Ricardo Duchesne is a Canadian historical sociologist and professor at the University of New Brunswick. His main research interests notably include the Indo-European aristocratic-warlike and individualist ethos, the Faustian mentality and the creativeness of Western civilization from ancient Greek times to the present, and the pernicious effects of the multicultural and multiracial ideal on modern Western society.
This conversation was first published on Kevin B. MacDonald’s The Occidental Observer (in three parts), on 31 January 2019. It was also printed in The Occidental Quaterly.
Grégoire Canlorbe: In your eyes, the European civilization of the White man has been systemically downsized by contemporary world historians—to name but a few, Patrick O’Brien, Sebastian Conrad, or Ian Morris. Could you develop?
Ricardo Duchesne: At this point in time, the downplaying of European civilization goes well beyond the observations I made in The Uniqueness of Western Civilization (2011). The globalist establishment is no longer satisfied with the replacement of Western Civ courses, which were part of the standard curriculum in North America throughout much of the twentieth century, with Multicultural World History surveys that emphasize “reciprocal connections within the globe.” The academic establishment is no longer satisfied instructing students that European achievements can only be understood in connection with the rest of the world’s cultures, that Muslims were key creators of the West no less than Christians, that the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, were world historical affairs, that Europe only managed to industrialize thanks to the resources and hard labor of Africans and Aboriginals. That is no longer enough, they are now insisting, as I indicated in my second book, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (2017), that Europeans don’t have a distinctive identity because they have been mixing racially for thousands of years as a result of migratory movements. They are forcing their students to equate the current state-sponsored immigration movements from the Third World, purposely aimed at diversifying all White nations, with internal European migrations that occurred over the course of many centuries. They are trying to strip Europeans of any sense of ethnic identity, by making them believe that the race-mixing globalists are incessantly promoting today is a natural continuation of migratory movements thousands of years ago.
Rather that truthfully teaching students that the genetic makeup of Europeans, before diversity was imposed a few decades ago, remained very stable for most of their history, with next to zero genetic additions from Africans and Asians, they are indoctrinating them to believe that African/Asian-looking peoples were the original migrant-inhabitants of Europe. They are saying that Europeans were not indigenous to Europe, that this continent was the creation of waves of immigrants from outside Europe. They are extending the same false argument they have been making about the settler nations of America, Canada, and Australia — “Nations of Immigrants” — to all White nations. Yet, this argument does not even hold for these settler nations. As I argued in my best-selling book, Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians (2017), Canada was not a nation of immigrants but a nation built from the ground up by settlers and indigenous Quebecois, Acadians, and Anglo Loyalists. The same goes for America, Australia, and New Zealand; they were founded by White settlers who created a uniquely indigenous culture in these homelands.
Let it be said that these arguments are not being made by world historians alone, or by typically crazed academics in some half-baked field — what we now identify as “Grievance Studies.” What is so disconcerting, as I argued in “Deceptive Use of Scientific Data to Promote Ethnocide of Europeans,” is that academics in the natural sciences, population geneticists, archaeologists, paleogeneticists, and evolutionary biologists, are deceptively interpreting their otherwise objectively gathered findings (that there were intra-European migratory movements thousands of years ago) as if these movements consisted of non-Whites from Asia and Africa. They are arguing that these movements are a demonstration that there is no such thing as a uniquely German, a uniquely Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, or British people, because « all Europeans are already a mishmash of repeated ancient migrations » from non-European lands. But this is not true; what has been really documented is that there was some degree of intra-European racial mixing over the course of many centuries of migrations and invasions. It has also been documented that there was a “massive migratory movement” from the “Pontic-Steppes”, but these migrants were none other than the Indo-Europeans, once known as “Aryans”, and they did not come from “Asia” since the Pontic Steppes are part of the continent of Europe, and these migrants were White. The only migrants who came from outside Europe were the Anatolian farmers who started colonizing southern Europe about 8800 years ago, who did have considerable genetic impact on Spain, Italy, and Greece.
One may ask, why are scientists making these arguments? Because we are not dealing only with “historical revisionists” guided by leftist ideologies, as I thought in Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Gad Saad and other Nouveau riche conservatives, think that the problems facing the West are strictly ideological, too many postmodernists and liberals in the media and universities. But, if I may use a Marxist term, these ideologies are “superstructural” phenomena that (on their own) barely illuminate what is truly downgrading European civilization forever: immigrant diversification. Diversity through mass immigration has become a religion in the West, promoted at every level, from primary schools through to universities, by all establishment political parties, churches, the Pope, banks, corporations, every major media outlet. You can’t dissent from this orthodoxy. This is the context in which to understand why scientists are now participants in this program and why “the European civilization of the White man” is being systematically downsized.
In this diversity-regime, you can’t talk about a Western civilization created by Whites. You can’t teach about how Whites were responsible for the rise of modern science, the Renaissance, the exploration of the world, the Cartographic Revolution, most of the greatest philosophers in history. You must delete this from history, if you are to create a totally new “Western” civilization in which every race feels equal in their contribution to its making. Even the word “Western” is now under attack as an ethnocentric term that is not inclusive of people with different civilizational origins.
Grégoire Canlorbe: Could you remind us of your neo-Nietzschean argument supporting the connection of Western individualism—i.e., the claim for autonomy and dignity, but also the ability for mental introspection and interiority—with the early aristocratic-warlike culture of Indo-Europeans?
Ricardo Duchesne: I would rather say it is neo-Nietzschean and Hegelian, based on the most recent research on the Indo-Europeans. I trace the origins of Western individualism back to the aristocratic warlike culture of Indo-Europeans. But I also argue that Europeans became individuals through a long, drawn-out effort, not in one historical period. The detachment of the self from the ensemble of the surrounding world manifested itself in different degrees by different sides of the human personality in many culturally new ways. There is a biological starting point, however—a necessary biological precondition, which consists in the fact that a man is not born a man but must become a man. Throughout history, across all cultures, men became men only by proving their masculinity in risky contests with the surrounding environment and with other adversarial men. It is this struggle to become a man in the eyes of other men that initiates the conscious differentiation of the male ego from the enveloping womblike environment. But this differentiation cannot be seen as the first cultural sign of an emerging human personality; it is only a necessary biological precondition, a very important one, in making us realize that we must avoid looking at some religious experience, some intellectual or artistic movement, for the first blossoming of individualism. We must look instead at what is today seen as the least civilized aspect of human nature: the contesting and violent struggle of men to become men.
