Sunday, November 18, 2012

Goldberg's modernity

In a recent post I tried to draw out the ideas of the liberal right. My argument was that the starting point for the liberal right is the idea that the highest good is a freedom to be self-made.

If that's your starting point then other things follow. If, for instance, your focus is on the self-made individual, then you won't like the idea of people acting as part of an ethnic group. That will make it seem as if the individual is being defined by membership of a tribe or collective rather than being self-made.

And so the right-liberal attitude to ethnicity is mostly a hostile one. Some right liberals can handle a personal, sentimental attachment to an ethnic identity, but a public or collective expression of it is usually ruled out of bounds.

Jonah Goldberg is the editor of the American publication National Review. He wrote a column for the magazine in September in which the right-liberal hostility to an ethnic identity is unmistakeable.

His argument is that in the pre-modern age, tribalism was necessary for survival, so much so that it is in our genes. But once humans arrived at modernity, the story changes radically:
...the story of modernity is the story of how we moved away from traditional, non-voluntary forms of tribalism based on familial, ethnic, or even nationalistic lines and toward voluntary forms of tribalism.

There's liberalism in a nutshell for you. Goldberg still permits the idea of associations, but they have to be based on self-determined connections between people rather than predetermined ones. In the right-liberal terminology, "voluntary" forms of association are the only permissible ones, but the term voluntary doesn't mean ones that we agree to, it means ones that we are not born into. We are born into a family tradition, an ethnic one, and usually a national one - therefore, those are out. But being a member of a sports club, or a local progress association, a service group or a business association - those are permissible.

Goldberg is enough of an intellectual to force these principles to extreme ends. He goes on to claim the following:
The American founding was revolutionary in its embrace of the universality of human rights (even as it fell so short of its own ideals with the institution of slavery). Since then, the West has fought several civil wars to break away from various tribal ideologies, including not just monarchism and imperialism but also Nazism (racial tribalism), Communism (economic tribalism), and fascism (national tribalism).

He is so set against the idea of a "tribe" that he connects nationalism with fascism and he sees the whole arc of Western progress as a war against tribalism.

Should we really be surprised, then, if right-liberals haven't stepped forward in defence of ordinary national and ethnic traditions? How could they possibly do this, if they have such a negative way of understanding these traditions?

Goldberg continues:
In fits and starts, we’ve moved toward ever greater voluntarism, which is a fancy way of saying we’ve moved toward greater individual liberty. According to the American creed, no one, and no thing, is the boss of me unless I agree to it. To a certain extent, that’s even true — at least in theory — about the government, which is a representative institution created solely by and for the people, who are sovereign.

In this he is deeply mistaken. Goldberg's voluntarism does not make me free. If predetermined qualities are ruled out, that means that I cannot be free as a man, nor as a member of a family, nor as a member of an ethny, nor as a member of a nation. I cannot be free in ways that matter. I cannot be free in ways that constitute who I am. And this makes me significantly unfree.

Not to worry, argues Goldberg. In a right-liberal society there are still voluntary associations to belong to:
Bowling leagues, football franchises, high-school rivalries, motorcycle clubs, Goth clubs: You name it, these free associations — what Edmund Burke called the “little platoons” — satisfy our innate desire to belong to “something larger than ourselves,” as so many politicians like to say.

Not sure Edmund Burke really had Goth clubs in mind when he wrote of little platoons. But I do agree with Goldberg that the disallowing of traditional forms of association in a liberal society has led to a greater emphasis on being a sports fan or part of a youth subculture. But it's an aspect of decline, not of progress. Being a Brony or a Juggalo is no substitute for the larger, traditional communal identities.

Goldberg makes one other interesting comment. He admits that right-liberals (whom he labels conservatives) and left-liberals (whom he labels liberals) are really part of the same family:
whatever our differences with American liberals may be, conservatives understand that our argument with them is still within the family. The fighting is intense, but we’re all trying to figure out what it means to live in this country bequeathed to us by the American Revolution and the Enlightenment.

He is being honest here. He recognises that left and right (i.e. the liberal left and right) share the same underlying commitments, regardless of how intense the debate between them might be. He would side with the left against a serious traditionalism.


