[X-Post: Thermidor] Sociobiology as the Freudianism of the Right

[Published here on Thermidor.]

[This one is going to rustle some jimmies. I intended to write comments on the various applications of HBD I see in political thought much later down the road. However, in the aftermath of the Syrian missile strike ordered by the Trump administration and the ensuing disillusionment, the magazine’s editor was in the mood for some controversy. So I came up with this.]

[I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled royalism next time.]

In the aftermath of the UNESCO statement on race in 1950, the triumph of post-war social democracy and its attempt to instill guilt over crimes of various regimes generally characterized as “fascist,” the subject of race was to be made an indefinite taboo that lasts to the present.

This would come at a very awkward time. Just as race had been declared as nothing but an indefensible social construct, advances in population, behavioral and molecular genetics were being made that would fine tune the definition and precision of race to degrees greatly surpassing the older schools of physical anthropology. As a result, we are caught in the rather paradoxical situation that we are penalized the most when talking about race at just the same time that we know the most about it. Quite begrudgingly and usually unacknowledged to the public, race remains an acceptable research avenue in pretty much only two mainstream areas: forensic and biomedical sciences.

These circumstances, along with the pronounced demographic crises emerging from population migrations, declining fertility, and a general malaise in the relations between the sexes, have made the race question a prominent fixture of right-wing thought, indeed increasingly becoming the very foundation.

On one hand, this is not surprising. Indifferentism defeated Christendom, nationalism defeated legitimism, Lockean liberalism wiped out the idea of the virtuous prince and made his existence inherently tyrannical, Jacobinism rooted out the chartered liberties and fueros of the old regime, and mercantilist welfarism has crowded out the informal institutions of self-help. Alienated and atomized men without spirituality who have to live in a dysfunctional state around other ethnicities—this is a natural target demographic for these ideas to leave an impact.

On the other hand, it is nevertheless quite astonishing how thoroughly the race question (a specific take on it, too) has been made the ultimate theory of society and of history of the modern far-right, subordinating all other concerns as being a mere “superstructure” to the “base” of genetics. Today’s alt-right essentially consists of a synthesis of revolutionary ethnonationalism with sociobiological materialism. True, these were the animating ideas of an older white nationalism, also. But today’s right is seeing a determinist racialism incrementally growing into a consensus position. Around this racialism, a sort of clownish archetype of what “European civilization” is supposed to be has formed around it, an archetype I have difficulty describing except as a Greco-Roman-Nietzschean composite.

Continue reading