This struggle for a male identity is not a sufficient condition for the appearance of self-awareness, the emergence of the first inklings of human individuality. The first cultural signs of individualism are to be found in history only with the horse riding Indo-European aristocratic warriors who came storming out of the Pontic Steppes in the fourth millennium BC. Indo-European (IE) societies were uniquely ruled by aristocratic men living in a state of permanent mobility and adversity for whom the highest value in life was heroic struggle to the death for pure prestige. It was out of this struggle for renown by aristocratic men seeking recognition from their aristocratic peers that the separation and freedom of humans from the undifferentiated world of nature and the undifferentiated world of collectivist-despotic societies was fostered.
Although in Uniqueness and Faustian Man I brought attention to the masculine character of IE society and the agonistic ethos of aristocrats, I did not connect in a substantial way the purely male component of this agonistic drive and how this drive was heightened in IE aristocratic society, providing the preconditions for the discovery of the self and the emergence of self-consciousness. With all the current talk about « neo-masculinity, » I have been thinking that the greater male disposition for aggression and contest, to demonstrate one’s worthiness as a man through fighting against male adversaries, facing the dangers in one’s environment in struggle against the fear of death, should be seen in light of the peculiar aristocratic ethos of IEs. Here I will draw attention to Walter J. Ong’s book, Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness, published in 1981. What makes this book directly relevant to my arguments is that Ong (who is well known for his argument that the transition from orality to literacy changed human consciousness) believes that it was the male struggle for recognition, as a male among other males, that fostered the mental introspection and interiority that is required for a concept of the self to become a possibility in a world in which all living beings are otherwise fixated and consumed by the world outside themselves and by their own bodily appetites. Much of this book is about how men and women are crucially different in their agonistic behavior and about how males developed an identity apart from their surroundings, a consciousness of themselves as beings with their own goals and personal identity, because of their absolute need to set themselves against their early boyhood identification with the feminine in order to become real men in the biological sense. It is quite revealing that almost all the examples Ong draws on (to demonstrate how the “adversativeness” of males found deep expression in the literature, religion, sports, science and logic produced by humans) are Western. He admits that the obsession with « polemic, hostility, confrontation tactics, clashes of personalities, competition, games,” is indeed to be found mostly among Europeans from ancient Greek times.
But Ong leaves hanging the crucial question why European culture has exhibited this polemical impulse to a far higher degree. He knows, too, that in Western culture one detects a “greater and greater interiorization of consciousness through history noted by Hegel,” the development of the concept of the person and the “I.” But he never asks: why in the West and singularly in the West?
I believe the aristocratic culture of the IEs offers an answer. The IEs created a new type of aristocratic society in the sense that “some men,” not just the king, were free to deliberate over major issues affecting the group, as well as free to strive for personal recognition. The material origins of this aristocratic individualist ethos are to be found in the unique pastoral lifestyle of the IEs, their original domestication and riding of horses, their co-invention of wheeled vehicles in the fourth millennium BC, together with the efficient exploitation of the « secondary products » of domestic animals (dairy products, textiles, harnessing), all of which gave IEs a more robust physical anthropology and the most dynamic way of life in their time. This horse-riding lifestyle included fierce competition for grazing rights, constant alertness in the defense of one’s portable wealth, and an expansionist disposition in a world where competing herdsmen were motivated to seek new pastures as well as tempted to take the movable wealth of their neighbors.
The life style of IEs fostered a type of man who developed a consciousness of his pursuit of an immaterial end, an awareness of his obsession to be recognized by other conscious males of his ability to be a man in overcoming the biological fear of death for the sake of pure prestige. What Hegel called a « struggle to the death for pure prestige » over and against the most powerful biological drives humans have for self-preservation and comfort, can only make historical sense in relation to the only society in history in which some men lived a lifestyle where such a struggle was seen as the most valued form of male affirmation. The only society in which this struggle for pure prestige was possible was the society of prehistoric IEs, because this was the first, and the only, culture ruled by free aristocrats, in distinction to non-European societies where only one man, the despot, was free, and where members of the upper class were subservient both to the despot and to their gods. To be an aristocrat one had to demonstrate one’s capacity for freedom, one’s ability to differentiate oneself from the others as a particular hero. The master is the male who masters his fear of death and the slave is the male who gives in to this fear for the sake of self-preservation. It is in the risking of one’s life for the sake of recognition by another consciousness that males first exhibit some awareness of themselves as beings who can self-determine their actions and become aware of their subjectivity in distinction to the world around them. The European « I » — most famously associated with Descartes’s announcement « I think, therefore I am » — made its first appearance in the persona of the aristocratic IE warrior.
I identify the pre-historic society of aristocratic IEs beginning around 2500 BC, through to the Feudal Middle Ages, as the one society in which this battle for a pure immaterial end could take place. The Iliad, Beowulf, and multiple sagas from Iceland and the Nordic world, are the earliest “barbarian” expressions of the first appearance of individuals becoming conscious of having an inner self apart from the outer world of natural determinations. The pursuit of individual glory produce men with particular personalities, in contradistinction to the faceless collectivities of the non-European world, where there are no heroes except a despot fearful of open competition and always demanding subservience. It is in these heroic tales that we encounter for the first time in history identifiable personalities with names, family ties, and differentiated psychological dispositions.
This aristocratic lifestyle left an imprint on the genetics of IEs, selecting personality traits such as greater willingness to take risks and greater capacity to make distinctions between what was « inside » and what was « outside.” Of course, at this point in history, when consciousness only makes its appearance in the decision of the aristocrat to fight for recognition, the subjective side of man manifested itself only in the form of self-assertiveness, through the pride and the haughtiness of free warriors.
