Eugenics – how to raise children

Sociologists, psychologists, and educators have favored the naïve environmental model of human development, assuming that raising children in this way or that will determine how children will grow up. Over the last decade however, this model has been overturned for one that recognizes children mature along a fairly fixed trajectory, and with a normal amount of support and encouragement they will do just fine on their own without excessive pampering or pushing them beyond their natural limits in sports, education, the arts, etc. That is, let them grow up naturally—with good genes—and they will prosper.

From an individualist perspective this is fine, but for racial identity and the advancement of a particularistic eugenics, this is not enough. Not only must the children be equipped to succeed, they also must be encouraged to advance eugenics. It is accepted—even encouraged—that children be indoctrinated into their parent's religion to the exclusion of all other competing viewpoints. Eugenics is a religion like any other, one based more on science than a shared mythology; it demands that we pass on to our children that same devotion for the continuation and eugenic improvement of future generations that we possess ourselves.

Now some information that I have come across with regards to childhood development. And first is "attachment theory," gleaned from Attachment, Evolution, and the Psychology of Religion by Lee A. Kirkpatrick, 2005. In a nutshell, it proposes that the way children are raised will determine if they grow up:

1) Secure, where children will adopt the religion of their parents, have good marital and friendship relationships, etc.

2) Avoidant dismissing, where as adults they have a "who-needs-'em" attitude.

3) Avoidant fearful, where as adults they have a fear of being hurt.

4) Anxious/ambivalent, where as adults they can be too clinging to others, fearing they are not really loved.

When it comes to religion, secure adults keep and maintain the religion in which they were brought up. Insecure adults with religious parents tend not be religious as adults, or have religious conversions, or bounce around the "new age" religions looking for emotionally satisfying meanings. Specifically, avoidants were more likely to be atheists or agnostics.

What this means for eugenics is that parenting style may have an impact on adult behavior, and the way people interact with each other, which is important when it comes to feelings of security in relationships. However, a eugenics' community may not be arranged in the traditional family way. For example, we may use more surrogate parents, rely on day schools for children, subjecting them to an insecure attachment.

The good news is that observing children and how they behave, can flag whether a child is secure, avoidant or anxious, and steps can be taken to alter how the child is nurtured. Attachment theory assumes that differences are primarily environmental rather than genetic—this may be a false assumption.

MacDonald notes that, "Jews are at the extreme of this Middle Eastern tendency toward hyper-collectivism and hyper-ethnocentrism—a phenomenon that goes a long way toward explaining the chronic hostilities in the area. I give many examples of Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism in my trilogy and have suggested in several places that Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism is biologically based. It was noted above that individualist European cultures tend to be more open to strangers than collectivist cultures such as Judaism. In this regard, it is interesting that developmental psychologists have found unusually intense fear reactions among Israeli infants in response to strangers, while the opposite pattern is found for infants from North Germany. The Israeli infants were much more likely to become 'inconsolably upset' in reaction to strangers, whereas the North German infants had relatively minor reactions to strangers. The Israeli babies therefore tended to have an unusual degree of stranger anxiety, while the North German babies were the opposite—findings that fit with the hypothesis that Europeans and Jews are on opposite ends of scales of xenophobia and ethnocentrism (MacDonald, 2002a)."

It is likely then that on a similar note, children have different attachment styles based as much on genes as parenting styles. For example, parents who are avoidant may likely have avoidant children, confounding cause and effect. Still, if parenting style rather than genes are primarily responsible, we should be aware of this. On the other hand, Hrdy makes an interesting observation: "Will children placed in daycare from an early age grow up to be less able to form strong relationships, or be less caring toward others? And will they be more, or less, qualified for life? (Keep in mind that it could turn out that those less securely attached and those less capable of forming close relationships are the 'more qualified' for life in the modern world.)" (Hrdy, 1999)

In The Relationship Code (2000), an analysis of a thirteen year study sponsored by the National Institute of Health, It was shown that of the three contributors to intelligence and behavior, by the time adolescence is reached, the non-shared environment and genes contribute about equally, while the shared family environment fades away (see my review of the book in my online book Shattering the Myth of Racism: Volume I available as a Microsoft Word document download at ).

