Niche Construction as a Means to a Eugenic Community

Floating around in the back of my mind has been that nagging question: How will eugenics come about; what do we need to do to make it happen? This is not a question that I think must be answered, because in the end, eugenics will come about on its own. However, it is asked by many who want to see something happening sooner rather than later. As the technology advances and the importance of genes becomes apparent to more people, the desire will drive the application. Whether it will be primarily applied at the family level, the tribal level, or the national level is unpredictable. Nevertheless, most assuredly once it is implemented by enough people, the threat of those practicing eugenics will become problematic to others. They will try either to emulate or to stop eugenics. Like nuclear proliferation, where there is a desire to obtain new technology, human genetic engineering will be impossible to stop. Unlike nuclear proliferation, eugenics can be undertaken without the complexities of hiding radioactive material, building large facilities for enrichment, and then hiding a quite useless weapons system because to use it means almost sure retaliation. Eugenics can be undertaken in secrecy or belligerently by simply ignoring any future global sanctions or prohibitions.

Most of us who embrace eugenics would like to have our own nation-state based on eugenics. Unfortunately, we can speculate how to bring that about but there is no action I can see other than a slow change in people's attitudes. Like libertarianism, it takes a great deal of intelligence to understand and appreciate the underlying principles of a nation based on inegalitarianism towards outsiders.

Even ethnocentrism is a problem for eugenicists who argue that kin or race should be the boundaries for inclusion in the breeding population. An indicator for how ethnocentric a race is may lie in the degree to which they allow or discourage intermarriage. However, how much this is based on culture is hard to factor out of the equation. I am also unaware of any valid tests for ethnocentrism. Nevertheless, by all observable measures (MacDonald, 2002a), Whites suffer from low ethnocentrism and high moral universalism, which has become highly dysgenic for us in a multicultural world. Our wealth and our culture are being systematically undermined by more ethnocentric races that have particularly targeted the West (that is Whites) for scapegoating their own failures, and demanding compensation, both nationally and globally.

Even eugenics itself, while being attacked as pseudoscience by the Left, is simultaneously being included now in egalitarian proposals to make sure that eugenics is equally shared among all races and classes. That is, at the same time it is condemned, the left is taking no chances that when people finally do embrace it, it must be shared equally with all. It seems apparent to me that the very flurry of books and articles declaring that race is a social construct and that eugenics must never again be contemplated, is due to the fact that unraveling our genetic code and the new tools being developed for human genetic engineering has the Left in a state of panic. They are now so desperate that the only way to keep the lid on the genetic genie is to try to suppress freedom of speech, as has been done in most Western nations under hate speech laws. Mention racial differences and go to jail. The United States alone has the constitutional right to freedom of speech, but even here there are attempts to take away this basic right because with the Internet, discussions about eugenics and racial differences cannot be easily contained.

After reading Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution by F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin N. Laland, and Marcus W. Feldman, 2003, and rereading The Fratricidal Global Village: The Theory of Hypertrophic Group Formation, By Elliott White, 2001, I felt it was time to put together some thoughts on how a eugenic community could be formed, maintained, and prosper. But first, some basic assumptions: it is not a utopian project based on a goal of human perfection, but rather it is a process based on the member's desire to undertake it. That is, like any adventure, it does not promise anything but involvement and discovery. In addition, while the goal is not based on any moral or ethical precepts, its formulation is securely grounded in empirical data about human behavior. That is, my vision of a eugenic community is to make it rewarding to be a part of it. To do that, we must know how humans behave and try to anticipate the common problems that groups encounter repeatedly. Lastly, I do not intend to discuss the genetic boundaries of the group. That is, though I have my racial preferences on a sliding scale, it would be up to the group to decide who will be included or excluded. In the end, the winner will be based on just how well informed each group is with regards to eugenic principles and human behavior.

The number of ways eugenics may be practiced is too indeterminate to argue for one way or another. The one thing I am sure of is that it will eventually lead to a eugenics' arms race. If you want to know how serious this is, just try discussing eugenics on Internet forums. People simultaneously will argue that it can't be done, shouldn't be done, etc. displaying moral panic. This could only happen if they really do believe that it is possible and that it is coming rapidly. Silly ideas are ignored—dangerous ones are condemned. In fact, with gender selection, in vitro fertilization, assortative mating, testing for genetic diseases; we are well on our way to personal eugenics driven by the desire for children who have the very best genes money can buy.

I am not at all convinced that humans have an innate commitment to their own kind, but rather a need to form coalitions for advantage and defense. Before civilization of course, kin was the fundamental building block for tribal defense and social control, but we have been adapted primarily to be easily led and indoctrinated. White calls the penchant for forming large groups hypertrophy:

"Successful macro self-selection yields hypertrophic group formation. This process involves the following factors: (a) at least minimal opportunity; (b) self-selection, selective migration, upward mobility ; (c) clusters of like-minded group or network members; (d) a critical mass, especially likely to occur if the selective process occurs in a large population; (e) hypertrophy."

