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THOMAS HUXLEY ON GROUP COMPETITION AND ETHICS

Brenton Sanderson

Part 2 of 2
January 9, 2013

Huxley’s Ethics and Western Individualism

Our sense of individuality is acquired by the recognition that there are differences between us and other people, but in a cohesive group ruled by a monolithic shaming code everyone is mentally in sync with each other. The question then presents itself: if a tribe can increase its chance of survival by suppressing the individual through the imposition of a group-oriented shaming code, then how did Western societies in which individualism has been encouraged and, indeed, has become the basis of law and custom, emerge in the first place? Or, to put it in Huxley’s terms: how could human beings be free as individuals, and still cooperate enough to survive?

Political philosopher Michael Oakeshott stated the obvious when he observed that: “The disposition to regard a higher degree of individuality in conduct and in belief as the condition proper to mankind and as the main ingredient of human ‘happiness’, had become one the significant dispositions of the modern European character.”[i] Clearly, to emerge in the first place, Western individualism had to be adaptive at some level. In accounting for the historical emergence of the individualism and moral universalism of White people, some, like Kevin MacDonald, emphasize genetic factors (our unique evolutionary history as northern hunter-gatherers) while others, like Ricardo Duchesne, emphasize cultural factors. Genetic and cultural explanations are certainly not mutually exclusive. Regardless of its exact origins, Western individualism has undoubtedly been conducive to economic development, and the resultant boost in material living standards dramatically reduced child mortality and increased the human carrying capacity of Western nations by augmenting supplies of resources like clean water, food, clothing and housing.

In addition, Western individualism, acting in combination with the relatively high intelligence of White populations (the legacy of selection pressures imposed by the harsh European environment over millennia), facilitated an incredible explosion of creativity and invention in the arts and sciences. In his book Human Accomplishment Charles Murray makes the point that: “A major stream of human accomplishment is fostered by a culture that encourages the belief that individuals can act efficaciously as individuals, and enables them to do so.”[ii] This explosion of European creativity and invention from the Renaissance onwards provided the basis for the development of technologies that fuelled further economic development and dramatic improvements in material living standards. When the exclusive beneficiaries of this economic development were White populations in what were basically homogeneous White nations, Western individualism was highly adaptive and supportive of the group evolutionary interests of White populations.

Indeed, Western individualism has, throughout most of history, offered Whites an enormous advantage in facilitating the acquisition of resources and in aiding reproductive success. However, with the advent of mass third-world immigration and multiculturalism in the West over the last few decades, this is no longer the case. As I noted in my essay “Free to Lose” (The Occidental Quarterly, Fall 2011), the only time that Whites will be acting in their own evolutionary self-interest in embracing economic individualism will be when they either live in a racially homogeneous society where their group interests are not imperiled by the utility-maximizing behavior of individual Whites; or in a multi-racial society where competing racial groups do not exceed whites in their ethnocentrism; or they do exceed whites in their ethnocentrism, but lack the intelligence to capitalize on this by effectively employing altruistic group strategies in competition with individualistic whites. Unfortunately, the contemporary West corresponds to none of these scenarios.

While Western civilization as a whole has been strongly characterized by moral universalism and individualism, National Socialist Germany, during its brief existence, offered a prominent example of a European society that, like Judaism, employed a strong shaming code, and which imposed a set of practices aimed at socializing individuals into identifying strongly with the group. Noting the “eerie” parallels between National Socialist ideology and traditional Jewish ideology, Kevin MacDonald notes in Separation and Its Discontents that:

The National Socialist movement in Germany from 1933–1945 is a departure from Western tendencies toward universalism and muted individualism in the direction of racial nationalism and cohesive collectivism … characterized by several key features that mirrored Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. Most basically, National Socialism aimed at developing a cohesive group. There was an emphasis on the inculcation of selfless behavior and within-group altruism combined with outgroup hostility. … These anti-individualist tendencies can be seen in the Hitler Youth movement. … After 1936, membership was compulsory for children after their tenth birthday. A primary emphasis was to mold children to accept a group strategy of within-group altruism combined with hostility and aggression toward outgroups, particularly Jews. Children were taught an ideology of nationalism, the organic unity of the state, blind faith in Hitler, and anti-Semitism. Physical courage, fighting skills, and a warlike mentality were encouraged, but the most important aspect of education was group loyalty: “Faithfulness and loyalty irrespective of the consequences were an article of faith shared among wide sections of Germany’s youth” (Koch, 1976, 119). Socialization for group competition was strongly stressed, “all the emphasis centering on obedience, duty to the group, and helping within the group” (Koch 1976, 128). The ideology of National Socialism viewed the entire society (excluding the Jews) as a large kinship group – a “Volksgemeinschaft transcending class and creed” (Rempel 1989, 5). [iii]
As with Judaism, the National Socialists were obsessed with socializing group members into accepting group goals and the importance of within-group altruism and cooperation in attaining these goals. In Mein Kampf, Hitler states that the greatest strength of the Aryan race is their willingness to sacrifice self-interest to group goals, and that in the Aryan “the instinct of self-preservation has reached its noblest form, since he willingly subordinates his own ego to the life of the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it.”[iv] The success of the National Socialist inculcation of a group-oriented shaming code is indicated by the fact that, by some estimates, 95 per cent of young Germans remained committed to the war effort after the defeat at Stalingrad. The high level of selfless behavior among Germans during the war both as soldiers and support personnel clearly indicates that the indoctrination of young people with National Socialist ideology was quite successful and was causally responsible for self-sacrificing behavior.

