How much is whiteness individualism as opposed to masochistic self-hatred?:

I notice that when the avg NW Euro becomes convinced of HBD he doesn’t then say - ‘Oops, we were wrong about the content of their character, they are bad people, time to treat them accordingly!’ Instead, he either insists that nothing really has changed apart from maybe the need to do away with formal pro-other discrimination, or b) that this shows that there is something wrong with Euros (‘they are just too individualist u see and need to learn from other groups how to be more collectivist’).

It’s not like the euro is incapable of feeling hatred. U should see how his pre-redpill incarnation felt about white racists. He is just only capable it seems of hating Europeans.

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Northwest Europeans tend to perceive social relations in moral terms. They thus moralize the distinction between "us" and "them," with the in-group being the "morally worthy" and the out-group being the "morally worthless." This tendency, I believe, has an innate basis, but the actual content of morality is not innate. Morality is socially constructed.

The content of morality can thus radically change. Old sins have disappeared and new ones have taken their place. But the desire to be "moral" —and not "sinful" — seems to have a strong innate basis. This includes hatred of "sin" and those who sin. It is thus possible to hack our sense of morality and persuade us that we are collectively guilty of sin. The hatred is thus turned inward.

There is nothing innate or inevitable in this self-hatred. It is a social construct.

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"This tendency, I believe, has an innate basis, but the actual content of morality is not innate. Morality is socially constructed."

This is VERY important, I think.

Morality is subjective and internal. If it were possible to accurately and privately poll all the individuals of a cohesive community--Community A--I doubt that every member of the group's list of moral values would by identical in both constituent elements, and in relative priority. But what we'd also find is that the majority of these moral elements (values) would be shared, and in more-or-less a similar order of priority.

Therefore each such individual of this group feels an ethical kinship and is at comfort with its societal requirement for participation. It will be a cohesive society. So then these shared moral values would be a binding agent for the groups culture.

We could then try a similar hypothetical poll among members of a different society--Community B--one that had evolved in a different physical environment, perhaps, and leading to some additional moral values than might have appeared on Community A's . Some of A's values might be missing from B's complete set, and the shared values (there will be many) may be held at very different priorities.

So members of B would be satisfied and content living in their community.

But when individual members of A live in Community B, they are out of step to one degree of another--sometimes fatally so. And the same is true for Bs living among A's.

Now, is one set of morals "right"? For the shared ones between the groups, all would say "yes". But those that are foreign to either group, or of vastly differing priorities, these morals would not be "right" and might even be taken as evidence that the other community is not trustworthy at best, and evil at worst.

Morals are therefore a matter of group opinion, non-binding outside of the group.

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I don't know how much this tendency is actually internalized and how much is just tactical caution. Many of the conclusions from hbd draw themselves and I don't think much would be added by outright calling most non-whites trash un-conductive to advanced civilization.

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Apr 30·edited May 1

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking article.

"Today, interracial violence skews overwhelmingly in one direction. Why? If Whites are so powerful, why do they allow this?"

I'm going to posit that most are stupid.

"For French boys, individualism is the norm. No gang comes to their defense when trouble starts."

This is true of all European stock. Here is my take on individualism.

'The trait of individualism within the White race is admirable because it produces excellent advancements in science, engineering, math, art, architecture, medicine, and quality of life, making Western Civilization the greatest. But when individualism facilitates White self-genocide, it is pathetic.'

"Perhaps. But a number of human groups have reached high levels of cognitive ability, maybe even higher, while failing to achieve the same dominance. Think of the Parsis, the Ashkenazim and the Chinese."

The Ashkenazim may be a poor choice to include, considering their currently almost total control of Europe and the United States.

The fact is ethnicities and cultures do not mix well.

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High intelligence is not the key to creating large, high-functioning societies, at least not by itself. Most trading peoples have attained high levels of cognitive ability, but they still need another people to create and maintain a large, pacified, and orderly space in which they can thrive.

A large, high-functioning society requires a population that can internalize "the rules" and comply with "the rules." Initially, those rules were embedded in relations of kinship. But that system broke down with the rise of large societies. There has thus been a shift toward moral universalism and moral absolutism — the rules apply to everyone, regardless of whether it's your brother or a distant relative. That was a difficult shift to make, and it has not been made by most human populations, including many that are highly intelligent.

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"High intelligence is not the key to creating large, high-functioning societies, at least not by itself."

High intelligence is the key to creating large, high-functioning societies, but it also takes many lower-intelligence people to succeed. The advancements in modern societies are the result of just a handful of knowledgeable people who bring discoveries to fruition with the help of a large number of other people.

"That was a difficult shift to make, and it has not been made by most human populations, including many that are highly intelligent."

