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I recently became aware that Ted Sallis has been criticizing my book, Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition (2019; hereafter Individualism) on his blog. Sallis is basically on-page with most of my work, including my work on Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy, and he has made great contributions in defending and promoting Frank Salter’s theory of ethnic genetic interests. Some of this work was posted on TOO, and in all, he has written 17 articles for us, starting with “Why Was the Understanding of Ethnic Genetic Interests Delayed for 30 Years?” in July of 2009.

In preparing this, I looked at his blog entries under ‘MacDonald‘; here I discuss what I regard as his most important objections, but also ones that are likely to give rise to questions from others who have read the book.

Am I a Nordicist?

Sallis claims I am a Nordicist. I presume this refers to the fact that a major theme of Individualism is that I claim to have found a north-south cline in family structure, and I link geographical variation in family structure with the settlement patterns of the three groups that populated pre-historic Western Europe—the Scandinavian hunter-gatherers, the Indo-Europeans (mainly north-central Europe and northern Italy), and the Early Farmers from Anatolia (mainly in the southern part of Western Europe). I suppose one can argue with that, but I don’t see an argument in Sallis’s writing. Doing so would require an explanation of how my review of the population genetic data in Chapter 1 fails to show a north-south genetic cline linked to these three groups, and/or that my review of the family history data in Chapter 4 is faulty. The family history data show a more collectivist pattern in southern Europe (e.g., brothers living together with wives and parents) than in northern Europe, the extreme being Scandinavia with nuclear families characterized by very weak ties among their members.

But the claim that I am a Nordicist has an evaluative ring to it—that I think that the Nordics are superior in some way. In fact, Individualism reveals the weakness of northern Europeans, especially in the current cultural environment in which traditional social controls embedded in religion have disappeared, resulting in a dysfunctional, guilt-prone culture unable to oppose the invasion of other peoples that is now besetting them. Moreover, Scandinavia was a relative backwater in European culture compared to the dynamic northcentral regions of Western Europe. Charles Murray’s map of human accomplishment (discussed in Ch. 9 of Individualism) excludes the great majority of Scandinavia, apart from Denmark which has a strong infusion of German genes (Ch. 1). If anything, I suppose one could call me a Germanicist.

Human Accomplishment--Charles Murray p.1 - YouTube

Individualism and Conformity

I portray Scandinavians as highly individualistic but also as highly conformist—what I regard as a paradox in need of explanation, but Sallis regards their conformity as a fatal flaw in my argument. I regard this paradox as a fundamental problem for any analysis and certainly not solved by Sallis’s theory that individualism resulted from geographical distance from racially dissimilar others (see below). There is no question that Scandinavians are conformists. My first efforts to understand this are from a 2012 review of David Hackett Fischer’s Fairness and Freedom (pp. 80–81) where I discuss the Jante Laws of Scandinavia and the Tall Poppy Syndrome in New Zealand as basically socially enforced egalitarianism common in hunter-gatherer cultures around the world (as noted by Christopher Boehm[4]Christopher H. Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999)), and a major point of Chapter 3 of Individualism is that, because of their peculiar ecological position (briefly described below), the northern Europeans retained their hunter-gatherer ways for a very long time, holding off the Early Farmers of more southerly regions prior to the Indo-European invasion for over 1000 years. My solution was thus to emphasize the point that extended kinship is less important as a social glue among Nordics (and to a lesser extent, among the Indo-Europeans compared to southern Europeans). All cultures require mechanisms of social cohesion, but rather than relying on kinship distance, as in the rest of the world, social cohesion is maintained mainly by reputation in the community: Can you be trusted? Do you uphold the moral values of the community? Are you a courageous, competent warrior? From Chapter 8:

In Chapter 1 it was argued that the Scandinavian countries are on the extreme end of the northwest-southeast genetic cline, with higher levels of northern hunter-gatherer-derived genes than other parts of Western Europe. Chapter 3 described these hunter-gatherer cultures as reflecting egalitarian individualism, and Chapter 4 described the Scandinavian family patterns as extreme within Western Europe.