It would take some time— in the work of Plato — before Europeans would distinctly recognize the faculty of the mind (nous) as a generator of thoughts in distinction to the appetites of the body and the « spirited » part of the soul comprising pride, indignation, and the need for recognition. In Homeric man there is a latent awareness, but still nebulous articulation, of the human personality or an « I » that is not the plaything of irrational or mysterious forces but is capable of some deliberation among alternative choices. Decisions are indeed shaped by the gods, but the Olympian gods « carry the graceful stamp of an aristocratic society [.] when a god associates with a man, he elevates him, and makes him free, strong courageous, certain of himself [.] far removed from the mysteries of chthonic darkness and ecstasy.”In the next archaic period of Greek history, between 650 and 500 BC, we see characters becoming more conscious of their personality, with the rise of the lyric poets, Sappho and Archilochus, in their regular use of phrases expressing « a more precise appreciation of the self, » the « inwardly felt emotions » of the poet. With the tragedians of the next generation, Aeschylus and Sophocles, we witnessed for the first time in history the interpretation of human action in the light of individual choice: « what am I to do? » This process of detachment from the ensemble of external forces and determinations is taken one step further by the characters in Euripides, who ask whether their actions were just in a more realistic setting than the solemn ostentation found in Aeschylus.
A history of individualism in all its expressions in literature, both in depth and complexity of characters, as well as in the persistent emergence of new styles of writing, has yet to be written. Existing interpretations of Western individualism simplify the historical origins and meaning of this word by restricting its appearances to one field of existence or one period of history. They don’t consider, for example, how the individualism of aristocrats was democratized in the Greek hoplite citizen soldiers who defeated the Persian invaders, the independent farmer who owned his own land and « suffers no master, speaks his due, fights his own battles, and leaves an imprint of self-reliance and non-conformity, a legacy of independence that is the backbone of Western society. » They ignore how this legacy continued through the small-holding farmers who made up the Roman legions and fought as citizens, the free peasants of Medieval Europe with their self-governing communes, to the citizens of modern states demanding representation. They don’t connect this history to the history of sculpture, which would have to acknowledge the amazing breakthrough of the Greeks in detaching themselves from the unchanging styles of the Orient and making the discovery of foreshortening in the visual arts, in building « in marble and with a splendour and nobility never known before, » and in learning to seize, towards the end of the fourth century, « the individual character of a physiognomy », a style that would be advanced by the Roman realistic portraiture of private individuals « in which every line, crease, wrinkle, and even blemish was ruthlessly recorded. »
Grégoire Canlorbe: In his Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche notably expressed himself as follows. “In the Latin word ‘malus’ (to which I juxtapose μέλας), the common man could be characterized as the dark-skinned and especially the dark-haired man (‘hic niger est —’), as the pre-Aryan occupant of Italian soil who could most easily be distinguished from the blond race which had become dominant, namely the Aryan conquering race, by its color; at any rate, I have found exactly the same with Gaelic peoples — ‘fin’ (for example in ‘Fin-gal’), the word designating the aristocracy and finally the good, noble, pure, was originally a blond person in contrast to the dark-skinned, dark-haired native inhabitants.”
In view of the present data at our disposal (in the genetics of population and in linguistics), how should one assess those statements?
Ricardo Duchesne: I don’t expect historical accuracy in Nietzsche. This would be unfair and, besides, it would miss the truths of his historical allusions, the way he brings out the primordial reality of struggle. It was Nietzsche who inspired me to think that the active originators of Western Civilization were not priests, not bookish men sitting on desks, not ideas and institutions, not technological changes and geographical factors—however important these were, but aristocratic men performing great deeds. As Goethe said, “in the beginning were great deeds.” I found Nietzsche’s short essay, “Homer on Competition” incredibly intuitive, his argument that the greatness of classical Greece involved putting Apollonian limits around the indispensable but excessive and brutal Dionysian impulses of barbaric pre-Homeric Greeks. I also learned a lot from his emphasis on the nature of existence as strife, and his insight that not all cultures have handled nature’s inherent strife in the same way, and that not all cultures have been equally proficient in the sublimated production of creative individuals. He taught me that “every elevation of the type ‘man’ has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society.” I added to Nietzsche the historically based argument that the Greeks (and Europeans generally) viewed life as strife to a higher degree than other people because of their Indo-European aristocratic background, and I also added that only the Aryans were really aristocratic.
As far as the current data at our disposal, besides the numerous sources I have cited in my publications, there is now decisive genetic evidence supporting the view I endorsed in Uniqueness about the spread of Indo-European languages by way of mass migrations from the Pontic-Steppes into the rest of Europe. Here are the abstracts of some recent articles, with hyperlinks:
- “There is now compelling evidence that the spread of the Yamnaya archaeological culture was the vector that also spread all the Indo-European languages spoken today.”
- “Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe”
- “Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age”
- “The Indo-Europeans were an extraordinarily successful group that had by far the most influence on European culture over approximately 4,000 years, into the European Middle Ages and beyond.”
Of course, the deceivers who control our media are misinterpreting these facts as evidence of how Europeans were shaped by peoples from the “East”, calling them “mysterious Yamnaya immigrants,” “Asians from the Pontic-Steppes.” Don’t believe them, the Pontic-Steppes are part of Europe, located in present-day Ukraine; these were not “immigrants” joining a European “melting pot”; they were aristocratic conquerors, White Aryans. They are using the infamous Aryan thesis to justify the current invasion of Europe by Muslims and Africans!
Grégoire Canlorbe: Western civilization, originating from the Indo-European heroic ethos, turned out to be both the most creative and Faustian civilization and the most war-ridden and war-dominated one. Islamic civilization has been equally militaristic and expansionist; yet it quickly became frozen and hostile towards innovation and individual genius—despite the fact that praising Muhammad’s heroic lifetime has permeated Islamic societies to this day. How do you explain this duality?
