An article of mine from 2010

Originally published at Dissident Voice.

Faithful Circle

A Response to Noam Chomsky’s Book “Fateful Triangle”

Hypotheses and Tests

1. Hypotheses

Dear Mr. President: We write to affirm our support for our strategic partnership with Israel, and encourage you to continue to do before international organizations such as the United Nations. The United States has traditionally stood with Israel because it is in our national security interest and must continue to do so. Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and a vibrant democracy. Israel is also a partner to the United States on military and intelligence issues in this critical region. That is why it is our national interest to support Israel at a moment when Israel faces multiple threats from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the current regime in Iran.
– Jewish Virtual Library1

This is the beginning of the resolution passed by the US Senate on June 21 2010, supporting Israel’s attack on a convoy of unarmed aid ships headed toward Gaza, which killed nine people.

It begins with four sentences, each one of which asserts that Israel is a strategic asset of the USA. But if Israel is such an ally, why the need to emphasise it? It’s as if the senators are arguing with someone who says that Israel is NOT as useful as we tend to believe. Whoever that is, it’s not Noam Chomsky. Both left-wing thinkers like Chomsky and establishment politicians reinforce the idea that US interests coincide with those of Israel, though they differ on how good US interests are. Sometimes, when people say something too stridently, it is because they secretly know that it is false.

This review was sparked off by an online critique of Noam Chomsky’s views on the Middle East by Jeff Blankfort, a reply to it, and the internet discussions around them.2 , 3 Several contributors to these discussions come from traditional anti-racist left-wing backgrounds, but, unlike most of the left, have taken it to its logical conclusion, opposing Jewish power as the most important form of ethnically-based oppression in the West today.

Chomsky fan Hammond3 urges Blankfort’s supporters to read Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle.4 So I did. I am not impressed by Chomsky’s fame nor by the book’s approximately two thousand references. I look at the arguments.

Professor Chomsky made one of the greatest discoveries in twentieth-century science, the language instinct, in a 1959 critique of psychologist B. F. Skinner.5 Because he’s a genius, we expect more of him than unsubstantiated platitudes. But everyone makes mistakes. Einstein spent the better part of his career trying to explain why the universe is not expanding, and Chomsky didn’t figure out that there are genes for grammar.6

He flayed Skinner on the vagueness of his terms, and for changing the meaning of words when convenient. Chomsky therefore knows that vagueness makes a hypothesis untestable, and therefore unscientific.

Chomsky brought clarity to the science of language development, but he is surprisingly contradictory on the politics of the Middle East, for a man with such a scientific, logical brain. For example, on the one hand, he denies the importance of the Israel Lobby. After all, if Israel is helping US ‘elites’ maintain their ‘hegemony’ in the ‘region’, they would hardly need a lobby to remind them of it. Universities and co-operatives are tentatively discussing a boycott of Israel. Chomsky argues against a boycott of Israeli produce, because the Lobby would call us ‘hypocrites’, unless we boycott the US too.7 So he thinks this ‘unimportant’ Lobby could undermine a boycott of Israel by mere accusations.

By page 4, Chomsky already makes it clear that he defends the Jewish State. He criticizes its current policies, which he says are caused by American Zionists, who cause its “moral degeneration and ultimate destruction”. In my pamphlet The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism, I sarcastically cited Stephen Zunes8 for claiming America was responsible for pushing poor little Israel into Lebanon in 2006. I didn’t realize how close Zunes’s attempt to make excuses for Jewish murderers was to Chomsky’s position until I read Fateful Triangle. Chomsky and his followers want us to believe that Israeli ethnic cleansing has ‘degenerated’ since 1948 because of American influence. This means the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948 was morally superior to those in Lebanon in 1982, but the Hanukkah slaughter of 2008-9 was worse.

He says US ‘support’ has blocked Israel trying more moral policies, to the ‘despair’ of progressive Israeli Jews, on page 442. There is a cruder version of this ‘corruption’ narrative. It is part of the almost universally believed story of Jews as eternal victims. It enables Jewish Americans to support apartheid whilst thinking of themselves as liberals. They blackmail the left into accepting a much softer attitude toward Jewish supremacy than toward white identity.

Chomsky is by no means the worst example of chutzpah in the left. He is contradictory rather than duplicitous. He exposes Jewish emotional blackmail. He is contemptuous of professional Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel. He is fearless and merciless at ridiculing the hypocrisy and hysteria for which American Jewish organizations are notorious, who claim that critics of the Lobby are anti-Semitic. Some on the left also harass and slander pro-Palestinian peace activists. Since Israel is the only beneficiary of these divisive tactics, we call them ‘crypto-Zionists’.

But Chomsky’s main weakness is his failure to scientifically test his assertion that Israel is an ally of the USA. On page 3, without evidence, he says that US policy favors “a Greater Israel that will dominate the region in the interests of American power”.

To this end, Chomsky assumes that Arab nationalism is anti-West, whereas Jewish nationalism is pro-West. The former was allied to the Soviet Union. But this is at root a circular argument – the US supports Israel because it is an ally, and Israel is an ally because the US supports it. The reason some Arab leaders temporarily turned to Russia is because they were rejected by America, and the main reason for that is the influence of Israel. Chomsky confuses cause and effect.

The phrase ‘control of the oil’ is thrown around by Chomsky and his circle as liberally as the word ‘region’. It’s a vague leftist feel-good dumbing-down designed to prevent us from thinking through exactly what ‘control’ means, why precisely cruise missiles are useful to oil companies, and if killing Palestinian children helps US interests.

At this point, I should define ‘US interests’. I mean the interests of the US capitalist class. Unconditional support for Israel is obviously against the interests of the majority of Americans, who belong to the proletariat. But in that respect, it doesn’t differ from other unethical US foreign policies. What differentiates Zionism is that it is opposed to the interests of most of the ruling class too.

I used a Marxist phrase there. Chomsky prefers saying ‘elites’ rather than ‘bourgeoisie’ in his bestselling books. Even if the ‘elites’ really do ‘perceive’ it is in US interests to throw seven million dollars a day into a black hole, they are mistaken, and Palestine Solidarity has the task of explaining that to them and to those who work and vote for them.

Chomsky claims that the US supports Israel because Israel supports US war crimes – “Israel showed how to treat third-world upstarts properly” (page 29). This puts the cart before the horse. Right after World War II, Zionists were third-world upstarts themselves, engaged in terrorism in Palestine against an imperialist power. President Truman supported these upstarts, and later, when they were no longer upstarts, president Eisenhower supported upstarts against them.

This shows two things:
1. America doesn’t automatically oppose upstarts, and
2. Israel persuaded America to support its fight against upstarts which threaten Israel, rather than America supporting Israel because it combats upstarts which oppose America.

Israel has never fired a shot in the defense of American interests. But its friends in the media make it look as if the two countries’ enemies are the same, by amalgamating very different Arab and Muslim causes and parties. Most of these oppose Israel in principle – only a very small subset are inherently anti-American. It is in America’s interests to divide them. It is in Israel’s interests to prevent this. And it is in humanity’s interest to divorce America and Israel.

Chomsky’s claim to be a Zionist means a binational state, with the right of ‘self-determination’ of the two nations within Palestine. It’s clear which of the nations would dominate the other, but Chomsky appears to be unaware of this.

To his credit, on page 442 of his book, Chomsky predicted the defeat of the Israeli Defense Forces, which didn’t happen until seven years later, in Lebanon, in 2006. The Gaza flotilla massacre of 2010 was another disastrous error for Israel, leading to a split with Turkey, formerly its most important ally in the ‘region’. There is an opportunity to start to undermine Zionism, the only remaining example of serious racial oppression in the Western world. Is Chomsky on board?

Contradicting his view that Israel obeys America, Chomsky refers to the normal state of politics in the USA as ‘complete obedience’ to Zionist opposition to freedom of speech, on page 337, under the heading ‘The West Falls Into Line’. He also says how the allegation of ‘anti-Semitism’ is used to blackmail the elite political spectrum in Western countries into supporting Jewish supremacy in the Middle East, but then he drops the ball, reiterating hackneyed rhetoric about US policy. It’s not really US policy. It is the policy of supporters of a foreign power pretending to be pro-American.