He explains that we see hypertrophy in the media, where self-selection is so prevalent that the public sees a very biased presentation of the news, leading more people to turn to other sources like the Internet. Self-selection has also been noted in government, where like-minded people surround a president to the point where no dissenting voices are heard, and truth becomes grounded in absolutes. Hypertrophy is seen in the formation of international terrorist organizations to the formation of fanaticism among sports fans. Wherever humans are allowed to self-select, they will form groups.

Today, under government political programs in most Western nations advancing multiculturalism and diversity, any self-selection based on race is condemned if it includes Whites, but is encouraged if it involves minorities. Whites are expected to capitulate to minority demands, or be vilified as racists. Interestingly, this could only happen because many Whites have been indoctrinated through guilt or possibly self-promotion, to self-select for inclusion in the academic left's reformulation of Marxism from class struggle to minority group identity politics. Marxism's march through the institutions never lost a step after the collapse of Communism.

White explains: "Thus it should be clear that locals and cosmopolitans may draw different in/out group distinctions. For the local, anyone outside his more immediate area and not belonging to his religion and ethnic or racial group is likely to be part of the out-group. That will include any cosmopolitan who seems to threaten the traditional values and identifications of his community. For the cosmopolitan, on the other hand, it is the local who often constitutes the out-group."

I am not sure of the terms, but cosmopolitan versus rural (local) attitudes is a theme that keeps reoccurring, and the rural is losing. Religious fundamentalists, conservatives, liberals, and multiculturalists are all relatively non-empirical when it comes to understanding human nature. They all tend to either reject evolution or they reject that it has any significance for humans. But it does seem that the rural faction is in retreat while the Left is winning the war against Western culture.

For this reason, any eugenics movement must accept the fact that our politicians, athletic and media stars, the elite in academics and business, will for the most part self-select away from their own kind for the comfort of their own hypertrophic group based on occupation or class interest, rather than race. I personally assume that any politician will betray not only their own race but also their own country to serve the interests of the elite, as we see with regards to immigration. Open immigration hurts not only the poor, but also even the Hispanic citizen community when more illegal Hispanics keep flooding into our country. So to keep the cheap labor coming, the elite has merely redefined what America stands for: "We are a nation of immigrants" and the discussion ends. The people have been properly indoctrinated.

As White explains it, cooperation in nature is abundant. Inclusive fitness or for humans—group evolutionary strategies—for promoting selfish genes is not the dominant factor in racial group formation. We had better not rely on anyone's innateness to stand by their own kind, it is too weak of a force. Cohesiveness needs to be established by creating a niche where members of the eugenic group can thrive, even while living amongst "the other."

It is important to understand the enemy, and I am going to try to summarize the motivation behind the radical Left. Many religious fundamentalists and conservatives will also oppose any notion of eugenics, but I believe they are motivated more from fear and ignorance. For this reason, they are less of an immediate threat to genetic engineering than the well disciplined Left.

Reading numerous books on the battle between the Left and the Right, it has occurred to me that both groups are driven more by a need for power than any real ideological agenda or concern for other groups. In Niche Construction they write: "For instance, much human (and animal) social learning is characterized by a positive frequency dependence or conformity, in which individuals bias their adoption of cultural information toward that expressed by the majority. In fact, a theoretical analysis by Boyd and Richerson (1985) found that most of the conditions under which natural selection favors social learning also favor the evolution of conformity. This 'when in Rome do as the Romans' principle can result in conventions that only loosely track environmental change and, at least in the short term, may generate maladaptive traditions. In addition, members of a group may be particularly prone to adopting cultural variants exhibited by particularly authoritative or charismatic individuals, a process Boyd and Richerson (1985) describe as 'indirect bias.' Theoretical models have demonstrated that cultural processes can lead to the transmission of information that results in a fitness cost relative to alternatives, and strong cultural evolutionary processes will frequently be independent of genetic control. While socially learned smart behavioral variants will subsequently be tested by the individuals that adopt them, even nonreinforcing or maladaptive behavior may be expressed again if it is socially sanctioned, or if individuals are locked into conventions that penalize nonconformists. As a result, some cultural information may be propagated even when it is detrimental to individual fitness."

Docile humans follow their leaders, however that is defined, and conform to norms that may not be to the best interest of the individual or to a particular group. Few people show the independence and/or the character to challenge beliefs that have been set up by the prevailing ethos at any one time. I came across this short response by Jay Feierman to a Yahoo discussion group: "The high status persons of each society create the list of the human rights [and values systems] that in the long term serve their own best interest. Governments, which are controlled by high status individuals, codify and then enforce the exercise of approved human rights and suppress the expression of the unapproved human rights [and values systems]." (See the complete article in appendix.)

