Against The Naturalistic Fallacy
It is a good and necessary thing to take the red pill: to start seeing things as they really are, not as the delusional ruling ideology of a corrupted civilisation tells you they must be. But the red pill, in itself, is not a sufficient condition for true understanding.
Perhaps we can grasp this point by taking a second look at the iconic scene from The Matrix that inspired the ‘red pill’ metaphor. In this scene, Neo takes a red pill and wakes up from his simulated reality, to find himself in the real world: an ugly and dystopian future, ruled by intelligent machines, in which he has been serving all his life as one of countless human batteries in a huge electrical system called the Matrix. Weak from muscular atrophy, he is flushed out of the Matrix into an underground sewer, in which he flounders helplessly until a flying craft winches him out and takes him to safety. From this point, he is brought into the community of free humans, who teach him both the nature of the real world and how to act and fight within it.
It is interesting to consider how this scene might play out in a case of half-measures. What if Neo – or anyone else who chose the red pill – woke up from the Matrix and got flushed into the sewer, but no flying craft came to winch him out? Or what if he slipped away from his would-be rescuers, assuming that they were hostile machines coming to plug him back into the Matrix? Presumably he would have no choice but to continue floundering in the sewer, which is at least a small part of the real world; and perhaps he would come to identify the entirety of the ‘real world’ with the hostile citadel of the Matrix and the safe refuge of the sewer, rejecting everything else as an illusion of his old simulated reality. Needless to say, he would live an utterly miserable existence, and one that would be of no use whatsoever to the cause of human resistance against the machines.
Here we have a useful metaphor for the intellectual pathologies into which ‘red-pillers’ can sometimes fall, by refusing to go beyond a set of cramped halfway-houses on their personal quests for the truth. If taking the red pill on women means divesting oneself of illusions about female nature, then floundering in the sewer means allowing this disillusionment to fester into hatred instead of leading to cold equanimity. Similarly, if taking the red pill on politics means waking up to the reality of Jewish power, then floundering in the sewer means focusing on this factor to the point of monomania and rejecting any reference to broader historical processes.
In this context, we can introduce the concept of the naturalistic fallacy – more correctly, but rather more awkwardly, known as the ‘appeal to nature fallacy’. If taking the red pill on human nature means knowing the truth about it and acting in that context, floundering in the sewer means making fallacious appeals to nature without reference to moral values.
Now, perhaps a short disclaimer is in order: by making use of the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ concept, I do not endorse the views of classical liberals and other blue-pillers who routinely hurl it at the Alt-Right, usually after failing to controvert the hard facts backing up our worldview. Truths about human nature and society do have ramifications upon morality, and if the outrageously wrong liberal-progressive tradition could be preserved intact simply by separating the factual and moral realms, then the proponents of ‘blank slates’ and ‘social contracts’ would not have bothered spinning such elaborate webs of delusion stretching back at least as far as the Enlightenment.
That said, there is a reasonably clear difference between description and prescription here, which justifies the limited use of the term ‘naturalistic fallacy’. We can see both truth and fallacy on display in this infamous video, in which Dr. Jordan Peterson is challenged to explain a reference to lobsters in his book. The red pill on human nature is dispensed when Dr. Peterson states that lobsters and humans share a common ancestor, that “lobsters exist in hierarchies”, and that “the idea of hierarchy has absolutely nothing to do with socio-cultural construction”. We then get a sharp whiff of the sewer, i.e. the naturalistic fallacy, when the witless goose interviewing him responds: “You’re saying that we should organise our societies along the lines of the lobsters?”
Dr. Peterson, of course, declines to take the bait and jump from is to ought – but I only wish the same could be said of many people on the Alt-Right. It is true that almost no-one in our circles is channelling Ragnar Redbeard, flexing his sword-arm and grunting “might is right”, in the present day – but that is largely because everyone has woken up to the fact that this is an individualist fantasy. Swap Redbeard’s egoism for an emphasis on the collective, and many of us will happily accept the proposition that ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ – perhaps garlanded with a few neo-pagan fig-leaves, but otherwise stripped of moral accoutrements – would be sufficient not only to regulate our behaviour but also to rescue our people from doom.
One stock argument against this sort of thing is that all sorts of ideological constructs can be projected onto the facts about the natural world. A slightly more advanced one is that a yearning to ‘return to nature’ in the context of a late civilisation is a classic tell-tale sign of decadence, which resembles barbaric vigour only in the sense that senility resembles infanthood. But in the context of the Alt-Right and the Rightist tradition as a whole, the most important point to be made is that amorality and ‘pure natural order’ do not support our positions, and in many cases work against them.
Those who resort to the naturalistic fallacy are guilty of self-deception at best, and self-parody at worst. Both were true of Redbeard: pure ‘might’ lay not in his ideal of a strong and independent individual, but in the unreasoning mob stirred up by manipulative moralists, hence the fact that he had to write his screed under a pseudonym. The fact that he chose a Viking handle for this purpose only serves to highlight his distance from the Norse culture that produced stanzas like “a noble name will never die / if good renown one gets”.
