As discussed in previous posts, in order to prevent the extinction of a kind its members must either intentionally or unintentionally perform kind replication activities such as observing holidays, reproducing historical rememberences, as well as producing new members. Those kinds that can not inspire this will go extinct. In day to day living, this doesn’t require much sacrifice. But sometimes an individual’s affection for the kind may be so great, or the situation be so dire, that they willingly undertake deeds that are personally disadvantageous in order to see to the survival of the group. Volunteering to fight in a war is a clear case. Thus I advocate a revival and re-appreciation of the ancient virtue of loyalty, understood as the voluntary performance of actions that promote the persistence of ones kind.
There are few virtues whose reputation has taken a more severe beating than loyalty. There are three reasons for the sad state of loyalty’s reputation. One is that loyalty has become synonymous with blind loyalty; loyalty has been portrayed as allegiance to an individual or cause regardless of its morality. Second, loyalty has been perceived as nothing more than favoritism or irrational discrimination. Third, loyalty has been seen as a case of false consciousness in that it seems to demand one sacrifice their own good for the good of others.
However, these charges only make sense in the absence of an understanding of genocide-susceptible kinds as historical kinds. There is an unspoken tendency to view social groups as self-perpetuating elementary particles that require no effort in order to persist. When looked at this way loyalty seems senseless and irrational. But when one understands those processes which must occur in order to allow a kind to persist, these criticisms no longer hold water. The kind of loyalty I am advocating suffers from none of these deficiencies and applies only to those behaviors which must be performed if a kind is to avoid extinction. And so this model of loyalty is not blind as the explicit goal of loyalty is restricted to the prevention of the extinction of ones genocide-susceptible kind. And so dedication to an immoral individual or political party such as the Nazi party is not included under this account of loyalty as it is not an immoral individual or ideology which is the object of loyalty and is instead the perfectly legitimate desire to see ones kind persist.
Second, loyalty to ones kind is not a case of irrational favoritism or discrimination. Irrational discrimination is the preference for an individual for a reason unrelated to the activity at hand. And so it is a case of irrational discrimination to exclude someone from employment based on religion since religion plays no role in their ability to perform a job. However, the goal of loyalty is the prevention of extinction, and this is a goal that can only be achieved by loyalty. And so the choice of ones own kind over other kinds as concerns kind-replication is perfectly moral when one can not replicate ones kind except in concert with another member of ones kind. Simply put, it is not irrational discrimination and is instead a case of moral selection for, say, a Jew (or Mormon or Pole, or Russian, and so on), to select another Jew over a non-Jew for a marriage partner if the later will be against raising their children to be Jewish. It is the suppression of selection in favor of ones own kind that is immoral as it is an act of genocide through neikophilia.
Third, loyalty is not a case of manipulation or false consciousness. If genocide is one of the greatest crimes of which humanity is capable, then people must justifiably be able to resist it when it is imposed upon their kind. Extinction is the worst of evils that can befall a kind, and those that sacrifice some present self-interest out of loyalty should receive the highest moral praise for their efforts at avoiding this greatest of evils. In fact, altruistic self-sacrifice is often considered the essence of morality. Again, if a member of an ethnic group stays in a neighborhood, state, or country out of loyalty, when moving might be better from self-interest, this is a moral act of the highest order. Instead, there is a natural existential imperative demanding loyalty to ones kind when loyalty is necessary for any kind to persist. When threatened with genocide those groups whose members do not demonstrate loyalty go extinct, and so the prevention is genocidal.
There are three kinds of loyalty that correspond to the factors discussed in parts 2 – 4: loyalty to ones people, loyalty to ones ethnic, religious, and cultural traditions, and loyalty to place. There may be other important kinds of loyalty, such as institutional loyalty–loyalty to ones teammates, partners, family, leader, military commander, and so on—but it is these three types that are genocide-resistant.
Thus society needs to gain new respect for loyalty and the loyal, and a new disdain for the traitorous as loyalty is the highest of virtues as it avoids the greatest of calamities. Disloyalty, as was traditionally claimed, is the worst of vices; Dante condemned the traitorous to the lowest level of hell. A full discussion of how the disloyal should be treated, and what, if any, the penalty should be for disloyalty, is beyond the scope of this post. But several general points could be made. How to produce loyalty is an ancient problem. Perhaps disloyalty should be illegal. But it seems grossly extreme to charge someone as a traitor who, say, chooses to not bring their child up in their traditional faith. On the other hand, being a traitor to ones country is generally considered a great offense and is punishable with the most severe penalty, even death. In between state enforcement and unfettered license lay social pressure and stigma, and this seems a far more reasonable way to treat certain kinds of disloyalty: the disloyal should be ostracized and shamed the way the Amish or Hasidim do.