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Category: Reviews

New Right Versus Old Right

For those who are wanting these questions tackled with philosophical soundness, clear reasoning, and accessible prose, Greg Johnson’s latest book New Right Versus Old Right offers that and more with sober analysis of the predicaments our movement faces.

For a movement so small and on the fringe, we certainly have our fair share of debates and opposing viewpoints. Some call it “infighting,” others call it healthy debate. Whichever way your eye beholds our internal quarrels, the one thing we can all agree on is that there are many unresolved questions for those who are interested in preserving White identity.

For those who are wanting these questions tackled with philosophical soundness, clear reasoning, and accessible prose, Greg Johnson’s latest book New Right Versus Old Right offers that and more with sober analysis of the predicaments our movement faces.

Many stateside books with a racialist focus are primarily intended for the uninitiated and are designed to convince the reader that the problems plaguing are world are not going to be resolved by budget cuts or mandated healthcare. [New Right Versus Old Right is not one of those books, and is intended for those who have already accepted the righteousness of White identity and have already immersed themselves in dissident thought.

Don’t expect to find any breakdowns of minority crime levels, evidence of alien group subversion, or essays detailing the IQ levels of every racial group–the book assumes the reader has already accepted these points and is wanting to educate themselves on theory and strategy instead.

Composed of previously published essays, New Right offers readers a chance to digest the thought of Johnson in a more traditional setting of reading–which, in my opinion, it’s more suited for. Reading any article on the internet requires a certain kind of breeziness and lack of attention due to the nature of the web. I also think man likes reading the traditional way and a physical book in his hands can never be replaced by words on a screen.

So don’t be bristled at the thought that you might have read these essays before. I certainly had read many of them before, but the print edition allowed me to better comprehend the finer points of Dr. Johnson’s theses and find new details that I had previously overlooked.

The essential article of this collection (and what gives it its namesake) is “New Right Versus Old Right” and it constitutes a theme that is repeated throughout the work.

The Old Right is defined by the totalitarian and national-populist ideologies that flourished during the middle of the 20th century and have since become the devils of today. With the New Right, Johnson argues that we should adopt Jonathan Bowden’s adage to “step over” the hurdles left by the Old Right and forge ahead in the fight to preserve Whites as a distinct people.

The former philosophy lecturer even conjures up his own maxim for defining the relationship between the perceived evils of the Old Right and the progress of the New Right: “The North American New Right, like the European New Right, is founded on the rejection of Fascist and National Socialist party politics, totalitarianism, terrorism, imperialism, and genocide.”

But both the New and the Old are defined by a similar ideology. In Johnson’s words:

The New Right and the Old Right share the same goal: a society that is not just hierarchical but also organic, a body politic, a racially and culturally homogeneous people, a people that is one in blood and spirit, a people that is politically organized and sovereign and thus in control of its own destiny.

The difference comes from rejecting the tactics and aspirations that led to the downfall of the Old Right and led to the casting of its associated ideologies as the work of pure evil.

It is not pure evil to want to defend your own people, further their own interests, and establish a society where healthy values can take root. The main objective of the New Right, according to Johnson, is to step over the wreckage of the Old Right and establish a new, metapolitical view that puts the future of White Identity first.

And what Johnson primarily argues for those wishing to fight for White interests is to focus on metapolitics. Johnson defines metapolitics in the essay “Metapolitics and Occult Warfare”:

Metapolitics deals with the underlying causes and conditions of political change. Metapolitics operates on two levels: intellectual and organizational. Metapolitical ideas include moral systems, religions, collective identities (tribal, national, racial), and assumptions about what is politically possible. Metapolitical organizations propagate metapolitical ideas, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Examples of metapolitical movements include the European New Right and North American New Right.

It is Johnson’s opinion that Whites cannot hope to win without first articulating an effective metapolitical outlook and creating outlets for promoting that worldview. Activism and electoral politics are fruitless without it and we cannot hope to achieve anything without sound theory to guide our cause.

The Weltanschauung that dominates the West today will never allow us to survive. It only cares about profit and material comfort. Hoping that if we just stay within the confines of classical liberalism that we will be able to win back our lands is no longer a viable option. We must advance metapolitics that counter liberal metapolitics. Plain and simple.

The rest of the essays that comprise New Right Versus Old Right are equally lucid and enlightening.

“The Moral Factor” argues for the New Right to adopt a moral seriousness that is desperately lacking in the movement and to begin to argue for the moral case for White Nationalism. Too often our side attracts psychopaths and those wanting to shock society, which we shouldn’t accept. Our side is naturally good and we should not be tainted by accusations of evil and immorality. Standing up for one’s people is noble and is far worthier than standing up for the desire of more gratification.

“Dealing with the Holocaust” is a sober and reasoned analysis of the role the Nazi persecution of the Jews plays in modern society and how it is used to cowl those promoting White Identity politics. Rather than engaging in pointless debates about the facts of the Holocaust, Johnson argues for us to overcome the harmful guilt that results from fixating on it and once again step over it.

“First, Do No Harm” should be mandatory reading for anyone who wishes to become an activist. While not condemning any specific forms of activism, Johnson merely acknowledges the obvious fact that nationalists are prone (especially in the US) to engage in acts that serve no purpose outside of undermining our cause and depicting those involved as a bunch of loony troglodytes. While activism should want to promote good work rather than just doing no harm, we are not at a point where that would no longer be an issue. Thus, everyone should always live to the principle of doing no harm.

New Right contains several more fascinating essays on a variety topic ranging from the process of conversion, women in the movement, the relationship with violence, dealing with mainstream politics, and many more.

I have to admit that I agree with the vast majority of points that Dr. Johnson makes in his work–especially with the critical point of adopting a metapolitical focus to our cause. But I personally believe Johnson is a little too focused on the Jewish question and he does not adequately stress the role of ideas and values that were created by Whites in causing our decline. I would also argue that we would need to put more distance between ourselves and the Old Right and not pen odes to figures who are no longer relevant to the situation we face today (except for our enemies to browbeat us with of course).