It is no different when we move from individualist fantasies to collectivist ones. Alt-Righters are preoccupied with blunt and unvarnished truth, and assume that a ‘natural’ society is one in which everyone shares that preoccupation – but it is bullshit that is socially adaptive, and always has been, which is why the truth-teller Machiavelli got nowhere as a man of political action and had to make his name as a writer. Alt-Righters expend time and effort arguing for dominance hierarchies because they are ‘natural’ – but it is white men who have been thrust behind minorities and women in the dominance hierarchy of the modern West. The fact that we gained our erstwhile status through strength, hard work and intelligence, while the minorities and women gain theirs through weakness, laziness and stupidity, is of no interest at all to pure amoral nature.
When we turn to the dispossession of whites and the means of inspiring our people to fight against it, many Alt-Righters look upon universal concepts like justice only as obstacles standing in the way. They think that ‘ethnic genetic interests’, an extension of evolutionary kin altruism to the more distant kinship of the ethnic group, would motivate us to fight for our own side if only our heads were not so addled with unnatural moral ideals. However, leaving aside the question of whether ethnic genetic interests have any scientific merit whatsoever, it is obvious that our enemies can render them politically impotent simply by making life difficult for our immediate family when we come out as dissenters and activists.
Perhaps you disagree with this. Perhaps you have better arguments, backed up by harder facts, for nature red in tooth and claw. However, in argument as in war, it is not enough to avoid defeat – one must also take care to avoid Pyrrhic victory. Whenever we employ the naturalistic fallacy, or rail against morality in Ragnar Redbeard style, we allow the progressives to take up the moral high ground and pose as the defenders of human ideals against biological reductionism. On this unfavourable ground, we lose in practice every time without exception, no matter how many facts we marshall to our side and no matter how many technical victories we score over our opponents.
Fortunately, self-correction on this point is very easy, for all we have to do is to go back to the red pill and further cleanse it of impurities. In clearer language, we must stay on the firm ground of is, without wandering into the realm of ought. Our argument should not be “humans ought to live in tribal ingroups and dominance hierarchies because they are natural”, but “humans do live in tribal ingroups and dominance hierachies, full stop.”
Although this is a purely descriptive statement, it actually cuts the moral high ground out from under the progressives. If humans create tribal ingroups and dominance hierarchies by nature, then how can those humans who oppose this in theory be an exception to it in practice?
One of the basic entry-level red pills, which turn zombie conservatives into real dissenters, is the realisation that the managerial and plutocratic elites of the West are not beholden to “misguided good intentions”. The importation and legal privileging of foreign immigrants, and the resulting loss of status for native citizens, increases the political and economic power of the elites at home and legitimises the projection of that power abroad. The ‘liberation’ of women from husbands and fathers is simultaneously their subjection to government and corporate power; and the destruction of female sexual morality advantages rich and high-status men, by essentially turning all women into price-tagged prostitutes. The privileging of ill-behaved, sexually degenerate and unproductive people over everyone else also furthers elite power, as these people depend for their status on the ruling political coalition and support it with the greatest degree of loyalty.
This is not some sort of bug, created in the process of transposing pure progressive ideology to the realm of ordinary mortals; it is a feature, which gives rise to progressive ideology and is reinforced by it in turn. The anti-elitist worldview of progressivism, in which the common people are seen as the real drivers of history and their leaders reduced to secondary importance, is pure poison to the legitimacy of an elite that ‘leads from the front’ such as the old European aristocracy. But for an elite that denies its own status as an elite, pretends to be a cipher of the people, and relies upon anonymity and hypocrisy, this worldview is an elixir of invisibility. It lends credence to the fiction that the people are ruling (and thus exploiting, and dispossessing) themselves; and the effect of this mass gaslighting is seen every time people in the West say things like “our country is going mad”. It also directs academic study to the task of furnishing management science with information about ordinary people, while discussion of elites comes to be associated with low-status cranks.
By performing the verbal and social rituals known to the people as ‘political correctness’, the members of this elite imagine that they have transcended the natural human behaviours of dominance hierarchy and tribe formation, and thus legitimised their own possession of wealth and power. But these rituals are not just ineffectual; they themselves represent hierarchical and tribe-forming behaviour, marking off the beneficiaries of progressive education and acculturation from the lower-class whites outside their coalition, just as the verbal and social rituals of the old aristocracy served to mark them off from the rest of the population and identify them as the ruling class. Although the progressives would like to think that the distinction is based on morality or enlightenment, in truth it has much to do with those old vulgar categories of wealth and power, albeit veiled by the typical elite behaviour of decorous counter-signalling. A positive attitude to multiculturalism and feminism is an oblique demonstration that you are the sort of high-status white person who employs or mobilises immigrants, not the low-status sort who competes with them for jobs, and that your wife is a ‘career woman’ by choice and not a ‘job lady’ forced into work by the abolition of
family wages sexist pay discrimination.
