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January 4, 2013 / JayMan

Dystopian Conservative Future?

Remember this guy?

Remember this guy?

Now that the blogosphere has discovered my finding that conservatives are outbreeding liberals by a rather large margin, many have taken it as a reason to rejoice. The genes for “pathological altruism” (which are a feature of the special evolutionary path that Northwestern Europeans have undertaken, which seems to result in such traits), which gives us troublesome things such as:

…are being (self)-selected out. These rejoicers believe that this will usher in a new era of American ethno-nationalism (read: White ethno-nationalism) that will get White Americans to act more in their own interests instead of those of the rest of the World. The proponents of this feel that this is a positive development in the long run, but I believe that it’s probably not going to work that way.

For one, as I’ve previously discussed, there is no evidence that conservative leadership produces better results, and plenty of evidence that it does not. Peter Frost has taken on this matter as well. He has argued that Barack Obama’s presidency has, overall, acted to slow the negative demographic trends that were in place. Indeed, many of these negative demographic trends, such as massive immigration and high Hispanic (i.e., Mexican) fertility, have taken place under and have been exacerbated by Republican presidents and policies.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59920.htmljohn_boehner_gi6Though it will be a very slow process, the rise of a more conservative White America is unlikely to produce leaders and policies that benefit itself and all Americans, and perhaps even would be negative for the world. First and foremost, paleoconservative, protectionist, race-realist thought isn’t what prevails among the current conservative leadership. Rather, capitalistic, anti-tax, pro-immigration, neoconservative thought does (as the largely pointless “fiscal cliff” debacle attests). It’s hard to know if this will change, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it is changing.

140099539-12027ca006353c2ba3f759065b883942b61Many HBD pundits believe that a more right-leaning White populace will produce a sane, competent, rational leader. Unfortunately, we’re more likely to get more like Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, or Newt Gingrich than we are to get someone like, say, Charles Murray.

The reason for this is the conservative electorate itself. Though White conservative Americans will slowly get smarter, they will also get more religious and likely more anti-science. (As aforementioned, I know liberals have their own version of this.) As such, only leaders that pander to this base will be able to get elected. One could argue that this is a good reason to be highly intolerant of any attempts by the religious right to squeeze creationism into school curricula.

Now, at this point, I know one criticism that will be leveled at me is that the increase in the non-White share of the population will make it unlikely that Republicans will be able to capture the presidency, as was the main rant after the last election. However, I think it’s unclear if that will be the case. Further, in the near term, Republicans will certainly be able to hold a considerable share of the Congress and many local offices.

Of course, it is difficult to predict how this will all play out. For one, it’s unknown if fertility trends – particularly the White conservative edge over White liberals – will remain as they are now, but, barring some unforeseen development (which is quite possible), it is likely it will remain this way for some time.

On that matter, we know that conservatives are outbreeding liberals. But where are they doing so? What parts of the country have the most fecund liberals and the least fecund conservatives, and vice versa? Once again, I decided to take a look at the GSS:

Child by pol by region

This is the mean number of children had by political orientation, by each region of the country, of non-Hispanic Whites, ages 44-60, from the 2000-2010 GSS data, 95% confidence intervals shown. The regions of the country are the same as used here by Razib Khan, with the exception that the states of the West Coast are separated form those of the interior West. Interestingly, the most fecund liberals appear to be in the most liberal parts of the country, the Northeast and Midwest. This may be due to several factors, including the higher concentration of those of Italian and Irish descent there. In any case, this indicates that the decline in the liberal share of the population will be slowest there. (In addition, there’s the caveat that not all liberals are created equal. Apparently, one’s identification as liberal or conservative is relative to the general voting habits of the local area; liberals in less liberal areas are themselves less liberal, and vice versa.)

In any case, what does this mean for the general order of society? Liberals remain firmly in control of academia, and it’s unclear how a more conservative intelligent class will interact with this. For one, one of the reasons conservative fertility is so high in the first place is because conservative women eschew higher education.