A German soldier in 1945

While it is common for most White people to smugly assume that the ethnocentric tribal mindset is inferior to the individualism and moral universalism that has so characterized Western societies, this is a seriously mistaken assumption. The first law of the jungle states, that in the struggle for survival and supremacy, there are no rules. From a biological standpoint, anything that achieves victory is automatically self-justifying, and the reality is that the morally autonomous individualist stands little chance of surviving in the jungle. He who has neither tribe nor pack to defend him will perish. The idea that Western individualism is sophisticated and modern and represents a higher stage of social or psychological evolution is based on the naïve assumption that the White individualist lives, and will continue to live, in an environment where Huxley’s cosmic process (i.e. the law of the jungle) has been revoked. He does not have to struggle against bands of tribal fanatics. But what if mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism radically transform his society and he suddenly finds himself in the jungle once more?

Huxley’s Ethics and The Culture of Critique

Implicit in Huxley’s theory of ethics is that an effective form of group warfare would consist in subverting the shaming code of rival groups to fracture their cohesion and reduce their solidarity, and render them less effective competitors in the struggle for survival. The Jewish intellectual movements discussed in The Culture of Critique were centrally preoccupied with undermining the traditional ethical precepts (and shaming codes) of Western societies, thereby rendering them less effective competitors to Jews for access to resources and reproductive success. Each of the movements sought to overturn the established expectation whereby, as Huxley notes, each man “should be mindful of his debt to those who have laboriously constructed it [their society]; and shall take heed that no act of his weakens the fabric in which he has been permitted to live.”[v]

MacDonald makes the point that no evolutionist should be surprised that “intellectual activities of all types may at bottom involve ethnic warfare, any more than one should be surprised at the fact that political and religious ideologies typically reflect the interests of those holding them.”[vi] Based on his evolutionary theory of ethics, Huxley would have undoubtedly accepted this proposition as self-evidently true. According to the philosopher and writer, Bryan Magee, almost all the intelligent Jews of his acquaintance accepted that Judaism, while literally untrue, amounted to a highly effective group evolutionary strategy:

Of the religions I studied, the one I found least worthy of intellectual respect was Judaism. I have no desire to offend any of my readers, but the truth is that while reading foundational Jewish texts I often found myself thinking: “How can anyone possibly believe this?” When I put that question to Jewish friends they often said that no intelligent Jew did. To quote the precise words of one: “There’s not a single intelligent Jew in the country who believes the religion.” What they do believe, they tell me, is that it is desirable that traditional observances be kept by at least some Jews because it is these observances more than anything else that give the Jewish people its identity, and therefore its cohesion; but that the doctrinal content or implications of the observances are not expected to be taken with full intellectual seriousness by intelligent people.[vii]

All of the Jewish intellectual movements featured in The Culture of Critique encouraged the subversion of the traditional Western socialization of children (i.e. its tribal shaming code). Boasian anthropology sought, for example, to overturn established notions regarding the importance of racial differences, and therefore the perceived need to maintain immigration restrictions, and to instil a strong racial identity in White children and a strong aversion to miscegenation as part of their socialisation. The subversive doctrines of Freudian psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School likewise promoted the replacement of the traditional Western shaming code (based on racial pride and Christian values) with a new politically correct shaming code that amounts to a recipe for White suicide. Roger Scruton points out how this new ethical paradigm

while exhorting us to be as “inclusive” as we can, to discriminate neither in thought, word, nor deed against ethnic, sexual or behavioural minorities … encourages the denigration of what is felt to be especially ours. … The gentle advocacy of inclusion masks the far-from-gentle desire to exclude the old excluder: in other words to repudiate the cultural inheritance that defines us as something distinct from the rest. The “down with us” mentality is devoted to rooting out old and unsustainable loyalties. And when the old loyalties die, so does the old form of membership. … We who live in the amorphous and multicultural environment of the postmodern city must open our hearts and minds to all cultures, and be wedded to none.[viii]