Note that my argument does not imply promoting patriotism. It means saying, in effect, IF you are a patriotic American, you should oppose your country’s ardent support for Israel. Neither does it imply anti-Semitism. It means recognizing that the interests of most of the inhabitants of the USA would be served by reducing support to Israel. The interests of the Jewish minority would be served by increasing it. This should not be controversial. In particular, the American left, with its keen awareness of ‘privilege’, should be able to listen to this argument. But mostly, it cannot.

At one point, Chomsky discusses the hypocrisy of the Israeli leaders in using pogroms against Jews in Russia in the nineteenth century as an excuse for doing the same thing in Lebanon in 1982. But he doesn’t try to question the view that Jews have always been victims, wherever they have wandered. This myth was reiterated by Republican president George Bush Senior when he was trying to defend himself against the ‘anti-Semitism’ slur by groveling to the Lobby in 1991.

On page 446, Chomsky describes young American Jews, raised on the handouts of the Anti-Defamation League, having a ‘corrupting’ effect on Israel. He must also be very aware of the corruption of Israeli teenagers effected by taking them to the ruins of German concentration camps and teaching them to hate,9 or the Hillel Jewish campus organization which teaches young American Jews that Israel is their homeland. He doesn’t go far enough in criticizing the obsession with ‘the’ Holocaust which gets more intense the further it recedes into history.

After complaining about Israel’s rape of Lebanon in the nineteen-eighties for a few hundred pages, Chomsky resorts to the ‘region’ trick to try to explain it. Page 442:

The US has been more than pleased to acquire a militarized dependency, technologically advanced and ready to undertake tasks that few are willing to endure – support for the Guatemalan genocide, for example – while helping to contain threats to American dominance in the most critical region in the world, where ‘one of the greatest material prizes in world history’ [the Saudi oilfields] must be firmly held.

On page 462, he regrets Israel’s “dependence on the US with the concomitant pressure to serve US interests”. One would expect that the USA would not give a country $7 million a day, more than all other countries combined – without demanding that it serves its interests. But the predictions of this hypothesis fail. Israel feels no pressure at all to serve US interests, and Israeli politicians boast of American subservience, whilst their American accomplices harass those who state this simple truth. This is true whether you are a media mogul, a movie star, a politician, or an anti-war activist.

At the beginning of his book, Chomsky claims that Israel helps the US by protecting the Saudi oilfields. At the end, he says it blackmails the US by threatening to launch a nuclear attack on this great material prize. Iran could also greatly harm the Western world by blocking the Strait of Hormuz through which fleets of oil tankers pass – but somehow, America stands up to Iran. Why can’t it stand up to Israel? Because it’s an asset?

Chomsky expounds a deal of effort showing how the US media is biased in favor of Israel and against Palestinians, but he doesn’t call a spade a spade: the only serious racial prejudice left in America is pro-Jewish bias. That is why Israeli children’s deaths are reported at a rate seven times higher than those of Palestinians.10

2. Tests

I propose testing Chomsky’s views using the time-honored methods of asking

  • what does the theory predict will happen, and does it actually happen?
  • is the theory the simplest explanation of what happens?
  • what would we expect to happen if the theory was not true, and does it actually happen?
  • is there an alternative theory which better explains what happens?

There are two rival hypotheses:
1. The main reason for the USA’s unconditional support for Israel’s unique persistence in imposing apartheid is that it is in US capitalist interests
2. The main reason for this support is the power of American Jewish organizations

Chomsky defends, with contradictions, the first hypothesis. Mearsheimer and Walt defend the second.

Let’s test each theory using scientific methods. Politics is not an exact science like physics, but we can at least try.

1. The basic principle of science: does Chomsky’s hypothesis4 lead to a simpler explanation of events than Mearsheimer and Walt’s Israel Lobby theory11 ?

2. An abstract test. ‘Abstract’ does not mean ‘vague’, but is scientifically respectable. Without any concrete examples, one can test the Chomsky hypothesis as follows: it is reasonable to say that, for any two nations, they have areas where their interests coincide, and areas where they clash. The USA never acts against Israel’s interests, with some very minor exceptions. This means that, without giving any examples, we can say that America always supports Israel’s interests when their interests collide.

3. Falsification: ask what would be the case if Chomsky’s hypothesis is wrong. What would poor little Israel do if it were NOT serving US interests, if Americans ceased to corrupt it? Would it let the Palestinians back, decommission its nuclear weapons, and abandon its racial definition of citizenship?

4. Which of the arguments depends on the scientific methods outlined above, and which on vague, shifting definitions?

Chomsky makes, without argument, the assertion that if it were not for Israel’s ‘perceived geopolitical role’, a trite, content-free phrase, the Israel Lobby would ‘probably’ be unable to persuade the ‘elite’ to support Israel (page 22). So why do they bother, then? Why do Jews rant and rave in the media about ‘anti-semitic incidents’ whenever anyone in the US makes timid criticism of their country? It’s not that politicians perceive that Israel is an asset, it’s just that they know what happens to those who perceive otherwise – the Lobby makes some calls, and they lose their jobs.12 Chomsky’s theory that Israel is an ally would predict the Israel Lobby would barely exist – real allies of the US like Japan don’t have energetic, well-funded lobbies in Washington DC, ready to call on hordes of faithful followers to phone politicians and write letters to newspapers defending their nations’ interests. They don’t need them. Chomsky’s theory fails the test.

There is more to it than just rich Jewish organizations like the ADL and AIPAC. There is social pressure not to mention the Lobby. Whereas no-one accuses Chomsky of racism for claiming that Jews suffer for the interests of other Western peoples, in complete defiance of the evidence, those of us who point out that the reverse is true, with the facts on our side, are accused of anti-Semitism. If Israel were an asset, there would be no need for this manipulation of our Western European culture, which has a unique record of abandoning racism, despite what the left tells us.

The ‘Israeli Sparta’ argument put forward in the Wall Street Journal etc. by Jewish neo-conservatives posing as classical scholars can easily be disposed of. Sparta defended Greece. Israel does not defend America. On page 21, ignoring the evidence, Chomsky agrees with the pseudo-Hellenists, saying that the Israeli Defence Forces provides a backup for the US armed forces. In fact Israel has never been able to supply soldiers for any US operation in the region. In the Iraq crisis of 1990, Syria gave military support to the US, but not Israel. Israel was unable to respond even when Iraqi missiles landed on Tel Aviv, because it would have split the coalition invading Iraq. Chomsky’s argument fails the test.

Chomsky reviewed The Israel Lobby when it broke through the censors of the US liberal left.13 “Another problem that Mearsheimer and Walt do not address is the role of the energy corporations. They are hardly marginal in US political life… How can they be so impotent in the face of the Lobby?” he asks.14 Chomsky’s review of The Israel Lobby implies the oil companies CANNOT be powerless in the face of a mere lobby. But the assumptions behind Chomsky’s question don’t stand up. Mearsheimer and Walt DO address the role of these companies, explaining how, if they had their way, US policy in the Middle East would change. Leftists in America half-adopt Karl Marx’s ‘materialist conception of history’ without naming it (they say ‘corporate greed’ instead). It is one of the few aspects of Marxism which can be tested, and it fails miserably to explain the US position on the Israel/Palestine question. The interests of big corporations do not lead to invading Lebanon, persecuting Palestine, and stirring up Islamic extremism.

Why has the US consistently supported Israel, and inconsistently supported Arab nationalists? Egypt’s Nasser, Iraq’s Hussein and Syria’s al-Assad all had a pretty good record of keeping down ‘upstarts’, particularly radical Islamic ones, so why not, according to Chomsky’s logic, ally with the radical Arab nationalist states? The US has allied with various Middle Eastern states at various times, but only its support for Israel is invariant. Again, these questions constitute a test of Chomsky’s hypothesis. You try to figure out what the hypothesis would predict, then try to find counter-examples, where the actual events are incompatible with the predicted ones. It isn’t difficult, particularly in this case.

