Psychology and White Ethnocentrism.
Posted by Matt Nuenke on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 03:12 PM
Following are excerpts from Kevin MacDonald’s article Psychology and White Ethnocentrism. The complete article is available from this site: Links> General> Occidental Quarterly> “Psychology and White Ethnocentrism.”
MacDonald is in my estimation the most aggressive and prodigious academic today fighting for White preservation. As an evolutionary psychologist, he has a rationalist approach as to how Whites behave, our universal moralism, our current state of egalitarianism, and how we may eventually, under the strain of resource competition, find our selves again as a threatened race. No guarantees, just some insights on how Whites are different from other races.
The Occidental Quarterly
The bottom line, then, is that as children get older they become increasingly aware of the official explicit racial ideology, and they conform to it. Their prefrontal centers of inhibitory control are becoming stronger, so that they are better able to inhibit their relatively positive attitudes about their own group. At the explicit level, they are free from any negative attitudes toward nonwhite groups and may even be politically liberal or radical. At the same time, however, they are “voting with their feet” by choosing friends and companions of the same race.
And their parents are doing the same thing. I have noted that liberals show a greater gap between explicit attitudes and implicit attitudes and behavior than do conservatives. Indeed, while highly educated white parents tend to have liberal explicit attitudes on racial issues, including the desirability of school integration, a recent study shows that these same highly educated whites seek out schools that are racially segregated and are more likely to live in racially segregated neighborhoods. There is a positive correlation between the average education of white parents and the likelihood that parents will remove their children from public schools as the percentage of black students increases. Michael Emerson, an author of the study, is quite aware of the gap between explicit attitudes and behavior: “I do believe that white people are being sincere when they claim that racial inequality is not a good thing and that they’d like to see it eliminated. However, ... their liberal attitudes about race aren’t reflected in their behavior.”
The flip side of this is that less affluent whites are more likely to have explicitly illiberal attitudes on racial issues that are condemned by elites. Yet they are also more likely to actually live in racially integrated areas and send their children to racially integrated schools, presumably due to financial constraints.
pg. 030—As shown by the example of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, being able to defend rationally the ideas and attitudes that bring moral condemnation is not sufficient to defuse the complex negative emotions brought on by this form of ostracism. One might think that just as the prefrontal control areas can inhibit ethnocentric impulses originating in the subcortex, we should be able to inhibit these primitive guilt feelings. After all, the guilt feelings ultimately result from absolutely normal attitudes of ethnic identity and interests that have been delegitimized as a result of the erection of the culture of critique in the West. It should be therapeutic to understand that this culture was instituted by people who typically retained a strong sense of their own ethnic identity and interests. And it should help assuage guilt feelings if we understand that this culture is now maintained by people seeking material advantages and psychological approval at the expense of their own ethnic interests. The guilt feelings are nothing more than the end result of ethnic warfare, pursued at the level of ideology and culture instead of on the battlefield.
Getting rid of guilt and shame, however, is certainly not an easy process. Psychotherapy for white people begins with an explicit understanding of the issues that allows us to act in our interests, even if we can’t entirely control the negative feelings engendered by those actions.
Evolutionary theorist Robert Trivers has proposed that the emotion of guilt is a sign to the group that a person will mend his ways and behave in the future. Shame, on the other hand, functions as a display of submission to people higher in the dominance hierarchy. From that perspective, a person who is incapable of shame or guilt even for obvious transgressions is literally a sociopath — someone who has no desire to fit into group norms. As noted above, sociopaths are at the low end of Conscientiousness, and there was doubtless strong selection against sociopathy in the small groups that we evolved in, especially among the individualistic peoples of the West. The trustworthy cooperators with excellent reputations won the day.
pg. 031—In attempting to find a way out of this morass, therefore, changing the explicit culture is critical. To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign slogan, it’s the explicit culture, stupid. Changing the explicit culture won’t be easy, but I suggest that the first step is a psychological one: Proud and confident explicit assertions of ethnic identity and interests among white people, and the creation of communities where such explicit assertions are considered normal and natural rather than a reason for ostracism. The fact that such assertions appeal to our implicit psychology is certainly an asset. It’s always easier to go with a natural tendency than to oppose it. And in this case, opposing our natural ethnocentric tendencies by using our quintessentially human prefrontal inhibitory control against our own ethnic interests is nothing less than a death sentence.
APPENDIX: BIOLOGICAL ROOTS OF ETHNOCENTRISM
In other words, people have an interest in their ethnic group in exactly the same way that parents have a genetic interest in raising their children: In raising their children, parents ensure that their unique genes are passed on to the next generation. But in defending ethnic interests, people are doing the same thing — ensuring that the genetic uniqueness of their ethnic group is passed into the next generation. When parents of a particular ethnicity succeed in rearing their children, their ethnic group also succeeds because the genetic uniqueness of their ethnic group is perpetuated as part of their child’s genetic inheritance. But when an ethnic group succeeds in defending its interests, individual members of the ethnic group also succeed because the genetic uniqueness that they share with other members of the ethnic group is passed on. This is the case even for people who don’t have children: A person succeeds genetically when his ethnic group as a whole prospers.
A quick look at the historical record shows that conflict between tribal groups has been common throughout human history. Cooperative defense by tribal peoples is universal and ancient and it is bound to have boosted the genetic fitness of those who acted to further the interests of their group. Under such circumstances it would be odd indeed if natural selection did not mold the human mind to be predisposed to ethnocentrism. Of course, this fact does not tell us what psychological mechanisms actually evolved to promote ethnocentrism or how these mechanisms can be controlled by inhibitory mechanisms located in the prefrontal cortex. For that, we will have to turn to the empirical research.
Genetic Similarity Theory: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
People not only assort positively for a wide variety of traits, they do so most on traits that are more heritable — that is, the traits that have a relatively strong genetic influence. This means that when you select a genetically similar spouse, your children are more similar to you than they would be if (God forbid!) you had chosen your spouse at random. Moreover, identical twins have more similar spouses and friends than do fraternal twins. Genetic differences therefore influence the tendency to assort with similar others. In other words, some of us are more attracted to genetically similar spouses and friends than others, and this tendency is influenced genetically.
The implication is that when there is a choice to be made whether in marriage, friendship, or other type of alliance, all things being equal, we are more likely to choose similar others as a way of enhancing the benefits of relationships and lessening the risks.
pg. 035—Indian subjects were more than twice as likely to decide to take the ticket in order to fulfill their family obligation (around 80 percent to 40 percent). Children in the United States, on the other hand, tended to say that the man should not steal the train ticket because stealing violates principles of justice that apply to everyone. For children from India, morality is defined by the needs of the family. For children in the United States, morality is defined more by abstract principles of justice.
Individualism forms the basis of Western success, but it also implies that the control of ethnocentrism among white people is relatively easy. As discussed in the body of this paper, this does not imply that white people lack ethnocentrism. But it does imply that controlling ethnocentrism among whites is easier because they are relatively less attached to their people and culture than the vast majority of other humans.
Individualism/ collectivism is very likely to have a biological basis because of its widespread ramifications in the areas of kinship relationships, marriage, and the development of civil societies that define Western modernism. My theory is that this suite of traits is the result of a long history of evolution in northern climates.