The white race is uniquely altruistic. Why? This is a very difficult question to answer. It is easy to understand altruistic behavior for the benefit of one's family members. This is common among animals. Mother bears will put their lives in danger to protect their cubs from attack. Sacrifices for one's relatives and in-group ethnic members are also common. The difficult question is: why whites are singularly motivated to perform actions that benefit members of out-groups when such actions harm their ingroup members and families? This is known in dissident circles as "pathological altruism". The Antislavery Movement One would think that the existence of a huge literature on the subject of altruism would have provided us with definite answers about the unique nature of white altruism. Not really. Since any discussion about racial differences is prohibited in academia, this behavior is invariably framed as if it were a disposition among humans in general.
White academics habitually project their altruistic behaviors to humans as humans. Kevin MacDonald is one of a few evolutionary psychologists who understands that whites are singularly altruistic outside their kin-group, and that explaining this behavior requires a Darwinian approach that is wedded to the history of whites. This is the subject of chapter 7 of his book Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. He argues that the "moral idealism in the British antislavery movement", which led to the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and slavery in 1833, offers an excellent case study of the nature and historical origins of white pathological altruism. Without overlooking other psychological motivations which generally come into play among leaders in all movements, such as ambition, personal gain, including the satisfaction of being praised as a selfless individual, MacDonald carefully goes over the antislavery sentiments expressed over many decades, starting in the eighteenth century, by Quakers, Evangelical Anglicans, and Methodists. The leaders of the antislavery movement were sincerely empathetic individuals moved by the suffering of others.
The influential Marxist explanation that the campaign against slavery occurred only when it was no longer advantageous for capitalism to exploit slave labor is seriously flawed. One would expect an evolutionary psychologist to be drawn to an explanation that emphasizes the economic self-interests of whites. But as we have seen in our multipart review of MacDonald's book, this type of explanation misses out the singularity whites have exhibited throughout history in creating communities with ideological norms that encouraged trust beyond one's family network. As we saw in Part 3 of my extended review, whites exhibited WEIRD behaviors early on in their history. Back in the age of hunting and gathering they were more inclined to extend their trust to members of outside tribes (because this was a naturally advantageous strategy in the climes of northwest Europe). In contrast, trust in the non-Western world was restricted to ingroup members. In the course of time, whites came to exhibit more WEIRD traits, such as monogamous behaviors among powerful men despite their natural instinct for polygamy. The Catholic Church nurtured norms inside the "higher" frontal parts of the brain capable of inducing guilt and fear of godly punishment among powerful men who failed to control their sexual drives.
MacDonald's point is not that whites were wrong to seek the abolition of slavery. His aim is to understand the excessive moral preoccupation whites exhibited about the plight of Africans coupled with their current pathological empathy for aggressive immigrants occupying their lands. In light of this reality, and the complete indifference Muslims have to this day about their thousand-year old enslavement of Africans, these Puritan-descended movements do seem incredibly naive, child-like, and devoid of realism. What is there to admire about this?