Europe as the Cost of Signaling

It should be clear by now that the West is in some sort of dystopian signaling competition with itself. If it was mere hypocrisy we'd be fine. Would you care if all Eurocucks did was signal their support to refugees on social media but then fought tooth and nail the invasion of their countries? I wouldn't. Let them eat social media cake.

But that's not what's happening; signaling doesn't work like that. In the book "Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior" Geoffrey Miller discusses how much of modern consumption is driven not by conscious necessity or 'rational' self-interest but by unconscious desires to signal. While the book deals mostly with critiquing empty consumerism, his key insights and explanations about how signaling works are applicable to all kinds of human behaviors, not just consumption.

Signaling is not a modern phenomenon. It's not even a human phenomenon, you can find signaling everywhere in nature. Birds signal with their feathers and songs that they're healthy and worthy mates, lions signal with their manes, etc. Given that signaling one's desirable traits results in commanding the respect of peers, the determent of predators and rivals, and the attraction of mates, cheating emerges as a good strategy. You skip gaining the traits altogether and merely deceive everybody by signaling that you have them. Picture a world like this. You don't have to be funny, you only need to tell people you're funny. You don't need to be rich, only tell people that you are. All the gains and none of the work. Fantastic.

To countersignal cheating however, we evolved ways to discern between 'reliable' signals and false or cheating signals. Think of false or cheat signaling as counterfeit money and reliable signaling as the real thing. Now think of the whole thing as an arms race between money counterfeiters and central banks trying ever harder to make (or fake) bills.

-Side note for bowties-
Even if you hate fiat money the metaphor stands because signaling, like money, derives it's worth from the social perception of its value. A fake one dollar bill may have the same backing in gold or whatever asset as a Federal Reserve note but people trust and like their official FR notes and not the fake notes. Same with signaling.
-End note-

What this arms race between counterfeiters and genuine producers does is to keep raising the costs for counterfeiters, to keep raising the costs of signaling. Keeping with our money metaphor, the more specialized printing equipment required to print holograms, watermarks and the like on bills, the costlier it is to create a fake bill. The markings or signals of a real bill must also be conspicuous. Without knowing or showing how a bill is genuine, how can you even tell whether it is?

Miller argues that the way nature separates 'truthful' signaling from deceitful signaling is by having the signal be costly and the cost conspicuous. Truthful signaling must have either conspicuous waste (a high cost for the signal that brings no material benefit), conspicuous precision (something unique that is really hard to counterfeit), conspicuous reputation (harsh consequences if a fake is found), or a mix of two or all three.

From the book:

[...] animals, including humans, often show off the most expensive signals they can afford, whether those signals are peacock tails or Hummer H1s. In each case, reliable signaling demands some sort of "conspicuous waste"—a highly visible expenditure of resources that brings no material benefit, but that simply signals the expender's ability and willingness to waste those resources.

Costly signal theory can be applied to more things than just consumption. Replace consumer products with moralizing and you start getting the picture of what's going on right now in our suicidal signal-fest.

What we are witnessing is conspicuous waste in action applied to the moral(izing) realm. Is not enough to simply say you love brown Third World people and that you feel bad they live in shitty places, you must incur a cost for your signal to be taken seriously. And so some Europeans have decided that giving their countries to hostile foreigners is the "most expensive signal" they can afford. The most conspicuous and wasteful signal.

I do not fear or hate hypocrites. As a matter of fact I think our entire situation in the West would be much better if people were actually hypocritical. No, what I fear are zealots and oblivious (useful) idiots. I fear signalers and their unconscious drive to be conspicuously wasteful. What they are wasting is their own civilization and people.

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Non-hispanic White from Hispania.