Chomsky claims that one reason America supports Israel is because it is a ‘laboratory’ for US military and surveillance technology. This is easily tested by asking if any other country would be eager to take Israel’s place.

The argument that oil is the main reason for US support for Israel is too trivial to waste time on. When America attacks a Middle Eastern country, the left chants ‘no war for oil’. If the policy causes the price of oil to drop, capitalism benefits. If the price rises, the oil companies benefit. Either way, the left trumpets the evidence. The ‘oil’ explanation cannot be falsified. It is not wrong – it is not even a valid hypothesis.

In a similar violation of scientific methodology, Chomsky tries to use the fact that the USA approves of Israeli war crimes as evidence that the dog wags the tail, that Israel serves Uncle Sam. In fact, this ‘evidence’ contributes nothing at all to our understanding of the relationship between the two states. It is equally compatible with the two opposing arguments, so it is not a test which selects which of them are true. Chomsky does give some of the same examples of American subservience as Mearsheimer and Walt in The Israel Lobby:

– US presidents mildly criticize Israel building settlements on Palestinian land
– Israeli politicians express open contempt for the supposedly most powerful man in the world, bragging of how ‘The Jewish Lobby’ (their words) will bring this uppity goy into line
– And so it comes to pass
but Chomsky doesn’t ask the obvious question: is this all

1. an elaborate charade to make it look as if the Lobby can determine US policy regarding Israel in order to cover up for white/US/capitalist hegemony, by diverting attention to the Jews, or
2. is the most elegant/economical/likely explanation that Jewish power trumps Western European interests in the USA?

By means of the Lobby, the tail wags the dog. Its the simplest, clearest, and most economical explanation of the facts. This is how science progresses. A good example of why simpler is better can be found in a recent paper on the evolution of social insects such as ants and bees.15 We should try to use the same criterion in the study of human societies.

Like everything else, the question of Jewish control of the media can be approached emotionally. I prefer the scientific approach. I approach the argument about Jewish control of the press, etc., on its merits, not on how much it reminds people of ancient Tsarist calumnies. Surely the most simple explanation of the fact that

Israel has been granted a unique immunity from criticism in mainstream journalism and scholarship. (page 31)

is because Jews are overrepresented in mainstream journalism and scholarship, and quite a few of these Jews defend Jewish interests. This kind of statement is acceptable in Israel, whose inhabitants are mostly proud of what they call ‘the Jewish Lobby’ in America. It is acceptable in countries like Malaysia. Why is it so difficult for us?

The answer is obvious. We are afraid of being anti-Semitic. I found a solution to this problem. I stopped caring about it.

  • First published at Palestine Think Tank.
    1. US Senate Resolution. []
    2. Jeff Blankfort. []
    3. Jeremy Hammond. [] []
    4. Fateful Triangle, Noam Chomsky, South End Press, 1999. [] []
    5. A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior,” Noam Chomsky. []
    6. The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, November 2000. []
    7. Alison Weir, radio interview with Noam Chomsky. []
    8. How Washington Goaded Israel Into War,” Stephen Zunes, August 2006. []
    9. Defamation – a movie about the Anti-Defamation League []
    10. If Americans Knew media analyses. []
    11. The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2007. []
    12. They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, Paul Findlay, Lawrence Hill Books, 1989. []
    13. The Atlantic magazine rejected the original ‘Israel Lobby’ paper, on the transparently false grounds of ‘poor scholarship’. When it came out as a book, the authors toured the USA to promote it, but found that local papers didn’t send reporters to cover it. The Lobby demonstrated the authors’ hypothesis by trying to suppress it. []
    14. The Israel Lobby?” Noam Chomsky, 2006. []
    15. Natural selection alone can explain eusociality,” Nowak, Tarnita and Wilson. []
    Jay Knott wrote The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism. Read other articles by Jay.

    An article of mine from 2013

    Originally published at Dissident Voice.

    Invention, Imagination, Race, and Nation

    A Victorian bishop’s wife allegedly reacted to Darwin’s findings as follows: “My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known.”1

    imagined_DVIn this article, I consider three books which claim races and nations are “constructed”: Imagined Communities, by Benedict Anderson,2 The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand,3 and The Invention of the White Race, by Theodore Allen.4 The latter work was positively reviewed on Counterpunch.5 However, I aim to show that evolutionary approaches are better at explaining both ethnic and national identity than the methodology used by these authors.

    Benedict Anderson’s famous account of the origins of nationalism, Imagined Communities begins with an extract from a poem by Daniel Defoe:

          Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
          That het’rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
          In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
          Betwixt a painted Briton and a Scot…
          From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came, …
          Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane…

    Defoe’s intention was to defend the king of England, who was Dutch, against xenophobic criticism: “we don’t belong to one race, so how can we demand that our king belongs to it?”

    More recently, John Barnes made a strong case for rejecting the concept of biological race: ‘Racism came from the idea of race, which is a man-made construct. Race is not scientific or genetic. It does not actually exist. Race came about to validate and justify colonialism and slavery.’6

    sand_DVShlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People agrees with the idea that race is a “construct” which deceives people into believing they have common interests. Sand’s specific claim is that the majority of the world’s Jews have no ancestors who lived in Palestine, and that therefore the state of Israel is based on a lie. For a few centuries after Christ, he claims, Judaism actively sought converts. He says it’s not true that Jews were thrown out of Palestine and then wandered the world for two thousand years – rather, a few who left voluntarily converted many, including the whole nation of the Khazars, located by the Crimean sea. Many of the Khazars’ descendants ended up in Europe.

    Though popular in Palestine solidarity circles, Sand accepts that his work has had no effect on Israeli nationalism nor on Jewish identity worldwide. Why is this so? If you expose a delusion, wouldn’t you expect significant numbers to abandon it, and thank you?

    whiterace_DVThe argument of Theodore Allen’s two-volume The Invention of the White Race, is another contribution to the view that racial identity is a cultural construction. He argues that white Americans weren’t originally “racist” toward black ones, but they were taught to be by their rulers, because the latter had an interest in keeping their subjects divided.

    Anderson, Sand, and Allen are all left-wing academics. In attempting to show weaknesses in their arguments, I am going to make selective use of the work of two very right-wing scholars, Frank Salter and Kevin MacDonald. This should not be seen as an endorsement of their politics.

    aborigine-boat-peopleFor example, Frank Salter, the author of Genetic Interests,7 is a white Australian who opposes immigration from the developing world into “his” country. I completely reject this opinion, agreeing instead with left-wing Australian journalist John Pilger on this question.8 Considering how white Australia was founded, it’s unethical to try to stop third world refugees settling there.

    American evolutionary historian professor Kevin MacDonald is also a right-winger. His Evolutionary Strategies of Ethnocentric Behavior9 argues that “ethnic affiliations are extraordinarily robust” and that this is because racial identity is biologically beneficial to the genes which cause it.

    But the notion that racial identity is adaptive does not imply that it is morally justifiable, any more than accepting the obvious fact that heterosexuality is more adaptive than homosexuality has any consequences whatever for one’s views on gay rights.

    To put it another way, lack of empathy with Salter’s and MacDonald’s political views is no reason at all to reject their factual assertions, which they claim are based on science.

    Salter’s demonstration that ethnic identity is adaptive,7 and MacDonald’s attempt to use evolutionary psychology to explain ethnic conflict,9 stand independently, and have to be approached like any other theory which claims to be scientific.

    And regardless of the views of MacDonald and Salter, a more fundamental influence on my perspective is the work of evolutionary theorist Robert Trivers, who happens to be a leftist. His recent book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life10 provides a solid foundation for understanding the Darwinian approach to human beliefs and behavior. Genes “deceive” us into working to make copies of themselves. This is a key to working out a scientific explanation for the appeal of nationalism.

    Benedict Anderson argues that nations are “imagined communities.” But, if you claim that some national identities are completely invented, for example, Indonesian, you concede that some are less so. The fact that nations, unlike tribes, have the characteristic that most of its members will never meet each other – one of Anderson’s central motifs – doesn’t seem to me to be as important as it does to him.

