Is white surrender a function of status competition among whites?

Mark A. writes:

Permit me to pose a question to you and my fellow VFR readers: In your opinion, are whites more status obsessed than other races? Steve Sailer is spot on: Obama is the culmination of a 40 year white status struggle. On the other hand, why doesn’t Japan engage in this same behavior? There are Korean and Chinese minorities living there, but I haven’t seen any evidence of the Japanese Left using them as springboards to higher status. Why is it that I only see this behavior in wealthy white nations, but not wealthy Asian nations?

LA replies:

Your questions inadvertently reveal how inadequate is Sailer’s theory that status competition is at the root of white civilizational suicide. Since concern for status exists in all cultures, and since the Japanese—who obviously have far more concern for status and hierarchical relationships than do Americans—are not committing national suicide, status is not the explanation.

I find it intellectually insulting to reduce something as vast and fateful as the suicide of the white West to something as trivial and common as status competition. But that’s the material reductionist mind for you.

What reductionists like Sailer are incapable of grasping, and indeed have no interest in, is that human beings by their very nature are oriented toward truth. They do things and seek things because they think they are true and good. Civilizations rise and fall on the basis of how true is the truth its members believe in, and how good is the good its members believe in.

Now there is some validity to the status competition theory, but the theory misses the larger picture from which the status actually derives its status. What people—including even liberals—are striving toward is the good as they understand it. Liberals believe it is good to be non-discriminatory and inclusive toward other races. It’s not that they seek to demonstrate and practice this liberal virtue in order to acquire status. It’s that the practice of the liberal virtue confers status because the liberal idea of virtue is thought to be good.

This is just one example of how materialist reductionism turns reality on its head. Such reductionism is particularly impotent and distorting when it comes to moral, aesthetic, philosophical, and civilizational matters. The reductionist mind cannot create a civilization, nor understand the causes of its rise, nor understand the causes of its decline, nor arrest the decline.

For example, if status competition to achieve wealth and desirable mates and thus to pass on one’s genes is the cause of liberalism, then what can be done to arrest and reverse the liberalism? Nothing. No arguments can be used against it, and no one could ever cease being a liberal by any process of understanding or thought, since the behavior that constitutes liberalism is determined by the laws of evolutionary biology. The idea that liberalism is false, and that a person can come to see that it is false, is thoroughly excluded from the evolutionary materialist paradigm. So why does Sailer bother writing about liberalism? According to him, why should any article of his persuade anyone that liberalism is not true, since people, according to him, are liberals not because of what they believe is true and good, but because deterministic material forces make them pursue liberalism.

Whence, then, comes the belief in these simplified materialist-reductionist theories which sound impressive yet are so bogus? Perhaps from the desire to have one, neat explanation for everything, the possession of which makes the possessor feel superior to other people who lack that all-purpose explanation. Talk about status competition.

- end of initial entry -

Several interesting replies to the above are posted here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 13, 2008 10:55 PM | Send

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