As we shift our focus from individual intelligence to the intelligence distribution within populations, we find a fascinating correlation. Populations with a higher average intelligence tend to be more advanced. This is due to the normal distribution curve, which means that there are more individuals with exceptional intelligence in these populations.

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“Populations with a higher average intelligence tend to be more advanced.”

It depends on your definition of the word “advanced.” High intelligence is a characteristic of populations that specialize in trade, such as Parsis, Igbo, and Ashkenazim. Most of them have failed to develop large societies that can exercise political and economic dominance over a large territory. This is what I mean by the “large society problem.” To create a large society, people have to emancipate themselves from the limitations of kinship and kinship-based morality. Only then does it become possible to create a true state and a true market economy.

Two populations have followed that evolutionary trajectory: northwest Europeans and East Asians. They have thus been able to amass much more power and create much more wealth. Eventually, this trajectory can become unstable and self-destructive, but that’s another matter.

There is a tendency for high intelligence to be associated with prosocial traits, like empathy and rule compliance, but that’s a result of shared selection pressures. In other words, the same selection that favors intelligence also tends to favor other mental and behavioral traits. But it’s wrong to assume that these different traits are influenced by the same alleles. Sociopaths, for instance, are often high in intelligence, but they are low in empathy and rule compliance.

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"There is a tendency for high intelligence to be associated with prosocial traits, like empathy and rule compliance, but that’s a result of shared selection pressures."

It seems to me that we're playing around with the idea that intelligence and empathy are in some sense genetically bound together, at least in the NW European populations; this might not hold narrowly true in East Asia. If true, working from this position (simply to extend the exploration of cause/effect), can we make the broad assumption that there are no, or few, negative effects to be derived for the intelligent/empathetic population from an increase in intelligence, but there might well be negative effects from an increase of empathy? That at some point empathy can make the individuals, and hence the society as a whole, less able to survive intact?

If this is true, is it possible that at some point intelligence might be decoupled from empathy, not to reverse it, but to hold it steady as intelligence increases?

Has this already happened in East Asia?

This is not to say categorically that a bit less empathy than we see now in western society would not be a general benefit to the society, but... :^)

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Intelligence and empathy are different mechanisms. Any overlap would be at a basic level, e.g., velocity of neural conduction.

An increase in intelligence would cause negative effects if that increase is unnecessary. The same holds true for empathy. Remember, the brain consumes 20% of our metabolic energy while comprising only 2% of our body mass. Any increase in intelligence would necessarily incur a cost, and that cost has to be justified. Do we need to be more intelligent?

Who, then, gets to decide what we need? Natural selection decides.

Empathy gets a bad rap because it has become unbounded. But that's a recent development. Previously, empathy was limited to the "morally worthy," i.e., Christians, and preferably Christians of our sect and nationality. We thus live under a social contract where rule compliance is rewarded with empathy. "If I follow the rules, I will be treated with empathy by other rule followers. If I don't follow the rules, I will be considered morally worthless and treated accordingly."

East Asians have developed a similar adaptive package. The big difference is that their empathy largely takes the form of cognitive empathy, i.e., the ability to understand how your actions impact other people. Affective empathy (i.e., transfer of emotions) is much less developed and has to be acquired through learning. This is why Confucianism puts so much emphasis on the acquisition of "ren." Ren has to be learned.

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"An increase in intelligence would cause negative effects if that increase is unnecessary."

Maybe a better term would be "non-productive". An increase in intelligence that did not lead to a productive outcome for the individual over childhood and the reproductive period might cause negative effects, but it's hard for me to imagine any, given that the period of time stretches decades. In the course of these decades differing opportunities for reproductive advantage arise that in many important situations are aided or enabled by intelligence. Right now I can think of no such situations in which intelligence would operate as a reproductive negative. Some abstruse examples might exist, but...

I see the probable evolution of empathy as being centered on the reproductive group (nuclear family), then including the extended family, then perhaps the clan, then maybe the worthy members of the tribe, the race, and the species.

There is an odd variation in the case of the reproductive group such that groups with no residing male, those absent males are less likely to evolve toward increased empathy, I suspect. This *may* also hold true, to a degree, in large polygamous reproductive units.

It saddens and disturbs me that in the west empathy has broadened to include individuals of other species, and not just ones that might be argued to be a part of the nuclear family, as a beloved dog--but all dogs everywhere, and pretty much at all times.

It's what PETA is all about, it seems to me.

WRT to east Asian empathy, yes, this sounds correct to me. It might best be understood as them seeing the social "reason" to be empathetic toward an unrelated individual, whereas in the current west, rationality plays no significant part.

I see empathy as being applied to entire groups as well as individuals in current western sensibilities. I see very little empathy extended to groups is the same manner by east Asians.

None of this is good or bad; these value qualifiers have no application in this sort of discussion. We're just trying to objectively observe and note what we see.

