Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
Take up the White Man’s burden, In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit, And work another’s gain.
Take up the White Man’s burden, The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.
“Take up the White Man’s burden, No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper, The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living, And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man’s burden And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard–
The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
“Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?”
Take up the White Man’s burden, Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper, By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples Shall weigh your gods and you.
Take up the White Man’s burden, Have done with childish days–
The lightly proferred laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood, through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!
-Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden
The idea of The White Man’s burden is one that does not receive a pleasant reception in this day and age. Considered to be the supreme manifestation of the type of condescending white supremacism that receives so much hate these days, there are many who consider the concept to be a black mark on human history.
Of course, those who save the most hate for the idea are those who consider almost everything that white people have done to be some sort of black mark on human history. There really is no taste for nuance among that sort, though there is plenty of self-flagellation for the purpose of status signaling and a burning faith in the idea that we have progressed from those times and the only things standing in the way of more progress are religion, structural inequality, and the Koch brothers’ money.
Have we progressed though? On the surface, perhaps. But the underlying principles at play here have not changed. The White Man’s Burden has not gone away. In fact, it is still very much in vogue. Many nowadays still believe that white people have a moral duty to elevate the status of other races that lack the same station in life. It is just that in this day and age, affirmative action and sensitivity training are considered the appropriate methods of doing so, as opposed to colonialism. “Social Justice” is the White Man’s Burden now.
So what’s going on? I think a deeper principle is at work here. I have recently been entertaining the notion that ideas never truly die, they merely take on different forms as time goes on (i.e. Libertarianism as the modern take on Anglo-Saxon common law, Hong Kong or Singapore as the modern take on the city-state…etc). I can’t help but think that this theory has some explanatory power in this situation…
So let us consider that “social justice” is the modern take on the White Man’s Burden. This opens up the implication that modern progressivism is a degenerate hybrid of Classical Liberalism combined with The White Man’s Burden, but it also brings up an interesting question: Why has the idea of The White Man’s Burden survived?
Some say that egalitarianism and corporatism are innate to Western Europeans, thanks to our long history of outbreeding. If this is true, it does not strike me as outside the realm of possibility that the White Man’s Burden is innate in Western Europeans as well (though the concept need not be innate in and of itself…it seems likely that the combination of corporatism and egalitarianism is sufficient enough to result in the feeling that one should take care of all men, not just one’s genetic kin).
Again, were this interpretation correct, it would seem that outbreeding is coming back to bite those of Western European heritage. The White Man’s Burden (and its modern incarnation, multicultural progressivism) are the Achilles Heel of Western Europeans. To my knowledge, no one has yet really directly addressed the troublesome implications that arise when one considers (let alone accepts) the idea that progressivism is innate to Western Europeans. Skirted at it, yes. Done a full assault on the topic, no.
It certainly raises some disturbing implications, especially for those who oppose the continued onslaught of progressivism.
Now, I personally don’t believe that innate predilections supremely dictate anything. Environmental influences certainly matter, and I think Western Europe’s long history of stable governance and reverence for authority shows that Western European Societies are not inevitably suicidal. Yet, innate preferences are a part of ones human capital and must be taken into assessment. When all is said and done, a society populated by Western Europeans will almost inevitably do very well, but the innate progressivism will have to be mitigated somehow…
I should reiterate at this point that this is merely a theory. I do not wish to paint it as fact. I think it prudent to take it into consideration nonetheless.
There is another implication of this idea that I also wish to discuss, for it has grave consequences. If an idea truly just manifests itself differently over time, that would also seem to imply that an idea can never truly be killed. We might not be able to kill off progressivism no matter how hard we try. What then?
If there is some sort of HBD component to certain ideas, we can’t necessarily rule out the possibility that r/K-selection factors in somehow. We may not ever truly be able to kill the idea of progressivism and equality, but it might be possible to create contexts in which it would be nigh impossible for progressivism and all its manifestations to gain a foothold. Such a context would need to exert significant pressure in order to promote K-selection while at the same time tempering the most destructive impulses of outbred Western Europeans (assuming that the population is derived from such stock). You might even want a context in which the level of outbreeding is lowered slightly (very slightly, for you wouldn’t want too much descent into clannish at risk of jeopardizing societal function).
Some have previously suggested space exploration as a means of facilitating such conditions, claiming that space is the ultimate K-selected environment. I have previously been skeptical of such ideas, but I have recently started to come around. The environment in Outer Space has the possibility to exert the kind of eugenic pressure I think could, over time, fundamentally change human nature itself, in ways that are consistent with reactionary ends.
So let’s think long-term here. Let’s get a little crazy. Let’s see what we can do about getting off this damn planet.
PER ASPERA AD ASTRA