Western Culture

The Empress’s New Clothes: Leftist Self-Worship and the Cult of Artemisia Gentileschi

“She was a genius,” says the Guardian. She was a “uniquely gifted artist who should be considered among the all-time greatest painters,” says the BBC. I say, no, she was not. The Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–c.1656) was not a genius, was not uniquely gifted and should definitely not be considered a great painter. But don’t take my word for it — see for yourself. Here is one of her most famous and extravagantly praised paintings:

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (c. 1640), Artemisia Gentileschi

Given the title of Gentileschi’s self-portrait, you can’t fault her ambition and egocentricity. But you can fault her perspective, her composition, her colouring, her grasp of her own anatomy, and her ability to represent fabric, flesh, and hair. Here for comparison is a self-portrait by a genuinely gifted female artist, the French Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun (1755–1842):

Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat (1782), Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun

Vigée-Le Brun represents herself as attractive and enjoying both life and being a woman. Feminists don’t want women to be attractive and happy like that. They want women to be unhappy, angry and militant. That’s one big reason they prefer the untalented Gentileschi to the highly talented Vigée-Le Brun. I don’t think Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting even rises to the level of bad art. The words that come most naturally to my lips are “bloody awful.” The first time I saw the painting in a book of art history, I wondered whether its inclusion was a joke or mistake. How could any art-historian or critic take that mess seriously?

The siren-song of solipsism

Very easily, it became apparent. And very prudently too. Anyone at the Guardian, BBC or other leftist institution who spoke the truth about Artemisia Gentileschi’s sometimes execrable art would be in serious trouble. If Gentileschi had been a man and painted to the same low standard, she would quite rightly have been forgotten long ago. But she was a woman and a “rape-survivor,” so feminists in the 1970s decided to create a cult around her. By worshipping her, they were really worshipping themselves, because I think some or perhaps most feminists don’t see other women as individuals or even as human beings in their own right. Instead, those feminists see other women as reflections of themselves or as counters in the feminist struggle for power and self-assertion.

But this inability to see others as real applies more generally to leftists and their supposed objects of concern. I was struck by this passage in The Liar (1991), an autobiographical novel by the near-ubiquitous British leftist Stephen Fry: “For Adrian other people did not exist except as bit-players in the film of his life. No-one but he had noted the splendour and agony of existence, no one else was truly or fully alive.” Fry is homosexual and half-Jewish, which may also be significant, but his solipsism is, I’d argue, an important feature of leftism. For leftists, collectivism is really the simplest and surest way to exalt the self. And you can see these aspects of leftism in the cult of Artemisia Gentileschi — and also in Gentileschi herself. Her bad art is now being worshipped in a major exhibition at the National Gallery in London. Here’s how Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett of the Guardian reacted when she overheard some truth-telling at the exhibition:

Artemisia’s features, in the guise of myriad saints and figures from myth and religion, are everywhere. As Laura Cumming wrote, she “seems to live inside every role she depicts”. I delighted in this, but other visitors did not. “Self-obsessed”, said one older man, and I laughed to myself because, really, his remark was just too perfect, too predictable, too tediously sexist for words. The history of women and art has been, in the main part, a history of bodies. Bodies stripped of clothing and imagined and objectified by men. Yet running alongside this parade of breasts and bottoms as conceived by the male gaze is a subversive counterhistory: that of women artists seeing themselves. (The history of art is full of female masters. It’s time they were taken seriously, The Guardian, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett)

Yes, Gentileschi did see herself. She then put herself down on canvas, over and over again, in awkward, ugly, ill-coloured ways. That is subversive, I suppose. It’s definitely self-obsessed. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett says the remark by the “older man” is “tediously sexist” because she can’t say that it’s untrue. Gentileschi also sometimes looks self-pitying, as in her Self-Portrait as Martyr, the painting on the left below:

Some of Artemisia’s subversive self-obsession: self-portraits as martyr, lute-player and St Catherine

Cosslett both explains and echoes the self-pity: “Artemisia was a survivor of male violence, just as I am. Tears sprang to my eyes when I looked at the transcript of her torture during her rapist’s trial, and read that she had repeated ‘è vero, è vero, è vero’ (‘it is true, it is true, it is true’).” I’d suggest that Cosslett wept for herself, not for Gentileschi. That is, Cosslett sees Gentileschi as a reflection of herself, not as an individual. That’s why objective standards of good and bad art don’t apply in the cult of Artemisia Gentileschi. She and her art serve to reflect feminists back at themselves.

And her art is probably even more appealing to feminists because, unlike Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun’s, it is bad art. Leftists hate beauty, truth and goodness, and delight in the destruction of those things. The cult of Artemisia exalts ugliness and insists on untruths: Artemisia was a “genius,” a “uniquely gifted artist … among the all-time greatest painters.”

Chopping off White men’s heads

The cult also celebrates the overthrow of White men, because this is Gentileschi’s most famous painting in its two versions:

Judith Beheading Holofernes

Many painters have represented the ethnocentric Old Testament story of a Jewish heroine killing a gentile to defend her people, but few have done it as badly as Gentileschi did. And here is another of her bad paintings on a similar theme:

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist (c. 1615)

Gentileschi places herself on canvas, dealing death to White men, and feminists can again see themselves reflected in her bad art. If you want to see how a real genius represents Judith’s death-dealing, here is Caravaggio:

Caravaggio’s Judith beheading Holofernes (1599)

Compositionally, that isn’t one of Caravaggio’s best paintings: it isn’t a realistic portrayal of what such a beheading would have looked like (according to the apocryphal Book of Judith, Holofernes was drunk and helpless when Judith cut off his head as her maidservant kept watch at the door of his tent, but painters have understandably chosen more drama and less drunkenness). Gentileschi understood Judith’s task better, which is why she shows the beheading as a collaboration. After all, men are on average far more physically powerful than women, as Gentileschi presumably learned when she was raped by her father’s assistant, Agostino Tassi.

Victimhood valorizes

So yes, she was the victim of a bad crime and yes, the crime was compounded by the torture she endured to prove her accusation against Tassi. But her victimhood does not “valorize” her art (to use an ugly neologism found in this feminist art-criticism on Gentileschi). Her art is still bad and Caravaggio’s is still sublime. I’m not disturbed by Gentileschi’s decapitations. They might be more realistic, but they don’t look real. Caravaggio’s decapitation does look real.

And while Gentileschi painted herself as a martyr and saint, as you can see above, Caravaggio painted himself as a sinner, as you can see below:

Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ (c. 1602)

The figure on the far right, holding up a lantern to assist the taking of Christ for trial and crucifixion, is probably Caravaggio himself. That is a very simple and effective way to represent a difficult but essential Christian doctrine: that we all bear responsibility for the crucifixion of God’s only-begotten son.

Anatomy out of whack

It’s also significant, I think, that Caravaggio has given a determinedly gentile face to the kiss-bestowing Judas, an archetypal Jewish villain in so much Christian iconography. There’s no evasion of responsibility here: Caravaggio is saying “I did it; you did it; we all did it.” But if Artemisia Gentileschi had attempted the same scene, I think her first impulse would have been to give Christ her own features and thereby play the victim again. She certainly couldn’t have painted to Caravaggio’s sublime standards. He could represent reality; she couldn’t. Even the Guardian and BBC acknowledge Gentileschi’s artistic failings:

Her anatomy is sometimes out of whack, her details occasionally glossed over (or perhaps painted by assistants). … the single light source in [Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (1623-5)] — a candle near Judith’s upper arm — is in the wrong place. It is too far behind Judith, who has her left hand held out catching the light that is clearly behind it, which is not possible. The mistake is compounded by a poorly painted shadow covering much of Judith’s face, which is also not possible. It’s a splodge and a botch. (Artemisia review — overwhelmingly present, The Guardian, 4th October 2020; Artemisia Gentileschi: Will Gompertz reviews her show at the National Gallery, BBC, 3rd October 2020)

Will Gompertz of the BBC then says: “And yet. Who cares?” I care and so should everyone who wants to defend artistic standards. Gentileschi’s failings aren’t minor and incidental, but major and characteristic. It matters that her “anatomy is sometimes out of whack” and that Caravaggio’s isn’t. She aimed for realism like him and didn’t achieve it. And without the example and inspiration of male painters like Caravaggio, she wouldn’t have reached even the low standards that she did. Whether feminists and other leftists like it or not, artistic genius and creativity are largely male things — more specifically, White male gentile things.

Some risibly bad art by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Feminists and other leftists don’t like it, of course, which is why they have created cults not just for Artemisia Gentileschi, but also for the risibly bad Black artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and the parodically minimalist Jewish artist Mark Rothko (see Brenton Sanderson’s three-part study of Rothko). Unlike them, Gentileschi valued realism, even if she didn’t achieve it. Basquiat and Rothko are part of what Tom Wolfe calls The Painted Word, that is, art that depends for its success not on its own merits, but on the spinning of verbal webs by disproportionately Jewish critics, academics and dealers. But Caravaggio’s realism — his ability to capture reality in paint — was not an isolated act of genius. It is no coincidence that his great art belongs to the same period as the birth of modern science and anatomy. Other White men were looking at the world and trying to understand and represent it in objective ways. Caravaggio was obsessed with light; Gentileschi was obsessed with herself.

The might of the “male gaze”

So are many of the feminists who now celebrate her and her subversive gynocentric reclamation of “breasts and bottoms as conceived by the male gaze,” as the Guardian journalist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett put it. But if Cosslett wants true subversion, she should consider the fact that female breasts and bottoms were actually created by the male gaze. You could almost say that the human female is a work of art created by the human male, because countless acts of sexual selection down the course of evolution have favoured some types of women and disfavoured others. The sexual selection has worked in the other direction too, shaping male bodies according to female preferences.

But humans are not like Birds of Paradise, with drab, selective females and spectacular, attention-seeking males. The shaping of women by the “male gaze” may have been particularly strong in Europe when women were competing for the attention of skilled hunters in the colder and harsher European environment. The anthropologist Peter Frost argues that this female competition explains the variety of eye- and hair-colours found in Europe, where genes for blue eyes and blond hair appeared under pressure of the male gaze. In prehistoric times, White women were evolving special beauty even as White men were evolving special creativity.

