Category: altruism

When Is Self-Sacrificing Altruism Noble and Moral?

Answer: when it is adaptive.

In Salter’s On Genetic Interests (First Edition), pgs. 307-308, there is a brief discussion of how calls by moralists for completely disinterested, self-sacrificing altruism by others can serve the selfish interests of the moralists. Salter cites “one leading evolutionary theorist” who contends that “only non-fitness-enhancing behavior can be moral.”  Salter then cites someone else, called Alexander, who scoffs at this by suggesting that “this is an unconsciously self-serving moral sentiment that, when expressed, influences some susceptible individuals to show indiscriminate altruism that benefits the moralist.”  Salter then states that “by definition such behavior will tend to reduce the relative fitness of the genetic altruist.”  Salter then says it is unfortunate that Alexander did not discuss why the moralist’s arguments would not affect his own kin and offers no evidence that such moralists do not preach the same to their own families.

I’ll take a crack at this.  I think Alexander fails by stating that the altruism has to be “indiscriminate” and thus the advice in favor of “self-sacrificing altruism” meant for universal consumption.  From a WN point of view, when mainstream moralists call for such altruism, what they really mean is for (specifically) Whites to practice pathological self-sacrificing altruism for (specifically) non-Whites (including Jews). These calls can be explicit, or can be implicit using code-words, or simply using the realization that some ethnies are more or less ethnocentric than others, and that calls for such pathological altruism, while seemingly “universal,” will only affect less ethnocentric Whites while sparing non-Whites “immunized” by higher levels of ethnocentrism.  

Note that dual morality raises its head here, with Jews promoting miscegenation across wide racial lines for Whites, while moaning that inter-marriage is “worse than Hitler” for Jews. And the allegedly “high” Jewish inter-marriage rate is probably not only overestimated, but I note that it is overwhelmingly conducted with White Gentiles, who are genetically and phenotypically relatively similar to Jews, while Jews promote miscegenation of White Gentiles with Negroes, Asians, and other genetically and phenotypically distant (and in some cases low-IQ etc. – e.g., Negroes) groups.  So, yes, there is evidence that these moralists do not practice what they preach, and have a different message for familial and ethnic kin.  Also see the Jews’ different opinions about diversity and immigration as it applies to the West vs. how it applies to Israel.

The problem also occurs within Der Movement, where it is sometimes suggested that “inferior” White ethnies and individuals should sacrifice their interests to altruistically promote the well-being of “superior” White ethnies – with such calls usually coming from “superior” ethnic individuals or by non-Whites with an axe to grind against Whites in general (or who are simply deranged and/or influenced by writings by “superior” ethnics calling, explicitly or implicitly, for such altruism).  Also see page 109 of Salter’s book, where he states that calls for a special status for certain groups – e.g., that they are particularly deserving of having their EGI cared for – could be a “competitive move” by individuals from such groups.

I for one take the adaptive approach and would suggest that folks incorporate their own personal, familial, and (narrower) ethnic genetic interests in any activism in favor of more general EGI.  The two do not have to be in opposition, and I see no special truth or nobility in self-sacrificing altruism that is one step removed from the general pathological altruism that is helping to destroy the White race.

By the way, objectively speaking, one cannot find fault with the position of Derbyshire, who has to balance his English/White EGI with the fact he has intertwined his personal/familial genetic interests with that of China.  Hence, the promotion of anti-WN Jeurasian “race realism” and the HBD cult that grovels before the Altar of Asia, whole throwing a few bones in the direction of Whitey. However, subjectively, Derbyshire’s interest conflict with mine and with that of most White Americans; therefore, from our adaptive standpoint, we are justified in opposing him. That’s our “truth.”