  1. I think we will return to more localized and national forms in the future. Globalization is helping us communicate internationally with the world more, but it is also creating more divisions, since people can be more self-sufficient than ever and knowing what is happening far away doesn't necessarily mean that people will agree with one another. It's about HBD right? I don't think localized places and nations will go away. It will become even more pronounced I'm guessing.

  2. It is telling that Goldberg's examples of "little platoons" are all trivial associations. Burke was not thinking of Goth clubs, and he was not thinking of bowling leagues, either. In fact, if I recall correctly, Burke's "little platoons" were social organizations that commanded loyalty and exercised authority, such as the family, the church, and the guild, and that did so independently of the state. The conservative critique of modernity is that the state attacks these little platoons because it hates rival objects of loyalty and centers of authority. The state wants a world of individuals cycling in and out of trivial associations! Goldberg and his ilk claim to dislike "big government," but they really hate the "intermediate organizations" (Robert Nisbet's term) that can actually challenge the power of the state. If the state commands me to do something forbidden by my church, there's going to be a problem. Not so of the state commands me to do something forbidden in the bylaws of my bowling league!

  3. Goldberg's voluntarism does not make me free.

    It does if you are choosing to belong to the Church.

    Funny that he mentions "Muslims", but not the power of religion to unite people in a tribe, and how that is affecting nationalization and class-warfare attempts. The last election being a sign of the future, with practicing Christians voting overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate and everyone else voting overwhelmingly for the Democratic one. It was faith that split the white (and mixed-race) vote.

  4. Just saw that JMSmith was making the same point. LOL Sorry for being a repeat.

    Just wanted to add that the USCCB met this month and decided that they want to focus on reintroducing outward signs of Catholicism (i.e. tribal markers), like wearing crucifixes, making the sign of the cross when praying in public (such as when saying grace in a restaurant), and not eating meat on Fridays.

  5. It does if you are choosing to belong to the Church

    Alte, for most people I don't think that's true.

    Most people are brought to a sense of faith by climbing "a ladder of transcendence".

    That sense of transcendence might be inspired by the beauty of women or of nature, perhaps by fine works of art, music and architecture, perhaps by a sense of the virtue embedded in a masculine or feminine ideal, perhaps by a sense of moral virtue to be found within a culture or cultural tradition.

    If you take away these steps, you "disenchant" people's experience and that is likely ultimately to affect their faith, even those who have spent a lifetime of Catholic observance.

    I think the other side knows this. It is also why alienated souls are so addicted to ugliness or moral transgression.

    The cutting down of life in a liberal society is also a cutting down of the soul. A man who has retained the normal sense of love for his own communal tradition and who feels connected in his ancestry to generations past and present is a much better candidate for what the New Testament terms the "spiritual man" than someone who has lost or been denied this capacity.

    And, again, if my identity is closely tied to my sense of being a man or my sense of ancestral tradition, then how am "I" being liberated if I am being asked to "move away from them" as part of liberal "progress"?

  6. JMSmith,

    I'd love to put that to Goldberg to see how he responded. It seems undeniably true to me.

  7. Alte, for most people I don't think that's true.

    I meant that choosing to love Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior frees us from sin. It was sort of a lame religious joke. Truth shall set you free, and all that.

    My point was the same as JMSmith, that Goldberg conveniently left religion out of the "volunteer tribes" one could join.

  8. And, again, if my identity is closely tied to my sense of being a man or my sense of ancestral tradition, then how am "I" being liberated if I am being asked to "move away from them" as part of liberal "progress"?

    Obviously, I don't think you are. But I don't really agree with the idea that you can't become an adoptive member of an ethnicity, such as with the spiritual Israel.

    Many of us had to cut ties with our ancestors in order to convert. This is, I agree, a painful process -- choosing a faith over ethnicity -- but it is one we've been faced with. The Church is used to dealing with this and that is why Catholicism has so many tribal markers -- it's a universal church and its converts are often cut adrift from their ancestors (who are perhaps Hindu, animists, Muslims, atheists -- or just plain-ole feminists, like mine). The Church attempts to replace some of their old tribal markers with new ones: new clothes, new habits, new holidays, new language, etc.

  9. (continued)

    So, in that sense, as well, we are freed. Christianity often even frees us of ties to our ancestors, if our ancestors are not practicing Christians. This can be very liberating, in the truest sense of the word.

