The Cuck Metaphor and the Alt-Right
“Cuck” is a favorite insult of the alt-right. It is used to refer to anyone who puts other races ahead of their own, personally or politically. For example, a family that adopts a black child would be described as “cucked”. More importantly to the alt-right, social policies are “cucked” if they put the interests of non-whites ahead of whites. The immigration policies of most Western countries are extremely cucked: they import large numbers of non-whites into white countries.
The “cuck” insult is based on two metaphors. One is the metaphor of the cuckoo: a bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. The host bird is deceived into raising the offspring of the cuckoo instead of its own. The term “cuckold” was commonly used to refer to a man whose wife has the child of another man. The other metaphor is conceptualizing the collective as an individual. An individual has reproductive interests, and (via the metaphor) a collective has them too. A collective that reproduces the genes of another collective is analogous to the host bird of the cuckoo. European civilization is a nest created by whites, and other races are laying their eggs in it.
The “cuck” metaphor is somewhat useful, but also somewhat misleading. It is useful in that it points out the self-destructive nature of current policies and attitudes in the West. A society or civilization that does not reproduce its own genes is doomed to fail. However, the metaphor is misleading in its equivalence between a collective and an individual. Also, the alt-right tends to view everything through the lens of race, and there is a lot more to both biology and society than race. Race is real, but it isn’t what the alt-right thinks it is.
Let’s unpack the metaphor of being “cucked”.
“Cucked” can be defined as “reproductively altruistic”. Reproductive altruism is doing uncompensated work to help others reproduce. For example, you are cucked if you adopt a child instead of having a child of your own. That would be true even if you already had three children of your own. The additional child would compete with your existing children for resources, and it might also prevent you from having another child of your own.
The concept can be generalized further, to include doing anything that isn’t reproductively selfish. A woman who pursues a career instead of a family, for example, is “career-cucked”. She may not be directly helping anyone else to reproduce, but she isn’t reproducing herself. Metaphorically, her career has displaced her potential offspring.
Cucking always involves deception of some kind. Life forms are selected to be selfish reproducers, so if a life form doesn’t try to reproduce, it must have been deceived in some way. The cuckoo tricks the host bird into raising the cuckoo’s offspring by laying an egg in the host bird’s nest, and taking advantage of the host bird’s parental instincts. A woman who puts career ahead of family has been deceived by her culture into rejecting her biological purpose of reproduction. In the case of the cucked bird, a parasite invaded the nest, posing as the host bird’s real offspring. In the case of the career woman, a parasitic meme invaded her brain, posing as a correct value-model.
Ironically, considering their use of the term, alt-righters are cucks themselves.
Alt-righters believe in racial or ethnic tribalism/collectivism. They view individuals as belonging to “groups” (they conflate racial or ethnic categories with social groups), and they believe in altruism within these groups. A white person should work to benefit white people, a Jew should work to benefit Jews, a black person should work to benefit black people, etc. They aren’t really clear on what these groups should be (English, British or white?), but they agree that the groups should be based on shared genes, not on shared culture or citizenship. They believe that you are born into a genetic tribe, and you should work together with people of your tribe to reproduce the genes of your tribe. This often involves working against people of other tribes.
This view involves two big misconceptions. One is the conflation of a descriptive category, such as a race, with a social group, such as a country. Those are very different things, although they are often correlated. The other misconception is viewing evolution as a competition between groups, rather than a competition between individuals to reproduce and/or a competition between genes to exist.
Humans form organized groups (societies) and those groups fight one another. War is a natural consequence of human nature. But it is almost unique to human nature. Complex social organization is very rare in nature, because it is hard to create an organized group out of selfish individuals. Nature is more individualistic than it is collectivistic. For groups to compete, selfish individuals must be organized into societies that can act as units. That requires mechanisms of coordination that are hard to create and maintain.
So, although group conflict is a big deal for humans, it is very rare in nature, and it certainly isn’t how evolution works. Evolution is not a struggle between races. It is a struggle between individuals to reproduce. There is also a type of “competition” between genes, but it is very different from the competition between individuals or societies.
For the sake of argument, suppose that eye color is determined by a single gene that has two alleles: a “blue” allele and a “brown” allele. If an individual has two blue alleles, then he has blue eyes. If he has two brown alleles, then he has brown eyes. If he has one blue allele and one brown allele, then his eyes will be green or hazel. (How genes actually affect eye color is more complicated.)
