“We charge you in the name of God, take heed.”
This essay is about the oft-ignored and much-neglected final third of Dr. Frank Salter’s classic work On Genetic Interests, a book that, in my opinion, is of such import that Salter should win a Nobel Prize for this work.
The book is divided into three major sections. The first described what genetic interests and ethnic genetic interests (EGI) are, how they can be measured, and what their import is, and how some objections to these concepts can be answered. The second section studies the political and social ramifications of genetic interests and the EGI concept, and how these concepts could be incorporated into practical biopolitics. The last third of the book deals with the ethics of pursuing genetic interests in opposition to the genetic interests of others and in opposition to the proximate interests (genetic interests being ultimate interests for evolved organisms) of others.
The ethical component of Salter’s work has been ignored by a Left that presents a defamatory strawman representation of EGI as promoting “genocide and rape.” Obviously then, Salter’s careful arguments, and his advocacy of a “mixed ethic” that incorporates individual rights, is anathema to mendacious trash who wish to misrepresent the contents of Salter’s book. Some on the Far Right either ignore or mock this section of Salter’s book because these people actually do advocate genocide and rape (or at least the former) and they characterize the ethical section of the book as an unnecessary politically correct add-on, something purely subjective, and in some cases they engage in some defamation of their own by characterizing Salter’s ethical concerns as “squid ink” to hide the true “nature red in tooth and claw” agenda of On Genetic Interests (projection, perhaps).
I myself have not paid enough attention to this section of the book. As a STEM person with an interest in population genetics and in empirical determinations of ethnic and racial interests, obviously I found the first part of the book riveting; as a White nationalist who wants to achieve certain political objectives based on EGI, it is equally obvious that the second part of the book was also of extreme interest to me. Philosophy and ethics are not my strong suit and although I agree with most of what Salter wrote in that section of the book (unlike some of his foaming-at-the-mouth Nutzi critics), I have heretofore not given that section sufficient attention. I hope to begin the process of rectifying that error here.
As Salter emphasizes, morality is basically an approach for adjudicating conflicts of interests. E.O. Wilson described human behavior as “…the circuitous technique by which human genetic material has been and will be kept intact.” In relation to that goal, he asserted: “Morality has no other demonstrable ultimate function.” This is in accord with the view – promoted by Salter and myself – that genetic interests are ultimate interests. How could it be otherwise for evolved organisms whose reproduction – indeed, whose representation among the informational content of reality – is essentially dependent upon and constituted by “genetic material?” Or more basically by the information encoded in that “genetic material?”
At this point, a brief detour is in order to distinguish “factual truth” from practical truth.” According to D.S. Wilson: “It is the person who elevates factual truth above practical truth who must be accused of mental weakness from an evolutionary perspective.” As a man of science, I have been trained to value factual truth, and that is part of the Western tradition; indeed, it has antecedents in the Classical Civilization of Europe. However, there is truth (both factual and practical!) in D.S. Wilson’s comment. If we merge the assertions of the two Wilsons together, we can say that practical truth is evolutionarily paramount if and when it acts to promote the ultimate interest of genetic continuity.
An example from “movement activism” can clarify how an example of hypocritical racial cant confuses factual and practical truth, and further, how adherence to the genetic interests of racial aliens uses a denial of factual truth to also impede practical truth. A certain “activist” (*) wrote: “Individual and ethnic amour-propre is a powerful motivator in the face of emotionally hurtful facts and hypotheses.” But that criticism falls flat if the motivation in question reflects the practical truths that promote ultimate interests. This individual himself is proof of this, given his reticence to extend his alleged interest in “emotionally hurtful facts and hypotheses” to those ethnies he values and identifies with. As a Nordicist HBDer who distorts racial science and racial history for his transparent agendas, he is as guilty as anyone else in utilizing practical truth and dismissing factual truth. However, any European-derived person who promotes HBD is acting against, not for, their ultimate interests, as they instead promote the ultimate interests of Jews and Asians. In this case, practical truth is used in the service of someone else’s ultimate interests. Why such genetic treason is practiced is for the traitor to explain. Whatever the reason, this agenda is the denial of factual truth (i.e., dishonesty) in the service of the denial of practical truth for Europeans (i.e., race treason).
