Against ruining your life for a dumb cause

I wish I didn’t have to make this post and I’m sure you can already guess what it’s going to be about, but I feel the need to do it nonetheless. Today a radicalized angry white male decided it would be a good idea to devote his life to killing a bunch of people in the name of an abstract ideology, in this case white supremacism (a term I don’t use lightly, there isn’t another proper way to describe this). What happened is another harmful outgrowth of someone getting sucked into a toxic internet subculture, a phenomenon I described here.

I find it important to explain here why this phenomenon occurs.

People who engage in these type of acts are not in a mentally healthy state. They generally think of themselves as having nothing left to lose. Humans evolved in small tribes, our minds are still adjusted to this tribal context in which they evolved. If like this guy, you’re mentally ill, unemployed, 28 years old and don’t have a family to take care of, you’ll interpret your own existence as a burden on your tribe. If you’re stuck in a very bleak mental state, you may end up concluding that you’re best off devoting your existence to inflicting damage on some other competing tribe. This isn’t unique to whites, or to Muslims, or to any specific ethnic group. It tends to be a masculine phenomenon however.

Gwern explained this phenomenon well in his essay “terrorism is not about terror”. Terrorism doesn’t accomplish the objectives the terrorists claim to have and most of the would-be terrorists seem to lose all urge to risk their lives in some petty conflict once they have a pretty young wife. When the Palestinians found themselves stuck with radicalized young men who were eager to die for a cause they were indoctrinated in, they would set them up with pretty young wives, the men would end up with families and they’d lose all interest in “Jihad”. Give these unemployed angry white males a pretty young wife and I’m willing to bet they lose interest in “RaHoWa” too. That doesn’t justify these acts, but it goes a long way to explaining why they happen and what we can do to bring them to an end.

Many young men have a tribalist urge, particularly men who grow up in cultures where this is encouraged, as well as young men who were exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb. In fact, for many young men, their tribalist instincts are the lowest common denominator around which they manage to bond. This happens to Muslim men, who might complain about Assad or about Israel, but it happens to white men too. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has anecdotes, of attending parties outside of the big multicultural cities, where only young white men like me show up. I’ll talk to one and he’ll complain about immigrants who launder money or deal drugs. If you then try to shift the topic away to something other than this lowest common denominator that every angry white male can bond over, he’ll first insist on needing some validation from you, that you agree immigrants commit crime whereas indigenous Dutch don’t.

The fact that tribalism is human nature doesn’t justify these kind of acts, but it has to be understood that this is part of the natural range of male behavior. Historically, we had outlets for this kind of behavior. Take all the poorest men who have no real chance of marriage, send them off to die in trenches against a neighboring nation that has a lot of poor young men with no real chance of marriage too, wait until you’re left with relatively few of them alive and declare a ceasefire.

In recent decades we had soccer hooliganism in Europe, where dumb young men without money or social skills would gather together and beat each other up out of solidarity with some soccer club. This allowed these men an opportunity to display heroism to other men, the fights were generally somewhat fair (surrounding one guy from an opposing sportsball club was frowned upon) and the effect it has on the rest of society is very limited. This doesn’t really exist anymore, because society has individualized, the police cracked down on it, people now move around a lot and abstract ideologies have taken the place of soccer hooliganism. Look around and you’ll notice in a lot of places there’s a strong overlap between right-wing extremism and soccer hooliganism. It’s the same crowd that feels attracted to this phenomenon.

If we want to get rid of this phenomenon as a society, then we have to understand why it occurs and take away the factors that cause it to occur. “Fighting extremism” is a dumb idea, because discrediting the ideologies these men are attracted to would merely leave them falling victim to some alternative competing ideology. There have been young men who sacrificed their lives for Islam, for Neo-nazism, for Marxism, even for radical environmentalism. If men can’t form a functional part of their community, then some of them are going to end up pulling this kind of nonsense.

It’s not coincidence that the vast majority of people who get sucked into these type of subcultures and terrorist movements are young hypermasculine men, without girlfriends or jobs. To blame Islam is silly, if we consider that suicide bombings were essentially non-existent until a few decades ago. What happened is that a toxic ideology found fertile ground in post-tribal societies where droves of young men found themselves living out lives that seemed to serve no traditional purpose. There are no opportunities for relationships with young women available to them and no opportunities to fight in tribal conflicts.