However, it’s my suspicion that the non-White vote that buttresses the Democrats can only hold out so long against an increasingly Right-leaning White populace. Eventually, Republicans will recapture the White House and will remain a strong force for a long time to come.

Why is this bad? I’ll admit, whether one wants a more liberal America or a more conservative one is in large part a function of one’s own politics. Naturally, the conservative voices out there welcome more individuals like themselves, whereas I, as a liberal (and as a person of color), would be expected to welcome a more liberal America – or at the very least, one that isn’t more conservative than it is now (a type of kin-altruism, to be sure). Many of these ideas about what is good or bad for society are ultimately normative arguments rather than empirical ones. However, I aim here to give objective reasons for why the conservative ascendancy is not in all of our best interests.

To start, in the near- to mid-term, the primary reasons why conservative ascendancy is bad are neoconservativism, corporatism, and Christian fundamentalism. These produce policies such as those of the previous president, or those of Paul Ryan, which are proven to be highly deleterious at home and abroad.

This is not even to mention the rise of idiotic conservative agendas, such as spreading creationism, or the push to proscribe abortion or contraception (I’ll return to this point).

What about in the longer term? What is so bad about a White America that has shed many of its genes for “pathological altruism”? I can think of a few good reasons why this may be the case.

What follows is a bit of educated speculation based on what we do know about human behavior and on current trends. For one, a less altruistic White population in an increasingly “diverse” America doesn’t sound like a healthy combination if peace and stability is your goal. How tolerant will this less altruistic populace to the non-Whites among us? Indeed, while lower IQ individuals (of all races) cause problems, will the response remain restrained, semi-reasonable, and humane?

On this point, I will note that the Jim Crow era wasn’t that long ago.

Going beyond our borders, and expanding our scope a bit, we have our place with the rest of the world. “White guilt” is a much lamented quality in the HBD world. However, I will note that this feeling is pretty unique. No human group other than Northwestern Europeans seems to have any particular qualms about their treatment of the other people in the world (even though NW Euros are far from alone in their exploitation of fellow humans). Right now, we have a particular level of peace in the world because the most powerful nations in the world, collectively, are of Northwestern European (particularly British) extraction. Achieving this position was a hard-fought struggle (WW II, the Cold War). Today, a reasonable level of peace exists because the dominant powers are considerably less rapacious than some of the other powers in the world (and tons of nuclear weapons remain pointed at each other). What would happen if this were no longer the case? What if the world’s strongest power no longer felt as reserved about interfering with/exploiting the rest of the world for its own ends? I think the Iraq War serves as a taste of that this might be like. In the future, will the new conservative-dominated America respect the delicate balance of power that keeps the peace in the world? I think that these are very important questions.

Then there is issue of the progress and the foundation of modern civilization. While much lamented – and certainly quite backwards when it comes to human sciences – modern scientific research is a heavily (though by no means exclusively) liberal enterprise. Will the new conservative population be open to scientific research? Or will Jesus be the supreme concern and the underlying principle of all scientific explanation?

As for social issues, many conservative voices have called for the undoing of the modern post-sexual revolution, post-women’s liberation world. That is, they believe women should abandon their career pursuits and be shamed for having children out-of-wedlock. And I have stated before that this is simply unrealistic and is never going to happen. But, to be more accurate, that that is not going to happen any time soon. However, in a more conservative fundamentalist dominated America, all bets are off. That is, the call to reverse the sexual/feminist revolution may eventually gain real traction. For from the Republicans truly abandoning their currently politically suicidal bent to end legalized abortion, instead the cause remains and grows stronger. Previously, I had advocated Planned Parenthood as a way to curb low-IQ fertility, but Republican leaders are opposed, with deleterious results. This is one example of how Republican policies serve to hasten negative demographic trends.