Still, those are only quibbles and I appreciate Greg’s willingness to engage and discuss these topics in an intelligent and reasonable manner.

I cannot recommend this book enough and I would rank it as one of the most important collections of writing available to Identitarians today. We must engage ourselves in the world of ideas and culture before we can set ourselves on the path to power. Here’s to the future of making that a reality.


 

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Un-Happy

Culture is said to be a reflection of contemporary social moods – but if that is true, then we must be living in extraordinarily happy times based on our popular music.

Culture is said to be a reflection of contemporary social moods – but if that is true, then we must be living in extraordinarily happy times based on our popular music.

While I’m predisposed to agree with the assertion that culture does reflect societal tensions, the music of our time does not even come close to that goal. The likely culprit of that is a top-down, commercialization of music that largely determines what new music an individual would come in contact with while out in public or listening to the radio.

For young people who are the primary consumers of pop music, the times aren’t so rosy and there’s serious long-term issues that lie ahead for this beleaguered generation. As if in reaction to this development, the music that is now pumped out on the radio is syrupy, saccharine and happy to the point of obnoxiousness.

And the number one offender of this trend is Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.” With an incredibly creative title, the song resembles a children’s nursery rhyme with a torturously, repetitive chorus and lyrics that have all the depth of a kiddy pool. Mr. Pharrell has managed to transform the spirit of “emotional pornography” into audio form, complete with a negro musical sheen.

Take a look at the lyrics and marvel at the drivel that is spewed forth by our craftsmen of culture:

[Verse 1:]
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

[Chorus:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

[Chorus]

Hey, come on

[Bridge:]
(happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said

[Chorus 2x]

Hey, come on

(happy)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

[Chorus 2x]

Come on

It’s quite obvious that this song, which was originally made for the children’s film “Despicable Me 2,” has taken on a life of its own and is reflecting much of the feeling that pop music is now trying to convey.

It’s an elixir for the woes that face Millennials face today. Feeling frightened that you can’t a decent job? Clap your hands and be happy instead! Girlfriend left you to hop aboard the cock carousel? Clap your hands and be happy instead! Feeling like you should blow your brains out because you have no purpose in life? Clap your hands and be happy instead!

At least the music video accurately depicts the real people of America with average, fat schlubs dancing in the street to the song to let you know it’s ok to be a hapless loser in life’s game.

In real life, the tell-tale signs of mass unhappiness are on display. Depression, drug abuse, and suicide rates are all rising and the infamous Misery Index is not looking good at the moment.

This song, along with the growing proliferation of “emotional porn,” misdirects people’s frustrations with their lives and society to gooey, feel-good messages. Don’t worry about problems, just watch this video or read this blurb about happiness and magically become satisfied with life. It’s the soft power of totalitarian humanism that mandates cheery thoughts — even though the world around you is going to hell.

Unhappiness with the world is the root cause of revolution, which is why we have garbage like “Happy” blaring at us like the minutes of hate from Orwell’s 1984. But in my opinion, these opiates won’t last long and eventually enough whites will wake up to try to change the world.

Then we can truly be happy.

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True Grit

The Coen Brothers greatest film is No Country for Old Men.  In 2008, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences endorsed it as such.  I would go as far as saying that *No Country* is one of the most important films of recent history. So rare is it that a work of popular art explores the most consequential issues of our time: the spiritual, moral, and demographic crisis facing Americans and Europeans around the world.  Even its title loudly proclaims the central subtext of the film. 

You know, if you’d have told me 20 years ago. I’d see children walking the streets of our Texas towns … with green hair, bones in their noses … I just flat-out wouldn’t have believed you.
—El Paso Sheriff, No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers greatest film is No Country for Old Men. In 2008, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences endorsed it as such. I would go as far as saying that No Country is one of the most important films of recent history. So rare is it that a work of popular art explores the most consequential issues of our time: the spiritual, moral, and demographic crisis facing Americans and Europeans around the world. Even its title loudly proclaims the central subtext of the film.

Two Jews, ostensibly of the purest priestly stock according to their namesakes, and a Celt, who named himself after an Irish King, have given this treasure to us, and it is impossible to believe that either party acted unwittingly in sounding these powerful and disturbing themes.

Country Bumpkins

As is well known, the Coen brothers are virtuosos of directing performances, and satire is bred in their bones. Humanizing their protagonists is often contrary to their goals. And though the Coens’ satires run from the broad (O Brother, Where Art Thou) to the relatively more nuanced (Fargo, most often their characters are caricatures.

In fact, it’s hard not to discern a deep misanthropy in their depictions. Whereas a director like Scorsese is sympathetic towards his protagonists (no matter however reprehensible they might be), the Coen brothers seem largely to have contempt for the characters they bring to the screen (except for the humor they provide). At best, the Coen Brothers’ characters are “lovingly” patronized and demeaned.

There are some exceptions to this rule, of course, most notably Gabriel Bryne (Tom Reagan), the protagonist of Miller’s Crossing. But here, Reagan is a cipher and his performance relatively forgettable, as if the directors, irritated by an attractive personality not their own, insisted on blandness and a sort of silence.

More typically, their subjects are regionally accented philistines, quite lacking in the sentience of the urban centers of non-flyover states; at best, they are bestowed with a sort of corrupt slyness or, alternatively, an innocence owed to their utter vacuity. Even the ostensibly lovable and folksy Marge Gunderson of Fargo, played by Frances McDormand, is a glorified bumpkin; she’s “wise” only in the most politically correct, earth-motherly sense of that term.[1]

Indeed, if it were not for A Serious Man and Barton Fink—in which neurotic Jewish intellectuals are lambasted—one might be inclined to perceive a certain spirit of “anti-Gentilism” in the Coen Brothers’ work.[2]

Whatever the case, I’m sure we can relate to the Coens’ send-ups of our benighted brothers (even if we think it should be we who criticize them, constructively).

