Race Differences in Ethnocentrism
“Those who advocate Multiculturalism seem to have lost an important instinct towards group — and thus genetic — preservation. Once a society, as a whole, espouses Multiculturalism as a dominant ideology then the society is acting against its own genetic interests and will ultimately destroy itself.”
Watching his incredibly entertaining Jolly Heretic You Tube channel, it’s easy to forget that Ed Dutton is also an extremely serious, and increasingly prolific, researcher, author, and scientist. The recent publication by Arktos of Dutton’s Race Differences in Ethnocentrism follows closely in the wake of Dutton’s At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What it Means for the Future (2018), How to Judge People by What They Look Like (2018), J. Phillipe Rushton: A Life History Perspective (2018), and The Silent Rape Epidemic: How The Finns Were Groomed to Love Their Abusers (2019). In Race Differences in Ethnocentrism, Dutton, who has collaborated with Richard Lynn on a number of occasions, builds impressively on the work of the latter and has offered, in this text, one of the most informative, formidable, pressing, intriguing, and poignant monographs I’ve read in years.
Dutton’s book is a work of science underscored by an inescapable sense of social and political urgency, and has been explicitly prompted into being by the need to address two questions “particularly salient during a period of mass migration”: ‘Why are some races more ethnocentric than others?’ and, most urgently of all, ‘Why are Europeans currently so low in ethnocentrism?’ In attempting to answer these questions, Dutton has designed a book that is accessible to readers possessing even the most modest scientific knowledge, without compromising on academic rigor or the use of necessary scientific language. The text is helpfully replete with explanatory commentary and useful rhetorical illustrations, and its opening four chapters are dedicated exclusively to placing the study in context and exploring the nature of the research itself. This is a book that can, and should, be read by everyone.
In the brief first chapter, Dutton explains ethnocentrism or group pride as taking two main forms. The first, positive ethnocentrism, involves “taking pride in your ethnic group or nation and being prepared to make sacrifices for the good of it.” Negative ethnocentrism, on the other hand, “refers to being prejudiced against and hostile to members of other ethnic groups.” Typically, a highly ethnocentric person or group will demonstrate both positive and negative ethnocentrism, although it is very common for people and groups to be high in one aspect of ethnocentrism but not in the other. It is also apparent that some countries and ethnic groups are very high in both forms of ethnocentrism while others are extremely low in the same. The author sets out to explore how and why such variations and differences have occurred, and are still fluctuating. This is clearly a piece of very novel research. Dutton remarks that “there exists no systematic attempt to understand why different ethnic groups may vary in the extent to which they are ethnocentric.” Dutton’s foundation is built on a deep reading of existing literature on the origins and nature of ethnocentrism, pioneered to some extent by R. A. LeVine and D. T. Campbell in the 1970s, and built upon most recently by Australia’s Boris Bizumic. These scholars advanced the argument that ethnocentrism was primarily the result of conflict. Another highly relevant theory in the study of ethnocentrism has been the concept of ‘inclusive fitness,’ which argues that ethnocentrism provides a method for indirectly passing on one’s genes.
Dutton closes his introductory chapter by providing an interesting overview of historical observations of differences in ethnocentrism. During the so-called ‘Age of Discovery,’ Europeans encountered large numbers of different and distant tribes, and many remarked on the reception they received from these groups. Some, such as the natives of Hawaii and the Inuit were noted as being extremely friendly, while the negrito tribes of the Andaman Islands, near India, remain notoriously hostile to outsiders, shoot arrows at passing aircraft, and kill intruding foreigners, including an American missionary in November 2018. The Japanese appear throughout history to have combined a moderate level of negative ethnocentrism with very high levels of positive ethnocentrism, resulting in a society typified by high levels of social harmony and in-group co-operation, and willing sacrifice for the nation in times of war. By contrast, the Yąnomamö tribe of Venezuela are very high in negative ethnocentrism but very low in positive ethnocentrism, resulting in a society riddled with lawlessness, extreme violence, poor social harmony, and an inability to form stable social structures of any kind. Differences in general levels of ethnocentrism are important because, as Dutton points out, those societies most welcoming of outsiders were subsequently colonized and fundamentally and permanently changed by migration. Meanwhile, those societies that displayed extreme hostility to outsiders have remained almost intact, and remain unchanged even centuries after the European ‘Age of Discovery.’
