It should be fairly obvious to readers that I’m not not a populist nor do I have ‘solidarity’ with populist/collectivist causes, whether it be organized religion, organized labor, political parties, or the ‘middle class’. Individualism within a ‘state‘ and enforcement of ‘rule of law’ (the minarchist approach) is my ‘interpretation’ of ‘Reaction’. Yours may differ.
The response by the ‘alt right’ to Kevin Williamson’s ‘mean’ NRO article read like something from Huffingtonpost, Alternet, or MotherJones. There seems to be a common thread among some on the ‘far right’ between post-structuralism and anarcho-primitivism, in rejecting certain aspects of modernity (the cognitive & financial elite and free market capitalism, for example), the result being a sort of anti-establishment liberalism.
Perhaps Kevin raised some valid points about the need for individuals and communities to bear some responsibility for their blighted economic and social conditions. Even if biology (low IQs , high time preference, etc) impairs the ability of some to improve their lives, it doesn’t mean we have to feel sorry for them – or even concern. In much the same way a wildlife photographer doesn’t mourn a cheetah taking down a gazelle, Social Darwinism shouldn’t make us too ill at ease either.
But on the other hand, the importance community and nation cannot be ignored, but I don’t take the noblesse oblige concept as far as he does. Maybe the hierarchy is like this:
Nation > state > community > family > individual
There is probably some optimal balance between individualism and community, as well as how much of a ‘duty’ the well-off have to help the disadvantaged, which I discuss in further detail in Against Intellectualism.
As I explain in Pencil Pushers these cognitive meanies happen to create the jobs that give these mediocre people livable wages, as going out your ‘own’ is not only much harder, but pays less. This is not even econ 101; it’s common sense.
We can offer advice, as Kevin does, and whether they choose to heed it in their hands or genes.
Scott agrees with Free Northerner, writing:
….Second, a bunch of atheist homosexual polyamorous feminist liberals are doing absolutely fine, and in fact statistically these people do better than traditional religious folk in a lot of ways. Northerner’s post solves both of these in one fell swoop: it theorizes that the genetically gifted have low impulsivity, low time-preference, etc and will succeed (almost) no matter what; these people support liberalism because they don’t need traditional morals and feel like such morals are bogging them down. The genetically unlucky are in great danger of social failure, but traditional values and culture are a guide for them to live their lives in ways that nevertheless let them flourish. For example, an upper-class Ivy Leaguer might be able to practice free love and experiment with drugs without serious consequences; a lower-class hillbilly might try exactly the same thing and end up a teenage single mother addicted to meth. Conservative ideas like chastity and avoiding drugs would be useless baggage tying the upper class down, but vital to the lower class’s continued success. This idea is very appealing in tying a lot of conservatives’ favorite hobby-horses together and making liberals look like the privileged bad guys throwing the lower class under the bus for the sake of the well-off, but thus far people have been content to raise it and let it speak for itself; the next step is for somebody to really start presenting evidence for or against….
The myth cosmopolitan elite vs. the poor, uneducated conservative doesn’t necessarily hold up to scrutiny. Its a very enduring narrative – of the obedient poor being exploited by the perfidious elite, popularized by Thomas Frank’s bestselling What’s the Matter With Kansas, a thesis which has received criticism. The relationship between IQ and political preferences are not clear-cut:
It would seem like the most and least educated tend to lean Democratic.
Nature-defying leftists think they can remodel men and make them all into perfect new socialist men. All men are blank slates that can be molded by education to become perfect. Man is perfectable. Of course, every attempt at perfecting man has failed.
Modern conservatives, having whole-heartedly adopted liberalism, fall into the tabula rasa trap from a different angle. All men are capable of perfecting themselves, they just need to become rugged individualists and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. While personal responsibility and individual effort are important, to think that all men are capable of self-actualization in anomic isolation is just as nonsensical the New Soviet Man.
Agree. Both the ‘pull-yourself-up/better families’ and ‘not enough welfare and education sending/too much racism’ explanations fail to take into account human biology and thus are insufficient. We (the general public and politicians) want to believe that society can ‘perfect’ man, to avid having to confront the more unpleasant reality: that maybe some people are ‘born better’ than others, and hence no amount of blame, hope, government spending, or wishful thinking will ameliorate problems that are inherently biological, not political. And those who speak against perfectibility in favor of biology tend to be punished, as in the case of Larry Summers, Tim Hunt, James Watson, and others.
Scott also asks:
… although it has fun using new genetic discoveries to mock socialist concepts of human malleability, a full biodeterminism would equally negate the conservative insistence on instilling traditional values – if things like conscientiousness and criminality are mostly genetic, why care if people have traditional values or not?
HBD-conservatives may argue that although individuals, due to biology, may not have much control over their actions, they should still not be shielded from the consequences of their actions. Second, HBD-based policy can be used to improve society, rather than current environment-based programs that are costly and largely ineffective.
Free Northerner continues:
Finally, just to make it clear, there is nothing shameful about not being an aristocrat or priest or with being a yeoman, peasant, or even a slave. While our modern status structure prizes the priestly class (ie. the educated, the academic, the high-IQ, the journalist, the bureaucrat, etc.) as having status above all, primarily because the priestly class seized the status hierarchy for themselves through their control of modern mass communications, this is a corrupt and degenerate status hierarchy. (The aristocratic class is all but dead). The denigration of the admirable yeoman or peasant and the loss of the status that used to be given granted to an honest blue-collar family-men is an evil corruption.
Anybody, who knows their proper position in the hierarchy and faithfully renders their duties should receive the proper honour and status. Such is right and noble. The priestly class should and will pay dearly for their destruction of the natural status hierarchy.
This is true. There is a lot of degeneracy among the ‘priestly class’. But in any sufficiently advanced society, ‘status’, if it is to mean anything, is not given or bestowed just for existing or being average, it is earned. Otherwise, you just have participation trophies. Hierarchy by definition means some will have more status than others. Honer seems more equitable though, but even still people on the top of the hierarchy will tend to get more honor, too. Equality under the rule of law is the only equality that is, ultimately, noble and just.
Working-class whites (and blacks, and hispanics) are not able to and can not be expected to function in an inhuman, cutthroat, anomic socio-economic system designed by and for upper-middle class WASPS and Jews.
Yet millions of these people do have jobs and have a relatively good standard of living compared to the poor of the rest of the world, thanks to the ‘elite’who create jobs, just to put things in perspective. If you think America is awful (and I agree there is a lot of room for improvement), just read the newspaper of any non-European country and it’s not uncommon to find headlines about people dying in heinous acts of terrorism and other violence – bus bombings, suicide bombings, real rape (not the fake kind), war, etc.