Ricardo Duchesne: Almost all cultures have been expansionist, if not warlike, in one form or another. This universal trait does not make a people Faustian. Even highly expansionist peoples such as the Assyrians, Aztecs, Huns, Turks, or Mongols, were not Faustian. Oswald Spengler was aware that medieval and modern Europeans were not uniquely militaristic and imperialistic. Spengler spoke of the “morphological relationship that inwardly binds together the expression-forms of all branches of Culture.” For him, such things as Rococo art, differential calculus, the Crusades and the Spanish conquest of the Americas, were all expressions of the same soul. He saw something Faustian about all the great men of Europe, both in reality and in fiction: in Hamlet, Richard III, Gauss, Newton, Nicolas Cusanus, Don Quixote, Goethe’s Werther, Gregory VII, Michelangelo, Paracelsus, Dante, Descartes, Don Juan, Bach, Wagner’s Parsifal, Haydn, Leibniz’s Monads, Giordano Bruno, Frederick the Great, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. For Spengler, Christianity, too, became a thoroughly Faustian moral ethic. “It was not Christianity that transformed Faustian man, but Faustian man who transformed Christianity —and he not only made it a new religion but also gave it a new moral direction”: will-to-power in ethics. This “Faustian-Christian morale” produced the incredible variety of personalities we witness in Europe, such as Luther, Loyola, Pascal, St. Theresa, “giant-men like Henry the Lion and Gregory VII, … the men of the Renaissance, of the struggle of the two Roses, of the Huguenot Wars, the Spanish Conquistadores, … Napoleon, Bismarck, Rhodes.”
By contrast, other than the Islamic efflorescence between 700 and 1200, which consisted primarily in commentaries on Aristotle, preserving some contributions from Persia and the Greco-Roman world, the Islamic world barely produced any truly creative personalities. Spengler attributed this to the “the Magian Soul” of Arabic-Muslim culture; in Islam “the civil and the ecclesiastical are identical.” This identification means that the world of man is subordinate to the dictates of Islam, everyone is essentially a believer or a non-believer, a member of the “We” of Islam or an outcast standing alone. There is no “I” in Islam, no room for personalities to affirm their “self-asserting egos” as we find in Christianity. Faustian Christianity “presupposes the strong and free will that can overcome itself.”
It is difficult to sum up this contrast, but perhaps this passage may do for this interview: “Whereas the Faustian man is an ‘I’ that in the last resort draws its own conclusions about the Infinite, … the Magian man, with his spiritual kind of being, is only a part of a pneumatic ‘We’ that, descending from above, is one and the same in all believers. As body and soul he belongs not to himself alone, but something else, something alien and higher, dwells in him, making him with all his glimpses and convictions just a member of a consensus which, as the emanation of God, excludes error, but excludes also all possibility of the self-asserting Ego. Truth is for him something other than for us. All our epistemological methods, resting upon the individual judgment, are for him madness and infatuation, and its scientific results a work of the Evil One, who has confused and deceived the spirit as to its true dispositions and purposes.”
Once we understand the “morphological” unity of culture, we can see that Islam has not been “equally militaristic and expansionist.” There is a beautiful creativity in European expansionism that is lacking in all other cultures. Europeans were far more expansive, and successfully so: by 1800 they controlled 35% of the land surface of the globe, increasing this control to 85% by 1914. Almost every single military innovation in weapons, strategy, and organization, from ancient Greek times to the present, was European. There is no comparison.
Grégoire Canlorbe: How do you explain that the West moved from the Enlightenment’s promotion of peaceful relations among the world’s nations, each one conserving its sovereignty and its bio-cultural specificity, to the ideal of turning the Western society into an “open society,” i.e., multiracial and multicultural? Was the worm of the great replacement already in the fruit of Enlightenment’s soft cosmopolitanism?
Ricardo Duchesne: There is a two-pronged attempt to force the Enlightenment to meet the needs of the enforced diversification of White nations. One consists in an attempt by multicultural historians to re-interpret the Enlightenment as a world historical phenomenon in which multiple peoples, Africans, Asians, and even Haitians, played a crucial role (hitherto suppressed by White males). The aim is to create a narrative that fits with the idea that all the races of the world, all the ancestors of diverse students in Western university classrooms, played an equal role in the making of modernity. The goal is to strip Whites of any priority in bringing about the major transformations of modern history. The same re-interpretations are being implemented with regards to the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and even the ancient “Greek Miracle.” I have a two part article, “Multicultural Historians and the Assault on Western Civilization and the Defilement of the Historical Profession,” demolishing the scholarly credentials of this malicious academic agenda.
The other attack is about persuading students that Enlightenment thinkers were the progenitors of the idea that all White nations must be diversified through mass immigration, as well as the idea that, if Western nations are to be true to their Enlightenment ideals, they must de-link the state from any identification with an ethnic group, but must instead promote the integration of multiple ethnicities from the rest of the world. They want to trick us into believing that a call for peaceful relations among nations amounts to a call for the diversification of White nations, because, apparently, White nations are inherently militaristic, including Norway, Finland, and Denmark, whereas African and Muslim immigrants are carriers of peaceful memes that will “culturally enrich” the otherwise “parochial” Europeans.
The truth is that honest reflection based on reason and open inquiry shows that the Enlightenment was exclusively European. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment were aristocratic representatives of their people with a sense of rooted history and lineage. They did not believe (except for a rare few) that all the peoples of the Earth were members of a raceless humanity in equal possession of reason. When they wrote of “mankind,” they meant “European-kind.” When they said that “only a true cosmopolitan can be a good citizen,” they meant that European nationals should enlarge their focus and consider Europe “as a great republic.” When they condemned the slave trade, they meant that this trade was immoral and inconsistent with Christian and Enlightenment ideals. They did not mean that Europe should be Africanized. In fact, Enlightenment thinkers were the first to attempt a scientific conception of human nature structured by racial classifications, culminating in Immanuel Kant’s anthropological justification of his “critical” argument that only European peoples were capable of becoming rational moral legislators of their actions and elevating themselves above the causality of nature and the unreflective customs of tribalist cultures. The point is not whether we agree with Kant or not; it is that Kant (including Herder) can’t be used as a foundational thinker for the promotion of multiculturalism in the West.
Therefore, I disagree with those on the dissident right who claim that “the worm of the great replacement was already in the Enlightenment’s soft cosmopolitanism.” Insomuch as Europeans have been searching for universal truths since ancient Greek times, through Christianity, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment eras, it has not been hard to point to one epoch or another as the original source for the current promotion of diversification. This is a very complicated problem about which I will say that the desacralization of law and politics by Enlightenment thinkers, the idea that all humans have natural rights, the science of human nature initiated by Thomas Hobbes and David Hume, among others, the onset of religious tolerance, the right of dissent, and the development of international law, are modern achievements we should validate. The theory of natural rights grew in reaction to the brutal Thirty Years War (1618–1648) and the English Civil War (1642–1651).
