Alymer Fisher’s The Pro-Life Temptation has caused a stir in the Alt Right. Hunter Wallace wrote two pieces criticizing Fisher at his Occidental Dissent blog, while Greg Johnson has put in his own two cents at Counter Currents.
Abortion is a hot topic right now because of Donald Trump. Trump was strongly pro-choice in the past, and few of his supporters or detractors think he has gone through a serious conversion. His recent controversy resulted from his botching of pro-life talking points while trying to pander to pro-lifers. Nevertheless, he has focused renewed attention on abortion within the Alt Right.
Before addressing Hunter Wallace’s arguments, I’d like to make a couple of disclaimers and an attempt to find some common ground.
First, while I disagree with Hunter Wallace, I greatly value the work he has done for the movement, and I hope he sees this article as part of a healthy debate.
Unlike foreign affairs, immigration, or multiculturalism, abortion is not an issue that really defines the Alt Right or separates it from mainstream conservatism. In other words, no one comes to the Alt Right because they are attracted to our positions on abortion, nor does the media attention we have received of late have anything to do with this issue. Thus, it’s unnecessarily divisive to try to create some sort of “party line.”
However, there are a few issues that most on the Alt-Right agree on.
- We are not “pro-choice” in the sense that we do not believe women have an absolute right to “control their bodies” and that either sex should be free of the consequences of their sexual choices.
- We reject the bromides of the pro-life movement about “black genocide,” Margaret Sanger’s fascist villainy, or how women are the “second victims” of abortion.
With that said, while abortion may be a side issue, it is not inconsequential. It reflects how we view rights, life, and demographics.
In this respect, I think Wallace deeply errs.
1. Abortion Rates, Not Absolute Numbers, Matter.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion breakdown by race in 2008 was as follows: 36.1 percent Non-Hispanic White, 29.6 percent Black, 9.4 percent Other, and 24.9 percent Hispanic. In other words, more White women than Black women are getting abortions.”
Hunter ignores that Whites still are approximately 70 percent of the population. Stating that abortion affects Whites more than Blacks because a greater absolute number of Whites have an abortion is no different than those who will point to higher absolute levels of White crime to suggest that Whites are more violent than Blacks.
In the comment section of the Pro-Life Temptation, many Radix readers did not seem to understand this, so I will explain via a simple hypothetical. Imagine you have a society that has 1,000 pregnancies a year, none of which are aborted: 800 births are to Whites and 200 to blacks; thus 80 percent of all births are to Whites. The next year, abortion is legalized. Whites have an abortion rate of 10 percent, and Blacks have a an abortion rate of 30 percent: 80 white pregnancies are aborted, and 60 black pregnancies are aborted. The next year, there would be 720 White pregnancies and 140 Black pregnancies, with Whites now making up 84 percent of all births. Even though there is a higher absolute number of White abortions, the society becomes Whiter.
2. Abortion Didn’t Cause the White Demographic Decline
Mid-way through his critique, Wallace gives a long list of state-by-state demographics as of 1970.
Alabama – 74 percent White
Georgia – 74 percent White
South Carolina – 69 percent White
Mississippi – 63 percent White
Florida – 77 percent White
Louisiana – 66 percent White
Texas – 66 percent White
This is what America looked like in 1970 on the cusp of Roe v. Wade when abortion on demand was illegal in all but a handful of states. . . . America has never in its entire history been whiter before or since.
It might seem autistic to accuse someone of a logical fallacy in an online debate . . . but this is a textbook case of post hoc ergo procter hoc. There is an obvious alternative cause to White’s demographic displacement—immigration policy. Wallace attempts to tie abortion to immigration, noting,
As it happens, the 45 million immigrants who have arrived since 1965 have replaced the 45 million Whites and blacks we have aborted since Roe v. Wade.
Yet this ignores that the 1965 Immigration Act, which fueled mass immigration, predated Roe by many years.
Given that Blacks and Hispanics are both much more likely to have abortions than Whites, Whites would be an even smaller share of the population if abortion had not been legalized.
3. Birth Control, Not Abortion, Causes Falling White Birth Rates.
According to Wallace:
Colorado has been singled out and cited as an abortion success story. Just so you know, the latest abortion numbers from Colorado in 2012 paint a very different story: Non-Hispanic White women are getting 60.8% of abortions in Colorado, Black women are getting 7.2%, Other accounts for 9% and Hispanic for 23%. The birthrate of low-income women that is plummeting in Colorado is likely that of White women.
First, as Colorado is 70 percent non-Hispanic White, abortion still has an overall eugenic benefit in Colorado. More importantly, he misread Fisher’s argument. Fisher was praising Colorado’s plan to provide free long-term contraceptives to the poor—not abortion. As Fisher wrote,
[T]he state provided intrauterine devices and implants that, unlike condoms or the pill, did not require that the user be responsible enough to plan ahead. Within a few years, the birth rate of low-income women plummeted.”
Pro-life conservatives, predictably, compared this policy to Nazi eugenics. Because this was the only way to get non-Whites to use birth control, one would expect there to be a lower gap between White and non-White abortion rates in Colorado because of the contraceptives.