    My main point, as I've started rambling, is that it's insulting to have my faith included with bowling leagues and poker clubs. That's what I was agreeing with JMSmith about.

  10. Great comments Alte, as I know several people whose conversion to Christianity came at the expense of their ethnic ties.

    Given that Christ explicitly calls us to this, to an allegiance to Himself over an above earthly ties, this shouldn't be ignored.

    I do agree with Mark that this culture's near insistence (even from the "right") that ethnic ties are evil is an evil of its own kind.

  11. Elspeth,

    It's true that if, say, a Hindu converted to Christianity he would be giving up an aspect of his own ethnic tradition. But it doesn't mean he abandons his ethnic tradition. He can still seek to maintain the other aspects of his ethnicity.

    The idea of a primary commitment being to God is fine. But I don't think we're framing things right if we see a commitment to God as being a spiritual expression and our love of our ethnic tradition as being non-spiritual. Both involve the fullness of the human soul (i.e. a question of the life of the human soul) and if we are called to follow the good, and we recognise a good in the tradition we are born to, then as a matter of conscience we should seek to uphold it.

    Again, I don't think church by itself is enough for most people to maintain their faith (or to arrive at it).

  12. "
    The idea of a primary commitment being to God is fine. But I don't think we're framing things right if we see a commitment to God as being a spiritual expression and our love of our ethnic tradition as being non-spiritual. Both involve the fullness of the human soul (i.e. a question of the life of the human soul) and if we are called to follow the good, and we recognise a good in the tradition we are born to, then as a matter of conscience we should seek to uphold it."

    I agree with that.

  13. "The idea of a primary commitment being to God is fine. But I don't think we're framing things right if we see a commitment to God as being a spiritual expression and our love of our ethnic tradition as being non-spiritual. Both involve the fullness of the human soul (i.e. a question of the life of the human soul) and if we are called to follow the good, and we recognise a good in the tradition we are born to, then as a matter of conscience we should seek to uphold it."

    I like that. Well put.

  14. He is so set against the idea of a "tribe" that he connects nationalism with fascism and he sees the whole arc of Western progress as a war against tribalism.

    Jonah Goldberg is not "against the idea of a "tribe"":

    Finally, I can put the rumors to rest: The land of Zion isn’t merely an abstraction, it’s an actual country.


    "One of the few things that critics and friends of Israel can agree on is that Israel is different, a special sort of nation representing a special idea. That’s true whether you subscribe to the heroic narrative, popularized by Leon Uris, of Israel’s birth or the sadly more familiar anti-colonialist fable so popular among the campus Left and the anti-Israel industry.


    Israel’s realists know this because they can’t afford the self-indulgent abstractions and the cynical lies that pass for “realism” outside its borders.

    Jonah Goldberg objects to people treating Israel like an "abstraction".

    Jonah Goldberg is against your tribe, Mr Richardson:

    Indeed, it's striking how hypocritical the paleocons are these days. They denounce all conservatives who don't toe their line as "neocons" who've "caved" to the liberals on all the important issues. But, that's only true if you consider the important issues to revolve around this narrow and nasty emphasis on what Peter Brimelow calls America's "specific ethnic core."

    His tribe has a nation, which is not an "abstraction". Your tribe is an abstraction, and it should just disappear.

  15. Further confirmation, if you need it, that Jonah Goldberg has no problems identifying his people as "a tribe":

    Perhaps, because Jews mix politics and religion so thoroughly, this tendency is even stronger among members of the tribe.

    The knot of Jewish liberalism is large, old and has many strands. It will take a long time to untie it.


    Jonah Goldberg would like his tribe to untie themselves from liberalism, and be realist, especially with regard their nation Israel.

    It's just your tribe that he doesn't like, Mr Richardson.

    Note at the link how members of his "tribe" (Goldberg's word) have no problem discussing their ethnic, religious and cultural identity, and what needs to be done to preserve it.

  16. Talking about your tribe, Mr Richardson, is "narrow and nasty".

    Promoting his own tribe, and their nation, is "real realism".

    It is quite clear that Jonah Goldberg objects to liberal "abstractions" being applied to his own "tribe" (Goldberg's word), but opposes Brimelow's "tribe" (Goldberg's word) having any "real realism" with regard their own nation/s.