    Human beings may feel strong ethnic identity with people whom they’ll never meet. For example, white Britons often feel above-average empathy with white Australians, on the other side of the world. This feeling is conceivably an extension of tribal identity, which might be explained as an adaptive trait which evolved during the Stone Age.

    Theodore Allen’s argument is the antithesis of the above speculation; an uncompromising example of class-based leftism. He believes that “whiteness” is an “ideology”. He thinks working-class Americans of European origin have often been victims of a capitalist strategy to divide the poor by making some of them feel they have “white privilege.” He tries to prove his thesis by aggregating facts which he thinks conform to it. On page 215, he claims that because there was a revolt of both African and European laborers against their employers in 1676 this is “supreme proof that the white race did not exist.” It proves nothing of the sort. The fact that the degree of white identity went up and down says nothing about whether it ever corresponded to real interests.

    Why did some poor Americans accept that they belong to “the white race” if their only interests were class interests, as Allen argues? How did the ruling class manage to persuade them they have ethnic interests too?

    In complete contrast, Kevin MacDonald tries to show that ethnic identity has a biological basis. Among other examples, he cites Pierre van den Berghe to the effect that “many ethnic groupings are remarkably stable; the Flemings and Walloons of Belgium are ‘almost exactly where their ancestors were when Julius Caesar wrote De Bello Gallico.‘”

    Frank Salter relocates this argument on scientific grounds, in his book, Genetic Interests.7

    Most readers will have no difficulty with the argument that the maternal instinct can be explained by the fact that, since large female mammals have few offspring, it is adaptive for the genes in those mammals to produce caring for each of those offspring, in preference to non-relatives.

    Yet we know that we share most of our genes – over ninety-nine percent – with all other human beings, and up to ninety-six percent with other apes.

    Salter’s theory says that what makes our genes code for preferring one individual over another is the difference in our relatedness to each of those two individuals.11

    It’s only the genes which differ between individuals which count. Of the genes which differ, those in our relatives are more likely to be copies of our own.

    This is why we are altruistic to our kin.

    Evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane worked out that it makes genetic sense to die for two or more brothers or sisters, or eight or more first cousins, but not fewer.

    But the percentage genetic advantage in choosing to be altruistic toward an individual from among millions of people somewhat related to you, over someone much more distantly related, is about the same as that in choosing to be altruistic to your relatives over individuals in those millions of somewhat related people. That is one explanation of ethnic identity.

    So what about nationalism?

    Anderson claims that nationalism arose among the creoles – upper-class colonials like Washington and Bolivar – and describes in great detail the appropriation of ancient buildings by modern nations, the rise of national languages via newspapers and novels, and so on. But this all fails to answer the question with which he begins his book – why are so many people prepared to die for “their” nation?

    “This style of imagining did not come out of thin air” he writes (page 189) but he doesn’t explain where it did come from. Anderson argues nationalism evolved in Latin America partly as a result of the way the Spanish Empire was administered. For example, a functionary from Medellin (in Colombia) was able to win promotion to Bogota (also in Colombia), but not to Caracas (in Venezuela). But why would this lead to deep feelings of identity with Colombia and not Venezuela?

    Wars between the “liberated” South American states have been among the worst in history. Why would anyone risk their life for Paraguay versus Uruguay? Saying that the poor are victims of “bourgeois ideology” when they line up outside recruiting stations merely says that some people manage to convince others that their interests coincide, when they don’t. It doesn’t say how they manage to achieve this.

    In chapter five of his book, Shlomo Sand tries to discredit Zionism and the conception of Jews as a race, by showing how it had much in common with the crude racist theories of its time, including National Socialism. Sand puts “language and culture” before “biology”, and expresses as much instinctive hostility to Darwinism as a bishop’s wife. But where do language and culture come from, if not from our genes? You can’t say cultural artifacts are produced by culture ad infinitum; at some point, you have to explain culture without reference to itself.

    Sand’s dismissal of a Darwinist approach relies heavily on selecting the worst of its mistakes from the early 20th century. But evolutionary theory, applied to human beings, has made advances subsequently. On page 266 Sand disagrees with Sandler’s claim that Jews in effect have become a “racial entity”. But strong feelings of Jewish identity exist. Will informing Western Jews they are really Khazars, and have no connection with Palestine, undermine support among many of them for the ongoing ethnic cleansing of that country?

    Isn’t it possible that, “in effect”, genes for ethnic identity which arose during the Stone Age because it was adaptive, can “deceive”10 individuals into feeling more related than they really are? And that this is the most economical explanation of the old lie “dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori”?

    Feelings of ethnic identity can be mistaken. But if there is ethnic solidarity among initially unrelated people, intramarriage will gradually make that solidarity more adaptive.

    The fact that races difficult to define and are fuzzy at the edges doesn’t make the concept “race” meaningless, as “anti-racists” often aver. Families are fuzzy too. Do your second cousins, who share two great-grandparents with you, belong to your family? It’s a question of degree.

    But one can be more precise. Just as one can calculate exactly how many cousins it is worth (from the point of view of genes) laying down one’s life for, one’s race is the set of people with whom it is adaptive for one to ethnically identify.

    Thus, in peaceful times, it might be adaptive for Walloons to distinguish themselves from Flemings. But when the Romans invaded, this may have changed.

    This approach would have explanatory power even if the whole of humankind could be arranged in a spectrum in which any two neighboring people were genetically equidistant. By this, I mean that, for any individual, copies of his genes would be as likely to survive, if he died for the person to his left, as for the person to his right. Of course, this is a thought experiment.

    When Genghis Khan’s grandsons invaded Europe, alleles in Europe’s inhabitants which coded for European identity would be more likely to cause copies of themselves than alleles which did not.

    The reader may doubt that such genes exist. Further research, if the political climate allowed, might be able to find out.

    Some leftists have had an uneasy relationship with defenders of an evolutionary approach to human nature.

    Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon’s autobiography describes a lifetime of facing up to left-wing hostility to Darwinism in academia.12 In chapter 14, Chagnon gives a detailed account of what he calls “Twilight in Cultural Anthropology: Postmodernism and Radical Anthropology Supplant Science”. He details unscholarly attacks on his findings, which were inconvenient for the dominant trend in anthropology, the school of Franz Boas and his followers, like Margaret Mead and Marshall Sahlins. On pages 386-387, Chagnon describes a particular low point, an organized physical attack on leading Darwinist scholar Edward Wilson. In 2000, a left-wing journalist published a book of outrageous libels against Chagnon. Though the claims of the book were ridiculous, and the American Anthropological Association’s leaders knew they were ridiculous, they nevertheless had to pretend to take them seriously, for political reasons. I witnessed this first-hand at their meeting in San Francisco.

    This is unfortunate. A realistic view of race and nation should begin with the observation that human beings are the products of evolution by means of natural selection.

    1. Alleged quotation from the Bishop of Worcester’s wife, 1860. []
    2. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Verso, 1983 (new edition 2006). []
    3. Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People, Verso, 2010. []
    4. Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, volumes I and II, 1994 and 1997. []
    5. Jeffrey B. Perry, review of The Invention of the White Race, Counterpunch, 2013. []
    6. John Barnes, A Nation of ‘Passive Racists’, Daily Telegraph, 2012. []
    7. Frank Salter, Genetic Interests, Transaction Press, 2007. [] [] []
    8. John Pilger, Australia’s ‘stop the boats’ policy is cynical and lawless, The Guardian, 2013. []
    9. Kevin MacDonald, Evolutionary Strategies of Ethnocentric Behavior (PDF), Rutgers University, 2002. [] []
    10. Robert Trivers, The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, Basic Books, 2011. [] []
    11. Answer to the question ‘If I share 98% of my genes with a chimpanzee and 60% with a banana, how come I only share 50% of my genes with my own daughter?‘ []
    12. Napoleon Chagnon, Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes–The Yanomamo and the Anthropologists, Simon & Schuster, 2013. []
    Jay Knott wrote The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism. Read other articles by Jay.

    Palestine solidarity and political correctness

    alison-weir-book-pic

    It might seem like a good thing that a Zionist head of major theological consortium has been pushed out, especially since the decision by the Graduate Theological Union appears to have been inspired by If Americans Knew founder Alison Weir.