Although all Western European-derived societies are undergoing replacement-level, non-White migration, there can be little doubt that Scandinavia and especially Sweden, are extreme in welcoming replacement of their peoples and cultures. As elsewhere in the West, a major role in these transformations has been played by Jewish activists and Jewish media ownership,[1]M. Eckehart, How Sweden Became Multicultural (Helsingborg, Sweden: Logik Förlag, 2017); Roger Devlin, “The Origins of Swedish Multiculturalism: A Review of M. Eckehart’s How SwedenBecame Multicultural,” The Occidental Observer (September 9, 2017); Kevin MacDonald, “The Jewish Origins of Multiculturalism in Sweden,” The Occidental Observer (January 14, 2013). but Scandinavians seem particularly favorable to these transformations. Indeed, Noah Carl, analyzing 2015 survey data from the European Union, found that Swedes were the least ethnocentric group as measured by items such as approval of children having a love relationship with various ethnic groups, sexual minorities, and disabled people.[2]Noah Carl, “Tolerance of Inter-Ethnic Relationships in Europe,” @NoahCarl (July 227, 2019). https://medium.com/@NoahCarl/tolerance-of-inter-ethn...8a25e1 Respondents from the U.K. and the Netherlands were also highly tolerant, with Eastern European countries on the low end, data consistent with northwestern Europeans being the most tolerant.

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The reputation-based moral communities of Scandinavia have been strongly egalitarian. The “Jante Laws” of Scandinavia are paradigmatic: 1. Don’t think you are anything; 2. Don’t think you are as good as us. 3. Don’t think you are smarter than us. 4. Don’t fancy yourself better than us. 5. Don’t think you know more than us. 6. Don’t think you are greater than us. 7. Don’t think you are good for anything. 8. Don’t laugh at us. 9. Don’t think that anyone cares about you. 10. Don’t think you can teach us anything.[3]Aksel Sandemose (1899–1965) in his novel En Flyktning Krysser Sitt Spor (A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, 1933). Although originating in a work of fiction, the Jante Laws have been widely recognized by Scandinavians as accurately reflecting a mindset typical of their society. In short, no one must rise above the rest. Such egalitarianism is typical of hunter-gatherer groups around the world[4]Christopher H. Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999) and is antithetical to the aristocratic ideal of the Indo-Europeans.

Extreme egalitarianism results in high levels of conformism and social anxiety. Individuals fear social ostracism for violating egalitarian norms and standing out from the crowd—a phenomenon that has played a major role in creating a public consensus in favor of mass migration and multiculturalism. Decisions are by consensus, implying that individuals are loathe to stand out from the group. In Sweden especially there is no public debate on the costs and benefits of immigration; sceptics typically remain silent for fear of shunning and disapproval.

So my view is that Scandinavians are conformists in a social setting where reputation is paramount because of their evolutionary background as hunter-gatherers living in socially enforced, highly egalitarian moral communities where extended kinship relationships were relatively less important. In interacting with another person, the important issues are whether another person is trustworthy and whether one can benefit from the relationship, not how closely related the person is. But on the other hand, Scandinavian family relationships are egalitarian and relatively loose. The radical individualism of Sweden is illustrated in the following, from Chapter 4:

What is unique about Swedish social policy is neither the extent to which the state has intervened in society nor the generous insurance schemes, but the underlying moral logic. Though the path in no way has been straight, one can discern over the course of the twentieth century an overarching ambition to liberate the individual citizen from all forms of subordination and dependency in civil society: the poor from charity, the workers from their employers, wives from their husbands, children from parents (and vice versa when the parents have become elderly).

In practice, the primacy of individual autonomy has been institutionalized through a plethora of laws and practices … . Interdependency within the family has been minimized through individual taxation of spouses, family law reforms have revoked obligations to support elderly parents, more or less universal day care makes it possible for women to work, student loans which are blind in relation to the income of parents or spouse give young adults a large degree of autonomy in relation to their families, and children are given a more independent status through the abolition of corporal punishment and a strong emphasis on children’s rights. All in all, this legislation has made Sweden into the least family-dependent and the most individualized society on the face of the earth[5]Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22..