But while the idea of ‘PC as the new RP‘ is one of those punchy little red pills that blows the mould off the brains of conservatives, the truth is that progressive hierarchical behaviour is far more pernicious. We might say that it is schizophrenic, in the sense that it can neither encompass the non-elite population nor leave it peacefully in a subordinate position. The constant proliferation of rituals and euphemisms that can hardly be kept up with by anyone outside the ‘right’ circles, as well as the increasing intolerance for any deviation from them, tends towards stratification and elitism; but the denial of elitism and the myth of universality demand that these rituals and euphemisms be imposed on the subordinate population as a moral imperative.
The result is that the same politically-correct rituals serve both as a means of status display for the ruling class that is concentrating its wealth and power, and as a weapon for aggressively humiliating the larger white population that suffers from that concentration of wealth and power. Those outside the ruling power structure cannot be simply given their due and left alone. They are viewed as dangerous moral subhumans, and must be converted to full and sincere progressivism, even though the roots of that doctrine in power and wealth differentiation makes this an impossible quest.
All of this is curiously primitive, like a caste system reduced to brahmins and untouchables. And the sheer volatility of it becomes even clearer when we move to the international stage, on which we see the tribe-forming behaviour of the Western ruling elite expressed as transnational progressivism. Again, we see the emptiness of progressive claims to have transcended the bigotries of the past: for example, a disproportionate element of the progressive ruling class is of Jewish extraction, so it predictably expresses a deranged hatred of Russia. And again, we see innovation, but in the direction of a new primitivism: no country can be allowed the independence, grudging respect and sphere of influence that would be possible in a order of nations, for all must submit entirely to the progressive secular religion and the power structure behind it.
By associating their own cause with ‘humanity’, transnational progressives are not moving towards an enlightened future by transcending natural tribalism. To say so would be to focus only on the progressive elites and their non-white political allies of the day, conveniently forgetting the populations that oppose or are opposed by this power coalition, and are thus logically relegated to ‘enemies of humanity’ or even ‘anti-humanity’. What the transnational progressives are really doing is coming perilously close to resurrecting the most primitive form of tribalism: the distinction between humans and non-humans, reflected in tribal names like Suomi, Inuit, Magyar, Goths and Alemanni, which all literally mean ‘men’ or ‘humans’.
The difference, of course, is that a primitive tribe regarding its neighbours as subhumans has no potential to start a nuclear war. Things are quite different when progressive elites, reacting to a political defeat by the white population in the United States, follow their natural tendency to lump ‘deplorables’ together and provoke a nuclear-armed state on the basis of a delusional projection of their own behaviour towards other nations. And this brings us to another dirty little secret of transnational progressivism. In the light of recent developments, it is probable that the Western elite’s rejection of the nation-state was not caused by moral revulsion for its violent and imperialist will-to-power, but by the realisation that the nation-state could no longer serve as a vehicle for the Western elite’s violent and imperialist will-to-power.
As the proliferation of nuclear weapons among the main powers set conventional expansion at odds with national interests, and the population of the Third World coalesced into nation-states that could no longer be colonised as terra nullis, the persistence of the old nation-state order threatened a lasting outbreak of peace. As this state of affairs presented the elite with little opportunity for expanding its power, it is now being duly destabilised by transnational progressivism, which of course blames the resulting international volatility on a resurgence of reactionary fascist nationalism. In the present day, independent nation-states like Russia and China are constantly accused of scheming to conquer the world; but their conservative attempts to preserve limited spheres of influence contrast sharply with the worldwide aggression, economic imperialism and rent-a-mob subversion carried out by the progressive West.
But I am digressing too far. To return to my subject: it is only after all of the above points have been made clear, and the conformity of progressivism to natural dominance hierarchies and tribe formation exposed, that we should step out of the realm of is to do battle with our opponents in the realm of ought. This time, however, we will be equipped to win – not just because we are defending hierarchies and tribes of greater antiquity, and doing so with more honesty, but more importantly because we will have shifted the progressives onto the unfavourable moral ground.
Just as arguing the case for nature red in tooth and claw can only produce defeat or Pyrrhic victory for us, arguing the case for the progressive elite as an elite can only produce defeat or Pyrrhic victory for our opponents. A ideal rhetorical strategy for us would be to proceed from is to ought in the way demonstrated; steer clear of all attempts to bog us down in prolonged skirmishes with protected classes like women, degenerates and minorities (yes, even the Jews); and keep pounding away at the focal point of the progressive elite until its advocates are forced to discredit it by defending it openly. At that point, we will have essentially won the rhetorical side of this metapolitical war.
However, in truth, what is required of us goes far beyond a shift in rhetoric. We need to understand that the Alt-Right is not the cause of brutish ‘natural’ immoralism, but the cause of truth and justice, and actually begin to act like it. It is true that progressivism is an evil cause swathed in nice and inoffensive words; thus, there may well be no contradiction in the fact that the just cause of the Alt-Right presently finds itself wrapped in harsh and vicious words. But we do not have forever to grow up. If we continue to fundamentally misunderstand the nature and destiny of our cause, our movement will fall into the hands of those who should properly be kept far from it, and its every accretion of power will corrupt it into a force that will only make the plight of Europe worse.