One would naturally assume that a book about Western individualism would start with a definition of the term and then provide some examples of how this concept exists in the West, but not in other civilizations. After all, it is a term that is used in various ways and it also carries moral connotations. That is not the case with Kevin MacDonald’s latest book, Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. Instead, it is left to the reader to figure out what the author means by individualism.

There is the first challenge in understanding the main assertion of the book. The claim at various points in the text is that individualism is unique to the West. This is the result of the people who settled in the lands we now think of as Europe. They possessed qualities that made it possible for them to adapt to the harsh climate of Europe, but the climate also selected for those qualities. These behavioral traits are also the basis for what we think of as individualism, however defined.

It is an established fact that the variations in climate and geography create different selection pressures on the life in different regions. Cold climates select for life that can survive in cold climates. Rainy climates select for life that can exist with extremely high average annual rainfall. These selection pressures apply to humans, which is why we can observe the great diversity of people. East Asians were selected for, so to speak, the climate and geography of East Asia.

The first three chapters of the book cover the migration of people into Europe and what we know about the organizational structures. Europe was initially settled by hunter-gatherers with an egalitarian culture. Then nomadic people with an aristocratic warrior class came in from the east. MacDonald argues that the genetic basis for egalitarianism and meritocracy is in these original people. This is not an argument from science, but rather an argument from inference.

It cannot be emphasized enough how marriage patterns and family formation helped define what we think of as the West. The rapid decline in cousin marriage, for example, is arguably the great leap forward for Western people. It naturally lead to the evolution of alternatives to narrow kinship in human cooperation. MacDonald does a good job summarizing how these mating patterns were brought to the West with the aristocratic people who migrated from the East.

In the next chapters the focus shifts to culture and history. Chapter four is about European family formation. The focus is entirely on Europe, so the reader is left to guess why this differs from the rest of the world. Chapters five and six are about Christianity in Europe. Chapter seven focuses on British idealism and then chapter eight focuses on moral communities. These chapters are a long summary of how individualism, however defined, shaped Western history.

Chapter eight is an interesting chapter in that he finally gets around to providing a definition of individualism. He states at the opening that individualist societies are based on the reputation of the individual. Group cohesion depends on the members judging other members on an individual basis. Each member also accepts that he will be judged by society as an individual. This contrasts with other societies where membership in a tribe or clan is the basis for judging people.

This gets to the major flaw in the book. It needs an editor. The parts are here for a straight line argument that individualism has genetic roots and that it was selected for in European people. As humans adapted to the harsh northern climates, they adopted social structures that rewarded the behaviors necessary to survive as a group in the areas we now call Europe. While we cannot locate an “individualism gene” we can infer it through things like marriage patterns and family formation.

This would make for a nice, crisp two hundred page book. Instead, these bits are spread over five hundred pages, mixed with material that is highly debatable. People familiar with the history of the early church, for example, will scratch their head at the assertions made in chapter five. The section on Puritanism often seems to contradict what he said in early chapters about individualism. A professional editor could have pointed this out and forced a rethinking of these chapters.

Another problem with the book is that it is not really about individualism so much as a way to support his theory of group evolutionary strategy. As a result, he reduces group behavior to individual motivations. This sort of reductionism is common among older right-wing writers for some reason. That generation has always had a fetish for assigning base human desires to the behavior of groups. For some reason, emergent behavior lies beyond their intellectual event horizon.

The final criticism of the book is that it fails to explain why individualism has led the West to the verge of self-extinction. It has become an article of faith in certain circles that Western individualism is the cause of decline. Some argue that it makes it possible for tribal minority groups to exert undue influence on society to the detriment of the majority population. If so, then why now and not a century ago or five centuries ago when the West was far more fragmented?

The counter here is that this is not the point of the book. Others will need to pick up from where the book leaves off to make those arguments. The trouble is the book ends with a chapter on individualism versus multiculturalism. That and the intended readership is the sort of people talking about how individualism is at the root of the current crisis in the West. Given the bulk of the book is a review of Western culture, it is logical that this topic should be addressed.

The question in every book review is whether the book is worth reading. Just as every child deserves love, ever book deserves reading. Despite the structural flaws, the book does a good job describing early Europeans. The section on moral communities is probably the best chapter in the book and the most relevant. That is a good reward for slogging through the chapters on religion. The final chapter is a good summation of the White Nationalist worldview, for those interested.

Overall, it is a mixed recommendation. The first three chapters are well worth the time, even though they could use some editing. The chapter on moral communities is another good use of reading time. The chapters on religion will be exasperating for those who have a good religious education. Overall, it fails to deliver on the main topic and its role in the current crisis, but it provides a lot of interesting material that is being carefully avoided by mainstream writers and thinkers.

If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

108 thoughts on “Individualism

  1. “Some argue that it makes it possible for tribal minority groups to exert undue influence on society to the detriment of the majority population. If so, then why now and not a century ago or five centuries ago when the West was far more fragmented?”

    Z, i believe its because women live longer now. Before antibiotics and germ theory, 30% of mothers died during childbirth, and another large percentage of women died from random yeast infections from taking a bath. Now they outlive us, outvote us, and have a disproportionate impact on society. Just a short period of time after the industrial revolution, women suddenly had the time to protest, nag their husbands about politics, win the right to vote, influence the victory of FDR, who planted 9 justices, then affirmative action gave even more power to women. Also, there was a strange surplus of females in society in the silent and boomer generations, so we can expect all those hippie victories of the 60s to be influenced by that. Now theres a male surplus, and some of those victories will be overturned, i think.

  2. OT: boris is resigning in the UK. what a klown. guess that ukraine thing didn’t work out the way he planned. wonder if it will bring down our own beloved pantshitter.

  3. Individualism like all of these terms needs to be defined. My understanding is that individualism means that our ability to discriminate and discern is highly refined. It is an ingredient in the success of Europe and pre-multicultural America. It means that you consider the individual and his merits as much or more than other features: credentials and pedigree; tribe/clan affiliation … …

    It is the ruling regime that has turned its back on individualism. It is individuals who invent and create and build. This regime is so corrupt they nominate and appoint based on tribe, emtpy titles and tribe/clan affiliation. That will be their downfall.

    Individualism has an achilles heel as does a republican form of government. You have to have enough individuals who act in good faith in support of the system and who will also ruthlessly identify and cast out those who are the bad faith actors. One of the tricks of the usurpers was to use the good faith assumptions of the system while simultaneously using privileged group identity to demonize anyone who called out a bad faith actor or a nest of them scurrying in the shadows.

    Individualism didn’t fail us. In fact, it was individuals who were too weak to stand up and confidently speak the truth and support each other in numbers that led to the current state of affairs. In short, we turned our back on valor. It is valorous self-organizing individuals capable of identifying what of our individual interests are collective interests and vice-versa that will be our path forward. We are the men of quality, but we have to prove it. The weakness of the other side is that behind the degrees, titles, honorifics … are a bunch of people who can’t stand on their own. They may be very smart, but everything they cling to and have built themselves upon is a lie that cannot be sustained. Take away the benefits, let the system falter and fail, and the people who need the system will be exposed for what they are, then replaced by the people that a good and well functioning system needs.