FOX_SECEDE_t620And then of course, there is the issue of the stability of the country itself. The United States was built through a federation of different groups of Britons, with distinct intrinsic cultural and political traits. These persistent political and cultural differences aren’t going to go away, and indeed, may grow more tense. The unity of the country was tested before, and if current political trends are any indication, it may be tested again.

On a more basic matter, conservatives, as a less altruistic bunch, are less willing to actually care about people in society. Despite the ills created by the social safety net in terms of fertility, the basic notion that we should take care of all people and allow everyone to live decent lives, as normative as that concept is, is largely lost upon them. Quality of life, especially for those on the bottom, is likely to suffer in a conservative-dominated America.

It is for these reasons that I have reservations about rise of the new, more conservative White America. I seriously doubt it will be as rosy as some seem to believe it will be. This is why I have advocated policies to boost struggling liberal fertility, as lamented as these ideas are by some. It is likely a better action to get our current liberal populace to accept the reality of HBD and understand the limits of the altruistic desires than it is to hope that the less altruistic take over. Indeed, as negative as some of the results of liberal policies have been, overall, the wonderful modern society that we have is the result of the liberal mindset. It is possible the new developments, such as embryo selection and other genetic engineering technologies might render this current discussion moot, but this remains to be seen. An eventual conservative-dominated America might not be all that bad, but I’m not putting my money on it right yet.

40 Comments

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  1. Fenris / Jan 5 2013 3:25 AM

    I was reading this article over on HBD chick the other day http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/clans-in-the-news-deutschland/

    and it struck me that history is in some sense repeating itself the problems of the new semetic minority in europe are different in kind then those of the old semetic minority but it seems just as unlikely to me at this point that is problem that is likely to see a peaceful solution.

    White nationalism in the US is a long way from the mainstream of conservatism but in europe its not necessarily so and it seems to me quite possible for the political mainstream to turn very quickly. When I was in france I was shocked how openly people spoke of their disdain for their muslim immigrants.

    Its not hard to imagine a scenario were a violent expulsion of minorities is undertaken by some european country(germany seems the most likely more unified and collectivist then England or france and with less diverse immigrant community). I think that could result in wide spread race conflict and destabilization including in the US.

    Neoconservitism may reign today but the US is not alone nor our problems unique and all these different nations affect each other profoundly. If germany forces their muslim population how will that affect the politics of a more ethnocentric more conservative less altrustic white american population?

    I think predicting the future is losing game too many factors to control but it seems to me that we are at the end of period of relative stability and racial ethnic issues in multi cultural societies are going to be one of the major trigger points for the conflicts of the next century. How the plays out I have no idea. My own hope is as non violently as possible.

    • Janon / Jan 5 2013 5:03 PM

      Since today’s Semitic immigrants are primarily a feature of life in Western Europe, I’ll ask what you know about pre-War German and French Jewry to compare the problems created by the two groups. Many of those French and German Jews were hyper-assimilated. Nominal conversion to Christianity for social reasons and intermarriage were not uncommon. Strict observation of dietary laws was rare outside of the Orthodox minority, and German Jewish families often kept Christmas trees in their homes. The poorer, more religious, more tribal and less assimilated Jews that you are thinking about lived in Eastern Europe.

  2. chris / Jan 5 2013 8:42 AM

    When you discuss conservatives do you mean economic conservatives or social conservatives because there can be a big difference between the two. For instance I consider myself right-wing/conservative yet I agree with many liberal criticisms of neoliberalism and capitalism, I also support unions and a (eugenic) social safety net. I am also agnostic. In fact the main reason I consider myself conservative is my opposition to feminism and liberal pathological altruism/empathy with respect to identity/kin groups other than my own.

    • JayMan / Jan 5 2013 10:12 PM

      We’re talking religious, sex-is-for-procreation folks (so social conservative). Basically, it seems it’s the evangelicals. The Audacious Epigone and the Inductivist have performed all sorts of analyses on the predictors of fertility. I can’t recall if economic questions were asked (Razib Khan may have looked at other political questions, though), but I’d imagine that many of these folks are economically conservative as well.