So who are these reoccurring radicals that crop up continuously, trying to overthrow the established order? Well, they are you, me, and all the other activists out there who do not like the status quo. And for a very simple reason as White explains: "Cosmopolitans, moreover, need not be tolerant in their teachings. Marx and Engels divided the world up between the exploiting and the exploited, and Lenin and Mao took this in/out group dichotomy quite seriously. Only the elimination of one social class by the other would bring the desired classless society. It would appear that when able people feel the denial of opportunity, they become susceptible to ideological formulations that involve hostility directed against the social order implicated in such denial."

Quite simply, radicals take up causes because they feel left out, they need intellectual challenge and are motivated to act. Moreover, there is no race that is more motivated and intellectually capable than Jews, and I think that is the reason they are quite often, but not always, behind radical movements (MacDonald 2002b). It has little to do with the movement itself, but rather a means of gaining power and prestige in societies where they feel they have not achieved the status they deserve, as individuals. As a race, they are far wealthier and powerful than any other group, but some of the tribe's members want more than just the knowledge that the tribe—as a group—is doing well. Power for many is an insatiable desire. Note that this is not a condemnation of Jewish behavior, but recognition as to why they seem to be such an integral part of radical movements.

Whites on the other hand seem far more inclined to go along, get along, and are not usually as motivated to excel. We then become the victims of our own conformist weakness per Niche Construction: "Conformist transmission may potentially be exploited by powerful individuals, groups, or institutions, which dominate the dissemination of information through societies to promote their own interests. In preagricultural egalitarian societies this was probably not very important since in such societies inequalities of power and wealth are typically both temporary and minimal. However, in post-agricultural societies that display rankings, and in complex civilized states that display class stratifications, significant economic inequalities occur, and power networks develop. In these societies powerful and coercive cultural parents may stand to gain considerably from persuading other less powerful humans to conform, perhaps by recruiting extra assistance in modifying environments in ways that benefit them rather than the helpers. These processes can be amplified by tool use, for instance, by the technology of modern media, by weapons, by art, or by deceit. Religious, commercial, and political propaganda, for example, may all be used to persuade, trick, or coerce conformity from individuals against their personal interests in favor of the interests of a dominant class of cultural transmitters."

The history over the last fifty years or more then has seen a reshaping of American value systems from a less socialistic, free market meritocracy, into one that is inherently anti-Western. When the intellectual elites universally promote without dissent, acceptance of multiculturalism, diversity, redistribution of wealth, racial quotas, and open immigration, then our culture has been high jacked by a core of ideological radicals that have used our own cooperative nature to accept their moral demands.

"The niche-construction statement on conflict in section 7.3.1 should also extend to the human cultural level, with the qualification that at this level other processes may be operating as well. Group selectionists commonly focus on the positive repercussions of group selection (that is, within-group altruism) and neglect the negative repercussions (that is, between-group selfishness, hostility, and conflict). Group selection does not directly favor altruistic individuals so much as selfish groups. The group-level traits most effective in promoting group replication may also engender outgroup hostility, intergroup aggression and conflict, fear of strangers, slanderous propaganda concerning outsiders, and so on. The same processes that underlie the best of human motives may also favor the worst attributes of human societies."

The above tactics have been evident in the science wars, where anyone who engages in research with regards to group differences in intelligence or raises concerns about dysgenic social policies, is labeled as a fascist, a racist, a Nazi, but probably all three and then some. With these tactics, the radicals have been able to transform our culture by recruiting others to follow them, in what appears to be a concern for human betterment everywhere. However, the singular hatred and vilification of only White Western society belies their true objectives. It is not the world they want to make right, but to replace the dominant, technological culture of the West with their own. It is warfare with the parasites from within.

Christopher Boehm (Bloom & Dees, 2003) discusses another problem with regards to racial conflict in modern societies. The cultural elites, no matter what race or religion they belong to, take it upon themselves to settle disputes between rival groups. As the dominant power brokers, they have an interest in keeping disputes under control, and they are willing to do so even if it means giving preferences to other races or groups while disenfranchising their own. We see this with George Bush's pandering to Mexican illegals and Bill Clinton's pandering to Blacks. It is reproductively self-serving for the power elite to sacrifice their own kin in order to maintain order. In so doing, it means that when one race is more successful than another, peace between the groups must be won by giving preferences and transferring resources from one group to another. Again, it must always be assumed that except for a few rare exceptions, the power elite will go against their own race in favor of preserving their favored position of hierarchical dominance over all others. As Boehm points out, chimpanzees show this same pattern of alpha males settling disputes for the benefit of group. Beyond the level of the tribe however, this behavior is inimical to the interests of eugenicists. Political power brokering will mean an escalation of socialism and coercion against more successful groups.