In this regime, families become “voluntary associations”—despite continuing to exhibit high-investment parenting as indicated by high levels of time spent with children. Nordic families are relatively prone to “independence (of children), individualism, and (gender) equality.”[6]Ibid., 33.
(Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.)
The “Swedish theory of love” is that partners should not be dependent on each other—that true love means not entering a relationship as dependent on any way (e.g., financially) on the other person.[7]Ibid., 27. [

8] Ibid.
(Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.)
Surveys of values confirm that Nordic societies cluster together in scoring high on “emancipatory self-expression.”[8] Nordic societies also cluster at the top of social trust, despite also being high on secular/rational values and despite trust typically being associated with religiosity.[9]Ibid, 26. [
(Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.)
Finally, the high standing on “generalized trust” provides economic advantages because it lowers “transaction costs”—less need for written contracts and legal protections, fewer lawsuits, etc.[10]Ibid., 26–27.
(Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.)

These trends toward individual freedom and lack of dependency on superiors go back at least to the medieval period. Michael Roberts noted that the peasant in medieval Sweden “retained his social and political freedom to a greater degree, played a greater part in the politics of the country, and was altogether a more considerable person, than in any other western European country.”[11]Michael Roberts, Essays in Swedish History (London: Weidenfield & Nicholson, 1967), 4–5.[2] Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22. Similarly, Lars Trägårdh:

The respect for law and a positive view of the state are historically linked to the relative freedom of the Swedish peasantry. The weakness, not to say absence of feudal institutions, corresponds with a history of self-reliance, self-rule, land ownership, representation as an estate in parliament, and the consequent willingness and ability to participate in the political affairs of the country.[12]Trägårdh, Ibid.
(Michael Roberts, Essays in Swedish History (London: Weidenfield & Nicholson, 1967), 4–5.[2] Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.)

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The concept of moral communities as the social glue of Western societies is recurrent throughout Individualism, particularly in Chapter 7 on the movement to abolish slavery. It is not cherry-picking but backed up with numerous examples and is strongly rooted in theory. Sallis writes, “unfortunately, MacDonald started to extend that idea into bizarre HBD-Nordicism, and stretching facts to fit into some overarching theory of heritable group differences to explain even relatively shallow differences in national behavior.” I need specific examples of how I have stretched facts in order to reply. Obviously, this is a very difficult area. Theory must attempt to deal adequately with all the historical data on political and family structure, population genetics, and much more—and with seeming paradoxes such as the extreme individualism of Scandinavia combined with social conformism. My solution to the paradox of individualism may not be correct, but refuting it requires more specificity.

And I should add that one thing that stands out from my reading is how persistent family structures are despite vast changes in other areas. Chapter 4 on family structure is critical. For example, recent research on families in southern France shows continuing remnants of moderate collectivism—living near their parents (often residing in the same house), marrying people from the same area, helping each other more (including financial aid), and have stronger distinctions between male and female roles. Patrick Heady labels this pattern “parentally anchored and locally involved,” the extreme opposite being “origin free and locally detached”[13]Patrick Heady, “A ‘Cognition and Practice’ Approach to an Aspect of European Kinship,” Cross-Cultural Research 51, no. 3 (2017): 285–310. typical of Scandinavia. On the other hand,

Middle Eastern cultures were dominated for centuries by Greek and Roman conquerors, but this had no influence on the collectivist, clan-based, extended kinship social organization that remains typical of the area today. Cousin marriage, an excellent marker of these tendencies because it shows a preference for endogamy within a male kinship lineage (patrilineage), originated in Middle Eastern prehistory and continues into the present era despite centuries of domination by Western powers.[14]Ladislav Holy, Kinship, Honour, and Solidarity: Cousin Marriage in the Middle East (Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1989), 12, 13. In view of the recent surge of Middle Eastern Muslim immigration to Europe, this incapacity for assimilation to Western norms is likely to represent a long-term problem for the West. [Ch. 4 of Individualism]

I would apply the same sort of analysis to African-American families in the U.S.—that the lack of male involvement in rearing children is at least partially explained by their West African cultural-genetic heritage where men had multiple wives and each wife headed her own household and provided for the children. If indeed there are such proclivities among African-Americans, it is not surprising that changes in welfare laws making it easy for women to rear their children without male provisioning would give a major impetus to out-of-wedlock births among African-Americans (and other groups, but less so) compared to levels prior to 1960.

