The Pareto Principle In Racial Nationalist Activism

Ted Sallis


A concept of great utility for racial nationalist activism is the so-called “Pareto Principle” or the “rule of 80/20.”  Put briefly, the Pareto Principle states that 80% of effects come from only 20% of causes.  Although the specific 80:20 ratio, or an approximation of it, is often observed with various phenomena, we should not get too focused on the specific numbers.  Instead, focus on the general principle: the large majority of effects are the result of a small minority of causes, and the majority of causes result in only a small marginal increase in the effects.  The link above gives examples which illustrate the point quite well; for example, in business, one would expect to find 20% of customers being responsible for 80% of the sales.  I believe that this principle holds true for racial nationalist activism as a whole, and also holds true for specific issues within the wider scope of racialist activism.

Does most “movement” “activism” do any good?  All the blog posting and endless commenting, online debating and flamewars, ethnic fetishism, Gnostic traditionalism, esoteric nitpicking, Hitlerian hobbyism, etc. — does it actually achieve anything?  Do the majority of “activists” actually positively and productively contribute to the cause?  Or, is it more accurate to say that activist productivity is derived from the work of a minority, that the focused work of this minority produces what little progress the “movement” has, while the vast bulk of activity is irrelevant, or even counter-productive?

We have limited resources and are up against globalist elites and organized ethnics with enormous resources at their disposal.  In this mismatched battle, only high efficiency, smart tactics, thoughtful strategy, and a focused effort on productive activity can have any hope whatsoever of achieving our objectives.  It is clear, therefore, that the Pareto Principle applies to racial nationalism. A careful consideration of how to better and more efficiently apply our efforts will be all to the good.  Can we more effectively utilize our time, money, effort, and other resources to actualize our goals in the most productive manner possible?

The first objective would be to realize that a large amount of racial nationalist “activity” is a complete waste of time and resources; second, to identify which activities yield the maximum payoff per unit effort; and third, to develop the discipline to concentrate on that which is effective and eschew efforts that at best would yield only marginal gains.  Thus, we need to identify and pursue the “20%” of effort that yields “80%” of the results, while avoiding the “80%” of the effort that would at best yield the “20%” marginal gains.

I did not have any single “epiphany” regarding this idea, but I was led in this direction to a large extent in my thinking about the relevance of population genetics, biological race, and genetic interests to racial nationalism.  Many readers know that the work of Frank Salter on genetic interests has had a profound influence on my own worldview, and that I have been promoting and extending (e.g., “genetic structure) Salter’s concept for some time.  In Salter’s work, genetic interests are based upon genetic kinship; that is, relative gene sharing. Over the last few years, after rereading Salter’s On Genetic Interests (OGI), and after a period of thinking on this subject, a fundamental point became obvious.  If genetic interests are, as Salter argues, ultimate interests (I believe they are), and if genetic interests are based upon genetic kinship (which they are), then the only metric of biological race that is of true relevance to ultimate interests is genetic kinship.

General population genetics studies, admixture, ancestral proportions, NRY and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes, racial history — all of that may be interesting from scientific, historical, and anthropological perspectives. But from the fundamental perspective of ultimate interests, from the perspective of practical biopolitics, all or most of that is at best marginal and at worst irrelevant.  A properly measured evaluation of genetic kinship, which must include genetic structure, will by its nature take into account the various mechanisms and types of (autosomal) genetic variation. An accurate accounting of genetic kinship will yield a quantitative metric that constitutes the basic essence of genetic interests and can be used to evaluate the relative merits of different ethnoracial possibilities.  Consistent with the Pareto Principle, measures of genetic kinship require a minority of effort compared to more broad analyses on biological race, but yield the majority of the biopolitical relevance. All else — all the studies, debates, and nitpicking analyses — constitute a diminishing marginal utility; these other metrics constitute the majority of the effort but yield little, if any, additional biopolitical value.  Therefore, it can be argued that the vast majority of “movement” discussion concerning genotypes and phenotypes, racial history and so forth is, from the practical perspective, a monumental waste of time.  That effort would be better spent devising and implementing better metrics for genetic kinship and then interpreting those measurements for biopolitical analysis.