  3. Mencken / Jan 5 2013 6:49 PM

    In one of your links, you state:

    As such, conservative thought favors curbing these benefits, to try to get those at the bottom to “stop draining the system” and act more responsibly; but in reality what they’re after is to get this group to stop breeding so prodigiously (especially when subsidized by the tax payer).

    The problem with that line of thinking is that that is no way for a civilized society to be. I’m not on board with most conservative thought because on this. Back in the day, the poor often just died (especially in cities), from illness or starvation. In today’s world we can’t just go back to that.

    The correct solution is to encourage this group to not breed so much.

    I didn’t concretely understand what you were trying to say with the present post, but I can see the intent in this particular citation, and I wager that you are trying to communicate the same point in both the post and the citation. And that point doesn’t make sense.

    You say that conservatives want “to get [the bottom] to stop breeding so prodigiously.” I’d agree. Then you say “that is no way for a civilized society to be.” I disagree — I think that is exactly what an engine-of-progress society should strive for. And I think you disagree yourself, because you go on to say that society should “encourage this group to not breed so much.”

    You also write that you are “not on board with most conservative thought because on this.” But if conservatives want to get the bottom to stop breeding so prodigiously, and you think society should encourage this group to not breed so much, it rather sounds like you’re a conservative, doesn’t it?

    Of course, you are a self-identified liberal, so that can’t be the case. But you do appear to agree with the conservative aim of curbing the reproduction of the bottom.

    So, whence dystopia?

    Well, in the above citation, you do include the descriptors of a distasteful society, one where “the poor often just died […] from illness or starvation.” I also would not want that. But what does that have to do with conservatives vs. liberals?

    From what I can tell, the key point you want to make in the above citation is something like the following: “in a conservative world, the poor will be left for dead.” This also appears to be one of the key points you want to make in this very blog post.

    But you never actually make it.

    • JayMan / Jan 5 2013 9:26 PM

      From what I can tell, the key point you want to make in the above citation is something like the following: “in a conservative world, the poor will be left for dead.” This also appears to be one of the key points you want to make in this very blog post.

      Yes, that is one of the key points I’m making.

      I can see why it may not seem to be quite clear as it could be, but it is implied through the comments, as you were able to successfully gather.

  4. Toad / Jan 5 2013 6:58 PM

    https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/dystopian-conservative-future/

    Liberal and conservative are really backwards.

    Liberals see liberalism as a tool or weapon to be used to advance their position. Conservatives see liberalism as morality and only half-heatedly oppose it.

    Has a liberal ever complained about violation of liberal values in any communist or socialist dictatorship?

    Liberals support immigration because the majority of immigrants vote for them. If the majority of immigrants voted Libertarian, they would have it reduced.

    A libertarian supports immigration as a principle and doesn’t care at all if this gets more votes to grow government. Non-libertarian conservatives can only be half-heatedly anti-immigration because they are pitiful towards third world peasants getting to live better in our society, even if it has to be partly subsidized.

    Conservatives are really the true “bleeding heart liberals” and liberals are the true pragmatic realists.

    Liberals are like the gypsy fortune-teller. The fortune-teller doesn’t really believe in astrology, it’s just a scam to her. The conservative is like her customer.

  5. asdf / Jan 5 2013 7:22 PM

    Mostly I just want a white version of Japan. In Japan racism is normal, everyone knows non-Japanese emigrants are bad for society, and everyone understands society is a real thing and they are all in it together to a certain extent. Japan is a really nice country. Most of its negatives stem from its being absurdly overcrowded, but that will resolve itself after a few generations. The culture is also a bit restricted, but I think a white version of it would be to my liking. I think that would be like Sweden if they weren’t intent on letting in Muslims. I see no conflict between racism/conservative attitudes and modernization and science in Japan.