Before the Enlightenment, the so-called School of Salamanca (16th and 17th centuries) was the first to write about the natural rights of all humans. They established moral norms for the conduct of Spaniards in America, drawing on the old Roman concept of ius gentium, but which went beyond by announcing that the Indians of the Americas had a right to the property of their lands, proclaiming the innate dignity of human beings, the right of equal sovereignty, the international obligation of cooperation among states (ius inter gentes). This was a major achievement of Europeans.
Although there is a connection between these principles and the current theory of human rights, they are very different. These jurists and Enlightenment thinkers were not calling for the right of non-citizens from different countries to be granted citizenship without regard for the cultural heritage of European natives. Even the theory of human rights, when it was first articulated after WWI, was simply advocating for the humane treatment of all humans across the world. It was not a call for the Western world to open its borders to unlimited numbers of humans in order to create a new mongrelized (“superior”) species. In Canada in Decay I explain at length my view about how the otherwise great ideals of liberalism were manipulated, starting in the post-WW II era, by cultural Marxists. We should not blame Enlightenment ideals but cultural Marxist infiltrators. These infiltrators have been deceitfully using liberal ideals for the eradication of European identities while at the same time celebrating, in multicultural fashion, the illiberal customs and values of non-Europeans.
Grégoire Canlorbe: You conceive of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as an account of the developmental experience of the properly Western spirit, the latter finding itself in a state of dissatisfaction and alienation which progressively leads it to achieve “freedom” and “reason.” Could you come back to this way of envisioning Hegel’s philosophy—in particular, when it comes to the master-slave dialectic within Indo-European aristocratic societies?
Ricardo Duchesne: Given the incredible ambivalence in the English world about Hegel, despite an ongoing “revival” in Hegelian scholarship since the 1980s, I should point out that Hegel is one of the most studied philosophers in recent decades in the United States and the English world generally. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that more academic books are coming out about him than about other great philosophers. Go to Amazon, or simply Google his name for number of books in recent years. I am not an expert on Hegel. I have relied on the best books to formulate a new way of reading him: instead of reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as an account of the developmental experience of the human spirit, I read it as an account of the Western spirit.
If you ask Hegelian scholars in a straightforward way whether the Phenomenology is really about the cognitive experience of European peoples, they would agree. Many Hegelian scholars also believe that Hegel’s philosophy recounts the development of self-consciousness, and that Hegel’s philosophy does indeed demonstrate that humans became self-conscious of the character of their own thoughts only in post-Enlightenment times. However, if you then ask these scholars whether this means that only Europeans had achieved self-consciousness, they will immediately find ways to insist that Hegel’s philosophy should not be read as an account of the European spirit. But since it is obvious that it is, they will have no choice but to conclude that, insofar as it is, it is Eurocentric and therefore a flawed philosophical account. I am actually noticing more and more admirers of Hegel (see, for example, Terry Pinkard’s Does History Make Sense? Hegel on the Historical Shapes of Justice, 2017), emphasizing the limitations of Hegel’s philosophy due to his “Eurocentrism,” condemning his observations about the lack of self-consciousness among non-Europeans.
As to your question about my use of Hegel’s master-slave dialectic in relationship to Indo-European aristocratic societies, this may be difficult to apprehend if one is not familiar with these two subjects; Hegel scholars don’t know anything about Indo-European societies, and Indo-European scholars don’t know anything about Hegel. One of the positive outcomes of not being an expert in any subject, as I am, is that you can draw original connections between subjects. I read Hegel’s master-slave dialectic as his own version of the state of nature. We commonly associate the concept of a “state of nature” with Hobbes and Locke. Many have investigated the hypothetical historical society that would meet the Hobbesian state of nature. Some say it refers to the most primitive societies, when there was no state enforcing rules of pacification among family-kin units. Others say it refers to any society in which state rule collapses, as happened during the English Civil War of the mid-1600s when Hobbes was writing. I believe the fight for pure prestige between Indo-European aristocratic warriors can be used as a historical reference to make sense of the master-slave dialectic.
This dialectic has been interpreted as a struggle for recognition between two humans, each seeking from the other to be recognized as superior. The master is the one who is willing to carry the struggle to the end without fear of death—the one who wins the struggle, whereas the slave is the man who gives up due to his fear of death. The master is the one who values above all else the immaterial goal of making the other man recognize him as superior. The master, however, can’t be satisfied with this outcome since the man recognizing him is a slavish man.
However, Hegelian scholars think of this struggle in purely conceptual ways, as if it were a mental struggle, or a purely epistemological effort by Hegel to demonstrate that one cannot obtain recognition except through mutual recognition between two individuals who are recognized as equal by their culture. I believe that the struggle for mastery by Indo-European warriors can be used as a historical reference, and that there are clear historical allusions in Hegel pointing in this direction. Francis Fukuyama correctly understood that in Nietzsche we find a “celebration of Hegel’s aristocratic master and his struggle to the death for pure prestige.” But Fukuyama does not follow through his Nietzschean reading with any historically based attempt to understand what it means to speak of “aristocratic masters” struggling to the death for prestige. I argue that only in Indo-European societies can we envision real masters, really free men, struggling for prestige, because only among Indo-Europeans do we find aristocratic men who are not subservient to a despotic ruler but who recognize each other as equal. I criticized Kojeve’s otherwise brilliant reading of Hegel for accentuating only the outcome of the struggle for recognition, for focusing on the master-slave dialectic, and believing that there was not much for the master to do once he had won this battle, and for arguing that it is the slave-turned bourgeois who advances history up to a modern stage when everyone is recognized as equal.
I believe that we should speak, firstly, of the master-master dialectic, and that this dialectic can be said to encapsulate the first society in history in which men were free to fight for self-chosen aims—for pure prestige above their mere animalistic needs, and as a struggle in which we witness the “first appearance of self-consciousness.” In a despotic society where “one man is free,” there could be no master-master dialectic; and the master who subdues the slavish man who caves in to his fear of death would not feel satisfied with the recognition he wins from this slave. But in a society of aristocratic masters we can have a situation in which aristocrats struggling for superior prestige feel truly validated when aristocratic peers acknowledge his heroic deeds. The attitude of the individual who risks his life for prestige is that of “being-for-self” or self-assertiveness. The historical reference for this attitude could only have been a society made up of aristocrats who were in a state of free willfulness wherein it was possible for individuals to fight for purely human aims, for prestige and heroic renown. The entire IE aristocratic way of life had a profound effect on the constitution of the human personality, selecting traits that pointed towards the awakening of human “inwardness” in contradistinction to what is not humanly self-chosen, but given by nature.
