I have decided to reevaluate my views on the application r/K selection theory to humans as done by Rushton and the Anonymous Conservative (whom I will refer to as AC). The blogger RaceRealist made a fairly good case that Rushton’s application (and by extension AC’s) of r/K selection theory to humans is based on false premises.
Race Realist responded to me in the following comment:
Thanks for being objective. That’s rare to find nowadays.
I’ve spent years researching Rushton’s theory and thinking about how it applies to humans. Then I thought ‘Why only read what I agree with here when I don’t do that for other things?’ Then I found Judith Anderson’s ecology critique and then I went back to read the Graves paper that I just handwaved away.
Rushton’s misapplication of r/K theory was based on Pianka’s (1970) r/K continuum. That’s wrong. Describing behaviors as ‘r’ or ‘K’ is stupid. r and K describe agents of selection. Endemic disease is an agent of K while cold winters are an agent of r—which Rushton completely reversed! He literally arbitrarily put r-selection to Africans and K to Eurasians because it ‘fit with the data’. True—it did.
However where he went wrong was 1) treating human races as local populations (he’d need to look at one population in one ecosystem and compare it to another in a different one. These populations can be on the same continent (Africa) or two different ones (say, Africa and Northern Europe). 2) to apply the theory based on behaviors in modern environments makes no sense. Organisms MUST be studied in the environment that the selection was hypothesized to have occurred. Not doing so means it’s fine to disregard what he says about r/K selection in application to humans. Even omitting the racial comparisons doesn’t save it. 3) Evolutionary biologists and ecologists don’t even use the theory anymore.
I’ve brought this up to PumpkinPerson and he won’t take to it. I’ve explained to him that Rushton reversed r and K for humans (if it were applicable to us) and he still spews Rushton’s garbage. I know that it’s tough to change your beliefs and then the backfire effect occurs (which occurs when you’re presented with new information then do anything you can to find information to back what you originally thought after presented with said new information). That’s one cognitive bias I’ve learned to nip in the bud recently. I’ve also found it much easier to change my view by reading new information myself.
Now I’m at the bookstore every week in the biology section buying new books (I did this anyway) that are the opposite of what I believe to see what I think after. Constantly reevaluating your views is the logical—and intellectually honest—thing to do.
So anyone who pushes this theory is pushing a wrong theory, and applying it to other aspects of our lives also makes no sense. Behaviors are not ‘r’ or ‘K’. Behaviors are responses to the selective agent—whether it is r or K. People like Anonymous Conservative, Stephan Molyneaux and the other guys you brought up then—by proxy—push a wrong theory. Read the papers provided and follow the references to read more in depth about how to apply it—and why it’s not in use anymore.
This, then, leaves use with one troubling conclusion: anything based off of Rushton’s r/K selection theory is wrong by proxy. Rushton didn’t understand evolution and life history theory (r/K selection). I saw one critique of Rushton’s theory saying that ‘only a bad person would push a theory like this’. That’s a flawed retort. Ad hominem attacks in scholarly discussion do not work. Theories like Rushton’s must be deconstructed to show how and why they are wrong, lest other people believe something that is horribly flawed and incorrect.
I’ll most definitely be showing others how and why Rushton is wrong as well. Rushton was wrong about a ton from penis size to testosterone. This is just the nail in the coffin.
Rushton didn’t even reply to Graves or Anderson in print, take that for what you will.
… so now you know the gist of the problem I suppose.
Personally speaking, some of AC’s views have rubbed me the wrong way, largely because of his sometimes neoconservative bent. This is not to say he does not have more praiseworthy and transcendent ideas, he does, but this still does not overshadow larger problems: that r/K selection was not applied in the way it theoretically should have been, and that the theory itself is discredited: see RaceRealist’s recent blog post for details.
