The Psychology of Moral Communities, Part 4 of 5: Psychological Challenges to Developing an Explicit Culture of White Identity and Interests

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Psychological Challenges to Developing an Explicit Culture of White Identity and Interests

The foregoing has discussed psychological mechanisms underlying the power of human cultures to influence behavior and attitudes. Clearly, the wider culture of the West, now dominated by the anti-White left, poses a major obstacle to developing an explicit culture favorable to White identity and interests. In the absence of changes in the explicit culture on issues related to the legitimacy of White racial identity and interests, Whites will simply continue to retreat into implicit White communities.

There are obviously a great many obstacles to developing such a mainstream culture, the main one being opposition by elites in the media, academia, business, and political cultures. However, there are other mechanisms that have come into play which make it difficult to create such a culture. 

Self-interest and the Anti-White Infrastructure

A large part of the problem is that these elites have created a very elaborate infrastructure so that, for the vast majority of individuals, economic and professional self-interest coincides with support for anti-White policies. Particularly egregious examples are individuals and companies that directly benefit from immigration via cheap labor, or companies, such as First Data Corporation, that benefit from remittances sent by immigrants to relatives in other countries.

Noteworthy examples are university presidents, many of whom earn seven-figure salaries. For example, Mary Sue Coleman earned over $1,000,000/year before resigning as president of the University of Michigan in 2014. She had been a leader in attempting to preserve racial preferences for non-Whites and in promoting the (non-existent) educational benefits of diversity.[1]

Similarly, when three White lacrosse players at Duke University were accused of raping a Black woman, faculty and administrators issued statements assuming their guilt.[2] Because the leftist political cultural of the university has become conventionalized, statements deploring the racism and sexism of the players could be counted on as good career moves, even when they turned out to be groundless. Adopting conventional views on race and ethnicity is a sine qua non for a career as a mainstream academic (particularly an administrator), a public intellectual, or in the political arena.

Consistent with the importance of self-interest in supporting explicitly White policies and politicians, a 2017 study found that high-income Whites were less likely to support politicians who strongly identify as White if they think the racial hierarchy is unstable. In other words, Whites who have the most to lose are most likely to be unwilling to “rock the boat” by provoking minorities if they think that the racial hierarchy could change because of demographic shifts.[3]

As Frank Salter has pointed out, Whites who fail to attend to the interests of their wider kinship group benefit themselves and their families at the expense of their own wider ethnic interests.[4] This is especially true for elite Whites—people whose intelligence, power, and wealth could make a very large difference in culture and politics. They are in effect sacrificing millions of ethnic kin—for example, by turning their backs on the White working class who are well known to suffer most from non-White immigration and the multicultural regime—for the benefit of themselves and their immediate family.

This is a disastrously wrongheaded choice by the standard measures of evolutionary success. However, because our evolved psychology is much more attuned to individual and family interests than to the interests of the ethnic group or race, Whites who benefit economically or professionally from adopting conventional views on race and ethnicity are unlikely to feel unease at the psychological level. Indeed, given that conventional views on race and ethnicity have been buttressed by the ideology that departures from these views indicate moral turpitude or psychopathology, such individuals are likely to feel morally righteous by signalling their support—virtue signalling within the moral community created by elite culture. 

Social Learning Theory: The Consequences of Not Dominating the Cultural High Ground

Although changing the structure of material benefits is doubtless critical for advancing White ethnic interests, we should also pay attention to social learning, i.e., learning by imitating models. People are prone to adopting the ideas and behavior of others who have prestige and high status, and this tendency fits well with an evolutionary perspective in which seeking high social status is a universal feature of the human mind. A critical component of the success of the culture of White dispossession is that it achieved control of the most prestigious and influential institutions of the West, particularly the media and academia. Once this culture became a consensus among the elites, it became widely accepted among Whites of very different levels of education and among people of different social classes.[5]

For example, Leslie Fiedler, a Jewish literary scholar associated with the New York Intellectuals,[6] described a whole generation of American Jewish writers (including Delmore Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, Karl Shapiro, Isaac Rosenfeld, Paul Goodman, Saul Bellow, and H. J. Kaplan) as “typically urban, second-generation Jews.” The works of these writers appeared regularly in Partisan Review, the flagship journal of the New York Intellectuals. Fiedler goes on to say that

the writer drawn to New York from the provinces feels … the Rube, attempts to conform; and the almost parody of Jewishness achieved by the gentile writer in New York is a strange and crucial testimony of our time.[7]

Once Jews had achieved prestige and status in the literary world, it was only natural that non-Jews would admire and emulate them by adopting their views on race and ethnicity—views that were mainstream in the Jewish community and well to the left of most Americans.

