A cursory and somewhat superficial initial answer.
Proofreader in italics, my comments in plain font.
I think the following items might be key considerations with regard to promoting and popularizing Frank Salter’s work:
1. A detailed stocktake or study of Salter’s work as it now exists and of its reception among White nationalists.
This can be useful. Most analyses of Salter’s work have been relatively brief positive reviews (mostly written by myself at American Renaissance, The Occidental Quarterly, etc.), some positive reviews that get things drastically wrong (asserting that Salter promotes a “genetic stasis” and is against eugenics), and the negative reviews, which are all ideologically motivated and that exhibit misunderstandings, distortions, subjective “pointing and sputtering,” as well as straw man arguments.
I don’t want to get into the situation of simply repeating what I have already written, so if others want to tackle this, please go ahead. I certainly can help, if needed.
2. Summarizing Everett M. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations, Scott Berkun observes that “new ideas spread at speeds determined by psychology and sociology, not the abstract merits of those new ideas.” (Scott Berkun, The Myths of Innovation [Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2010], p. 65.) Berkun also notes that Rogers identifies five factors that influence the diffusion of innovations: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. He comments (p. 66): “While there’s a lot to be said for raising bars and pushing envelopes, breakthroughs happen for societies when innovations diffuse, not when they remain forever ‘ahead of their time.’”
Berkun is likely correct. My experience has been that appeal to logic, re: EGI has failed to make a significant impact. On the one hand, I will continue to try and diffuse Salter’s ideas; on the other hand, it is not clear to me what sociological change will trigger greater receptivity to his ideas. Certainly, most clear thinking on race seems to be triggered so far by proximate proxies of genetic interest – for example, the behavior of alien immigrants, crime, cultural incompatibility, triggers native backlash that supports native genetic interests. But the genetic interests are always in the background. Perhaps, as has been suggested by some, a greater interest in genetics, including the popularity of personal genetic analyses, would trigger a greater acceptance of the political value of understanding genetic interests and biological fitness in human interactions. I wish that genetic testing companies, as well as population geneticists, would focus more on measurements of kinship/relative gene sharing, rather than on the less biopolitically relevant metrics heretofore evaluated. Perhaps they avoid measuring kinship for ideological reasons, because they understand its potential to alert people of their relatedness to different peoples and hence the relative assimilability of peoples in a polity? In other words, the “guardians” of genetic information understand what needs to be hidden from people to prevent their acknowledgment of their genetic interests.
3. What factors might advance or retard the spread of Salter’s ideas among White nationalists?
Salter’s ideas would be advanced among WNs by them having a more empirical mindset, valuing kinship and biological fitness, etc. A general increase in interest in genetics among the population will “trickle down” (or up) to WNs. Conversely, Salter’s ideas are impeded by “old school” emphases on “traditional physical anthropology” or an anti-scientific neo-Ludditism. Activists adopt an attitude of not caring about theory or ideology, they think science is irrelevant, or above and beyond them. They shut their minds to new ideas, even when these are worded in ways understandable to the layman. European nationalists think all they need is their narrow ethnic particularisms, and see no need to invoke deeper interests. These latter issues are all impediments.
What does Salter’s work mean for White nationalism and White nationalists?
It is a quantitative evaluation and identification of ultimate interests. It demonstrates that ethnocentric behavior is adaptive, including at the individual level. It presents a method to determine costs and benefits of different political scenarios by identifying the benefits and costs to society or to any individual actor, based for example on “child equivalents” of genetic interest gained or foregone based on one choice or another. It clarifies thinking on interests, and why ultimate genetic interests are more fundamental than the proximate interests most people – including WNs – value instead. It provides a clear path to racial solutions to problems. Thus, a person who bases policy on culture or IQ or economics or even physical appearance runs the risk of having a “solution” foisted upon them that will lead to their dispossession. But since Salter’s work is based on genetic kinship, on relatedness, following Salter’s prescriptions will necessarily lead to solutions consistent with ethnic and racial preservationism. You can’t sidestep genetic interests by invoking the “high IQ’ of an alien group, or that group’s “economic value” or their cultural assimilability or even appearance (“I saw a fair Kalash, so let’s let them all in, they’re ‘White”). The genetic data are what they are. You can use the resulting child equivalents as a form of “currency” to determine the relative worth of any decision. Is that Chinaman’s ‘high IQ’ worth the damage he does to your genetic interests? Salter’s work allows you to ask the question. HBD merely says IQ trumps all and kinship is worthless. Traditional physical anthropology measures kinship indirectly, and often inaccurately, based on traits that show overlap between genetically distinct populations. Salter’s work directly attacks the race problem at its most fundamental level – who is more related to who?