In the second chapter, Dutton answers the question ‘What is ‘Race’?’ Although many of our readers will be familiar with most of the material presented in this chapter, it is nevertheless a very well-presented defense of the concept of race and its unabashed employment as a scientific system for categorizing and studying humans. In Dutton’s presentation, ‘race’ is employed to refer to what in the animal kingdom would be a subspecies: a breeding population separated from another of the same species long enough to be noticeably evolved to a different environment but not long enough to be unable to have fertile offspring with the other group. After discussing the processes through which different races or subspecies evolve, Dutton offers a summary of historical taxonomies of race, before finally answering a number of criticisms of the concept of race. In the third chapter, and following much the same framework, Dutton sets out to answer the question, ‘What is Intelligence?’ Here Dutton answers a number of criticisms of the concept of intelligence, particularly as they relate to Blacks, before moving to a discussion of race differences in intelligence. The debt to Richard Lynn’s research is quite clear in this chapter, but Dutton presents past findings with style, conviction, and novel context, meaning that familiar elements such as Cold Winters Theory are worth getting to grips with once more.
The fascinating fourth chapter is where the study begins in earnest, and answers the question ‘What Are ‘Ethnocentrism’ and ‘Ethnicity’?’ It goes without saying that both terms have entered, if not dominated, the lexicon of White advocacy, and I found it very refreshing to become more familiar with the scientific basis for them. Dutton, referring to the work of Bizumic, notes that the term ‘ethnocentrism’ was coined by the Polish sociologist Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838–1909) before entering English with the work of the American economist William Sumner (1840–1910). In order to better explain the nature of ethnocentrism, Dutton lays out various lexical definitions of ethnicity and discusses competing schools of thought in relation to the origins of ethnicity. The division between scholars of ethnicity can be broadly discussed in terms of two camps: ‘Primordialists,’ and ‘Constructivists’ or ‘Subjectivists.’ Primordialists, representing an older school of thought, assert that ethnic groups are extremely ancient and are ultimately based around common ancestry. Supporting this position, Dutton, borrowing from Frank Salter, points out that genetic data shows that ethnic groups really are distinct genetic clusters. Constructivists, on the other hand, assert that ethnic identities are merely a product of culture and environment, and are therefore arbitrary and subject to change. The author spends a great deal of time dissecting the arguments of the Constructivists and, for me personally, one of the great pleasures of Race Differences in Ethnocentrismis reading as Dutton prods and teases and the manifold weaknesses in the Constructivist position.
The author closes the chapter with an extended discussion of the sociobiological origins of ethnic identity, before providing a summary of proffered causes for ethnocentrism. These include threat and conflict, psychodynamic theory as advanced by Freud, terror management (a variation on the theme of threat and conflict), self-aggrandizement theories (ethnocentrism boosts in-group self-esteem), Marxist theory (ethnocentrism is a tactic employed by one group in order to gain power over, and exploit, another group), social dominance theory (ethnocentrism as a side-effect of certain types of personality), socialization explanations (children learn to be ethnocentric), and the sociobiological model (ethnocentrism is a product of evolution and adaptation). Dutton argues convincingly that only the sociobiological model offers answers which explain group behavior in both animals and humans, arguing that “ethnocentrism is most parsimoniously understood via a partly biological theory wherein the ethnic group is a kind of extended family.”