As a consequence, they seek out some other cause and choose to sacrifice their lives for it. They don’t consciously do it, to them their particular cause just becomes of fundamental importance. Our villain in New Zealand right now thinks the world’s biggest problem is that white people are a smaller percentage of the world’s population than they were fifty years ago. Had things gone a little differently, he might have believed that environmental pollution, the conquest of Jerusalem by the Saracens, the abortion of fetuses in abortion clinics, or insults against the Prophet Muhammed by some mediocre comedian are the world’s most important issue. He’s a young white man in the 21st century with too much time on his hands however, so his biggest fear is the fear of most angry white men on the Internet, the fact that percentage-wise, white people’s share of the world’s population is currently in decline.

If you want these type of incidents to come to an end, you’ll have to change society in a manner that allows young men to play a role within their community. Historically, monogamy functioned relatively well because we had a growing population. Men of every age are attracted to women in their twenties. When the population is growing, there are relatively many young women available to men of all ages. When a society is expanding, it can also export its young men to foreign places. Young men in the Netherlands who could not play a proper role in 19th century Dutch society often ended up in Indonesia, where they would work for a few years and find a local wife. This was not nice for Indonesia, but it solved the problem for the Netherlands. Today we have an individualist culture where people are expected to find their own calling in life, but many young men are incapable of that, so they end up attracted to toxic subcultures like this.

The solution I would propose to this is not one that will be popular. I think that we simply need to start reconsidering what a functional human family looks like. We know that the cure for terrorism is relatively simple: Give these young angry men a pretty young wife and they lose interest in terrorism. In the Western world, we’re not quite capable of giving every angry young man a pretty young wife, because individuals make their own decisions. The Western model is that you spend your twenties getting your shit together, you marry a person of the opposite gender and have children together in your thirties, then you spend your forties raising them.

This worked in the past, but it ceases to work for many people. There are numerous issues involved here. There’s the simple fact that women tend to grow bored and dissatisfied within a few years of marriage. There’s also the fact that men who reach middle-age end up no longer attracted to their wives, but still attracted to women in their twenties. What we have to understand is that the nuclear family as we know it today is not a simple self-evident fact hard-coded into human biology. There are entire cultures in the Amazon jungle, where people are perfectly comfortable with the idea of a child having multiple biological fathers. On the other hand, the Amazon jungle also has some tribes where people are not comfortable with this way of life. Those tend to be the tribes that have high homicide rates, as men end up killing each other to seize women for themselves.

As explained by Aubrey de Grey, the demise of monogamy is long overdue. Monogamy emerged under particular circumstances where it made sense. Men owned land, people fell victim to STD’s and men wanted to know who their children are. We have effective birth control now, most people have sex for recreational reasons rather than reproductive reasons, STD’s have been more or less eliminated (even AIDS has a cure now) and most people don’t really want children to begin with. If the factors that made monogamy a good idea have disappeared, then we’re just left with the disadvantages. A society where some men are left out of the dating pool is a society that creates a large cohort of angry socially isolated men eager to kill a bunch of people in name of one silly ideology or another.

What needs to happen is a cultural transition. We don’t just need to move to the kind of society where it’s possible for multiple men to share the same female partner. We also need to move towards the kind of society where men can have male partners, without ending up with a stigma that prohibits them from having female partners later on or simultaneously. I know this sounds silly, but in the long run it’s the only solution that’s genuinely sustainable to these kind of problems, because the crisis we’re facing is ultimately not a product of guns, Islam, misogyny, neo-nazi’s, mass immigration or racist cartoon frog memes. It’s a product of evolutionary psychology. As long as we keep looking for things to blame elsewhere, we’ll fail to address the problem.

Devoting your life to a cause like this is stupid

So now we’ve discussed what causes problems like these and what we can do about them. We also need to discuss however, what these type of incidents mean at an individual level. What should individuals who find themselves seriously attracted to this kind of stuff consider? It’s stupid to carry out an attack like this, for a long list of reasons.