I previously wrote a post on Tolkien’s Elves and r/K selection theory, in which I described Tolkien’s elves as a K-selected ideal in a universal sense. I now reject this idea. However, as I mentioned in my earlier post, the elves have managed to follow an evolutionary strategy which gives them high fitness in their usual habitats. Thier phenotypes are also characteristically Northern European. So I still think of the elf as a biological ideal, but not in a universal sense of being “the measure of all things”. Rather the elves are a particular aristocratic ideal of the Germanic and to a certain degree Insular Celtic peoples who first conceived of them in their mythologies (and yes, just as some elves have dark hair, a minority of Germanic people such as King Halfdan the Black did/do as well).
From a Jungian perspective, the elf is an archetype which is part of the collective unconscious of Northwestern Europeans. It is, in my view, what would normally direct them (or perhaps I should say us given that I am a NW Euro) on a eugenic evolutionary path. This can be completed through selection for biological fitness in one’s environment and through endogamy within a biologically related clade or “subrace” (while excluding 1st – 3rd cousin marriages). The result is a eugenic biological transcendence from the parent race, and species, to form a new aristocratic clade.
As an end note, the current demographic pressures on the NW European gene pool may act as the refining fire from which a new aristocratic clade will emerge. Remember: it is always darkest before the dawn and what does not kill us will only make us stronger.
There has apparently been weak communication between the faction of the Right which considers r/K selection to be influential in politics and the faction (usually HBD folks like Evolutionistx and RaceRealist) who have either not expressed such views or rejected them.
Whichever side is correct, it seems apparent that patrifocal societies (Confucian, Indo-European, Abrahamic) are more right-wing/Authoritarian and more matrifocal ones (modern Sweden, many modern Germanic speaking countries) are more Left-wing/Totalitarian. Politics may ultimately depend on if women are trying to appease men (right-wing), or men trying to appease women (left-wing).
Still, r/K selection theory should be discussed so that the truth might be deduced on this matter.
Argue at will! (even if this is an old post by the time you come across it).
[if no one argues here, then argue somewhere else so that the reactosphere can reach a consensus on this issue]
Because of heavy school work, I plan to lower my posting frequency for the next few months. Keep in mind if you choose to browse older posts of mine that they are likely to be more and more ‘immature’ the farther back you go, that doesn’t mean that they don’t contain any valid information, but they are likely to seem a bit odd to newer members of my audience.
In the mean time, I will now provide a link to a philosophy channel on Youtube since some individuals have asked me, as well as Curt Doolittle, where to start on studying philosophy or various philosophers. The name of the channel: Rules of the Mind. There is also a traditional Catholic MGTOWist named Mark who has done some very thorough videos especially on Nietzsche you can click this link to go to his Youtube channel. (I haven’t been incorporating Nietzsche into my posts with the intent of annoying Christians; if Mark has learned something from Nietzsche, I think Nietzsche is of some worth to Christians).
Now since someone commented on my previous post bringing up the fact that male members of K-selected species are masculinized, and that this conflicts with the somewhat androgynous appearance of the elves (who have many K-selected traits), I will now show visual examples of the masculinity which male elves possess in spite of their beardlessness and long hair.
Feanor and his followers
Thranduil and Elrond:
The Noldor and Vanyar
There is a perverse tendency among some members of the right to equate ugliness and stupidity with masculinity. One of the reasons I began this blog in the first place was to counter this tendency.
The archetypal duality between the aesthetically harmonious, refined, intelligent man, and the extremely strong, bearded (I’m not saying beards are necessarily ugly), unintelligent one is actually quite old and can be seen in the Norse deities of Baldur and Thor, as well as in Greek myth in the conflicting characters of Apollo (beardless, intellectual) and Heracles (bearded, strong, unrefined). Because male elves visually tend to embody the former archetype more than the latter (in their behavior they often embody both), there is a tendency to see them as effeminate; I don’t exactly see them this way; they are just a different type of masculine than many are accustomed to.