This was undoubtedly the intended consequence of the promotion of radical individualism as the epitome of psychological health by the Jewish ethnic activists of the Frankfurt School. The psychologically healthy White person was held by them to be an individual who has broken free from traditional Western shaming code, and who realized their human potential without relying on membership in collectivist groups. Frankfurt School theorist Erich Fromm argued, for instance, in his book The Sane Society (1956) that: “Mental health is characterized by the ability to love and create, by the emergence from incestuous ties to clan and soil, by a sense of identity based on one’s experience of self as the subject and agent of one’s powers, by the grasp of reality inside and outside of ourselves, that is, by the development of objectivity and reason.” [ix]According to Fromm’s criteria, virtually no Jew would be considered to be mentally healthy. The embrace of radical individualism among non-Jews, promoted by the likes of Fromm, was, not surprisingly, very conducive to the continuation of Judaism as a cohesive group.

Most importantly, to effectively undermine the traditional shaming code that sustained the traditional White family, and Western civilization more broadly, movements like Freudian psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School needed to promote a revolution in the traditional Western family structure and in child-rearing practices. This revolution has occurred, and has had dire consequences for White group interests. MacDonald notes that: “Applied to gentile culture, the subversive program of psychoanalysis would have the expected effect of resulting in less-competitive children; in the long term, gentile culture would be increasingly characterised by low-investment parenting, and … there is evidence that the sexual revolution inaugurated, or at least greatly facilitated, by psychoanalysis has indeed had this effect.”[x]

Roger Scruton notes that the assault on the family from the 1960s on was part of a great cultural shift from the affirmation to the repudiation of inherited values. “Wilhelm Reich, R.D. Laing, Aaron Esterson, and radical psychotherapists of their persuasion see the family as a burden imposed by the past: a way in which parents encumber their offspring with an inheritance of defunct authority. Schizophrenia, in Laing’s view, arises because the Self is made Other by the parental imposition of dysfunctional norms.”[xi] Inevitably, these dysfunctional norms were the traditional family structure and regulative ideas of Western societies. Following the path laid out by these intellectuals, “radical feminism has set out to deconstruct the family entirely, exposing at as an instrument of male domination, and advocating new kinds of ‘negotiated’ union in its place.” This radical deconstruction of the traditional Western family structure was never accompanied by an analogous deconstruction and critique of the traditional Jewish family structure and its regulative ideas. Scruton observes how under the new politically correct shaming code

permission turns to prohibition, as the advocacy of alternatives gives way to a war against the former orthodoxy. The family, far from enjoying the status of a legitimate alternative to the various “transgressive” postures lauded by the elite, is dismissed out of hand as a form of oppression. … Like Marxism, feminism purports to show us the world without ideological masks or camouflage. Its repudiating zeal is not, as a rule, directed against Islam or the cultures of the East. It is directed against the West, and its message is “down with us.”[xii]

Given the existence of significant differences between Jews and non-Jews in mean IQ (and associated differential propensities toward high-investment parenting), there is, as MacDonald notes, every reason to suppose that Jews and non-Jews have very different interests in the construction of culture. This is because Jews are relatively less dependent on the preservation of cultural supports for high-investment parenting compared to non-Jews.

Accordingly, the consequences of the erosion of traditional Western shaming code which enforced constraints on sexuality (the result of the triumph of the psychoanalytic and radical critiques of Western culture since the 1960s) have been far more deleterious to those lower-IQ non-Jewish groups that are genetically predisposed to precocious sexuality than to diaspora Jews (greater intelligence being correlated with later age of marriage, lower levels of illegitimacy, and lower levels of divorce) (see also Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960–2010and “The Dissolution of the family among non-elite Whites“). The result has been the establishment of a society controlled by a Jewish “cognitive elite” who politically, economically and socially dominate “a growing mass of individuals who are intellectually incompetent, irresponsible as parents, prone to requiring public assistance, and prone to criminal behavior, psychiatric disorders, and substance abuse.”[xiii]

Meanwhile, at the other end of the social spectrum, Jewish ethnic activists have been able to recruit the most intellectually capable elements from within White populations and use them as foot soldiers in a relentless campaign against their own kind. The practice of using Europeans in this fratricidal way is not without historical precedent. Through their control of the dissemination of information in the West, Jews have reinstituted a version of the Devçirme practiced for centuries by the Ottoman Empire. Devçirme is the Turkish word for the process of stealing the best, brightest, fittest, and handsomest boys from their non-Muslim subject populations. The Turks had no compunction in stealing European children, mostly from the Balkans, forcibly converting them, training them to be fanatical and ruthless warriors (the famous Janissaries), and employing them to suppress the communities of their biological origin.