To start with, you end up involved in this kind of stuff, because you involve yourself in a toxic subculture. On the internet, you’re going to find large groups of people who share similar pathologies, who reinforce the idea to each other that their pathology is perfectly normal. One form would be underweight teenage girls who insist on telling each other that they should eat less to become even prettier. Whereas most of us see anorexia as a disease, these girls will convince each other that this is perfectly normal.

In a similar manner, angry white males on the Internet are very good at justifying to each other that their anger is somehow not just justified, but a proper and noble use of their limited time on this Earth. If you find yourself stuck in that kind of echo-box, the best option would be to leave it, to focus on figuring out what’s going wrong in your mind, to take steps to address it (my recommendation would be psychedelics, but that’s a topic for another essay) and to move on with your life and consider yourself lucky that you got out while the consequences were still minor.

It’s a good way to either end your life or ruin the rest of your life. If you end up changing your mind, you’ll be forever filled with guilt. If you don’t end up changing your mind, it merely means you’re stuck in prison for the rest of your life, ruining your chance of having a meaningful happy life. If you’re stuck in a mental state like this you probably think your life is already ruined, but that’s a misinterpretation caused by the mindset you’re stuck in. You live in a world where you have an abundance of opportunities to make something of your life at every age. Women in their fifties now have biological children of their own, Leonard Cohen didn’t start singing until age 33, men in their eighties become bodybuilders.

More importantly perhaps, you don’t just ruin your own life. You ruin the lives of others. Besides the victims and their families, you make your own family’s life a living hell. Your parents are forever stuck with the shame of having failed to properly raise you. Besides ruining the lives of others, you don’t really accomplish a goal. In fact, causing a lot of suffering is the only impact you have on society. The demographic evolution of our society is not determined by how many people are willing to grab a gun and go out and kill a bunch of people. If you want to know how many white people will be around in the year 2500, you’re better off asking yourself what kind of world we’ll have by then. Do we have tropical forests and malaria in England by then? That would be a world with relatively few white people.

In addition to this, I feel the need to point out how stupid it is to kill Muslims in New Zealand, because you’re worried about the prospect of “white genocide”. To start with, white people are not under any realistic threat of extinction. Until the discovery of the New World, the people we generally refer to as white people lived primarily in Europe. After Columbus discovered the New World, a centuries long genocide and a series of natural pandemics lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of Native Americans. If you wonder why the president of Brazil has an Italian name, why the Nazi’s fled to Argentine, or why you can’t meet the indigenous people of the Carribean, it’s because of this genocide that lasted for centuries, that led to two continents populated primarily with white people.

In a similar manner, white people are not the indigenous people of New Zealand either. When white people arrived in New Zealand, the islands were home to the Maori. Today white people constitute the majority of the population on these islands. There are also many nations today that are thrown into a box as being either “white” or “non-white”, that don’t properly fit into either. Have you ever noticed for example, how Indian actresses look?

That’s Zarine Khan, an Indian of Pashtun ancestry. You’d have to look really carefully to notice she’s not “European”. And while we’re at it anyway, it’s worth noting that Syria, Lebanon, Greece and Iran are similarly home to millions of people you’d struggle to tell apart from a Greek or an Italian. Some of these people are descendants of the Crusaders, because unlike Europe, the Middle East did not have a social stigma against the converted descendants of religious minorities.

This doesn’t mean that these demographic trends people talk about are not true. For the past fifty years, the percentage of white people as a share of the world’s population has decreased, primarily because of the demographic transition that took place earlier in developed nations than in developing countries. The question I’m left with is: Why am I supposed to lose sleep over this? Should it bother me if the share of Frisians in my country grows compared to my own province? Should I worry if Germany’s economy grows faster than the Dutch economy? Should I worry if my own family’s last name has grown less percentage-wise over the past fifty years than the average Dutch last name? I can easily check those statistics and carry out a massacre if I were under the impression it somehow matters.