Grégoire Canlorbe: It is not uncommon to claim the self-assertive longing for “prestige,” “respect,” and “fame” is fully intelligible within the framework of the selfish-gene theory, according to which the individual is biologically designed to propagate his genes—and therefore, to pursue personal survival, reproduction, and kin solidarity. Despite the Indo-European warlord’s disdain for his own biological survival, and despite his heroism being recognized and praised by people who are not necessarily related to him genetically, do you still subscribe to the universal relevance of the selfish-gene framework?
Ricardo Duchesne: In Uniqueness I contrasted the aristocratic obsession with honor and respect to the universal instinct for survival, giving the impression that Indo-Europeans were somehow standing above the evolutionary pressures that all groups face in maximizing their chances for reproduction and survival. Kevin MacDonald correctly clarified, in his long review, that “prestige and honor among one’s fellows is in fact typically linked with material possessions and reproductive success. Like other psychological traits related to aggression and risk-taking, the pursuit of social prestige by heroic acts is a high risk/high reward behavior, where evidently the rewards sufficiently outweighed the risks over a prolonged period of evolutionary time.”
Darwinian selective pressures are always at work. But this should not be taken to mean that human culture does not have its own internal dynamics, and that all our beliefs and behaviors are explainable in Darwinian terms. Evolutionary psychologists (not MacDonald) can be quite presumptuous in their fundamentalist belief that they can instruct sociologists, philosophers, and members of the humanities, about human nature and the ultimate origins and biological foundations of our cultural practices. They like to emphasize the cultural patterns, institutions, customs, and beliefs that occur universally across many cultures, as a demonstration that humans will only engage in cultural practices that are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations.
It is worth noticing, however, that the examples of cultural universals they offer — such as the universal presence of athletic sports, dancing, music, housing, funeral rites, language, greetings, courtship, calendars, division of labor, status differentiation, tool-making — are examples of basic cultural practices performed by everyday humans. They represent the lowest cultural denominator. They can’t account for the superlative achievements of Europeans in music, the fact that classical music is singularly European, in evolutionary terms. They can’t account for the fact that almost all the greatest thinkers are European, the architectural styles, the invention of sports, etc. Their inclination, rather, is to trivialize high culture and high achievements that are not easily fitted into an evolutionary scheme.
Why did Europe produce almost all the great scientists in history? Steven Pinker is not interested in these questions, but concentrates on the universal traits of the human mind as “a neural computer, fitted by natural selection with combinatorial algorithms for causal and probabilistic reasoning about plants, animals, objects and people.” How do we explain Europe’s superlative achievements in the arts? Pinker’s angle is that “the value of art is largely unrelated to aesthetics: a priceless masterpiece becomes worthless if found to be a forgery; soup cans and comic strips become high art when the art world says they are, and then command conspicuously wasteful prices.”
They know that natural selection can only play a foundational role in understanding human culture and that “human culture itself,” in the words of another Darwinian hardliner, Daniel Dennett, “is a more fecund generator of brilliant innovations” than genetic endowment. This is why they came up with the concept of memes, which they think “can do justice to the humanities and sciences at the same time” by providing an explanation of cultural changes in terms of “new selective pressures” created by culture itself. They acknowledge that culture has evolved through cultural selection transmitted “perceptually, not genetically”
Richard Dawkins defines the term meme “to refer to the ways of doing and making things that spread through cultures.” Dennett realizes that many selected memes have not enhanced human fitness, and that in fact “many of our most cherished memes are demonstrably fitness-reducing in the biological sense,” such as postponing procreation to get a very expensive college education. Once we meet our survival needs, humans “think there are more important things in life than out-reproducing their conspecifics.” “We are the only species that has discovered other things to die for (and to kill for): freedom, democracy, truth, communism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, and many other meme complexes (memes made up of memes).” We are the only species that articulates reasons to account for why we do things and the only species that attempts to persuade others why those reasons are good, often in the name of goals that cannot be accounted for in straightforward evolutionary terms. They have also argued that human cultural activity has changed the environments they respond to, creating “cognitive niches” or “cultural niches” with very different selective pressures. Pinker believes that humans evolved sufficient genetic capacities to be able to select the best memes and discard culturally inefficient or dysfunctional memes.
Cultural evolution can thus be said to have evolved away from the undirected evolution by natural selection toward the production of memes chosen with foresight and comprehension. Dennett sees no reason why we need to attribute human intentionality and comprehension to the selection of competent memes, because we can’t possibly access our own thinking, what transpires inside our brain, the exponentially complex chain of causation links, when we claim to know the reasons we do things. Therefore the conscious “I” cannot be said to have generated the comprehension we associate with the selection of memes. We must learn to think of what goes on inside the brain in the same way we think of computers performing competent tasks without conscious awareness. If we are to offer scientific reasons or explanations for the selection of competent memes, we should do it in the same way that we offer explanations for every other purely physical process. There is no need for taking the first-person point of view. The only way we can provide a scientific explanation is by examining the brain from the outside, in the third-person point of view of scientists.
Having tried to be as fair as possible to the Darwinians, I will offer a few minimal counter thoughts. I have noticed that, however much Pinker and Dennett acknowledge the role of culture itself in the evolution of memes, they are inclined either to trivialize cultural achievements outside the sciences or identify them as “gratuitous but harmless decorations.” They much prefer to concentrate on “innovations” that can be fitted straightforwardly into a selective process. But cultural achievements, including why men die for freedom and for religious beliefs, can’t be defined as mere technical “competences” or as inefficient or “gratuitous decorations” for the sake of pleasurable moments. Dennett ponders over the fact that all the cultural genius he lists are males, why “there have not yet been any female superstar geniuses”. He offers no answer except to suggest that the answer may lie in the process of cultural evolution. But it should also be noted that every single outstanding cultural achiever he mentions, including every single major innovation, was European or occurred inside Europe. If this is so (and ignoring genetic differences between Europeans and other peoples that might well be relevant), why should the answer not lie in the process of Western cultural evolution? Almost every academic he mentions in his book—countless cognitive psychologists and scientists—also happen to be working inside the West. Bennett can go on offering brilliant third-person explanations that lie well beyond my comprehension and competence. I will only suggest that self-consciousness, consciousness of consciousness, out of which cognitive psychology emerged, was strictly a Western invention.