  17. Metro Gnome,

    Pointing out that Goldberg doesn't extend his anti-tribalism to Israel is a good point and one he should be pressed on.

    But I wish that commenters like yourself would consider what's necessary to clarify politics for those now trapped in the left versus right political cultures.

    The political ideas matter. People hope against hope that the "conservative" side will actually be conservative. It's important to point out what the leaders of the established right actually believe - that they base their politics on a concept of freedom and the individual which makes the continuation of the mainstream white American tradition impossible.

    Would the political philosophy of the right be OK if it were exclusively held to by white Christians? The answer is no: we would still ultimately arrive at the same outcomes.

    We have to free ourselves of the political philosophy and that means, in part, making clear how things stand between left and right.

  18. Pointing out that Goldberg doesn't extend his anti-tribalism to Israel is a good point and one he should be pressed on.

    Whilst it is positive to see you recognise the double-dealing, you need to understand that anyone who does press the point will instantly become persona non grata. Along with that they will lose their job, especially so if they work in media.

    This is the thing, as I am sure you are aware, any White person who argues from a position of ethnic loyalty will lose their job. A recent example is that of John Derbyshire.

    But, this principle of "anti-racism", or anti-tribalism, or anti-ethnocentrism, is not universally enforced in our media.

    For example, you will have:

    "Israel's Jewish Essence Is Non-Negotiable: A Response to Mahmoud Abbas"


    contrasted with, by the same author:

    "White Nationalism: A Scourge That Won't Go Away"


    You will immediately recognise a similar theme with the prior quoted example of Jonah Goldberg.

    In our own media you will note that ethnocentric positions are allowable in the instance of Aborigines, who are encouraged by government and media to speak of "our people", "my people".

    Should a White person speak of his people, or reference "our people", that would be construed as "A Scourge That Won't Go Away".

    You can see, therefore, that fundamentally, this is not about liberalism as a false philosophy that has deluded the ethnic people of the Western nations, but rather one of enforced silence, even to the point of prosecution.

    You are obviously aware that the various racial discrimination acts, federally and in our states, are enforced only against White people.

    So, we cannot "press the point", because we no longer have any power in the public marketplace of ideas, legislation and culture. This has been driven "top-down", that is it isn't a result of "the people" demanding that they be silenced, or that the people have implemented a liberal revolution so as to silence themselves. On the contrary, those who now own the traditional institutions that served our people, are imposing our eradication upon us.

    Our "blood" is reviled. We have been removed from our "soil".

    That term itself, "blood and soil" is construed as evil, and a scourge that won't go away. Yet it is a valuable term to discriminate between those who do support our people, and those who have another people as their first and foremost ethnic priority.

    In the Jonah Goldberg quotes above, in the Tabletmag forum, and in the two contrasted Menachem Rosensaft columns, we can see that these individuals do openly argue for their "blood and soil".

    With regard Aboriginal rights and affirmation in our own country we can see that it is a matter of "blood and soil". They are the "first peoples". They have an intrinsic connection to "their land". This is an overt expression of "blood and soil".

    The left argue for Palestinian "blood and soil" rights, or the rights of Tibetans to Tibet. These are touchstone topics for the left.

    Yet, we are left not only voiceless but, as noted, at the pain of ostracism if not prosecution, for speaking on behalf of our "blood and soil".

    In conclusion, all up I do appreciate your erudite elaboration on the problems of liberalism and rampant individualism, but suggest that liberalism isn't something which our people suffer from. It is not liberalism that has enslaved us, driven us from our soil, and outlawed any expression of our blood allegiance, it is the various groups of "elite" power who have enforced this situation upon us, all with varying motivations.

  19. The political ideas matter. People hope against hope that the "conservative" side will actually be conservative.

    I agree.

    But what do we mean by our conservatives actually being conservative?

    A conservative would preserve their society by maintaining their institutions. That is the definition of what it is to be a conservative.

    For a conservative there is an unbreakable connection between society and their institutions. Change the society and you change their former institutions.

    Abbreviated, a conservative understands principally that he has a society that extends from his ethnic group; his blood.

    That ethnic group expresses itself in the culture that arises from itself, within its specific environment; its soil.

    The institutions of this "blood and soil" are to be preserved, as they protect and advance the people of this particular blood and soil.