However, there may be a couple of exceptions that need to be taken account of with regards to the shared environment: perhaps we can promote a couple of behavioral attitudes through family influence. These include sociability and autonomy, where the shared environment and genes are of equal influence. In addition, sociability and autonomy are in themselves about 50% correlated. It seems to me that both of these traits would be highly preferable in a eugenic's community.

On the other hand, behavior can be influenced by the perceptions of a community if they are also genetically inclined to tribalism already: "These overarching perceptions of the social world appear to determine how family rules of conduct are established, interpreted, and implemented. They are also quite stable and play a major role in shaping an emotional ethos in the family. For example, families who see their social world as capricious but feel that they are perceived as a social group (they are low on the first dimension of mastery but high on the second dimension of group solidarity) tend to have high levels of anxiety and suspiciousness about outsiders and draw firm boundaries between themselves and outside groups. In more extreme forms this suspiciousness results in an attitude of 'us against the world' that regulates relationships among family subsystems. These distinctive family 'world views' may be subtle reflections of cultural differences among families or may reflect how established they are in the communities in which they live, with strong contrasts, for example, between new immigrants and established families. They also may be built up over time within families and may reflect ways in which families have resolved major crises in their history together."

With the above in mind, it seems that the best strategy is to teach our children to adhere to strict boundaries between "us and them," while also feeling mastery over the world. Just what entails passing along a particularist eugenic religion to children is hard to sum up simplistically, but it seems from research it is not merely teaching them but showing them the correct behavior, and including some rational history of how our group of believers moved beyond irrational behavior, and stands aside the human norm of false myths. That is, celebrate science, the enlightenment, persecutions of past scientists finally vindicated, etc. That is, formulate a set of celebrations and community religiosity around science rather than myth—including the science of good breeding and the need to succeed over other less rational population groups.

In Kindness in a Cruel World, 2004, Nigel Barber makes a lot of good points that supports a more rational approach to raising children without religious dogma. I have just finished reading several books on the philosophy of Leo Strauss and those who follow him, the neoconservatives. What struck me as so odd was their contention that the "vulgar masses" need religion in order to be moral. Decades of research show the contrary. It seems they, the Straussians–neocons, are wise enough to behave morally while they are also aware of the human condition where there is no god or moral certitudes. But without religion–morals, based on useful myths, the majority of mankind would not be controllable, especially to fight to the death when needed for making war—according to the Straussians.

Barber however sees humanity quite differently, and in keeping with what is known in the behavioral sciences from research: "Making the case that people are naturally helpful to others seems a hard sell in a world preoccupied with global terrorism, corporate swindlers, and pedophile priests. Yet, none of these manifestations of evil minimizes the altruistic motive that springs eternal in the human breast. Kindness exists, but it struggles to stay afloat on an ocean of cruelty that is the default condition for organisms competing for existence on this planet. . . .This book describes actions rather than philosophies. It is also more concerned with concrete examples of helpful behavior than with the computer models many scholars use to decode them. Altruism is defined as actions that help another individual at some cost to the altruist. The main advantage of this approach is that it allows us to discuss human altruism in terms of the evolutionary ideas that account for altruism in other species. The biological definition of altruism is sometimes criticized as defining altruism out of existence by implying that apparent acts of selflessness are really only selfishness in disguise. The argument goes that such acts are undertaken to (1) make the altruist feel better, (2) increase the reproductive success of the altruist, or (3) increase the prevalence of genes for altruistic behavior. Yet, altruism is real, in the sense that it is predicated on evolved moral emotions like empathy and shame."

The fact that there are suicide bombers shows how individuals will give up their own lives in order to advance the success of their kin—in essence promoting the advancement of their own genes into future generations through their relatives or closely knit ethnies. Undoubtedly, humans do not think in terms of inclusive fitness, but our innate tendencies to form tight groups allows us to behave in ways that are altruistic in the extreme, even altruistically suicidal. This behavior antedated religious belief, because humans have been dying for their tribes for millions of years.