Now we will begin to consider the main points of Salter’s arguments about the ethics of EGI. Salter wrote:
…we make moral judgements of great consequence, and must do so if we are to decide conflicts of interests. Choices are also forced in the game of life, every day genetic interests being won or squandered. A commentator who fails to advise people on how to defend their most precious assets is, by default, advocating the status quo, with its winner and losers.
One can contrast teleological or consequentialist ethics such as utilitarianism with deontological ethics. In the former, an act is morally right dependent upon its outcome; thus we ask – are its effects desirable? In the later, acts are moral based on some defined rules or traditions; here the act is considered good or bad in and of itself, independent of its effects. Teleological ethics are best suited for consideration of EGI, since we need to judge the consequences of various outcomes derived from conflicts involving genetic interests (e.g., competing genetic interests, genetic interests vs. proximate interests, or the specialized case of the latter of genetic interests vs. individual rights).
Obviously, and as Salter rightly points out, teleological ethnics have to have at some point a deontological component; after all, to label an outcome as “desirable” means that this consequence, this effect, has to be judged as morally right, as morally good, on its own merits. Here we are evaluating the merits of the consequence itself, not the act that led to the consequence. Thus, at some point in the analysis, a value judgement has to be made. Salter discusses various options for what this morally good consequence should be, including Mill’s idea of the morally optimal act being one that maximizes happiness for the greatest number. However, “happiness” is a proximate interest that may not be in the best interests of an individual, group, or society; thus, maladaptive acts such as drug use leading to addiction may result in (at least short-term) happiness. Is that morally good? Genetic interests are ultimate interests, and fitness can be an objective measure of a consequence that an evolutionarily informed individual (or society) can consider morally good.
Obviously, this is a matter of values, and Salter has always admitted that “who cares?” is a riposte to genetic interests that cannot be refuted without addressing values. I’d like to point out though that those interested in promoting their genetic interests will outcompete and replace those who are not. In the long-term, disinterest in genetic interests is not evolutionarily stable. So, such a disinterest would be a quite strange “morally good ethic” in that it dooms itself to extinction. If someone has a value system in which self-destructive values are prized then that is their prerogative; others who value continuity of both their bioculture and their values would be well served to promote their genetic interests. Salter also notes that proximate interests are best optimized rather than maximized; for example, a person who is “too happy” may become less prudent, jeopardizing well-being. On the other hand, ultimate interests are different; these interests are adaptive when maximized (note: maximized in the net sense). Thus, Salter states: “One cannot be too well adapted.”
Careful readers may believe that quote is inconsistent with my distinction between gross and net genetic interests, and my comments (here and previously) that a too-aggressive pursuit of ever-diminishing returns of genetic interest can be counter-productive. But there is no inconsistency because Salter’s quote makes being adapted the primary issue, not the mechanisms used to pursue that goal. Adaptiveness here is in terms of net genetic interests. In other words, maximizing adaptiveness is good, but attempting to maximize the pursuit of genetic interests, in every circumstance and regardless of context, can result in sub-optimal adaptiveness if that attempt backfires. Note that in his book Salter describes certain ultra-nationalist states, like Nazi Germany, as being over-investments in genetic interests that ended up harming the adaptive interests of those states’ ethnies. Hitler’s attempt to maximize German EGI backfired; look at Germany in 1945, and, worse, look at Germany today. German adaptiveness, their net EGI, would have been maximized by a more prudent, and less aggressive, pursuit of genetic interests. While in many – likely most – cases, maximizing genetic interests would maximize adaptiveness, that is not always the case.
Note also that a person’s conscious preferences may not lead to adaptive outcomes; this can be from a hyper-investment in genetic interests as with Hitler or, more likely today, in globalist “anonymous mass societies,” people do not understand their genetic interests and thus under-invest in them. While we cannot force values on people, we can educate them about genetic interests so that their choice of values will be an informed choice.
However, a pure utilitarian ethic – promoting adaptive fitness for the greatest number as the only consideration – has some problems.