The thing is, that I’m not convinced that it really matters. I don’t consider it sensible for me to devote my life to some particular genetic cluster I happen to belong to as a biological organism. “White” in its strictest form refers to a particular tone of skin, that’s somewhat similar to that often seen in Northern Asians (who don’t generally tend to count as white). If I go to a tanning booth I could quite readily end up as dark as many Moroccans. In fact, many Moroccans and Turks already have a skin tone that’s impossible to tell apart from mine. However, this doesn’t matter to people, because “white” is meant as a shorthand term for “people of European ancestry”.

So now the question becomes: Why is this demographic category supposed to keep me awake at night? Sixty years ago, German soldiers would risk their lives to eradicate all traces of Polish culture, but today’s generation of neonazi’s would apparently interpret Polish people as part of a family of ethnic groups they’re willing to risk their lives for. You might argue that all of Europe’s people share some of my genes that non-European people might not share, but am I really supposed to devote my life to an abstract evolutionary conflict between different superclusters of genes? Is that really the highest objective I can pursue in life, to internalize a Darwinian struggle that would just as readily pit me and my own ethnic group against all the others as soon as white people were the last remaining people on Earth?

In addition, it needs to be noted that the term “white genocide” is a misnomer, because this is not what genocide looks like. If you want to see an example of genocide, you should look at a case like the demise of the Pomo in California, where the local newspapers would announce how much money you would get for the head of a Pomo woman, man or child and urge the government to lend financial support to militias that carried out the genocide. How about a case where democratically elected governments vote to import labor migrants, local people adopt foreign children and marry foreign partners and people show up who fled their countries of origin? We can dispute whether such policies are wise or desirable, but to call them “genocidal” is a complete mischaracterization, because the process has unfolded with the democratic consent of the majority of the native population over successive generations. Even today, the parties that turn their opposition to this demographic process into their main cause only get around 20% of the vote in the Netherlands.

Finally, some will bring up the “culture” argument. It’s not the genes per se that matter. No, white people create something known as “white culture”. White culture is intrinsically superior to other cultures and the continuation of these demographic trends would lead to the disappearance of white culture. I think this is something silly. Most of the metrics that these people would offer to demonstrate the superiority of “white culture” can be turned around too, to suggest that around 1000 years ago, “Arab culture” was superior to “white culture”. All the great philosophers? They were Jews and Arabs back then. Great mathematicians and inventors? They were Arabs too. Everyone knows this, the existence of the Islamic Golden age is not seriously disputed by scholars. It seems to have come to an end only when the Mongolians sacked Baghdad.

So, now we must fear that we might be replaced by “inferior” people, who were superior to us until their civilization began to implode after falling subject to Mongol genocides. I think that this “RaHoWa” scenario is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. If we genuinely wish to proclaim that white culture is superior to other cultures, the kind of bloodshed and misery necessary to carry out the white nationalist agenda would leave little reason to consider it superior. In Singapore and Suriname people from different cultures can get along with relatively few ethnic tensions. Those are the kind of conditions that lead to more cultural accomplishments than the kind of aggressive separation that the alt-right crew seems to endorse.

Buddhist art flourished under influence of the Greeks

Let us look at a historical example of cultural flourishment, that occurred when different cultures interacted in the past. Greco-Buddhism is the result of Alexander the Great’s invasion of India. The Greeks were enamoured with Buddhism and took some effort to protect the religion from competing Dharmic religions as well as introducing Greek art styles to Buddhist concepts. You can see the result here above, I would say it is very charming. Similarly, the Greeks were intrigued by the “Gymnosophists” or “naked wise men”. The Greek cynic tradition can be traced back to Greek exposure to these naked wise men, who renounced worldly possessions. The Gymnosophists are still around today, in the form of India’s Jains.

In fact, it would be silly to assume that European culture somehow evolved in isolation. If anything, our darkest days, of barbarism and stagnation, occurred when we had to fend for ourselves. What do France and China have in common? Both countries were home to a Manicheanist tradition, named after the Persian prophet Mani, a religion with a complex theology that used to rival Christianity for global dominance but has now been lost to history. They are thought to have influenced the Paulicians, the Cathars and the Bogomils, gnostic Christian traditions that rejected the cruel patriarch Jahweh as a demiurg. It needs to be noted, that none of this would have been particularly controversial to Europe’s medieval intellectual elite. Medieval Europe depended on the Islamic world to recover the legacy of Greek philosophy, Averroes was popular for example among European intellectuals in spite of the hostility he received from the Catholic church, due to his extensive commentary on Aristoteles. Cultures don’t thrive in an intellectual vacuum, they thrive through interaction.