The reason for this short discussion of opposition from the Left (and from our own elite), is because if we are truly committed to implementing eugenics based on an unbiased understanding of human nature, then we cannot delude ourselves in thinking that we will convince others based on empirical arguments, and we must break off on our own, silently, and get on with our mission. Eventually, human genetic engineering will be ubiquitous, with the outcomes so beneficial, that opposition will cease on its own. As long as we can attract clusters of like-minded individuals, with "the capacity to transcend one's immediate space and time conceptually" for an improved human genome, our mission remains viable even in the face of extreme opposition from fundamentalists, self-serving revolutionaries, and the elite.

"I will argue…that hominid minds are not adapted to a Pleistocene average. Rather, they are adapted to the variability of hominid environments: to the spread of variation, rather than to its peak. Our evolutionary response to variation is phenotypic plasticity. Humans develop different phenotypes in different environments" (Sterelny, 2003).

There is an increased recognition that humans create niches, and that niche construction can change human culture and/or human genetic frequencies. In Niche Construction they state, "In such cases, and to the extent that cultural processes cease to buffer culturally induced environmental changes, the latter are likely to give rise to culturally modified natural selection pressures. There may then be changes in allelic frequencies in human populations. For example, suppose there is no technology available to deal with a new challenge created in an environment by cultural niche construction, or suppose that the available technology is not exploited, possibly because it is too costly or because people are unaware of the impact that their own cultural activities are having on their environments. If such a situation persists for a long enough time, then genotypes that are better suited to the culturally modified environment could increase in frequency."

While the above is true, it seems too simplistic in that as niche constructors, humans are constantly altering both their environments and their gene frequencies. The theory of evolution dictates that where the environment changes rapidly, there will be changes in gene frequencies. There is no condition that I am aware of where rapid and pronounced ecological changes have zero influence on the selection for genes. What is so fascinating then is not this simple truism, but the almost universal denial that humans are undergoing evolutionary change. It is recognized and discussed by evolutionary theorists, while denied or ignored by most of society: politicians, religionists, secular leftists, conservatives, liberals, Marxists, cultural constructivists, and even a lot of libertarians. Only within a small slice of educated humanity, is the reality of evolutionary change understood to be a present and ongoing process. On empirical evidence, it can't be any other way, and we are capable of detecting these changes from past evidence.

Obvious to a few, it is only now getting more attention from neo-Darwinists. In Niche Construction they observe that "[there] is a third major consequence of niche construction. Where niche construction affects multiple generations, it introduces a second general inheritance system in evolution, one that works via environments. This second inheritance system has not yet been widely incorporated by evolutionary theory. We call this second general inheritance system ecological inheritance."  MacDonald (2002b) discusses the consequences of creating niche construction, primarily around racial and/or religious groups. The contrast for example between the niche construction of the Gypsies, where average intelligence declined, versus Ashkenazi Jews, where average intelligence increased, over hundreds of years, is a vivid example of how niche construction can mold the genes of those who stay within the tribe.

The common theme today however is to ignore evolution, and preach a new ethos: the peoples of the world will meld together and all differences will disappear. That is, we will breed, slowly over time, to become one brown skinned race, where any differences, if they did exist, will exist no more. White however sees another humanity: "We live increasingly within a global village, but it is one that remains—and threatens to remain—stubbornly fragmented. It is split, of course, along ethnic, racial, and linguistic lines as well as by socioeconomic inequalities. But even within the same ethnic group or socioeconomic stratum, fissures appear, at times deep, that are not readily papered over."

As some people will intermarry and become perhaps nondescript racially, this will not lead to a single racial genome. Hypertrophy as described by White, and increasingly others, describes humans as incapable of cooperation on a global scale. Those who hope for world peace based on global cooperation fail to understand human nature. This group evolutionary perspective has shifted over the last few decades, and it is safe to say confusion is still the norm.

The story goes like this: evolution can only occur at the level of the organism because at the group level, the free rider problem arises. Free riders are those that dodge the draft, don't pay their fair share of the restaurant bill, etc. They are not altruistic cooperators, so they will be selected for and will overtake others that are more altruistic. The discussion of altruism, group selection, kin selection, reciprocal altruism has filled volumes over the last few decades. But one thing was missed with regards to humans: we have language, can form coalitions, and can take action against free riders. Thousands of years ago, the free rider was killed, harassed, or banished. Tribes were often engaged in warfare with neighboring tribes, and they could not afford to tolerate dissent. We see this today in stiff penalties for army deserters; the most dangerous situation for a state is to not have the young men willing to die for its defense.

