The Debate That Was Killed (Because I Was Winning)
by David Sims
CAN “racism” be ethical? Here’s a cut-short debate in which I showed that the correct answer to that question is “yes.”
TomDJ wrote on Disqus: This came up in a couple previous threads not too long ago. I’ve had individuals give talking points regarding ethical racism. However, when I pressed them for actual examples, no one was ever able to give me one. So I’ve spent the last week racking my brain on what possible situations there could be where racism could be considered ethical. So now I am putting it to all of you. Can racism ever be ethical? Can you give an example of an ethical racist? To clarify, this should be distinguished from positive stereotypes. Saying something like ‘all black people are good at basketball’ may be a positive stereotype, but I don’t find this type of generalization to be ethical as you are still judging their ability based on the colour of their skin. Second point of clarification. I am not looking for examples of ethical people who also happen to be racists (or have racist tendencies). I am looking for actual racist activity that would be ethical.
I answered: Ethics is moral philosophy, which pertains to right and wrong conduct. Morality evolved among men as an aid to survival, just as any other adaptation does. Improving the odds of survival for the kind of people who practice a particular moral code is (or should be) what that moral code is primarily about, and other benefits are mostly just spinoffs.
The highest value of any proper moral code is the survival of its practitioners. Why survival? Because nothing matters to the dead. Because neither truth, nor justice, nor freedom, nor prosperity have any value at all to extinct peoples. Because only to something alive may anything else be good.
Why the group and not the individual? Well, what doesn’t exist is worthless, and what can’t exist for long probably isn’t worth as much as what is immortal, at least potentially. Individuals are ephemeral and can by no means exist for long, but their race is potentially immortal.
If you were asked whether you would suffer the greater loss if, on the one hand, you threw away a perfectly edible apple, or on the other hand you chopped down the tree that the apple grew on, then you would have no difficulty answering that you’d be the poorer if you kept the apple and destroyed the tree.
But with a simple shift in subject, wherein the apple becomes an individual person and the tree becomes the race that grew him, many people suddenly have difficulty in assigning values in an appropriate way.
Also, if a group puts anything other than survival in first place of value, then sooner or later that group will encounter circumstances in which their survival is in conflict with whatever that other thing is. When that happens, they will either abandon their improper moral code in favor of a proper one, or else they will all die, and their improper code will vanish along with them.
And, as already stated, what can’t exist for long probably isn’t worth much.
Whether racism is good or bad depends on how it affects the prospects of group survival; and, here, the group is a race. If it promotes survival, then racism is good. If it is a danger (to the group), then racism is bad. So, yes, in principle racism can be ethical.
There you have a reasoned argument, and not merely a parroting of an ideological slogan.
Can you give an example of racism promoting survival?
Sure. The United States is being invaded by Mexicans, who have taken over much of the formerly White US southwest. This conquest wasn’t a military conquest, but it did nevertheless involve a lot of violence and crime by Mexican immigrants. Because Whites weren’t racist enough to fight to keep the territory, they ceded it to the Mexicans. Although politically the area in question remains a part of the USA, what is more important is that the White race no longer has the use of that territory and its resources. They’ve lost it to the Mexicans. If the Whites had been sufficiently racist, they might have kept it.
Your point is a little convoluted here. What part of the US has been ceded to the Mexicans? Texas, Arizona, New Mexico? And how exactly would being racist keep the territory? Finally how would that be an ethical action? Many would consider the murders of Mexican innocents in order to take back “lost ground” to be extremely unethical, myself included.
You didn’t read me carefully. Go back and read what I said earlier. No, wait. I’ll quote it here: “Although politically the area in question remains a part of the USA, what is more important is that the White race no longer has the use of that territory and its resources. They’ve lost it to the Mexicans. If the Whites had been sufficiently racist, they might have kept it.”
As to your latter statement, that fighting to recover lost ground is unethical, I reply that I actually already have answered you, and you did not understand the answer. The highest value in any proper moral code is the survival of the practitioner group. Not some other group. Not just any old group. But the practitioner group.
Properly understood, ethics don’t support any universalist we-are-all-brothers ideology. Morality is about survival first, and other values are subordinate to survival because they depend upon it.
The possession of land is important to survival. It’s what all the fuss in Palestine is really about. And the racism that would motivate Whites to take back the US southwest can indeed be a good thing, promoting the survival of the practitioner group, even if it results in deaths among its members.
I understand now. A lot of your ethical values stem from a nationalist perspective. Though I still don’t think your example is racist as it is simply nationalist. The example you gave wouldn’t cause someone to be racist towards Mexicans in say New York, Michigan, or Washington. And, even if they were, being racist to a New York Mexican immigrant would have achieved nothing. Therefore, it isn’t the race that’s the issue, it’s the foreign group in the specific area, SW United States.
A better example would have been the treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2 as it was directed towards all Japanese individuals throughout the US and not specific territories.
For the record, this “survival first” paradigm is not unlike the Social Darwinist ideologies that Herbert Spencer advocated for, and was an inspiration for the Nazi party. You’ll be hard pressed to convince me that any of this is ethical.
A bit of advice, just because some things are essential for survival, doesn’t make them ethical.
At this point, TomDJ locked the thread, and no further replies were possible. That’s a shame, because I’d have liked to point out that I’d already anticipated his objections and had already answered them.
Take his last few sentences, for example, wherein he says, “just because some things are essential for survival, doesn’t make them ethical.”
On the contrary, it does. My moral paradigm isn’t really from a nationalist perspective, but from the perspective of natural philosophy. It is based on what survives and what does not survive, and the reason ethics evolved among men in the first place, which is to promote survival.
Any system of ethics that does otherwise is perverted, or, as I like to say, “improper.” The existence of improper moral systems is due to the fact that men can be duped by other men, can be tricked into getting their moral priorities out of proper order. Doing this can, in fact, be a means of waging war, provided that those who are being victimized are sufficiently gullible.
I could go on, but I’d be repeating myself. Well… okay, I will.
Although this paradigm is based on natural philosophy, it happens that most nationalists have at least an intuitive understanding of what I’m about to state explicitly. And for many of them, that understanding is why they are nationalists.
Nothing matters to the dead. Only to something alive may anything else be good. If you think for a while, you will probably agree that those two statements are self-evidently true. Since survival is a prerequisite to the value of anything else, however excellent that anything else might be to those who can appreciate it (because they are alive), survival is yet higher in value than whatever that other thing is.
Any group that puts anything else, however excellent it might be, above survival in the priority of values will, sooner or later, encounter circumstances in which their survival is in conflict with whatever that other thing is. When that happens, the group will either abandon their improper moral code and take up a proper one, or they will become extinct, and their improper moral code will vanish along with them.
What does not exist is worthless, and moral codes that elevate values that lead to extinction are flawed, or improper, and should not be practiced. I really don’t see how anyone can fail to comprehend that.
Furthermore, there aren’t any possible “yeah, but…” rejoinders. At least, no reasonable ones. Objections are always heard when someone in the throes of cognitive dissonance can’t help running his mouth, but in this case there aren’t any reasonable objections, as far as I can tell.
The other thing I’d have pointed out is that the National Socialists lost a war — not a debate. It isn’t the least bit far-fetched that the National Socialists might have been right about the prioritization of moral values.
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Source: Disqus and Author