Salter rightfully criticizes the pure utilitarian ethic from the standpoint of justice. He provides a theoretical example that I can paraphrase here. Imagine a murder committed in a town, and the local vagrant is suspected. The police chief then discovers the vagrant is innocent and that the murder was committed by the mayor, who has been an upstanding citizen and a long-standing important member of the town community. The crime was one of passion and will be unlikely to ever be repeated, while the vagrant is a constant troublemaker. Convicting the vagrant on the basis of partial or invented evidence would be best for the long-term well-being of the town, while arresting and convicting the mayor would cause social upheaval in the town, damage the town’s nascent tourist industry, and cause widespread economic dislocation and hardship for residents. A purely utilitarian reading of the situation is to let the vagrant hang and let the mayor off Scott-free, but, as Salter notes, this offends our sense of justice (for most of us anyway). That being so, the utilitarian ethic needs to be balanced by individual rights, and by certain normative values. Pure utility is not sufficient for a truly just ethic.
Salter notes that “bounded rationality” – our inability to ever know everything necessary about a problem or issue – is a good reason not to advocate for the pure ethic of unbridled pursuit of genetic interests. This is because we may be in error about what those genetic interests actually are and about how best to achieve them. In the absence of unbounded rationality, in the absence of absolute certainty, a degree of prudence and restraint is called for, and is likely to be more adaptive in the long run. I have always distinguished gross genetic interests from net – the former being a naïve attempt to maximize a perceived set of genetic interests to the ultimate degree possible, while the latter takes into account costs and benefits and attempts to ascertain what the long-term genetic interest net benefit will be after all the varied costs are accounted for. It may be that a less radical pursuit of (ever-diminishing) genetic interest returns would be most beneficial; the marginal gains of genetic interests inherent in an “all or nothing” approach toward adaptive behavior may not be worth the costs incurred. For example, dividing a larger nation into smaller micro-states of more concentrated kinship may be seen as maximizing EGI, but if this division weakens the ability of the populations involved to defend their interests against aggressors (or achieve some other beneficial goal that requires a certain size threshold), then net adaptive interests would suffer. Maximizing EGI, trying to squeeze every last drop of genetic interest from a situation, may backfire. In addition, the possibility of kinship overlap between populations is another reason not to be too radical in the pursuit of EGI, particularly within continents, since some people on “their side” may be more genetically similar to you than those on “your side.” Even if that degree of kinship overlap is not the case, if the two sides are relatively genetically similar to each other, then he costs of conflict may outweigh the benefits. The bounded rationality problem, coupled to the possibility of kinship overlap, therefore suggests that a degree of flexibility in the pursuit of EGI is optimal, since errors in interpreting kinship and the best methods for pursuing adaptiveness may result in serious, perhaps irreversible, damage to adaptive interests. Prudence and restraint are therefore warranted to constrain reckless behavior in support of (assumed) genetic interests.
Thus, Salter asserts that is prudent to eschew the pure ethic – where maximizing genetic interests would always take precedence in every circumstance – in favor of a “mixed ethic” where the pursuit of adaptiveness is tempered by a concern for individual rights and minority group rights – or even the rights of other majority groups of other nations that your group may be in conflict with.
Salter pre-emptively answers some of his Far Right critics by asking whether adding a concern for such rights “threatens incoherence” of an adaptive ethic. Thus, those critics complained that a concern for rights was a subjective “add-on” to EGI that does not logically derive from Salter’s arguments. However, the comments about bounded rationality and kinship overlap, as well as the possibility of maladaptive over-investment in EGI, point in the direction of a mixed ethic actually being coherent and probably more adaptive in the net sense. In addition, given the reality of White behavior, getting large numbers of Whites to agree with the value of EGI would necessitate flexibility about adaptive behavior, so as to include appropriate consideration of (potentially) non-adaptive values such as individual rights.
Note that in my view, proximate interests that temper the pursuit of genetic interests need not be limited to individual (or minority group) rights, but can (and should) include such things as a Yockeyian interest in “actualizing a High Culture” and other civilizational and political pursuits that may not always be perfectly congruent with a single-minded pursuit of genetic interests. But even here, I can argue that such a tempering may have long-term adaptive value. The groups constituting the Yockeyian view are all European; hence, there will be at least some kinship overlap (at least at the global level).