Like other modeling influences, therefore, maladaptive memes are best promulgated by individuals and institutions with high social status. Because they have been elevated to the pantheon of elite culture, individuals such as Sigmund Freud or Stephen Jay Gould have become cultural icons—true cultural heroes. The cultural memes emanating from their thought, therefore, have a much greater opportunity to take root in the culture as a whole.

Moreover, adopting the views on race and ethnicity held by elites also confers psychological benefits because it enhances one’s reputation in the contemporary moral community created by these elites. On the other hand, publicly dissenting from these views carries huge costs for most people. White elites who turn their back on their own ethnic group are likely to be massively reinforced within the contemporary explicit culture, while those who attempt to advance White interests can expect to suffer psychologically painful costs.

There are many examples of White people who have been fired from their positions in the media or other positions of influence for expressing attitudes on race and ethnicity that depart from the conventional wisdom. On the other hand, the massive social approval University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman received within the culture of the university for her positions on diversity issues is doubtless a positive component of her job. If she suddenly reversed position on the benefits of diversity, her career as a university president and her $1,000,000+/year salary would have been in dire jeopardy. 

Benefits and Risks of Conscientiousness

A psychological system that bears on moral reputation is Conscientiousness, discussed previously in connection with inhibiting our natural tendencies in the service of long-term payoffs. However, people who are high on Conscientiousness also tend to be deeply concerned about their reputation.

This is no accident. In fact, developing a good reputation is an important way for conscientious people to get long-term payoffs. Think of it this way. If someone cheats another person, he gets a short-term gain at the expense of developing a bad reputation when his cheating becomes known. The only way he can continue to survive is to prey on others who don’t know his reputation, and that means moving on and interacting with strangers—who will be less trusting—rather than with friends and allies. On the other hand, if he cooperates, both persons benefit, and he develops a reputation as a cooperator that may last a lifetime. In the long run, therefore, he will be better off.

Conscientious people, unlike sociopaths, are cooperators, and as a result they are vitally concerned about their reputation. This is particularly critical for individualists because they tend to interact more often with strangers—their reputation is first and foremost established among non-relatives who would be relatively quick (compared to relatives) to cease interacting with them if there are signs of untrustworthiness.

Theoretical work has shown that having access to people’s reputation is likely to be a necessary condition for the evolution of cooperation.[8] Information on the reputation of individuals constitutes a collective memory of the past history of individuals and is made possible by language—that is, explicit representations of the past history of individuals in cooperative situations.[9] Without such explicit information on reputation, cooperators would be at an evolutionary disadvantage and vulnerable to a strategy of short-term exploitation rather than long-term cooperation with like-minded others. This explicit information on reputation is therefore processed by the higher brain centers located in the prefrontal cortex linked to Conscientiousness.

I suggest, therefore, that evolutionary pressure for cooperation is a critical adaptive function accounting for the evolution of Conscientiousness. Psychological research shows that people high in Conscientiousness are responsible, dependable, dutiful, and reliable. Indeed, responsibility emerges as a facet (i.e., subcategory) of Conscientiousness defined as cooperative, dependable, being of service to others, and contributing to community and group projects.[10] These traits are also highly correlated with honesty and morally exemplary behavior.

Thus Conscientiousness not only makes us better able to inhibit natural impulses like ethnocentrism, it also makes us more concerned about our reputation in a moral community. We want to fit into the community and we want to be known as cooperators, not cheaters. At the low end of Conscientiousness are sociopaths (also low on Love/Nurturance). They are more likely to take advantage of people for short-term gains and care nothing about developing a reputation as honest and trustworthy. After they prey on one victim, they must move on to an area where their reputation is not known.

Obviously, Conscientiousness as defined above is a pillar of human civilization and cultural life. This is especially so in the individualistic cultures of the West given its importance in achieving a good reputation in groups of strangers.

To this set of traits, Francis Fukuyama also adds trust as a critical virtue of individualist societies.[11] It is linked to Conscientiousness because we are more likely trust people who have a good reputation—people who have the trust of others. Trust is really a way of emphasizing the importance of moral universalism as a trait of individualist societies. In collectivist, family-oriented societies, trust ends at the border of the family and the wider kinship group. Social organization, whether in political culture or in economic enterprise, tends to be a family affair. Morality is defined as what is good for the group—typically the kinship group (e.g., “Is it good for the Jews?”).