    Like people in Japan, I just don’t give a shit about people who aren’t my own race. It’s not that I actively hate them, and I like some of them, I just overall don’t want a bunch of them around. I used to feel differently, but the more I’m around minorities the more I don’t give a fuck about them. People try to say racism comes from ignorance, but I was actually way less racist when I knew few NAMs. Now that I’ve been around NAMs more, especially after dating a black girl and getting to know lots of black people more closely, I’ve come away thinking that while a few individual black people might be good for the country black people as a whole are bad. If were talking in terms of what is better for the country I’d pay to send em all back to Africa.

    I understand how this attitude puts someone like you in a tough spot. Being a smart black person it must always feel like you don’t belong. I’ve felt like that at times in my life and is sucks. We all have our cross to bare.

    How this all plays out in politics who knows. I don’t think it will matter much.

    • JayMan / Jan 5 2013 9:31 PM

      Mostly I just want a white version of Japan. In Japan racism is normal, everyone knows non-Japanese emigrants are bad for society, and everyone understands society is a real thing and they are all in it together to a certain extent. Japan is a really nice country … I see no conflict between racism/conservative attitudes and modernization and science in Japan.

      But, different peoples is different. The Japanese aren’t like White American conservatives and the conservative dominated America won’t be like Japan. No matter how much you want this, it won’t happen that way.

  6. asdf / Jan 5 2013 11:58 PM

    The values are very similar. Let’s take a look at what Japan has going on that used to be going on in the west.

    1) The belief that ethnicity is a thing
    2) The belief that nations/communities are a thing
    3) The belief that culture is a thing
    4) The belief that the above three are more valuable then the individual whims

    Was it so long ago that this was the norm in the west? Seems to me the abolishion of these ideas is fairly recent. Is it really that hard to see it coming back?

    • JayMan / Jan 6 2013 9:21 AM

      I’m not so sure that #4 has been true for the highly individualistic West.

      The values are very similar. Let’s take a look at what Japan has going on that used to be going on in the west.

      The devil is always in the details. Superficial similarity can lead one to overlook profound differences between two peoples, in this case between Japan and conservative individuals in the West.

    • Anonymous / Jan 14 2013 4:01 AM

      Racialist ideas and attitudes were the norm recently in the West, as you yourself suggested in the post when you noted that Jim Crow wasn’t too long ago. They’ve been undermined and suppressed by non-democratic, political and legal action that leveraged the power of the state. It wasn’t because the majorities in the West were different from the Japanese in wanting to undermine and suppress racialism or something and did so democratically. It is the product of non-democratic politics. Europe obviously would be quite different today with respect to racialism had Nazi Germany won the war. What was decisive in Europe was war, and war is the continuation of politics by other means.

    • JayMan / Jan 14 2013 10:18 PM

      Racialist ideas and attitudes were the norm recently in the West, as you yourself suggested in the post when you noted that Jim Crow wasn’t too long ago.

      This was in the South, though. Southerners are genetically different from Northerners (the former being more inbred, for one).

      It wasn’t because the majorities in the West were different from the Japanese in wanting to undermine and suppress racialism or something and did so democratically.

      Why did these policies gain traction in the West, though?

      Europe obviously would be quite different today with respect to racialism had Nazi Germany won the war. What was decisive in Europe was war, and war is the continuation of politics by other means.

      Probably. Though perhaps not the way you think. Pockets of resistance and all…

    • Anonymous / Jan 15 2013 8:09 PM

      Racialism existed in the North as well. It was common throughout the country. It was arguably stronger in the North and more sophisticated. The Johnson-Reed Act, or the Immigration Act of 1924, was spearheaded by Northern politicians motivated by racialist sentiment.

      Anti-racialist policies are the results of non-democratic politics, not majoritarian support.

      In the case of a Nazi dominated Europe/Russia, where Germany is the sole superpower, the US is a minor power, and there is no Soviet Union sponsored Third World, the major pockets of resistance would likely be within Europe, and be racialist/nationalist in nature and motivated by national liberation from German imperialism.