    Democracy is the mob. That is who rules. The mob is a collective blob of unwitting tools holding up a bunch of grifters. The time is approaching where they are running out of someone else’s things to sell. That is the significance of the GAE’s sanctions regime against Russia. That is the significance of a NASDAQ where 70% of the companies rely on new infusions of debt to cover for their lack of cash flow.

    Valorous individuals just need to identify and define those things we hold in common interest and to have the wisdom to let go of those things that weaken our position when squabbled over. Caesar and his legions were individuals – they had to be in order to be held accountable and to be sufficiently inspired by and rewarded by the glory of sustained effort and accomplishing their mission. The mission was clear and worthy of the men who were worthy of the mission. That men and the mission must have the right things in common – men in service to a mission that is of service to the men.

    The men of quality will win. For we are the ones who can build the temples and put our names on their dedications. We’ve just been derailed by the parasites who hide themselves and their wickedness behind the names of the temples they have desecrated.

    • Good post Peri. I think. My brain is mush after reading the comments on this subject. It’s like Z asked us to compare & contrast the difference between two made-up words. Then sat back and laughed.

  4. Anyone in so cal want to sign up for a K Macdonald class?

    I’ve been giving him a hard time and maybe unfairly. But for me he’s fun to pick on for better or worse. I would probably like the man.

    Either way I’m going to look into it. Might as well. He’s kind of a celebrity on the DR.

    • Celebrity is one way to put it. He’s a veritable linchpin for some. Likable guy though, I chatted with him at some events in I want to say late ’90s, early 2000s. A tad overrated as far as the scary racist class goes. I think for all the boogeymen known for “that one thing”, William Luther Pierce came the closest to having any real menace. He couldn’t write a decent book to save his life, but as an orator he had that rare ability to make his presence fill the room; sadly not what he’s most known for, even in the DR.

  5. If Z’s account of the book is accurate, MacDonald doesn’t understand how Europe was populated. We have evidence from ancient DNA that the original European hunter-gatherers (who, weirdly, were dark skinned but blue eyed) contributed very little to modern populations, and that the primary components were first of all a wave of farmers from the Levant about 8,000 years ago, who largely replaced the hunter-gatherers all over Europe, followed about 5,000 years ago by a wave of pastoralists from the steppes (the “Indo-Europeans”), who largely replaced the farmers in the north and mixed with but did not replace them in the south (which is why Italians do not look like Swedes). Until then Europe did not even really have “white people” in the sense that we usually understand them.

    But this is a minor point. What really bothers me is the sort of hand-waving speculation that MacDonald and so many others engage in to explain why certain populations are more successful than others. Sure, maybe it was adaptation to a difficult climate. Maybe. But do we really know that? Do these sort of “Just So Stories” actually prove anything to anybody who isn’t convinced already? I don’t think they do.

    The focus must be kept on the facts at hand today — in particular on the dysfunction and lack of achievement of blacks all over the world. The Left either denies these facts outright or tries to blame them on white people, so refuting the Left on those points, based on hard current evidence, could go a long way towards persuading the persuadables. Speculating about root causes from thousands of years ago? Eh, not so much…

    • what you are talking about so gentilly, is the Yamnaya killing all the males in Europe, and breeding with the females. genocide is hard coded in our DNA; it’s a feature.

  6. To 3g4me:

    I think you are confusing individuality with individualism as a concept and way of life. At least as it pertains to me and my comments.

    But the distinction is important. That as a young girl you had your unique passions and interests is not on the same page as saying that you only had those things because your heritage is from Northern Europe and that because that is your heritage you would be locked in a type of prison of eternal individuality so much so that you and all your kin were cursed to such a lonely fate. It’s preposterous. And I may be making a slight exaggeration for effect, but not much.

  7. Individualism is just one of those weasel words that gets used to rationalize things because it has a positive connotation. Gates and Bezos get to own everything and reduce everyone else to wage slaves and serfs because the individual human right to property is just so sacrosanct, right?

    Conversely the term collectivism is abused for its negative connotation. In the 80s when the Nips were the boogeymen they had to be the ant-like hive mind, today it’s the Ching-Chongs. Anyone who’s dealt with an actual Chinese person in business or school would know that they indeed have a very healthy sense of individual self-interest.

    The more useful metric is to look at the width of a person’s group identity. The true “individualist” that extends their identity only as far as the self exists in reality as sociopaths and autists. I’m such an individual that if you touch my ears I’ll start screaming for thirty minutes straight until everyone else leaves the coffee shop. Moving on to normal people you have nuclear-family oriented, extended-family oriented, nation-oriented, and finally empire-oriented. The first three have the capacity to be our guys, the last is the bugman. Interestingly, there’s a bit of a horseshoe effect there as the oversocialized state-compliant bugman has more in common with the individualist retard than anyone else. They both spend all their money on Star Wars action figures.

    • It’s another form of exploitation

      Take a person’s natural desires that are unique and specific and convince him that because he is unique that he will never be able to find comfort or belonging in the group, that his fate is to be an atomized soul on the frontier plain.

      Who benefits?

      The same institutions that today are telling us there are 50+ genders were yesterday telling us that individualism is baked into our DNA and that we were powerless against it, and meanwhile they went ahead and turned it into some kind of white man mythos. And unwitting tools like Macdonald make a living off of it. But again, he is part of these same institutions, and one has to wonder or at least ask himself whose side is he really on? I don’t think I’m being paranoid. I think it is a legitimate line of inquiry.

      Hey professor, who benefits? This individual wants to know.

  8. Not sure how much this bears on the discussion, I remember Rush used to tell the story (around Thanksgiving iirc) of how the Pilgrims first tried collective property, and how that led to starvation, so they gave each his own plot for which he was responsible, and that led to prosperity.

    Call it individualism, I guess, but it seems to me the point was that every man minds his business for the common good. How that could be exploited to become every man for himself seems obvious in the present day, but I’m not sure that old individualism is as much to blame as the combination of plenty and brainwashing. Like Z said the other day, people will go along with a lot in good times.

    I guess what I’m saying is, can one conclude that westerners uniquely and genetically/culturally susceptible, given the unique and unprecedented material success we’ve enjoyed? I’ll be watching China for an answer.

    • well that’s just universal human nature (not anything particular to one race or group).

        • “Pilgrims first tried collective property, and how that led to starvation, so they gave each his own plot for which he was responsible, and that led to prosperity.”

          people will coast when their efforts are collectivized, and bust a nut when they get to keep the fruits of their labor.

          • My neighbor across the street rented this small home with his wife. Both early sixties and have raised children etc only to be renters for bad financial decisions. On many levels I really dislike this guy.
            So they haverented the last seven years with his disability income and did squat. Didn’t cut grass, try to work (let his wife do that) or even go for a daily walk. Nothing.