I imagine some readers will point out that I myself have been guilty of the very thing I critique here: genetic nitpicking, over-analysis of population genetics, debates about racial history, arguing for or against various forms of commercial gene testing, ad nauseum.  That’s true.  Mea culpa. In fact, it is my realization of the time so wasted that brought home to me the importance of the Pareto Principle for maximizing efficiency.

Now, of course, there is a place for “racial science” and population genetics — a narrow place, to achieve focused goals. Occasionally, racial delusions promoted by (most frequently) the Left, but also (sometimes, regrettably) the Right, require critical analysis.  That is particularly needed when the delusions negatively impact the pursuit of genetic interests.  No doubt, a minority of the effort on “racial science” has some positive effect (for example, debunking race denial).  But, for the most part, it has been, is, and always will be, a colossal waste of time and resources.  Biopolitics based on genetic kinship is more important, and this “biopolitics argument” is not just pulled out of thin air, but logically derives from Salter’s work.  Of course, someone who does not highly value that work, does not know about it, or completely disagrees with its premises, will not care to derive fundamental principles from it.  However, I know that many activists do indeed know about, agree with, and value Salter’s genetic interests concept.  I certainly do; therefore, henceforth, with respect to biological race and ultimate interests, I will predominantly concentrate on genetic kinship, as opposed to marginal issues of limited or no value to core biopolitical concerns.

The “human biodiversity” (HBD) craze is also relevant to this discussion.  There is nothing wrong with an interest in that topic, and some interesting HBD-related work has been done.  But HBD does not really contribute to a measure of ultimate interests.  Salter writes in OGI that any group has an interest in its own continuity independent on where it ranks — or where others think it ranks — on a suite of phenotypic traits.  And that is correct, since genetic kinship, and not a phenotypic rank, determines genetic interests.  It is also a falsehood to assert that pursuit of White nationalism requires HBD, since some HBDers are hostile to White nationalism; the “Gene Expression” blog and Steve “citizenism” Sailer are two leading examples.  On the other hand, an emphasis on genetic interests and genetic kinship leads one directly to racial nationalism, since genetic kinship is correlated to population group (e.g., race) membership.  In contrast, other traits (e.g., high IQ leading to “cognitive elitism”) can cut across racial lines and hence undermine racial solidarity and the pursuit of ultimate interests. Cui bono?  Certainly Jews and East Asians benefit, while kinship-based racialism suffers.  Therefore, applying the Pareto Principle and concentrating on genetic kinship leads to racial nationalism, while dwelling on the marginal aspects of racial discourse (e.g., HBD) leads to maladaptive misdirection.  Following the Pareto Principle, this can be summarized more economically: less Sailer, more Salter.

The same basic principle also applies to cultural issues and, above all, applies to actual racial nationalist activism.  Thinking back to my past participation on group blogs, I spent the least amount of time writing blog posts, and a majority of the time reading comments, answering comments, and engaging in useless and irrelevant debates and “flamewars.”  Based upon feedback, it was quite obvious that the minority of my effort (writing blog posts) was yielding the maximum impact in spreading ideas, while the majority of my effort (dealing with commentators) had no lasting impact whatsoever.  In fact, much online activism similarly constitutes wasted time — it is essentially a form of intellectual onanism that has zero influence on the society at large, zero influence on decision-making elites, zero or negative influence in recruiting useful individuals, and zero or negative influence in achieving long range goals.  I believe that an honest assessment of most movement activities will yield the same sorry picture: the majority of time, effort, and money are wasted, and only specific focused activity actually yields a productive outcome.

Smart and successful politicians instinctively follow the Pareto Principle.  Electoral politics — winning politics — usually revolve around a small number of “hot button” issues that galvanize the base, target key voting blocs, and are simple and straightforward enough to be catchy slogans (“it’s the economy, stupid”).  True enough that most winning politicians are outright liars and frauds, but the point is that they are successful.  They concentrate on the essentials and disregard the margins. On the other hand, “policy wonks” with their detailed white papers rarely make good politicians.  Regardless of whether or not they have good policies, the “wonks” are outcompeted by crafty politicians who invest time and resources where they payoff is greatest.  This principle also applies to so-called “metapolitics.” It may well be fascinating to discuss “traditionalism” and the “kali yuga” but the reality is that, given our limited resources, a metapolitical/cultural approach that aims at achieving real and practical objectives had better concentrate on the work of Kevin MacDonald and Alex Kurtagic, as opposed to dissecting the pontifications of a Julius Evola or a Savitri Devi.  Too much of what passes for “traditionalist thought” in racial activism is marginal discourse of no interest to anyone other than fellow specialized traditionalists, and of no utility in achieving racial nationalist goals.