    A conservative therefore acknowledges his blood, his soil, and conserves both, through his traditional institutions.

    The minute the conservative disavows his blood, he renounces his soil.

    This cutting off at the roots of European people from their blood and their soil has been achieved by enemies of that blood and soil, by overtaking traditional institutions and using them against their people.

    This has been a quest for power, not liberalism. Though liberalism may have been used initially to lead our blood and soil away, with temptations of various vices, like abortion, no-fault divorce, consumerism, free-trade (an extension of consumerism), sexual decadence etc.

    Our people have been led astray not because of a yearning for liberalism, but because they were tempted astray. To pretend that they have no blood (family destruction), and thereby no soil (anti-nationalism).

    Conservatives, if they truly are such, need to be called back to their first principles of "blood and soil".

    Just as Goldberg and Rosensaft (and numerous others) call their people to their blood and soil.

    We do not revile either of the above, and others, for their good, right and proper love of their people and their nation, we applaud them. We want to emulate them, for ours.

    Note that the one thing that binds left and right within Goldbergs community is their first and foremost attachment to their blood and their soil. They can agree to disagree on how to advance, or defend, they can disagree vehemently with each other even, but, the one thing that binds them is their blood and soil.

    Which is precisely the one thing that you, Mr Richardson, are not allowed to do for yourself. You are allowed to debate liberalism, or conservatism, or whatever else it is that catches your fancy, and much of it may well be true.

    But the one thing you are not allowed to do is talk about "our people", "our lands".

    That this situation has come about is not due to "liberalism" but the driving force of carious agendas to sunder you, and me, from our blood, and our soil.

    "Blood and soil" is a key term of principled conservatism. Study how it is deployed, or reviled, and the circumstances of both. Note whether people are principled in its universal application, or determine when it can be used, and under what terms it can be used, and whether they apply these same terms rigidly to all.

    You will be able to see who is truly conservative, by whose blood and soil they seek to conserve principally, whose blood and soil they revile.

  20. My final point: our people regaining their nations (blood and soil) will come about through the reverse manner in which our sundering was achieved. Our recapture will be from the bottom up. It will not be won through intellectual argument, for we have no platform from which to expand our philosophy that expresses our people. That platform is denied us.

    As things worsen, and the vices that have led our people astray are no longer fed to us, with economic collapse, eternal foreign war, internal ethnic division increasing urban violence, our people will once again recognise their natural affiliation with first, their blood, and then seek to recapture their natural right to their soil.

  21. Metro Gnome,

    I think some of the double standard stems from the perception that white people should be the most "modern". Nationalities are perceived as something that people should grow out of or advance from and as white people are the most advanced they should lead the way.

    Let the Jews, or the Aboriginies or Tibetans have their nations as clearly they need them. After all they're not full members of the advanced "white establishment". You have to ask why so many white people don't embrace concepts such as white nationalism, in my opinion its considered to be a prop for the weak. Why have a nation when you yourself as an individual can be your own "nation", and simultaneously be part of an "international" network of nations, all without regional boundaries.

  22. Hi Jesse,

    Is your reply your argument, your opinion, or are you expressing what you think other white people think?

  23. "Pointing out that Goldberg doesn't extend his anti-tribalism to Israel is a good point and one he should be pressed on."

    Indeed it is. I'd like to say I'm shocked by Goldstein's hypocrisy but unfortuantely I find it all too common in Liberal Jews.

    Mark, you're term 'right-liberals and left-liberals' is a good one. On a similar note a friend of mine jokes that modern politics is a left wing civil war.

  24. I've had this sent to me, Mr Richardson:

    What sort of nation have we spawned that now openly abuses fellow Whites, the sweetest of of sweetest, Notre Dames, the French for not speaking English?

    What cesspit of anti-racist scum we have become.

    For which I blame the English scum form whence we have come.

  25. I just wish, though, just for the sake of accuracy, that Dyer understood the difference between Right-wing and conservative. I’m no more Right-wing than he is, and probably less.

    Bolt is "conservative". Not "right-wing".

    Take not of how far left our national has been strewed.

    We now have Whites slagging off White French in Melbourne for not speaking English, whilst we have a "conservative" columnist who urges on Australians to die for "democracy" in the Middle-East, all on behalf of a people who have no problems what is in their national interests.

    How low have we become.