White describes intratribal conflict: "A second environmental basis for conflict among intimates arises when renegades emerge within otherwise homogeneous settings. Simmel remarks that the hatred directed against the dissenter originates 'not from personal motives, but because the member represents a danger to the preservation of the group.... Since this hatred is mutual and each accuses the other of responsibility for the threat to the whole, the antagonism sharpens—precisely because both parties to it belong to the same social unit.' Lewis Coser comments that 'the group must fight the renegade with all its might since he threatens symbolically, if not in fact, its existence as an ongoing concern.' As an example, Coser sees apostasy as striking 'at the very life of a church.'"

Over the last ten years then, group evolutionary strategies are better understood, and it is realized that humans are uniquely positioned to solve the free rider problem. In fact, if global peace ever were obtained through international agreements along with totalitarian controls on human freedom, the free rider problem would begin to return under universal socialism. To my knowledge, this aspect of world cooperation has never been addressed, or dare I say even pondered, by most evolutionists, who remain mostly egalitarian.
As long as groups can form then for cooperative benefit against other groups, hypertrophy will take place, coalitions will develop, and breeding will continue along lines of blood or common interest—or both. The rich and powerful will continue to encourage their children to marry other offspring of other rich and powerful people; the underclass will breed with little regard for anything but immediate needs and desires, and others will fragment into groups between the top and the bottom feeders. Humans, given the failure to maintain racial boundaries via geographical boundaries, will divide along other salient group selection criteria—and new niches will be created and reinforced as others melt and merge. But group selection, in my opinion, with the help of eugenics will be accelerated.

White notes: "As sociobiological theory would have it, quantitative genetic similarity should underlie ethnic group membership. On the other hand, qualitative genetic similarity should underlie Dobzhansky's 'aptitude aggregation.' In other words, insofar as an open class society becomes attained, class positions should be occupied by people sharing similar genetically influenced aptitudes—even though their ethnic and racial backgrounds may diverge greatly."

However, this depends on the aptitude one is looking at. Perhaps it is true that sports fans may coalesce say around a athletic team because of locality, where race and or religious affiliation is muted for the sake of the school or city where the team is situated. Music likewise is often quite open racially, because music ability is not as concentrated in certain races, though it does seem to be more prevalent among Whites, Blacks and Jews.  On the other hand, when it comes to say high intelligence, 'aptitude aggregation' may very well be concentrated among the intelligent races—i.e. East Asians, Whites and Jews. Likewise, Jews dominate fields that require verbal skills, and we may see more and more East Asians dominate fields that require visuospatial skills. From all available data then, aptitudes in fact do follow racial lines, making quantitative and qualitative aggregation not that different.

In a cosmopolitan world, where different races come together and interact, and once the dogma of naïve environmentalism begins to fade and race realism returns, people will build new cooperative communities. Since genes underlie aptitude, race will remain the primary determinate of which races will dominate which economic niche. In addition, since people still prefer to be with their cognitive equals, social niches will most likely follow economic niches.

Niche Construction explains: "Moreover, this dual role for phenotypes in evolution does imply that a complete understanding of the relationship between human genes and cultural processes must not only acknowledge genetic inheritance and cultural inheritance, but also take account of the legacy of modified selection pressures in environments, or ecological inheritance. Again, it is readily apparent that contemporary humans are born into a massively constructed world, with an ecological inheritance that includes a legacy of houses, cities, cars, farms, nations, e-commerce, and global warming. Niche construction and ecological inheritance are thus likely to have been particularly consequential in human evolution….

"Less familiar, but equally deserving of attention, are empirical data and theoretical arguments suggesting that human cultural activities have influenced human genetic evolution by modifying sources of natural selection and altering genotype frequencies in some human populations. Cultural information, expressed in the use of tools, weapons, fire, cooking, symbols, language, agriculture, and trade, may also have played an important role in driving hominid evolution in general, and the evolution of the human brain in particular. There is evidence that some cultural practices in contemporary human societies continue to affect ongoing human genetic evolutionary processes."

We can expect evolutionary change to accelerate as we increasingly change our environments through technology, environmental pollution, warfare, changes in religious attitudes, and especially human genetic engineering. White explains: "…[G]enetic diversity is of central significance in understanding the human condition. As I have pointed out elsewhere, it underlies both human evolution and history, for neither could take place without it. It is also responsible, directly or indirectly, for much of the cooperation, as well as the conflict, found within and between human societies. A society comprised of only one kind of person, no matter how gifted, could not function. A population composed of a million clones of a Mozart or an Einstein could not establish an effective division of labor. But genetic diversity also ensures conflict. First, it fosters individual competition. Sociobiologists argue that, insofar as each person has a unique set of genes, he or she has a uniquely individual set of interests linked to the perpetuation of those genes. And the defense of those interests—that is, the desire for a suitable mate, home, and job—is bound to compete if not conflict with the interests of others. Humans are not alone here."