In the fifth chapter, Dutton surveys recent evidence for the sociobiological model of ethnocentrism and ethnicity. At the core of the chapter is J. Philippe Rushton’s ‘Genetic Similarity Theory,’ which is treated with respect but also caution by the author, who insists that “it does not fully explain all manifestations of ethnocentrism and, accordingly, it needs to be nuanced and carefully developed.” Put simply, ‘Genetic Similarity Theory’ is the idea that animals will instinctively behave more pro-socially to those who share more of their genes, and that ethnic groups, which are essentially extended families, will demonstrate the same inclination towards the genetically similar in the form of ethnic nepotism. It is this inclination to support the genetically similar that paves the way for ‘inclusive fitness’ — indirectly passing on at least some of one’s genes by supporting kin — and thus provides some explanation for the origins of altruism. Rushton provided a great deal of research strongly indicating that humans very much tend to marry, befriend, and otherwise associate with those who are genetically similar to them, and this is succinctly explored. Some controversy surrounds the issue of whether or not ‘Genetic Similarity Theory’ is applicable to circles beyond genealogical kin, and Dutton explores the work of Frank Salter in support of the idea that it is indeed applicable. The only criticism of the concept that Dutton concedes is that ‘Genetic Similarity Theory’ does not fully explain variations in ethnocentrism and therefore does not appear to attribute sufficient weight to environmental factors, especially external threats to the interests of the ethny—a factor that has demonstrably inflamed ethnocentrism throughout human history. Dutton also suggests that fluctuations in ethnocentrism may also be rooted in the dynamics of human personality, both as humans age, and as far as personality is influenced by ‘Life History Strategy.’
The sixth chapter, ‘Ethnocentrism, Personality Traits and Computer Modelling,’ focuses in detail on the issue of personality. Dutton explains that “we have to examine the concept of an ‘ethnocentric personality’ because … there are race differences in modal personality. So, if there is an ‘ethnocentric personality,’ then this would neatly explain why race differences in ethnocentrism exist.” Dutton ultimately dismisses the idea of an ‘ethnocentric personality,’ particularly the work of Adorno on prejudice, as having very little relevance to meaningful research on ethnocentrism. He concludes rather that it seems very likely that “ethnocentrism is not the by-product of a series of partly heritable personality traits.” Instead, “ethnocentrism is a human universal and is significantly genetic, in the sense that propensity to genetic similarity is partly genetic.” The chapter then moves to the concept of ‘group selection,’ during which is it explained and demonstrated that ethnocentric groups are more likely to win the battle of group selection. “The more ethnocentric group should always triumph in battles of group selection. This would mean that, all else being equal, races that were compelled, by the nature of their environment, to combat other groups (by being internally cooperative by externally hostile) would be more ethnocentric.” Computer modelling of such battles has demonstrated conclusively that ethnocentric strategies will always triumph, leading Dutton to conclude that universalist humanitarianism is ultimately a losing strategy, “unable to sustain high levels of in-group cooperation.” Humanitarian groups invariably “waste their precious reproductive potential helping out free riders who give them nothing in return.”
In Chapter 7, one of the best and most provocative in the book, Dutton explores the genetics of ethnocentrism. Dutton takes as his starting point the high level of positive and negative ethnocentrism among Northeast Asians, and attempts to find candidate genes that may play a role in producing this situation. Building on research suggesting that oxytocin may contribute to in-group bias by motivating in-group favouritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group hostility, Dutton points to scholarly findings that Northeast Asians disproportionately possess (“much higher than Europeans”) genes identified with fear of social exclusion and higher oxytocin levels (A118G – OPRM1). Further research has indicated that the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) combines with environmental factors to shape in-group bias. Dutton cites studies showing that “70–80 percent of an East Asian sample carried the short form of this gene, that is to say the form that makes you more ethnocentric. Only 40–45 percent of Europeans in the sample carried the short form of the gene. Indeed, it was found that across twenty-nine nations, the more collectivist a culture was the more likely it was to have the short form as the prevalent allele in the population.” Dutton adds that his own work found such correlations to be weak, and he is reluctant to attribute ethnocentrism to small numbers of specific genes. He instead finishes the chapter with the suggestion that specific genes such as these may play a small role, but only in conjunction with Life History Theory—for example, he provides data suggesting that populations with Slow Life History strategies (typified by higher intelligence, delayed gratification, and higher investment in children) are likely to be higher in positive ethnocentrism.