Opposing beauty, pursuing power

In modern times, that White female beauty was celebrated by the art of White male creators. Later still, both the art and the beauty were attacked by leftist ideologies invented or decisively influenced by an alien group called Jews. I agree with a fascinating article at National Vanguard arguing that “Jews themselves are an unattractive and, on average, ugly people” and that “Jews, as a group, oppose beauty.” Indeed, the Talmud advises Jews not to regard physical beauty as important in marriage: “For ‘false is grace and beauty is vain.’ Pay regard to good breeding, for the object of marriage is to have children” (Taanith 26b and 31a).

The cult of Artemisia Gentileschi is a product of those leftist ideologies, celebrating a painter who was mediocre at her rarely achieved best. And just as Gentileschi’s art was not beautiful, nor was Gentileschi herself. She looks masculine and muscular, with high testosterone that may have given her the ambition and drive to promote herself in a way that her art could not do on its own merits. And she had novelty value as a female painter, of course. Cosslett says that a “large part of why Gentileschi captivates is because she triumphed against patriarchy.” But feminists like Cosslett don’t genuinely care about patriarchy or about rape. It wasn’t the Guardian or BBC that exposed the Muslim rape-gangs of Rotherham and numerous other British towns and cities. But it is the Guardian and BBC that support the continued growth in Western nations of Islam, which competes with Orthodox Judaism for the title of the world’s most patriarchal and misogynistic religion.

Instead, feminists like Cosslett care about themselves and about warring on truth, beauty and goodness. The cult of Artemisia Gentileschi is a small but characteristic battle-front in that war. Gentileschi was a bad artist who created ugly art. There are thousands of male artists far worthier of exhibitions at the National Gallery and of praise in the mainstream media. But those male artists don’t receive the attention they deserve. Not while leftism rules the media and inverts reality in its perpetual quest not for truth and beauty, but for power and revenge.

Moral Communities and the Summer of George

The Summer of George is a paradigmatic example of a media-induced moral panic. A whole new, well-funded industry involving “racial sensitivity training” has sprung up where White people are systematically browbeaten into racial submission and abject guilt for the accomplishments of their ancestors. Such moral panics are, so far as I know, unique to the West and a key consequence of individualist culture. Try to imagine a moral panic in an African society. Or China. Or an Arab country. Not going to happen (counter-examples welcome).

My view is that the moral communities observed at the origins of Western history and surfacing recurrently in later centuries tapped into a pre-existing tendency among individualists to create such communities as a force for cohesion that does not rely on kinship relations. Particularly important since the seventeenth century have been the egalitarian moral communities based on a hunter-gatherer ethic whose evolutionary origins are discussed in Chapter 3 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition (hereafter Individualism).

Egalitarianism is a notable trait of hunter-gatherer groups around the world. Such groups have mechanisms that prevent despotism and ensure reciprocity, with punishment ranging from physical harm to shunning and ostracism.[1] Christopher Boehm describes hunter-gatherer societies as moral communities in which women have a major role,[2] and the idea that Western cultures, particularly since the seventeenth century, are moral communities based on a hunter-gatherer egalitarian ethic will is a major theme of Individualism  In such societies people are closely scrutinized to note deviations from social norms; violators are shunned, ridiculed, and ostracized. Decisions, including decisions to sanction a person, are by consensus. Adult males treat each other as equals.

Moral communities are pervasive throughout the institutional structures of the West; however, because of their widespread influence, moral communities are particularly noteworthy in the media and the academic world—both areas which have been dominated by a Jewish elite whose gradual rise to power increased greatly after World War II and came to dominate the culture of the West by the 1960s. For example, whereas mainstream social science had been relatively free of morally based ingroup-outgroup thinking prior to World War II, such thinking has had dramatic effects on the social sciences and humanities in later decades, to the point that academic departments and scholarly associations in these areas can be accurately characterized as “tribal moral communities” in the sense of Jonathan Haidt.[3] This is most obviously the case in areas such as social psychology, sociology, and ethnic and gender studies.

The result has been that academic research communities and the media rigorously police research and commentary that conflict with racial egalitarianism or promote the interests of European-derived peoples, and these attitudes have been internalized by a great many White people. Researchers such as Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, J. Philippe Rushton, and Ralph Scott who attempt to publish findings on race differences or on public policies related to race find themselves socially ostracized, and they quickly learn that there are steep barriers to publication in mainstream academic journals and no mainstream grant support for their research. Recently Bruce Gilley, a professor at Portland State University, had the audacity to publish an academic article titled “The Case for Colonialism” in which he “suggested that European colonies in the Third World were both beneficial and legitimate, as they generally increased the local standard of living and were often supported by a significant portion of the local population.” The moral (not factual) condemnations quickly followed, and his department is now doing all can to make life miserable for him despite “acknowledg[ing] Gilley’s professionalism: it alleges neither academic misconduct nor personal misconduct on his part but affirms the opposite.” The editor of the journal where the article was published “resigned his position out of fear for his physical safety.”

One wonders how Gilley’s article even got published. When scholarly articles contravening the sacred values of the tribe are submitted to academic journals, reviewers and editors usually become extremely “rigorous”— demanding more experimental controls and other changes in methodology. Such “scientific skepticism” regarding research that one dislikes for deeper reasons was a major theme of The Culture of Critique in discussions of the work of Franz Boas, Richard C. Lewontin, Stephen Jay Gould, and the Frankfurt School, to name a few.[4] 

One result of this academic reign of terror has been that conservatives often self-select to go into other areas that are not so compromised, such as the hard sciences or computing; there is also active discrimination against conservative job candidates and Ph.D. applicants.[5] The system is therefore self-replicating.

Normal levels of wanting to be liked (not to mention pathological altruism) often involve a sense of self-righteousness, which can be translated as a sense of moral superiority that advertises one’s good reputation within a community defined, as prototypical European groups are, not by kinship but by conforming or exceeding the moral standards of the community. As noted above, such expressions of moralistic self-righteousness have a long history in Western societies and are very salient in contemporary political rhetoric.

It’s interesting that moral outrage, especially by males, acts as a cue to mate value in monogamous marriage that is a fundamental marker of Western social structure.[6] Since women want mates who fit into their moral community, men who signal moral outrage compatible with the values of that community are seen as good marriage prospects. One can imagine how this works on campus environments in the contemporary West where moral outrage directed at pretty much the entire Western past is de rigueur. Or in cities like Portland where, on Columbus Day, statues of Teddy Roosevelt and the sainted Abraham Lincoln (because he ordered the executions of 38 Indians after a Dakota uprising) were toppled by morally outraged antifa mobs.

An example of how self-righteous virtue signaling works at the highest levels of government can be seen in the comments of David Goodhart, a liberal journalist on migration:

There has been a huge gap between our ruling elite’s views and those of ordinary people on the street. This was brought home to me when dining at an Oxford college and the eminent person next to me, a very senior civil servant, said: ‘When I was at the Treasury, I argued for the most open door possible to immigration [because] I saw it as my job to maximise global welfare, not national welfare.’ I was even more surprised when the notion was endorsed by another guest, one of the most powerful television executives in the country. He, too, felt global welfare was paramount and that he had a greater obligation to someone in Burundi than to someone in Birmingham. … [The political class] failed to control the inflow … in the interests of existing citizens.[7]

An evolutionist can only marvel at the completely unhinged—pathological—altruism on display here, given that the people making these policies are presumably native White British themselves.

This overweening concern with people of different races living in far off lands at the expense of one’s own people was characteristic of many nineteenth-century English intellectuals, particularly those associated with Exeter Hall, who exhibited what Charles Dickens described as “platform sympathy for the Black and … platform indifference to our own countrymen.”[8] In his novel Bleak House, serialized in 1852–53, Dickens portrayed such sentiments in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, whose “handsome eyes had a curious habit of seeming to look a long way off. As if … they could see nothing nearer than Africa.”[9] Mrs. Jellyby neglected those around her, including her daughter, her thoughts directed instead towards the fictitious African possession of Borrioboola-Gha and her idealistic plans for its development.

It is well-known that massive non-White immigration has had negative effects most of all on the traditional, White working class of Western societies, while wealthier Whites can escape the problems brought about by immigration by moving to other neighborhoods—the phenomenon of White flight.  They also tend to have jobs, such as in journalism, that have not been impacted by immigration, although visas for workers in technical areas are increasingly common. However, contemporary liberal-minded elites throughout the West are indifferent or even dismissive of the negative effects of immigration on the White working class in terms of lowered wages,[10] lessened community cohesion and involvement,[11] and deteriorating public schools. As noted, in Mrs. Jellyby’s case, this included neglecting her own children—also characteristic of contemporary liberals who typically fail to think seriously about the effects of mass non-White migration on the long-term prospects of their own children as a minority in a majority non-White society.

Such expressions of high-mindedness are attempts to fit into a moral community as defined by the media and accepted by their peers. Because the left dominates the moral high ground, expressing empathy for the native Whites, especially the White working class, makes anyone with such ideas into a moral pariah, as would advocating for their interests, with likely negative effects on career prospects. Indeed, expressions of White identity and especially having a sense of White interests have been condemned by establishment media and academic figures as illustrating the lowest form of moral depravity.

Of course, the motives involved in such cases may involve more than empathy for suffering others. While these elite Whites may feel genuine empathy for suffering others in foreign lands to the point of wanting to inundate the West with them, they are also in effect buttressing their status in the morally defined ingroup. They may even be attempting to be “more moral than thou”—competitive virtue signaling—by out-empathizing others in the group. And whether consciously or unconsciously, they may be aware of severe costs if they fail to conform to the norms of their moral community—as well as the benefits of conforming.

The conviction of self-righteousness characteristic of altruistic people need not be rational:

What feels like a conscious life-affirming moral choice—my life will have meaning if I help others—will be greatly influenced by the strength of an unconscious and involuntary mental sensation that tells me that this decision is “correct.” It will be this same feeling that will tell you the “rightness” of giving food to starving children in Somalia, doing every medical test imaginable on a clearly terminal patient … . It helps to see this feeling of knowing as analogous to other bodily sensations over which we have no direct control.[12]

In other words, the sensations of rightness and nobility act as psychological reflexes, and they are so pleasurable that people are inclined to seek them in their own right and without regard to facts or the long-run consequences to themselves.

