Alt-right Ethics

Recently, I linked to a TRS post on why the alt-right needs to understand ethics. The writer was a consequentialist who advocated understanding deontological principles. I am not a consequentialist, as I made clear in the debates on Christian genocide I hold to divine command theory, a specific form of deontology, with a smattering of virtue ethics for resolving those areas where multiple goods collide. I linked to the post, not because I consider consequentialism correct but because of the call to understand alternative ethics systems when debating others to be a more effective debater and the posts general anti-nihilism, as nihilism tends to infect some parts of the alt-right.

My philosophical problem with consequentialism is it’s lacking solid base. Why is this particular good that we are pursuing good? Consequentialism generally assigns value to a good (pleasure, pain avoidance, utility, the white race, etc) and makes that value the sole source of morality, without generally given an objective reason for why that particular good is of greater worth than other goods.

In this particular discussion, the good being discussed is the white race (I’ve got a post on WN coming, sometime). But why is securing the existence of the white race and the future for your children such a good that any evil done in its advancement of it is worthwhile? Survival and thriving are good and I certainly support the continuing existence of the white race, but why are they good? Is being a low-melanin gene-controlled meat sack pumping out more low-melanin gene-controlled meat sacks and fending off higher-melanin gene-controlled meat sacks so your particular phenotype becomes dominant among meat sacks really the base good upon which all other good is measured and for which all evil is justified?

What makes your particular geno-/phenotype objectively better than their particular geno-/phenotype?  Would that good that makes your particular geno-/phenotype better not be a greater good then? So why not make that good your consequence? But that new good, why is it good? Then why is that not the good you pursue?

You either run yourself in circles, or you come to the point where there is no answer.

Here Gary argues against nihilism:

Another annoying thing was that Sargon asked that if blacks became majority and took over the US, would it then be morally wrong for blacks to enslave white people? This was not dealt with well. One of the people in the hangout even answered ‘no’ to this question, which is obviously moral nihilism. I’m not a moral nihilist, neither should you be. Of course it would be wrong, but not because it’s discrimination, but because it is slavery, and more specifically because the consequences that would arise from that slavery are negative. Slavery, again, is not immoral inherently. No action is, as we’ve already demonstrated. If the blacks, on the other hand, were to throw whitey out of their country then that would not be morally wrong because it would result in more stability and peace in that country. Of course that’s not really true since blacks are uncivilized savages who actually benefit from white presence, but it is true in the parallel where whites are the majority and Arabs and Latinos are the minorities getting thrown out.

He argues the slavery of whites is wrong, while slavery itself is not, because of the consequences, which he doesn’t spell out. ‘Consequences’ is so amorphous and undefined, that he’s undermining his own point. Also, consequences for who? I’m sure blacks would appreciate having white slaves. Without an objective standard by which to measure ‘consequences’ consequentialism is meaningless.

He speaks positively of stability and peace a little later on in that paragraph, but why are these values inherently better than chaos and war?

What makes these values objective?

You need an absolute to measure morality by or morality is little more than taste preference. It is nihilism gussied up.

It’s God or nihilism. Choose.

And God is a deontologist.


As a believer divine command theory my support for nationalism (or more accurately thedism, post coming some time) comes from the word of God:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26-28 ESV)

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

(Genesis 11:1-9 ESV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
Do you thus repay the LORD,
you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
But the LORD’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
(Deuteronomy 32:4-9 ESV)

God made man to spread over the world. He divided them so they to accomplish this goal and each nation was made to inhabit it’s own territory. He made them different and those differences are good.


Finally, on a tangent, the ‘murdering baby Hitler’ example is a poor poor way to compare consequentialism and deontology, for it adds time travel to the mix. The murder of millions of Slavs and Jews is an obvious moral wrong for which the death penalty would be a justified punishment. So, when you are ask if someone would be justified in murdering baby Hitler, you are not asking the question of whether it is permissible to murder babies if the cause is good enough.

What you are really asking is: is it okay to pre-emptively punish someone for an action they will certainly commit in the future, which is only obfuscated by the inclusion of harm prevention?

While this is an interesting ethical and philosophical question, it doesn’t necessarily draw a line between the two differing ethical systems. One could think of decent arguments for/against preemptive punishment on both sides of that particular divide.


  1. A: I believe we need to re-found morality on practical, responsible, rational grounds. No more airy-fairy absolutes.

    B: What do you propose?

    A: First, imagine you have a time machine, or, in your omniscient providence…

    Consequentialism denies absolutes, but always employs them somehow. The most general of these is that we have a duty to act so as to secure the best outcome, according to a standard we have derived logically from a prior argument.

    This is why few people identify themselves as ‘consequentialists’. Anyone with a clue calls himself something else and hopes nobody notices. Or he tricks himself, and forfeits his clue.


    —My philosophical problem with consequentialism is it’s lacking solid base.—

    I’d like to give you a different suggestion.

    That we practice four levels of ethics depending upon the skill in the area of our actions.