It may be true that a civilization of clones would not be a happy place where a division of labor is required, but I would add that this does not mean, as some people argue, that a society of highly intelligent people, with different interests, could not adapt to specialization. When people are intelligent, they will find ways of automating the most tedious of tasks. In addition, even intelligent people often times prefer physicality to desk-bound mental pondering. Many highly intelligent people would, if they could for the same status and pay, prefer more physical work because one feels better, healthier and more alive—depending on one's personality. The important thing is that people differ in what they like to do, even if they do not necessarily differ in ability or potential. Even the brightest are asked to go to war and die for their country, a fate far more devastating than driving a garbage truck.

What will be critical is that a new race of humans be so cohesive and singularly directed, that even if humans alter their environments in such a way as to make our very existence unsustainable under current conditions, that the eugenic few can survive while the rest of humanity will succumb to a deteriorated environment. Most humans are brought up in and inculcated by dogmas that make it difficult for them to change and adapt. In Niche Construction they note that, "In particular, components of the social environment, for example, traits related to family, kinship, and social stratification, may have been increasingly transmitted from one generation to the next by cultural inheritance to the extent that contemporary human populations may have become largely divorced from local ecological pressures. Support for this argument comes from Guglielmino et al.'s (1995) study of variation in cultural traits among 277 contemporary African societies, in which most of the traits they examined correlated with cultural (linguistic) history, rather than with ecological variables. If this study is representative, then socially transmitted cultural traditions are a lot more important than most evolution-minded researchers studying human behavior would admit."

If culture can be so ingrained as to make people inflexible to their changing environments, any eugenics' program must ensure that as a group, we are not caught in the same cultural trap. We have to both indoctrinate our children and/or members to act cohesively for the good of the group, while maintaining cultural and intellectual flexibility to react to changes in society as they come along that will increase the group's resources.

Recently, the Libertarian Party, after careful deliberation, selected New Hampshire as a state worth migrating to to establish a libertarian niche. How many libertarians will actually move there, and how it will increase the state's already libertarian leanings, only time will tell. However, it does show the increasing willingness of groups to advocate separation over accommodation, and eugenicists need to consider similar plans.

Constructing our own niches of like-minded people allows eugenicists to live within alien and degenerate cultures, by isolating ourselves from the most corrosive forces like crime, race mixing, and being forced to pretend to be tolerant, while taking collective advantage of the rich resources available. That is, as long as the group does better financially and emotionally by living in urban areas, while resisting the debilitating aspects of the local ecology, we are better off forming small communities for advancing eugenics than hoping for a grander scheme of separation that may never come about.

The most important principle in forming a eugenic community is compatibility. That is, by selecting participants that can work together, play together, and be with one another rather than interacting outside of the group, the group can protect itself from outsiders, while still tolerating as necessary diversity in the workforce and during commutes. Even during travel, attempts can be made to travel together for safety and separation from the many unwholesome types that infest urban areas. In no way am I a prude or do I shun the enjoyment of observing the many human types one comes across in large cities. I enjoy the challenge; I am probably a natural cosmopolitan. Always however, my main concern is with the value and safety of my property, along with the wellbeing of my family. These areas of concern should be easy to address as a collective, targeting specific areas for development, control and protection and therefore increasing the value of owned property.

Establishing eugenic communities that can establish new value systems, especially for children, and reinforcing each other's desired goals and objectives, it becomes a lot easier to fight the impulse to conform to the status quo. As stated in Niche Construction: "Gene-culture coevolution is relevant here because it captures two central features of our evolutionary perspective. First, through their expression of socially learned information, humans are explicitly recognized as niche constructors, capable of modifying their own selection pressures. Second, the information underlying this niche construction is inherited from one generation to the next by an extragenetic inheritance system. Although cultural inheritance clearly differs in several important respects from ecological inheritance, the most notable being the informational content of the former, it may nevertheless generate modified natural selection pressures."

Once the community starts to grow, it can naturally fission along differing lines of self-selection. Just like in tribal clans, once a certain size is reached, social control becomes more difficult. It is better to split apart, maintain social control, but keep contacts between groups to compare the success of differing adopted policies. It should be a competitive relationship between the differing groups, but one based on mutual interests in learning what works and what doesn't—firmly grounded in empirical data on human behavior.