Talk to an insistent know-it-all who refuses to consider contrary opinions and you get a palpable sense of how the feeling of knowing can create a mental state akin to addiction. … Imagine the profound effect of feeling certain that you have ultimate answers. … Relinquishing such strongly felt personal beliefs would require undoing or lessening major connections with the overwhelmingly seductive pleasure-reward circuitry. Think of such a shift of opinion as producing the same type of physiological changes as withdrawing from drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.[13]

Feelings of moral righteousness may thus be pleasurable and lead to addiction. “Sanctimony, or a sense of righteous outrage, can feel so intense and delicious that many people actively seek to return to it, again and again.”[14]

The pleasure of knowing, with subjective certainty, that you are right and your opponents are deeply, despicably wrong. Or, that your method of helping others is so purely motivated and correct that all criticism can be dismissed with a shrug, along with any contradicting evidence.[15]

This type of sanctimoniousness is, of course, particularly common among the people labeled “Social Justice Warriors.” These are the people screaming “racist,” “misogynist,” “white supremacist,” etc. at any seeming violation of the norms of the moral communities of the left. And, because of the cultural hegemony of the left, such people can often be seen on social media (and in op-eds in the mainstream media) expressing their moral righteousness—a moral righteousness that fits with or extends the boundaries of the cultural left.

Another aspect of this is competitive altruism or competitive virtue signaling. Given that expressions of moral righteousness are typically communicated in a social setting and are aimed at solidifying or enhancing one’s reputation within a group, there may be competition for ever more extreme expressions of self-righteousness—even among people who are not biologically inclined to be prone to be warm and loving to others. Extreme expressions of moral righteousness are not only addicting, they may also raise one’s status in a social group, just as it’s common for religious people to express “holier than thou” sentiments. Strongly religious people compete to be most virtuous in their local church. On the left, we see vegan fanatics shunning vegans who even talk to people who eat meat or eat in restaurants where meat is served—even family members. I imagine there is a dynamic within antifa groups—the shock troops of the establishment’s views on race and migration—where people who do not condone violence or are unwilling to crack heads themselves are ostracized or at least have much less status.

The result is a “feed forward” process in which the poles of political discourse move ever farther apart, doubtless exacerbated by the contemporary fixation on social media. For example, well-publicized attacks on Confederate statues have quickly morphed into attacks on Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Christopher Columbus. Sympathy among liberals for granting amnesty to illegal immigrants has morphed into calls by prominent Democrats to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), make border crossing legal, and give them health care, driver’s licenses, voting rights, and ultimately citizenship. Inviting anyone remotely associated with conservative ideas—much less the racialist Right—to give a talk at a college campus has morphed from a tolerated rarity to a context for angry protests, rioting, injuries to conservatives, and damage to property.

I suggest that this competitive virtue signaling is a major cause of the increasing polarization that we see in the United States and throughout the West in the age of social media. A Pew Research Center survey on changes in U.S. political culture from 1994–2017 found that the increasing divide between Republicans and Democrats, especially on immigration and race, was much more due to the median views of Democrats shifting left.[16]

Nevertheless, a theoretically similar phenomenon exists on the right as, for example, when individuals condemn others for being insufficiently militant or ideologically pure. However, because the left dominates the cultural landscape, such competitive virtue signaling has had most of its effects on the left as the median views of liberals shift to the left. Such competitive virtue signaling from both the left and the right is highly characteristic of the social dynamics of social media sites and journalism.

People on the right face the danger of “doxxing,” having their identity and personal information made public. Hosts of shows in the mainstream media may have to cope with losing sponsors and hence their livelihood; e.g., as of March, 2019, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had lost around 30 sponsors, mainly because of his comments on immigration.[17] Or people may fear losing their job as a result of a phone call to their place of employment by a self-described “civil rights” organization such as the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League. This may well be why it is the left that has become more extreme in recent decades, whereas far too many on the right attempt to mollify their leftist critics by knuckling under to their moral righteousness.

The cultural domination of the left has meant that certain views are off-limits for all but the most daring. Thus, media sites like Breitbart and The Daily Caller, while definitely to the right of the mainstream media, avoid explicit advocacy of White identity and interests. Such constraints are much less apparent on the left, with the result that the left continues to get more and more extreme in their views. As I write, views on immigration noted above and on abortion (making abortion legal up until or even shortly after birth) that used to be virtually non-existent among Democrats are increasingly being espoused by mainstream Democrat politicians and pundits. And because transgenderism has become a leftist cause, pre-pubertal children are now given hormone blockers, at times with disastrous results:

Prescribed puberty blockers by the Gender Identity Development Service as a teenager, the Manchester resident has been left with a male-sounding voice, body hair, a beard, no breasts, and unsure whether she will ever be able to have children.

A critical consequence of this is racial polarization. White Americans have been shifting toward the Republican Party—the last Democrat president to get a majority of White votes was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In general, this is an expression of implicit Whiteness, as non-White groups coalesce in the Democratic Party. The point here is that such trends are likely to increase and polarization become more severe.

Civil war is definitely in the air and one can only imagine the violence that would greet the (at this juncture unlikely) re-election of Donald Trump. But, if Joe Biden wins, a great many Americans, seeing that the changes are happening at warp speed and that the Democrats are aiming at a permanent power via importing Democrat-voting non-Whites, packing the Supreme Court, ending the electoral college and two senators per state and the re(as they already have in states like California), will become disillusioned with the system—like the USSR toward the end of the Cold War. Again, civil war is in the air.


[1] Christopher H. Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).

[2] Ibid., 8.

[3] Jonathan Haidt, “Post-partisan Social Psychology.” Presentation at the meetings of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX, January 27, 2011.

https://vimeo.com/19822295

http://people.stern.nyu.edu/jhaidt/postpartisan.html

[4] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998; 2nd edition: Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2002), especially Chs. 2 and 6.

[5] Kevin MacDonald, “Why are Professors Liberals?,” The Occidental Quarterly 10, no. 2 (Summer, 2010): 57–79.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321716607_

[6] Mitch Brown et al., “Demonstrate Values: Behavioral Displays of Moral Outrage as a Cue to Long-Term Mate Potential,” unpublished ms, Fairleigh Dickinson University (2020).

[7] David Goodhart, “Why We on the Left Made an Epic Mistake on Immigration,” Daily Mail (March 22, 2013).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297776/SATURDAY-ESSAY-Why-Left-epic-mistake-immigration.html

[8] Arthur A. Adrian, “Dickens on American Slavery: A Carlylean Slant,” PMLA: Journal of the Modern Languages Association of America 67, no. 4 (June 1952): 315–29, 329.

[9] Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Vol. 3 (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1853), 26.

https://books.google.com/books?id=KlsJAAAAQAAJ

[10] George J. Borjas, “The Analytics of the Wage Effect of Immigration,” Working Paper 14796 (March, 2009), National Bureau of Economic Research.

https://www.nber.org/papers/w14796.pdf

[11] Robert D. Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century,” Scandinavian Political Studies 3 (2007): 137–174; Salter, “The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity”; see also Frank Salter, “Germany’s Jeopardy,” You Tube (January 5, 2016).

[12] Robert A. Burton, “Pathological Certitude,” in Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan, and David Sloan Wilson (eds.), Pathological Altruism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012): 131–37, 135.

[13] Ibid., 136.

[14] David Brin, “Self-addiction and Self-righteousness,” in Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan, and David Sloan Wilson (eds.), Pathological Altruism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012): 77–84, 80.

[15] Ibid., 80.

[16] Pew Research Center, “The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider” (October 5, 2017).

https://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/the-partisan-divide-on-political-values-grows-even-wider/

[17] Jeremy Barr, “Without Major Sponsors, Tucker Carlson’s Show Leans on Ads for Fox Programming,” The Hollywood Reporter (March 22, 2019).

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/major-sponsors-tucker-carlsons-show-leans-fox-news-house-ads-1196257

The Moral Darwinian Argument For White Interests: Chapter 9 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition

 

We have now reached the last chapter of Kevin MacDonald’s Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. This indispensable book argues that both the rise and decline of the West can be explained in terms of the genetically selected predisposition Europeans have for creating communities that emphasize the moral reputation of individuals for honesty, hard work, and fairness, rather than kinship ties and racial identities. The fundamental error of Whites was to project onto all human beings their peculiar individualism and moral universalism. Whites failed to understand their own history: that only Europeans created moral communities based on universal values, and that non-Whites have remained very in-group oriented and ethnocentric throughout their histories. They failed to understand that in the age of mass immigration non-Whites view their openness as an opportunity to promote their own ethnic interests.

This is not to say that Whites have always viewed themselves in the extreme individualistic and anti-nationalistic manner they do today. Some decades ago, Americans were quite comfortable identifying their liberal nation in ethnic “Anglo-Saxon” terms and imposing strict limits on immigration from non-European nations. They did not think that cultural nationalism was inconsistent with liberal principles. It was really after Word War II that Whites came to the view that liberalism demanded the integration of multiple races within their homelands. Why did they come to this view?

This is where the inordinate influence of Jews comes into MacDonald’s historical study. The Jews did not create Western liberalism. But in the United States, the focus of MacDonald’s work, Jews were crucially important in the articulation of the argument that America was meant to be a “polycentric” nation populated by multiple races. They came up with the idea that liberalism was inconsistent with the identification of America as an “Anglo-Saxon nation.” They played the leading intellectual role in formulating the idea that all Western nations were meant to be multicultural and that assimilation to a “dominant culture” was a violation of the “human dignity” of immigrants. They pushed the idea that Western nations were founded on racism, patriarchal domination, exploitation of the Third World, and that the mere existence of Western nations without racial diversity was a form of “White supremacy.”

MacDonald is not of the view that Whites are inherently condemned to be swamped by non-Whites in lieu of their individualism. As we saw in Part 8 of our extended review, Whites are still instinctively ethnocentric even while they express adherence to immigrant multiculturalism. Furthermore, and this is the focus of Chapter 9, MacDonald anticipates that, as “expressions of anti-white hatred” intensify, Whites will start to coalesce as a race. But he cautions against a strategy premised on the expectation that Whites will suddenly start behaving in the collectivist manner of non-Whites. Whites are not inclined to create kinship-based communities. Therefore, if Whites are to join communities that emphasize their racial interests, they need to be rationally persuaded that these race-oriented communities are morally justified. Whites need to be persuaded that their individual self-interests, and their own liberal way of life, are fundamentally threatened by immigrant diversification. As MacDonald writes:

Pro-White activists attempting to combat this moral community [of the left] must be aware of the very powerful tendency among their constituents toward wanting to be part of a moral community. In particular, they must emphasize that Whites have interests that are morally legitimate.