In the United States, these two conflicting male archetypes were brought over, respectively, by the refined Cavaliers to the Virginia Tidewater, and the rough backcountry Scotch-Irish to Appalachia. This has, of course, led to vastly different cultural trajectories for these two areas of the South. Having grown up in the area of the US where the Cavaliers settled, I suppose that I was influenced by their ideas about aesthetics and masculinity, and you will find this reflected throughout my blog.
Update 7/14/17: The part of the discussion here on r/K selection is likely rubbish, but other ideas comparing the Nietzschean Ubermensch to the Elves are relevant and interesting.
It has been a habit of mine to mention the elves of Tolkien’s literary corpus as an aristocratic nobility of the second estate. One might ask, however, why would I choose such androgynous looking beings to be an embodiment of the clearly masculine warrior/aristocratic class. For starters, elves are wicked at fighting, and Tolkien clearly drew inspiration for his elves from the mythic aristocracies of super-humans such as the Celtic Tuatha Dé Danann and Norse alfar (source). The elves are also more resistant than men are to the dark powers of the ring.
The elf ultimately represents a higher type of humanoid being, being naturally immortal, aesthetically beautiful, not prone to disease, and possessing great keenness of the senses and wisdom. As I have stated in earlier posts, the higher type of man, the Overman, is ultimately the product of an aristocratic society; as Nietzsche puts it “EVERY elevation of the type “man,” has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society and so it will always be …” (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 257). The mechanism by which this occurs is something which I will explain at the end of this essay, but first, let us review r/K selection theory in order to understand the evolution of the higher man — the elf.
r/K selection theory is something which many in the dissident right are aware of. r-selection occurs in an environment where resources are plentiful, but survival is not guaranteed due to the unpredictable forces of nature and predators; this is characteristic of tropical, and often subtropical environments such as coral reefs, rain forests, and warm floodplains and swamps. There is no advantage given to in-group cooperation, or high investment parenting in these environments, because offspring may easily die young, and no group cooperation is needed to secure resources to survive. Consequently, an r-selected species takes an evolutionary strategy of reproducing at a young age, and producing many, many offspring with little energy investment; this maximizes quantity over quality in the offspring. This strategy is suitable for organisms with a very short lifespan; it requires early sexualization of the young, and high promiscuity. This is the strategy of lower, simpler life forms –frogs, fish, most invertebrate animals, and protozoans. I would also add that this is the type of selection which would have been favored in Neolithic agricultural human populations living around river valleys. While these areas provided abundant food for humans, massive floods and droughts periodically wiped out vast numbers of people, thus r-selection was favored here because while many offspring could easily be supported, many could easily die off due to uncontrollable events.
Contrarily, K-selection occurs where resources are limited but the environment is stable, such as a dry or cold grassland or boreal forest, or perhaps a desert; this is where high investment parenting pays off, and discipline and in-group cooperation are necessary to secure resources and survive. A K-selected organism will begin reproducing at a later age, and produce fewer offspring; this maximizes quality over quantity. This is the strategy of organisms with a longer lifespan; it requires late sexualization of the young, and the reproduction tends towards monogamy and high energy investment in offspring; thus favoring quality over quantity in the offspring. This is the strategy of higher, more complex life forms; elephants, humans, great apes, and carnivorous mammals. In human populations, this type of selection would have occurred in upland hunter-gatherer societies where food was limited and required group cooperation to secure, but natural disasters such as floods were rare. So while fewer offspring could be supported in these hunter-gatherer societies, they were more likely to survive, and thus quality could be prioritized over quantity in reproductive terms, hence supporting K-selection.
In an older article I wrote on the biological origins of higher civilizations, I concluded that higher civilizations originate where evolutionary strategies from both Neolithic farmers and Paleolithic hunter-gatherers occur, such as (in the present day) Northwestern Europe and Japan; this is because of the convergence of r (Neolithic) and K (Paleolithic) evolutionary strategies which give society both willful assertive leaders and pacified obedient followers. This generally fits the Nietzschean theory on the origin of higher civilizations, which states that these civilizations originate from the phenomena of barbarians, with an unbroken will (K-selected; paleolithic strategy), dominating more peaceful human populations (r-selected, Neolithic strategy). I explore all this in more depth in the article I link to above.