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May 2·edited May 2

"Two populations have followed that evolutionary trajectory: northwest Europeans and East Asians. They have thus been able to amass much more power and create much more wealth. "

But I do not consider amassing power and wealth a step forward in humanity's ascent. I emphasize the importance of intelligence in advancing civilization.

"Sociopaths, for instance, are often high in intelligence, but they are low in empathy and rule compliance."

Perhaps some sociopaths are above average in intelligence, but I know of none that would be considered gifted; they indeed lack integrity.

I am not just interested in the increase of intelligence of humans but also other positive traits such as integrity, inquisitiveness, intuitiveness, industriousness, insight, inspiration, imagination, inventiveness, and intentness. To understand the genetics of these positive traits, I firmly believe in psychometrics, which will be a tool for accomplishing that goal.

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Interesting article. The "absolute and universal rule" that today most Whites seem to follow is that they must share all their space with others. How do you suggest this rule be changed so that White people can create their own space(s) without feeling guilty about it?

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The first step is awareness of the problem. That is always the hardest step to take. Once you become aware, everything else will follow.

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In all due respect I think you have the cart before the horse: NW Europeans don't need to change any rules concerning sharing with others, they just need throw off unfounded guilt.

It's interesting to consider guilt. There seems to be a major divergence in the guilt response: externally motivated guilt and internally motivated guilt.

For the former, an individual feels no reflexive guilt over an issue or behavior until s/he is told that they've erred. There was no intrinsic response to breaking a taboo or convention. The individual had to be informed by some external party that they are to blame for some outcome, and the individual accepts the external party's authority in the matter and acquiesces, feeling remorse and guilt, often publicly.

For the latter, the guilt reaction is a violation of the individual's own standards of behavior. They are deeply and personally held, and remorse for shortcomings requires no external guidance or reminder. One has disappointed *one's self*.

Needless to say, externally motivated guilt has a large component of social acceptance seeking, while with internally motivated guilt this motivation is absent.

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It's great to see you publish on Aporia Peter! As always an excellent analysis and in-depth insights in which you shared more details about the behaviours that pulled Europeans ahead over 1,000 years ago. I learned something new yet again. One thought that came to my mind is do you think there is a place and people in modern times where humans again are flourishing due to smart mating decisions, individual entrepreneurship and novel market economy dynamics? So for example would you include Singapore? If it doesn't exist it, what would it need in our modern digital and globalised age?

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No, I wouldn't include Singapore. Modern Western culture seems to be especially toxic for East Asians. It's not just the very low fertility rate, it's also the abandonment of the elderly and a general lack of concern for the long term. Yes, all of this is happening in the West, but the effects seem to be worse in non-WEIRD countries.

We need awareness of the problem, and we can't have awareness unless we have free and open discussion. This is one of those cases where we have to speak up, even though the social and legal consequences may be daunting.

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What specifically makes Western culture so toxic to East Asians?

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- Individualism

- Belief that humans are self-contained individuals who exist independently of their lineage and population.

- Expansion of the market economy to encompass all aspects of human existence.

- “cargo-cultism” – blind belief in the superiority of anything that comes out of Western culture.

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Why are these values so toxic to asians when they were part and parcel of the white man's success?

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Because northwest Europeans have been adapting to that kind of social environment for a longer span of time, perhaps much longer.

We have good evidence from the 9th century that they were already showing a behavioral pattern of weak kinship ties, nuclear families, and late marriage with a high percentage never marrying. We have fragmentary evidence of this pattern from pre-Christian times. I suspect it originated in the late Mesolithic in populations who lived around the North Sea and the Baltic and who were unusual in forming large sedentary and semi-sedentary communities long before the advent of farming. This behavioral pattern may have been their way of reducing clannishness and solving the “large society problem.”

Even if we reject the last hypothesis, northwest Europeans have been highly individualistic for 50+ generations. In contrast, the rest of the world has been embracing Western individualism for only the past three or four generations. Northwest Europeans have thus been adapting to a more atomized social environment for a longer time. Some of that adaptation is purely cultural — northwest Europeans have simply been pushing the bounds of their phenotype. But some of it is also genetic. Genetic evolution tends to follow cultural evolution because culture creates a template for natural selection to act upon. This is what we mean by “gene-culture coevolution.” We adapt to our cultural environment just as we adapt to our natural environment.

The rest of the world is being thrust into a socially atomized environment that differs radically from that of the recent past. One consequence is a rapid decline in fertility and family formation. In most of the world, children are raised not only by their parents but also by kin (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). When these people are no longer available, family formation ceases to be cost-effective. There may also be profound psychological effects.

On a final note, this trajectory of social atomization is accelerating for everyone, including northwest Europeans. They, too, are now coping with a social environment that is increasingly beyond the normal limits of phenotypic plasticity.

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What is the solution this global predicament?

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Sick of anti-white racism. Racism is racism.