            Now he got some money and is Ozzie Nelson while buying house off landlord. rebought lawn mower and accessories, planting shrubs, built shed and putting up vinyl fence. All on his own dime and a lot of his own labor, all in the last four months.

            Ownership changes a man doesn’t it. It’s a miracle I tell ya.

          • Ok. Definitely that which is earned is highly valued. But how that relates to what is earned and held in common is what interests me. Even those utopian Pilgrims figured out there has to be a balance between public and private. The idea that public is bad has been dominant for a while, and it’s just as unnatural— even for us supposedly individualistic westerners.

          • I mean, really, how often do you hear of public things as having been earned? They’re either taken from somebody else (or ought to be), or God-given. I have this sense that there’s some history or intellectual tradition that’s been suppressed.

          • Talking to myself here, but there is the whole thing about private government and church property… idk. Kind of fits in with the idea that the state has replaced the church. I wonder if in the big picture, public rose with the people and is on the outs as our economic/political power wanes. Time to quit and sleep on it.

    • Macdonald pisses me off because he has the reverse effect he’s looking for. He’s just not bright enough to figure it out. Or he’s too enamored with himself.

      A truly smart guy if asked why do Jews do what they do, he replies “because they’re Jews”. Why do dogs bark? Because they’re dogs.

      At some point things really are that simple. Or that pursuing answers to these things via scientific method amounts to, putting it crudely, a form of mental masturbation. The expression used to be “it’s all academic”. They mean the same thing

      Now if I were a Jewish fellow, wouldn’t I be delighted to know that some goy (and one who fancies himself an intellectual!) thinks he needs science, you know the shit that out men on the moon, to figure me out? You mean putting men on the moon, something man always dreamed about, is equivalent to why I want to chisel you out of a quarter and lie about if confronted ?

      Isn’t that high praise? Of course it is.

      That’s why Jews let him be and leave him alone. He’s the best public relations manager in academia they could ever ask for. But he’s too full of himself to see it.

      • “Because they are Jews” is not helpful. Also, a rose is a rose is a rose.

        Being genetically inclined towards clannishness, being crafty & smart, good with money, and good at networking among themselves for their mutual benefit helps explain their success.

        • A person gains more understanding of Jews – or any group for that matter – by actually interacting with them rather than by treating them as a science experiment.

          And if knowledge is the goal, true knowledge, then actual experience always proves more valuable than a hands-off theoretical approach. Or at least provides invaluable context and perspective.

          Just as you can’t learn car mechanics or animal husbandry or how to grow plants from a textbook.

          In a sense, Macdonald has no hands on training, and this is glaring to anyone who has actually had hands on experience with the people in question.

          Theoretical knowledge, in a vacuum, is never sufficient to a true understanding of something.

          It would be like taking a cooking course from Macdonald but never going into the kitchen.

          He’s an academic. And those who can’t do, teach.

          • Falcone: From the portion I’ve read of one of MacDonald’s books, he indeed had extensive personal interaction with Juice – admittedly in an academic rather than a business institution. But he still observed similar patterns of behavior and drew similar conclusions to others who interacted with them in the business realm.

          • McDonald’s idea that liberal Jews are somehow crypto-right wingers who reserve their nuttiness for the “host” society seems to come from someone who never met a liberal Jew. If you are the 8 year old son of an upper class Jewish woman who is a big supporter of the trans stuff, you are getting castrated and put in a dress. Group evolutionary strategy my tukas.

  9. Students who’ve actually had MacDonald in class—not SPLC goons posing as such online, or guys from the Counter Currents crowd who treat him like he’s an infallible guru—say MacDonald has a rambling, meandering teaching style. He reminds me of Michael Jones in that way, in that his thoughts work in these associational webs rather than in a straight line. Jones and MacDonald are brilliant, probably literally more intelligent than, say, Jared Taylor, but they lack his cogency, directness, and focus. Sailer is a very clear writer (when he’s not being deliberately obtuse). You’re honestly the best of the bunch, though before you my favorite in this thing was Thrasymachus, over at Deconstructing Leftism (long-since removed by WordPress).

    Jorge Louis Borges used to say that art was fire plus math. Some people can do the fire (the passion) while others overdo the math (the premeditation, the analytical). The trick is to balance spontaneity in the moment with an overall plan. Macdonald lets himself get carried off and distracted, at times, but he is brilliant, and worth reading, and supporting.

    • Before I depart California I may take a class with Macdonald.

      He teaches maybe an hour or so away, assuming he’s still a professor.

      If anyone in so cal wants to join me let me know.

  10. Purchase Kevin MacDonald books for the same reason you purchase:

    Jean Raspail (The Camp of the Saints)
    Ernst Junger (Eumeswil)
    H.J. Eysenck (The Inequality of Man)
    Wilmot Robertson (The Dispossessed Majority)
    TheZman (Title forthcoming)

    They may not be “right”, but they are very, very naughty. You should always have hard copies of actual “forbidden books”, and this includes K. MacD.


  11. Keeping it as simple as I can.

    We all live our lives as individuals, but are heavily influenced by those around us and the social and cultural norms that guide our behaviors. That is like gravity, it is everywhere all the time.

    At the root, “individualism” is about a preferred bias toward self reliance to the maximum degree feasible, and it includes a necessary corollary of society not interfering too heavily in an individual’s practice of being self reliant. In this sense, individualism is the antipode of parasitism. And individualism does not exclude cooperative behaviors that are largely voluntary. Self reliance is both a survival imperative and a moral good, and should be practiced at both the individual and community levels.

    Individualism is not selfishness at the extreme. Parents would not feed their young if that were the case. The aphorism that best describes individualism is “live and let live.” Individuals can be motivated to act by inspiration or sound leadership. Whereas, parasites act solely in ultimate self interest and can only be motivated by coercion or force.

    • Individualism seems like an American historical anomaly that we are trying to make fit across European cultures in general out of a collective bias in favor of ourselves as the norm.

      In Europe they have always looked down upon our individualism and would mock it. Trying now to shoehorn European peoples into our own cowboy boots completely disregards the facts on the ground and both the recent and long-standing customs and attitudes of those people.

      In fact I’d suggest that this is just an American way of trying to reconnect with our lost kin.

      There are so many pathologies among Americans stemming from our leaving the nest for a new world that I would start there when trying to make sense of any of this. Because I know Europeans don’t need evolutionary science to help give them an idea as to who they are and why they do the things they do. The fact that Americans do is just another bit of evidence in their sad conclusion that we are just lonely and lost people and that maybe coming here and leaving was a grave error. That is the predominant attitude of Europeans toward us.

      I mean, if we are trying to understand Northern Europeans, shouldn’t we at least look to actual Northern Europeans for clues? Why ignore them wholesale and endeavor along a scientific path when they are right there and still alive and would be eager and willing to give us their two cents on the matter.