I would propose that the only self-sacrificing altruism that is truly noble and moral is that which serves genetic interests.  It is not noble to sacrifice one’s interests for someone else’s ethny. Indeed, when such sacrifice is done at the expense of one’s own ethny, it is commonly known as treason. The ultimate solution is to sacrifice along a continuum, or within a concentric circle, of interests.  Thus, if a White person sacrifices for the White (European race), an entity that contains within in it whatever narrower identifies this person also has, then the sacrifice is noble, moral, and adaptive – indeed, adaptiveness should be a criterion for nobility and morality.  After all, ultimate interests – which are genetic – by their very name trump all else.

The Free-Riding/Social Pricing Paradox

If free-riding makes ethnic nepotism “impossible” than why are social pricing and anti-discrimination laws felt to be necessary?

Question:  If free-riding is such a problem for ethnic nepotism and various forms of ethnic activism, if it is all so “impossible” and “unrealistic” then why, pray tell, is there an intricate system of social pricing – never mind actual anti-discrimination laws – designed to dissuade people from engaging in such “impossible” and “unrealistic” behavior?  If everyone would just free-ride on the ethnic altruism of a small number of naive saps, then where is the problem?  Social pricing would seem superfluous, and anti-discrimination laws even more superfluous.  Why, people would just like, you know, spontaneously engage in aracial behavior, right?
No, they would not.  That fact than a repressive “carrot-and-stick” regime of de jure laws and de facto social pricing has to be in place to punish (for Whites only, of course) ethnic altruism/ethnic nepotism while incentivizing (for Whites only, of course) neutral or even pro-alien behavior is practical prima facie evidence that people – including many Whites – would naturally engage in ethnic altruism and ethnic nepotism in a “free marketplace” system lacking in coercive laws and social controls.  There is no other reason for all these laws and social strictures except the very real fear that in the “free marketplace” of ideas and actions people would act in a more ethny-based fashion and discrimination (pro-ethny and anti-alien) would be commonplace.

The Social Dilemma of Autonomous Vehicles

A free-riding social dilemma.

In all cases, emphasis added:

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) should reduce traffic accidents, but they will sometimes have to choose between two evils, such as running over pedestrians or sacrificing themselves and their passenger to save the pedestrians. Defining the algorithms that will help AVs make these moral decisions is a formidable challenge. We found that participants in six Amazon Mechanical Turk studies approved of utilitarian AVs (that is, AVs that sacrifice their passengers for the greater good) and would like others to buy them, but they would themselves prefer to ride in AVs that protect their passengers at all costs. The study participants disapprove of enforcing utilitarian regulations for AVs and would be less willing to buy such an AV. Accordingly, regulating for utilitarian algorithms may paradoxically increase casualties by postponing the adoption of a safer technology.

In summary, people think that in theory it’s great to have self-driving cars that would sacrifice the driver in order to save a greater number of strangers in a potential accident situation. But they want other folks to have such cars; for themselves, they want a self-driving car that would safeguard their own personal safety (and that of other Passengers, particularly family members) “at all costs.”
People, being what they are, are also dishonest about this:

Participants’ approval of passenger sacrifice was even robust to treatments in which they had to imagine themselves and another person, particularly a family member, in the AV (study three, n = 259 participants). Imagining that a family member was in the AV negatively affected the morality of the sacrifice, as compared with imagining oneself alone in the AV (P = 0.003). But even in that strongly aversive situation, the morality of the sacrifice was still rated above the midpoint of the scale, with a 95% CI of 54 to 66.

In theory they say they can imagine themselves sacrificing their life to save a greater number of others, and although this willingness is decreased if family members were also to be sacrificed, the “morality of sacrifice” was still there. (Note would this be the same for all ethnies? Der Movement would assert that those of “high-trust hunter gatherer” ancestry would likely be more willing to self-sacrifice. Likely, in general, Gentiles of European descent would be more likely to theoretically endorse such sacrifice than other races). But – alas! – there is a catch. Despite this moral posturing, these same people would be unwilling to actually buy a self-driving car programmed to sacrifice passengers for a greater number of, e.g., pedestrians. Thus:

This is the classic signature of a social dilemma, in which everyone has a temptation to free-ride instead of adopting the behavior that would lead to the best global outcome. One typical solution in this case is for regulators to enforce the behavior leading to the best global outcome. Indeed, there are many similar societal examples involving trade-off of harm by people and governments (15–17). For example, some citizens object to regulations that require children to be immunized before starting school. In this case, the parental decision-makers choose to minimize the perceived risk of harm to their child while increasing the risk to others. Likewise, recognition of the threats of environmental degradation have prompted government regulations aimed at curtailing harmful behaviors for the greater good. But would people approve of government regulations imposing utilitarian algorithms in AVs, and would they be more likely to buy AVs under such regulations?

Free-riding! Not only for ethnic nepotism, it seems! Could it be regulated? However:

Our findings suggest that regulation for AVs may be necessary but also counterproductive. Moral algorithms for AVs create a social dilemma (18, 19). Although people tend to agree that everyone would be better off if AVs were utilitarian (in the sense of minimizing the number of casualties on the road), these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs. Accordingly, if both self-protective and utilitarian AVs were allowed on the market, few people would be willing to ride in utilitarian AVs, even though they would prefer others to do so. Regulation may provide a solution to this problem, but regulators will be faced with two difficulties: First, most people seem to disapprove of a regulation that would enforce utilitarian AVs. Second—and a more serious problem—our results suggest that such regulation could substantially delay the adoption of AVs, which means that the lives saved by making AVs utilitarian may be outnumbered by the deaths caused by delaying the adoption of AVs altogether. Thus, car-makers and regulators alike should be considering solutions to these obstacles.

This is a model for self-sacrifice (in theory) vs, self-preservation (in realty), as well as greater concerns when relatives are involved (familial genetic interests), and the free-riding/tragedy of the commons problem. All food for thought.
And here’s a final question: would people be less willing to “self-sacrifice” in a self-driving car (in theory, only in theory!) if those strangers to be saved were of a different ethny?

Gay Genes?

Always single genes?

On a thread from a Counter-Currents post about homosexuality, a commentator writes:

If “gayness” (i.e. total unambiguous homosexuality) is genetic, then how is it passed from generation to generation? Clearly whoever was carrying this gene wasn’t too gay to be making babies. Either that or society up until now has forced them to, thus inadvertently ensuring their survival. 

I’m not sure why people always assume that complex human behaviors are always the result of a single gene, or a small number of genes – just like the HBDers and their postulated “gene(s) for altruism.” The above comment is a case in point. Now, it is possible that homosexuality is due to a single gene or a small number of genes that is/are under direct selection.

However, it is equally possible – and probably more likely – that homosexual behaviors, to the extent that they are genetic, are due to the coinheritance of a number (likely more than a few) gene alleles, AND that these alleles may be maintained in the population for reasons other than homosexuality.

As theoretical examples: alleles coding for femininity in women which when inherited by sons increases chances for being gay, or genes for masculinity in men when inherited by daughters increases the probability of being a butch lesbian, or genes for creativity/aesthetic sense, which could be favorably selected for in some modern societies but which may also incline toward gayness.  

So, a man inheriting, say, a mix of femininity genes and artistic genes and some other genes – all of which are adaptive on their own in specific environments – may have a  greater chance of being homosexual. 

In this way,a tendency toward homosexuality is an unavoidable emergent property – a side effect if you will – of happening to inherit a constellation of gene alleles that are present in populations because they are adaptive for other reasons not having anything directly to do with homosexuality.

This is a hypothesis that may be right or wrong, but is just as likely as “gay genes” or “gay uncle fitness” or “gayness as a result of viral infections.”

Of Altruism and Apes

Science News, March 2016.