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.[12] The movement of the West toward multiculturalism and opposing identity groups based on race and ethnicity means the end of individualist Western culture, replaced by a culture characterized by conflict between self-interested groups rather than individuals.

In individualist cultures, organizations include nonfamily members in positions of trust, and nepotism is looked on as immoral and is subject to legal sanctions. Morality is defined in terms of universal moral principles that are independent of kinship connections or group membership. Trust therefore is of critical importance to individualist society.

And fundamentally trust is about building a trustworthy reputation—for example, a reputation for honest dealing, not only with fellow kinsmen, but with others as well. It follows that European-derived people are particularly prone to being concerned with reputation. In the individualistic societies in which Westerners evolved, cooperation (and therefore success) resulted from having a good reputation, not from being able to rely on extensive kinship relations.

There are obviously great benefits to trust and the wider psychological system of Conscientiousness. The suite of traits associated with individualism is the basis of Western modernism. Relying on the good reputation of others is a key ingredient to building cooperative civil societies capable of rising above amoral familism.

The downside, however, is that conscientious people become so concerned about their reputation that they become conformists. Once the cultural and political left had won the day, a large part of its success was that it dominated the moral and intellectual high ground on issues of race and ethnicity. The culture of critique had become conventionalized and a pillar of the intellectual establishment. People who dissented from this leftist consensus were faced with a disastrous loss of reputation—nothing less than psychological agony.

There are many examples showing the power of this mechanism. Over 75 years ago Anne Morrow Lindbergh became one of the first victims of the modern version of political correctness when her husband, Charles Lindbergh, stated that Jews were one of the forces attempting to get the United States to enter World War II. Shortly after his speech, she wrote:

The storm is beginning to blow up hard. … I sense that this is the beginning of a fight and consequent loneliness and isolation that we have not known before. … For I am really much more attached to the worldly things than he is, mind more giving up friends, popularity, etc., mind much more criticism and coldness and loneliness. … Will I be able to shop in New York at all now? I am always stared at—but now to be stared at with hate, to walk through aisles of hate![13]

What is striking and perhaps counterintuitive, is that the guilt and shame remain even when she is completely satisfied at an intellectual (explicit) level that what her husband said was based on good evidence, that it was morally justifiable, and that he is a man of integrity.

I cannot explain my revulsion of feeling by logic. Is it my lack of courage to face the problem? Is it my lack of vision and seeing the thing through? Or is my intuition founded on something profound and valid? I do not know and am only very disturbed, which is upsetting for him. I have the greatest faith in him as a person—in his integrity, his courage, and his essential goodness, fairness, and kindness—his nobility really. … How then explain my profound feeling of grief about what he is doing? If what he said is the truth (and I am inclined to think it is), why was it wrong to state it?

Her reaction is involuntary and irrational—beyond the reach of logical analysis. Charles Lindbergh was exactly right in what he said, but a rational understanding of the correctness of his analysis cannot lessen the psychological trauma to his wife, who must face the hostile stares of others. The trauma is the result of the power of the Conscientiousness system in leading to loss of reputation resulting from breaching the cultural taboo against discussing Jewish influence.

I’ve had similar experiences, on a much smaller scale, resulting from attacks on me at the university where I worked.[14] As with Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s concern about going shopping in New York, the most difficult thing is dealing with loss of reputation in my face-to-face world at the university. The biggest problem is that being an academic nonconformist on race and ethnicity has huge moral overtones. If one dissents from the reigning theory of macroeconomics or the main influences on nineteenth-century French Romanticism, one may be viewed as a bit eccentric or perhaps none too smart. But one is not likely to be subjected to torrents of moral outrage.

Given that academics tend to be Conscientious types, it’s not surprising that academics are generally loath to do or say things that might endanger their reputation. This is at least ironic, because it conflicts with the image of academics as fearless seekers of truth. Unlike politicians, who must continue to curry favor with the public in order to be re-elected, and unlike media figures who have no job protection, academics with tenure have no excuse for not being willing to endure labels such as “anti-Semite” or “racist” in order to pursue their perception of the truth. Part of the job—and a large part of the rationale for tenure in the first place—is that they are supposed to be willing to take unpopular positions: to forge ahead using all that brain power and expertise to chart new territories that challenge the popular wisdom.

But that image of academia is simply not based in reality. Consider, for example, an article that appeared almost two months after the publication of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s famous essay on the Israel lobby,[15] appropriately titled “A Hot Paper Muzzles Academia.”[16]

Instead of a roiling debate, most professors not only agreed to disagree but agreed to pretend publicly that there was no disagreement at all. At Harvard and other schools, the Mearsheimer-Walt paper proved simply too hot to handle—and it revealed an academia deeply split yet lamentably afraid to engage itself on one of the hottest political issues of our time. Call it the academic Cold War: distrustful factions rendered timid by the prospect of mutually assured career destruction.