Sallis:

For example, the HBD Nordicists claim as part of their theory, their hypothesis, the importance of intra-European differences in individualism vs. collectivism, with groups descended from (altruistic) northern hunter-gatherers, exemplified by Scandinavians, being extremely individualistic, particularly compared to those selfish collectivist swarthoids and other non-Nordic groups.

This is falsified by data such as this. See the Y axis, which describes group individualism vs. collectivism. On the one hand, Sweden and Denmark are more individualistic than, say, Spain, Russia, or Poland (but Russians and Poles have a lot of “northern hunter gatherer” ancestry, so their collectivism is itself a partial refutation of HBD Nordicism).

I never claim that any group of Western Europeans is altruistic simpliciter apart from altruistic punishment against cheaters in games like the ultimatum game, citing a paper by Joseph Henrich et al. (2010) in Chapter 3 on egalitarian individualism.[15]Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine, and Ara Norenzayan, “The Weirdest People in the World?,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2010): 61–135. Such willingness to punish others at cost to self for violations of the standards of a moral community is important for understanding the behavior of individualists—apparent now in the willingness of many Whites to punish defectors from racial egalitarianism (although at this point, such punishment can easily be in one’s self-interest because of the reward structure that goes along with contemporary racial orthodoxy).

Incidentally, Henrich’s (2020) The WEIRDest People in the World expands on this, emphasizing the uniqueness of Western European individualism in a cross-cultural context (I agree), but placing a much greater role on the medieval Church and Protestantism for the ultimate triumph of individualism than I do. In Chapter 5 of Individualism and in my review of WEIRDEST, I argue that the role of the Church in producing Western uniqueness was more a facilitative effect building on pre-existing proclivities toward individualism and motivated by its pursuit of power over feudal lords; for example, Henrich explains relative lack of individualism in southern Italy as resulting from relatively late influence of the Church in the area. The point here is that any adequate theory must attempt to explain Western uniqueness but at the same time explain variation within Western Europe.

Regarding Sallis’s link to the paper on individualism-collectivism, it goes to a chart from an unidentified study linking variation in a single gene, the 5-HTTLPR gene, with individualism-collectivism. Unless one believes that individualism-collectivism is influenced genetically by only one locus, this is hardly conclusive and ignores all the data on geographical variation in family structure.

Regarding the point that Russians and Poles “have a lot of northern hunter-gatherer ancestry,” the review of population genetic evidence from Chapter 1 does not support a general northern hunter-gatherer profile but shows the distinctiveness of Scandinavia resulting from seasonal changes in the ability to form large groups (Ch. 3). The only discussion in Individualism related to the generality of northern hunter-gather influences is on Finland, where Swedish genes are more common in the west, likely as a result of colonization; but the further east one goes, there is more evidence for collectivist family structure and other ethnic influences. From Chapter 4: “Although they could leave the family farm with an equal inheritance as their brothers, sons tended to remain in the household, the oldest son becoming patriarch, while daughters married outside the family. In eastern Finland in the second half of the eighteenth century, fully 70 percent of families were extended or multiple, rising to 84–90 percent among the peasants. This pattern is remarkably similar to that found in southern France and southeastern Europe, and contrasts with the patterns of northwest Europe, as discussed in Chapter 4.” Importantly, Finland is a genetic outlier to Scandinavia and Western Europe generally and geography within Finland is strongly linked to ethnic genetic differences between eastern and western Finland (here for a list of relevant studies).