If we agree that in the evolution of consciousness, from the “rudimentary sense of self” Dennett detects in single-cell organisms, in their self-maintenance, energy acquisition, and reproduction, through to the ever higher grades and shades of “awareness” we find in multicellular organisms, through fish and then territorial vertebrates, with their radically new design systems for survival in whole new niches demanding more central control and new capacities of sensory awareness, perception, and working memory, to the higher awareness of self-monitoring, mindreading, autocuing, and self-recognition of enculturated apes — if we can agree that in the evolution of consciousness we can identify increasingly higher levels of consciousness, and that eventually humans constructed themselves through cultural evolution, so that the range, shades, and dynamics of human consciousness can no longer be said to be biologically given but depend on the culture constructed, why can we not distinguish human cultures according to the level of awareness they have exhibited? Why can we not say that Europeans set the bar of self-consciousness higher than any other people? Why should we not ask about the cultural origins of the higher level of self-awareness of Europeans, rather than asking only about the emergence of human consciousness?
Merlin Donald astutely explains how cultural evolution depends on, and feeds back on, our genetic storage while itself constituting an evolving collective storage of customs, languages, and institutions, from which individuals feed in their education and construction of higher levels of cultural achievement, in the course of which “our evolution has been marked by an almost incredible series of intellectual revolutions,” which have increased the “conscious capacity” of human cultures. He detects four major “successive layers in the evolution of human cognition and culture” (episodic, mimetic, mythic, and theoretic). He believes that the theoretic stage first emerged in ancient Greece, the place where written texts “became reflective instruments, in which thought itself could be exposed to systematic analysis.” Yet, since he is not a historian or sociologist, he stops there, never explaining why this theoretic revolution happened in ancient Greece and why only Europe experienced a successive sequence of new stages of cognition while the rest of the world barely developed a theoretic culture. He observes in passing that “particularly in Western culture, we have placed consciousness and conscious experience on a pedestal. Many of our religious and intellectual traditions emphasize the development of awareness in the individual mind. … Our implicit value system assumes a rather elevated level of awareness and self-control. … This idea traces back to the Socratic notion of the examined life — that is, a life made conscious by the habit of constant reflection.”
It would have been more accurate for Merlin Donald to say that Western culture assumes an elevated level of awareness because Western culture engendered the highest levels of awareness starting with the Indo-Europeans and with the ancient Greek discovery of the mind.
I will conclude answering this question by asserting that it goes against the entire history of cognition—as well as actual intellectual developments, the history of science, mathematics, psychology, physics, chemistry—to be satisfied with the degree of consciousness found in Upper Paleolithic peoples and all non-Western civilizations, which never reached the stage of Piaget’s formal operational thinking and which, in the case of China and the Islamic world, stagnated intellectually after the Bronze Age; i.e., after about 1300 AD. Europeans reached a higher level of consciousness beginning with the ancient Mycenaean or Homeric Greeks for whom the highest value in life was honorable struggle to the death for pure prestige, leading to the discovery of the faculty of the mind, and an increasing awareness of their own agency as human beings capable of understanding the workings of the world in terms of self-determined or rationally validated regularities coupled with a growing awareness that man was the measure of all things, a subject with a spirited will-to-be-conscious of himself as a free subject, rather than a mere object of nature and mysterious forces, but a subject who takes himself to be the “highest point” on which all else depends. But this self-consciousness was in its infancy in ancient times and it would take many cultural revolutions all the way to German idealism during the 1800s for a full account of how the “self-conscious I” can be shown to lie at the very basis of all knowledge—and beyond this outlook to develop a philosophical-historical account that demonstrates a full awareness that this self-conscious I was self-generated only within the particular cultural setting of Western Civilization.
Grégoire Canlorbe: You do not hesitate to challenge the Alt-Right’s animus against Protestantism, which has been commonly perceived as a puritanical and factitious spirituality; and as the expression of a plebeian resentment against juridical-social inequalities and chivalrous feelings which are linked to any noblesse worthy of the name. In view of the founding texts of Protestantism, and in view of the type of society given birth to by its historical development (in America and other countries), how do you assess this line of criticism?
Ricardo Duchesne: I take it you are referring to an article I wrote at The Council of European Canadians with the title, “Should the Protestant Ethic Become the Spirit of the Alt Right”? I can barely claim knowledge about the Protestant Reformation and about the religious beliefs of the many denominations and sects that grew out of this Reformation. I know something about Hegel’s assessment of the historical import of Protestantism, and about the controversy surrounding Max Weber’s famous essay, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.” There is much to be learned from Hegel’s and Weber’s assessment of Protestantism. Hegel interpreted the Reformation, specifically Luther’s writings, as a call upon individual persons to take responsibility for judging what is true and morally right. He saw Lutherans as advocates for the liberation of the inwardness or conscience of individual believers from the unquestioned authority of priests, for the priesthood of every believer, a call which encouraged the eventual use of reason as the ultimate standard for what is truthful against all externally imposed authorities. Protestantism, however, still subjected reason to divine authority as expressed in the Bible, and, in this respect, for Hegel, it was a qualified conception of freedom of conscience. The Lutheran view still demanded obedience to a divine will beyond reason.
So, while Protestantism liberated European consciousness from the externality of Catholicism and the authority of priests, the subject still remained in the presence of an abstract God in heaven beyond this world, rather than actualized in the world. It was only after the principle of freedom of conscience freed itself from its purely religious character and made its mark in the worldly sphere, that the freedom achieved in religious consciousness becomes concrete, and this started happening only with the Enlightenment subjection of secular society and history to rational principles.