Painting depicting children stolen from the Balkans under the Ottoman system of Devçirme

From the point of view of Huxley’s cosmic process, the system of Devçirme was a machine of ruthless efficiency in the struggle for survival and supremacy, and it was an important part of enormous power the Ottoman Empire was able to wield for centuries. In the modern Jewish version of Devçirme, the best and brightest White youth are brainwashed through the media and in educational establishments, and trained to be fanatical intellectual warriors to be used to suppress communities of their own biological origin. The ongoing loyalty of these elite intellectual warriors is then sustained through a perverted system of incentives in the world of academia that rewards White scholars who harm the interests of their own people. Similar processes occur in the media and politics.

For tribal groups with small populations like the Jews, there are big evolutionary advantages to creating artificial tribes based on ideology – providing these artificial tribes do not compromise the cohesiveness of the original ethnic group. The artificial tribe can be used to work for the interests of the biological tribe, and, as in the Ottoman example, the creation of artificial tribes allows the original tribe to tap into the biological reservoir of the peoples and tribes they have under their control. By stealing European boys and instilling in them the shaming code of the Janissary, the Ottomans could create an army that far surpassed the manpower that even the largest blood tribe could produce. Similarly, by intellectually capturing and mobilizing the cognitive elite of White societies, Jews — who are only a tiny fraction of Western populations — have created a vast intellectual army of Whites fighting aggressively for Jewish interests.

Conclusion

The demographic transformation of the West through displacement-level non-White immigration will bring Huxley’s cosmic process increasingly to the fore, and as the law of the jungle based on group competition becomes an ever more prominent feature of Western life, White people — despite the incessant multicultural propaganda, the legal strictures, and the perverted system of rewards and punishments in place — will inevitably begin to behave more like tribal actors once again. The increasing racialization of American politics is evidence that this process is already well under way.

The real danger is that White people do not make this transition quite quickly enough. Until Western societies cross a demographic threshold (perhaps the point where Whites are consigned to minority status) the majority of Whites will continue to try to minimise the threat posed by the steady return to the law of the jungle. They will try to explain it away, or simply deny it. They will continue to make concessions (economic, legal and cultural) to non-White groups in the hope of placating the ever-growing and increasingly emboldened non-White communities in their midst. They will continue to resist all efforts of White partisans to enlist them to their cause.

The London riots: a taste of what’s to come for Western societies?

Yet as the demographic crisis deepens, those White people who refuse to stop playing the role of the morally autonomous individualist will find themselves increasingly friendless in an world full of enemies, until the day comes when they too must choose sides and embrace the tribal ethos of Us versus Them. The inevitable consequence of the return to the law of the jungle — even for those Whites who have been brainwashed to regard their own demise as a moral imperative — is the reawakening of the tribal mind.

If there are other tribes in my vicinity that hate me because they see me a member of an enemy tribe, then my only hope of security lies in standing firmly with my own tribe. As the old adage goes, there is safety in numbers. What good would it do for me to assure those who hate my tribal identity that I am not really a member of my tribe, but an individual, capable of moral autonomy? The White person who insists on remaining a “rational” individualist when his world has reverted to the ways of the jungle is not, in fact, acting rationally. Rationality, at this point requires group solidarity. To survive in a dog-eat-dog world you must run in packs — and the tribe is your pack. Rationality therefore dictates the surrender of moral autonomy and the embrace of the tribe.

[i] Michael Oakeshott, “The masses in representative democracy,” In: Rationalism on politics and other essays (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1991), 366.
[ii] Murray, Human Accomplishment, 394.
[iii] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 161-162.
[iv] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. by James Murphy (Bottom of the Hill, 2010), 255.
[v] Huxley, “Evolution and Ethics,” 24.
[vi] MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, 18.
[vii] Bryan Magee, Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper (New York: Randon House, 1999), 347.
[viii] Roger Scruton, The West and the Rest (London: Continuum, 2002), 72-73.
[ix] Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (London & New York: Routledge, 1956/1991), 67.
[x] MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, 151.
[xi] Scruton, The West and the Rest, 70-71.
[xii] Ibid.
[xiii] MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, 151.

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