      But no, instead we isolate ourselves in what amounts to a laboratory thousands of miles away to try to make sense of things on the other side of the ocean.

      I have to wonder how much time a Kevin Macdonald or a Steve sailer, both of whom claim some kind of academic expertise on European peoples, how much time they have actually spent in Europe. My bet is very little, and isn’t that kind of important?

      • Another good comment, Falcone.

        The application of what some call ‘the scientific method’ to peoples and their history, has always seemed suspect to me. There is absolutely an air of pomposity about it; in much the same way that one finds in a sociology professor trying to work differential equations into his field, and claiming it to be the silver bullet.

        Good, solid and watertight science is really the preserve of simple systems – perhaps even, if you’re lucky, slightly more complecks ones. For example, Newton’s second law of motion applied to the problem of ball thrown into the air, neglecting air resistance, and focusing only on gravity as the determinant force: this is a simple system. So simple, that fourteen year old kids can be taught it. It’s predictive power is also remarkably good, as it lines up nicely (but not perfectly) with what we see in the real world. Now try to apply such models to populations or the climate. It’s too much. That said, as an example of a reasonably complecks system that can be modelled quite well, take the flow of a fluid over the wing of an aircraft – but still, it’s a very local effect.

        I know I’m an Englishman for a very wide variety of – mostly – inexplicable reasons. That is to say, I cannot articulate what makes me an Englishman in many cases, but I feel a pull in that direction. When I look at the names of our streets, named after a Saxon monk who lived fifteen hundred years ago, I have ‘a feeling’. It’s like ‘Yeah! This is my history, these are (were) my people’.

        That said, I can easily articulate what made me a Christian: A belief in Christ and His promise of Eternal Life, if I choose to follow Him.

        I appreciate Z’s review of the book, but I doubt I’ll be buying it. I’ve really started to move off of many books since ‘moving to the Dissident side’; I guess I’m a bit paranoid that all these things may not be verifiably true, so why waste the time? Then again, don’t want to go mad, so need to watch it!

        • I find it hard to disaccharide individuality from the feral

          I mean because when you rip someone from his people, you get a mean feral bastard. We all know that, and we all know the prevailing description of the American general or cowboy or hero was basically a mean bastard. It takes such a person to come over here and kill off the Indians and settle the frontier. Or to burn down Atlanta. Or to go to Europe and riddle the place with bullets. It takes such a person to merely survive in a capitalist frontier society. And many of us have absorbed these attitudes and characteristics out of necessity.

          But to then try to go back and say it is a feature of European peoples? I see it more as really a psychological wound writ large and because it is so large it has taken on a life and mythology of its own.

          • Falcone: You make a strong argument that MacDonald is overstating his case, but I would also say the same for your comment (i.e. equating individualism with being feral). As someone enamored of individualism in her youth who now has a much greater appreciation for the role of the community (even as I want to be left alone and get away from crowds), I would say there are distinct benefits and weaknesses in each social mode. Not trying to be a mushy middle here, but I think there needs to be a balance between total rootless individualism and the Oriental-style lockstep community (or even the less rigid but socially enforced conformity of the Swedes, for example).

        • I haven’t given much thought to “differential equations” in a very long time, but I will share this anecdote nonetheless.

          Freshman year at an all male engineering college and everyone took Calc I at 7:00 am in the fieldhouse. Very few dropped out that quarter because admissions screened for basic calculus. Then sophomore year it was “Diffy Q” to start the day and a lot of wannabe engineers started dropping by the wayside. Nearly a third of the incoming class. Year 3 was calculus of variation (applied version thankfully), and everything after that was pure survival mode until the end.

          You reawakened a (fond?) memory. Thanks for that.

      • Falcone,

        After spending time in Europe, I came away with a distinct sense that our American affection and fondness for the old world is not reciprocal.

        • As an European living in Latin America, I agree with all of you.

          I never understood this American glorification of individualism This is really an European feature taken to the extreme in America because of the frontier.

          The Middle Ages had an economic system based on the nuclear family. This and the medieval ban on cousin marriages by the Catholic church dissolved the European tribes. Later, capitalism dissolved the extended family. The so-called Enlightenment was based on individualism and its triomph and the triomph of progressiveness and capitalism broke the nuclear family, the couple (divorce) and even the relationship between mind and biology. The slogan of Western civilzation after the Enlightenment is “freedom”, which maeans “individualism”.

          So no need of evolutionary psicology. Europe was as tribal as any other place

          This is a disaster. Other people help each other. This is why they are conquering in our own lands. When a Latin American illegally immigrates to USA, he can leave their kids to a relative and he goes to live to the house of a cousin in the States until he establishes himself. This can take years. I know this well. But, if you are European or American, you are alone in this world. Get off my lawn!!!

          Indian people only hire Indian people in tech. Jews always think: “is it good for the Jews?” and help each other. Chinese people in my country buy each other and they do not need banks because they lend each other. Birds of a feather fly together.

          But not us. I never had any help of somebody of my European country in 20 years of living abroad. They don’t even want to be friends. “I live my life. I don’t need any other”. What a pathetic bunch we are. Meanwhile other people thrive together.

          • “I never understood this American glorification of individualism.”

            Atomized individuals make terrific consumers. I’m half-convinced it’s a product of Hollywood and public schools. I’m less individualistic than my parents, and when I watch the old TV shows or talk history with them, it’s obvious they’re coming from a completely different worldview. They say it’s because the commies got a hold of me, but I’ve never been a communist. More like my grandparents did lol.

        • Well, I think a big difference is that Americans with a fondness for Europe actually like Europe. And go there and travel, and experience it firsthand.

          Most Europeans in my experience have only a superficial understanding of America and are a bit too cocky to let their guard down and let America come to them. It’s strange that they cannot forget what they think they know and actually get a feel for the place. In a sense they come here wanting to not like it, they don’t want to let go of their preconceived notions that the place is full of ugly crude unsophisticated people. I think 90% of the time they only come here so they can then go back and tell everyone how ridiculous it is and so forth, that, yeah, we were right all along when we formed our opinions of those people.

          But that’s their problem.

          But doesn’t change the fact that Americans have things about us that indeed make for a very interesting psychological study. A portrait. And that’s my interest. When I see someone I like to be a Rembrandt and to see in every little detail and expression as something telling or revealing of the person.