    1) Pedagogical Myths…(very young)…………..Stories (WESTERN PATHOLOGICAL ALTRUISM)
    2) Virtue Ethics………….(young)………………….Biographies
    3) Rule Ethics……………(inexperience adult)…Laws
    4) Outcome Ethics……..(experienced adult)….Science

    But more importantly, ethical systems can be used as an excuse to steal. We are aware that altrusim can be abused easily. This is why I always suggest we test ethical statements for both the obverse (what is stated) and the reverse (what is not stated).

    So the lower the precision (information content) of the ethical system, the more opportunity there is to claim that one is ethical while acting unethically.

    My argument is that rothbardian libertarianism is built on this principle.

    So instead I argue that we must use the most sophisticated (informationally dense) ethical system that we can, given our abilities, and fall back if we lack it.

    So there is no difference in ethical models, only a difference in our skill level in any given area of thought. And that all ethical systems are simply increasingly precise variations on the same theory that we must achieve our greatest potential but do so without externalizing costs.

    Therefore all ethical systems have a ‘solid base’. Impose no cost, and in particular impose no cost that will cost YOU due to retaliation by physical means(violence), procedural means(restitution), or normative means (reputation that costs you opportunities).

    The method of imposing no cost on others is to limit ones actions that impose no involuntary costs, and engage in actions that impose costs only if they are product of, fully informed, warrantied, voluntary, and free of imposition of cost by externality.

    As far as I know this is the correction of the artificial distinction between ethical systems. There is none. There are only different rules we can follow (techniques) given the information at our disposal.




    Please keep up your good work. I enjoy Free Northerner.

    Curt Doolittle
    The Propertarian Institute
    Kiev, Ukraine.

  3. Zippy’s nonsense aside, it seems like a false dichotomy of Enlightenment. I am a Christian and non-utilitarian consequentialist. What does that mean? Let us see on the question of slavery/serfdom/indenture. Non reactionaries reject slavery on deontological grounds, i.e. they consider it to be inherently evil. Reactionaries do not oppose slavery. The Church doesn’t oppose slavery, as is testified in the Holy Scripture, so Christians shouldn’t oppose slavery where it exists as an institution. We have seen all the problems that arise from trying emancipation, so one could, I suppose, also oppose emancipation on consequentialist grounds. However what about the question of establishing slavery. Should a Christian or a reactionary oppose that? It’s exactly here that I see the niche market for consequentialism. I oppose the establishment of slavery on non-utilitarian consequentialist grounds, something like this (off the top of my head):
    1. It endangers the salvation of slave owner. Namely, slavery provides too many temptations – for how can a slave woman refuse her master (in fact, she may try to seduce him, for one reason or another, even if he tried to avoid such a thing – not that men need much encouragement in such a situation).
    2. Numerous problems. Rebellions need to be crushed, escaped slaves captured and punished etc. Maintaining subjugation requires effort and eventually someone will advocate emancipation because of holiness spiral, power to be gained or both. All that effort of maintaining subjugation is better spent at maintaining the subjugation that matters the most, the subjugation of women. Slave owners will try to get the most out of their property, and so will try to enlarge the number of their slaves by breeding them. This is dangerous and very, very dysgenic. Finally, if emancipation or rebellion were to succeed, well, we have seen the problems that arise.
    3. Efficacy. Capitalism is so much more efficient (price signals, division of labor, distribution of capital, etc.). Also, voluntary laborer works better than laborer who needs to be lashed in order to work. Slavery retards technological advancement, so, as a very useful side-consequence, lack of forced labor we get technological advancement (answer to But Who Will Pick the Cotton? argument) in areas where slaves would have done the work.

  4. Well written. In regards to your last paragraph, I don’t think the TRS writer was intending the Baby Hitler Proposition to be used as a point of honest debate but was rather to be used as a rhetorical weapon to make anyone subscribing to post-modern deontological ethics (essentially “it’s the current year!” “ethics”) see the glaring contradiction in their thinking.

  5. @Curt Doolittle

    That we practice four levels of ethics depending upon the skill in the area of our actions.

    Some of us, on the other hand, base our ethical principles on insights derived from faith. And by faith, I mean it is a perceptive faculty, not a rational one. We “see” the wrongness of acts as a perceptive sense.

    The wrongness of murder is known through faith and not derived from a rational appraisal of it’s facts.(Though its fortunate that rationality and faith in this instance are congruent.)

    Deontology rules.

  6. Excellent post, FN. I’m glad someone addressed this TRS article that I too happened upon, and laid down my objection in the comment section. The ultimate refutation to a purely consequentialist version of ethics is the butterfly effect and the limited nature of human observation and knowledge. My own moral system is a type of divine command theory with morality grounded in the eternal and inherent nature of God, revealed to us both through direct command, and also implicitly found in created nature itself.

    @Ahote – I’d like to point out, at least speaking for myself, I do consider chattel slavery to be morally wrong on the consequentialist grounds that it would lead to deontological evils, abuse, neglect, a callous removal of hope, and oftentimes murder. I don’t find a deontological evil in the concept of a human owning another human, and I think for most of history, slavery has been carried out in something of a moral way, especially domestic slavery, hence why wee OT instructions on what to do should a slave wish to stay with his master even when offered freedom.