    Unfortunately, the decision is influenced by social justice. I’ve been aware for a long time that the Palestine solidarity movement is dominated by social justice warriors. This put me in a dilemma. I support the former, but oppose the latter. But this case –

    The letter urged GTU to take four actions on the issue. These included issuing apologies to the Muslim community.

    – reminds me of Antifa attempting to make a Palestine solidarity activist apologise to Jews. As long as the Palestine solidarity movement is run by people who go on about ‘people of color’ and ‘systemic harm’ and demand apologies from people for their opinions, it’s part of the cancer of social justice, which is a threat to everything that is good about Western civilization. It’s more of a threat than Zionists, who use social justice arguments when it suits them, but they are only part of the problem. Social justice IS the problem.

    Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition: Evolutionary Origins, History, and Prospects for the Future – a review

    ind-west

    Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition: Evolutionary Origins, History, and Prospects for the Future [1] by Kevin B. MacDonald,  September 2019

    The Frankfurt School, or Institute for Social Research, received a sympathetic review on Quillette:

      As the full horror of Nazi crimes became ever more apparent, they adapted their philosophical synthesis of psychoanalytic and Marxist theory in an effort to understand why millions of Germans and European collaborators submitted with very little resistance to what Hannah Arendt would call “the banality of evil.” Their conclusions are sobering. – The Frankfurt School and the Allure of Submission, Matt McManus [2].

    In his most well-known work, The Culture of Critique [3], professor Kevin MacDonald is less sympathetic.

    Having read The Culture of Critique several times, I acquired a copy of the magnum opus of the School’s “philosophical synthesis of psychoanalytic and Marxist theory”, The Authoritarian Personality [4], published in 1950, and I had to admit that MacDonald’s critique of it has merit. The Frankfurt School didn’t just oppose fascism, it pathologized ordinary American families. And his criticisms of other intellectual movements, such as the Franz Boas school of anthropology, appeared to have some truth in them. One of the reasons Boas’s student Margaret Mead produced a fantasy about sexual relations among teenagers in Coming of Age in Samoa [5], published in 1928, was the school’s political bias in favor of non-Western societies. Whether his claim, that the fact that the founders of these movements are self-identified Jews, is relevant, I find more controversial.

    It was twenty years before The Culture of Critique received its first serious review, from Nathan Cofnas – Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy – A Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory, March 2018 [6]. Then Amazon deleted MacDonald’s book from its catalogue. But it hasn’t removed MacDonald’s new book, Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, yet. It is superficially as impressive as the Culture of Critique – reasonably argued, well-referenced, and its assertions tested by showing that they predict the known facts better than the alternatives. For example, the Indo-Europeans did not convert collectivist cultures they conquered to their own individualism, but individualism, uniquely on earth, flourished in the Western Europe they also conquered.

    Individualism’s central argument is that the superiority of Western civilization is the result of natural selection. The specific environment of Western Europe selected for individualism, objectivity, fairness, guilt, marriage based on personal attraction, and moral communities, as opposed to most of the world, which suffers from collectivism and the assumption that truth is what is good for the collective.

      As described below, the Western world remains the only culture area characterized by all of the markers of individualism. Taken together, these tendencies are unique to the Western European culture area and the argument here is that they have an ethnic basis. I do not suppose that Western Europeans have any unique biological adaptations, only that we differ in degree in adaptations characteristic of all humans and that the differences are sufficient to enable the evolution of a unique human culture. – chapter two, page 91

    And no society outside the West developed a “deductive method of rigorous demonstration according to which a conclusion, a theorem, was proven by reasoning from a series of self-evident axioms.” – chapter five, page 212

    So the professor thinks Western civilization is worth defending. And because he thinks many of its virtues are genetically-based, he thinks it’s worth defending against what he calls “replacement-level migration”.

    In chapter five, “The Church in European History”, in the middle of a passage explaining the effect of Christianity on Western civilization, via leaders who mostly practiced what they preached, referring to the moral standards derived by Paul from Jesus, and championed by Augustine and Kant, MacDonald says

      In any case, moral perfection becomes the ultimate measure of a person’s worth – something that should be kept in mind in the present age when subscribing to a multicultural ideology and replacement-level migration has been successfully propagated as a moral imperative throughout the West. – chapter five, page 199

    Chapter five defends the claim that the Catholic Church – which I’ve always regarded as a bastion of reaction – helped develop the basis of the modern Western liberal world, because its interests countered various forms of collectivism, and helped the genetically-based nuclear-family-plus-individualism characteristics of the West to survive and thrive.

    Relative monogamy and sometime celibacy, even for the powerful, were essential for the success of the West, in contrast to its competitors. Obviously, societies which allow rich men to accumulate wives contain serious conflicts. For every extra wife a man has, another man has none. And the ladies didn’t like it either. One sultan of Morocco sired over eight hundred children, according to the Guinness Book of World Records [7]. Polygyny would be highly adaptive, except that most people have a genetic interest in abolishing it.

    The basis of ability to control sexual desire originates in the female of the species. To put it simply, a man can have many children in one year, but a woman cannot. It’s not adaptive for a woman to “just have sex”. The female strategy “playing hard to get” evolved as a solution to the widely divergent reproductive abilities and interests of the two sexes. This is one of the adaptations which distinguishes homo sapiens from the other ape species, and contributes to its overwhelming success in contrast to all the others. But it required the development of culture to condition men, too, to respect, and even to practice, restraint.

    Christianity is a late example of one of these cultures. But according to MacDonald, the record also shows that Germanic tribes, who took over the Roman Empire after its conversion to Christianity, already had achieved some of the elements of advanced sexual restraint.

    MacDonald sometimes gratuitously inserts his political viewpoint. But he usually backs it up. An example is this, in chapter seven, “Moral Idealism in the British Antislavery Movement and the ‘Second British Empire’”:

      Further, if Charles Dickens is to be believed, Exeter Hall was quite similar to the contemporary left, which typically ignores the wage-lowering and community-destroying effects of mass non-White migration on the native working class, particularly the White working class. It also illustrates how contemporary academic historians, some likely motivated by ethnic animosity toward traditional White majorities and acting similarly to the Jewish intellectuals discussed in ‘Culture of Critique’, are committed to inducing guilt over the Western part among White people. To the extent that such campaigns are successful, they depend on pre-existing tendencies toward guilt and empathy that characterize an important subset of Western Europeans – tendencies deriving from the unique evolutionary history and culture of the West, as discussed elsewhere in this volume. – chapter 7, page 351

    “Exeter Hall” was an informal group of wealthy individuals identified in the public mind “with what Charles Dickens described as ‘platform sympathy for the Black and … platform indifference to our own countrymen’”.

    Some of this may be true, but not all of it. I believe it is possible to remove the racial politics from the above conclusion and end up with a more rigorous analysis. For example, it’s not “particularly the White working class” which is negatively affected by mass immigration from poorer countries. It is in the economic interests of Mexican Americans to oppose illegal immigration from Mexico. Afro-Caribbean Britons have an economic interest in reducing immigration from Poland. One needn’t oppose the racial identity politics of the left with more racial identity politics. But MacDonald’s work does help us understand the genetic and cultural bases of white guilt and related pathological tendencies in Western peoples.

    The author tries to test his theories by asking “is there a simpler explanation?”, sometimes successfully, but one case he omits is the notion that the elites work against their own ethnic group because class trumps race. In chapter eight, “The Psychology of Moral Communities”, he describes a meeting of part of the British establishment, apparently exhibiting “a greater obligation to someone in Burundi than to someone in Birmingham”, and repeats Dickens’ description of educated elites’ sympathy for foreigners and indifference to their own countrymen, parodied in the person of Mrs Jellyby, who neglected her own daughter in favor of distant Africans (pages 383-384).

