The Christian Collapse into Capitalism
If the Trojan Horse of Christianity successfully injected its moral-behavioral code into a given host, what would the aftermath look like? Theoretically, one would expect that the frequency of kin selective based behaviors would decline. Individuals would be freed or even barred from self-organization on the basis of kinship. It follows that the most thoroughly Christianized nations would be the most susceptible to the breakdown of kin selective altruism over time. In short, if a people succumbed to the holy virus of Christianity, one would expect it to look something like America.
The very survival of liberal democracy through two world wars was made possible by the involvement of an America remarkable for both its ethnic diversity, and its unusually high level of religious commitment among developed nations. America’s ethnic diversity and America’s Christianity are directly related to one another. After all, genetic miscegenation is a practical logical fulfillment of love against the law. Conventional Christianity itself represents the cultural miscegenation of Jewish and gentile moral civilizations (i.e. the gargantuan adoption project known as American immigration is partially an inheritance of Constantine’s adoption of the foreign God of the Jews). Jesus himself was spiritual miscegenation of Jewish and gentile moral civilizations as a fulfillment of love against the law.
The secular West inherited from Christianity a moral or spiritual attitude that associates goodness with the inverse of the logic of kin selection. The entire idea of modern egalitarian progress is a logical continuation of the anti-kin selective logic of Christianity in action. It is a measure of the success of the mutated Christian meme-virus that Westerners do not even need Jesus to further perpetuate the logic of his attack on kin selection.
Yet the specific mechanisms of Christian influence on kin selection require clarification. For argument’s sake, let us say that Christianity tended to attract the most altruistic members of the population. Let us say, furthermore, that the minority of superlative altruists contains, on average, a greater proportion of genes for altruistic behavior than the majority population. If the most highly altruistic inclinations originally evolved through kin selection, and learning the discipline of Christianity tends to divert such altruistic behaviors into channels that are either indifferent or detrimental to genetic adaptation for the highly altruistic minority, then Christianity, over many generations, will tend to decrease the genetic fitness of the population. While this is only one scenario among many, the seditious genius of Christianity (a.k.a. Christian goodness) is that it may attract individuals with the greatest share of genetically based altruism within a population while serving to subvert its original genetic basis.
If everyone followed the superlative example of a chaste Catholic priest, it would lead to the extinction of the human race. Catholic priests that cheat by having children and propagating their genes, however, may perpetuate any possible genetic basis for their hypocrisy. I use the superlative example of a Catholic priest only to illustrate a far more general phenomenon: Christianity can very literally breed “hypocrisy” relative to the honest Christians who restrain themselves. Through this pattern, over a period of generations, Christianity may have literally helped breed the modern bourgeoisie on a both a genetic and cultural level. Generally speaking, Christianity breeds a bourgeoisie simply by chipping away at the advantages of the stronger to the advantage of the weaker, and undoing the correlation of reproductive success and military-political success (i.e. of kings and aristocracy).
Christian memes impacted Christianized genes by making the highest the lowest, the first the last, the alpha the omega and, in general, rewriting the rules of the social game. Christianity literally helped to breed the progressive left by gradually altering the social status of certain human types. It made conventional Darwinian winners moral losers and enshackled the genetically adaptive function of pagan virtues in its moral snares.
Within the hypocrisy industry that Christianity created, those inconsistent with general ideal principles tend to be the ones that survive. To be fully consistent would be as biologically suicidal as dying on the cross. The ethically honest ones tend to be selected out of the population. The cheaters of these ethical principles tend to multiply. In short, the supremacy of Christian ideals tends to breed a bourgeoisie; egoists who follow the moral letter in a practical sense while trampling over ideal spirit. This is why Pharisees survived to become the ancestors of most Jews while Jesus got the cross. This is how Christianity helped to create the modern world.
Machiavelli could be considered the first mature philosophic representative of the twilight zone between the ancient political world and modern liberalism. Machiavelli attributed the decay of duty to fatherland to Christianity. By socializing men in faith in the higher fatherland of God’s Kingdom, his contemporaries betrayed the fatherlands of the Earth. Yet something changed that made Machiavelli’s advice something other than a return to ancient Roman ways. In Machiavelli one can discern a breakdown of a certain kind of altruism; a breakdown of a level of political duty that was taken for granted by the Romans. While Machiavelli criticized the Christian corruption of political duty, he himself exemplifies the consequences of the Christian corruption of kin selective altruism.