  7. Your meat sack paragraph was hilarious and brilliant, but I have a simple answer to this:

    “without generally given an objective reason for why that particular good is of greater worth than other goods”

    Why favor my children over those in Zanzibar? Why do I try to interview better for a job than the next guy? By what abstract universal moral right do I think I should have the job instead of him? Why shouldn’t I send our food to Zanzibar and let my kids starve? SOME child will starve. What abstract universal moral principle dictates that I should prefer it not to be mine?

    That’s not all there is to right and wrong, but keeping my country habitable and civilized isn’t all there is to right and wrong either.

  8. As far as why I would prefer my nation or race or what have you over another’s, or why it’s “better” and so on, is simply because it’s mine. Why would I have to make it a means to another end rather than the end in itself? Why would I have to give some sort of justification as to why it should continue to exist?

  9. @Wilbur Hassenfus – I believe your problem lies in the realm of objective moral obligations, and objective moral duties. As I have come to see it, our moral obligations define themselves through Scripture and are for the most part universal in application. We ought not murder our countrymen, but nor should we buy plane tickets to Zanzibar and murder somebody there either. Murder is in the most general sense, a moral evil.

    However, layered on top of this, we have a set of moral duties which are no less objective, and are based both on volitional oaths, and the natural order and reality of human society. It would be morally wrong for a Russian male of military age to dodge the draft for war issued by the Tsar, but not for him to dodge the draft for a Chinese war. Even though both require the same thing, he is only duty-bound to one, his own. Nobody would scorn him for not traveling to the Chinese enlistment office in Nanking.

    You have a moral duty to your own, and this applies most evidently to the family, but also (contra Liberals) to the broader family of the nation.

    In the realm of objective moral obligations, the same is required of each man, day in day out.

    In the realm of objective moral duties, different things will be required of each man, depending on his society. From some, much will be asked. From others, not so much.

    But whether we violate our obligations, or our duties, the same emotion grips us so long as we acknowledge what we’ve done. The guilt of moral failure.

  10. @Mark Citadel
    Even Christians would try, every so often, to do some Jewish thing, like follow the letter, but not the spirit. So a master would set the slave free when slave is old and unable to work, so that he doesn’t have any obligations toward the slave any longer. The Church normally considered manumission an act of charity, but in this case it was a grievous sin.

    A propos drafts, I think that it’s morally right to dodge any and all drafts. In fact it’s morally obligatory, seeing how mass conscription and total war are Enlightenment inventions. Adoption of Enlightenment practices by absolute monarchies eventually led to the destruction of said monarchies in one of the greatest slaughterhouses of history, The Great War. If we have learned nothing from history, we are doomed to repeat it… only nobility and exclusively nobility should be in the military.

  11. You make a good point, Ahote, one I missed, that standing armies are more of a post-Enlightenment construction, but do you understand the principle of a difference between moral obligations we have to everyone, and moral duties which bind us to certain groups? I guess I could relate it to ‘Render unto Caesar’ as an example. Which Caesar should we render to? Certainly there are many, but the one we should render to is ours, and we should not find those outside of our society with the same duties as us. However, this difference does not negate the objectivity of this moral duty.

  12. @Mark Citadel
    Robert Nisbet: War and the military are, without question, among the very worst of the earth’s afflictions, responsible for the majority of the torments, oppressions, tyrannies, and suffocations of thought the West has for long been exposed to. … Between military and civil values there is, and always has been, relentless opposition. Nothing has proved more destructive of kinship, religion, and local patriotisms than has war and the accompanying military mind. War, argued Nisbet, is by nature revolutionary in its impact upon a people.… Its values… are antithetical in the extreme to the values of kinship-based society with its consecration of tradition, conventionality, and age or seniority. Nisbet suggested further that the revolutionary and the military man both possessed a disdain for traditional civil society, its privileges, immunities, and conventional authorities.

    Yes, I understand, a conservative recognizes a hierarchy of concerns: I owe my children, my neighbors, and my co-religionists much more than I owe anyone else. Cicero: the union and fellowship of men will be best preserved if each receives from us the more kindness in proportion as he is more closely connected with us. The Holy Scripture confirms the wisdom of the ancients, instructing us that if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8).

  13. Why should we promote Whites? Because only Whites can promote Life. Only Whites can bring Life to the stars, so to speak. If the other races come to dominate White countries we will eventually disappear, and with us any chance of moving science and technology forward. Humans will then live only at the mercy of the elements and will eventually be destroyed along with all other life on the planet when it becomes inhabitable, far into the future. Life will have failed. And then whether mankind existed for a second or for a million years will make no difference. Our history will be gone, our languages will be gone, our culture will be gone, our art and cities and everything else will be gone. No wars, no work, no striving, no sacrifices, no philosophies or religions will have mattered.

    Without Life there is no purpose to the universe. No values can exist without Life, and that is why the survival of Life, no matter what the obstacles, is the highest goal. Our scientific striving is dependent on a small group of IQ outliers, and only White men have a large number of those outliers.

    You ask why lowly Whites should be preserved. Because the race needs all, as support for the highest.

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