It is MacDonald’s view that a Darwinian perspective would be an excellent rationally-based argument to persuade Whites about the legitimacy of their ingroup interests. As Whites face increasing hostility from non-whites, they need to be persuaded that their communities based on social trust, rule of law, scientific objectivity, and equal rights, will survive only within an ethnicized form of individualism.

Darwinian Communities of WEIRD Whites

White normies can’t be expected to discard altogether their deeply seated behavioral inclination for communities based on moral fairness, trust, honesty, and merit. They can’t be expected to create “group-oriented intellectual movements based on dogmatic assertions [and] fealty to group leaders.” Whites are a different race with a WEIRD personality and intellect. Whites have a unique capacity for analytical reasoning. Whereas the minds of non-Whites operate within contextual relationships made up of traditions, kinship interests, and personal inclinations, the mind of Whites operate according to rules dictated by the mind’s own rational principles.

The White mind has a capacity for decontextualization, that is, for detaching things from their context, focusing on the inherent traits of objects as such and developing formal rules for explaining and predicting phenomena. The non-White mind, if I may put it bluntly, can’t fully distinguished the subject and the object, the mind and the body, the context and the thing-in-itself. The minds of collectivist non-Whites are socially embedded, which means that the collectivist mind tends to be trapped to the surrounding world of prescribed or dogmatically given norms and interests of the kinship group, and thus has a lesser capacity for impartiality, for science, for honesty, for trustworthiness. It is no accident that Whites are responsible for almost the entire history of logic, 97% of all scientific findings, the development of abstract symbols in musical notation, arithmetical operations, grammatical rules, and almost all the categorizing, serializing, enumerating, and inferring in science.

Therefore, if identitarians are to make a case for White racial interests in the face of growing White awareness of their impending marginalization, they must articulate arguments that take into consideration the unique nature of the White inclination for moral communities. It is MacDonald’s conviction that the key to a successful moral argument is to persuade Whites to create moral communities with a proper Darwinian understanding of history and in-group interests. The following are some of the key Darwinian lessons Whites must integrate into their moral communities:

  • that there are genetic differences between peoples, and that despite their individualism and universalism Whites have legitimate racial interests like every other race.
  • that those communities enjoying higher social trust, lawfulness, political participation, functional schools, and ethnic cohesion happen to be heavily populated by Whites with minimal diversity.
  • that the moral communities Whites cherish based on democratic politics, rule of law, meritocracy, are deteriorating precisely because these communities are increasingly populated by non-whites and dominated by radical leftist politics.
  • that Whites are the least morally depraved race on the planet when it comes to political corruption, inequality of rights, and ethnic despotism.
  • that low-IQ immigrants are a drain on society and on the ability of White nations to compete in our highly technical world economy, as well as a major cost to White taxpayers.
  • that mass immigration brings a downward pressure on the wages of working classes, and that the importation of workers from India and China undermines White high tech workers.
  • that immigration and incessant attacks on “white racism” are leading to extreme polarization in politics, civil strife, and eventual civil war across many Western communities, rather than racial harmony and the elimination of human conflict as promised.
  • that diversity comes together with increased anti-White hatred and violence against Whites.
MacDonald’s book thus comes full circle, in a tightly argued manner, from a very original account of Western uniqueness based on Darwinian principles, to a call for White identity politics based on moral Darwinian arguments that appeal to the individualism and the analytical mind of Whites to counter the anti-white “monster” the “left and its big business allies have created”. Criticisms can undoubtedly be directed against Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. But having studied this book in a thorough manner, I am convinced that MacDonald’s perspective is far more than one viewpoint among other interesting viewpoints. It is an indispensable viewpoint without which White identity politics would lack both a solid scientific foundation and a compelling moral argument that could persuade large numbers of Whites about the legitimacy of their ingroup interests.

Why Are Whites Cancelling Their Race? Chapter 8 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition

Whites cleaning messy destruction of blacks in Minneapolis

Do you know why Europeans across the political spectrum — Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists — are morally committed to a politics that is leading to the dissolution of their millennial racial identities while promoting the racial identities of non-white immigrants within their own nations?

There are many answers out there. Whites have been brainwashed by elites in control of our schools, media, and government institutions. The importation of immigrants is a strategic ploy by leftist parties to create a permanent bloc of immigrant voters. Corporations are looking for cheap labor and real estate development.

But the deeper answer puts the blame right in front of White themselves: immigrant diversity is rooted in a culture that takes the individual as its basic ontological principle, disparages any form of ethnic nationalism among Whites in favor of the rights of all humans to become citizens of European nations. The Western ideals of individualism, egalitarianism and moral universalism are the ultimate causes.

White Moral Communities

In our extended review of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition we have seen that for Kevin MacDonald individualism is the core principle of Western civilization. The root of this principle is the separation of the individual from kin-based ties. It would seem, then, that MacDonald would hold this separation responsible for the plight of Whites today. His answer to this question, however, goes beyond a straightforward blaming of liberalism. The West today is not dominated by free-wheeling individuals. It is dominated by extremely powerful “moral communities” in the media, universities, “civil rights” organizations, political parties, and business groups. These moral communities are “pervasive throughout the institutional structures of the West”. The “conventional morality and intellectual discourse” of the West is dominated by “leftist ideologies of race and ethnicity”. While the “cohesion” of these communities is not grounded in ethnic ties, it is still “tribal” in the sense that those who dissent from its values are “socially ostracized” and curtailed in their ability to make a living.

These moral communities, moreover, are not bereft of a biological basis — they are anchored in an evolved psychological need humans have to seek a “social identity” inside groups where they are positively valued. The members of these moral communities are no less inclined than kin groups to view outgroup members in negative terms. The negatively evaluated outgroup is defined primarily as a white who has an ingroup attachment to his ethnic group or race. The individual rights of those who dissent from these moral communities can be curtailed since they are members of a hated outgroup.

While the moral communities of Whites are not based on kinship ties but on morally approved principles, MacDonald brings up research studies, including his own, showing that ingroup favoritism and discrimination against outgroups remain very powerful biological drives. Experiments have shown that Western individualists will favor their own group even when those groups are “constructed using random labels for ingroup and outgroup…and even if there are no conflicts of interest between the groups”. The need to identify with a group, to wish to be validated by ingroup members and discriminate against outgroup members is an evolved result of natural selection, and it is a tendency that continues to prevail among Whites despite their condemnation of biologically based identities. The mental processing that goes on in the expression of these identities is “not the result of conscious reflection but more like an innate psychological reflex”.

In the same vein, MacDonald draws a distinction between implicit and explicit processing of social or ingroup identities among Whites. Just as Whites have an instinctive need to form ingroups that exclude outsiders, they have an instinctive inclination to prefer members of their own race, as is evident in white flight, choice of neighborhoods and schools, and in what some have identified as “stuff White people like to do”. But since these biases are prohibited in White communities, these behaviors are manifested implicitly rather than expressed consciously or explicitly. Whites have been socialized to control their ethnocentric tendencies. Their evolved ethnocentric inclinations are thus kept in check by their conscious “higher brain centers located in the cortex”, which is the area of the brain that reasons and assimilates the values of society. Since Western culture is “hostile to white ethnocentrism”, the higher brain inhibits the instinctive ethnocentrism of Whites.

White moral communities also provide lucrative jobs, security, and emotional comfort to White individuals who abide by the ideological rules. We are not dealing with ethereal beings motivated by high minded principles. Those who engage in “competitive virtue signaling” are self-interested creatures with highly charged emotional feelings of moral righteousness. These feelings are very pleasurable and may lead to an irrational addiction for incessant moral approval from one’s ingroup members. MacDonald cites an authority about “the pleasure of knowing, with subjective certainty, that you are right and your opponents are deeply, despicably wrong…that your method of helping others is so purely motivated and correct that all criticism can be dismissed with a shrug, along with any contradicting evidence”.

PM Justin Trudeau’s political career has been all about virtue signalling

In other words, to understand why Whites are so vehemently obsessed with diversity and so keen (or at least indifferent) about their own replacement, one needs to keep in mind the powerful economic incentives and emotional comforts which characterize the supposedly “conscientious” communities of Whites. The “empathy” whites have for non-whites is backed up by “a very elaborate infrastructure” that provides multiple opportunities for Whites. Whites have been “incentivized” economically and emotionally.

Some in the dissident right think the way to overcome these moral communities is to encourage Whites to exhibit stronger ethnic identities just like blacks and other minorities. But this message would go against the central thesis of MacDonald’s book, which is that White individualism has a genetic basis. The moral communities Whites created in the past were not antithetical to their interests but were indeed the most successful communities created in history, the basis of immense achievements. As I argued in earlier parts, following MacDonald’s line of thought, the city-states created by the ancient Greeks, the incredibly successful republican form of government created by the Romans, the highly dominant nation states of modern Europe, can all be seen as “moral communities” created beyond the old tribal and highly nepotistic communities of non-whites.

Personality of Whites

This chapter has a very insightful section showing that Whites have unusual personality traits. Insomuch as Whites developed relations with wider tribal networks and went on to create city-states and institutions based on merit, their concern for reputation did not end “at the border of the family and the wider kinship group”. Whites sought “a moral reputation as capable, honest, trustworthy and fair” in the wider society and nation. There were evolutionary pressures for conscientiousness, responsibility, reliability, trustworthiness, dutifulness, and honesty outside the kin group. It is not accident that all the moral philosophies seeking concepts with universal validity (fairness, impartiality, due process) were developed by Whites.

I can’t recall a historian of civilizations writing about this fundamental contrast in personalities. Modernization theorists in the 1950s identified these personality traits as products of modernity per se. Educational experts and aid packages were lauded as the way to create multiple Switzerlands in the African continent. But personality systems run deep. Corruption and ethnic nepotism are pervasive in modernized Third World nations.

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.

