Eugenostate versus Ethnostate
I’m going to make the case for the “eugenostate”, by which I mean a state that has eugenic policies, in contrast with the ethnostate, which is based on racial or ethnic criteria. I will contrast them in terms of how easy or difficult it would be to create them, and the benefits provided by each. I claim that the eugenostate is far better as a political goal.
I should explain what I mean by “eugenic policies”.
Let’s dispense with the various strawmen first. Eugenics is not Nazism. It does not require killing people. It is not some perverse meddling in nature.
Eugenics is deliberate social regulation of the genome. As I define it, eugenics is selecting for traits that make people good members of society. Some people are more productive and responsible than others. They make a net contribution to society. Others are less productive and responsible. They are a net cost to society. Eugenics means socially selecting for traits that make people productive and responsible members of society.
How could we do this?
Should we use mass genetic engineering to raise IQ? No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t propose genetic engineering and I don’t believe that high IQ is a good basis for eugenics. A high IQ is neither necessary nor sufficient to be a good member of society.
Here is my proposal. Reproduction should require a license, in the same way that driving requires a license. Potential parents should have to apply for a license in order to have a child. To get the license, they must satisfy certain requirements. They must be paying a certain amount of tax, so that they are contributing to society in general. They must be capable of supporting a child at a decent standard of living. They must not have serious criminal records. Both biological parents should agree to the existence of the child, and both would be held responsible for supporting and raising the child.
This policy would require parents to pay the costs of their children. It would reduce the number of children who are supported by the state. It would also prevent children from being born to serious criminals. It would select for productivity. It would select against any genetic causes of criminal behavior. It would ensure that children have two parents to raise them. It would ensure that both parents consent to the child and are held responsible for the child’s welfare.
This policy can be justified on standard ethical grounds alone, regardless of its eugenic benefits. It follows from the very general ethical principle that people should not inflict harm on others. Most behaviors that could cause harm to others are regulated by society. For example, society regulates driving to prevent bad drivers from inflicting harm on others. The same should apply to reproduction. Children that cannot be supported by their parents are a burden on society. Uncontrolled reproduction inflicts harm on others, and so there is a clear ethical basis for socially controlling reproduction.
The social control of reproduction is not a new idea. It is a very old and almost universal practice. In the past, reproduction was controlled by the institution of marriage. Almost every society had some form of marriage that regulated human sexual behavior. Sex outside marriage was not allowed. We abandoned the traditional control of reproduction without understanding its function or the consequences of abandoning it. We are now seeing the consequences (and paying the costs) of abandoning marriage. It is time to replace marriage with a modern form of reproduction control.
How could we enforce limits on reproduction?
There are various ways to do it. A person who violates the policy could be sterilized and/or forced to be on birth control until they can repay society for the incurred costs of supporting the child. Supervised birth control and regular testing should be required for criminals and welfare recipients.
Wouldn’t that be horribly authoritarian?
No. It would be no more authoritarian than limiting the freedom to drive or the freedom to kill other people. Reproduction has serious consequences that can be harmful to others, and so the social control of reproduction is justified for the same reason that social constraints on other behaviors are justified.
Wouldn’t it be difficult to enforce?
No. It would be easier than enforcing many current laws, including traffic regulations and the law against murder. The law against murder is difficult to enforce because it is often difficult to identify murderers. Some murders go unsolved. No one uses this as an argument that murder should be legal. It would not be difficult to identify people who have unlicensed children. It’s pretty hard to conceal a child. It is much easier to get away with murder.
The regulation of reproduction could be carried out by the existing justice system. It would require only a few new laws and enforcement methods. By contrast, the social regulation of driving requires a complex system of traffic lights, signs, and specialized enforcement techniques such as radar. Traffic laws are immensely complex compared to the policy I have proposed for regulating reproduction. No one proposes that we should stop regulating driving because it involves certain social costs and difficulties. The social costs and difficulties of regulating reproduction would be far less than those involved in regulating traffic. And whatever costs are involved would be paid back many times over in savings. The reduction in welfare usage alone would probably be many times higher than the cost of enforcement.