The Native and the Alien

No Country for Old Men, a neo-Western based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy and set in the Texas of 1980, represents a major departure for the brothers.

First, both protagonists, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), are patently rural types; yet they are far from venal, buffoonish, or one-dimensional. In fact, they are, in their folksy way, quite charismatic. To be certain, they are flawed, tragically so, but in ways that are instructive and not merely demeaning.[3]

Let us take Moss first. From the onset, he is depicted as a “man’s man”: ruggedly handsome and able to handle a gun. He is far from perfect, of course; at many points, he seems to be a 18-year-old in a 45-year-old’s body; and it is his inability to control his greed that leads to his downfall. Yet Moss is, at his core, “decent.” Indeed, one could say that “decency” is his fatal flaw.

While hunting antelope one day, Moss happens upon the grisly results of a drug-deal gone wrong: bullet-ridden bodies are strewn left and right (including, quite pathetically, that of a dog), and the ground is soaked with blood. Moss discovers a mound of narcotics and a briefcase containing some $2 million in cash. He also comes across a wounded man in a truck, clinging to life.

Moss can’t help himself and takes the bundle of cash. But at great risk, he returns to the crime scene later that night to bring water to the dying man. This is not only a man Moss doesn’t know, but a Mexican drug dealer—a foreigner in race, country, and tongue, who, in all likelihood, has committed crimes even graver than the transport of highly destructive drugs to millions of Moss’ vulnerable countrymen.

This act of kindness, which ends in Moss being shot by some drug dealers seeking to retrieve the treasure, is the first of many studies in contrast between Moss and his non-Anglo opponent—the demonic Anton Chigurh, who is sent after Moss and the money on a bounty.

Here, we should note that the Coen brothers alter the character of Anton Chigurh in important ways in their adaption of McCarthy’s novel, and arguably make this figure both more terrifying and more symbolic. In the novel, Chigurh’s ethnicity is made deliberately opaque: he is described as a dark haired man with eyes “as blue as lapis.” For the role, the Coens cast the then-relatively unknown Javier Bardem, an actor who is masterful in crafting diabolical and inscrutable characters.

The stranger The stranger

The native. The native.

The Coen brothers describe their reasons for casting Bardem quite innocently. In the interest of serving the spirit of McCarthy’s narrative, they found an actor who seems as though he could have been from “outer space.” However, it is impossible to believe that these ethnically conscious and detail-oriented filmmakers were unaware of the racial undercurrents of No Country—a tragic story set against a backdrop of Mexican criminality and drug running. Bardem, a heavily accented and darkly featured Spaniard, amplifies this unspoken racial drama.

The name “Chigurh” is of ambiguous origin and possibly invented by McCarthy. (A quick Internet search reveals a few occurrences worldwide.) With the first name Anton and McCarthy’s description, the reader might believe that he’s Eastern European, or Russian. Supportive of this thesis is the novel’s and film’s first “coin flipping” scene, in which Chigurh, quite oddly, begrudges a small-town store clerk owner for having “married into” his property.

Is Chigurh possessed by a Marxist ressentiment? Is Chigurh not only a “foreigner,” but one bringing with him an “Un-American creed?” Might this character be Jewish? Or is the name “Anton Chigurh” a kind of code or pseudo-anagram for “Anti-Christ?”

Much about Chigurh’s symbolic status is revealed in the brief, clipped conversation he has with the guileless clerk. Chigurh flips a coin and then demands that his adversary “call it”:

Proprietor: I didn’t put nothin’ up.
Chigurh: Yes, you did. You’ve been putting it up your whole life. You just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?
Proprietor: No.
Chigurh: 1958. It’s been traveling 22 years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails, and you have to say. Call it.
Proprietor: Well, look … I need to know what I stand to win.
Chigurh: Everything.

1958 fell right in the middle of the Civil Rights movement in the South, one year after Little Rock, Arkansas, integrated its school systems and one year after the death of a young Joseph McCarthy, marking the close of “McCarthyism.” It’s difficult to hear that year and not sense that it marked an endpoint of Anglo-White hegemony in America. Does the coin arrive as a form of vengeance for this period of American history? As in: what comes around, goes around? Is this simple clerk, now powerless, being held to account for the sins of his fathers?[4]

The narrative of the film is driven by Chigurh’s hunt for Moss and the money, which Chigurh engages in with a kind of fanaticism and dedication that reveals he’s something more than a mercenary. (As one rival describes him, “He has principles.”) The chase also allows McCarthy and the Coens to paint a study in contrast between the two men.

The first divergence that comes to the fore is Chigurh’s and Moss’s respective resilience, resourcefulness, and ruthlessness. When wounded by gunfire early in the film, Moss is obliged to go to a hospital to have his wounds treated; there he lays in public view, vulnerable, bedridden, and open to discovery by his tormenters. Chigurh, on the other hand, is able to stitch up a more grievous and painful wound himself, secretly, safe from vying criminals and detectives, and with the skill of a surgeon. Throughout the film, the viewer is filled with a sense of gloom and dread: No matter how tough Moss might be, he doesn’t stand a chance in a battle with Chigurh; he is mere prey.[5]

To a degree, Chigurh is a reprisal of the largely mute (and less interesting) Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) from Fargo (who’s famously feeds Steve Buscemi’s character into a wood chipper). But Chigurh is something much bigger than a Terminator for the literati—he is something as invincible and unstoppable as death himself. Moss had hoped to use the stash to build a new life with his wife Karla Jean—that is, to gain riches scot-free and without consequences—Chigurh comes to exact the price.