But if we can’t remake our personalities in an African way, how are we going to counter the suicidal moral communities of the West? MacDonald’s answer is that Whites do have an implicit inclination to favor their own race, to be ethnocentric. The problem is that the left controls the moral communities. These communities were not anti-White in the recent past. But the “culture of critique” is currently in charge of “programming the higher areas of the brain” of Whites, so the explicit culture is continually suppressing the “implicit ethnocentric tendencies of White people”. This is what the ADL and the SPLC are about: policing the thoughts and behavior of Whites while promoting the ethnic interests of Jews.

MacDonald anticipates that as Whites become aware of their “impending minority status” this will trigger White ethnocentrism. Whites will come to the realization that their culture of individualism, rule of law, and social trust require them to create moral communities that are “adaptive in a Darwinian sense”. Whites will come to the realization that in nations that are committed to multiculturalism and the celebration of the ingroup identities of non-whites, their only hope for survival is to create strong ingroups based on moral principles that value white history, traditions, and family — and exclude those who seek the destruction of Whites.

Reposted from EuroCanadian.ca

The Transformation of Europe as an Elite Project: Review of The Blackening of Europe, by Clare Ellis

Clare Ellis
The Blackening of Europe: Volume I. Ideologies & International Developments
Arktos, 2020.

“When this majority-minority shift occurs, there will be an unprecedented transfer of political power from European peoples to non-Europeans, essentially signalling the final endpoint of Europeans’ sovereignty over their ancestral homelands.”

One of the great tragedies of modern times has been the warped and perverse bureaucratic and institutional form taken by the noble idea of European brotherhood. Once promoted by figures like Sir Oswald Mosley as a means to European resurgence, the unity of Europe in recent decades has instead become a byword for mass migration, repressive speech laws, “human rights” insanity, and ethnocultural suicide. How did it happen? The common understanding in our circles is often very simplistic, relying heavily on caricatures of what has become known as the Kalergi Plan. The Kalergi Plan narrative, as we will discuss below, of course has its merits, and its simplicity is one of them. But for some time I’ve been hoping for the arrival of a text that could be considered the definitive, nuanced, and comprehensive account of how the notion of European unity became a vehicle for European destruction. While Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe was a useful step in the right direction, I believe that it is only with the publication of the first volume of Clare Ellis’s The Blackening of Europe that we finally have the account we deserve. And while I have yet to read the second and third volumes, I eagerly await them in the belief that, taken together, this trilogy will represent one of the seminal ‘Third Positionist’ works of the last two decades.

I have to be honest that prior to the publication of The Blackening of Europe I hadn’t heard of Clare Ellis. This is due more to my own ignorance than any lack of activity on her part, and Clare’s credentials really do speak for themselves. A close associate and former PhD student of Ricardo Duchesne, Clare has written for both the Council of European Canadians and The Occidental Quarterly. I think The Blackening of Europe will, and should, raise her profile considerably. Clare’s research at the University of New Brunswick concerned the demographic and political decline of native Europeans in their own homelands. How much of her PhD material made it into the book isn’t immediately clear, but there certainly seems to be a strong crossover in thematic content.

In brief, the first volume of The Blackening of Europe ambitiously attempts to map the various strands of ideological, political, economic, and social thought and action that combined to warp, define, and pervert the idea of European unity, from its inception to its most modern incarnation. The text features a wide range of information I was familiar with, and very much that I wasn’t, including early eighteenth-century concepts of European unity, the ideas of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, the Fabian Society, the Frankfurt School, the European-Israel relationship, Arab oil embargoes, theories on cosmopolitanism from Kant and Marx to Habermas and Nussbaum, a critical micro-history of Liberalism, Jewish hypocrisy, and an examination of Conservatism and neoconservatism. Fortunately, given the dizzying array of information being offered for consideration, Ellis is a capable guide, structuring the book is a sensible, well-organised manner, and writing in a clear, insistent, and authoritative style.

Ellis begins the book with a familiar, but no less stark and disturbing, fact: “Indigenous Europeans are becoming demographic and political minorities in European nation-states.” There’s a brief discussion of the collapse in European birth rates, but Ellis is clear on the real disaster unfolding before our eyes: “It is not the low fertility rate of Europeans that renders them ethnic minorities within their own nations, but elite-sanctioned large-scale non-European immigration, which began about sixty years ago and which is now integral to the cosmopolitan EU project.” In the context of this project,

indigenous Europeans and their political and cultural institutions and identities are undergoing processes of erasure — stigmatisation, marginalisation, deprivation, and replacement — by mandated immigrationism, multiculturalism, and other methods of forced diversification, while resistance to their political and cultural marginalisation and demographic dispossession is criminalised.

Implicit in Ellis’s account is the accusation both that the decline of Europeans is deliberately engineered and that it violates “various rights of native Europeans as well as international laws that prohibit genocide in any form.”

The book is divided into two parts. The first is “Central Influences on the Formation of the European Union,” which is a mixture of history, politics, and economics. Part II of the book is titled “Deep Ideological Currents,” and is predominantly philosophical and political. The first part of the book is further divided into three sections: “Early European Integration,” “The Fabian Society and the Frankfurt School,” and “International Geopolitical Developments.” In “Early European Integration” we are introduced to the growth of pan-European thought in the middle of the Enlightenment, with references to a European union found in the writings of George Washington, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. These figures promoted unity and cosmopolitanism as a means to bringing peace to a continent long-steeped in almost perpetual war, and Kant’s ideas were particularly influential in the rise of “Peace Leagues” at the start of the nineteenth century. What we see even at these very early stages, however, was a mingling of intentions and differing interpretations of cosmopolitanism. The cosmopolitanism of Kant retained a national character, and was predominantly geared towards the achievement of peace. Europeans within the peace leagues, such as the Union for Democratic Control (UDC, 1914) more or less echoed the same sentiments, but they unwittingly provided cover for those possessing ulterior motives and radically different ideas about cosmopolitanism. Although not mentioned by Ellis, the British Jewish intellectual Israel Zangwill was a co-founder and key figure on the executive of the Union for Democratic Control, and from October 1914 it was Zangwill who provided the UDC with its headquarters.[1] From this base, Zangwill pumped out European “unity” propaganda that attacked what Ellis calls “the nationalist canon,” not with the sole focus of achieving European peace but of promoting feminism and his own idea of “the melting pot” or widespread mixing of peoples and the end of national identity. As is common with such Jewish activists, however, Zangwill was reluctant to live out his own philosophy, marrying within his ethnic group (Jewish feminist Edith Ayrton) and spending most of his life promoting Jewish causes.

Zangwill was probably a key influence on Count Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi (1894–1972), the cosmopolitan geopolitician and philosopher whose name has become synonymous with the worst of the European Union project. Kalergi was himself the product of miscegenation, having an Austro-Hungarian father and a Japanese mother, and he spent much of his life producing a blend of pacifist and European integrationist literature. Ellis carefully contextualises Kalergi, once described by Hitler as a “cosmopolitan bastard,” over the course of some 25 pages, and examines his thought in detail. There were some novel revelations for me, including his self-conscious participation in Freemasonry, his quite extensive reliance upon Jewish finance, and his extremely strange and dangerous fantasy that Jews were the ideal leaders of the future European state. That being said, Ellis provides enough information on Kalergi’s thought to cast doubt on the existence of a clearly-defined “Kalergi Plan.” Much of Kalergi’s work promoted European unity under three banners—peace, civilization (including renewed European colonization of Africa), and trade. Kalergi believed that Europeans shared a common cultural destiny and that Europe should be a world power on the same level as the United States and the Soviet Union. And while he eulogized the notion that the European man of the future would be of mixed race, he does not appear anywhere to have actively promoted immigration to Europe and in fact wrote: “Europe must at all costs prevent that great number of black workers and soldiers from immigrating to Europe.” Ellis comments that although Kalergi was wrong to reduce European identity to a matter of “morals and of style,” he “did not intend for large-scale immigration into Europe from non-European peoples, especially from Africa and the Muslim Middle-East.”

As in the Union of Democratic Control, which housed different goals, interests and ideological trajectories, Kalergi emerges from Ellis’s account as an ideologically and racially confused individual, in possession of eccentric, irrational, and often contradictory theories, and acting often at the hands of much more powerful forces with ulterior motives. By far the strangest of Kalergi’s theories was the idea that the new united Europe should be governed by a “spiritual aristocratic leadership” that “can only be found in the Jewish people.” These traits, according to Kalergi, “predestine Jews to be leaders of urban humanity, the protagonists of capitalism as well as the revolution.” As Ellis puts it:

It would not be the European aristocrats that would lead the new Europe to unification and finally world federation; rather it would be the interplay of the leaders of both Jewish capitalism and Jewish socialism alone who would take over and dominate the forces of European power and determine its destiny.

That Kalergi was probably directly influenced by the work of Zangwill in this regard is almost beyond doubt, and Jewish influence here is compounded by the fact Kalergi was funded by his friend Louis Nathaniel de Rothschild, and the Jewish bankers Max Warburg, Felix Warburg, Paul Warburg, and Bernard Baruch. As well as receiving financial backing, Kalergi was in “constant intellectual dialogue” with Max Warburg, who may have shaped some of Kalergi’s ideas on putative Jewish supremacy. Ellis points out that after World War II, when the first steps towards a unified European bureaucratic structure were being taken, some scholars have argued that “the Pan European Movement and Union were appropriated by people who wished to use it for their own ends.”

These “people,” essentially technocrats, politicians and lawyers, are situated by Ellis within the Fabian Society and the Frankfurt School. The Fabian Society, which aimed for a slow and steady socialist revolution in society, is explained as more or less a club of well-intention British utopian socialist eccentrics until it merged in the 1920s with Rothschild finance and received the generous backing of British Jewish banker Sir Ernest Cassel; it also enjoyed the backing of the Rockefeller Foundation and J.P. Morgan. All were involved in the founding of the London School of Economics (LSE) which was intended to train up activists, bureaucrats, politicians for the revolution. Ellis comments:

So here we have a socialist-capitalist alliance whereby Big Business elites utilise socialist institutions to nurture their own aims. This obviously begs a particular question: Why do major capitalists and international finance organizations want to train the bureaucracy for the creation of a future socialist state? Isn’t socialism, in its very essence, antithetical to capitalism? H.G. Wells explained this apparent paradox in 1920: “Big Business is in no means antipathetic to Communism. The larger big business grows the more it approximates Collectivism. It is the upper road of the few instead of the lower road of the masses to Collectivism.”