In Chapter 8, Dutton presents data on race differences in ethnocentrism, and he then explores the impact of cousin marriage and religion on ethnocentrism. The chapter opens with a very interesting discussion of racial dating preferences derived from the OKCupid dating site. The data suggest that, at least in sexual terms, White women were the most ethnocentric group, overwhelmingly preferring to date men from their own ethnic group. By contrast, most non-White groups seemed to have a preference for dating Whites. Dutton explains that this data cannot be meaningfully employed in the study of ethnocentrism because the fact non-Whites want to have sex with Whites merely means that “Whites have value.” He continues: “this does not, of course, mean that black people would be necessarily more inclined to lay down their lives for white people, show preference for white interests over those of their own race, vote for whites over members of their own race or any other behaviour of that kind that might be regarded as low in ethnocentrism.” Dutton instead utilizes the ‘World Values Survey’ as a more reliable indicator of ethnocentric feeling, and finds that East Asians are among the most ethnocentric populations. At this stage, the author returns to Genetic Similarity Theory, pointing out that the East Asian gene pool is much smaller than the European gene pool — in other words, two random Japanese men will be more closely related than two random English men. This is important because
any act of ethnic altruism by the Japanese man would have a greater payoff in terms of inclusive fitness than would precisely the same act by an Englishman. As such, we would expect higher levels of positive ethnocentrism among Northeast Asians than among Europeans. By the same token, were a Japanese person to be confronted by a foreigner, this would potentially damage his genetic interests to a greater extent than would be the case if a European, from a larger gene pool, was confronted by a foreigner.
Genetic Similarity Theory, as outlined above, is particularly salient in Dutton’s discussion of ethnocentrism among Arabs and South Asians, populations with high levels of cousin marriage. Arabs and South Asians are more ethnocentric than Europeans but, unlike East Asians, the nature of Arab and South Asian ethnocentrism tends more towards negative ethnocentrism — something Dutton links to relatively lower average intelligence. Consanguineous marriage, itself a response to a stressful and/or conflict-riven ecology and a means of developing a functioning society in populations with Fast Life History strategies, will accelerate and deepen negative ethnocentrism.
This phenomenon is deepened further by high levels of religiosity, which, Dutton argues, has been demonstrated as boosting both positive and negative ethnocentrism. Among the aspects of religion that contribute to ethnocentrism and group selection, Dutton cites high levels of fertility, matrimony, physical punishment of children, bodily mutilation, honor killing, martyrdom, celibacy, and intense violence or enmity directed at non-believers. I found Dutton’s work here to be especially interesting, though I was left with some significant questions about the nature of modern Christianity, something disappointingly absent from Dutton’s text despite his rich background in the study of Christian fundamentalists. Why is modern Christianity so entirely lacking in ability to promote any kind of ethnocentrism? My own instinct is that it has something to do with the development and spread of the belief in a “personal Jesus,” a largely nineteenth-century American innovation, rather than the older belief in folding oneself into a community of believers under a more distant and overarching God of nations. But this would require an essay, or several, to fully articulate, rather than an aside in a book review. It should suffice to state here that more detail or illustration from Dutton in this regard would have been most welcome.