          Incidentally, and to this point, very interesting to see Rembrandts self portraits. He was a technical genius and prodigy. But he didn’t understand himself when he was young. But as he got older, you can see the technical wizardry become ever more understanding and nuanced of the person behind the mask. Such an amazing painter. The next guy I want to look into and will when I get back to Europe is Frans Hals. The way he captures the slightest emotion is just something else. At least from what I’ve seen from afar in books and on the computer. Can’t wait to see the real thing

        • Unfortunately, I must concur. I was in London on business back in the fall of ’00 and my “host” was not shy about referring to the three of us there as “The colonists”.
          It really didn’t bother me all that much, especially since his boss – a STUNNINGLY attractive, auburn-haired sweetheart – referred to us as “My cousins”. At morning coffee she would say in her proper English accent, “Good morning my cousins, how did we sleep? Are we ready for another dry lecture today about guidelines? Just remember we’ll be repairing to my favorite pub a little after five, so fret not!”
          It made the trip a bit more fun, although when I went to the Royal College of Arms to make a few inquiries about a coat of arms in my family tree, the clerk was polite, but from his body language and tone of voice, he couldn’t wait for me to leave.
          Vacationing there in the spring of ’04 was a bit better, but despite the fact that I can trace several branches of my family tree back through there to the eleventh century, as far as they were concerned, I was an outsider. I knew most of their history and their slang, as well as their pop culture – having been raised on Monty Python, Benny Hill and The Goodies – but their demeanor said it all – beat it Yank.

      • Lots of pioneers (or colonizers), lots of runaways. The runaways have gotten the attention for reasons. They also tend to be taken advantage of, as runaways will be. I think your gist is that it’s a problem of separation and identity, and I agree with that.

        Long time being the world’s flop house, but there’s still a large minority who feel quite at home here, and increasingly squeezed.

        On a personal note, the fixation on Europeans puzzles me, because I’m not a European. Yeah, I’m white and my ancestors came from there, but I’m simply not a European.

        Maybe it comes down to owning the past instead of regretting it, idk.

    • Nice one, Tom. That’s a pretty succinct definition of individualism that I can definitely relate to. I was scratching my head, wondering how to define it, and then I read your comment.

      Hats off, old chap.

  12. “The final criticism of the book is that it fails to explain why individualism has led the West to the verge of self-extinction.”

    Evidently this book is just an example of why The West and its current concepts of individualism resulting in imperial decline aren’t accurately described by society in general.

    So let me take a stab at it and see how my belief holds up to criticism:

    “The West is on the verge of self-extinction because what we call individualism is now a construct largely defined by the laws of Government and does not come from the hearts and souls of men.”

  13. Individualism appeared in Christendom because each soul is judged individually before God and individualism is leading us into extinction because we still have it, but deny God

    • “Some argue that it makes it possible for tribal minority groups to exert undue influence on society to the detriment of the majority population. If so, then why now and not a century ago or five centuries ago when the West was far more fragmented?”

      Whitney brings up a good point. Christianity had a natural individualistic influence on the West. Sure you have the realpolitik “divine right of kings” nonsense but countering that was the fact that European societies as a whole adopted the individualistic teachings of Christ.

      A King could be humbled to make penances for transgressions. A peasant could rise to Sainthood and any high or low born could rise to martyrdom.

      Medieval people, no matter which of the three elements, were deluged in the parables of the Prodigal Son, the widow and her copper coins, and Christ’s challenge of throwing stones. A mule driver’s son could rise to Bishop and Europeans as a whole rejected preordaination as heresy, as seen in the purge of the heretical Cathars.

      As to Zman’s question above. The wars of Reformation were still among Christians,. Whether or not they viewed the other side as heretical, opposite factions still operated within a mental framework of Christianity. Most Enlightenment era scions were either devout Christians or at least had their mentality informed by Christianity as the West and Christianity are inextricably intertwined.

      It isn’t until a certain tribe (being euphemistic here so as to not activate the badthink auto-filter) was no longer castigated and regularly purged from Western society that we see the West become narcissistic, nihilistic and suicidal.

      We have the great tikkun olam gift of Communism, which struck at the heart of the West’s faith and individualism. It isn’t happenstance that this tribe is at the forefront of any modern movement to rectify the ills of society, expertly manipulating the West’s legal system to ensure pornography is “free speach”, individual gun ownership is constantly attacked and third world immigration a Western imperative. Since the arrival of this tribe en masse to America in the 1900-1930s, they have been and remain at the forefront of dismantling Christianity in the U.S. I think their effect on countering individualism is exponentially profound.

      Sorry to be ao verbose, and yes… I went there on the J Q…

      • It’s valid. The talmud seeks to destroy Christ’s Kingship and the kabala seeks to destroy Christ’s Priesthood. Nothing new under the sun

      • European Jews absolutely came out of the same Christian mental framework as Christians and gentile post-Christians. As an example, Karl Marx’s main influences were figures like Hegel, left-wing Young Hegelians like Feurbach, the French Saint-Simionians, Gracchus Babeouf, and the English economics tradition of Adam Smith. 99% gentile. This is the same intellectual culture that formed Richard Wagner’s worldview. Perhaps things were different with Jews from the pale of settlement compared to assimilated German Jews like Marx, but we’re still not dealing with people from China or India in the 1700s with little contact with European learning. Jews were overrepresented in the early USSR but hardly dominated it, were irrelevant by the 30s and subject to soft discrimination in the USSR by the 50s.

        In the US, both Jews and Catholics were subject to very similar forms of private discrimination at the hands of WASPs, and both had similar immigrant backgrounds and consequently a bias in favor of immigration. Although Jews arguably punched above their numbers, ethnic Catholics very extremely important in getting immigration reform passed in 1965 and keeping the borders open since. And there has been countless liberal Protestants and WASPs in favor of high immigration up to the present. Neither can be dismissed as just tools of Jews, or as operating as part of some byzantine, intentional or sub-conscious plot. This is anti-intellectual reductionism due to ethnic animus. Likewise, there’s plenty of evidence of Jewish-American opposition to immigration as well, from Samuel Gompers down to people like Larry Auster and Stephen Miler.

        An anti-Catholic bigot can just as easily say that immigration reform since the 1960s was a plot by “globalist” and “alien” papists, point to the overwhelming support for open immigration among the Vatican, the USCCB, Catholic Charities, and ethnic Catholic politicians, and dismiss people like Pat Buchannan and E. Michael Jones as outliers, if not “gatekeepers” who obscure the CQ. Although these claims would have a hint of truth to them, as no one is rejecting the evidence for Catholic role in immigration policy since the 1960s, this would over-simplify things greatly. The same things goes with blaming immigration policy or the sexual revolution, or any bad, lefty thing, on the Jews, to the exclusion of other groups, and then explaining the bad, lefty thing using the language of ethnic conflict, to the exclusion of other factors (in the sexual revolution’s case, the better comparison would be to liberal Protestants, not Catholics, for obvious reasons).

        >”yes…I went there”
        JQers use a hermeneutic of contrarianism where if a viewpoint is considered highly controversial and subject to social sanction, then it must be true. Maybe David Icke’s theory about interdimensional reptiloids is the real red pill, and the anti-Semites are the “gatekeepers”? That is where this logic ends up.

        • For clarity. Punching above their weight is a such an understatement that I cannot even think of a humorous comparison, my jaw simply hangs agape.

          As a Catholic, the Catholic Church is DEAD WRONG and is exacerbating the demise of Western nations with their immigration support. Take a look at many of the Catholic NGO boards and you will see decidely non-gentile names chairimg many of them… the nauseously oxymoronic phrase “judeo-Christian” is actually a truism there.