Barber also points out that collective behavior can transcend the immediate kin group, which gives hope for the formation of eugenics communities. Barber discusses the Beguine communities that flourished in the thirteenth century, after the Catholic Church stopped opening any new convents, the normal escape route for women who could not marry.  These communities were formed as secular units of unmarried women, coming together to work and live as stop-gap between living with their families and for eventual marriage for some. In spite of being despised by the Church, they grew to "6 percent of Frankfurt's women."

Personally, I do not like cults, charismatic leaders that are not semi-ascetic, dogmatism, or any of the other trappings of closed communities. This is the way I envision a eugenic community: open; non-ideological; semi-religious to take advantage of various laws with regards to particularism; taxes; scientific; resource acquiring through mutual assistance; and goal directed as to improving the genetic quality of the group. Morality then will be directed toward group goals while rejecting the morality of host societies—like supporting minority set-asides, welcoming immigrants, fighting meaningless wars for leaders more interested in playing with their armies than advancing any goals for society in general, etc.

The morality of the children will reflect the morality of the group as they come to see it, not as they are told. Barber points out that "Moral capacities emerge for young children in a natural sequence that mirrors their brain development. Knowing how empathy and altruism develop in the life of a child is an important clue to the adaptive significance of kindness for our species.

"From their earliest stages of social competence, children reach out to form alliances with caregivers, with older children, and with peers. Their level of altruism is heavily influenced by the context in which they grow up, whether adults scold and punish them or treat them with sensitivity. Children who are constantly criticized develop an expectation that the world is a rather unforgiving place and tend to suspect the intentions of others. Even young children are also quite savvy about detecting when other children take advantage of them.

"Children's development of self-awareness is a critical moral milestone that is accompanied by a capacity for embarrassment, pride, and shame: the self-aware moral emotions in humans. Although self-awareness is a crucial feature of human morality and altruism, other species, such as dogs, nonetheless develop moral systems without being self-aware. . . .

"Children who recognize themselves in the mirror behave exactly the same as the chimpanzees: they use the mirror to investigate the mark, rubbing their finger across it and attempting to remove it. Typically, children younger than eighteen to twenty-four months do not pass the mirror test. By the age of two years, about two-thirds of children show signs of mirror self-recognition. According to the best objective evidence available, younger children are not self-aware. . . .

"Either way, what looks very much like altruism occurs at a remarkably early stage in development, suggesting that altruistic behavior of our species may not require a high level of intelligence."

Moral behavior then is quite flexible, and can be transmitted to children—especially by example so that when they mature, they cannot be bullied into behaving according to the larger society's ethos. By example, the children will learn to act altruistically only towards the group, but must also be able to mirror the larger society's values when necessary—for example giving a bit to the United Fund if it advances one's standing at work. (Football players are great at doing United Fund commercials, rather than giving money.)

Moral reasoning should also use the frontal cortex rather than the more primitive mind. Recent studies show that moral reasoning can take place primarily at the rational level or at the emotional level—and people vary on this capability. For example, at what age is it acceptable to practice infanticide? Self-awareness might be an acceptable criterion, allowing passive or active euthanasia in the case of crippling genetic disease, sickness or accident, shifting resources away from a damaged child to one that can use them better, without killing a "self-aware" human. (Genetic testing will greatly reduce handicapped children, but also the burden of genetic loading of mutations will increase as ways are found to cure the typical phenotypic expression of harmful genes. We want to be on the side that is not committed to ever more resources going into the maintenance of these children.)

In fact, teaching children to be rational may be far more preferable than teaching them to be moral. The evidence for moral behavior is difficult to track. Barber notes: "This old study is still cited as the state of the art because it remains the most ambitious project of its type. Hartshorne and May investigated the moral character of no fewer than ten thousand children by exposing them to temptations to lie, cheat, or steal in various situations. They found surprisingly little consistency in behavior from one context to another. Children who were honest in a test might cheat in a game on the playground. Those who scrupulously obeyed the rules at home might succumb to the temptation to steal at school. In addition to the lack of consistency in their moral behavior, children's moral views had little impact on their behavior. For example, most children who stole said that stealing was wrong.