Salter compares three ethics – pure adaptive utilitarianism (PAU), mixed adaptive utilitarianism (MAU), and the rights-centered ethic (RCE). The PAU holds EGI as morally good and also holds that adaptive interests must be maximized regardless of means. MAU also holds that EGI is morally good, but that the pursuit of adaptive interests must be constrained by rights. The RCE does not assert that EGI is either morally good or bad, but this ethic is not teleological like the preceding two, but is deontological; thus, in the RCE the “rightness of means [are] unrelated to consequences.” Then Salter asks certain questions for each of these ethics. First, can it moral for EGI to frustrate other interests? The PAU says yes, unconditionally; while the MAU also says yes, but only in defense of ethnic interests or in (limited) expansion that preserves the existence of the (defeated) competitor. Since Salter supports the MAU, it puts to lie the accusation that he supports genocide. What about the RCE? This ethic says that it is not moral for EGI to frustrate other interests, because such frustration of other interests causes harm. Should genetic interests have absolute priority? The PAU says yes, the MAU says no when such interests “conflict with individual rights,” and the RCE says no, “since only means matter” – and only means consistent with individual rights are allowed in RCE. What to do when genetic interests conflict? The PAU says “compete within adaptive limits” (I suppose this means net genetic interests), the MAU says “compete but respect rights,” and the RCE says “stop competing, since it entails harm.”
I’d like to say at this point that the RCE is, practical terms, not really followed by anyone in the multicultural ex-West. Those who claim to support the RCE essentially support it only for Whites, while non-Whites are allowed to essentially follow a PAU ethics. Consider – do supporters of the RCE really take an agnostic view of EGI independent of rights? Or is the very idea of White EGI anathema? I suppose the argument would be that any expression of White genetic interests harms the rights of non-Whites, so consideration of White EGI independent of rights is not possible. That being so, the fact that non-White PAU harms White EGI is a feature, not a bug, of modern RCE hypocrisy.
Salter further discusses the ethics of the PAU and MAU approaches, making analogies between ethny and family. If we allow people to favor their families, then why shouldn’t ethnocentrism be tolerated, or even celebrated (I’m talking about Whites here; as we all know, non-White ethnocentrism is already strongly promoted by the System)? Salter goes further – if parents have a duty to care for their children, then perhaps people “have a similar duty to nurture” their ethnies. Indeed, perhaps one rationale for race-denial propaganda is to prevent (White) people from making these “dangerous” (but accurate) analogies between ethny and family. Salter states that tribal feelings and ethnic identification are both necessary to produce “feelings of ethnic obligation” – so it should be no surprise to us that those two elements are attacked by the System with respect to Whites (but promoted for non-Whites).
Salter discusses methods used to undermine these components of ethnic obligations, including “fictive ethnicity” (e.g., civic nationalism) and/or fictive non-ethnicity (e.g., race-denial). Thus, Whites in America, for example, are told that their racial group does not exist, and that they should simply identify as “Americans,” considering any featherless biped infesting American territory as their civic “kin.” If protecting one’s genetic survival is a fundamental right (and it should be so for evolved organisms like humans), then these methods are immoral and unethical. Further, holding that genetic continuity is a fundamental right brings the MAU closer to the PAU, thus undermining Salter’s critics on the Far Right. Indeed, further undermining those rightist critics, Salter puts forth that advancement, and not merely defense, of genetic interests can be moral and ethical. The idea, consistent with the MAU, is to allow for the continued existence of the (defeated) competitor, albeit with reduced (but not fatally diminished) resources.
Salter then briefly discusses altruism and morality, citing one so-called “leading evolutionary theorist” who claims “that only non-fitness-enhancing behavior can be moral.” Amusingly, Salter then mentions that a healthier theorist made the comment that these types of ideas are such “that this is an unconsciously self-serving moral sentiment that, when expressed, influences some susceptible individuals to show indiscriminate altruism that benefits the moralist.” Indeed, calls for universalism and pathological altruism can be a competitive tactic; thus, non-Whites manipulate White behavior so that Whites sacrifice their own interests to promote those of others. This is of course maladaptive for Whites; indeed, evolved organisms are not expected to be, and should not be, purely disinterested in their morals and ethics (including altruism). And, sometimes, ultimate and proximate interests converge and the distinctions are blurred (as I often state)l however, when distinctions between the two sets of interests are clear, the ultimate should usually be given precedence over the proximate (note: a precedence constrained by a concern for rights).
Salter notes that people “who do not consider peaceful genetic replacement to be a moral issue will have no moral objection to their own painless genetic extinction.” Well, there are Whites with pathological altruism who do not personally reproduce as as to “save the planet” (and who advocate the same to other Whites, but typically not to non-Whites), but typically the situation is that of a targeted attack against White interests. Especially, non-White activists will be among those who attempt to convince Whites to accept genetic extinction, while these non-Whites themselves continue their own genetic lines.