  7. Juan Valdez / Jan 7 2013 10:23 PM

    It’s going to take a long time for these trends to become decisive in electoral politics. During that time, the Republicans will continue to be pushed to the left in order to compete with the Democrats.

    So the party that finally takes over the new SWPL free America will be completely different than today’s Republican party.

  8. The Man Who Was . . . / Jan 10 2013 9:20 PM

    The problem is that conservatives defer to authority and the authorities right now are various forms of liberalism (libertarianism, neo-conservatism). So contemporary conservatives are kind of schizophrenic and all over the place. But as conservatives become a bigger portion of the population, substantively conservative views will have more and more cultural authority and more and more cultural leaders will have conservative views. Once such views have more authority they will be reinforced by conservatives tendency to defer to whoever is in power.

    I think you are right though that a more religious society will be more and more anti-science. Religious people prefer explanations that involve personal causation while science prefers explanations with impersonal causation.

    • JayMan / Jan 12 2013 9:58 AM

      Good points. Of course, as Steve Sailer notes, it’s hard to know how long current fertility patterns will persist. Even if they do change, population inertia will mean that future generations will be, for a good while, more conservative (genotypically, anyway) than older ones. (It’s unclear how much this is counteracted by current overall societal trends towards liberalism among young people).

  9. T / Jan 10 2013 10:50 PM

    I think that Republicans could win the presidency if they nominated someone who appeals to rustbelt whites (to provide the votes) and to libertarians (to provide the enthusiasm). Rand Paul is probably that person and depending on circumstances he might end up president in 2016 and/or 2020. After that the non-white population will be very high, making a Republican president all but impossible. Meanwhile the white population becomes more conservative (in a variety of ways) and racialized. Yet regional differences will keep a white nationalist movement from coalescing and instituting Jim Crow laws.

    So the SWPL elite will continue to control government and universities. Once they have complete power their hubris destroys the economy (solar panel temples, General Motors, etc…) and standards of living start to fall to the point where people have less to lose. Meanwhile people are making due with rival institutions: homeschooling, religion, black markets, etc… this isn’t just whites but other groups as well. Eventually people just opt out of everything and the elite lose their power base. Taxation and propaganda are being much less efficient because the elite don’t control the channels that things flow through. Eventually it becomes clear that the government is going to be dissolved and replaced, and it turns very bloody. Many people die.

  10. JK / Jan 11 2013 5:16 PM

    I think it’s gonna take awhile for “the Conservatives” to achieve their former selves Jayman. (Speaking as a conservative-leaning Independent – usually Republican for nat’l offices.) Too much in disarray.

    This is out-of-discipline I realize, but I think you might find it illuminating:

    http://www.fpri.org/articles/2012/12/crisis-american-conservatism-inherent-contradictions-and-end-road

  11. Steve Sailer / Jan 11 2013 8:53 PM

    Thanks. Fascinating ideas.

    I wouldn’t necessarily bet against white liberals in the long run, demographically. I think they will slowly figure out ways to up their reproduction rates. (I like to point out how the right to attend the public schools in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Malibu has become hereditary, extending down to grandchildren.) A lot of the people in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, and Georgetown didn’t get where they are in life by being idealistic dweebs. When they decide they need to change things so that they’ll have grandchildren, they’ll take action.

    I think the crucial leading indicator for America might be fertility in Israel of non-ultra-orthodox Jews. If they can figure out how to keep their fertility up, I think you’ll see something similar in America.

    • JayMan / Jan 12 2013 2:35 AM

      Fascinating ideas.

      Thank you!

      I wouldn’t necessarily bet against white liberals in the long run, demographically. I think they will slowly figure out ways to up their reproduction rates. (I like to point out how the right to attend the public schools in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Malibu has become hereditary, extending down to grandchildren.) A lot of the people in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, and Georgetown didn’t get where they are in life by being idealistic dweebs. When they decide they need to change things so that they’ll have grandchildren, they’ll take action.