Of course, as this process continues, there will always be those leaving the group and those joining. This is a natural process of selection for certain types of people, and should proceed along lines of common interests and common genes. There is a myth that hybrid vigor comes about from interracial marriage. In actuality, there is enough variability in human genes that inbreeding can be very beneficial for consolidating those genes sought after—for intelligence and ethnocentrism for example—bringing in new genes with occasional outbreeding. The important thing is that "Cultural processes may bias human mating patterns, they may bias other human interactions, such as trade or warfare, or they may bias the choice of which infants are selected for infanticide." Tough minded eugenic communities can sublimate dysgenic attitudes into purposefully directed ones that benefit the group. With a value system driven by a culture that is focused on breeding the best, human weakness can be overcome.

Children in a eugenic community must of course be the focus of any egalitarianism. That is, some people may not want to have their own children, but would like to promote the propagation of genes like those that they carry. Others may prefer the nurturing of children to the fast paced corporate life style. The community then should provide for the children, but should also not be obsessed with the children either.

There is no eugenic benefit to coddling children (Krebs in Crawford & Salmon, 2004). We are learning that the human brain develops slowly after birth because it progresses along a fixed plan of learning, change and eventually pruning back unused neuronal connections. Naïve environmentalists assume that children's learning can be accelerated, and junior will be more accomplished by force-feeding them every learning experience and every opportunity. But research has shown that an aggressive approach to teaching children too much does not make them smarter, but may just make them anxious.

I propose that children be taught, not too aggressively, the value system of the eugenic community. That is, inegalitarianism for society in general, with a preference for their own kind. That is, prepare them defensively for immersion into a multicultural society, one that they will be able to negotiate within without drawing hostility from others.

When it comes to pushing them into programs, sports, learning regimens, etc. however this should be resisted. Children should be socialized to interact with the group, and to be encouraged to find what they like best within the confines of the community. That is, with a highly intelligent community of children (and adults), there will be plenty of stimulation for their maturation and intellectual growth. As children get older, they will seek out their own areas of interest and pursue them efficiently, hopefully leading to a rewarding choice of interests that will carry them into successful careers.

A good example of trying to make children too well rounded, as if they can master every area of culture and learning, is music. I love music, and as a kid I took up many instruments, joined the band, etc. However, I was not disciplined enough or dedicated enough to master any instrument well, and eventually left it all behind me—without any regrets. I love music, but am more than happy to let others create it and perform it, while I just listen.

My younger brother on the other hand taught himself how to be a rock-n-roll drummer when it suited him in his teens, and he mastered it magnificently. He started his own band, and was well on his way to a typical music career with lots of fun but eventual failure and a return to a more mundane existence decades later.

My main point here is that music today is one vocation that can be very rewarding for a very small fraction of people, it can be enjoyed by many more for personal reasons, but for the vast majority it is usually just abandoned as the time constraints of pursuing different interests takes over. The point is, look for the few children who may really excel playing a musical instrument or singing, but don't assume they have to pursue one or the other or they will be somehow deprived of a needed talent or experience. There are simply too many areas of interest to explore for children to be exposed to all of them without taking away those areas of interest that they are genetically inclined to pursue. We live in an age of specialization, and we should allow everyone the chance to naturally make the best fit between their abilities, their interests, and what currently is of value.

The other reason for not pampering children is simply that it can detract from enjoying life as an adult. For those who want to be around children, let them pursue that end. For those who prefer the company of adults, let the children be off by themselves as much as they like. That is, when children intrude on adults or vice versa, neither is benefited.

In the end, some of the children will migrate out of the community, which is good because that is part of the selection process. The more committed will stay, and with each generation hypertrophy will accelerate the process of selection, niche construction, finer selection, the fissuring of large communities into smaller and more cohesive ones, etc. 

As White states, "Let us return to the aptitude aggregations. The successful formation of these in elite areas of talent and knowledge will, we recall, be characterized by hypertrophic tendencies that will enhance their level of performance. These tendencies will encompass the cooperative as well as the competitive. Like-minded individuals who share similar talent but not temperaments may be driven to outdo the others; those who share both the same talent and temperament may be more apt to cooperate in an effort to surpass others. Either way, higher levels of achievement are likely to be attained. And that is precisely the point, especially when the most successful in any endeavor are contrasted with the least successful. That is to say, the distance between the two groupings in Dobzhansky's world becomes greater than ever."

Obviously, the eugenic community I am describing could become a highly competitive one, where internal friction could lead to conflict. The type of people attracted to such an adventure may be more independent, aggressive, and demanding of perfection than average. On the other hand, the community will be focused on understanding human behavior, and hopefully with a better understanding of what makes humans tick, the internal divisions can be kept in check and used to the advantage of the community.

