Race and Morality

Morality isn’t a subject I am very comfortable discussing. It strikes at the heart of our deepest, most passionately held values. Whenever possible, I try to avoid using moralistic language, as it is commonly invoked to shut down debate on controversial topics. This is often demanded by the petitioner without any clear reason aside from social conditioning or intense dislike. Moral reasoning requires certain preconditions which no longer exist in contemporary America.

Looking at our moral landscape, I see the fallout of a catastrophe. Most Americans ardently cling to various moral values, which they stubbornly insist are universally valid, but lack the ability to articulate them in a rational way. If pressed to do so, the majority of them will fall back on divine authority and brook no argument. A smaller, but sizable number of Americans have reacted cynically against this irrationality and have grown skeptical of traditional mores. For these people, everything is permitted, so long as no one is harmed.

Philosophers, historians, and cultural anthropologists have done their subversive work. Educated Americans are now acutely aware of the plurality of moral systems. Morality varies across cultures and history. This leads to moral relativism: there are no universal moral truths, morality is purely subjective, arbitrary, or relative to social and historical circumstances. As a practical matter, any society needs a definition of justice, but the subject is hopelessly murky, best avoided, and not to be taken too seriously. This is the conclusion often drawn.

Strangely enough, this relativist attitude is often combined with the certainty that engaging in various behaviors, especially “racism” and “anti-Semitism,” is highly immoral. In this case, we can see the Foucaultian angle on morality: privileged elites set the “ground rules” of moral discourse which are used to buttress their own power and legitimize their rule. The demonization of the West, the thought policing, the ritual shaming of Whites are all part of its maintenance. Taken seriously, this view leads to the conclusion that our false morality is a sham and Whites would be better in casting off.

Moral philosophers have waded into this impenetrable thicket. A few claim to have discovered the principles of justice, but there is no general agreement in the field, only various schools with rival intrepretations of justice and the good. Ethics hasn’t progressed like the other sciences. This is powerful evidence in itself that the search for universal abstract moral principles, analagous to the laws of physics (the Enlightenment model), is a fool’s crusade that leads to nihilism.

A handful of biologists and zoologists (ex. Richard Dawkins) have weighed in on this debate and theorized that humans and other mammals have a basic set of moral instincts which have been shaped over the eons by natural selection. The Darwinian paradigm of morality can explain some of the variation across cultures and individuals found by cultural anthropologists. If moral behavior is a set of hereditary traits, we would expect it to vary in its distribution like height or eye color. Also, the slight variation across cultures and history masks the more pronounced consistency. This is the most powerful evidence against the moral relativists that morality isn’t purely arbitrary.

In light of all this, I am left with the impression that “morality” has a subjective and objective side. It is partially environmental, partially hereditary. I won’t hazard to pin down the precise ratio, but I believe we have moral instincts which are molded (or perverted) by our environment. Insofar as morality is at all “rational,” I share Alasdair MacIntyre’s position that it has to aim at some telos. This objective end can then be used to discern the virtues and vices – the substance of morality – that lead to the actualization of the ideal moral type. Moral reasoning is only possible within the context of traditions that aim at some end. Anything else results in an irrational shouting match.

But we’re immediately faced with the problem that there are multiple ends to choose from. Christians, for instance, aim at the salvation of the individual soul. Aristotelians strive after “human flourishing.” Epicureans pursue individual peace of mind. Progressives are motivated by their vision of colorblind nirvana. In choosing between moral systems, we plunge into the world of extra-moral, mythic, aesthetic criteria.

Racialists are also motivated by an aesthetic vision of the ideal state. The moral disgust we feel at the sight of multiracial couples (they shouldn’t be doing that) conflicts with our acute sense of order and cleanliness. I will mine this subject in a subsequent post.

About Hunter Wallace 12137 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

8 Comments

  1. Northwest Migration – The Brigade
    http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=IrXnJoWMIvA

    Northwest Migration – Decay and Democrazy
    http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=PXX7Kg6- dJs

    Northwest Migration – Duty
    http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=QK35BnCheEI

    Northwest Migration – 4 Phases to Victory
    http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=uPhKxNxLwvM

    Northwest Migration – Tradition
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpGhbi7LNT4

    Northwest Migration – Amerikwaa
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlRHPeElM7M

    Northwest Migration – Solidarity
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5J8hAk6yic

    Northwest Migration – Atrocity

  2. It’s obvious that you’ve put a great deal of thought into this matter, Hunter.

    There’s definitely a biological foundation to morality, one which can be understood in terms of game theory, evolutionary psychology, resource optimization, and such. I believe that an oft-neglected consideration is that traditions are themselves the product of natural selection. There’s a bit of a paradox, maybe a conundrum, in that the natural selection of moral codes will assure that populations favoring a perception of intelligent design, orderliness, and innate purpose will overwhelm those who actually arrive at the correct answer.

    Only a handful of nations are fortunate enough to receive a single Nietzschean superman, a human capable of staring down the abyss, comprehending the absurdity of it all, and giving birth to a more adaptive philosophical, moral, and social realm – a new religion (always an evolutionary adaptation of an earlier one). While the rest of us mere mortals are tempted to think ourselves capable of finding our own way through the wilderness, we would do well to cling to the nearest handrail of tradition and excel at our natural role within our tribal superorganism.

    Finding the handrail is a bit tricky, given that our indigenous traditions, tribal religions, and priesthoods have been almost entirely extinguished. Most of us were born in the wilderness. There is, fortunately, a handrail hidden in plain sight.

  3. The great genius of our adversaries in the mass media is their ability to cultivate pure instinct. Most people believe, at an apriori level, that racism is bad. They don’t know why they believe it, but they do. The media creates this instinct by showing black characters as authoritative, wise, and benevolent. White characters are often unstable, criminal, and sociopathic. There is no doctrine to their morality, no set of commandments to memorize, only stimulus-response.

    A great propagandist once said, “He who understands the instinct understands everything.”

  4. I suppose I’m morally deficient (so sue me), and I’m more than willing to reject the handrail for something more life-affirming, and blood-soaked. Bring back ancient Greece.

  5. OT, but Sailer’s blog and the Race/History/Evolution Notes (n/a’s blog) blog, are both down as of ~3 am Eastern time Fri 10/23.

    Blogspot however isn’t, and other blogs are loading fine. I checked beginning around 2:15 am.

    Sailer’s and the Race/History/Evolution notes blog’s most recent posts were on counting Jews in the Fortune 400 and the broader topic of Jewish wealth and power, with some (expectedly) heated discussions on the comment threads.

    Definitely not a coincidence.

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