Church created democracy

From Spectator Coffee House

The difference family structure makes can be seen in the contrast between southern and northern Italy, where the rate of historic cousin marriage correlates highly with the Mafia index, corruption levels and even how much people cheat at school tests. This is why Sonny Corleone berates his brother for joining the army, those signing up being ‘a bunch of saps because they risk their lives for strangers’. As he tells his sibling: ‘Your country ain’t your blood.’ Millions of Germans, Britons and Americans fighting at the time would have strongly disagreed.

The author of the Nottingham study estimates that a 10 per cent increase in cousin marriage is associated with about a 3 percentage point lower democracy score, which has a huge implication, most of all for the Middle East. Many people have noticed a pattern between Islam and the failure of democracy but he concludes that religion is not the essential problem, rather it is the prevalence of cousin marriage. This is not the first paper to make this link between family type and religion.

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