      There is definitely that. If they become cognizant of a fertility problem, it does stand to reason that someone somewhere will find a way to fix it.

      I think the crucial leading indicator for America might be fertility in Israel of non-ultra-orthodox Jews. If they can figure out how to keep their fertility up, I think you’ll see something similar in America.

      Great point! I’ll have to take a look. Thanks for the tip!

  12. T / Jan 11 2013 9:59 PM

    Once the anti-fertility shadow of the boomers is lifted liberal fertility will rebound. Children born to leftists today will probably have replacement rate fertility tomorrow. However three generations of greatly reduced fertility (boomer, x, millennial) is devastating to a population. Also conversion is going to go the other way. Right now the trend is that conservative kids run off and become liberals rather than the other way around. If liberals lose power they won’t be able to attract converts, and instead will start losing their members to conversion.

    • Hg8ih / Jan 13 2013 2:35 AM

      You have it completely backwards. Liberal fertility has always been at replacement level or below it. There is no major trend of “conservative kids running off and becoming liberals”. That’s a myth that only happened for the Baby Boomers (people in their 50’s to 70’s).

  13. Hg8ih / Jan 13 2013 2:37 AM

    Not to mention liberal fertility usually includes white liberals and NAMs.

  14. T / Jan 13 2013 3:40 PM

    Hg8ih, you claim 1) that liberal fertility has always been at or below replacement, and 2) that there is no major trend of people converting to liberalism. It is possible that one of those two statements is true, but it is not possible for them both to be true.

  15. Anonymous / Jan 14 2013 3:34 AM

    The genes for “pathological altruism” (which are a feature of the special evolutionary path that Northwestern Europeans have undertaken, which seems to result in such traits)

    There are no genes “for” pathological altruism. Pathological altruism is extremely maladaptive, which is why it’s called “pathological”, suggesting disease.

    So-called “pathological altruism” is ubiquitous in nature. But it’s not called that. It’s called parasitism. When a Warbler feeds and raises a young Cuckoo rather than its own offspring, we could say that the Warbler is engaging in “pathological altruism”. But what has really happened is that the Warbler has been parasitized by the Cuckoo.

    There may be genes “for” lesser immunity to certain parasites or certain parasitic strategies. But when we see organisms exhibiting “pathological altruism”, the cause is parasitic infection, not genes “for” pathological altruism.

    • JayMan / Jan 14 2013 10:24 PM

      I used quotes around “pathological” altruism because I’m not sure I buy this term, certainly not when it’s applied to societies as a whole.

      Pathological altruism is extremely maladaptive, which is why it’s called “pathological”, suggesting disease.

      It’s only maladaptive in today’s multi-racial environment. When Northwestern Europeans live in homogenous societies, with brethren, who were also reciprocal altruists, it is perfectly adaptive, as we see in societies that remain homogenous today, such as Iceland or Finland.

      Obviously so, otherwise it would have never evolved.

      When a Warbler feeds and raises a young Cuckoo rather than its own offspring, we could say that the Warbler is engaging in “pathological altruism”.

      I don’t think that’s quite the same thing.

    • Anonymous / Jan 15 2013 7:31 PM

      “Pathological altruism” is not the same thing as reciprocal altruism. Pathological altruism is always maladaptive. People see pathological altruism, and then assume therefore that it was selected for in the organism exhibiting the pathological altruism. This is the same mistake that researchers made when furiously searching for genes “for” certain cancers that are now known to be caused by infectious agents. The reasoning was similar: obviously the cancer patient has genes “for” tumors to multiply out of control and kill him, otherwise it would have never evolved. Similar reasoning informs beliefs about homosexuality being genetic as opposed to being due to pathogenic causes.

      There are countless examples of parasitism in nature. Even in cases where the “mafia hypothesis” holds, it would be valid to label it as an example of “pathological altruism”, because “pathological altruism” is ultimately parasitism.

    • JayMan / Jan 15 2013 8:31 PM

      “Pathological altruism” is not the same thing as reciprocal altruism. Pathological altruism is always maladaptive.