Ellis adds that it became the strategy of Fabian socialism to “prefer wealthy elites (intellectual, political, economic) rather than the proletariat (working class) as the source of revolutionary potential.” By 1945, the Fabian Society had taken over the British House of Commons, since more than half of the ruling Labour party’s MPs were paid-up Fabians. The same trends are prominent today, most notably in the example of the Fabian Tony Blair, whose Labour Party during his decade of power (1997–2007) ushered in the biggest ever acceleration of immigration to Britain, and who maintains strong links to Jewish international finance in the form of his close friend and ally Moshe Kantor.

Ellis has a very interesting section demonstrating organic links between the Fabian Society and the Frankfurt School, especially in their early stages, and cross-pollination of ideas between British and German socialists. There are clear parallels in the way both groupings set about their destructive tasks with the tactic of gradual infiltration. Permeation, or “honeycombing,” of existing institutions with committed activists and intellectuals was the preferred methodology of bringing about large-scale societal change, and both groupings eschewed the notion of the working class as a viable source for revolutionary socialism. Ellis lists the “products” of Fabian and Frankfurt School activism as:

feminism; affirmative action; deconstruction; the transformation of the traditional family, church, education, and morals; Third-World opposition movements; anti-nationalism; cultural contempt; anti-discrimination; liberal immigration reforms; ‘White Privilege;’ White Guilt; “Diversity is Strength”; ‘tolerance’; Political Correctness; and multiculturalism.

The dramatic changes witnessed in Western society over the last 70 years have been, argues Ellis, wrought by the activity of a “New Class” composed of university-educated, liberal, cosmopolitans who have gained support from financial elites, thus increasing their social capital and expanding their capacity for political action. Both Fabianism and the Frankfurt School are

elite forms of socialism, whether in intellectual political, cultural, or economic terms, as they no longer focus on the working classes. They are bourgeois revolutionary theories that instigate revolutions from above, not below; they are not grassroots or democratic; they are plutocratic, oligarchic, and dictatorial. These socialist intellectuals ‘march through the institutions’ to effect a ‘gradual’ revolution from above and are sponsored by the capitalist forces they supposedly oppose.

The third section of part I, “International and Geopolitical Developments,” is one of the more factually dense elements of the book, but is worth persevering with. The chapter highlights the ways in which early diplomatic support for Israel (led by the United States and Britain) brought Europe into conflict with oil producers in the Middle East, necessitating not only closer economic ties within Europe but also sowing the seeds for the future Islamization of the continent. Ellis dissects the ways in which American imperialism, international finance, and monopoly capitalism influenced post-war European diplomacy and economic recovery strategies (mainly the importation of supposedly “temporary” foreign labor), and links it to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the creation of global institutions like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and NATO — all of which “influenced the opening of Europe and Western nations to non-European immigration from the Third World.”

By a small margin, I found Part II to be more interesting than the first. It’s comprised of a very ambitious survey of the origins and trajectory of all the contemporary ideological currents underpinning the European Union we see today. There are no less than eleven small chapters critically exploring the evolution of cosmopolitanism (including Kantian, proletarian, critical, universal, liberal and pluralistic variants). The text then moves to a three-chapter exploration liberalism, before ending with a three-chapter exploration of conservatism, including a critique of neoconservatism.

I found Ellis’s treatment of the origins of cosmopolitanism to be very interesting, though I felt that something important had been missed in the absence of any mention that Kant had obviously been influenced in his attitudes to tolerance and cosmopolitanism by Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786), the Jewish intellectual activist most responsible for initiating pluralism, multiculturalism, and even “open borders” as political ideologies in Europe. As one scholar has remarked, “there is every indication that Kant read everything Mendelssohn wrote,” and the pair often exchanged letters and books.[2] In other words, Mendelssohn was, in a form of intellectual parasitism or symbiosis, the “Zangwill” to Kant’s “UDC”. Ellis may have been helped to improve this already excellent section with at least some reference to Mendelssohn and the ideologies of his co-ethnics among the maskilim, or even with some information from Cathy Gelbin and Sander Gilman’s 2017 Cosmopolitanisms and the Jews. The latter is, given its authors, far from perfect, but is a good introduction to the ways in which Jews have gone about promoting cosmopolitanism and its offshoots in European society for the last three centuries. In making such a suggestion I am, perhaps, playing to my own strengths, but I nevertheless feel that the Jewish influence in the origins of the most pernicious elements of this strain of thought merits at least some attention in a book like The Blackening of Europe. Jewish influence in modern cosmopolitan theories is, of course, treated in Ellis’s analysis of the thought of Martha Nussbaum, who “advocates world citizenship and internationalism” and “criticised patriotic pride.”

The result of centuries of cosmopolitan thought is devastating:

Identity for Europeans is [today] about legal proceedings, universal abstractions, and individual interests rather than substantial and meaningful bonds that are in the interests of a community of people united by ancestral, cultural, and other ties. … The majority population lose their particular ethnocultural identity in their accommodation of all other ethnocultural identities in a pluralistic and ethnically diverse constitutional liberal democracy. European majorities do not even become a minority amongst other minorities with the right to self-determination, for what determines their identity is solely in terms of rational universal rights and legal procedures; they have a post-national identity only. … It is clear that many cosmopolitanists perceive all European-based countries of the world and, by extension, all European peoples, to be guilty of something or other: Nazism, colonialism, slavery, Eurocentrism or Westerncentrism, global capitalism, being White etc. It is through this narrative that the radical transformation of European societies and European peoples to align with the dictates of some form of cosmopolitanism is justified.

Ellis’s treatment of cosmopolitanism ends with an extremely interesting profile of the modern-day cosmopolitan class, including reflections on their mental health. They are composed of

wealthy and influential elites who are either neoliberals motivated by global capitalism, or else some form of socialist (Leftist, cultural Marxists) motivated by universal values and societal transformation, or they are both neoliberal and socialist: a socialist-capitalist alliance. In either case, their primary identity is global or cosmopolitan, which is completely independent from geography, nation, ethnicity, or religion, and they seek to change the world according to their elite visions and ideals of humanity, the future, and the global economy.

I concur with all the above, my only caveat being that there’s an obvious exception to this rule and that’s “the Jewish cosmopolitan,” who can be socialist-capitalist while maintaining an intense attachment to geography and nation (Israel), ethnicity (Jewishness), and religion (Judaism). One need only look at figures like Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, Moshe Kantor, along with the vast majority of the Jewish Big Tech CEOs, hedge fund bosses, bankers, media barons, consumer culture despots, and loan merchants, etc., to see that this is plainly and inarguably the case. What we therefore see in the ongoing story of European cosmopolitanism is the confluence of two separate strains of activism — the generally well-meaning European variant peopled by Kant, the UDC, and some of the non-Jewish utopians; and the Jewish one featuring Mendelssohn, the Frankfurt School, and Jewish Capital. It is the latter that has attached itself to the former, perverting and distorting its vision for their own ends. The present-day European Union is the disfigured and defective offspring of this sinister congress.

Ellis’s analysis of the mental health of the average member of the cosmopolitan elite is excellent. Her assertion that they “have a combined sense of intellectual superiority, moral arrogance, and existential insecurity, often involving fear of ‘natural groups,’” couldn’t be more aptly applied to Jewish activists. One is also reminded of the infamous 2010 confrontation between the Fabian British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Gillian Duffy, one of his own voters. Duffy had mentioned a lack of jobs in the context of ongoing mass immigration, prompting Brown to quickly abandon the exchange and get into a departing car. Unaware that his microphone was still on, a horrified Brown was recorded by the media talking to his aides: “That was a disaster—they should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? Ridiculous!” Asked what she had said, he replied: “Everything, she was just a bigoted woman.” The cosmopolitan elite in a nutshell — fleeing from reality and full of moral and dehumanizing condemnations of those members of the “natural group” who dissent.

The book’s treatment of Liberalism and Conservatism is equally masterful, and includes a powerful critique of neoconservatism that includes references to, and quotes from, such figures as Sam Francis. It sets the stage nicely for Volume II of the trilogy, which will deal exclusively with the aftermath of Zionist neocon wars in the Middle East, in the form of mass migration and the acceleration of the Islamization of Europe. The volume concludes with an Afterword offering a summary of findings, and a helpful guide to what can be expected in Volumes II (Immigration, Islam and the Migrant Crisis) and III (Critical Views) of the trilogy.

Clare Ellis is to be commended for producing what is sure to be the definitive work on the co-option of the European unity project from its beginning by hostile forces, and for setting down for all time one of the clearest records yet written of the ideological, financial, political, and ethnic interests behind them.


[1] S. Kadish, Bolsheviks and British Jews: The Anglo-Jewish Community, Britain and the Russian Revolution (Frank Cass, 1992), 62.

[2] J. Schmidt, Kant’s Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 75.

From Puritan Individualism To Jewish Infiltration – Chapter 6 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition

Editor’s note: Chapter 6 is an important part of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition because the Puritans became an elite group in the United States, dominating the academic, media, financial, and industrial establishment. They instigated for the Civil War, and their moral idealism remains with us today as we confront our current moral panic surrounding Black Lives Matter and our wars for democracy in the Middle East. Since around 1950 they were increasingly replaced by a new Jewish elite with very different values and outlook, and this cultural revolution was substantially accomplished by the 1970s, resulting in the America we see today. I thank Dr. Duchesne for his excellent introduction and commentary on this material.
Franklin Roosevelt (front, second from left) with football team, 1899

Chapter 6, “Puritanism: The Rise of Egalitarian Individualism and Moralistic Utopianism,” of Kevin MacDonald’s Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, claims that Puritanism and the intellectual movements descending from this religion were the “most important” forces shaping the culture of the United States “from the eighteenth century down to the mid-twentieth century.” Puritanism, and the WASP culture it engendered, would cease to be hegemonic over American culture as Jews came to infiltrate “critical sectors of American life” from the early 1900s onward.

For some time, Anglo-Saxon Darwinism managed to hold Jewish influence at bay, winning the battle for immigration restriction with the passing of the Immigration Act of 1924. But the Jews were growing behind the scenes.  Two million arrived from Eastern Europe between 1890 and 1924. While they lost the fight against immigration restrictions, their influence would grow unimpeded in the media, the social sciences, the legal profession and in finance. Darwinism, and the theories of race associated with this movement, would soon face defeat in academic circles, in no small measure because of the influence of Franz Boas. By 1965 Americans would come to agree with Jewish elites that their WASP nation was meant to be a “melting pot” of multiple races based on universal principles.

