Category: ethics

Ethics, Pragmatism, and EGI

Refuting retardation.

I’ve been reading various retarded arguments against Salterism. One particularly stupid and dishonest argument is that Salterism implies that men should rape women so as to spread their genes and increase their fitness, or that if a person has a sick grandmother, they should eschew helping her in any way, since she is past reproductive age and so why waste your resources and thus depress your fitness. Thus, the critics assert that genetic interests must lead to a vicious “nature red in tooth and claw” Darwinian scenario in which people are raping and killing each other for a genetic advantage, and in which the elderly are allowed to “rot” if they don’t enhance one’s immediate genetic fitness. Unfortunately, some “friends” of EGI make analogous arguments; they use “EGI” as some sort of talisman to explain everything from the price of milk to bad weather, and assert that every human interaction is explained, or should be, by “EGI.”
Now, Salter has the last 1/3 of his book devoted to the ethics of EGI.  Critics (and a few “friends”) either ignore that section, or casually dismiss it as “add-on hand-waving” – as if many pages of carefully reasoned arguments based on ethical philosophy is mere “hand-waving.”  But, very well. I’ll make two major practical, pragmatic arguments why the “red in tooth and claw” assertions are wrong-headed and/or fundamentally dishonest, and why attempts to maximize genetic interests to the “nth degree” are doomed to be counter-productive.
1. It is simply not practical or pragmatic. Salter himself acknowledges that a very fine-grained pursuit of genetic interests is likely not possible and that the best that can be hoped for is to prevent large-scale maladaptive outcomes, such as mass migration and ethnoracial displacement/replacement.  What is a person to do?  Make every person they come into contact with take a genetic test, measure the genetic distances, and then calibrate every behavior in accordance to these distances?  To do this even with co-ethnics, with everyone?  For what? To gain an advantage of 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 of a “child equivalent?”  The effort and resources wasted on such nonsense can be better applied to serious efforts in enhancing personal/familial genetic interests by raising a family in a stable society and in enhancing ethnic genetic interests by opposing mass migration.  An Irishman who, say, prevents 1000 Nigerians from immigrating to Ireland, has done orders of magnitude more for his genetic interests than any microscopic advantages to be gained by maximizing every passing personal interaction with his co-ethnics. The idea that the Irishman would be better served spending his time “raping women” (and avoiding arrest and imprisonment) rather than working, raising a family, and engaging in nationalist politics is so ludicrous that any intelligent person should be ashamed to even bring that up as an argument.
2. There is a difference between “gross genetic interests” – trying to maximize as much as possible genetic interests “to the last drop” no matter the cost, and “net genetic interests” – decisions that maximize the net genetic payoff in the end when all the costs vs. benefits are accounted for.  It is clear that these two are not equivalent. An example would be a population that attempted to maximize their genetic interests by rapid population expansion. That’s great – until they outstrip their carrying capacity, ruin the environment, and see their population crash, or attempt to relocate to another group’s territory, resulting in conflict that can turn deadly and result in genocide. Net genetic interests are better served by a more prudent policy of managing the population-environment equation and preserving the ethny from threats such as mass migration. Or, what if an ethny decides to start nitpicking on minor genetic gradients within the ethny and decides to maximize genetic interests by breaking their nation apart into small micro-states, each with an increased genetic relatedness? Perhaps every town and village can be a separate nation! And then a more integrated larger ethny comes along and more easily conquers (militarily or simply through mass migration or other tactics) each of these small micro-states in turn. The costs of destroying a historic nation, eliminating the organic solidarity of an established people, reducing the resources and power of the state, leading to defeat and destruction, would more than outweigh any putative gain by some slight increase in genetic relatedness of the population.
Going back to the original retarded arguments: any individual will have a greater genetic interest stake in their ethny, with its large population, than in their own individual fitness. On a smaller scale, familial fitness outweighs that of the individual. In civilized societies, ethnies and the families that make up these ethnies prosper by social stability, a proper degree of law and order, and distribution of positive social goods to family members and to co-ethnics. A society in which the population are savagely raping and killing each other to gain some incredibly tiny gain in fitness is not one in which any ethny will prosper. A family in which the elders can expect to be treated harshly is not one that will prosper and have the older generations helping to care for the younger. Even if we wish to ignore ethics, there are sound practical reasons to follow a more civilized, prudent, and conservative personal and familial lifestyle, because if everyone behaved in like bad fashion, everyone’s fitness (including yours) suffers in the long run. And free-riders are inevitably punished by a civilized society: being thrown into prison for rape or abusing elders will hardly boost long-term genetic fitness. In other words, attempts to maximize genetic interests to absurd levels meet with diminishing returns and eventually become self-destructive: beyond a certain level (reasonably defined by Salter’s ethics), one loses more genetic interests than one gains.
And here we come full circle with the ethics.  Even IF we were to agree that EGI could be optimized by rape, murder, and throwing grandma on the rubbish heap, what civilized society would accept that?  Europeans certainly would not. Even IF you consider ethics a sham, if those ethics make EGI more palatable for acceptance by the population, then ethics you must have. A 90% efficient policy of genetic interests that is acceptable to the population is infinitely more valuable for maximizing fitness than a 100% efficient policy that is rejected, for the rejected policy, by definition, will have a net efficiency of ZERO.

Of course, all my arguments are simple common sense, and it is hard to believe that the critics are so stupid not to realize all of this. They simply have ethnic and/or ideological agendas to delegitimize EGI. So they make retarded arguments, brashly declare that they have “killed Salterism,” and hope that the rubes believe them. It’s quite…unethical.