The Coens also contrast the ways in which Chigurh and Moss are perceived by Americans, in particular the old and the young. Moss is generally respected by older Whites. On the run from Chigurh, Moss ventures into Mexico to get medical care, afterwards returning to America to protect his wife and, he naively believes, to kill Chigurh. When crossing the border into the States, Moss is dressed only in a hospital gown. The border agent, a formidable gatekeeper, is hostile to this seemingly demented man, but then softens and allows him passage when he learns that Moss is a Vietnam veteran. “Wilson,” he calls to his assistant, “Get someone to help this man; he needs to get into town.”

Chigurh, on the other hand, is regarded with fear by older White Americans, who are confused and cowed by his cryptic and rude assertiveness. This is evident in the first “coin-flipping” scene, discussed above, and is perhaps best exemplified by Sheriff Bell, who is quietly terrified.

In the film’s Second Act, Moss arranges to meet his wife in a motel in El Paso, where he hopes to give the money over to her and send her out of harm’s way. But Chigurh catches up to Moss before his wife arrives… Cryptically, this final confrontation occurs off camera. All the viewer sees is Sheriff Bell driving up to the motel, as a Mexican drug gang flees the scene in a pickup truck. The viewer is left to imagine what exactly happened in this violent standoff between Moss, Chigurh, and the gang. All is known is that Moss lies dead in his room.

After this denouement, Sheriff Bell decides (much like Moss at the beginning of the film) to return to the scene of the crime. He walks slowly, deliberately, towards Moss’s motel room… and the viewer sees that Chigurh is crouched, patiently waiting, ready to make Sheriff Bell his next victim. But when Bell opens the door, Chigurh has vanished, and all that remains in the room is Bell’s shadow against the wall. What has just happened? Did Chigurh, inexplicably, decide to spare Bell and slip out of the room? Or was this actually one of Bell’s dreams, or nightmares, in which he glimpses something that he is not quite willing to confront?

Whatever the case, shortly after Moss’s death, Bell opts for retirement rather than taking his chances against such a fearsome opponent. Bell is, in his words, “overmatched.”

The younger generation of Americans reacts quite differently to both Moss and Chigurh. After Moss is wounded by Chigurh, and is staggering across the Mexican border in seek of a hospital, he crosses the path of a group of twenty-somethings, who are, apparently, returning from Mexico where they were bar-hopping. Moss asks one of the kids if he could purchase his coat; the young men are repelled and distrustful, insistent on seeing the money before they proffer the coat, even though Moss is obviously wounded and in need: “OK, give me the money,” the twenty-somethings insist. “It’s right here. Give me the clothes.” “Let him hold the money,” the young man insists. After the exchange is made, Moss asks for the beer that one of them is holding. “How much?” is the insolent reply.

This pathetic scene is contrasted, quite deliberately, with a parallel scene at the end of the film. Chigurh has just tracked down Moss’s wife, Carla Jean, who is living at the house of her recently deceased mother. There, Chigurh engages in another round of existential coin-flipping with a terrified and helpless woman:

Carla Jean Moss: You don’t have to do this.
Anton Chigurh: People always say the same thing.
Carla Jean Moss: What do they say?
Anton Chigurh: They say, “You don’t have to do this.”

The fates again are not kind.

After leaving the house and driving off, Chigurh’s car is struck by another when he runs a red light (perhaps killing the other driver). Having pulled himself from the totaled car, Chigurh rests on the roadside with a gruesome compound fracture in his arm. The crash has attracts the attention of concerned Anglo-American teenagers. Like Moss, Chigurh needs to dress his terrible wound.

Anton Chigurh: What will you take for the shirt?”
Boy: Well hell Mister I’ll give you my shirt.

The boy then helps Chirguh tie a sling for his arm. Chirguh extends to him a $100.

Teenager: Well hell mister, I don’t mind helping someone out.
Chigurh: Take it. Take it. You didn’t see me. I was already gone.

The earnest boy nods indicating that he will do as instructed.

The contrast between the two rivals is drawn sharply. Chigurh is the stronger, more ruthless man, seemingly devoid of any hint of empathy or remorse. Yet he is pitied and pampered by xenophiles, who will literally give him the shirts off their backs (and who are not above taking a bribe to cover for him). Moss, on the other hand, is a vet, self-sacrificing and with a sense of duty toward his fellow human beings. Yet he is distrusted and disrespected by the youth of his own country. Chigurh survives. Moss dies.

Sailing to Byzantium

The death of Llewelyn Moss could be chalked up as another good man brought low by greed, or as a victim (though not an altogether innocent one) of the drug craze. But for Sheriff Bell, Moss’s death begins to take on the significance of the end of era, the end of his people and folkways. Bell touches on this feeling when he shares a coffee with the local sheriff of El Paso (Roscoe Boyce):

Roscoe Boyce: If you’d a told me twenty years ago I’d see children walkin’ the streets of our Texas towns with green hair and bones in their noses … I just flat out wouldn’t of believed you.
Ed Tom Bell: Signs and wonders. But I think once you stop hearin’ sir and madam, the rest is soon to foller.
Roscoe Boyce: It’s the tide. It’s the dismal tide. It is not the one thing.

It’s a remarkable scene that may be without precedent (outside some of Disney’s Fables, W.D. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, or Gone with the Wind.) When was the last time a Hollywood character complained about the degeneracy of America (or the South) and was not depicted as a crackpot, crank, fascist, or religious nut?[6]

One truly tragic aspect of No Country is that Bell laments the decline of his people and civilization, yet is himself an expression of it—a fact of which he seems dimly aware. From the beginning of the film, Sheriff Bell is terrorized by the rise of what he describes as a new breed of criminal, one that is a product of the times: brutal, psychotic, and remorseless. But he does not rise up to confront and defeat this evil; he does not, like Ethan in John Ford’s The Searchers, hunt down bad men, no matter the cost. Instead, he submissively retires, and fails to try to bring Chigurh to justice.