Now back to the main point of this discussion: what characteristics of the elves identify them as being K-selected organisms? Well, I ran across a rather amusing article regarding What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex. According to this website, Tolkien’s elves have a long pregnancy term compared to humans, 12 months, and this is clearly a high energy investment in individual offspring, biologically speaking. Elves also weren’t prone to have large numbers of children because their sex drive declined after procreation. Elves had extremely long lifespans; they were, of course naturally immortal. The elves also were highly monogamous; any kind of sex was a de facto marriage rite, and the elves never committed adultery. Elves did not complete their childhood and adolescence until they were 50 years old, which is much older than the human age of ~15-20 years old, at which point they were fully sexualized and began to look for a mate. The elves also possess the K-selected trait of being highly altruistic towards their own in-group (often a clan such as the Noldor and Teleri); this is an important trait for an aristocrat charged with protecting his domain from parasites. Elves also retained the physical form of their youth their entire lives and were thus neotenous. Neoteny is a characteristic of more highly evolved hominids; it is what grants humans the smaller maxilla and mandible in comparison to the rest of the cranium (it’s one reason we don’t look like our ape ancestors). Certain human races (collective phenotypes) are also more neotenous than others, but elaborating on this in the context of what I have just said would be equivalent to sparking a powder keg! My point here regarding the elven trait of neoteny is that it shows their more highly evolved biological state than ordinary humans. So, in summary, Tolkien, in his elves, described for us a highly K-selected, more highly evolved type of man; a biological aristocrat, and as we shall see in the paragraphs below, an Ubermensch or Superman, similar to what Fredrich Nietzsche speaks of in Thus Spake Zarathustra.
There are more than K-selected traits of the elves which show their status of the as superhuman creatures. The spiritual characteristics of the elves also bear resemblance to those of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch or Superman. Now let’s see Nietzsche explicitly introduce his concept of the Superman in both evolutionary and spiritual terms.
And Zarathustra spake thus unto the people:
I teach you the Superman. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast than surpass man?
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.
Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes.
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and phantom. But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The Superman shall be the meaning of the earth!
In the above passages, you can see Nietzsche’s emphasis on the body, that it is not to be despised, and in order to arrive at the Superman or Ubermensch, it is necessary to be accepting of the body, and of life, because the Superman, as we saw before, is the meaning of the earth, the physical realm. This also agrees with the concept of the Tolkienian elf being a type of Superman, as an elf who dies do not go to some unknown spiritual plane, as the souls of men, but their soul (fëar) is bound to Arda (earth) (source). If an elven soul so chooses it may go to the halls of Mandos, located on the continent of Aman, and may be reincarnated into a body (hröar) identical to the old one. So the elf, like the Superman of Nietzsche is an earthbound creature. Of equal importance, the perfect and healthy body, represented in Tolkien’s elves (who are not prone to disease, physical flaws, and aging as men are) preaches of the meaning of the earth, just as the Superman described by Nietzsche’s character Zarathustra. There are other characteristics which the elves share with Nietzsche’s Overman, particularly their role as creators of values, which I discuss in my article The Ubermensch as an Archetype; this aspect of elven personality is particularly pronounced in the examples of Fingolfin, Feanor, and Thranduil. Therefore, in summary, the elf is essentially an icon of the Superman (I borrowed this use of the word “icon” from the commenter pseudo-Chrysostom). As an image of higher man, the elf encourages the striving of man towards higher man, just as an icon of a saint encourages a theosis towards sainthood for the devoted Orthodox Christian.