Following Hegel, I don’t see the Reformation as a “plebeian resentment.” I welcome what Charles Taylor has identified as the Protestant “affirmation of ordinary life.” This affirmation of ordinary life, along with the relative devaluing of the classical and medieval aristocratic ethic of military honor and intellectual contemplation, involved a new sensibility to work and family life. Work and household chores were new values central to our well-being, activities which should ideally be performed in effective ways with dignity and without suffering. Knowledge should not be pursued for its own sake, but should also be used, in the words of Francis Bacon, “to relieve the condition of mankind.” Protestant reformers dignified the everyday, the bodily, and the homey lives of mothers, fathers and children. This was a radically new conception from the Greek-Roman attitude that saw the family primarily in terms of the public duties it had to the state in the rearing of loyal children.
I am not going to get into the exhausting literature about the “strong” and the “weak” interpretations regarding the influence of Protestantism to the rise of modern science, except to say there was a relationship. Easy talk about how Protestantism was responsible for secularism, social levelling, rise of bourgeois values, and eventual erosion of European identity, needs to take into account the positive historical role of this side of Christianity. My main point in that essay on Protestantism and the Alt Right, was, if I may paraphrase here, that the importance of Weber’s thesis goes well beyond his effort to connect the development of rational capitalism with the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. We can read his argument to mean that only Western men, among all religious believers in history, promoted a « this-worldly » religion, which introduced a drive to mastery in worldly affairs by means of a systematic ordering of every aspect of one’s life, starting with self-mastery over « everything impulsive and irrational, the passions and the subjective interests of the natural man. » While Eastern religious men were contemplative in orientation, preoccupied with transcending worldly affairs, or reaching a harmonious coexistence with the world as it was, the Protestant sects of Calvinism, Methodism, Pietism, and Baptism called upon believers to gain mastery of this world through the « deliberate regulation of one’s life, » disciplined and methodical work, rather than to find salvation out of this world.
Weber was right that the incredible success of Europeans in the modern era was made possible by a type of personality no longer interested in the « undisciplined » acquisition of wealth « without reserve and as an uncontrolled impulse. » The aim of the Protestant way of life was to produce a new type of character able « to bring order into the conduct » of his life, « a cool self-control and frugality, » to achieve the highest return for each hour. It was only by making their Faustian restlessness « thoroughly rationalized, » freed « from the power of irrational impulses, » that European men came to master the world in the nineteenth century as never before.
To be sure, the incredible success of Europeans brought them unparalleled affluence and easy comfort after World War II, coupled with the evaporation of any notion of a « calling. » The capitalism of frugality and savings came to be replaced by a new form of Keynesian capitalism driven by effective demand, consumerism and welfare spending. It seems impossible now to resurrect the Calvinistic ethos Weber so admired. But if we can find a way to think of this ethos without the religious beliefs accompanying it, we may be able to extract some eternally valid precepts for the restoration of European greatness.
Grégoire Canlorbe: The presence of identifiable (instead of anonymous) characters living according to an ethic of individual glory and achievement is not unique to Mycenaean literature. The Old Testament features an ensemble of heroic and individualized characters—let one think of Moses, David, or Samson—who have nothing to envy to Achilles or Odysseus. Should this lead us to include the ancient Hebrews among the Indo-European peoples?
Ricardo Duchesne: I would not say the characters of the Old Testament live according to an ethic of individual glory and achievement, although it can be said that the Bible is full of “individualized characters.” However, it is hard to think that they are “aristocratic individuals” in the way I define that term. The significance of the Old Testament, its world historical import, is best captured through the argument that the Jews, along with the Chinese, Indians, Greeks, and possibly Persians, were progenitors of a “new axial age.” This idea has been attributed to Karl Jaspers. He believed that a dramatic spiritual revolution occurred in the Old World, led by Confucius, Buddha, the Hebrew prophets, and Greek philosophers roughly between 800 and 200 B.C. According to Jaspers, during this period, itinerant intellectuals—intellectuals acting outside the normative order of centralized priesthoods and independently of rulers seen as divine or semi-divine authorities— began to promulgate a new ethics based on argumentation or reflexivity, formulating transcendental ideals which came to serve as absolute moral platforms to judge secular authorities. In the case of the Jews, they gave Israel a higher law that liberated it from submission to any earthly ruler. The best defense of the idea of an axial age is Robert N. Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age (2011).
Bellah makes an excellent case for the reality of an axial age, but as he admits reluctantly, it was only in ancient Greece that a “theoretic culture” emerged, that arguments inherently open to further rational reflection were proposed, in that these arguments were based on rational premises inviting rational criticism. Bellah is unwilling to follow through with his awareness that only in ancient Greece, as Donald Merlin argues, can we speak about new norms and meanings centered on human argumentation—“thinking about thinking.” In this respect, I would add that only the Greeks set the groundwork for true transcendental thinking, a thinking that relies solely on what reason validates and is unsatisfied with norms and ideas promulgated by ancient intellectual authorities, but always ready to dethrone them. Bellah also stops with the axial age, wanting us to believe that this was the culmination of reflection, which is true only for the Hebrew people, the Chinese, and the Indians, but not for the Greeks or Europeans generally, who were only starting, bringing forth in subsequent centuries a continuous sequence of novelties and revolutions in all spheres of human life.
Grégoire Canlorbe: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add a thing or two?
Ricardo Duchesne: Thanks for the great and demanding questions. I am well aware that the claims I make here will require a lot more work than what I have published.
 Bruno Snell, The Discovery of the Mind. The Greek Origins of European Thought (1953), pp. 32, 28.
Ibid., pp. 47-8.
Victor Davis Hanson, The Other Greeks. The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization (1999), pp. 5-6.
 E.H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (1950), pp. 55,72.
 Peter Osier, ed., The History of Western Sculpture (2016), p. 40.
Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West: Volume II. Perspectives of World History (Alfred Knopf Publisher, 1989), p. 235.
 Kevin MacDonald, “Going Against the Tide: Ricardo Duchesne’s Intellectual Defence of the West.” The Occidental Quarterly 11.3 (2011), p. 51.
 Cited in Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (Bloomsbury Press, 2009), p. 95.
 Steven Pinker “Art and Adaptation” in Brian Boyd, Joseph Carroll, and Jonathan Gottschall, eds. Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader (Columbia University Press, 2010), p. 126.
 These quotes come from Daniel C. Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (W.W Norton, 2017).
 Ibid., p. 218
 Ibid., p. 24.
 Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (W.W. Norton: 2001), p. 260
 Ibid., p. 307.
 Ibid., p. 14.
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