It is not just the green hair, the breakdown of community cohesion, the loss of a healthy distrust of the stranger—it is also cowardice and forfeit that signal the end for America. At least Old America.

Harder to discern are the Coen Brothers’ feeling regarding the Decline that they poignantly explored in their film. For instance, is it not possible to detect a certain sublimated joy in the destruction of the dumb, fatted cattle of rural White America? Early in the film, Chigurh actually kills his prey with a captive bolt pistol, an instrument used to stun livestock for slaughter. Is it not possible to detect a joy in nature running its course, as a man might gain some sublimated satisfaction in seeing a powerful lion take down an impala, knowing, on some level, that this is how, long ago, his own species survived—by being strong and merciless?

In the minds of the Coen brothers, is No Country for Old Men something like Django Unchained or Machete for epicures, revenge porn for people who prefer a Pinot Gris to a Budweiser (or a joint)? Perhaps this is true to an extent. But there does seem to be, however improbably, a strong undercurrent of pity—even longing—for White America.

Perhaps we should ask how McCarthy views his Anglo subjects? After all, despite the clever affects brought to the film by the Coen brothers, McCarthy is the true and final weaver of this tale. Is the countrified dialect of his characters a sign of McCarthy’s affection for his subject, or of mockery or merely verisimilitude? One should consider his background in this matter—a southerner from childhood (though one with Catholic, Yankee parents). McCarthy’s political views are unknown, though he has offered up this gem: “I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea.” If by “improve” he means “improved to live in harmony,” as it seems he does in this passage, I imagine the RadixJournal readership finds little to disagree with.

But certainly one would have to weigh No Country against his earlier works, most saliently the novel that is widely consider his masterpiece, The Blood Meridian published in 1985. Here, the main part of the story is a depiction of a band of western outlaws hired by regional leaders to fight the Apache. They end up indiscriminately and brutally massacring Indians and Mexicans, even the peaceful ones. While it is certainly a layered and complex novel, Steven Shaviro’s gushing review characterizes the way that the novel has been received.

Both [Moby Dick and The Blood Meridian] savagely explode the American dream of manifest destiny (sic) of racial domination and endless imperial expansion.

We might consider two possibilities. First, men change, as, indeed, does the world around them. Conscientious men are especially mutable, as they might have a varying sense of who is gaining and losing power. The idealism of younger man is replaced by the experience of life. Did Cormac change? And has he revealed this, esoterically, to his audience?

The second, related possibility is that perhaps McCarthy— simply being a universalistic moralist, and with no particular sense of allegiance—has moved on to describe the destruction of another people, facing a similar fate as the American Indians. It is interesting to note that one of the few meaningful physical descriptions he includes in No Country For Old Men is of the Indian carvings that Moss encounters out in the desert.

The rocks there were etched with Pictographs perhaps a thousand years old. The men who drew them, hunters like himself. Of them, there was no other trace.

All these things considered, I believe that perhaps the final scene of this film, rendered faithfully from the book, may contain the answer. Here, Bell, now retired, describes a pair of dreams he’s had the evening before. The script is worth revisiting in its entirety:

All right, then. Two of ’em, both had my father in ’em. It’s peculiar. I’m older now than he ever was by 20 years. So, in a sense, he’s the younger man. Anyway, the first one I don’t remember too well … but it was about meeting him in town … somewheres, and he give me some money. I think I lost it.

Second one, it was like we was both back in older times. And I was a-horseback, going through the mountains of a night. Going through this pass in the mountains. It was cold, and there was snow on the ground. And he rode past me and kept on going … never said nothing going by, just rode on past. He had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down. When he rode past, I seen he was carrying fire in a horn … the way people used to do, and I … I could see the horn from the light inside of it … ‘bout the color of the moon. And, in the dream, I knew that he was … going on ahead. He was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and cold. And I knew that whenever I got there, he’d be there. And then I woke up.

These dreams are best understood through an examination of their symbols.

What is the meaning of his father as a younger man? This, in my view, is emblematic of the healthier and vigorous generation that has passed. Bell’s generation—passive, permissive, and tolerant—is exhausted and senile. Thus, it is natural that he sees himself as an old, dying man, relative to his father who was of a younger, more robust, and healthier generation). In this context the meaning of the money is simple: Bell dreams of losing something bestowed to him, which expresses the anxiety of the prodigal son—or generation—who squanders the inheritance of his father.

In the second dream, I believe Bell is not merely encountering an ancestor but also a descendant, if not quite his own son. The young man is his prophetic dream is a “young man” of the future. What is the meaning of the moon-colored fire in the horn? There is a holy fire mentioned in the Yeats “Sailing to Byzantium,” the poem from which McCarthy’s book takes its name. (The first line goes: “That is no country for old men.”) Here, the Holy Fire represents a spiritual or magical force commanded by the “Sages” of Byzantium, a city that is the historical seat of Orthodox Christianity, the gate to the West, and the capital of the most abiding remnant of the Roman Empire.

The central anxiety of the poem is one of mortality and of Yeats’s concern that his art and impression in the world will not abide. Hence, he seeks Byzantium to gain the magic of its immortality. Here, in Bell’s dream, the moon-colored fire, I believe, can be taken to mean something similar. The father, who is emblematic of a descendent, goes ahead to rekindle the fire anew amid the cold and darkness. The civilization of Bell’s blood will come again. Hence, McCarthy does what his Irish kinsman Yeats desired in his poem:

Or set upon a golden bough to sing,
To Lords and Ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come

Therefore, the book and film are hopeful, if only wistfully so. Civilization will be rekindled amid the “darkness,” and the blood of Bell will survive by it. Arguably, one could say this dream is merely a vision of Bell’s personal afterlife; however, this seems unlikely given the attention paid to so specific a symbolism, as well as given Bell’s professed lack of faith in God, and given the broader themes of moral and cultural decline.