Goal-directed human behaviors are driven by motives. Motives are, however, purely mental constructs that are not directly observable. Here, we show that the brain’s functional network architecture captures information that predicts different motives behind the same altruistic act with high accuracy. In contrast, mere activity in these regions contains no information about motives. Empathy-based altruism is primarily characterized by a positive connectivity from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to the anterior insula (AI), whereas reciprocity-based altruism additionally invokes strong positive connectivity from the AI to the ACC and even stronger positive connectivity from the AI to the ventral striatum. Moreover, predominantly selfish individuals show distinct functional architectures compared to altruists, and they only increase altruistic behavior in response to empathy inductions, but not reciprocity inductions.

Hein et al. provide yet another striking finding. After categorizing participants as either selfish or prosocial on the basis of their behavior toward the control partner, they find that only selfish participants increase their donations toward the empathy partner, whereas only prosocial participants act (even) more generously toward the reciprocity partner. Provided that this result can be established as robust and generalizable to nonlaboratory contexts, it bears high relevance for social policy and for treatments of antisocial behavior: Whether we want to increase altruism in an already cooperative group or in individuals with deficits in prosocial skills, we should focus on emphasizing reciprocity or empathy, respectively.

That’s interesting since I would have assumed the opposite: that the selfish participants would be more attuned to reciprocity rather than empathy compared to the prosocial, and vice versa.

Two reintroduced females were not from the local subspecies; one has at least 14 descendants, whereas the other has had few offspring, many with health issues that could be the result of mixing populations. Meanwhile, an estimated nine males from mixed-species unions have carried their “cocktail” of genes into the wilds of Tanjung Puting National Park—with unknown repercussions. 

Hey, I thought “mixing” and “hybrid vigor” was great!  What gives?  Reality – when it is not politically charged issues related to humans, scientists admit that mixing populations is detrimental, leading to “health issues” and “unknown repercussions.”

More on the Stupid Altruism Argument

Some generalized common sense.

One needs to also move on from abstract theory about putative “alleles for altruism” (which insofar as I know have not been discovered) and ask practical questions.

Joe votes for an anti-immigration political party. Jim votes for a pro-immigration political party. Jim and Joe are both native co-ethnics. In what way are ‘alleles for altruism’ being selected against?
Better yet and a bit more generalized: why is activism in favor of EGI necessarily altruistic?  Why is activism in favor of non-ethnics called “pathological altruism.”
My point and this is important: talking about “altruism” can favor a EGI standpoint, since it seems defending EGI is more “selfish” and surrendering genetic interests to help the unrelated is altruism.

In today’s Germany who is showing altruism – leftists who want more refugees or rightists who do not want them?

To put it simply: non-ethnics can free-ride on altruism as much, or more, than co-ethnics. Altruism in favor of free-riding non-ethnics imposes a double cost: counter-selection to all these majestic yet completely theoretical “alleles for altruism” AND the loss of genetic interests due to less representation of the entire genome. Altruism in favor of co-ethnics – in the context of ethnic competition (which is THE WHOLE POINT of Salter’s work) – at most may impose a cost on these “alleles for altruism” may is adaptive for the entire genome.

One can argue that favoring non-ethnics is more of a “sacrificial altruism” than favoring co-ethnics in any case.

And why does support for genetic interests have to be conflated with “self-sacrificial altruism” in any case.  In the Joe/Jim example above, how is Joe “self-sacrificing?”

This is all missing the forest (genetic interests) for the trees (theoretical arguments about putative “alleles for altruism”).

Alleles for Altruism, Blah, Blah, Blah

Something to remember.

In many cases, pursuit of EGI correlates with proximate measures that increase fitness, so no altruism is involved. After all, why is pro-immigration and pro-refugee activism termed as (pathological) altruism?  Keeping out immigrants can enhance wages – selfish!  Keeping out immigrants allows for more space and better schools and neighborhoods – better for family formation – selfish!  Ethnocentrism is selfish, not altruistic.  Will free-riders take advantage?  Sure. But what about immigrant free-riders taking advantage of the open-borders altruism of the native population?  That’s s double blow – less overall genetic representation AND decreasing “alleles for altruism” by allowing selfish free-riding immigrants to prosper at the cost of altruistic “let them all in” natives.