Edmund Connelly’s "Farewell, My Dear WASP"

Edmund Connelly’s current TOO article “Farewell, My Dear WASP” again raises the conundrum of why the WASPs collectively abdicated their position of power in the US. He mentions the Stockholm Syndrome and other possibilities — all of which should provide for an interesting discussion here. What strikes me most is the quote from Scott McConnell’s review:

While trying to impress an older girl, his summer tutor in Greek, he blurted out something mildly anti-Semitic. The young woman dryly replied that she was in fact “a New York Jew.” Gilder was mortified. He relates that he has never quite gotten over the episode. It is the kind of thing a sensitive person might long remember. Variations on this pattern are not uncommon in affluent WASP circles to this day: guilt or embarrassment at some stupid but essentially trivial episode of social anti-Semitism serve as a spur for fervent embrace of Likud-style Zionism. Atonement.

This severe proneness to guilt has always struck me as the defining feature of the Puritan strand of American culture. And with excessive guilt comes moralistic aggression aimed at ingroups and outgroups alike. As I noted elsewhere, the Puritans have a unique ethnic background among Anglo-Saxons generally. They have a strong tendency toward moral idealism, whether expressed as opposition to slavery in the 19th century, or as anti-anti-Semitism in the 21st. Puritans waged holy war on behalf of moral righteousness even against their own cousins — perhaps a form of altruistic punishment as the term is used in the scientific literature.

Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic—violations of communal norms . . . are punished by altruistic aggression.

And since Gilder has never quite forgiven himself for a minor ethnic slur, he has become a soldier on behalf of righteousness. Like a Puritan magistrate of old, he is ready to do battle against the sinners among his own people. Of course, in the current environment, people like Gilder also benefit in terms of fame and fortune. But their feelings of moral righteousness make them feel good about what they are doing. Happiness for a Puritan is when self-interest coincides with a feeling of moral righteousness.

Once Jewish intellectuals achieved the moral high ground in the US and elsewhere, people like Gilder lost their resolve to defend their own ethnic interests; the game was over. Fundamentally, we have to stamp out Puritanism among Whites, or at least find a form of therapy for people like Gilder:

Given this state of affairs, what sorts of therapy might one suggest? To an evolutionary psychologist, this moralistic aggression seems obviously adaptive for maintaining the boundaries and policing the behavior of a close-knit group.  … Groups of Angles, Jutes, and their Puritan descendants doubtlessly benefited greatly from moralistic aggression  because of its effectiveness in enforcing group norms and punishing cheaters and defectors. There is nothing inherently wrong with moralistic aggression. The key is to convince whites to alter their moralistic aggression in a more adaptive direction in light of Darwinism. 

The ultimate irony is that without altruistic whites willing to be morally outraged by violations of multicultural ideals, the multicultural New Jerusalem is likely to revert to a Darwinian struggle for survival among the remnants. But the high-minded descendants of the Puritans [like George Gilder] won’t be around to witness it.

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