    But the high-ups don’t neglect their daughters – they don’t live in Rotherham. Mass immigration is in their material interests, because it produces cheap labour. MacDonald doesn’t consider whether this class analysis is the solution for the “evolutionist”, who he says “can only marvel at the completely unhinged – pathological – altruism on display here, given that the people making these policies are presumably native White British themselves”. If you “can only marvel” at the fact that your theory fails to predict the data, it’s worth reexamining the theory. And the masses have class interests too:

      One might suppose that this resulted in East Anglians having a tendency toward ‘insurrections against arbitrary power’—the risings and rebellions of 1381 led by Jack Straw, Wat Tyler, and John Ball, Clarence’s rebellion in 1477, and Robert Kett’s rebellion of 1548, all of which predated the rise of Puritanism. – chapter 6, page 228

    Tyler’s rebellion actually began in Kent, and Ball was from St. Albans, but in any case, surely the worldwide phenomenon of struggles like the Peasant’s Revolt, cannot most parsimoniously be explained by genetics.

    Neither can criminality in non-white communities. MacDonald cites a study showing how, in one generation, the payment of reparations to Native Americans, by allowing their communities to profit from casinos, reduced drug abuse, violence and so on. In this example, poverty is the main driver of crime, not race. A black comedian asked humorously “can we have casinos too?” Well, why not?

    Finally, MacDonald’s conclusion.

    On the basis of the evidence of anti-Western media [8], mass immigration, and his genetically-based theory of Western history, he states that creating a whites-only homeland in North America would be “possible” (page 507), though he mentions it would involve the forceful transfer of millions, like the ethnic cleansing of Germans by the Red Army at the end of World War II, and the partition of India and Pakistan. Both of these involved the mass murder of men, women and children. I don’t believe that is what it will take to preserve Western civilization, and if that is what it would take, it wouldn’t be worth preserving.

    There were until recently political parties in the UK which called for non-whites to be “sent back”, including those born in the UK. They regarded people of Sikh, Hindu and Muslim backgrounds from the Indian subcontinent, and their descendants, as the same. But it’s only the third of these groups which has contributed the majority of mass murderers and mass child-rapists in the country. In this case, culture is the driver, not race.

    One is not obliged to choose between the racial identity politics of the left, and of the right. The former has been taken care of in other articles. I hope this helps deal with the latter.

    1. Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition: Evolutionary Origins, History, and Prospects for the Future, Kevin B. MacDonald, September 2019

    2. The Frankfurt School and the Allure of Submission, Matt McManus, Quillette, September 2019

    3. The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements Kevin B. MacDonald, 1998

    4. The Authoritarian Personality, T Adorno, E Frenkel-Brunswik, DJ Levinson, RN Stanford, 1950

    5. Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead, 1928

    6. Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy – A Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory, Nathan Cofnas, March 2018

    7. Greatest number of descendants, The Guinness Book of World Records – https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/67455-greatest-number-of-descendants

    8. The 1619 Project, the New York Times

    The Labour Party’s capitulation to the Israel Lobby leads to canceling a bike ride to raise funds for Palestinian children

    palestinian-children-tear-gas

    Tower Hamlets officials did not divulge real reason for turning down Big Ride for Palestine – the Guardian

    Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has become so submissive to Jewish power that one of its councils canceled a charity bike ride to raise money for sports equipment for children in Gaza.

    Because Labour has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of ‘anti-semitism’, it couldn’t allow speakers who might describe Israel as comparable to apartheid South Africa, or being based on ethnic cleansing.

    It’s a dreadful thing when an over-scrupulous interpretation of the IHRA definition of antisemitism is used behind closed doors to prevent awareness raising of the situation in Palestine and the need for humanitarian support

    said a spokesperson for the charity which organises the annual ride. The whole point of the IHRA’s definition of anti-semitism is to criminalise opposition to Jewish child-killers, so this statement is rather naive.

    Incidentally, Tower Hamlets is a place American right-wingers, including the president, say is overrun with Islamists. That fear appears to be misplaced.

    Allegations of anti-semitism in US higher education

    Wall_Waters_Israel

    I recommend the online journals mindingthecampus.org, thecollegefix.com, and campusreform.org. Each of them contribute to exposing various totalitarian leftist ideologies, hatched in higher education humanities and social pseudoscience departments, which are spreading into politics, the law, the media, social media, and corporations like Google.

    These sites expose daily the lies of student and faculty social justice warriors (SJWs), who invent white supremacy, and who hypocritically claim that opinions they disagree with are “violence”, while aggressively, and sometimes violently, suppressing academic freedom, the principal principle of higher education, with the assistance of grievance studies academics and lickspittle administrators. Sometimes they are called “snowflakes”, as if the problem is hypersensitivity, rather than dishonesty.

    For an example of why exaggerating prejudice is problematic, here’s a section from a documentary about the problem. Professor Brett Weinstein, driven out of Evergreen College by a violent mob of students, led by a mad black woman, and their white ally, college president George Bridges, says

    it’s spreading, and college campuses may be the first dramatic battle, but of course this is going to find its way into the courts, it’s already found its way into the tech sector, it’s going to find its way to the highest level of governance if we’re not careful, and it actually does jeopardize the ability of civilization to continue

     

    But there is one kind of exaggeration which articles on the above-mentioned websites always support, using similar language to the SJWs. That is, they claim that opposition to Israeli policies is racist toward Jews. Here’s an example to start with:

    Anti-Semitism Growing on America’s Campuses – Anne Hendershott, Minding the Campus, 4/09/19.

    The article’s examples of “anti-Semitism” are simply criticism of a country, and its supporters, none of them on the basis of ethnicity. But the author claims this criticism could lead to a repeat of the Nazi holocaust.

    Pink Floyd star Roger Waters participated in a conference at the University of Massachusetts called “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights”.

    UMass recruits pro-Palestine panel to address ‘attacks’ on Rep. Ilhan Omar – Ben McDonald, Campus Reform, 4/25/19

    As if to illustrate the need for this conference, this Campus Reform writer reports

    80 civil rights, education, religious, faculty, and student organizations have called on UMass to rescind its sponsorship of the event

    Most of these groups are not civil rights, educational and religious, but obscure, pro-Israel, and right-wing. But they have appropriated leftist language, claiming that the ideas expressed at this forum harm students’ “safety and well-being”.

    80 Organizations Concerned about UMass Sponsorship of Political Event and Faculty Misconduct (PDF)

    These groups just tried to stop the administration from sponsoring it, but the College Fix reported that some students sued the university to try to get the event called off, on the grounds that it will make them “suffer immediate and irreparable harm”.

    UMass Amherst students sue to prevent pro-Palestinian event on campus – College Fix Staff, 4/27/19

    I’m not sure when this “snowflakes for Israel” phenomenon began, but it was no later than February 2013. Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who opposes p.c. language when it suits him, claimed that an event at Brooklyn College to defend the movement for Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment against Israel would promote hatred against Jews. Arguing for boycotting a country because you disagree with its policies does not constitute an attempt to stir up racial hatred. These claims are ridiculous, but, just like the claims of racism against black people at Duke, Yale, Evergreen, Middlebury, Oberlin and other institutions of higher education, they are taken seriously by cowardly college administrators.

    This is Dershowitz’s article

    Brooklyn College’s anti-Israel hatefestAlan Dershowitz, New York Daily News, 1/30/13

    and here is a response

    Alan Dershowitz, Defender of Academic Freedom – Heal Thyself!Jonathan Weiler, Huffington Post, 4/8/13.

    Attacking the BDS movement is one of the principal aims of Israel’s supporters in the USA currently. Half of American states have laws penalizing people for supporting BDS, despite these laws’ clear unconstitutionality. That is one of the reasons for the UMass forum mentioned above.

    Campus Reform and the other two sites generally defend freedom of expression. But there is one exception. Here are two articles praising the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act”:

    Senators aim to crack down on campus anti-Semitism, of which there is plenty

    –  Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign campus anti-Semitism bill, possibly on trip to Israel

    Adam Sabes, Campus Reform, 4/1/19 and 5/15/19.

    The new bill would make it illegal to accuse Israel of being more racist than “any other country”. It’s nothing to worry about, though because

    this particular legislation does not violate “any First Amendment rights”

    which means that saying Israel is racist is not protected speech.