This segues into a larger point. While birth control may be selfish, it requires some forward planning and discipline. You spend money on “the pill” and take it every day to avoid the mere possibility of a pregnancy in the future. Thus, while Blacks are more likely to have abortion, Whites are more likely to use birth control.
Birth control, not abortion, is what causes lower White birth rates. Few on the Alt Right have argued for banning birth control, and it would be an incredibly unpopular position to take. I’m sure most everyone reading this has used some form of contraception at some time, as have 98 percent of women who have been sexually active.
While I think the pill has been a major net negative on civilization, the genie is out of the lamp, and we need to deal with society as it is.
4. Eugenics or Eugenic Effects
Wallace responds to the arguments about whether we should waste our political capital on fighting birth control or abortion by noting the irony of “the same people who say we can’t outlaw or restrict abortion are strongly in favor of even more implausible government mandated eugenics schemes.”
But by supporting legalized abortion (or at least not bothering to fight it), we are not making the larger case of eugenics; we are rather accepting a policy with eugenic effects that is already in place. While I support eugenics (more on this below), leaving abortion laws as is, is not viewed by society as “eugenics.”
There are many public policies that have strong eugenic and dysgenic effects without coming under the rubric of “eugenics.” The crushing burden of student-loan debt, for example, prevents many young college-educated (high IQ) White couples from having children at a young age. In contrast, welfare subsidies for children encourage the poor and uneducated to reproduce.
We could support ending welfare for young mothers and ending the education-financial complex—both of which are popular positions among certain segments of the Left and Right—because they would have eugenic effects for our people.
(Yes, I am acknowledging my eugenic motives, but as I said, we don’t have much of an effect on these policy debates one way or the other. The question is simply what we decide to spend our limited resources and political capital on.)
5. The Ubermensch, the Untermensch, and the Embryo
Wallace reacted in horror to a quote from Greg Johnson’s essay on abortion:
for eugenic purposes, it might be very useful to fertilize a dozen eggs, sequence their genomes, choose only to implant the best, and wash the rest down the drain.
He fails to note that Johnson followed that sentence with “but no decent society can countenance such casual killing of healthy human beings.” Wallace goes on to discuss whether we support “White Identity” or some Nietzschean concept of a “superman.”
I’ll be happy to argue for Wallace’s straw man. I don’t really consider myself a Nietzschean. However, all things being equal, I would prefer a society populated by attractive, healthy, and intelligent people—rather than the ugly, sick, and stupid. Like all ends, there are some means that I find objectionable. I think most of us would agree that it’s wrong to indiscriminately murder everyone below an IQ 100; but few of us would be horrified by the idea of using IQ as a factor in immigration admissions.
Eugenics helps achieve that goal, and it can be done through various means—some more coercive than others. There have historically been two types of eugenics, positive eugenics (which encourages the desirable to breed) and negative eugenics (which discouraging the undesirable). Scientific advances creates a third option, sometimes called liberal eugenics, which involves genetic engineering or couples using either positive or negative eugenics to choose their best offspring.
Within each type of eugenics, there are still various levels of coercion that can be used. We could, for example, pay people to get sterilized voluntarily (as William Shockley famously suggested), or we could force them to do so. We could subsidize the desirable to reproduce or we could even bar them from using birth control.
While Wallace claims eugenics is completely unpalatable, the fact is, our society accepts certain forms of it. For example, while it receives some criticism, Project Prevention, which pays drug addicts to take long term birth control, still operates with relatively positive press.
Although the technology is not quite available, the idea of embryo screening would likely also be acceptable to most. It involves couples creating many dozens of embryos and selecting the best. This is a form of liberal eugenics, but it does not require genetic manipulation—which makes it more technologically feasible and removes the problem of a couple’s children not sharing their DNA.
From a moral perspective, there is no coercion, nor even any suggestion about who should or should not be reproducing. Thus, this could become one of the most feasible and morally acceptable form of eugenics, if one is willing to overlook the discarded embryos.
And our society already accepts this. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is widespread and requires discarding embryos even without the screening. In contrast to abortion, those who use IVF tend to be “Caucasian, married women with higher levels of education and income.”
Despite resulting in more babies and families, pro-lifers oppose helping rich, educated Whites have children through IVF because it “promotes the discarding of ‘extra’ human embryos.” As an alternative to having your own children, they suggest the “beautiful, loving and moral option of adoption.” In other words, pro-lifers promote cucking. Literally.
Personally, I do not see anything wrong with the IVF method. Remember that 60-80 percent of embryos fail to implant, and of those that do, 30 percent miscarry early in pregnancy—meaning that 72-86 percent of all embryos do not make it out of the womb. In almost all cases, the mother doesn’t know. However, if she did, no one would regard it as tragic as a third trimester miscarriage, much less the death of an infant.
This is just basic moral intuition. It’s the reason why Americans are generally opposed to late-term abortions but not first-trimester abortions. It may not be “logical” or “morally consistent” but the truth is that one needs a philosopher or a holy book to convince himself that a collection of cells has the same value as an infant.
While I can respect someone who has sincerely held religious view about abortion, from a strictly utilitarian view, abortion, as practiced, mitigates the negative dysgenic and demographic trends facing White Americans.
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