For example, research shows that the more complex a social system is, the more susceptible it is to exploitation by cheaters (Krebs in Crawford & Salmon, 2004). This is one reason that socialism is so terribly flawed. Efforts to help the needy are instead used by cheaters for personal gain, and the system slowly becomes more and more inefficient as more and more people take advantage of a free ride rather than producing their fair share. In addition, "Making people continually aware of their own and others' selfish motives by emphasizing these in an excessive system of rules intended to catch cheaters, may actually reduce levels of self-deception and thus cooperation. Cooperating in a sea of defectors is a maladaptive, costly strategy" (Surbey in Crawford & Salmon, 2004).  It is important then to teach out-group selfishness but to minimize in-group criticism of selfish behavior, in order to reduce tensions and over zealous accounting of member's behaviors. A eugenic society could become too cynical, if fault-finding was overemphasized, and should be kept in balance. That is, we must not try to be perfect cooperators but just make sure that everyone is better off by being in the group than on their own. Very few rules then should be created—just enough to keep the system together to meet eugenic goals.

Also in Surbey and Crawford—Timothy Ketelaar discusses in detail the relationship between cooperators (who want to maximize group outcomes), individualists (who want to maximize their own outcomes), and competitors (who will reduce their own maximum outcome in order to gain an advantage over others). From a vast amount of research, it seems that there is a natural ratio of cooperators to individualists to competitors of 4:2:1. Ketelaar is not clear what social groups follow this evolutionary stable strategy, but I assume it is a typically Western one. Nonetheless, It does show that when a nation operates on egalitarian principles that assume that everyone is the same, the system will break down in several ways. First, the competitors are extremely destructive. Second, after a point even the individualists will reduce their own level of cooperation. Third, as things get even worse, there will remain a large number of too-nice do-gooders within the 57% of cooperators who will lobby for even more resource reallocation from the haves to the have-nots. (With a ratio of 4:2:1, 4/7=57% cooperators.)

Therefore, a eugenic community would want to maintain a very low level of competitors, but also it would not want nice cooperators—that is people who would be tolerant or forgiving towards competitors—and also free-riders and/or destructive psychopaths. (Note that some psychopathy is linked with creativity and technological advancement. See Eysenck, 1999 and Lynn, 2001.)

So what types of people would we ideally want in a eugenic's community? The above is just a rough stab at some of the criteria, but fundamentally, I would state categorically that we cannot tell for sure, but as niche builders, it will be our intention to find out. The communities should do one thing that is lacking in Western countries when it comes to policy decisions—keep records. That is, any community's progress, problems, failures or successes should be statistically tracked and verifiable to so changes can be made in the future. It needs to be fully flexible, ever changing, evolving system in order to win the genetics arms race. There is no room for anecdotal stories, that predominate in modern culture's narrative style of social enquiry. 

Matt Nuenke
April 2004

See website for bibliography.

The following was posted to the Yahoo site [evol-psyh] by Jay R. Feierman, March 4, 2004:

Evolution and Human Rights Legislation
Douglas Galbi says, "Human rights speak of rights flowing from the nature of every living being" and then asks,  (1) "In what way are humans different from other living beings? and (2) In what ways are all human beings equal?"

In terms of (1) we are different from other living species in that we are a brain-specialized species with a highly evolved neocortex, which has the ontogenetic capacity to creatively find novel solutions to thwarted goals and to ontogenetically create more time- and material-efficient ways of solving novel problems, which we then culturally pass within and across generations to our kin (and others) by imitation learning. In terms of (2) we all have similarities (equalities) as well as differences (inequalities) depending on which we are looking to delineate.

Far from being a part of our nature, "human rights" are culturally concocted and transmitted, arbitrary creations of our highly evolved neo-cortices. They are not species-typical traits. What are human rights in one society are not so in another. The high status persons of each society create the list of the human rights that in the long term serve their own best interest. Governments, which are controlled by high status individuals, codify and then enforce the exercise of approved human rights and suppress the expression of the unapproved human rights. In one society freedom of speech and religion and the right to bear arms (own guns) are considered basic human rights, whereas in other societies there are no freedoms of speech or religion or the right to bear arms but wealth is redistributed so that everyone is given food, healthcare and a place to live as their basic human rights. Obviously, there is no other specie that has a list of basic rights for each member of the species. In some human societies equal opportunity is considered a basic human right, which is the so-called "level playing field" concept. In other societies, equal outcome is considered a basic human right and resources are redistributed by the government and some humans are given preferential treatment to make the outcomes more equal.

The concept of human rights always requires a government to establish and enforce them, since they are arbitrary. So I would take issue with Douglas's Galbi's basic premise that "human rights . . . flow from the nature of every living being." Instead, it appears that what are called human rights are culturally arbitrary access, denial and redistribution rules that in the long run have to serve interest of the rule makers. In the United States we are told that it is our "God given right" for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So even these so called rights are considered "God given" and not part of our basic human nature. Oh Natural Selection, where did my idealism of youth go?

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