    “Anti-Semitic incidents” nearly always means “criticism of Israel and its lobby”. It’s not anti-Semitism which is increasing, it’s how broadly it’s defined – just as the phrase “white supremacy” is used by the left to delegitimize more and more opinions. For example, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism is becoming influential, and it includes

    Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor

    Working Definition of Antisemitism – IHRA, 5/26/16

    Accusing something of being racist, isn’t racist, even if it’s inaccurate. For example, I don’t think Trump’s government is racist, but those who say he is, aren’t being racist. I do happen to think Israel is a racist state (spoiler alert), but whether I’m right or wrong, this opinion isn’t racist.

    How do they get away with it? In the same way as the other kind of SJWs. They take advantage of a weakness in Western societies – but that is a subject for another essay.

     

     

    Battle of the racists: Bari Weiss versus Ilhan Omar

    jessica-valenti-on-covington

    New York Times columnist Bari Weiss is a Jewish racial supremacist, and one of the founders of the “intellectual dark web”, which unites her with luminaries such as Jordan Peterson and Claire Lehmann, claiming to fight for freedom of expression. She was exposed by Glenn Greenwald, in NYT’s Bari Weiss Falsely Denies Her Years of Attacks on the Academic Freedom of Arab Scholars Who Criticize Israel.

    Now she has attacked Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar,  accusing her of “anti-semitism” for supporting the campaign to boycott Israel.

    This last week in America has seen a spectacular outburst of another kind of racism. Following the publication of a picture and video of a white teenager in a group of schoolchildren from Kentucky apparently smirking at an old Indian man at the Lincoln Memorial in DC, the media went into overdrive, doxxing, slandering, and calling for these innocent children to be murdered. Never has anti-white, anti-male hatred been more clearly expressed. It wasn’t just feminists on Twitter, it was the New York Times, the Guardian and CNN. Politicians joined the fray. One of them was Ilhan Omar: Covington Catholic lawyer adds Rep. Ilhan Omar to ‘libel,’ ‘get sued’ list.

    Weiss is a bit more subtle than Omar, but they are both saturated with racial hatred. The are both opposed to the interests of the majority of the inhabitants of Western civilization – white Europeans.

    ilhan-omar-apology

    Hate speech without hate: Britain and the United States

    berkeley-free-speech

    Eve Mykytyn’s article “Hate speech without hate: Britain and the United States” responds to the recent attempt by Islington Council in London to ban Gilad Atzmon from playing sax with the Blockheads at the Assembly Hall because one Zionist falsely claimed he is a “holocaust denier”. Fortunately, Santa Claus was available to take his place.

    At the top of Eve’s article is a picture of the famous Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the sixties, against right-wing McCarthyism. Ironically, Berkeley is now one of the most notoriously anti-free-speech places in the country, in which the police cooperated with anti-fascists to violently deplatform Zionist speakers Milo Yiannopoulos and Pam Geller.

    Mykytyn doesn’t mention this, but her piece does broaden the critique of censorship which Atzmon started. Whereas he has concentrated on Zionist, and crypto-Zionist, efforts to censor himself and others, she examines some cases of other kinds of censorship.

    It starts by saying “Gilad Atzmon is fighting a battle for free speech in England”, which has some truth in it. He is fighting on one front out of several.

    Rather than just selecting examples which seem to confirm Atzmon’s critique of Zionist censorship, Mykytyn finds a few examples of other forces trying to shut down freedom of expression in Western societies.

    The one glaring exception is the censorious effect of Islam and its supporters and apologists.

    The article defends the freedom of white extremist Richard Spencer, but doesn’t mention the considerable efforts being made to protect us from “Islamophobes”. Robert Spencer, along with a number of others, has just had his Patreon account removed, after pressure from MasterCard. PayPal is also on the offensive against mostly right-wing, often Zionist, internet personalities. If censorship is used at least as much against Islamophobes as Islamophiles, it tends to undermine Atzmon’s view of Western society as dominated by the former.

    In different ways, the following prominent individuals on both sides of the Atlantic have had their freedom greatly curtailed by Muslims: Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Pam Geller, and the staff of Charlie Hebdo.

    Maryam Namazie, an ex-Muslim, was subject to attempts to stop her speaking to the secular society at Goldsmith’s College in London in November 2015, and Muslim extremists disrupted her talk, with the support of the feminist and LGBT societies at the college.

    But not all gay activists are morons. For example, Milo Yiannopoulos opposes Islam. This is one of the reasons leftist mobs violently stop him from speaking – they call him an “Islamophobe”. Gilad Atzmon uses the same debate-crushing neologism. As if LGBT people had set up a Gay State In the Levant (GSIL), and thrown Muslims off roofs.

    Then there’s Tommy Robinson. He and his family have to live under police protection – when they can get it – because of his outspoken condemnation of the UK’s numerous Muslim child-rape gangs.

    robinson-twitter-palestine-poster

    Robinson’s hostility to Islam has led him, via a simplistic binary world-view, to sympathy for Israel. He argues against freedom for the Palestine solidarity movement, which he calls “terrorist”. But Robinson’s persecution has been much worse than what Atzmon has experienced.

    On two occasions, the government jailed him on trumped-up charges. In one case, they allowed terrorists to beat him unconscious. On the latest occasion, last year, they imprisoned him for two months, but this time, they put him in isolation. However, he could only get prison meals which Muslim inmates openly bragged of poisoning, so he had to live on tins of tuna for two months.

    tommy-pic

    A UK parliamentary committee has recommended making it illegal to express “Islamophobia”: “Islamophobia Defined” (PDF).

    Rejecting the observation that Islam is not a race, these SJWs from all the major parties try to convince us that “Islamophobia” is a form of “racism”.

    Atzmon often hints that he thinks Western states are Islamophobic, for example, that the attacks on Middle Eastern countries are something to do with them being Islamic (Being in Time). But Iraq was a secular republic. 9/11 was not retaliation for US involvement in the 1990/91 Gulf War – bin Laden wanted to participate in it too: “Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam” – Jason Burke.

    Seeing Zionism and Islam as simple opposites is the same error Tommy Robinson makes. The Western countries support Israel to the hilt, but they are also afraid to criticise Islam. Political correctness is so entrenched in Britain that two conservative prime ministers in succession have said that ISIS is nothing to do with Islam. The opposition goes out of its way to praise Muslims, and all the Muslim child-grooming cases have occurred while Labour councils looked the other way, or sent whistleblowers on diversity courses. America’s a bit less submissive, but what did president George W Bush say six days after September 11th, 2001? He said “Islam is peace”. Barack Obama was just as deluded. Donald Trump is the first president to condemn “radical Islam”.

    The European Court of Human Rights recently upheld the conviction of an Austrian woman who stated the simple historical fact that Mohammed was a paedophile. Surely this is worse than being driven out of the Labour Party for reporting the fact that Nazis cooperated with Zionists.

    The scope and scale of the growing censorship in Western societies are greater than Atzmon has indicated. His one-sided condemnation of Zionist censorship depends on selecting from the evidence that which appears to conform to his hypothesis. This article by Eve Mykytyn is a step in the right direction. If you defend freedom, you can’t cherry-pick which censorship you oppose.

    A new book exposes the dangers of the diversity racket

    the-tribe

    The Tribe: The Liberal Left and the System of Diversityby Ben Cobley.

    A longstanding member of the UK Labour Party has written a book exposing the extent to which diversity politics has taken over Labour and various other institutions of the British state, and some of the consequences. For example, the cover-up of the activities of Muslim child-rape gangs, and the sacking of a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher for making a joke which a feminist misunderstood.

    It says everything I’ve been writing here for years, in greater depth, explaining what diversity is, and why it is so problematic.

    One thing missing is any examination of the idea that identities are created by real oppression. The author seems to think that black people are lured into identity politics by politicians, whereas in its origins, black identity was a response to racism.

    The other omission is questioning whether there is a genetic basis to the weakness in white European societies which allows the cancer of diversity to get a grip. For that, you have to look beyond disgruntled traditional leftists. 

    EDIT: 26 September. I have one other major issue with this book. But it would be too predictable for me to say what it is.