What can it contribute to White nationalism, by itself and in combination with other things?
See answer above. It can complement other activist memes, such as Yockeyian High Culture or traditional phenotypism, by identifying and quantifying ultimate interests, and allowing for a comparison as to how these other proximate issues affect and/or overlap with ultimate interests. Also, Salter’s work can help identify – what needs to be done to ensure a general pursuit of ultimate interests so that, once this is satisfied, we can move on to other issues (such as actualizing a High Culture).
Salter’s work helps us cut through “movement” bullshit and focus on what’s most important – genetic kinship, NOT Kali Yuga or cephalic measurements or admixture percentages or Ostara-like racial histories or any form of civic nationalism. It is instead – how similar or different are individuals and groups based on the relative sharing of distinctive genetic information, and how does that affect their biological fitness, which is based on gene sharing and genetic continuity. Salter’s work allows us to determine if and when we have at least minimally satisfied our adaptive fitness, after which we may concentrate on the bullshit, or, better still, on proximate issues that are not bullshit, such as those things that concerned Yockey.
What is the scope of Salter’s work, and to what degree is it compatible and interoperable, so to speak, with that of others? What would be its proper place in White nationalism? What does it challenge and what resistance (in the largest sense of the term) might it generate?
The scope of the work is that it is a universally applicable (for all people, actually for all evolved organisms, but of course acting upon it requires sentience) description and prescription to how to act adaptively in a complex world. The work covers science, politics, and ethics, and while by no means the comprehensive final word (as Salter himself admits at the end), it is a comprehensive first word on the subject. What are our ultimate interests? What scientifically objective and quantifiable argument can be made in favor of racial preservation (the argument is objective, whether or not anyone values acting adaptively is subjective, a matter of values). It is compatible with works that utilize empiricism to answer racially relevant questions. It could even be compatible with ostensibly unrelated “cultural” works such as that of Yockey, who eschews or even dies the significant value of “zoological” biological racism – if one is willing to take a critical view of Yockey’s flaws and agree that the Yockeyian view needs modification by biological realities. Salter’s work is not consistent with race denial, with those who concentrate solely on proximate biological issues such as IQ, and/or the mendacious who deny the existence of genetic interests for political reasons. Salter’s work challenges the mindset that empirical science is not important for activism, it challenges the existential/spiritual description of “race” as independent of “zoological” considerations, and it challenges and opposes viewpoints that exalt proximate interests and ignore the primacy of the ultimate. Salter’s work has definitely generated resistance in those who oppose Whites defending their interests. It has also generated mild resistance from pro-White activists who mistakenly believe Salter rejects eugenics in favor of a racial-genetic stasis, and among those uninterested in genetic kinship because it distracts from their obsessive fetishes.
I have the impression that you see the work of Salter and Yockey as having an architectonic function and value (i.e., “of or pertaining to construction; directive, controlling; pertaining to the systematization of knowledge”).
Not sure what this means exactly. I view Salter as describing what our ultimate interests are (genetic continuity), while Yockey describes our primary proximate interests (actualizing a High Culture and engaging in High Politics [the Empire of the West – Imperium]). Salter provides the fundamental foundation, the essentials that need to be taken care of first. Yockey describes to us what we should be doing after we have secured our genetic interests. The two are synergistic: without racial survival (Salter), there will be no one to build Yockey’s Imperium. In turn, that Imperium will help secure, maintain, and advance our genetic interests.
Are we dealing with C. P. Snow’s “two cultures” here (i.e., a split between the humanities and the sciences)? You referred above to a split between “the more scientific and empirical Anglosphere tradition and the more existentialist and ‘spiritual’ continental European tradition.”
In a sense, yes. Salter represents an empirical, objective, materialist, rational, and scientific quantitative perspective well developed in the Anglosphere. Yockey represents a more subjective, irrational, spiritual-cultural-political “existential” viewpoint (“humanities” oriented) more at home in continental Europe. Although usually antagonistic, I believe the two worldviews should be compatible and cooperative.
