But even though tigers are not always man-eaters, and man-eaters are
not always hungry, these poor creatures still went extinct, because
their problems were not limited to tigers. They could not learn from any
experiences at all. They were just too dumb to survive.
Survival, you see, requires the ability to learn from past experiences so that one can predict and even control future ones. To do this, however, one must recognize that there are not just individual beings, but kinds or types
of beings. Individuals belong to the same kind if they share a common
nature. And, since what we can do follows from our nature, we can infer
that if a tiger is dangerous once, it will probably be dangerous again.
And if one tiger is dangerous, it is probable that other tigers are
dangerous too. Thus if one of us is killed by a tiger, we can take
reasonable precautions to make sure that it does not happen again.
Drawing conclusions about kinds based on individuals is called inductive generalization.
Induction allows you to infer that all members of a kind are “like
that” based on one’s experience of individual members. These purple
berries made me sick today, so they will probably make me sick tomorrow,
since their nature and mine will probably not change overnight. And
since you have the same nature as me, they might make you sick too. And
since the purple berries on this bush are the same as the ones on the
first bush, they’ll probably make us sick too. The flesh of this animal
tastes good to me, so it will probably taste good to you too, since we
have the same nature. And other members of its kind will probably taste
good to us as well, since they have the same nature too.
However, induction also teaches that natural traits tend to graph
along bell curves, with a large number of typical cases in the middle,
and small numbers of atypical cases on each end. Typical purple berries
will make us sick, but on every bush there might be some that have no
negative effect and others that are downright toxic. Thus, inductive
generalizations hold “not always, but for the most part.” In terms of
any given trait, “Not all X are like that.” But most of them are.
Inductive reasoning is, therefore, probabilistic. There is
always the possibility that one is not dealing with a typical instance
of a kind. But it is not likely, since the atypical is by definition
rare. Furthermore, as we experience more particulars, it becomes less
likely that we are dealing with outliers, and our generalizations about a
type become increasingly fixed. We even come to have a sense of what
outliers are typical.
Although this is not common parlance, one could refer to a
well-established inductive generalization as a “stereotype,” which comes
from the Greek stereos (στερεός), “fixed” or “firm,” and the Greek typos (τύπος), or “type.”
Inductive generalization does not just allow us to learn from past
experience, which would be of merely theoretical interest. Induction
also has important practical implications, for it allows us to predict
future experiences based on past ones, thus allowing us to act
advantageously, even intervene in the course of events and control
Another word for predicting future experiences is pre-judging them.
Another word for a pre-judgment is a prejudice. Now, some prejudices may
be utterly baseless and irrational—e.g., prejudices rooted in bad
inductive generalizations, superstition, or mental illness—and acting on
them may lead to disaster. But well-founded inductive generalizations
(stereotypes) are the basis of well-founded prejudices that can be
highly advantageous—for instance, helping us to discriminate between
dangerous breeds and gentle ones, poisonous mushrooms and edible ones,
Induction, by giving us the ability to predict future events, is the foundation of practical reason, which is the primary human means of survival. Induction is also the basis of science and technology,
which allow us to more deeply understand nature and thus to predict and
control her better. Induction is thus the foundation of the ongoing
conquest of nature that we call modernization and progress.
Stereotypes and well-founded prejudices may be a triumphs of
inductive reasoning and the foundations of common sense, science,
technology, and progress. But today, when it comes to judging human
beings, we are told that stereotypes and prejudices are evil and that
each individual should be judged on his own behavior, not on the basis
of the past behaviors of his kind. We are told that it is an injustice
to judge individuals based on group membership.
This viewpoint is a kind of perversion of individualism. I myself
defend a kind of Aristotelian individualism. I hold that the purpose of
life is the actualization of our individual potentialities for
excellence. In terms of politics, a well-ordered society should
encourage individual self-actualization and excellence, as long as it
does not undermine the common good of society.
The perverse individualism I reject, however, has nothing to do with
individual self-actualization. Indeed, it basically amounts to a moral
imperative to be stupid, since it is an attack on inductive
generalization as such, which is the foundation of practical reason,
science, technology, and the modern world. Perverse individualism
demands that we behave like the hypothetical hominids discussed above,
which were simply too stupid to survive.
False individualism is really an applied form of nominalism,
which is the theory that there are no natural kinds in the world, only
individuals, and all concepts of kinds are merely social conventions or “constructs.”
According to false individualism, justice requires that we ignore all
groups — except, somehow, “humanity” — and judge each individual as an
individual, without any preconceptions based on his membership in any
merely constructed category, such as race. Nominalism, however, is
metaphysically false. There are real natural kinds. Individual members
of those kinds share natural traits that allow us to make probabilistic
predictions about them based on what we know of their kind.
An individualist could, however, reply that even though nominalism is
metaphysically false and there are natural kinds, we should still set
aside our well-founded stereotypes and prejudices and judge each and
every human being as an individual. In effect, we have to treat every
individual as a potential outlier, even though most of them are not.
Why? Because, apparently, every individual is of infinite value, so
rendering justice is an absolute value and committing injustice is an
absolute evil. We must act as if nominalism is true, because otherwise
there is a vanishingly small possibility that we might be unjust to a
This position is a moralistic absurdity, for it simply cannot be
practiced. There are seven billion people on this planet. It is
impossible to treat each and every one as a special snowflake, and if
one tried it, even with the limited numbers of people we encounter in
our individual lives, it would consume all one’s time and make it
impossible to pursue one’s own goals, i.e., to actually live. Because
the purpose of life is self-actualization, and the time we have is
short, we just cannot get to know everyone we deal with.