Culture and Evolution

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My work has always featured a strong role for culture, paradigmatically in the aptly named The Culture of Critique where the rise of a new Jewish elite with a powerful influence on culture resulted in evolutionary costs to the previously dominant European majority, including especially the establishment of replacement-level non-White immigration as the norm. Sallis seems to endorse the following comment from another blogger:

Schindler’s Guest List says:

June 30, 2022 at 4:32 pm

I deeply respect Kevin MacDonald and all he has done. But I could never stomach this notion of European Individualism. It seems to me a post hoc rationalization to explain why modern Whites are so deracinated and cucked. Were the Crusaders individualists? What about the Spanish Empire in the Americas? Or the Puritans? People will make the case that Protestantism is, but the mid century Germans were largely Protestant and it’s difficult to see them as libertarian individualists. America, owing to unique historical circumstances, may be individualist to some degree, with its opposition towards centralized power, and a high degree of autonomy afforded by an empty continent. But that seems the result of historical contingencies, not biological impulses. Yet even in the US, the Jews were highly aware of and wrote extensively about the rigid societal standards and White Anglo Saxon ethnic particularism they encountered in America (as has MacDonald himself). i would also note that the “only minimal [WASP] resistance” MacDonald describes occurred after a New Deal revolution (heavily infiltrated by Jewish radicals) that reshaped American government and purged much of the old guard, followed by a genocidal European civil war fought largely over the Jewish Question which resulted in Nuremberg making it de facto illegal to be right wing, ethnocentric or antisemitic. That’s not mild. But even all that didn’t quite do it. Jews had to take total control of media and make it the all pervasive narrative-forming machine that it is today before we start to see America become a “melting pot” and “propositional nation,” and Whites truly begin to see themselves as atomized economic units saying how they “don’t see race” and “live and let live.” It is this bacteria pumped into the brains of Americans that has made them so hapless and feeble, which is then exported to Europe (which appears no more historically liberal than anywhere else). If anything, the issue is not so much the uniqueness of the European mind, but that of the Jewish mind. Add to this the emergence of globalism, managerialism and the triumph of finance capital, developments Jews were uniquely adapted to and which largely harmonized with their cosmopolitan elitist worldview.

Much of this I agree with. In Chapter 8 of Individualism I discuss the rise of a Jewish elite dominating the media and academic world as undermining any sense of collective White interests and as promoting media messages aimed at inhibiting White ethnocentrism via top-down prefrontal control over the modular lower brain regions, essentially by creating moral communities in which departures from racial egalitarianism are seen as evil. This has been critical in understanding the current deracination of Whites.

But the comment seems to imply that being relatively individualist is incompatible with cohesive groups like the Crusaders. However, a major aspect of my theory is the importance of social controls and ideology in creating cohesive groups—a perspective I developed in my writing on the Spartans (Social and Personality Development, 1988), the Jews (A People That Shall Dwell Alone, 1994), and on National Socialism as a mirror image of the Jewish group evolutionary strategy with a powerful ideology of racial uniqueness and social controls embedded throughout the culture (e.g., the educational system where previously dominant Jewish-Marxist professors, like those of the Frankfurt School, were exiled and lower-level education was imbued with National Socialist ideology) (Separation and Its Discontents and The Culture of Critique; both 1998). Individualists can be molded into cohesive groups—think of a Western military unity with a strong ideology of patriotism (even of the civic nationalist variety), courage in the face of lethal danger, and the importance of following orders, but combined with severe penalties for desertion or treason. In Individualism I discuss group cohesion among the early Puritans as enabled by the powerful social controls and ideology of Calvinism, but with the disappearance of these controls there were movements of Puritan-descended intellectuals promoting radical libertarianism.

Moreover, my claim that Western Europeans tend to be individualists does not imply that there is no shred of ethnocentrism or racial ingroup-outgroup feeling among them. We are naturally drawn to people who are like us (e.g., Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory, reviewed in Chapter 8). As reviewed in Chapter 6, in the nineteenth century it was common to take pride in America’s Anglo-Saxon heritage (often combined with the view that other groups could and would become “just like us” after immigrating so that America would retain its Anglo-Saxon character forever—a view that soured toward the end of the nineteenth century). And in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries leading up to the immigration restriction law of 1924 (reaffirmed by overriding President Truman’s veto in 1952 and only overturned in 1965 as a result of Jewish activism), racial consciousness was entirely mainstream and promoted by respected academics and book publishers; such views often appeared in popular magazines (Ch. 6).