Professors refused to take a stand on the paper, either in favor or against. As one Ivy League professor noted, “A lot of [my colleagues] were more concerned about the academic politics of it, and where they should come down, in that sense.” As in 1941, discussing Jewish influence—even in a fact-based, dispassionate manner—carries huge costs.

Sadly, there is now a great deal of evidence that academics in general are careful to avoid controversy or do much of anything that will create hostility. In fact, some researchers are pointing to this fact to question whether tenure is justified. A recent survey of the attitudes of 1,004 professors at elite universities illustrates this quite clearly. Regardless of their rank, professors rated their colleagues as

reluctant to engage in activities that ran counter to the wishes of colleagues. Even tenured full professors believed [other full professors] would invoke academic freedom only “sometimes” rather than “usually” or “always”; they chose confrontational options “rarely,” albeit more often than did lower ranked colleagues. … Their willingness to self-limit may be due to a desire for harmony and/or respect for the criticisms of colleagues whose opinions they value. Thus, the data did not support the depiction of Professorus Americanus as unleashed renegade.[17]

Seen in this context, the reaction to the Mearsheimer and Walt paper makes a lot of sense. As one professor noted, “People might debate it if you gave everyone a get-out-of-jail-free card and promised that afterward everyone would be friends.”[18] This intense desire to be accepted and liked by one’s colleagues is certainly understandable. Striving for a good reputation is part of our nature, especially for the conscientious among us.

Ostracism and moral condemnation from others in one’s face-to-face world trigger guilt feelings. These are automatic responses resulting ultimately from the importance of fitting into a group—i.e., they were developed over evolutionary time. This is especially so in the individualistic cultures of the West, where having a good reputation beyond the borders of the kinship group forms the basis of trust and civil society, and where having a poor reputation would have resulted in ostracism and evolutionary death.

Moreover, it’s interesting that in my experience, decisions by academic departments and committees are by consensus as is typical of egalitarian groups, as in Scandinavian culture as discussed below. Going against a consensus is thus likely to risk ostracism.

As shown by these examples, being able to rationally defend 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 sub-cortex, 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 ultimate failure of the period of ethnic defense discussed in Chapter 6—failure that eventuated in the erection of the culture of critique in America and throughout the West. It should be therapeutic to understand that many of the people who created this culture 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 propped up by people seeking material advantages and psychological approval at the expense of their own legitimate long-term ethnic interests. Given the strong Jewish influence in erecting this culture,[19] 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 according to group norms in the future. Shame, on the other hand, functions as a display of submission to people higher in the dominance hierarchy.[20] 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 were doubtless strong selection pressures against sociopathy in the small groups that we evolved in, especially among the individualistic peoples of the West; as noted above, White subjects in fact do score higher on Conscientiousness than other groups with the exception of East Asians. The trustworthy cooperators with excellent reputations won the day. 

Cognitive Dissonance as a Force of Psychological Inertia

Once the left had established cultural hegemony throughout the West, people were essentially socialized to see the world through the lens of a leftist worldview—i.e., a worldview in which Whites, especially White males, see themselves as past oppressors of the entire gamut of identity groups that make up coalition of the aggrieved: Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Jews, women, sexual non-conformists, etc. Once established, such a mindset of liberal-left beliefs is difficult to change.

Cognitive dissonance research has shown that people with strong beliefs, especially beliefs tied up with their personal identity, often do not change them when confronted by conflicting evidence.[21] Fundamentally, the brain wants to avoid conflicting ideas and often uses illogical reasoning and other mechanisms to retain a sense of psychological comfort. For example, when presented with contradictory evidence (such as data showing genetically based race differences in intelligence), people may ignore the data in order to retain a self-image as a morally righteous person. Moreover, people tend to forget evidence that conflicts with their beliefs, and they tend to accept weak arguments that fit with their world view while rejecting strong arguments and data that conflict with it. They may focus their attention not on the evidence itself but on the person presenting the evidence, impugning their motives and accepting guilt-by-association arguments. Clearly, the mind is designed to go to great lengths to avoid psychological discomfort.[22]

This poses a challenge in trying to convert White liberals and most White conservatives to accepting ideas such as that Whites have legitimate interests as a group, that race is real, and that immigration of non-Whites is a long-term disaster for Whites, etc.[23]

This is especially the case given the previously discussed mechanisms that promote inertia within the culture erected by the left. Nonconformity carries costs that can be avoided by dismissing contradictory information. And, given the control that mainstream media has over information presented to the public on race, etc., people can easily avoid information that conflicts with their world view. This explains why the leftist media corporations like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are removing such information from the internet or at least limiting its reach. And it shows how important it is to erect an explicit culture in which White identity and interests are legitimate.