One of the ways that civilization advances is by giving us means of
dealing with greater numbers of people than we can ever know as
individuals. The market economy, for instance, allows individuals to
interact with millions of others around the globe through a largely
anonymous symbolic medium that, at least in theory, allows all
participants to pursue their individual self-actualization.
Psychologists have observed that the human mind cannot deal with more
than 150 or so direct personal relationships, which means that if we
could deal only with people as individuals, civilization would regress
to the complexity of a hunter-gatherer band or agricultural village.
Well-founded stereotypes and prejudices make possible highly complex
societies by allowing us to size up individuals at a glance and to
choose to embrace or avoid them. Since natural kinds are limited in
number, we actually create artificial kinds with visible distinctions —
accents, clothing styles, even uniforms — that allow us to chart a
course through complex social situations at a glance. For instance,
a black man dressed in a ghetto clown costume signals danger, whereas
a black man dressed in a police uniform signals trustworthiness.
Furthermore, if stereotyping is wrong, why do people go to great
lengths to stereotype themselves? We all want to find like-minded
people, and dressing in a certain way is one means to communicate the
group we belong to, e.g., hipster, preppy, metal, redneck, businessman,
career woman, slut, prole, gay clone, black thug, etc. Blacks go to
great trouble and expense to dress like thugs, in order to communicate
that they are dangerous, or that they aspire to be. Why do white
liberals think it is disrespectful to take their signaling seriously?
The idea that we should always treat others as individuals also
undermines one of the greatest gifts of modernity: privacy. It is
fashionable to bemoan the impersonal and mediated nature of modern
society, but in a smaller scale, more personal society, everybody knows
everybody else’s business. Thus it can be liberating to live in a
society in which most people only know you by the persona you project
and the money that you spend. Years ago, a student of mine told me that
she grew up in a small Georgia town full of prying, censorious Baptists.
She said she could hardly wait to move to Atlanta, “so I could sin.”
Under what conditions do we want to be judged as special snowflakes?
We all want a fair shake when we are applying for a job or are on trial
for our lives. But even then, chances are we are trying to conceal as
much as we reveal. Moreover, we know that employers often can look only
at the most superficial criteria simply because they lack the time to
dig deeper. But we hope that we can at least expect justice from the
criminal justice system. Beyond that, when nothing really crucial is at
stake, we are content to navigate with prejudices and stereotypes, i.e.,
to play the odds with others and accept that others do the same with
Since nobody can judge each and every person as an individual all the
time, it stands to reason that people only trot out this imperative to
use as a weapon against others. Universalists of both the Left and Right
typically deploy it against any form of racism, nationalism, tribalism,
or antipathy to various religious groups or categories of sexual
deviants. Of course, if you prod these universalists just a little, you
find that they have some rather poorly formed and emotionally charged
stereotypes and prejudices about their opponents.
“Not all Xs are like that,” the universalists say, implying that it
is a mortal sin not to appreciate the uniqueness of every special
snowflake. And since group membership can never be a basis for excluding
someone from our society, there can be no racially and ethnically
homogeneous societies, and we cannot uphold any norms of social and
sexual behavior. Thus perverse individualism is just a tool to make us
incapable of resisting ethnic dispossession and social decadence. What
kind of people preach (but do not practice) “blindness” to race,
ethnicity, religion, and sexual identity as a moral imperative?
Obviously people who are up to no good.
If you propose discrimination against pedophiles, you will be told that they aren’t all
child molesters, and you can’t do anything against them until after
they have been caught. If you propose discrimination against blacks or
mestizos because of their propensity to criminality, you are told that
they are not all like that, and we can’t do anything against them until
they actually commit crimes. If you propose discrimination against
Muslims on the grounds that their religion mandates lies, rape,
terrorism, murder, enslavement, and the overthrow of all governments,
you will be told that not all Muslims are like that, and we can’t do
anything against them until after they have committed a crime. If you
propose discrimination against Jews because they are a hostile elite
working to corrupt our politics and culture and destroy our race by
promoting white guilt, miscegenation, and race-replacement immigration,
you will be told that they aren’t all like that, and it would be
collectivism to treat them simply as an enemy group. We have to treat
all members of problem groups as if they are innocent, until proven
otherwise. It is immoral to try to separate ourselves entirely from
problem groups. Instead, we need to give them a chance, which boils down
to a chance to harm us. And that means no borders and no standards.
These perverse individualists might even try to argue that the
soldiers of an invading army are not all out to kill us, so it would be
unjust to kill them just because they carry arms against us. But at that
point, we would see what they really are and stand them against a wall.
Of course by then it might be too late.
As a nationalist, I believe that racial, ethnic, and religious
diversity within the same political system are not strengths but
weaknesses. They are constant sources of simmering tension that
frequently boil over into hatred and violence. A healthy society also
requires norms regarding sexuality, marriage, and child-rearing. Thus a
society has to practice discrimination. We have to discriminate between
who is us and who is not. And within our group, we have to discriminate
between the normal and abnormal, the optimal and suboptimal, the
law-abiding and the criminal.
We can freely acknowledge that there are some good blacks, Muslims,
and Jews. There just aren’t enough of them for our tastes. But even if
these groups were equal or superior to us — and they are bound to be
superior in some ways — in the end they are simply not us, and
we wish to create societies for ourselves and our posterity. We are not
creating a team for a sporting event or a spelling bee by recruiting
exceptional outliers from a wide range of different groups. We seek to
create homogeneous communities with full ranges of both average
specimens and outliers, i.e., organic white communities, which are one
in blood and culture but diverse in abilities, opinions, and interests,
so that all of our people have places to call home.