Dutton spends several pages discussing Jewish ethnocentrism, and is appreciative of the work of Kevin MacDonald in this area. Jews are clearly very high in positive ethnocentrism, as demonstrated by very high levels of in-group philanthropy, belief in themselves as members of a Chosen People with a special world-historical destiny, and the prolific production of self-congratulatory and apologetic literature about themselves that is frequently accompanied by a widespread refusal to make any concessions on negative aspects of the history of the ethnic group. Jews have also distinguished themselves throughout history with very high levels of negative ethnocentrism, including their genocides of other peoples (real or imagined) in their religious texts, very negative portrayals of non-Jews in their religious commentaries, frequent outbursts against Greek cultural influence in the Classical period, exploitative economic relationships with Europeans since at least the Carolingian dynasty, the preference for suicide over conversion in the Medieval period, high levels of culturally disruptive behaviors among host populations in the modern period, and most recently their extraordinarily hostile treatment of the Palestinians. This can be partly explained, as Dutton points out, by the highly consanguineous nature of the Jews. For example, “it has been found that the world’s 10 million Ashkenazi Jews are all descended from about 350 Ashkenazi Jews who found themselves in Eastern Europe about the year 1400.” High levels of inbreeding have led to the noted prevalence of several genetic disorders among the Jews, including Tay-Sachs Disease, Gaucher’s Disease, and Riley-Day Syndrome. Dutton argues that Jews would have been more ethnocentric than Europeans from the earliest stages of their settlement in Europe, and that this ethnocentrism would have been deepened even further over historical time, in successive cycles, by their continued breeding within a small gene pool (intensifying the impact of Genetic Similarity Theory) and their presence in a high stress environment typified by periodic outbursts of reactive persecution (resulting in “harsh selection” for the most ethnocentric Jews). Dutton then discusses the findings of one study carried out by developmental psychologists, in which it was found that Israeli infants displayed unusually intense fear reactions in response to strangers when compared with North German infants. Whereas the North German infants had relatively minor reactions to strangers, the Israeli infants became “inconsolably upset.”
The author brings his eighth chapter to a close with a discussion of low ethnocentrism among Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans. Low ethnocentrism among Africans is explained briefly via their very pronounced r-strategy, resulting in low rates of consanguineous marriage and a much broader gene pool and genetic diversity. On the other hand, Europeans, argues Dutton, occupy a ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of very low ethnocentrism because they are less K-selected than East Asians, have a larger gene pool, and their environment is less harsh, leading to lower levels of group selection. There appears to be a position on the r–K spectrum, lower than East Asian K strategies, where cousin marriage is selected for (boosting ethnocentrism) and this position is occupied by Arabs and South Asians rather than Whites, who instead occupy a position below East Asians but above Arabs and South Asians. The trade-off for this relatively weakened position of Europeans is that for a population with moderate-to-high intelligence, “low ethnocentrism would permit a greater ability to trade and pool resources and so, ultimately, the creation of an extremely large coalition with a very large gene pool. This group would be more likely than a smaller group to produce geniuses.”
Dutton thus argues that, in a sense, some level of selection took place for low ethnocentrism in Europeans — a “genius” group evolutionary strategy. Dutton argues that groups with high levels of genius but low levels of ethnocentrism will triumph over groups with high levels of ethnocentrism but low levels of genius so long as certain conditions are met. The most important condition is that the genius group should maintain a basic level of ethnocentrism. Should this base level decline or collapse, the genius strategy would fail and highly ethnocentric groups would eventually dominate. European ethnocentrism has clearly been stronger in the past than it is at present, a fact the author very capably discusses within the framework of broader fluctuations in ecology (especially the advent of the industrial revolution) and ongoing evolutions in race itself.
In Chapter 9, Dutton explores in detail several variables that may impact ethnocentrism at individual and group level. Highly stressful situations in which survival is at risk have been shown to boost ethnocentrism, and researchers have found that playing violent video games is even sufficient to increase aggression to perceived out-groups. Mortality salience, or the fear of death, has also been shown to lead people to believe in a way which is highly defensive of their in-group. Although Dutton does not explore the theme in any great depth, I was moved to reflect on how anti-stress Western civilization has become during the last 60 or so years, not only in terms of industrialization, radically lowered infant mortality, and medical advances (all of which Dutton explores), but also in the extraordinary emphasis placed by modern culture on individual transient pleasures and prolonging youth (and therefore delaying or avoiding confronting death). Decadence, which is what such a culture essentially decays into, is therefore obstructive or oppositional to the development of ethnocentrism, and ‘weaponized decadence’ therefore strikes me as a particularly useful strategy that could be employed by a highly ethnocentric group with significant cultural influence in a host society with pre-existing moderate-to-low levels of ethnocentrism — a way of pushing a stronger “genius evolutionary strategist” into a fatally lower level of ethnocentrism and thus, ultimately, into defeat and destruction. Other variables impacting upon levels of ethnocentrism, and discussed by Dutton, include age, gender, pregnancy, intelligence and education, and ethnic diversity.