          I do not use the “yes I went there on the J Q ” to lend it any heft because it is verboten. I say that here because it can be considered gauche and also because I was explaining my obtuse use of language in trying to avoid the limbo of the auto filter.

          I need not steal credibility for the J Q… one only needs to open their eyes to see.

    • To go into more detail on the individualism taught by Christ, there are two interesting layers. First, as Whitney says, each soul is judged individually before God, but also that we are not to judge others, and we are expected to work to support ourselves. The New Testament gives many examples of Jesus expecting individual effort, in contrast to modern liberals who try to justify the welfare state by taking His teachings out of context.

      But second, this is not the Ayn Rand school of rugged, selfish individualism. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, and take care of widows and orphans. But even here, there is no teaching on forcing others to contribute to society. Jesus gave us a lot of “shoulds” but no “musts”. He didn’t petition the Romans for higher taxes to help the poor. He redeemed the tax collectors and asked for voluntary charity, individually not collectively.

      It is easy to overlook the brilliance and perfection of the roadmap He gave us to structure our lives. Even for non-believers, this is a map to a successful society with happy individuals.

      • We are absolutely supposed to judge others because we are entreated to correct our brothers and sisters when they fall into error so they do not condemn their internal souls to hell. That takes judgment

        • Judgement goes hand-in-hand with having standards.

          The people running GAE have neither.

          This is why we find ourselves in this mess.

        • Reconcile with “judge not lest ye be judged”. I believe we are talking about two different kinds of judgement.

          • Woops, upvoted by reflex-

            I think you’re overstressing a phrase a bit, leading to the “all men are created equal” conundrum.

            Wouldn’t “judge not” be more related to “the beam in thine own eye”?

          • Alzaebo, I gave your upvote back to you. lol.

            That is kind of what I meant. We make judgements about people everyday, from their athletic ability, to how hard they work, to how smart they are, to whether they deserve assistance or not. What I meant is that I don’t believe we should judge the moral worth of others in God’s eyes, even as we might be judging their actions as immoral. Or something like that.

          • Eloi: That’s the classic “Hate the sin; not the sinner” formula. But it is impossible to separate so many today. The trannies, pedos, antifags, they all voluntarily chose their sin; chose to make it their entire identity; and revel in it. God hates the willfully wicked who have given themselves over to evil.

    • If individualism is at root a Christian phenomenon, then explain why everyone goes to church and isn’t home alone worshipping by himself.

      Or concepts of group salvation.

      Or doing good deeds to help the community as a means toward grace and salvation.

      I could go on and on.

      Rather, as I said above, I am starting to come to the understanding that individualism may simply be an American psychological outcome of leaving the nest and never being allowed, as a culture, to revisit the reasons for why we left and that maybe it wasn’t all for the better. That so many Americans have a crying need for belonging should tell us something. That so many are whacked out on drugs. That anyone is looking for community in antifa or gangs, etc.

      America is about breaking bonds and creating an atomized people. For better or worse, that is what it’s about. That is what fuels the economic engine, or did when we were still expanding and we needed people breaking away from him to go set up shop afar. I think we should be looking here for clues on how to make things better. Not trying to normalize and try to claim is part of our racial heritage in what is in fact abnormal behavior, speaking of individualism.

      Maybe it was all just a con, a mythology foisted upon us to help make rich people richer, and we fell for it. At least something to think about.

      • “If individualism is at root a Christian phenomenon, then explain why everyone goes to church and isn’t home alone worshipping by himself.”

        As I see it, Falcone, the ultimate individual choice was indeed to choose to follow Christ. As I mention below, He had mind-blowing power, He could have forced it on every Tom, Dick and Harry in sight… but no. You have to want it, and work spiritually for it.

        Naturally, once one became a Christian, it seem obvious to group together for ceremonies and the like; and that’s all fine. Unfortunately, in the modern world, there is another answer to your question: most of these folk are not Christians at all, and do want – through prayer – a personal relationship with The Christ.

        Rather, they wish to be seen to be pious, and most of all, to gossip with others at these social gatherings.

        • Becoming a Christian was always about joining a group of like believers. It was never about a single soul going off on his own to engage in his strange or novel religion.

          It was always about outreach and spreading the word and bringing others into the flock. It was about cooperation and helping the community.

          Conflating individuality with Christianity seems at best a theological exercise and one perhaps best suited to American Protestants rather than something one finds in everyday reality and history and in church teaching. But I’m a Catholic, or was raised and perhaps think like one, so there’s that.

          • There were centuries in between the desert fathers and the benedictines and centuries have elapsed since then. The only “always” in The Church is Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins for those that repent and the kingdom of heaven to those that believe in Him.

      • Falcone: I think you need to make a clear distinction between Americans historically, the late 19th century European immigrants, and AINO of today. Family bonds were quite important in early America, even as pioneers set out in search of land and/or opportunity. Even at the height of official efforts to ‘assimilate’ the generally poor European immigrants, there was no attempt to shatter their families or forbid native foods or religious celebrations. Italian immigrants routinely paraded though American city streets carrying religious pictures (not just in the Godfather movies; I have actual newspaper photos from up and down the east coast).

        To be clear, I am in no way denying that moving to a new continent – particularly before the age of air travel – meant a certain weakening of extended family bonds. However, you appear to be claiming that such a move eternally wounded and/or distorted the American psyche and I do not agree. The active suppression of White identity and historic European pride is a strictly post WWII phenomenon, even if its roots go back earlier.

      • Where two or more gather in my name, so there I am.

        We are a community of individuals. Together we form the Body of Christ but at the end of our days answer individually.

        This isn’t particularly difficult. For my next trick I will explain the Mystery of the Trinity.

    • Yes indeed.

      Here you have a fellow, The Son of God, who has the power to do all kinds of things – yet people have to choose to follow Him. That aspect of individualism always stood out for me regarding Christ – I thought it marvellous.

      It is truly about putting the burden on your shoulders, and nobody else’s. This doctrine, of course, runs contrary to modern churches who wish to ‘accept us as we are’, ‘you don’t need to change!’.

  14. And why is it never the other way around, say just for the sake of argument? Why is it that we became individualistic and not that others became tribalistic after finding that individualism didn’t work for them evolutionarily speaking ? Notice how the conceit in these studies is that “tribalism” is always the base human default norm and the assumed jumping off or starting point and that people eventually move out of and away from it — for reasons.

    With the self-described evolutionists such as Macdonald and Sailer, I see in them a lot of similarities with the freudians, for example. Every little aspect of existence is always shoehorned into the theory. English have genetically poor teeth because that helped them survive a diet of beets and berries. Men get morning wood because of suppressed sexual attraction to their mothers in the birth canal, essentially the morning of their lives. Etc etc If sailer had his way, the pleasure I feel with the wind in my hair and against my ears would have some evolutionary basis in human survival. Even though my dog feels the same pleasure….. the goosebumps on my arms when my wife whispers in my ear helped men survive harsh winters.