In a manuscript dating from 1786, Napoleon Bonaparte wrote:
It is axiomatic that Christianity, even the reformed kind, destroys the unity of the State: (1) because it is capable of weakening as well as of inspiring the trust which the people owe the representatives of the law; (2) because, such as it is constituted, Christianity contains a separate body which not only claims a share of the citizens’ loyalty but is able even to counteract the aims of the government. And, besides, is it not true that the body [the clergy] is independent of the State?… Its kingdom is not of this world. Consequently, it is never civic-minded.
Yet, in a letter to the bishop of Como in 1797, Napoleon also concluded that “[t]he morality of the Gospels is the morality of equality and, by that token, the morality best suited to the republican form of government.” On one hand, Christianity promotes a morality of equality. On the other hand, Christianity poses a permanent potential fifth column that is inherently enervating of political authority. Liberalism inherited both characteristics from the fifth column character of Christianity. (Islam, incidentally , is another variation on the Semitic way of empire that is currently exploiting the fifth column ground that Christianity prepared in Europe and is thus poised to take its place.)
Napoleon followed Rousseau in acknowledging the destructive power of modern liberal-individualism upon civic virtue. However, if the origins of modern democratic morality are Biblical, then why is it destructive of altruism? The answer is to be found in the neutralization of kin selective altruism achieved by the Christianization of pagan naturalism. Modern political equality is the cumulative neutralization of the extreme kin selective paradigm of Roman Empire. Neutralization of paganistic kin selective altruism was effected by the radical opposition party of the Christian Kingdom of God. Kinship bonds that classically culminate in the patriarchal duties of alpha altruism were neutralized by the omega altruism of Christianity and the net result is modern political equality.
The early Christians were considered antisocial. They would not make sacrifices to the Roman gods. The early Christians would not do their duty. Christianity proved a dangerously preemptive of Roman virtue because it formally addressed gentiles, not primarily as members of a group, but as individual souls.
Edward Gibbon concluded that Christianity’s valuation of private salvation over the public good contributed to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. This Christian inheritance is immediately recognizable in liberalism’s valuation of the private rights of individual as the foundation of politics. “Rights” counter duties and grant freedom from duties. Freedom has a tangible meaning only if one is as free to be wholly self-absorbed as to dedicate one’s life to others.
There is a common belief or misunderstanding that the opposite of Christian altruism is individual selfishness. This is incorrect. The diametrical opposite of Christian altruism is not individual selfishness. The opposite of Christian omega altruism is the kind of group selfishness represented by Roman alpha altruism.
After all, from the viewpoint of those conquered by Rome, what was the problem? Were the Romans too individualistic? Was that the problem? Was the problem that Romans were too likely to put their individual interests before the interests of the Roman state? No, the problem was exactly the opposite. The problem was that Romans were all too dutiful to their state. Roman virtue was what made Rome: a race of conquerors. The problem was Roman virtue itself.
Christian “virtue” was an attack on Roman virtue. The ultimate target of Christian omega altruism was not individual selfishness. Christian omega altruism targeted Roman alpha altruism. Christianity fought altruism with altruism, and the long-term result of this clash of virtues was the corruption of both forms of altruism and the rise of the middle ground of modern, Western, equal individualism.
Christianity led to capitalism by canceling out, neutralizing, and delegitimizing extreme expressions of kin selective altruism. As omega altruism broke kinship bonds down, the premise of the individual human soul began to build up. As the idea of altruism so radical that it transcended kinship became socially legitimated, the kinship social shackles encumbering individuals became illegitimated. By reversing the evolutionarily normative prioritization between kinship and altruism, Christianity corrupted the kinship foundations of altruism and stimulated the rise of capitalistic individualism.
Torn between the irreconcilable opposites of alpha altruism and omega altruism (that the Crusaders vainly attempted to unite), “the individual” became the logical social solution. In consequence, the West landed in the middle ground of the moral mediocrity of the middle class. The cumulative waste product of this process of secularization is commonly called liberalism. Alpha altruism and omega altruism cancelled one another out, and the cumulative result of this neutralization is political equality.
A classic verification of this theory can be found in a small-scale repetition of the very same process during the social revolutions of the late 1960s. Leftist social movements of that time reaffirmed the egalitarian aspirations of liberal revolution, launching attacks on the social remains of kin selective organizations and its classical, quasi-Roman, patriarchal, warmongering corollaries. The ultimate result of these social movements was another collapse of “we” into “me”. 1960s socialism collapsed into the greed of 1980s individualism. In terms of its underlying sociobiological basis, this baby boomer episode was only a repetition of the original collapse of Christianity into capitalism.