      Our differences lie in the semantics. If you want to define “pathological altruism” as the type that was always maladaptive, then the number of people afflicted with it would be very small indeed.

      The type of altruism that is exhibited by NW Europeans was certainly quite adaptive. See HBD Chick’s work.

    • Anonymous / Jan 17 2013 5:24 PM

      It isn’t a matter of semantics. It’s an important distinction. “Pathological altruism” is a completely different concept from “reciprocal altruism”. Reciprocal altruism is, put simply, tit for tat. Pathological altruism is always maladaptive, by definition. Behaviors that are always maladaptive, such as homosexuality, can appear at relatively high levels. I don’t know if HBD Chick claims that pathological altruism and reciprocal altruism are the same thing, but if she does, she’s confused.

    • JayMan / Jan 17 2013 5:47 PM

      It isn’t a matter of semantics. It’s an important distinction. “Pathological altruism” is a completely different concept from “reciprocal altruism”. Reciprocal altruism is, put simply, tit for tat. Pathological altruism is always maladaptive, by definition.

      The way HBD Chick describes reciprocal altruism, as it exists among NW Europeans, does not always imply “always actively seeking to ensure that the other party is holding up his end of the bargain.” A reciprocal altruist can actually be generous, and will help a fellow in need (which the tacit expectation that that favor will one day be returned).

      The problem with that is that it leaves the giving individual open to exploitation by parasitic individuals (or individuals not so inclined to be generous). But this wasn’t a problem in a society where most people could be trusted. Cheaters were kept at bay by the institutions designed to root out cheaters.

      As we see, in the West, this system is open to exploitation by people who aren’t so inclined to give back (or, more accurately, to be generous in return).

      “Pathological” altruism is largely a product of the modern environment.

    • Anonymous / Jan 20 2013 1:16 AM

      You (or HBD Chick) are suggesting that “pathological altruism” is just a case of reciprocal altruism that isn’t enforced. That isn’t true. “Pathological altruism” is something else entirely.

      What we see as non-familial “altruism” in civilization is largely parasitic castration. The most general definition of parasitic castration is the extended phenotypic diversion of reproduction from the host organism’s genes to the parasite’s. This would include political economic phenomena as well as all kinds of other phenomena.

  16. Anonymous / Jan 16 2013 10:32 PM

    I think the “pathological altruism” is more a madness of crowds phenomenon at some point someone will say to themselves ‘a tulip bulb is not worth an estate’ Zulu tribal rhythms are not equatable to Mozart wigwams are not like Gothic cathedrals and my culture is not equatable to Islam, im not going to put the lights out on western civilization to boost my Facebook standing.and lets hope the backlash is manageable im a former liberal turned libertarian but admit i get into murderous rages at whats happening to my everything. Im surprised at your comments that conservatives don’t care for others welfare, besides the book /study “who gives” if you spent any time out of crowne heights amonf actual conservatives I think you will notice quite a difference yes liberals form lots of community organizations but getting a liberal to actually part with a dollar is like well we all know what hippies are like. i have found conservatives will load up the pick up truck and drive 500 miles to help out without even thinking about it as charity its just work needing doing.with liberals all charities about furthering the agenda

  17. Richard / Dec 29 2013 11:47 AM

    “Now, at this point, I know one criticism that will be leveled at me is that the increase in the non-White share of the population will make it unlikely that Republicans will be able to capture the presidency, as was the main rant after the last election. However, I think it’s unclear if that will be the case. ”

    “However, it’s my suspicion that the non-White vote that buttresses the Democrats can only hold out so long against an increasingly Right-leaning White populace.”

    Why? Non-white fertility rates project to be higher than white ones well in to the period when the US becomes a majority-minority country.

    Plus, another key issue is the proportion of children who become more liberal than their parents vs. more conservative. Certainly on social issues, there has been more of a shift left than right when you go down through the generations since WWII.

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