    I’m not arguing that evolutionary ideas do not have their merits, but in the hands of most men they become merely a crutch, a way to avoid the complexity and mystery of life because some guys just can’t handle that at the end of the day they really don’t know or understand much. And that upsets their egos. So this is really about hubris, something the Greeks talked about and as old as the hills. The more interesting question is why do men like Macdonald and Sailer need evolutionary ideas to make them feel whole. Why can’t they just throw up their arms and admit, “who the hell knows? “

  15. If a cold climate produces superior cultures the Eskimos would be running the world. Skip Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, skim MacDonald’s introduction to Tomislav Sunic’s Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age and then read that.

    • Yes, true. Another author (Fuerle, maybe) noted the same. The explanation given, which seemed reasonable to me, was that at the extremes of the tropics near the equator and the polar regions, that food is available substantially the year round, and the KINDs of food are pretty unchanged. In start contrast are the temperate zones (e.g. Europe) where you tend to have a growing (or hunt and gather season) and cold winters that require having laid in a substantial food supply if one expected to survive. Stated another way, in temperate climes, nature selects for a low time preference ( = the ability to plan ahead), which isn’t really required if you can spear a fish or a seal any time of the year, or dig a taro root out of the ground to munch upon.

      • But what about the American Indians in Southern Canada and the Northern US? They were essentially stone-age people when Columbus arrived. Hunter-gatherers living a mostly nomadic lifestyle. Compare them to the empire in Central and South America.

          • From your linked article:
            “1587-1623, ”

            IOW, post Columbus.

            The vast majority of Indians in the Northern US and Southern Canada AFAIK were hunter gatherers or at a bare minimum or were nomadic farmers without permanent settlements with multi-story permanent housing, livestock, weaved clothing and all of the other features of European agricultural society.

          • Pickle Rick: While many tribes on the east coast practiced some form of agriculture, the western plains hosted tribes that were inarguably nomadic hunter gatherers.

        • Being a heretic, I believe CentroAmerica was descended from Mesopotamian colonies.

          A near copy of the same sciences, arising spontaneously amidst two stone-age continents? Not buying it.

          In such a story lays the caveat: the Philistines taught them to build in stone, but the parasites who followed the Philistines taught them to become Aztec priests.

          This is what I fear; that without the hand of the white man to restrain them, the radical Abrahamic branch will unleash their true Gods-

          -as they did on their own majority, those attracted to and interbreeding with Whites, the Original Sin.

          • (A neat side note is that the Polynesian features of the Olmec giant stone heads might possibly by a repeat or offshoot of Easter Island culture, a separate colonization along the island chain from Indonesia to Peru.

            The Judeans aren’t the only crazy f**ks out there, not by a long shot.)

        • Z pointed out what was more than likely a hindrance: inbreeding. Monogamy is what really put the kibosh on that, though outside of Europe and East Asia it’s pretty rare (you may notice a trend there).

          • Monogamy reinforces individualism, just as close- cousin marriage reinforces deep-seated tribalism.

            What a great point, Sandmich.

  16. Color me skeptical on this idea that cold northern climes became the adaptive or evolutionary basis for western individualism when in my experience when it’s cold and rainy people naturally huddle together — they don’t go off on their own.

    • The whole “cold evolution”-theory is sorely lacking in evidence, not to say outright bogus. If it were true, Eskimos would be the smartest people on the planet.

      There might be a Goldilocks zone, but no attempt at specification or explanation of how that works or where the border is, has been made. The cold evolutionists still have all their work in front of them.

      • Individualism and intelligence are not the same thing. Jews are smart and highly clannish. Gypsies are stupid and highly clannish. I do not think anyone correlates average temperature with individualism. Instead, the combination of climate and geography in Europe favored cross-kin cooperation. Over time, individual merit proved to be the better way to evaluate people over tribal or familial identity, even though both persisted. Even today, we tend to judge people by race, ethnicity and what we know about their family. It is juts that individua merit can trump all three.

        • The evolutionary basis for individualism seems to me, and I could be wrong, but mainly an American fixation on understanding the people they come from. Like a search for a lost relative. I don’t see actual Northern Europeans buying into this stuff, at least not to the extent that Americans do.

          But more to the point, Individualism became the thing only very recently, and if anything seems to have played a part it would be industrialization and surplus money that allowed people to go off on their own. When everyone has money and could afford a house, and in every house can have a room for each person, sure, go ahead and do your own thing in the confines of your personal space. It otherwise, everywhere in the northern regions people were always very clannish and group oriented. We all know that when we were in school and it started raining or snowing outside that there was suddenly a feeling of everyone sort of cuddling together. The mood became one of people wanting to huddle closer. So that’s the natural pressures from cold and rain and snow, it pushes people closer — not apart.

          I would also posit that Protestantism and the break from the Catholic Church may have had psychological effects on Northern Europeans — such that leaving the herd became a part of their identify.

          But to say this all stems from evolutionary pressures? Nah, not buying it. For one, throughout most of human history in these northern climes, people were always very group oriented. Just look at the cultural artifacts. Christmas caroling as a simple example off the top of my head. Choral music. Team sports. Campfires. Telling folk stories to each other. There is so much legacy stuff that points to a people who naturally liked to huddle up in groups. And it was always mostly the cranks and curmudgeons who wanted to be left alone.

          • Falcone: This crank both agrees and disagrees. There was, indeed, a strong communal life in historical Europe. There was also room, when times were relatively peaceful and moderately prosperous, for the individual and the eccentric. While the vast majority of my husband’s maternal Italian relatives (however ‘x’ times removed) settled on the east coast, there were also those who moved to Alaska. The group outlier achieving success is also a strongly European thing.

          • Another aspect, Falcone- explorers.

            We take off for the farthest horizons. Who else does that?

            Our oldest ancestors did so as well. You have the Uygher in China, but you didn’t have the Hmong or Han in Norway.

        • Instead, the combination of climate and geography in Europe favored cross-kin cooperation.

          Okay, but the argument remains the same: no accounting for Asians living in similar climatic and geographical regions, yet remaining clannish.

          It’s right wing Jared Diamond-ism: an alluring escape from a purely racial model but with too many exceptions to not require detailed explanation that’ll account for those. It might be that they’re onto something but they still need to do the science before their thesis can advance to become a theory.

          It is probably no coincidence that cold evolution models are favored by psychologists, showing a bias to the influence of the environment and, sometimes, being a bit shaky on the notion of scientific evidence.

          I figure we won’t have to wait for long to get the answer. In the next ten years, genetic research will likely advance further than it has done from Gregor Mendel and up to the present: we’ll get chapter and verse on human nature, spelled out in painfully racist details.

        • It is in the very smallest societies where merit counts the most. In a small tribe everyone knows everyone else. There’s no need for elections as potential leaders have been identified by their contemporaries since childhood. Heredity is a factor but the leadership qualities of an individual are well known and nit wits are ignored even if they personally aspire to greatness.