Go to Part 5.

[1] Mary S. Coleman, “Diversity Matters at Michigan,” University of Michigan News Service (November 8, 2006).

[2] Michael Skube, “Duke’s Recovery from a Rush to Judgment,” Los Angeles Times (December 31, 2006).

[3] Sora Jun, Brian S. Lowery, and Lucia Guillory, “Keeping Minorities Happy: Hierarchy Maintenance and Whites’ Decreased Support for Highly Identified White Politicians,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 43, no. 12 (2017): 1615–1629.

[4] Frank K. Salter, On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethny, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007; orig. published in 2003 by Peter Lang, Bern, Switzerland).

[5] MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, Ch. 6.

[6] The New York Intellectuals are analyzed as a Jewish intellectual movement in The Culture of Critique; Ibid.

[7] Leslie A. Fiedler, “The State of American Writing,” Partisan Review 15 (1948): 870–875, 872, 873.

[8] Lan Liu and Tong Chen, “Sustainable Cooperation Based on Reputation and Habituation in the Public Goods Game,” Biosystems 160 (2017): 33–38; Manfred Milinski, Dirk Semmann, and H-J. Krambeck, “Reputation Helps Solve the ‘Tragedy of the Commons,’” Nature 415 (2002): 424–426; Dirk Semmann, H-J. Krambeck and Manfred Milinski, “Reputation is Valuable within and outside One’s Own Social Group,” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57(2005): 611–616.

[9] Mojdeh Mohtashemi and Lik Mui, “Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Social Information: The Role of Trust and Reputation in Evolution of Altruism,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 223 (2003): 523–531.

[10] Brent W. Roberts, Oleksandr S. Chernyshenko, Stephen Stark, and Lewis S. Goldberg, “The Structure of Conscientiousness: An Empirical Investigation Based on Seven Major Personality Questionnaires,” Personnel Psychology 58 (2005): 103–139.

[11] Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (New York: Free Press, 1995).

[12] Kajuju Murori, “Just Like Corruption, Nepotism Also Strains Africa’s Growth,” African Exponent (June 27, 2016).

[13] Anne Morrow Lindbergh, War Within and Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 220–239.

[14] Kevin MacDonald, “Campaign Against Me by the Southern Poverty Law Center,”

[15] John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby,” London Review of Books 28, no. 6 (March 23, 2006): 3–12.

[16] Eve Fairbanks, “A Hot Paper Muzzles Academia,” Los Angeles Times (May14, 2006).

[17] Stephen J. Ceci, Wendy M. Williams, and Katrin Mueller-Johnson, “Is Tenure Justified? An Experimental Study of Faculty Beliefs about Tenure, Promotion, and Academic Freedom,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29, no. 6 (2006): 553–594, 565,

[18] Fairbanks, “A Hot Paper Muzzles Academia.”

[19] MacDonald, The Culture of Critique.

[20] Robert Trivers, Social Evolution (Benjamin-Cummings, 1985).

[21] Leon Festinger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1957).

[22] Margaret Hefferman, Willful Blindness (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012).


3 replies
  1. Ned J. Casper
    Ned J. Casper says:

    There is a problem for the “elites” who have imported multiple non-white communities, which is that these can become so unmanageable that they begin to injure sections of these elites themselves, including liberals who are self-deluded by utopian optimism about lions and lambs, and those discomforted by immigrant hostility to the Yehudim Ysraelim. It is also possible to use verbal ju-jitsu: whites also have rights, “look like us”, goose that lays the golden eggs, &c.

  2. Jared Pinker-Gould
    Jared Pinker-Gould says:

    As always, KMAC’s work is brilliant…..but I get the feeling that he’s holding back a bit….
    not getting to the root of the problem (The Nose)
    All of the shabbos goy behavior, the virtue signaling, the SJW craziness, the turncoat
    conservatives, is simply conforming to Jewish indoctrination….and acting in fear of the Jews.
    Mike Enoch describes this as prisoner behavior, and he’s correct.

    • TJ
      TJ says:

      The real root of the problem is FMH- Fake Money Hegemony [Hegemoney].

      This will be the final battle.

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