I found the last of these the most salient. Dutton, following from Vanhanen and Salter, argues that multi-ethnic societies are much less capable of successfully defending themselves against incursion from outsiders. This is for three key interrelated reasons. The first is lower levels of trust, as sapped confidence in one’s group leads to radically fewer sacrifices on behalf of the group. The second is that a multi-ethnic society will be able to draw on significantly lower reserves of positive ethnocentrism. The third is that ethnic minorities will tend to support immigration, essentially acting as a fifth column; allies to the outsiders engaged in incursion. So much for the “diversity is our greatest strength” mantra.
In the penultimate chapter, Dutton makes the argument that the industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for European ethnocentrism. Industrialization has significantly reduced human ecological stress in the West, and has accelerated the decline of European religion — one of the key supports for an already low level of European ethnocentrism. Advances in medicine and developments in the welfare state have led to wholesale dysgenic impacts such as the extraordinary rise in numbers of people with moderate to severe genetic disorders (26 percent increase in hemophilia, 22 percent increase in cystic fibrosis, and a 300 percent increase in phenylketonuria). The author posits that the increased proliferation of unhealthy mutations has further precipitated the decline of healthy instincts rooted in healthy genes that promoted survival (on a related note, it is interesting that those identified as ethnocentric score very highly in disgust sensitivity—a trait associated with disease avoidance). Dutton and some of his colleagues have come to describe such negative mutations as “spiteful mutations” which “cause people to act against their own genetic interests.” He continues:
If [carriers of ‘spiteful genes’] influence society, they can persuade even non-carriers of these ‘spiteful’ genes to act in self-destructive ways and they can undermine structures — such as religion — which help to promote group interests. Woodley of Menie et al. call this ‘social epistasis.’ As a consequence, modern (liberal) religion and ideology — far from being an indirect means of genetic preservation — would in fact reflect a sick society’s growing desire to destroy itself. An obvious example can be seen in the ideology of Multiculturalism and Political Correctness.
In Dutton’s reading of our present situation then, the worst of our traitors are in fact what perhaps Nietzsche was referring to when he condemned “the botched and the bungled” — malformed and maladapted offspring eager for self-destruction, and dragging the healthy down with them.
The final, brief, chapter of Race Differences in Ethnocentrism offers a neat summary of the findings and central arguments of the book before ending on a warning and offering some meagre light at the end of the tunnel. The warning is clear:
Europe is increasingly allowing into its borders people who are extremely high in ethnocentrism as predicted by their high levels of religiousness, low median age, their practice of cousin marriage, low average intelligence, and (likely) low mutational load. We have noted that the ethnocentric strategy will, eventually, tend to dominate all other strategies in the battle for group survival. Alternate strategies can also work, such as the development of large and highly inventive coalitions, but these cannot last if they promote ideologies which are actively to the detriment of their genetic interests, as it happening with Political Correctness, which actively promotes an effective destruction of European people.
And yet this may be a night that is necessary before the dawn, as Europeans are once more plunged into a cleaning cauldron of harsh, selective conditions:
We are now living under these conditions. But it will be the collapse of [European] civilisation and power that will likely lead, many years hence, to their becoming more ethnocentric once again.
It is the humbling, unenviable, and largely thankless task of websites like The Occidental Observer to convince European peoples, wherever they are, that ethnocentrism is an option that should be taken now, before catastrophe makes that choice for them. Edward Dutton’s remarkable book lends powerful support to that cause.