Kevin MacDonald’s Individualism & The Western Liberal Tradition Part 8: Why Are Whites Canceling Each Other?Ricardo Duchesne
Do you know why Europeans across the political spectrum — liberals, conservatives, socialists — are morally committed to a politics that is leading to the dissolution of their millennial racial identities while promoting the racial identities of non-white immigrants within their own nations?
There are many answers out there: whites have been brainwashed by elites in control of our schools, media, and government institutions; the importation of immigrants is a strategic ploy by Leftist parties to create a permanent bloc of immigrant voters; corporations are looking for cheap labor and real estate development.
But the deeper answer puts the blame right in front of whites themselves: immigrant diversity is rooted in a culture that takes the individual as its basic ontological principle, disparaging any form of ethnic nationalism among whites in favor of the rights of all humans to become citizens of European nations. The Western ideals of individualism, egalitarianism, and moral universalism are the ultimate causes.
White Moral Communities
In our extended review of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, we have seen that for Kevin MacDonald, individualism is the core principle of Western civilization. The root of this principle is the separation of the individual from kin-based ties. It would seem, then, that MacDonald would hold this separation responsible for the plight of whites today. His answer to this question, however, goes beyond a straightforward blaming of liberalism. The West today is not dominated by free-wheeling individuals. It is dominated by extremely powerful “moral communities” in the media, universities, “civil rights” organizations, political parties, and business groups. These moral communities are “pervasive throughout the institutional structures of the West.” The “conventional morality and intellectual discourse” of the West is dominated by “Leftist ideologies of race and ethnicity.” While the “cohesion” of these communities is not grounded in ethnic ties, it is still “tribal” in the sense that those who dissent from its values are “socially ostracized” and curtailed in their ability to make a living.
These moral communities, moreover, are not bereft of a biological basis — they are anchored in an evolved psychological need humans have to seek a “social identity” inside groups where they are positively valued. The members of these moral communities are no less inclined than kin groups to view outgroup members in negative terms. The negatively evaluated outgroup is defined primarily as a white who has an ingroup attachment to his ethnic group or race. The individual rights of those who dissent from these moral communities can be curtailed since they are members of a hated outgroup.
While the moral communities of whites are not based on kinship ties but on morally approved principles, MacDonald brings up research studies, including his own, showing that ingroup favoritism and discrimination against outgroups remain very powerful biological drives. Experiments have shown that Western individualists will favor their own group even when those groups are “constructed using random labels for ingroup and outgroup. . . and even if there are no conflicts of interest between the groups.” The need to identify with a group, to wish to be validated by ingroup members and discriminate against outgroup members, is an evolved result of natural selection and it is a tendency that continues to prevail among whites despite their condemnation of biologically based identities. The mental processing that goes on in the expression of these identities is “not the result of conscious reflection, but more like an innate psychological reflex.”
In the same vein, MacDonald draws a distinction between implicit and explicit processing of social or ingroup identities among whites. Just as whites have an instinctive need to form ingroups that exclude outsiders, they have an instinctive inclination to prefer members of their own race, as is evident in white flight, choice of neighborhoods and schools, and in what some have identified as “stuff white people like.” But since these biases are prohibited in white communities, these behaviors are manifested implicitly rather than expressed consciously or explicitly. Whites have been socialized to control their ethnocentric tendencies. Their evolved ethnocentric inclinations are thus kept in check by their conscious “higher brain centers located in the cortex,” which is the area of the brain that reasons and assimilates the values of society. Since Western culture is “hostile to white ethnocentrism,” the higher brain inhibits the instinctive ethnocentrism of whites.
White moral communities also provide lucrative jobs, security, and emotional comfort to white individuals who abide by the ideological rules. We are not dealing with ethereal beings motivated by high-minded principles. Those who engage in “competitive virtue signaling” are self-interested creatures with highly charged emotional feelings of moral righteousness. These feelings are very pleasurable, and may lead to an irrational addiction to incessant moral approval from one’s ingroup members. MacDonald cites an authority about “the pleasure of knowing, with subjective certainty, that you are right and your opponents are deeply, despicably wrong. . . that your method of helping others is so purely motivated and correct that all criticism can be dismissed with a shrug, along with any contradicting evidence.”
In other words, to understand why whites are so vehemently obsessed with diversity and so keen on (or at least indifferent to) their own replacement, one needs to keep in mind the powerful economic incentives and emotional comforts that characterize the supposedly “conscientious” communities of whites. The “empathy” whites have for non-whites is backed up by “a very elaborate infrastructure” that provides multiple opportunities for whites. Whites have been “incentivized” economically and emotionally.
Some in the Dissident Right think the way to overcome these moral communities is to encourage whites to exhibit stronger ethnic identities just like blacks and other minorities. But this message would go against the central thesis of MacDonald’s book, which is that white individualism has a genetic basis. The moral communities whites created in the past were not antithetical to their interests, but were indeed the most successful communities created in history — the basis of immense achievements. As I argued in earlier parts, following MacDonald’s line of thought, the city-states created by the ancient Greeks, the incredibly successful republican form of government created by the Romans, and the highly dominant nation-states of modern Europe can all be seen as “moral communities” created beyond the old tribal and highly nepotistic communities of non-whites.
Personality of whites
This chapter has a very insightful section showing that whites have unusual personality traits. Insomuch as whites developed relations with wider tribal networks and went on to create city-states and institutions based on merit, their concern for reputation did not end “at the border of the family and the wider kinship group.” Whites sought “a moral reputation as capable, honest, trustworthy and fair” in the wider society and nation. There were evolutionary pressures for conscientiousness, responsibility, reliability, trustworthiness, dutifulness, and honesty outside the kin group. It is not accidental that all the moral philosophies seeking concepts with universal validity (fairness, impartiality, due process) were developed by whites.
I can’t recall a historian of civilizations writing about this fundamental contrast in personalities. Modernization theorists in the 1950s identified these personality traits as products of modernity per se. Educational experts and aid packages were lauded as the way to create multiple Switzerlands in the African continent. But personality systems run deep. Corruption and ethnic nepotism are pervasive in modernized Third World nations.
This lack of trust beyond the kinship group is the fundamental problem that prevents the development of civil societies in much of Asia and Africa, where divisions into opposing religious and ultimately kinship groups define the political landscape. People who have good jobs are expected to help their relatives, leading to high levels of corruption.
But if we can’t remake our personalities in an African way, how are we going to counter the suicidal moral communities of the West? MacDonald’s answer is that whites do have an implicit inclination to favor their own race, to be ethnocentric. The problem is that the Left controls the moral communities. These communities were not anti-white in the recent past. But the “culture of critique” is currently in charge of “programming the higher areas of the brain” of whites, so the explicit culture is continually suppressing the “implicit ethnocentric tendencies of white people.” This is what the ADL and the SPLC are about: policing the thoughts and behavior of whites while promoting the ethnic interests of Jews.
MacDonald anticipates that as whites become aware of their “impending minority status” this will trigger white ethnocentrism. Whites will come to the realization that their culture of individualism, rule of law, and social trust require them to create moral communities that are “adaptive in a Darwinian sense.” Whites will come to the realization that in nations that are committed to multiculturalism and the celebration of the ingroup identities of non-whites, their only hope for survival is to create strong ingroups based on moral principles that value white history, traditions, and family — and exclude those who seek the destruction of whites.
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