Jewish Infiltration of WASP Community Norms

Was there something in Puritanism and the Anglo-Saxon mind set that made them susceptible to this kind of infiltration? Contrary to common interpretations, MacDonald does not frame this debate solely in terms of  WASP individualism versus Jewish in-group strategic control. He distinctly says that individualism is not incompatible with in-group strategies and collectivist norms. The Puritans had strong in-group markers. Their Anglo-Saxon descendants had a strong sense of ethnic identity, what it meant to be “distinctively American”. In fact, as we will see in our examination of later chapters, MacDonald believes that the “liberal cosmopolitanism” ruling the Western world today resembles “the Puritan tradition of combining individualistic tendencies with strong social controls”.

Western individualism has engendered its own forms of collectivism. The difference is that the collective identities the West promoted have tended to be based on moralistic/ideological principles rather than on kinship relations. Their ethnic attachments were exhibited within in-groups far larger (city-states and nation-states) than the typical clannish tribal groups we find outside the West. The argument is not that Western individualists were bereft of any communitarian ties. The argument revolves around different types and degrees of individualism in relationship with different types and degrees of “ideological” collectivism.

The type of moral communities whites created (relatively freed from kinship ties) left them susceptible to out-group infiltration. While Americans managed to create very powerful nation-state with a strong in-group WASP ethnic identity, their liberal and egalitarian values left them susceptible to out-group infiltration. The Jews successfully radicalized  the Anglo-Saxon “sense of fairness and egalitarianism” against  an America based on a WASP identity.

“Puritanism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy”

MacDonald believes that the English Civil War, which established the influence of Puritan culture in both Britain and the United States, should be “seen as a turning point in the history of the West”:

It marked the beginning of the end of aristocratic individualism with its strong emphasis on hierarchy between social categories and the beginning of the rise of egalitarian individualism with its ideology of social leveling and parliamentary democracy — blended with capitalism and wealth accumulation.

In other words, the egalitarian individualism that originated among northwest European hunters and farmers took the upper hand away from the aristocratic individualism which prevailed in ancient and medieval times. MacDonald notes that Puritanism originated in East Anglia, a region with a strong tradition of freedom, fond of town meetings and arguments, with the “highest average intelligence in Britain,” a larger proportion of literate inhabitants, scholars and scientists.

I would add that East Anglia was a region with a high proportion of yeomen farmers, that is, a “middle class” of farmers, just below the gentry, in possession of their own land, without subordination to feudal lords, as well as free to serve on juries and in municipal police forces, from the 15th through 18th centuries. They were also individualistic in their heavy participation in the woollen cloth industry since the fourteenth century, which nurtured a tradition of self-determination and consensual social contract.

However, the one cultural trait Puritans have stood out for historically, and Protestants generally, is liberty of conscience; every individual should be allowed to live by the faith that seems to true to him; every individual should have “direct, unmediated access to God”. MacDonald observes that the “Puritan revolution was carried to its extreme in the United States,” where they were “freed of the hereditary aristocracy and religion of England, during the Jacksonian era”. Another feature of Puritanism was its tendency to “pursue utopian causes framed as moral issues,” in terms of “appeals to a ‘higher law’ and the belief that the principal purpose of government is moral.”

There was a tendency to paint political alternatives as starkly contrasting moral imperatives, with one side portrayed as evil incarnate — inspired by the devil.

This brings me to a trait MacDonald brings up right from the beginning, and it is that Puritans were also “strongly collectivist”, with clear ingroup-out group distinctions. This is why he writes of Puritanism as a “group evolutionary strategy”. It was not a “genetically closed strategy” (even though Puritans were ethnically homogeneous for a long time) since they were open to outsiders who converted to Puritanism. Puritans came to constitute, nevertheless, a very cohesive group with a

powerful emphasis on cultural conformity…and public regulation of personal behavior via social controls related to sex, lack of religious piety, public drunkenness, etc.

MacDonald calls these controls “anti-individualist” in the same vein as he designates Puritanism as an “individualistic group strategy”. This may seem confusing to those who think that individualism is inherently anti-collectivist, but it is not. The Puritan “individualist group strategy” was “remarkably adaptive in an evolutionary sense,” both in England and the United States. In the United States, Puritans “multiplied at a rapid rate, doubling every generation for two centuries”. They nurtured very strong families, with strict yet warm family practices and bonds. They emphasized literacy in both sons and daughters, supporting public libraries and schools. Within their communities, Puritans were indeed committed to egalitarian fairness “and the good of the group as a whole”, rather than allowing each individual to maximize his interests as a private agent. They had a strong moral commitment to the moral well being of others. Farmers without any educational background, for example, “voluntarily contributed some of their harvest to support university faculty and students”.

Early Puritan in America

At the same time, in the United States, as Puritans prospered and “became more inclined to commercialism and materialism,” the religious controls waned, particularly as the population grew, and the areas originally inhabited by Puritans grew into cities, as they were opened to waves of immigrants who were not committed to a Puritan way of life. But these developments did not bring an end to the moral commitments of Puritans, but resulted in the rise of a “secular version of moral utopianism”.

 Puritan-Descended Transcendentalist Intellectuals

Transcendentalists were a very influential intellectual elite (roughly from 1830 to 1860) in America with Puritan origins. They are called “transcendentalists” because they believed that humans could transcend their animal instincts by using their minds in the creative way it was meant to be used. They believed that humans could overcome their greedy impulses, lust for sex and power, and ethnocentric biases, through socialization in the ideals of “brotherly love” and control over their bodily senses and appetites. MacDonald notes that this utopian optimism coincided with the incredible material progress American was witnessing in the nineteenth century, in science and technology. This progress inculcated the belief — and not just among transcendentalists — that a “golden age of peace, harmony, righteous behavior and material comfort” was attainable.One could get into a long discussion here about how the ability of whites to form groups freed from biologically-based kin-groups is what allowed them, not just transcendentalists, but Western thinkers from ancient times onward, to employ their minds in far more creative ways than all the other cultures combined. This creativity, witnessed in multiple fields — the arts, architecture, music — can hardly be identified as inherently naive just because it presupposes the freeing of the mind from purely Darwinian pressures. It can, and has been, the basis for Western “realism” and the formation of powerful ethnic states, and indeed the creativity behind Darwinism. This transcendence, however, can be very dangerous as we have seen aplenty in the many utopian worlds whites have concocted out of their imagination. The American transcendentalists, as was observed of Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the main intellectuals of this group, tended to be men with a “cheery, child-like soul, impervious to the evidence of evil” — easy prey to manipulators of the mind.

Although the ideas of transcendentalists would lose their preeminence after the bloody Civil War, and American intellectuals would be influenced by ideas of progress based on realistic assessments of human nature, their illusions about a peaceful “brotherhood” across the world would continue to influence American liberalism thereafter.

Anglo-Saxon Individualism and Ethnic Identification

One could argue, roughly speaking, that the Anglo-Saxon liberalism that came to dominate America from the late 1800s through to the 1960s was a compromise between the universalism of transcendentalism and the materialism of Darwinism. On the moderate side (so to speak) were the Anglo-Saxons who were proud of their ethnic identity and view their individualism as a unique attribute of their ethnic heritage, while believing, at the same time, that immigrants from other European ethnic groups could be assimilated into the dominant WASP culture. They were influenced by the Social Darwinists, but they also believed that non-Anglos could be socialized to act like “good Anglo-Saxons”. They believed that their individualism “sprang from their ethnic heritage” and that if this heritage was to be preserved immigrants had to be raised as good Anglos.
Some Anglos were more radical in their individualism, advocating individual freedom from all remaining Puritan social controls; identified by MacDonald as “early precursors of 1960s’ hippiedom, celebrating self-discovery, emotion over logic, intuition, rebellion free love, Black jazz”, but others were on the right of the Anglo-Saxon spectrum, influenced by Darwinian theories of race. While we can say that the Anglo-Saxons intellectuals who advocated assimilation were voicing the majority view among Americans, MacDonald identifies the long period from 1880 to 1965 as a period of “ethnic defense” in acknowledgement of the considerable influence that Social Darwinian ideas (developed by Arthur de Gobineau, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gustave Le Bon, Herbert Spencer, Madison Grant, and Lothrop Stoddard) played in ensuring the Immigration Act of 1924 and keeping the borders close until 1965. For these Darwinians, racial differences were real, and the races were “in competition with each other for supremacy”.
For MacDonald, then, the WASP culture of Americans, had nurtured within itself a strong Darwinian movement capable of instilling a solid sense of ethnic identity among white Americans. But this current would not last. Right from the beginning, as this school held sway, a cadre of Jewish immigrants, freshly off the boats, set out to argue that the American ideals of individualism and universalism were inconsistent with any notion of America as an Anglo-Saxon ethnic state.

Between Jewish Universalism and Jewish Nationalism

Some Jews argued that all races, including Jews, should dissolve themselves within an American melting pot of races. But the more influential Jews, themselves influenced by Darwinian race theories, believed that Jews, in the words of Felix Adler (1851-1933), should only “universalize themselves out of existence when the task [of ethnic dissolution of non-Jews] was complete”. The Jews had their own unique universalist ethics, with a commitment to bring an end to the ethnic and racial identities of Americans (and the rest of the world). Jews should preserve themselves as the harbingers of a new world order. At the same time, Jews should build their own nationalism in order to protect themselves in a world full of antisemitism. Some Jewish intellectuals (Israel Zangwill, for example) would argue that “Jews were a morally superior race” with a morally superior religion—Judaism—with a “moral vision” to become the shinning light for a future America bereft of its historic Anglo-Saxon identity.
I was very surprised to learn from MacDonald (when first I read some four years ago his article, “Jewish Involvement in Shaping American Immigration Policy, 1881-1965“) that Jews were the first to articulate the idea of multiculturalism. I thought that the theory of multiculturalism was quintessentially Canadian. While I still think that Canadians, such as Will Kymlicka and Charles Taylor, would go on to develop a full explanation of how multiculturalism, not assimilation, was consistent with Western liberalism, it continues to surprise me (reading this chapter) that back in the early 1900s Jews were already making the case that America was meant to be a “polycentric” nation characterized by cultural pluralism. To compel immigrants to assimilate to a dominant Anglo-Saxon culture, Jewish intellectual were arguing long ago, would constitute a violation of their “human dignity”. Assimilation entailed the denigration of the culture of immigrants. The nation of America must be de-linked from its Anglo-Saxon ethnic core. Anglo-Saxon culture should be seen as just one culture among many others.
Jews arriving in America

Worse than this, actually, for Jews the Anglo-Saxon majority culture in America was never meant to be a particular culture in its own right, but a culture inherently open to multiple cultures with their own particular identities. This view was only a few steps away from the Canadian idea that immigrant minorities deserve special group rights to protect themselves from the majority European culture with its inherent tendency to be racist and discriminatory.