"Such findings have been quite devastating for personality psychologists. Most now accept that it is naive to expect a high level of consistency from one situation to another. Morality may be defined by the situation as well as the person. Parents who are exacting disciplinarians can expect their children to be unfailingly well behaved at home, but it does not follow that the children will be equally well behaved in a different setting, such as hanging out in a friend's home after school. Children are obviously capable of distinguishing the varying costs and benefits of behaving as they please in different settings.

"Yet, it is a stretch to conclude that there is absolutely no consistency in a child's moral behavior. More sophisticated statistical analyses of Hartshorne and May's work have shown that these pioneer researchers were premature in abandoning all hope of consistency. Thus, children who cheat on one test are more likely to cheat on another than a child who was honest the first time. Children's behavior is at least consistent in similar situations.

"Sympathetic four-year-olds are more likely to share with or help their peers than their less sympathetic age-mates, according to more recent research. Even young children can thus be consistent across different kinds of moral behavior. Consistency increases with age, moreover, as children's actions are affected by moral thoughts and feelings more than by impulse. 'Character' is a work in progress that does not near completion until adulthood.

"Behavior geneticists report that altruism, like other personality traits, is genetically heritable, although they have been far more interested in the destructive social impulse of aggression, which is also substantially heritable, as is alienation (or the feeling of detachment from other people). These conclusions are based on paper-and-pencil tests that may have limited relevance for a person's real-world actions, however. Hence the necessity to ask whether actual moral behavior is affected by genetic background. The most obvious place that researchers have looked is the genetics of criminal behavior.

"Generally speaking, behavior geneticists find that having a criminal biological parent is a significant risk factor for criminality. In one of the most common research designs, researchers compare the degree of similarity between identical twins and fraternal twins (who have the same degree of biological relatedness [50 percent] as ordinary siblings). Twin studies indicate that the heritability of adult crime is quite high, 72 percent based on the average of eight different studies."

Such observations are generally ignored—there is too much money at stake for educators, sociologists, and psychologists. When it comes to teaching values, it is better to not try too hard to shape children, but to give them the tools to understand how behavior impacts their success in life under different situations. Especially important is the diminishing of guilt and shame. That is, a person who is easily shamed or afflicted with guilt will be handicapped even if they use rational thought rather than emotion to make decisions on how to behave. Most people naturally acquire the guilt–shame mechanism. Encouraging these emotions further only harms children when they need to compete with others—especially with those who do not feel shame.

Barber discusses how people become activists: "Rosenhahn discovered that the fully committed activists were often the children of political activists who had sacrificed themselves for causes in an earlier generation. Parents of partially committed activists had preached altruism but had rarely practiced it. Another interesting difference was that fully committed activists recalled warm relationships with parents compared to the more distant and rejecting relationships described by the partially committed activists. Personal example really matters. So does the sort of warm parent-child relationship that facilitates detailed explanation of moral actions. . . .

"Children in some societies are raised to be far more helpful than others. Beatrice and John Whiting of Harvard University conducted one of the most wide-ranging studies of such differences. They observed altruistic behaviors in children aged three to ten years in six societies: Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Japan, India, and the United States. The Whitings found that children in nonindustrialized societies were very much more altruistic than children in industrialized ones. They found that 100 percent of Kenyan children scored high on altruistic behavior compared to only 8 percent of American children, for example."

If we want our children to be committed activists we must lead by example. Including children in heated debates with others in the community will toughen them up for verbal ability and confrontation, while showing them that disagreements can be had while those debating, after heated discussions, get on with helping each other and not taking anything personal—debate for the purpose of debate and learning. Children then will learn adult interactions by being included in the community's activities. I really doubt it is just "industrialization" that undermines helpfulness; but rather prosperity, individualism, and pampering of children.

Barber recommends then to raise helpful children, raise them with kindness and sensitivity, and let them help out in the family or community. In short, rather than living for one's children by keeping them active in all kinds of sports, arts, and programs, merely be sensitive to the child's needs, bring them along when possible in community activities, and let them find their own niches for what they like to do. A eugenic community will be a highly intelligent one—pushing these already under challenged children too hard will not make them smarter, just more anxious or neurotic.

Everything I have discussed so far assumes an in-group value system where children are raised to be helpful, altruistic, honest, and active contributors to future generations of eugenicists. People who blindly teach their children to love and care for all the world's humans will teach their children to lose. Other races will not reciprocate.