And if people genuinely do not care about genetic interests, then why do many of them so strenuously argue against those who do so care? I wrote about this previously:
The only real critique possible is one of values – i.e., genetic interests are real, but, who cares? However, I find the values argument hypocritical and mendacious as well. Imagine two co-ethnics, Jim and Mark. Jim highly values his genetic interests, genetic continuity, and racial survival. Mark is indifferent to all of that, he “doesn’t care” about it. Very well. But if Jim cares deeply and Mark not at all, then common sense and fundamental ethics tell us that Mark, who asserts he doesn’t care one way or the other, should let Jim have his way. Why not? If one believes Mark then he’s fine either way – the race prospers or it does not. Mark’s indifference should then make way for Jim’s deep concern and concentrated activism. Of course, Mark may be a liar, he may have other interests which conflict with Jim’s concerns with race and EGI; if so, Mark should be honest about these interests. If Jim and Mark are of different ethnies, and if Mark opposes Jim’s pursuit of EGI, Jim should be wary of Mark’s claims to be a disinterested commentator. Mark’s interests do not bestow upon him the right to delegitimize Jim’s pursuit of his ultimate interests through the misuse of pseudoscientific sophistry.
Getting back to the issue of values, it is indeed amusing when people who claim “they do not care” about race get so upset with scenarios in which Europeans survive and prosper. If race is “irrelevant” then it should be “irrelevant” if non-Europeans become extinct and an expanding European population colonizes the entire Earth. Why not? “Nothing matters.” Except of course, in reality, it all matters. Attacks against “Salterism” are not disinterested science, but hyper-interested ethnic activism and/or political ideology.
A few concluding comments are appropriate at this point. Salter believes that “evolved organisms” will not for long accept a “social order that weeds out their lineages.” Well, so far, Whites have been generally accepting of such a social order; we shall see how things evolve (no pun intended). It is part of the proper ethics of EGI to educate people on the important of adaptive behavior; one can view Salter’s book, and my current post, as part of such efforts.
Salter also discusses “socially imposed monogamy” as an effective method for resolving conflicting genetic interests in societies, and this leads us to the idea that atomized individuals are unlikely to be able to effectively strategize and act on behalf of their genetic interests; collective action, including state power, is necessary. Salter mentions the ethical implications of having a state that is an interested promoter of national interests in the global arena, but “a disinterested arbiter of family interests within the nation.” [Note that socially imposed monogamy may be an exception to the latter, depending upon your point of view]. There are different levels of genetic interests that would need to be handled in different manners. Just solutions to conflicts of genetic interests, those that appeal to the universal human interest in genetic continuity and adaptiveness (whether consciously recognized or not), would be more stable than unjust and unreasonable approaches. It is in the interests of any adaptively-minded state to promote such just solutions to conflicts of genetic interests,
Finally, while the MAU puts limits on the degree to which genetic interests can be pursued, people and ethnies must still have the freedom to advance (not merely defend) their interests within reasonable bounds. We cannot expect equal fitness outcomes as enforced equalized fitness would lead to an increased mutation load and would be so totalitarian in its application as to be unpalatable to reasonable people. Salter argues that the ultimate freedom is the freedom to defend (and advance) one’s genetic interests, which are ultimate interests. That this can be done via the MAU has been argued in Salter’s book and also in my comments above; I would promote a rather aggressive version of the MAU, but one that still incorporates limits and which respects certain proximate interests. However, in my case, I would value society-wide proximate interests, such as Yockey’s call to actualize a High Culture, over mere individual rights, although, certainly, individual rights are important and should be respected.
Let us finish with the following Shakespearean quote that Salter includes in this section of his book, with respect to conflicts between sets of genetic interests:
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war.
We charge you in the name of God, take heed,
For never two such kingdoms did contend
Without much fall of blood, whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint
‘Gainst him whose wrong gives edge unto the swords
That make such waste in brief mortality.
May I with right and conscience make this claim?
Shakespeare, Henry V, 1500, Act I, Scene I
*I want this post to emphasize ideas and theory, not personal feuding, so I’m not going to mention such people by name here.