So we can comfortably reject the suggestion that white culture needs to be protected through a “RaHoWa” too. Perhaps most importantly, we need to understand that cultural achievements are not a product of race, but of other conditions. After all, if race is the dominant driver of cultural achievements, where are all the Muslim Nobel prize winners today? In contrast, where is all the great medieval European literature? It doesn’t exist. What matters ultimately, is whether we can create the kind of intellectual climate where great achievements can be made. Most of the Middle East today is subject to authoritarian regimes and cultures where this is unfortunately not possible. It’s certainly not accomplished through hatred and bloodshed. We see in case after case, that the kind of societies that make great accomplishments are the type of societies that manage to get people with widely differing perspectives on life to live together in relative harmony.

And now, I want to look at it from a pragmatic perspective. In your day to day life, the average white bloke is going to be much better off if he can get along well with people who differ from him, than if he prepares himself for the RaHoWa. It’s becoming a bit of a cliche in the Netherlands, that every angry white male eventually ends up converting to Islam and marrying a pretty Turkish girl. I would not encourage conversion to Islam, because all Abrahamic religion has an aspect of intolerance to it, in the sense that it insists on interpreting the highest principle of reality as an envious patriarchial deity who insists on revealing his absolute truths through mediocre books. You’ll find that plenty of Muslim girls are simply normal intelligent girls, who happen to have grown up in the kind of religious cultural context that was widespread in our own society a few decades ago too.

Perhaps more importantly, the Middle East is not the homogeneous religiously fanatical society you might imagine it to be. To some degree, this image is a product of trends in recent decades. The Middle East fell victim to the resource curse. If you have a lot of natural resources, a country doesn’t need to educate women or promote cultural and scientific achievements for governments to balance their budgets. The government of Saudi Arabia could choose to leave its own population living like the Flintstones, while paying for everything with its oil revenue. Because the Arab peninsula happens to be where conservative tribes lived in the desert on top of enormous amounts of resources, the Arab peninsula ended up with a huge amount of influence over the rest of the Islamic world. Because this is a recent trend, there is nothing out there that would suggest to me that it needs to persist indefinitely. I expect instead that Islamic fundamentalism is a temporary phenomenon that eventually ends up burning itself out.

To summarize, my suggestion would be to mellow out. Besides being a waste of your own life, the trends that leave people so frightened are fleeting. It’s a life strategy that benefits both the individual as well as the society he inhabits, to try to get along with people from all walks of life. You’ll find that people who accomplish something enviable in life don’t tend to waste their time on petty tribal conflicts.

3 Comments

  1. Well, you have to admit that when some autistic white male takes an interest in something, he takes it to stratospheric levels; middle-east philosophy and science, which were more or less just footnotes to what the Greeks, Indians and Jews did, remained to toddler levels until someone in barbaric Europe took an interest in it.

    That being said, and since I don’t believe in equality nor in history, applying what seems to work for one population won’t work in another one. What made Europeans great seems to be entirely absent today, and thanks to the mass media, now everybody is basing their worldview and behavior on the most plebeian examples of each populations.

    We are suffering from quantity.

    • >thanks to the mass media, now everybody is basing their worldview and behavior on the most plebeian examples of each populations.

      Worth noting is that the traditional mass media are dying out, because the Internet delivers people exposure to whatever information they wish to expose themselves to. In other words, the era of lowest common denominator stupidity seems to be dying out again too.

      I notice this around me a lot actually. Fashion today is better than it was when I was a teenager. Music hit a low point in the 2000’s too and overall our culture is becoming more elitist again.

  2. If the problem is angry white males without a job or family of their own, then surely importing young men from rival and hostile cultures for cheap labor and encouraging groups of young women to “welcome” these “refugees” is going to be counterproductive.

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