But whereas ethnocentric tendencies are difficult to inhibit among people with strong genetic tendencies toward ethnocentrism (e.g., the Jews), they are much easier to overcome among relative individualists. Hence the importance of the cultural revolution inaugurated by the rise of a Jewish elite hostile to the traditional people and culture of America and now dominating the West (The Culture of Critique, discussed and cited in Chapter 8 of Individualism). The cultural messages promoted by our substantially Jewish elite have resulted in White racial guilt stemming from one-sided presentations of the racial-ethnic and gender-related grievances of other groups. These mechanisms are powerful because they essentially establish a moral community that reflects the primeval social glue of Western culture. But it is a moral community that is fundamentally antithetical to the ethnic genetic interests of Western peoples.

Sallis’s Theory

There are alternative theories to explain intra-European differences in behavior, such as mine that NW Europeans underwent ethnogenesis in an environment in which their enemies, those they engaged in conflict with, were other Europeans (given the greater geographic distance of NW Europe from Africa-Asia), while in Southern and Eastern Europe, conflict with Afro-Asiatic non-Europeans was an important part of ethnogenesis.

At times, Sallis appears to deny that Nordics are highly individualist, while here he is proposing to explain the high levels of individualism among some Europeans (presumably including Nordics) as the result of geographical distance from racially distinct others. For example, he seems to deny that Nordics are particularly individualist when he complains about my statement that “Scandinavian [societies] are the most individualist cultures on Earth…” (Sallis’s emphasis): “That MacDonald continues to assert that lie, refuted at my blog, and then cites himself as evidence (!!!), really trashes his reputation as an objective scholar.” I think I have made clear here why I think Scandinavian cultures are the most individualist cultures, and a more elaborate version is in Individualism. And it’s based on much more than citing myself. And calling it a “lie” is outrageous—at most it’s a garden variety scholarly mistake.

In any case, I find Sallis’s theory of European individualism unpersuasive for a number of reasons. For example, eastern Europe in general is more collectivist in terms of family structure than western Europe despite living among racially and ethnically similar peoples for the vast majority of their history, and it was noted above that family structure is highly resistant to change, despite huge cultural transformations, such as changing elites. Most Western groups lived with Jews as a very distinct alien, often hated outgroup for centuries without effects on family structure or obliterating individualism. How does the theory explain the uniqueness of Western individualism cross-culturally—were Western European peoples the only people in the world with no experience confronting racially dissimilar others? How does the theory explain the relatively collectivist family structure of traditional Ireland compared to Germanic family structure (reviewed in Chapter 4)? How does it explain the difference in family structure between Scandinavians and the Germanic peoples of Europe (the latter roughly populating the area encompassed by Murray’s map of human accomplishment)? In Individualism I make a major point about the contrast in family structure within France between northeastern France and France south of the Loire. I rather doubt that the latter area was threatened by more racially dissimilar others—the only invasion from the south that I am aware of were the Muslims defeated in 732 by Charles Martel of the Germanic Franks who are more individualist in terms of family structure than France south of the Loire; the Huns came from the east, but their invasion was short-lived and would have affected Germanic groups at least as much. Indeed, how would it explain Murray’s map of human accomplishment in general? Moreover, it is at best an incomplete theory because it does not provide a mechanism for understanding the paradox of individualism mentioned above: If, say, Swedes are so individualist because they evolved at a greater distance from racially dissimilar others, why are they also the most conformist?

Conclusion

It’s always difficult and a bit distasteful to have to respond to someone who is basically in agreement on many issues, and someone who has posted on TOO. But it has to be done, and frankly I thought the tone of many of Sallis’s comments was non-collegial to say the least. I hope this can clarify some of these issues and move the ball forward a bit.

References

[1] M. Eckehart, How Sweden Became Multicultural (Helsingborg, Sweden: Logik Förlag, 2017); Roger Devlin, “The Origins of Swedish Multiculturalism: A Review of M. Eckehart’s How SwedenBecame Multicultural,” The Occidental Observer (September 9, 2017); Kevin MacDonald, “The Jewish Origins of Multiculturalism in Sweden,” The Occidental Observer (January 14, 2013).

[2] Noah Carl, “Tolerance of Inter-Ethnic Relationships in Europe,” @NoahCarl (July 227, 2019). https://medium.com/@NoahCarl/tolerance-of-inter-ethnic-relationships-in-europe-c27bda8a25e1

[3] Aksel Sandemose (1899–1965) in his novel En Flyktning Krysser Sitt Spor (A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, 1933). Although originating in a work of fiction, the Jante Laws have been widely recognized by Scandinavians as accurately reflecting a mindset typical of their society.