          Look around at the situation today. Complex democratic nation/states are led by simple figureheads selected by the elite for their actual lack of the required merit. It’s less and less likely that an individual like Mussolini or Bismarck will appear in the forseeable future.

      • You guys miss the big picture by concentrating on certain geographical and ethnic groups. The thing is, right under our noses, are a species that has advanced far more than anything human and more intelligent and conscientious.

        • David, you know I’m one-quarter dolphin, right?

          If you didn’t, now you do. And let’s hope this is remembered by all.

      • Eskimos are hunter/gatherers—not agrarian farmers, or even pastoral herd keepers. There is some discussion of their seeming IQ “anomaly” in the literature IIRC.

      • I noted inbreeding up above as a probable factor, but just expand upon it lightly, the theory goes that if Whites would not have sloughed off cousin (or closer) “marriage” that they would have been glorified Eskimos. Whether it was dumb luck or a genetic propensity is unknown so far as I know.

    • Carleton Coon (yes, real name) covered this subject extensively back in 1960s with his landmark book “The Origin of Races”. It’s been long out of print and of course he’s been long forgotten and would be cancelled if anyone thought to do it. Regardless, his theory: The “out of Africa” tribes that migrated to Europe and N Asia had to figure out (the hard way) how to survive a non-tropical environment where food is plenty year round. Surviving the winters of Europe meant figuring out food storage techniques, finding/building adequate shelter, gathering fuel for cooking/warmth, making warm clothing, and many other things that were not necessary in the tropical environment from whence they originated. Compound this knowledge over hundreds of generations and you have the makings of Western man. Those that stayed in the tropics never remained evolutionarily stalled as they never had to develop the brainpower to survive a new climate. That’s the theory anyway.

      • And all of that predates the knowledge that
        1. Early Sapiens interbred with the indigenous European Neandertals, thus all modern genetic Europeans are hybrids.
        2. Neandertals were not the stupid, brutish “cavemen” of early scholarship. Turns out they were far smarter and creative than given credit for. There’s a real possibility that Neandertal survival skills and culture were adapted by early Sapiens migrating north and contact was established between the species.

          • A bit arcane, but germane. The six ton mammoth in the room that “respectable” opinion refuses to touch, and thus think about the implications of, is the fact that there’s only one group of humans on this earth that do NOT have some admixture of either Neandertal or Denisovan DNA, and that is Subsaharan African Negroes.
            Most geneticists have absolutely refused to touch the very real cognitive implications that Neandertal/Sapiens hybridization did to our brains, and did not to African brains.

        • Not sure it’s that simple. Neanderthals were certainly not brutes, but not necessarily “smarter” than their Sapien cousins as judged by their tool craft (if I remember my readings). Their brains were bigger, but that is not necessarily directly compatible to their general “survival” intelligence, hence the referral to tool craft and the comparison between the sub-species.

          Neanderthals did not survive their encounter with Sapiens after all. It can’t be as simple as Sapiens required less calories than their big brained cousins. I suspect that even though their brains were smaller, Sapiens were “smarter” in the areas that counted.

          The cross mixing of genes is known, but that doesn’t mean we once had bunches of half breeds walking around in mixed “marriages”. Or that groups of Neanderthal taught Sapiens their “secret” survival knowledge, but then either forgot it, or it was turned against them by Sapiens.

          Rather from time to time, some interbreeding occurred and the gene pool of Sapiens was injected/mixed with Neanderthal. Some of those Neanderthal genes were quite useful in survival and were spread—Sapien to Sapien—and became fixed in the population. It only takes a few of these matings.

          And of course, it could be as simple as Neanderthals ran out of their favorite large game after the last Ice Age and packed it in—but if they were that smart, why not copy the Sapien’s diet choices?

          • Oh, no doubt, it is extraordinarily complex, but the tl;dr version I’m trying to get across is that Neandertal genes didn’t somehow only affect hair, eye, and skin color, and magically never touch our brains. Basically, nobody wants to say out loud that Africans are really a different species than the rest of humanity, for obvious Clown World reasons.

        • Pickle Rick: Not to mention that the lack of Neanderthal genes among the sub-saharans clearly proves the biological basis for acknowledging distinct sub-species among what is termed ‘humanity.’

      • So, the theory is that you can take Ndale from Niamey, Niger and put him in New Paltz and he will thrive?



        A generation?

        2 or 3 generations?

        12 generations or by the time some brilliant, latter-day scholar like Nikole Hannah-Jones chronicles all of the contributions to civilization made by your descendants?

        • You racist whites refuse to acknowledge the debt owed to black for importing the institution of slavery from Africa 400 years after the stupid English had apparently forgotten how it works.

      • If you always had food any time of the year you didn’t have to think and this “not-think” was genetically imprinted, but if you had to figure out how to grow the food, how to store it, how to find drinking water, keep it safe in droughts, how to find and process cooking fuel and husband your resources long term so that you didn’t run out and didn’t have to travel miles to obtain it once the nearby resources were exhausted, and then on top of that have time to think up new methods to protect your resources from predators, it requires a lot of brain cells. Why is it that Africans and South American natives cannot figure out that if you cut down all the trees for fuel, next year you will have to migrate to a new area or your children will starve?

    • Cooperation is only one facet of the cold environment theory. Long term planning, inventiveness w/regards to fuel, food and fodder another. Warm season abundance and access to raw materials for construction probably another, so the eskimo analogy is a bit off. The Inuit have a lack of raw material and seasonal abundances so they have reached the peak of what theor climate allows. Tundra dwellers have never and would never be able to rise above subsistence carnivorous hunting/gathering despite the additional challenges of cold environs, because they lack the other elements I listed above.

      • Penitent Man: The material excess of modern western society is what allows for both individualism and the extreme degeneracy of clownworld. When ancient European tribes had good harvests, they could spend the winter on more decorative crafts demonstrating their prosperity. A marginal tribe of hungry people is not going to focus on anything other than meeting essential needs and pure utilitarianism. They are also more likely to reject what may be a truly useful innovation in favor of the traditional ways.

        Individualism is a luxury good and a bit of a sociological outlier.

  17. Managed to get through culture of critique,
    I’ll take you word on this one.
    Met Mr. Mcdonald & had dinner with him & several others a few years ago. I’m not a scholarly type.
    I imagine those for those that are find it a chore having a conversation with people like myself.
    & visa vresa.

  18. “That generation has always had a fetish for assigning base human desires to the behavior of groups. For some reason, emergent behavior lies beyond their intellectual event horizon.”

    Say more about this when you get around to it.

    Strictly speaking, a desire is individual though there may be a commonality of desire, a kind of meta-desire around which individual group members coalesce. On the surface, our current drift to identity politics, having, by now, become mannerist and grotesque, would seem to suggest the attitude, “The majority has become psychologically weak and decadent. Now’s our chance!”

    This view is simplistic, to be sure, but portrays an emergent behavior based on a group desire to exploit a perceived opportunity.

Comments are closed.