Now, the passages I have presented from Thus Spake Zarathustra bring up the issue of the immortality of the soul. Nietzsche did not believe in the immortality of the soul, but, as we have seen, Tolkien is able to synthesize the concept of the earth-bound Superman and the immortal soul in the elf. This is what many early religions (Indo-European polytheism, the Israelite religion etc.) did before Christianity and Islam with their concepts of heaven came about. In these earlier religions, the soul was simply assumed to be bound to the physical realm, and went to Sheol or Hades after death; in some religions, the soul might reincarnate into a new earthly body, just as certain elves are able to do in Tolkien’s universe.
So, as we have seen, the disparity between Tolkien and Nietzsche is smaller than many would think. I believe this is because we all internally know, you, me, Nietzsche and Tolkien, what the characteristics of higher man are; we know deep inside, what we are to evolve into, and it is necessary that we have an intuitive drive to evolve into higher life forms in order for the Cosmos itself to evolve (this is the basis of the panentheistic religion of Cosmotheism). This drive towards the Ubermensch seems almost like something placed within us by a divinity, and it is stronger in some individuals than others. I could claim that those with more of this drive are the elect of the divine presence permeating the universe (perhaps I am inclined to believe in an esoteric Calvinism as a nod to my puritan ancestors, even though their iconoclastic values screwed up the United States). This election is different from an Abrahamic covenant in that it does not involve a conversion or affirmation of faith; it is something deeper and more naturally present in the individual which he or she may not even consciously realize is there.Thus the answer to the following question should be clear: if I seek to be a Nietzschean creator of values, an Ubermensch, then why do I require the metaphysical system of Cosmotheism to justify my values? The answer is that I do not require a metaphysical system to justify my values — I already valued the beauty and intricate complexity of life and the Universe before learning about Cosmotheism. Cosmotheism articulated these values so clearly and completely that I choose to describe myself as a Cosmotheist.
Cosmotheism was also agreeable to me because it carries no necessary conflict with polytheism; the various forces and gods which one might believe to inhabit the Cosmos are ultimately just parts of the Cosmos just as we are, but only the Cosmos, the Whole is the original Creator. It is a religion in which one’s ethics are centred around completing the great sacrament we call life for the sake of the evolution of the Cosmos; from eating, to exercising, to choosing a mate, and having sex, to becoming a teacher and mentor for the young when one is old and experienced at life. As a codified religion, it is, in my opinion, perhaps the most practical solution to nihilism for those who are unable to become creators of values themselves.
Now returning to the drive towards an Ubermensch which is ultimately part of the will of the Creator towards cosmic evolution, The Anonymous Conservative seems to have a similar realization that I do which he describes in Chapter Twenty Six — What is K? — of The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics:
In the end, K is something programmed into the computer code of the universe — a fundamental fore integral to the world, and designed to arise spontaneously, due to the designed nature of it. Once arisen, it guides the evolution of every self sufficient organism’s form and function. K may even be the fundamental force really driving the universe’s organizaiton, if not the underlying purpose of thhe entire Creation. In its most basic form, K is about the fostering of a specific quality within the Universe’s organization. The quality can be loosely be described as “greatness,” – encompassing such variables as complexity, ability, resiliency, sophistication, creativity, adaptability, etc.
If one examines the world around them, they will quickly come to the realization that, over the long haul, it favors K innately, and that this is likely an engineered design. God does not want to crack the hood on His Creation, only to look out upon a Universe of a worlds that all look like the world in the movie Idiocracy, filled with imbeciles denigrating the lone eloquent smart person. Indeed, were the universe designed to favor r, evolution would never have even made it that far. All God would see in a perpetually r-universe would be ever more rapidly expanding blobs of goo, each unit of goo competing fiercely with the others, to see which can expend less energy on greatness and complexity, to focus on repoducing more of an ever less-evolved goo.
— The Anonymous Conservative, Chapter Twenty Six — What is K? — , The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics
So now when we speak of a “eugenic” goal, if we are to have one, we see that is its the goal that the Cosmos already has; there is no need to wander in the dark, or to simply pick a single man-made quantitative parameter such as IQ (which eventually results in Ashkenazi Jewish supremacism), because K-selection is essentially what drives the evolution of the Cosmos into something more complex and beautiful.