Barber states, "[T]he story of recent history has been one of increasing complexity of social organization. This means that the altruism within families has been tapped by local communities. The altruism within communities has been tapped by tribes. Finally, the altruism within tribes, or ethnic groups, has been harnessed by nation-states." And now, altruism is being expanded globally to the detriment of Whites. I know of no other race that is so committed to self-destruction through transfers of resources to underdeveloped nations and immigration policies that amount to licensing invasion. We must teach our children to be remorselessly particularistic in the interactions with outsiders.

Barber discusses another problem, hinted at above, with regards to conformity. If the community is too conformist, it will lose its dynamism. "Our groupish tendencies include conformity in dress, behavior, and even ideas. Social psychologists have been deeply impressed by the apparent irrationality of human conformity—at least as seen through the perspective of a Western tradition that values, and therefore exaggerates the importance of, individualism . . . . This result suggests that when people operate in groups, they lose their independence of judgment and become essentially mindless conformists. . . . Conformity pressures are thus strong enough to make most people defy objective realities and agree with the opinions of a group. . . ."

I'm not sure how to prevent excessive conformity from settling in, but one useful tool maybe to mix up communities—stirring the pot of methods, ideas, practices, etc. People often have to move, especially cosmopolitans, and with a steady inflow and outflow of members, along with a devotion to open rational thought, excessive conformity can be kept in check.

Barber makes some interesting points about religion: "Whether religious people today are weak-minded or not is debatable. Throughout the broad sweep of human history, the majority have been religious, adopting the same creed as their forefathers. In the past, the most brilliant people were just as religious as everyone else. Today, atheism is growing rapidly among educated people. The majority of scientists (60 percent) are atheists, for example. Among elite scientists, the probability of being a nonbeliever is much higher. . . .

"Despite a widespread perception that religious people should behave more ethically in general, and toward fellow members of their sect in particular, there is surprisingly little evidence that religious people either reason with a higher level of ethical sophistication, or avoid dishonesty in dealings with their sect and others, although they do have an advantage in terms of lower criminality. . . .

"Researchers who examine the influence of religion on ethical behavior of ordinary people find that there is a baffling inconsistency in their results, suggesting that religious people are not generally more ethical than others and may behave less ethically than atheists. Thus, one study, published in 1975, found that atheists were significantly less likely than religious students to cheat on an exam. This is not a trivial matter in a country where some three-quarters of students admitted to academic dishonesty. Given that some 90 percent of the population were religious believers, this suggests that the majority of religious students were academic cheats.

"Students of moral development are inclined to conclude that religious belief stunts moral development, because it commits people to a dogma, or formula, rather than working out ethical solutions for themselves, which is considered to be the highest stage of moral development (postconventional morality). People who adhere to an established religion are thus less likely to attain the highest levels of moral reasoning….

"Knowing about a person's beliefs, or the fervor of his religion, tells us virtually nothing about his ethical behavior to the bemusement of sociologists and psychologists, who have studied this problem over many decades."

I, like the Straussians, do not believe in morality, but I do accept sets of arbitrary rules of conduct or a code of ethics. I think the same can be true for a eugenic community, especially one that is highly rational and articulate, using the frontal cortex to reason rather than our primitive emotional brains. Barber argues that religion is social glue, one that is giving way to societies that are based on open markets. There are numerous theories about how religion came to be, and my feeling is that most of them are in part true. It should be possible then to actively seek the best from different systems. For me, a eugenic society is one where I can be around people more like myself, because that is what humans' desire. It is also a way of policing self-destructive altruism towards those who I do not care to see push my genetic interests aside. I think that a world with "that old time religion" can be easily replaced with a religion that is based on our "genetic interests." (Salter, 2003)

One last point—shunning. Shunning is a very powerful social tool for policing ethical rules. I can't imagine having very many rules outside of what any eugenicist would understand as necessary, but expulsion must be one of them for those deemed unfit for inclusion. The main rule would not tolerate race mixing in any aspect of "social life." If we can't have our own nation, at least we can have our own communities—at least for the present time.

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