Value to our cause is therefore related to the extent to which primary issues are focused on.  For example, the power of the work of Kevin MacDonald and Frank Salter is derived from the Pareto Principle.  There are many causes of White decline; however, surely, the influence of Jews, and their pursuit of a Diaspora group evolutionary strategy, ranks high among the predominant mechanisms behind the collapse of White America and White interests worldwide.  Hence, MacDonald’s analyses of the Jewish question gets to the core of the problem, bypassing marginal issues like “the Federal Reserve,” the Khazar question, etc.  Likewise, as explained above, Salter’s genetic interests concept pierces through the morass of population genetics studies and counter studies, of debates and discussions, and focuses upon genetic kinship as the key metric of biopolitical relevance. Work that clarifies and simplifies has power, work that complicates and obscures does not.

Of course, this is not a call to disregard careful analysis and jump right into quick, shallow, and superficial conclusions.  However, while analysis is good, there can be too much of a good thing.  Analysis is important, getting the analysis correct is important; I agree it cannot be rushed.  But, let us be honest — if a blog or group cannot reach any consensus whatsoever on even the most elementary of issues after years and years of debate and discussion, that is a problem.  Clearly, that suggests a lack of focus, too much time spent on marginal issues — endless debate that is an end to itself rather than a means to an end. Applying the Pareto Principle would mean prioritizing the most important issues first; it would mean investing in those contributors who have the most productive impact rather than catering to trolls and morons; it would mean concentrating on basic issues and not on side-shows.

The Pareto Principle also suggests listening closely to Kurtagic’s emphasis on irrationality as a motivating factor.  If “fascist aesthetics” can motivate more than hundreds of pages of dry intellectual analysis, then start off with the aesthetics.  Attract the people and then inform them of the facts once they have fallen into the nationalist orbit.  A prime reason why the work of Francis Parker Yockey has power, despite the many errors of fact and logic than can be found within that work, is because of its aura of almost supernatural idealism.  Marx motivated the revolt against civilization with The Communist Manifesto much more so than with Das Kapital; Yockey can more effectively motivate the revolt for Western Civilization and for the White Race with Imperium and the Proclamation of London compared to piles of erudite HBD studies.

This praise of “irrational Yockeyism” in no way takes away from the importance of the more academic work of MacDonald and Salter, for two reasons.  First, once converts are attracted to our side, they will need the intellectual firepower to understand and to extend their worldview; second, for some fraction of the people we want to convert, particularly the more intellectual professional types, the work of MacDonald and Salter is itself an attractive and motivating force, particularly compared to, e.g., a statistical analysis of race differences in crime rates or IQ.  After all, some HBDers have labeled ethnic genetic interests as “irrational.”  I disagree, but the point is illustrated: what may be “dry intellectualism” to the masses may be a powerful motivating force for the intellectual.  Or, perhaps, those intellectuals were attracted to the work of MacDonald and Salter because they (as Kurtagic suggests) were already primed to do so by more “irrational” motivations (like reading Yockey)?  In any case, different target audiences can be reached by varied motivational devices.  Choosing the correct device for the correct audience maximizes efficiency and is consistent with the fundamental premise of the Pareto Principle.

Do we need to work harder?  Maybe, but we certainly have to work smarter.  Do we need to work longer?  Maybe, but we do need to work better, and more efficiently.  Do we need to invest more money and resources in activism?  Certainly not into the usual bottomless pits, the black holes that are “all drain and no gain.”