We can think of these two alleles as “competing”, but that is only a metaphor. The alleles are not punching each other. They can exist in the same person. They compete only in the sense that they are differentially selected in a way that depends on the environment.
Suppose that blue eyes are better at seeing in the dark, and so they are beneficial for people who spend a lot of time in dimly lit houses in the winter. In that environment, people with blue eyes might have a slight advantage over people with brown eyes. They can get more work done in the winter, and so they have slightly better clothing, houses, etc. Over many generations, this slight advantage selects for blue eyes to be more common. The competition need not involve a “blue-eye tribe” fighting against a “brown-eye tribe”.
Of course, it is possible that people with blue eyes conquer an area and spread that allele, or vice versa. Group conflict plays an important role in human evolution, because it affects survival and reproduction. But it doesn’t follow that evolution, even for humans, is a group conflict between genetic tribes. It is a competition between genetic variants, and they compete by affecting the reproduction of individuals.
It’s worth pointing out (because people sometimes forget this) that genes aren’t agents that act in the world. Genes are just nucleotide sequences. They have no will or awareness, and no ability to act in the world. A gene is “expressed” in an organism, which means that it has some effect on the physical form of the organism. Genes are selected based on their effects on the reproduction of individual organisms.
It is reproductively altruistic to work for the good of one’s race, rather than for one’s own offspring. It is investing in the offspring of others. Thus, racial or ethnic altruism is cucked. The alt-righter who adopts his race as his raison d’etre is a cuck, like the childless career woman or the Christian who adopts a child from Angola. They are all deceived into working for something other than their own reproduction.
So, alt-righters are race-cucks, in the sense of being cucked by their race. Or at least they would be if they were actually working to help white people. However, I don’t think that the alt-right actually benefits white people in general.
The alt-right is dedicated to an ideal — ethnic or racial nationalism — that is completely unrealistic and unpragmatic in the modern West, especially in the US and Canada. Take the US for example. Roughly 40% of the US population is non-white, depending on how “white” is defined. That’s more than 100 million people. Roughly half the babies born in the US are non-white. Being a white nationalist today is like trying to change the course of the Titanic after it has already hit the iceberg. There is no practical way to segregate the US population by racial categories. Immigration reform could have maintained the overwhelming white majority 30 or even 20 years ago. Now it is too late.
As an aside, this shows that issues often seem important only after it is too late to do anything about them. Acting into history requires foresight. The alt-right is reacting to history after the fact, not acting into history.
So, if the goal of the alt-right is to preserve the nest for white people and their genes, it is too late. The genes that are unique to white people won’t disappear, but they will be in the same “nest” (country, civilization) and gene-pool as the genes of non-whites.
Although I can’t fully assess the impact of the alt-right on culture and politics, I don’t think it is working to save Western civilization or the white race. By associating practical immigration reforms with racial nationalism and race hatred, the alt-right might be working against such reforms. I don’t think the alt-right helped to elect Trump. If anything, they might have made it more difficult to elect him. Remember, it was Hillary Clinton who raised the alt-right out of obscurity, not Donald Trump.
If alt-righters aren’t working for the good of their race, then what are they working for? Or, to put it another way, what are they cucked by?
Memes. They are cucked by memes.
To understand what someone is cucked by, look at what they are reproducing. The alt-right is a movement that propagates memes, mostly on the internet. Alt-righters are meme reproducers rather than gene reproducers. They aren’t working toward practical political goals. They are working to propagate memes.
We live in a strange time, a time when things are changing in ways that few people can understand. New communication media have allowed culture to take on a life of its own. Culture is becoming increasingly parasitic on biology. Parasitic memes are reproducing themselves at the expense of their hosts.
Ideologies are parasitic memes that propagate from host to host by plugging into social instincts. An ideology gives the host a feeling of purpose, a group identity, a claim to virtue, a claim to intellectual superiority, and something to do. Just as the cuckoo egg and baby plug into the host bird’s parental instincts, an ideology plugs into the host person’s social instincts. The ideology causes its host to act in a way (mainly virtue-signaling) that propagates the ideology. Gradually, the host incorporates the ideology into his identity. He starts to identify the meme’s interests as his own interests.
That is what alt-righters are doing, mostly. They are not acting into history to benefit white people or Western civilization. They are propagating memes on the internet, to benefit memes. They are meme-cucks.