[4] Christopher H. Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999)

[5] Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.

[6] Ibid., 33.

[7] Ibid., 27. [

8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid, 26. [

[10] Ibid., 26–27.

[11] Michael Roberts, Essays in Swedish History (London: Weidenfield & Nicholson, 1967), 4–5.[2] Lars Trägårdh, “Statist Individualism: The Swedish Theory of Love and Its Lutheran Imprint,” in Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Kavanaugh, Joel Halldorf and Fredrik Wenell (eds.) (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014): 13–38, 21–22.

[12] Trägårdh, Ibid.

[13] Patrick Heady, “A ‘Cognition and Practice’ Approach to an Aspect of European Kinship,” Cross-Cultural Research 51, no. 3 (2017): 285–310.

[14] Ladislav Holy, Kinship, Honour, and Solidarity: Cousin Marriage in the Middle East (Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1989), 12, 13.

[15] Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine, and Ara Norenzayan, “The Weirdest People in the World?,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2010): 61–135.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Charles Murray’s map of human accomplishment […] excludes the great majority of Scandinavia, apart from Denmark […]

    According to Murray, the ‘Big Four’ are: Britain, France, Germany and Italy – in that other.
    The best-ranked Scandinavian is Sweden – which is behind Spain.

  2. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:

    There are alternative theories to explain intra-European differences in behavior, such as mine that NW Europeans underwent ethnogenesis in an environment in which their enemies, those they engaged in conflict with, were other Europeans (given the greater geographic distance of NW Europe from Africa-Asia), while in Southern and Eastern Europe, conflict with Afro-Asiatic non-Europeans was an important part of ethnogenesis.

    This doesn’t make sense since many Southern European groups are genetically closer to Afro-Asiatic non-Europeans i.e. Mediterranean, Middle Easterners, Semitic speakers than they are to NW Europeans. Greeks, Southern Italians, etc. are genetically closer to Turks, Jews, Levantines, etc. than they are to Northern Europeans.

  3. Anonymous[203] • Disclaimer says:

    Sallis claims I am a Nordicist.

    Sallis is Italian-American. One thing I’ve noticed among some (not all) Southern European types involved in hard right and racialist politics is that they are very touchy and wary about anything that smacks of Northern European identity or self-determination. I think the fear is that it is explicitly or implicitly exclusionary of people like themselves, and also that since Northern European countries and societies tend to be the leading element among European/White societies, it might put them lower on the totem pole. Part of their motivation is a kind of egalitarian status within the European/White category, and something like Nordicism threatens that.

    • Replies: @Robert Dolan
  4. @Anonymous

    and….Italians probably have a bit of negro DNA…..

    • Troll: Rosie
  5. So Finns are less individualist than I-E Scandinavians…aren’t the Uralian peoples likely to bear a greater resemblance to the pre I-E hunter-gatherers than the Teutonic Norse and Swedes?

    Also “the Church had less influence in Southern Italy” until a relatively late date? Does this mean specifically the Roman church? The Muslim period in Sicily was much briefer than in Iberia, the Byzantine influence stronger, but was also strong in Ravenna, where Dante lived in exile. This seems a weak argument.

  6. Rosie says:

    Though the path in no way has been straight, one can discern over the course of the twentieth century an overarching ambition to liberate the individual citizen from all forms of subordination and dependency in civil society: the poor from charity, the workers from their employers, wives from their husbands, children from parents (and vice versa when the parents have become elderly).

    And

    These trends toward individual freedom and lack of dependency on superiors go back at least to the medieval period. Michael Roberts noted that the peasant in medieval Sweden “retained his social and political freedom to a greater degree, played a greater part in the politics of the country, and was altogether a more considerable person, than in any other western European country.”[11]

    Right. Inegalitarian societies that subordinate women usually aren’t kind to low-status males, either. Though I suppose at least they have the right to come home and take out their frustrations on their hapless wives and children, for whatever therapeutic value that has.

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