Some people might object that eugenics “interferes with the natural order of things”. That’s a silly objection and the naturalistic fallacy. What is the natural order of things? Until recently, most children died young. Now, modern civilization allows most children to live to adulthood. If eugenics violates the natural order, then so does modern civilization. And without eugenics, modern civilization is unsustainable. Eugenic population control is needed to balance the effects of modern prosperity on the human population. We could use eugenic population control to create a new “natural order” of sustainable prosperity. Why shouldn’t we? Nature will not strike us down for using eugenics. In fact, the opposite is true. Nature will eventually destroy our civilization if we don’t regulate our population eugenically.
Now that I have given my proposal for the eugenostate, let’s contrast it with the ethnostate idea. The ethnostate is a society based on a racial or subracial population group/identity. Here are the problems with the ethnostate.
How do you define the population?
There will inevitably be different conceptions of the in-group, and there is no principled way to choose one over the others. Human beings are not divided into discrete categories, and there isn’t a single, natural way to do it. For example, consider a native of Scotland. Is he Scottish, British, European, white or Caucasian? There are many different ways to divide people into categories based on genes and/or ancestry. For any such scheme, there will always be people who fall on the boundaries between groups. There are also people of mixed racial or ethnic descent. Defining the in-group is a major problem for the ethnostate concept. No matter how it is defined, it will be somewhat arbitrary, and there will be disagreements about it.
How do you unmix populations?
The West already has a lot of people of non-European ancestry, and a lot of people of mixed European and non-European ancestry. Those people are not divided into separate ethnic homelands or territories. They are intermingled within regions, cities and neighborhoods. They are economically integrated. Breaking apart an existing society on that scale is hard to imagine without major hardship and probably civil war. For example, there are roughly 130 million non-whites in the US.
The ethnostate doesn’t solve the fundamental problems with the modern world, and it might create some new problems.
By itself, the ethnostate would not solve the problem of dysgenics. It would not solve the long-term problems of population growth and resource depletion. It would not solve the breakdown of the family. Feminism, communism and other variations on the Marxist theme are not incompatible with ethnic or racial nationalism. By making everything about collectives rather than individuals, the ethnostate concept might be associated with socialism or even communism. The ethnostate might create some new problems, such as economic disruption or war between ethnostates. Nationalism does not provide a basis for global peace. It divides humanity into competing groups with no shared vision or values.
To solve the problems of the modern West, you would need to add several things to the ethnostate: eugenics, population control, resource conservation, a reformation of sexual relations, a commitment to limited government and free markets, and some kind of global governance structure to keep the peace globally and regulate the global commons.
But if you had all those other things, why would you need the ethnostate? Of course, it depends on what you want to do, but even if your goal is preserving the white race in its current form, it isn’t clear that the ethnostate is necessary to do that, and it certainly isn’t sufficient. Without eugenics, the genome of the white race would gradually decay, regardless of whether it is politically and sexually segregated from other races.
By itself, eugenic reproduction control would solve most of the problems that racial nationalists claim to be concerned about. It would reduce criminal behavior, raise IQ, and prevent free rider reproduction by unproductive people. It would eliminate the subsidized high fertility of Muslims in Europe, and the higher fertility rate of Hispanics in the United States. Globally, it would prevent the population explosion in Africa and parts of the Muslim world. It would even help to raise fertility rates for whites. Having children would become higher status because children would demonstrate productivity and responsibility. This would help to reverse the low fertility rates that we see in modern societies. It would also help to correct the breakdown of male-female relationships. A woman would need a consenting male partner to reproduce, and that would give men more bargaining power in the sexual market.
The biggest problem with the eugenostate is that it doesn’t plug into emotions and existing moral intuitions. It can be argued for rationally, but that is not a very efficient way to propagate an idea. By contrast, the ethnostate concept is much better as propaganda. It generates strong emotional reactions, both for it and against it. That gives it memetic power. It propagates well on social media. But it does not provide us with actual solutions to actual problems. It wasn’t selected on that basis. It was selected to propagate. It is a parasitic meme.
Unfortunately, ideas that have been selected to propagate will always make better propaganda than rational solutions to problems. We have to break out of that trap, somehow.