How is K-selection accomplished in the present day? We already have the resource limitation provided by overpopulation, but we also need to create stable environments where an evolutionary strategy to produce fewer offspring of higher quality is successful in the long-term due to a lack of predators (so-to-speak). This requires the creation of what we call civilization, which must include a wise and noble aristocracy for its preservation against invaders and deceitful parasites. The Hestia Society is in a sense correct in saying “The only morality is civilization”. Civilization creates an environment where, when fewer offspring are produced, but of higher quality and complexity, they will ultimately survive, reproduce, and pass on their highly evolved phenotypes to the next generation. Where the civilization is ethnocentric this evolutionary process is able to occur without corruption and uncontrolled genetic dilution. And is not the refinement of civilization what the true right is aiming for? Yes, it is, and now you see that our purpose which we will is ultimately the purpose of the Cosmos which drives the higher evolution of the Cosmos. We are the elect of the Cosmos. Those who attempt to destroy us and our purpose are reprobate.
But what happens when the Cosmos destroys itself, and these highly evolved life forms with it, when the sun dies, the earth perishes, and our galaxy and many others are swallowed up in a black hole? Well, now you see the dionysian side of the Creator which complements the apollonian side. There is beauty in impermanence. This is understood well in Buddhism and the derived Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi. It is also expressed in Nietzsche’s idea of an aesthetic justification of life which is embodied in Greek tragedy. As a destroyer of value, Time is dead — we have killed him.
Postscript: why the consequential low birthrates of K-selection are not necessarily bad:
I may have displeased some social conservatives with my lack of enthusiasm for talking about family values in previous posts. And to be fair, placing these values before all else is a mistake of religious dogmatists. Nevertheless, the traditional family is clearly an asset because it minimises the wasteful use of resources towards purely vain hedonistic ends. It is by means of the traditional family that an aristocracy is established, and it is by means of the traditional family that it is preserved through efficient reproduction and childrearing, and its power is not diminished through wasteful polyamorous spending. This is ultimately why certain leftists dislike the traditional (monogamous, heterosexual) family. To them it represents power, and because the position of the left is essentially derived from slave morality, a morality centered around demonizing the powerful and all their attributes, it should not come as a surprise that much of the left hates, or rather fears, the traditional family, and may even go so far as to call it “oppressive”.
The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues of the powerful; he has a skepticism and distrust, a REFINEMENT of distrust of everything “good” that is there honoured–he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. … Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utility. Here is the seat of the origin of the famous antithesis “good” and “evil”:–power and dangerousness are assumed to reside in the evil, a certain dreadfulness, subtlety, and strength, which do not admit of being despised. According to slave-morality, therefore, the “evil” man arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is precisely the “good” man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is regarded as the despicable being. –Fredrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil Chapter IX, paragraph 260 (emphasis mine)
It is ultimately the Will to Power, the intuitive genetic self-interest, as Butch Leghorn calls it, of the left, which is driving the left against the traditional family, and it is ultimately the Will to Power of the right which is driving us to keep it intact, and further, to promote it as an ideal, contrary to a life of consisting of endless masturbation, pornography viewing, and one-night stands. Now it should be obvious why a certain *ahem* small section of our society promotes such a libertine lifestyle. Yes, I think you know who I am speaking of. If I told you outright who they were the SPLC would try to ruin my life. The traditional family is in their way. It limits their power. It makes us more difficult to exploit financially and otherwise, and it makes us more likely to organise a long-lasting opposition to their power. Therefore, their Will to Power encourages them to destroy the traditional family.
Now, it is said that monogamous reproduction is a characteristic of a K, rather than an r evolutionary reproductive strategy (The Anonymous Conservative), and this is ultimately the biological basis for these opposing Wills to Power. It is the master versus the slave, in Nietzschean terms, that respectively corresponds to the K versus the r in biological terms.