After all, we can use the Pareto Principle to diagnose some of the reasons why the pro-White Right fails time and time again, while the anti-White Left goes from strength to strength: the Left practices the Pareto Principle while the White Right does not.  The Left invests its (massive) resources in practical undertakings of world historical importance: completely controlling the political, social, and economic discourse and activity in the West; flooding the West with untold millions of aliens; increasing legal immigration quotas while pushing for illegal alien amnesties; infiltrating academia and the professions; enforcing social pricing against dissidents; and never compromising or surrendering on core principles.  The White Right wastes scarce resources indulging in conservative compromises; obsessing over Third Reich history; agonizing over Fst values of 0.014 vs. 0.015 or over sub-fractional levels of admixture; pontificating over Guenon or Mishima; debating the racial phenotypes of Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; elucidating the “value” of Heidegger’s work on “being” for racial nationalism; engaging in Asiaphilic HBD fetishism; waving around Confederate flags or wearing swastika armbands — need I go on?  The Left controls the present to shape the future, the White Right squabbles amongst itself over the dusty remains of the past.  It is an unequal contest, with the outcome a foregone conclusion.

By engaging in serious politics and portraying themselves as prime movers on the stage of World History, the Left are seen as (as Kurtagic suggests) “Masters of the Universe,” while the Right, gibbering about Evola’s ideas on Hindu spiritualism, or relative Fst vales, or Heidegger, or Pericles’ cephalic index, look like a bunch of nutty cranks.  Who are people going to listen to?  Following the Pareto Principle would not only make us more efficient, but would have the side-effect of making us look more serious, effective, and more able to attract converts.

If we in America need to look at a model that can help inform more efficient choices in activist options, the Golden Dawn in Greece would be a good start.  There are of course differences between their situation and ours.  Nevertheless, if given a choice on how to spend our limited resources, we should choose politics over metapolitics (see next paragraph for clarification), power over intellectual agonizing, and analog real-world activity over digital pontificating (admitting that this essay itself is digital pontificating).  The racial crisis takes place in the real world of flesh-and-blood people, not in the digital world of electronic bits mimicking personal interaction.  There certainly is a place for metapolitics (as defined here) and digital activism.  But those are means to ends, not ends themselves.  The real meaning of activism is the pursuit of “politics” in its broadest sense — and I say that as an individual who personally detests “politics” and prefers science/technics.  Unfortunately, we are in a position where we are given little choice.  The Pareto Principle points us towards those activities in which the least unit of work would yield the greatest unit of positive outcome.  Ultimately, to deal with real-world problems, one needs eventually to actualize their idealism into some sort of “political” work.  That’s the 20% that yields the 80%.

Keep in mind of course that what some call “metapolitics” — creating politicized cultural artifacts, community building, cadre-building, constructing alternative political infrastructures, etc. — is part of what I call “politics.”  There is a serious misconception that “politics” refers only to contesting elections.  That is false: as Yockey states, politics is any activity related to the pursuit of power, and power can be achieved in ways other than electoral success.  To my view, all of Golden Dawn’s activities are “political” — not only running candidates in elections.  So, to properly understand the point of this essay, and to understand its prescriptions, it is important to realize the manner in which I define “politics” vs. “metapolitics.”  Politics is any activity in pursuit of power; metapolitics is theoretical analysis about politics (so defined).  Both are needed.  Politics without metapolitics violates the Pareto Principle because such politics runs the risk of becoming unmoored from ideological principles, so that “victory” becomes meaningless.  Meaningless victories are obviously a complete waste of time and effort.  On the other hand, metapolitics without politics is also a complete waste of time, for without attempting to achieve concrete objectives, endless theorizing is perfectly useless.  Therefore, despite the fact that I value “politics” over “metapolitics” I also mostly agree with Greg Johnson’s essay on “premature populism.”   I see the recommendations of Kurtagic and Johnson as falling mainly in the area of politics.  To my mind, creation of a pro-nationalist culture and cadre-building are politics; in contrast, agonizing over the meaning of Evola or Heidegger to “traditionalism” and “being” is metapolitics.  I’m very interested in the former and not so much interested in the latter.  Application of the Pareto Principle favors the former as well.

A movement that is itself on the margins of society cannot waste resources dealing with marginal issues and marginal individuals.  Only by focusing resources on the key points of the key issues, utilizing serious individuals with long-term objectives, can real progress be made.  I would strongly urge racial nationalist activists to seriously consider the ramifications of the Pareto Principle as they move forward.

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