  26. Correction:
    Take note of how far left our national discourse has been strewed.

  27. Metro Gnome,

    I was expressing some of the popular perceptions within the white community. I don't think its a simple matter of white people being taken for a ride by the elites. In many instances they are very willing participants, with the middle and upper classes frequently in varying degrees wholly behind these changes and in other instances white people being not sufficiently motivated to oppose them.

    All the time in arguments I have with white people on the topic of immigration I frequently hear complaints about immigration rates, but when I challenge people to be active in their support of restrictions they inevitably back down. This is generally not primarily because of fear of a PC backlash but out of the idea that its not "seemly", or that its below their dignity, to be overly nationalistic.

    Their solutions are inevitably to try to amass money and to attempt to isolate themselves from the changes happening in society. In other word to withdraw into their individuality, try to recreate limited small communities, and retreat from the national level. This strategy is an absolute loser in my opinion but its worthwhile to examine where it comes from and why it is so persistently resorted to as a proposed solution.

    Popular notions on the primacy of individuality absolutely have to be challenged if you're going to gain traction in the immigration debate in my view.

  28. What cesspit of anti-racist scum we have become.

    For which I blame the English scum from whence we have come.

    That's an overreaction. There are yobs in every society. A liberal society is likely to tilt the balance more in their favour: welfare, drugs, family decline, loss of cultural standards, plus a declining birth rate amongst other social classes.

    But our biggest problem isn't the yobs. Our biggest problem is the political culture that dominates amongst the more sophisticated Anglos.

  29. Metro Gnome,

    The fact that Aborigines are allowed to celebrate their ethnicity whilst whites aren't doesn't mean that liberalism is not a factor in what is happening.

    There are two types of liberalism. Right-liberals, like Andrew Bolt, generally want to apply the "ethnicity must be made not to matter" rule equally - hence they want Aborigines to assimilate into the mainstream rather than maintain their own communities.

    Left-liberals blame racial inequality in society on attempts by whites to create a system which privileges them at the expense of others.

    Therefore, whiteness is looked on as an oppressive social construct that blocks the path to equality and social justice.

    So whiteness becomes exceptional in a negative sense. It is the fount of racism and inequality. It has to be deconstructed. Anyone who defends it is assumed to be defending white supremacy.

    Expressions of other racial identities are either harmlessly an expression of culture or even positively an expression of solidarity of the oppressed.

    Even so, when it comes to the crunch the left is generally not very interested in preserving these other cultures either. The melting pot is the ultimate destination.

  30. Your reading of Goldberg's article is astute; however I believe he would have a valid point if tribalism were understood differently. I distinguish tribalism from the legitimate recognition of what is good in one's background.

    Tribalism is what we saw in the US election - where people of a certain ethnicity or other tribal identity overwhelmingly fell into the political pattern expected of their group. The election was significantly influenced by racial groups voting as a bloc - this is a disturbing phenomenon and one that is worthy of criticism.

    Furthermore, often the tribal identity with which people associate themselves is an artificial identity anyway - such as when people of dark skin colour with no ethnic attachment to African Americans nevertheless choose to associate themselves with black "urban" culture.

  31. ***Therefore, whiteness is looked on as an oppressive social construct that blocks the path to equality and social justice***

    Hehe, I'm just reading 'Conversations With Lee Kuan Yew : Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation . One of the striking features of the book is Yew's matter-of-fact observations that some groups are “not as hardworking and capable as other races”. In particular he notes the US will become less dynamic due to demographic changes. Imagine if some western politicians had Yew's insight and honesty.

  32. Lawrence Auster on right-liberalism:

    It should never be forgotten: Right-liberalism, of which neoconservatism is a subset, leads automatically to left-liberalism. Right-liberalism says that culture, ethnicity, and race do not matter, because we are all universal individuals who have the right to equal freedom with all other human beings. On this basis, the right-liberals open their country’s borders to all of humanity. But humanity does not consist of universal individuals. It consists of various cultures, ethnicities, and races all of which have particular identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas which are different from those of the host society. As a result, the mass presence of those different groups in the host society, far from advancing right-liberal equal freedom, empowers their unassimilable identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas, and thus changes the host country from a right-liberal society into a multicultural, left-liberal, racial-socialist society whose ruling principle is equality of outcome for all groups.