Let us consider the Coen Brothers intent with this ending. Are they also hopeful that such a civilization, rekindled by the blood of Bell, will be reborn?

Perhaps the relative ambiguity and esotericism of the scene is its guardian, and its true meaning, to the extent my deciphering is correct, is lost on the Coen Brothers? Yet I tend to give them more credit than this (especially since A Serious Man, with its suggestion of decline, seems inspired by themes in No Country for Old Men, only adapted to a Minnesotan Jewish community).

Certainly, there must be an instinct among sub-creators, like the Coen brothers, to attach themselves to art of great value and permanence, and to serve that art to the best of their ability, as its glow will invariably reflect on them. And one should remember the last line of Bell’s description: “And then I woke up.” Does this suggest that the prophetic dream is merely a fond illusion? The Coen Brothers, it seems, also have an alibi… Indeed, one could reasonably interpret the scene as a compassionate and sympathetic paean to a dangerous but dying beast, in much the way a New York Times columnist might laud the WASP Establishment for having the “goodness” and “virtue” to eventually relinquish its grasp on power. (One can have sympathy for a dangerous beast only when one is certain the beast is dying.) Or perhaps (who knows?) the Coen brothers are secretly onboard with us. After all, without a strong race and civilization, there would be no employment for its sarcastic critics!

In the category of “dark, unpleasant, and truthful,” No Country For Old Men may be the best film ever made. And by truthful, I also mean life-affirming. Hence, the Coen Brothers, as if interpreting the mysteries of a higher being, honor their priestly names.

Finally, if the famously evasive Cormac McCarthy ever denies this meaning I have put forth, be slow to believe him. The Irish are master liars (their kings, no less so). Perhaps Comac’s willingness to deceive is the only reason No Country became a film in the first place. So if you see him, be sure to thank him.[7]


  1. Outside of her traditionally male profession, and her success in uncovering the crime central to the film, Marge Gunderson’s relative sophistication and wisdom is indicated most saliently in her participation in a non-traditional relationship with her painter husband, where, it seems, she is the breadwinner. Hence, she becomes a sort of feminist hero set amid a landscape of venal, bumbling, and/or unsophisticated men.  ↩
  2. Using this logic, one is inclined to believe that the Coens’ ability for satire was probably encouraged by their early experiences growing up in Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis. Here, in a Midwestern and relatively less Judaized milieu, where many of the similarities and gradations that exist between Gentile and Jew in other urban areas are absent, Gentiles likely seem quite exotic to Jews (not to mention threatening)—and hence worthy of study. Perhaps the Coens’ childhood felt something like a wildlife safari? Certainly such a weaning would also heighten a self-awareness, present notably in A Serious Man. While Woody Allen describes a strongly Jewish milieu in most of his films, it is with greater affection and much less mockery. One should also consider that Minnesotan Jews are effectively “Jewish hicks” and can be lampooned for their lack of sophistication relative to say, New York Jews.  ↩
  3. Certainly, both characters also benefit from the Cowboy mythos, which 1950s Hollywood played a hand in bolstering, and for which Coen brothers clearly have a soft spot, as evinced by their other Western, True Grit (2010). Perhaps one day a Siegfried will be drawn from these Western Sagas (though certainly not by the hand of satirists like the Coen Brothers).  ↩
  4. The biblical demon Mammon is discussed toward the end of the novel in a scene where Bell and a Lawyer are both familiar with the name, through its reference in scripture, but have no sense of its meaning (doubtlessly indicating their distance from religion).  The coin, being a monetary unit, may be, in some ways, a reference to Mammon, who is the personification of wealth as an evil influence (as might also, more obviously, the satchel of money, which functions in this tragedy very much as the Nibelung Ring or the Cursed Golden Fleece).  ↩
  5. So invincible is Chigurh, early in the film he is picked up and hand cuffed by local police, suspicious of the captive bolt pistol he carries. Chigurh manages not merely to escape but also to kill his captor. (In the book, it is revealed that Chigurh allowed himself to be captured because he was intrigued by the potential challenge it proffered.) Chigurh evades and kills vying criminal and lawman alike, with cunning and impunity.  ↩
  6. Though perhaps the Coens were looking at Sheriff Bell and his companion somewhat askance. There seems to be a subtle “Church Lady” caricature occurring, a gentle mocking of two powerless, provincial men engaging in thoughts too big for their minds. Tommy Lee Jones—though perhaps I am imagining this—seems to struggle to keep a straight face when he says “the rest is soon to foller.” And what are Hollywood liberals to think of such lines? Can they really embody them? And are not these revelations unavoidably pathetic, coming from such impotent and outmoded men?  ↩
  7. There is an old Iranian saying: “It takes two Jews to cheat a Greek, two Greeks to cheat an Armenian, and two Armenians to cheat a Persian.” Perhaps this will have to be revised to include Irishmen somewhere along the hierarchy.  ↩

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The Dispossessed Elite

In the multiracial, postmodern world, the Anglo-Saxon Protestant has become the identity that dare not speak its name. Kevin MacDonald  goes in search of the forbidden race.

This article first appeared in Radix Journal (Vol. 1 / 2012). Purchase here.


Andrew Fraser, The WASP Question, Arktos Media (2011).

Andrew Fraser is a legal scholar who has been forced to brave the slings and arrows of outrageous anti-White attitude in his position as Professor of Public Law at Macquarie University in Sydney. His book The WASP Question is a detailed presentation of his views on the self-destruction of the once-proud group of Anglo-Saxons who colonized vast areas after departing from their native England, but who are now very much threatened by loss of power and, even more disastrously, loss of identity. The book is an attempt to answer the question why WASPs (which he describes as “a subtly, perhaps deservedly derogatory acronym coined sometime in the late Fifties to denote White Anglo-Saxon Protestants”) have failed to protect their bio-cultural interests in the contemporary world.