    False Friends of Freedom

    jordan-claire-tommy-brendan-and-gad

    Scotsman Mark Meechan was convicted on 20 March this year for making a Youtube video showing a dog doing Nazi salutes. In response, on 6 May, a rally was held in London to defend freedom of expression. The speakers included Tommy Robinson, who in February had persuaded Luton council to remove an poster advertising a rally for Palestinian rights, calling it “terrorist”.

    robinson-twitter-palestine-poster

    The reason he said that is because he thought the rally had something to do with Hezbollah, which is one of the main opponents of the Sunni terrorist groups which threaten Western civilians. It is backed by Iran. There are two countries which confuse this issue, and Robinson probably didn’t get it from Saudi Arabia.

    I was impressed by the Australian magazine Quillette, “a platform for free thought”. So I subscribed to the magazine’s Patreon page, and joined The Quillette Circle on Facebook. It included a few Jewish racists, hypocritically calling me a racist for arguing that Israel is a racist state. Eventually, I was banned from the Facebook page without explanation, but I had criticised Canadian professor Jordan Peterson’s “On the so-called Jewish question”.

    He’s against laws about “gender pronouns” (see for example “He says freedom, they say hate” – The Star, 15 January 2017), but quite p.c. where Jewish feelings are concerned.

    The first sentence of “On the so-called Jewish question” uses a phrase designed to shut down debate, and abuses Peterson’s position as a psychologist to describe the defence of a position he disagrees with as “pathological”. He uses the term “conspiracy theory” misleadingly in two ways. He implies a conspiracy theory is invalid a priori, whereas there are valid theories about conspiracies. Here’s one – “The Philip Cross Affair”, by Craig Murray. And in any case, the theories Peterson refers to are not about a conspiracy. The concept “Jewish power” does not imply it is maintained primarily by secret, criminal activity [1].

    The second paragraph begins “First, psychologically speaking: why do the reactionary conspiracy theorists even bother?” and ends with a reductio ad Hitlerum. And so on.

    Peterson is an accomplished academic, and knows this approach is invalid. Why does he commit such obvious logical fallacies? It’s as if he’s desperately trying to disassociate himself from “reactionary conspiracy theorists”. On 11 May, Forward magazine asked “Is Jordan Peterson Enabling Jew Hatred?

    He responded by again displaying his p.c. credentials. On 25 May, I asked Peterson the following question on a Reddit AMA:

    Hello, professor Peterson. On 13 May, you posted on your Facebook page a link to “Left and right wing Anti-Semitism/Zionism”: http://www.jerusalemonline.com/blogs/lucie-a.-ramsey/op-ed-left-and-right-wing-anti-semitism/zionism-35777

    It contains the following diagnosis of “anti-Semitism”:

    “All forms of this deadly disease—far-right Nazi-based, religious-based and leftist anti-Israel-based—are responsible for deadly attacks against Jews worldwide, having escalated during the past 25 years.”

    I suffer from the “leftist anti-Israel-based” form of this deadly disease. Do you know of any cure? Thank you.

    Like Peterson, professor Gad Saad claims to oppose the leftist policy of deplatforming controversial speakers. But when he and Peterson were due to speak, on the subject of freedom of speech, alongside journalist Faith Goldy at Ryerson University on 16 August 2017, they accepted the organisers’ decision to disinvite her. This is Saad’s explanation – it’s the Jewish question:

    Spiked Online is a magazine which campaigns for freedom. It points to several sources of threats to it, such as governments, the European Union, and the left. But none of its articles have opposed the British government proposal to make it illegal to describe Israel as racist – see “Antisemitism in the UK”, 13 October 2016 (PDF).

    In an 11 April article, “Why do you hate Israel?”, its editor, Brendan O’Neill, claimed that the answer is anti-semitism. In other words, if you think you oppose Israel for its racism, it’s racism.

    O’Neill exposes the exaggeration of racism in the UK – see for example “The truth behind the Brexit hate crime ‘spike’” – except anti-semitism, which he exaggerates.

    While I was writing this article, and dozens of unarmed Palestinians were being murdered by the IDF on the Gaza border, O’Neill published “The Siege of Israel”, expressing unconditional support for the murderers.

    New York Times editor Bari Weiss criticises left-wing intolerance for dissent, particularly on college campuses. But in 2004 and 2005, she tried hard to silence academics at Columbia University who criticise Israel. This Intercept article, by Glenn Greenwald, exposes Weiss’s history of opposition to academic freedom – “NYT’s Bari Weiss Falsely Denies Her Years of Attacks on the Academic Freedom of Arab Scholars Who Criticize Israel”.

    Unfortunately, Greenwald’s gratuitous mention of the academics’ ethnicity reveals that he is an SJW. His article suggests that, because Weiss’s complaints about left-wing assaults on freedom of speech are hypocritical, they are invalid. This is a false dichotomy. In fact, leftists compete with Zionists to lead the the assault on freedom: see my “The left-wing campaign against Western liberal values”. 

    To summarise, many of the putative defenders of freedom of expression, are either unaware of, or in some cases, subservient to, one of freedom’s most aggressive enemies: the Jewish lobby. They didn’t defend Britain’s Labour Party against SJeW attacks, in fact, Quillette published an article supporting them: “Labour Power-Games Threaten 150 Years of British-Jewish Identity”. 

    None of them have criticised the effort to persuade the UK government to make it illegal to call Israel “a racist endeavour”, despite having been made aware of it. I don’t suppose all the people mentioned above read all the comments, but I know that several of them have read some of mine, and they are certainly aware of jazz musician and ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon.

    None of them have supported this brave individual against the efforts of the Campaign Against Antisemitism to shut down him, his politics, and even his music: “Gilad Atzmon needs your immediate support”. 

    The reason is his critique of Jewish power, e.g. his books “The Wandering Who?” and “Being In Time”, and his essays, e.g. “Alan Dershowitz – the key to Athens”.

    On 25 May, another Youtuber was convicted of offending Jews. The prosecution was initially brought privately by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, then taken over by the state: “Woman who posted Holocaust denial songs to YouTube convicted”.

    About 20 supporters of the musician shouted “shame” from the public gallery, but the Campaign Against Antisemitism boasted

    Alison Chabloz has dedicated herself over the course of years to inciting others to hate Jews, principally by claiming that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to defraud the world. She is now a convicted criminal. This verdict sends a strong message that in Britain Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories will not be tolerated.

    One couldn’t ask for a clearer admission of opposition to freedom of expression. To defend freedom consistently, you have to stand up to Jewish power.

    1. Zionist organisations usually label themselves “Jewish”, giving the false impression that they represent a people, rather than an ideology. So when you call them “Zionist”, they claim you mean “Jewish”, and your anti-Zionism is anti-semitism. When I use the phrase “Jewish power”, it no more implies hostility to Jews per se than using the term “white supremacy” means hostility to white people. But there is more to Jewish power than Zionism. It has a left face as well as a right-wing, overtly racist one.

     

    Archive links for articles linked to above

    He says freedom, they say hate https://archive.is/LqouB
    On the so-called Jewish question https://archive.is/jTacF
    The Philip Cross Affair https://archive.is/oIX88
    Is Jordan Peterson Enabling Jew Hatred? https://archive.is/SODkb
    Jordan Peterson AMA on Reddit https://archive.is/alLYq
    Left and right wing Anti-Semitism/Zionism https://archive.is/VQj64
    Libel of Jordan Peterson by the Forward—A Story of Journalistic Failure https://archive.is/qYdfm
    Why do you hate Israel? https://archive.is/w9Z5h
    The truth behind the Brexit hate crime ‘spike’ https://archive.is/OGcfB
    The Siege of Israel https://archive.is/vOB0e
    NYT’s Bari Weiss Falsely Denies Her Years of Attacks on the Academic Freedom of Arab Scholars Who Criticize Israel https://archive.is/yntWL
    Labour Power-Games Threaten 150 Years of British-Jewish Identity https://archive.is/lPcLh
    Gilad Atzmon needs your immediate support https://archive.is/I1MK1
    Alan Dershowitz – the key to Athens https://archive.is/ky4CP
    Woman who posted Holocaust denial songs to YouTube convicted https://archive.is/B5zZ1