Empathy and Sympathy
Psychological Insights, Racial and Sexual Differences
First appeared in Heritage and Destiny magazine, issue 92, Sept.-Oct. 2019
Most times these articles of mine aim to be ahead of nationalist, and certainly mainstream, thought. Exceptionally, here I would like to revisit a theme introduced by Andrew Hamilton in a Counter-Currents article which appeared in May 2014. It was titled ‘Empathy Without Sympathy’ and led to a lively discussion. The reason being, it attempted to pinpoint a significant psychological difference between Whites and non-Whites.
In common English usage empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably. Indeed there seems to be a fashion among some women to incorrectly use “empathy” to convey a sort of super-sympathy, to showcase their compassion.
Distingishing between empathy and sympathy involves some non-trivial semantic issues, which will be passed over. It’s easy to get bogged down in the meaning of words. Let’s just say that empathy is perceiving of, and sympathy is feeling for. Empathy is perception and sympathy is compassion. According to a medical definition (Dirckx), empathy is “intellectual insight into another’s emotional state without sharing in it.”
With that preamble, we can quickly progress to the essential point, because this was Hamilton’s observation:
‘Jews possess an uncanny ability to empathize with the Other, examine him closely and take his measure, understand and engage, even mesmerize him, without feeling the slightest genuine sympathy or compassion. This disjunction between empathy (the capacity for participating in or vicariously experiencing others’ feelings, volitions, and ideas) and sympathy (genuine caring) is completely foreign to whites, who do not understand it and cannot cope with it in a healthy manner.’
Hamilton is saying that generally for Whites the two terms are synonymous, but among non-Whites, and certain others, they definitely are not. Those certain others include the sociopath, who uses empathy when he senses and appraises the undercurrents and desires of a person with whom he is transacting, but feels no sympathy whatever for him. The sociopath can use his empathic abilities to exploit: to determine what his opponent wishes to hear, what approach will obtain the desired effect, and how his opponent can best be manipulated to his advantage. Empathy can be used for psychological reconnaissance. There may also be simulated compassion, making the target yet more susceptible to manipulation. Here is Hamilton again:
‘Jews have many unique psychological characteristics that render them radically unlike non-Jews. One quality Jews possess in one-on-one situations, and even group situations, is a keen sensitivity to the subtleties, nuances, desires, thoughts, and emotions of non-Jews. They can size up people of all races and interact with them extremely well.’
Cold indifference toward members of an out-group has been described more dramatically. Going straight to the nub is the delight certain races have exhibited while practising appalling cruelties on their fellow man. One has no difficulty finding old, pre-PC accounts of the enjoyment obtained. One particularly vivid account, dating from 1844, was of Fijian cannibals laughing and taunting their two victims, already with their arms and legs removed, yet still conscious, “We are eating your tongues!”
Although we do not see it described in the same way today, similar callousness can be perceived in crime reports (e.g. acid attacks). Exultant joy in another’s suffering, frankly described in the old accounts, involves awareness of their unfortunate victim’s misery while having no sympathy for him. The gulf between empathy and sympathy can be enormous.
It is tempting to explore the evolutionary origins of empathy and sympathy, particularly, which came first, and why the split occurred. A potential starting point lies in the sexual realm, because females are usually keenly aware of male want, yet sexual favours are rarely dispensed according to need. Women are empathic to men’s sexual needs but not sympathetic to them. This is one clear instance when empathy and sympathy are distinct in the female mind.
Many Whites seem to be suffering from a surfeit of sympathy, burdened with all the problems of the world. The most rational and sane attitude is to confine concern to one’s own nation, that is, one’s own people. Then while there may be many profound and seemingly intractable problems, at least the extent of them is finite.
The distinction between sociopathy and psychopathy can be fine, and definitions vary. Perhaps the dividing line is that the sociopath stays within the law, while the psychopath combines his manipulatory skills and lack of conscience with criminal activity.
In my most memorable encounter with a psychopath, its notable feature was that he simply had to come out on top. There was apparently no limit to the lengths he would go to prevail. A vendetta was declared, inviting retaliation. If the battle were to be joined however it was clear that the situation would escalate inordinately and the only sensible course for the non-psychopath then is to withdraw. One can perceive this dynamic being played out in politics, and yes, our politicians are breaking the law. In Britain, the Queen has broken her Coronation Oath.