This is indeed the fundamental question of our times—true not only of WASPs, but of all Whites, although it must be said that WASPs seem to embody this pathology to a greater extent than other White groups. Fraser’s answer is an intellectual tour de force, encompassing very wide swaths of history and pre-history, evolutionary thinking, the psychology of racial differences, and academic theology. Far from being a paean to his ethnic group, the book is nothing less than “an attack on my co-ethnics, mainly the American WASPs who for over two centuries now have waged a reckless, revolutionary, and relentless cultural war on the ethno-religious traditions which once inspired the Anglo-Saxon province of Christendom to greatness.”

At the heart of this project is an attempt to understand WASP uniqueness. As he notes early on, “European man alone bears the spirit of civic republicanism, a tradition still largely alien to other races and peoples.” Whereas WASPs eschew ethnic nepotism as a matter of enlightened principle, “there is no shortage of evidence that the Changs, the Gonzales, and the Singhs (not to mention the Goldmans with their well-known animus toward WASPs) still practice forms of ethnic nepotism strictly forbidden to Anglo-Protestants.”

Fraser’s search for unraveling this mystery begins with the Germanic origins of Anglo-Saxon society. Relying on recent population genetic data, Fraser suggests that beginning in the mid–5th century, the Angle, Saxon, and Jute invaders contributed beyond their numbers to the gene pool of what was to become England. Males from indigenous Britons were forced to migrate to the outer reaches of the island, but with high levels of intermarriage with native women. The result was that the population was distinct from the Germanic groups left behind on the continent.

Fraser points to “an institutionalized predisposition towards both local autonomy and individual liberty” as characteristic of Northern European peoples, based on monogamy, the nuclear family, paternal investment in children, and a relative de-emphasis on extended kinship groups, leading to the rise of non-kinship-based forms of reciprocity. These traits were adaptive when confronting difficult ecological conditions during the Ice Ages.

However, these tribal groups also had a strong sense of internal cohesion and in-group solidarity, and kinship ties were, indeed, of considerable importance, as indicated by the long history of blood feud and wergeld.

An important manifestation of non-kinship-based reciprocity was the Männerbund or comitatus—groups formed for military purposes and based on the reputation of leaders and the followers rather than on their kinship relatedness. Indeed, Fraser quotes James Russell (from The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity[1]): “The intensity of the comitatus bond seems to exceed even that of kinship.”

Fraser makes the interesting point that “there were striking differences in the relative importance of lordship and kinship in Anglo-Saxon England,”

as compared with southern Denmark and northern Germany from which the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons originated. In Friesland and Schleswig-Holstein, throughout the Middle Ages there was a preponderance of free peasant proprietors with few great territorial lords endowed with seigneurial privileges. In England, by contrast, the prevalence of lordship was much more marked.

Based on Berta Surees Phillipotts’ wonderfully titled Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After: A Study in the Sociology of the Teutonic Races[2], there is the suggestion that these differences were caused by the relative lack of strength of kinship groups in areas, like England, that became dominated by lords. According to this hypothesis, kinship relationships were compromised as Germanic groups left their native areas in southern Sweden, Denmark, and northern Germany.

Anglo-Saxon kings possessed “a sacral quality by virtue of their royal blood.” Kings combined religious and political functions, and their relationships with their subjects were ultimately based on reciprocity. And because kingship had religious overtones, “the ethnogenesis of the English people was very largely a religious phenomenon, proceeding in tandem with the success of Christian missionaries into the fold of the Church. By the 8th century the Angelcynn—people of the English race—had been formed from the mélange of Germanic tribes that had entered England.”

This shift to Christianity was accomplished without losing touch with Germanic folk religions. The Norman conquest had no fundamental effect on English institutions, since “Normandy itself had been conquered by sea-borne Teutonic invaders and, as a consequence, kindred groups had been weakened there just as they had been in England. Anglo-Saxon men may have been disinherited by their Norman overlords but ‘their daughters married Normans and taught their children the meaning of Englishness,’” quoting Phillpotts.

Despite the differences among different social groups of Englishmen, there was a common sense of being English based on “common blood nourished by a common faith.” Jews were regarded as outsiders precisely because they were not of common blood or common faith, so much so that the Magna Carta had clauses explicitly protecting English families from the Jews. Royal responsibility for the welfare of subjects meant that “English kings were compelled eventually to place definite limits on Jewish exploitation of their Christian subjects.” Jews were not merely outsiders, but tough economic competitors. When the Church sided with the people by petitioning the king to “protect his people against Jewish economic aggression,” the king expelled the Jews, but only after being assured that the revenue they provided to the king would be made up by revenue from the Church and the nobility.

The fact that the king tried first to convert the Jews indicates that European societies were not self-consciously based on blood ties. Attempts to convert Jews were a common phenomenon during the Middle Ages throughout Europe. The only important case where Jews actually converted was in Spain, but then the issue became the sincerity of the converts and their continued ethnic cohesion and cooperation, leading ultimately to the Inquisition.[3] The desire of Europeans to assimilate with the Jews was always a one-way street.

In the absence of kinship ties, reputation was everything. Fraser spends quite a bit of time on oath-taking as a peculiarly English pre-occupation, so much so that “the commonplace spectacle of Third World immigrants reciting oaths of allegiance at naturalization ceremonies is calculated to warm the hearts of WASPs committed heart and soul to the constitutionalist creed of civic nationalism.” Oath-taking is a public affirmation that is fundamentally about one’s reputation. It is, of course, a bit of WASP egoism that they think that other peoples have a similar sense of public trustworthiness.