I think the ideal would be to create a tradition that can draw upon both traditions you refer to, and that would have a thoroughly political teleology and teleonomy. (By the way, both Lothrop Stoddard and Dominique Venner advocated a humanism informed by the life sciences, which they respectively dubbed “scientific humanism” and “virile humanism.” Their humanism was secular, civilizational, and racial, rather than religious or universalist.)
This is off-topic, but I wonder to what degree the prestige accorded to Thomas S. Kuhn’s celebrated work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is attributable to (1) the merits of Kuhn’s works; (2) the fact that Kuhn was a Jew and could therefore benefit from Jewish ethnic networking; and (3) the utility of Kuhn’s thesis for rewriting the narrative (one might say that the narrative is rewritten from right to left, just like Hebrew).
4. What changes does Salter’s work call for with regard to White nationalist ideology and discourse?
I believe I have discussed this above. The “movement” needs to drop all the fossilized dogma, all the old obsessions and fetishes, all the fake “racial histories,” all the old connections to HBD and other proximate measures, and adopt a more empirical and kinship-based view toward ultimate interests. Of course, genetic interests are not everything. They are necessary, but not sufficient. First, we take care of EGI. Then we can move on to the objectives of Yockey.
What work does it call for?
Besides the obvious: how to popularize his ideas, I see the following follow-on projects:
1. An update/revision of the work to account for genetic structure.
2. A comprehensive defense of the work from critics.
3. A more detailed analysis of the practical consequences: how would a real-world polity incorporate Salterism in its policy?
4. How is Salterism compatible with Yockeyism?
5. Long range future of Salterism through the projected future of human existence/evolution/advanced technology.
Some of these things I have already commented on in different forums; that material, added by new work, can be integrated and expanded.
By what means could and should Salter’s work be developed and popularized among White nationalists, inside and outside the English-speaking world?
I’m at a loss here. I have so far failed in my attempts. Anyone else have ideas?
What does it call for with regard to theoretical development, doctrinal articulation, and cultural diffusion? How might Salter’s work be adapted to discourse (which can range from complex theoretical systems to simple slogans and soundbites)?
I’ve commented on some of this above; but to a large extent these are questions that I do not have the answer to, since my attempts so far have failed to excite interest. Fresh ideas, anyone?
The distinctions between theory, doctrine, and discourse are worth noting. At present, Salter’s work is effectively a theory, not a doctrine or a discourse that one can readily encounter and easily assimilate, and On Genetic Interests is just one book among many.
True in a sense, but Salter’s position on universal nationalism forms the basis of a doctrine, and we cannot forget that the last third of OGI was on ethics.
5. What exactly do you mean when you refer to “the nationalist leadership”? Adapting Salter’s work is more metapolitical than political, which means that the relevant leaders and cadres will consist more of thinkers, writers, translators, editors, and publishers than the leaders of nationalist political organizations.
It might be better to focus more on the receivers and amplifiers, so to speak, than the loudspeakers.
Perhaps. My meaning is that it would be helpful if, for example, the leadership of European nationalist parties became acquainted with Salter’s thesis, and began to formulate policy, and utilize rhetoric, to promote racial interests in ultimate terms (genetic interests). Putting ethnic and racial interests in proximate terms risks being manipulated in aracial ways.
6. What does it mean to weaponize doctrines and discourse? I should outline my considerations on this matter later, addressing discourse in static and dynamic terms.
I hope to see this analysis. I would think that one meaning is that one designs memes to achieve specific policy objectives. For example, discussion of EGI is not for polite academic interest, but to promote the idea that ethnic and racial interests are important, are fundamental to each individual’s interests, and can be (approximately) quantified in a genetic sense to represent a “biological currency” that constitutes value for individuals and groups.
In the end, other people need to step up to defend and extend Salter’s work, as well as to popularize it. If it is just me, along with a few other people here and there, that won’t do, and exposes a problem – a problem either in the work itself or in the “movement.” The methodological and scientific aspect of the work is sound, the only “problem” it would have is that it may be too “dry,” too academic, not inspiring enough to interest the broad range of relevant activists. The problems of the ‘movement” are all to well known.