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May 1·edited May 1

Really interesting. I like the idea that individualism preceded Christianity. It seems more plausible to me that solving the problems of close existence (since that's where the fish stocks are) with a large number of unrelated others led to our greater individuality than it being down to various edicts passed by the Catholic Church.

Peter Frost is very good at writing with non-experts like me in mind though the listening experience would be improved had the narrator not read aloud all the damned references. Anybody interested in such things should just read the article. I'm assuming it was an actual human who read it. The only bit that makes me doubt that was the pronunciation of the word 'spendthrift', which the narrator weirdly separated into two words. Would an educated human ever do that? Perhaps this one did.

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The narrator is AI. I've heard the same voice used in an ad on YouTube. I've given up on trying to listen to the articles here, as the AI narration is sometimes hard to follow, and frequently mispronounces words (to comical effect at times).

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I suspected it might be AI as the narrator didn't give his name at the start, as they usually do. Even so, I have to say I'm impressed. I could happily eat my breakfast and only once did I feel I might be in Uncanny Valley. That's good enough for me.

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Maybe the algorithm has been improved and the narrator is doing better these days? I'll give a listen and see.

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I enjoy the narration here. Most substacks use a terrible robotic womans voice.

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I'd refuse to listen under those circumstances just on general principle.


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Very clearly written summary

Doesn't the chaotic equilibrium of the Icelandic Free State bring into question the theory that the Germanic peoples were individualistic in their 'primeval' state? Or do you think that the intense kin-group feuding there was a response by the Scandi colonists to specifically Icelandic conditions?

Of course 'pure' kinship is not the only way in which 'clans' have historically been formed. While the West Asian mechanism is quite alien to Europe, the first of the English in England, as well as early IEs (and the Japanese), all had 'clans', but they were more in the nature of voluntary associations of followers of a successful war leader, with a nuclear or slightly more ramified chiefly kin group at their apex. The Gaelic system arguably had some of the same features, likewise large parts of Greece--e.g. the Peloponnese, Crete and Epirus--under Ottoman rule.

"preventing clan formation – and clan vendettas – through more effective enforcement of a pre-existing norm against cousin marriages"

I wonder if enough attention is paid to class as a possible reflection of underlying *caste* differentiation in pre-modern times (and maybe residually even today). Did the upper and lower classes represent different originary castes? Did they nurse and act upon attitudes to kin that differed from those of lower class (caste)?

This leads me to wonder how closely prohibitions on cousin marriage were observed among the aristocracy. I suspect it applied in practice only to the commoners--who, as you say, were not very clannish anyway.

In Romania, for example, the peasantry was not communitarian in family formation (look at Todd's map), yet the aristocracy was quite viscose. Many families seem to have been quite closely related to their peers, to the extent that marriages with peasant girls were often necessary in order to avoid inbreeding depresssion (the church-imposed consanguinity prohibitions seem to have been a secondary consideration at best).

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Yes, how do we explain clannishness in regions that lie within the Hajnal line? Iceland is one example. Another would be the "Celtic fringe" of Ireland, Scotland, and the borderlands.

The first Icelandic census (1703) shows a Hajnal-like pattern of late marriage, nuclear families, and a high incidence of adults never marrying.


Perhaps the situation was different in Iceland during the early period of settlement, when the population density was low and rivalry high between the founding families . In that context, there may have been less individualism and more clannishness. It's difficult to say because the Hajnal pattern shows up in early northwest Europe wherever we have good demographic data.

Ultimately, we are dealing with a phenotype that may be pushed in either direction by local circumstances. Hence, the Western Church pushed northwest Europeans further in the direction of individualism. It may be that the circumstances of early Iceland (low population density, rivalry between founding families) pushed the phenotype in the other direction.

I agree that Europe's aristocracy deviated the most from social norms, largely because they felt they were above those norms. This was true for cousin marriage as it was for polygyny. Even in those cases, the Church did play a restraining role. Polygyny was not as prevalent or as publicly flaunted among European aristocracies as it was among Asian aristocracies.

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I think you need to find a common denominator for Rome in the year 100 and the West a thousand years later.

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The two have little in common. By the year 100, Rome was running down its intellectual and behavioral capital. I discussed this point in a previous article: https://www.aporiamagazine.com/p/how-christianity-reversed-the-roman?utm_source=publication-search

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It must also be said that Republican Rome was a stem-family (the emancipatio and peculium were second-son institutions) and a voluntary-associated (the clientes system) society .

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This has been a problem not only with anthropology but also with the other social sciences, particularly economics. We assume that people are self-maximizing units of production and consumption, but that's not how most people see things.

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Yes. This would explain a lot of the cultural friction around lifestyle and the degree of self-sacrifice needed to maintain a western lifestyle.

It's not for everyone, this is becoming increasingly clear.

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