MacDonald emphasizes how Franz Boas and his followers would assume control over the American Anthropology Association, as well as every major department of anthropology, by 1926, displacing the Darwinians. Jewish intellectuals effectively exploited the moral universalism of American liberals, a task becoming all the more easy after the Second World War, which discredited ethnic nationalism as inherently belligerent and genocidal. This intellectual displacement of the Darwinians (and the American intellectuals who emphasized their Anglo-Saxon cultural heritage) came together with the “unseen power” of Jewish international finance, increasing control of the media and outright ownership of major newspapers. Henry Ford famously wrote about this influence, observing in the 1920s that Americans had been made to feel that public discussion of the Jewish Question was improper.
It does not seem quite accurate to say that collectivist Jews exploited the inherent inability of American individualism to generate any form of ethnic identity. It seems more accurate to say that they hijacked Anglo-Saxon moral communities. The same Jewish intellectuals who would “expose the power structures of white America” would come to create a rigid ideological community with norms prohibiting debate on race differences, biological differences between the sexes, criticism of mass immigration, and white identity.  A strange social order would appear, characterized by the decline of the family, paternal authority, and genuine individualism. The Anglo-Saxons were genuine individuals in their appreciation of the capacity of the rational ego to decide what is the good life in communication with others. But this rational self, capable of choosing its own religious beliefs, was substituted by what Christopher Lasch would call in the 1970s a narcissistic individualism entrapped to a world of consumerism, helpless, dependent and passive, but assured by the politically correct community that he is living a meaningful life as long as he accepts diversity without rational criticism, views whites as inherently racist, praises non-whites for their authentic culture and longs for a multicultural world across the West.

Hail the Catholic Church for Forcing Monogamy Upon the Nobility: Chapter 5 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition

Prof. Ricardo Duchesne comments on Chapter 5 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition

Since the beginning of his academic career in the early 1980s, Kevin MacDonald has been wondering why only in the West “wealthy, powerful men” have not sought “to control ever larger numbers of women”. Evolutionary biology teaches that male reproductive success benefits greatly from the acquisition of multiple mates. In all societies, except those in which harsh ecological conditions limit the amount of surplus the society can generate, “it is expected that males with wealth and power” will employ their surpluses to “secure as many mates as possible”. This is evolutionary biology 101.

It is also what the historical record shows.

The elite males of all of the traditional civilization around the world, including those of China, India, Muslim societies, the New World civilizations, ancient Egypt, and ancient Israel, often had hundreds and even thousands of concubines.

White elite men were the only ones in history who did not follow this biologically prescribed tendency. We saw in Parts 3 and 4 (of my extended analysis of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition) MacDonald’s argument that a genetic disposition for monogamy may have evolved among European men back in hunting and gathering times due to harsh environmental conditions in northwest Europe during the last glacial age. In chapter five, “The Church in European History,” which is the subject of this article, MacDonald explains that, while “the Catholic Church cannot be seen as originating monogamy,” this Church was very effective in regulating the sexual behavior of powerful aristocratic men, the ones most inclined to pursue sexual variety.

Many books have been written about how and why Catholicism birthed the modern world. The most popular one is Thomas E. Wood’s How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (2012). This book persuasively shows the indispensable role Catholicism played in the creation of universities, the promotion of science and rational law. It asks many interesting questions, such as: “How the Church humanized the West by insisting on the sacredness of all human life?” “How the idea of a rational, orderly universe — fundamental to the Catholic worldview, but absent in non-Christian cultures — made possible the flowering of science in West?”

MacDonald acknowledges the importance of Christian ideas in history. The crucial difference is that he wants to know whether these ideas were actually able “to exert a control function over behavior and evolved predispositions”. What stands out for MacDonald about the Catholic Church was its ability to regulate the sexual behavior of powerful White men in a monogamous direction away from the strong inclination of such men for polygamous relations. Essentially what the Church did was to instill strong religious norms (about mortal sin and punishment in Hell) in the mental processing of the higher brain centers of aristocratic men, damping down the instinctive appetite of the lower parts of the brain for multiple mates.

In this effort, MacDonald pays careful attention to Larry Siedentop’s book, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (2014). This book is about the Papal Revolution of the 11th and 12th centuries, which involved the establishment of the supremacy of the papacy over religious affairs, control over the selection of the clergy away from secular aristocrats, the revitalization of Roman law leading to development of Canon law, coupled with the moral restoration and expansion of monasteries manned by a clergy committed to celibacy and the weakening of kinship networks among traditional German aristocratic families. There was a concerted emphasis, this time in the history of the Western family, on marriage based on consent of spouses, prohibition of divorce even if the marriage was infertile, elaboration of rules against consanguineous marriages, and delegitimization of concubinage.

In other words, the Church promoted consensual and egalitarian marriage relations based on the free will of individual men and women. This is what Siedentop means by the Catholic “invention of individualism”. This individualism, according to Siedentop, was rooted both in the Christian notion that humans had individual souls with moral agency and equal value in the eyes of God and in the Greco-Roman idea that one could be a citizen of the polis regardless of tribal identities.

The collapse of Rome, however, and the conquering barbarian Germanic peoples, had resulted in the reinforcement of tribal identities. This is what the Catholic Church set out to undermine. It set out to break down “Germanic tribes organized as kinship groups based on biological relatedness among males,” while simultaneously harnessing their warrior ethos for the spread of Christianity. Codes of honor about one’s kindred and one’s war band, as well as marriage of blood relatives, were still quite strong among  Germanic barbarians, notwithstanding their individualist tendencies. MacDonald observes that the prohibition in the sixth century of consanguineous marriages among second cousins was extended by the eleventh century to sixth cousins.

Christian Collectivism Replaces Kin-Based Collectivism

But how can we say that the same medieval age everyone has characterized as “communal” and “collectivist” was the age in which the individualist tendencies of the West were consolidated? MacDonald is quick to point out that the Church itself took on the role of building in the West “a strong sense of group identification and commitment”. The “collectivism of European society in the High Middle Ages was real,” but it was a pan-European ideological-Christian form of collectivism set up against the in-group biological collectivism of smaller kinship groups. It was (if I may express MacDonald’s thesis in unmitigated terms) a collectivism of moral precepts operating at the conscious “higher brain centers located in the cortex” rather than at the instinctive biological levels of the reptilian and mammalian brain. It was a collectivism with its own ambitions for power set up “at the expense” of traditional sources of power — kings and the aristocracy with their persisting kinship networks — with the ability to provide power-seeking Christians incentives to join the expanding and revenue-generating institutional structures of the Church.

It was a collectivism that promoted Western individualism by promoting monogamy, individual choice in marriage outside one’s kinship network, and sexual restraint among powerful aristocratic men. MacDonald goes over other aspects of the Christianized monogamous families of the West, late marriage, relatively high number of unmarried women, celibacy, along with its attendant “low pressure” demographic profile, which lessened consumption of scarce resources and allowed for greater capital accumulation and economic well-being.

But the point I would like to emphasize is the implicit idea in MacDonald that a collective moral identity is consistent with the promotion (or existence) of individualism. Collectivism versus individualism is not the issue. There has never been, and there will never be, a society based on individualism alone. The question is both degree of individualism/collectivism, and the nature of the individualism and collectivism prevailing in a society. As I started arguing in Part 2, weak kinship/tribal ties are not a bad thing, but indeed allow for the rise of broader forms of collective identities, as occurred in ancient Greece when equal citizenship was granted to all native members of the city-state in order to avoid endless tribal conflicts.

Christianity ran against the particular kinship relations and interests of Germanic tribal groupings and aristocratic blood networks, and it did so by cultivating a moral community of believers. Many on the dissident right today blame Christianity for promoting universal values and the equality of human souls across the earth in the eyes of God. MacDonald does not blame Christianity. He does not argue that the Catholic Church created the conditions for the subsequent rise of multicultural collective norms. He is aware, as we will see in future parts, that the same leftists who advocate for the breakdown of biologically-based identities have created powerful moral communities which stand against individual dissent. Instead of calling the West a flat out “individualist” culture, we should rethink very carefully the changing relationships and substantive natures underlying the uniquely Western dialectic between individualism and collectivism.

We will see in our examination of chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 of MacDonald’s Individualism and the Western Tradition that he looks at other intervening stages in the rise of Western individualism, including the way Jewish intellectuals transformed Western individualism into a call for the complete erosion of Western ethnocentric collectivism. One anticipatory question I will allow myself to make now is whether we can look at the rise of Western nationalism in the modern era as a rational strategy by European ethnic groups freed from restrictive tribal identities on the basis of broader territorial ties, historical memories, linguistic similarities, and ethnic lineages.

From their inception, Western national states were heavily ethnic-oriented territories with strict immigration controls up until the 1970s — the most efficient fighting machines and engines of growth created in human history. But increasingly since WWII Whites have been made to believe that the very idea of sovereignty goes against the principle of individual freedom because it “discriminates” against individuals from other nations who have a “human right” to become citizens of Western nations. Europeans need to understand that their individualism can only be fulfilled within a nation state that recognizes the reality of racial and sexual groupings.

There are no chapters in MacDonald’s book on nationalism, and I have never conducted an in depth study of the grand epoch of Western nationalism. But in light of MacDonald’s insights about the peculiar dissolution of Western kinship ties and the rise of individualism, we should start thinking about the dissolution of kinship ties as a process whereby Europeans were trying to generate wider forms of collective identity controllable by the higher brain centers, beyond the lower Darwinian drives that came to prevail in the non-Western world.

This article originally appeared at Eurocanadian.ca.