WASPs are trusting souls. For that very reason they can be exploited easily by those who promise one thing and do another… . Mass Third World immigration imposes enormous risks upon Anglo-Saxon societies grounded in unique patterns of trusting behavior that evolved over many centuries. If newcomers do not accept the burdens entailed by the civic culture of the host society—most notably the need to forswear one’s pre-existing racial, ethnic and religious allegiances—they are bound to reduce the benefits of good citizenship for the host Anglo-Saxon nation.

I couldn’t agree more. And all the evidence is that these groups will not forswear these allegiances, any more than Jews have forsworn their ethnic and religious allegiances despite centuries of living among Europeans.

The next great historical step for the Angelcynn was the step from a Germanized Christianity to a far more universalist form of Christianity as a result of the expansion of the power of the centralized Church during the 11th–13th centuries. This momentous process began with the papal reforms of Pope Gregory VII that had as their basic aim an increase in ecclesiastical power at the expense of the kings. The result was a Kirchenstaat—Church-state—that eventually compromised the Anglo-Saxon Christian cult of sacral kingship. But rather than a unitary society based on sacral kingship, there was a split between the realm of religion, dominated by the Church, and the secular realm, dominated by the kings. This development also weakened the already fragile ties of kinship, as the Church actively campaigned against endogamy by restricting marriage of relatives and developed a concept of marriage in which the individuals to be married, not relatives, had an absolute right to choose marriage partners.[4]

This development facilitated individualism, and especially among the English. Fraser is aware that the roots of Western individualism may be found in Classical Greece. But “by the thirteenth century, the English were already set apart from the rest of Christendom by their pronounced predisposition towards liberty, independence and individualism”— tendencies that, as he notes, are in stark contrast with the Chinese (and all other cultures of which I am aware).

Kings responded to the ecclesiastical power grab by setting up their own secular institutions of justice independent of the Church courts. Political authority became “disenchanted”—removed from any connection to the sacred; royal authority became “a function of the king’s temporal body politic; no longer was his natural body the medium through which an emanation of sacred Heil descended directly from the gods.”

Basic to the period was the concept of “double majesty” in which both the king and his leading men had power. This concept was based on the comitatus concept—what Ricardo Duchesne terms “aristocratic egalitarianism.”[5] The king is first among equals. He had power, but his acts required the approval of the magnates and they could act to restrain him from rashness. As Fraser notes, the baronial class had power within this system, but the arrangement excluded the “vast majority of ordinary folk.” One result was that the great barons retained considerable power over local affairs, while the king tended to affairs that affected the kingdom as a whole.

The Tudor revolution eclipsed both the power of the nobility and the power of the Church. But the events unleashed by this upheaval resulted in an even more revolutionary and radical revolution in English political culture: the rise of the Puritans. The Puritan revolution represented a fundamental break in English history, and Fraser is deeply critical:

It was the Puritan refusal to recognize the established Church of England as the synergistic unity of society, politics and religion that finally sealed the fate of the ancient regime in England.

Puritans rejected the past-oriented, this-worldly folk religion of their Germanic ancestors and embraced instead a future-oriented, salvation history of sin and redemption in which the “Godly” were radically estranged from conventional society. Separating themselves from their “lukewarm” neighbors, Puritans withdrew into select, independent and voluntary communities composed solely of equals. Their virtuous communities of the elect existed in a state of grace that knew no national boundaries.

The result was “a radically new social character” that resulted in the “embourgeoisement of English elites.” This New Order cut off the possibility of an Anglican commonwealth; it was focused on the accumulation of wealth for its own sake.

The radicalism of the Puritan Revolution was that it completely destroyed the old tripartite Indo-European order based on the classes of sovereignty, the military, and commoners. This revolution was far more radical than the revolution whereby Christianity destroyed the pagan gods of old Europe:

Christianity formally proscribed the old religions but it did not uproot the social ideals embodied in the pagan gods. Even after the Papal Revolution, tradition-directed English Christians preserved the Trinitarian cosmology that their Anglo-Saxon ancestors shared with the Celts, the Scandinavians and the Romans.

The Puritan spirit of capitalism not only turned that ancient worldview on its head: it also launched Anglo- Saxons into a novus ordo seclorum that brought religion down to earth in an economy enchanted by the cornucopian myths of modernist Mammonism. … Before we can hope to escape our self-imposed domination, we must understand how the Puritan Revolution flattened the foundational myths of the trifunctional social
order characteristic of all Indo-European peoples.

In short, the Puritan Revolution meant the end of the Indo-European world and its Christian version: the Church (“those who prayed, oratores”), the king and aristocracy (“those who fought, bellatores”), and the commoners (“those who worked, laboratores”). It was thus the quintessential modern revolution, a fundamental break in the history of the West.

The revolution, although begun in England, was slow to reach its completion there, whereas in the United States, “as a consequence of the Civil War, the absolute hegemony of the leveling, acquisitive and utilitarian society pioneered by the Puritan Revolution was firmly entrenched.” The Civil War pitted “the Cavaliers of the Old South [who] recalled the highest ideals of European chivalry” against “the soulless materialism of Northern capitalism.”

The Puritans had won, but in Fraser’s analysis, their victory heralded the end of a highly adaptive social order in favor of a social order that eventually led to the eclipse of WASPs. The new order was far more egalitarian than the older order. Congregations elected their ministers, and they served at the pleasure of the people they served. Whereas war had been the province of the nobility, Cromwell’s New Model Army was based on citizen participation.

It was also profoundly spiritual and created enormous energy. Unfortunately, the spiritual capital of Puritanism “was squandered by their WASP descendants. The saintly secularism of the Puritan has degenerated into the nonchalant nihilism of the postmodernist.” “Possessive individualism” and “tasteful consumption” had come to define the highest expression of Anglo-Saxon character and culture. The governments of England and other Anglo-Saxon areas became dominated by financial interests.

When the intellectuals of the new order looked at the English past, they did not see a social order of liberty and reciprocity. Rather,

they insisted that “Old England had been steeped in slavery” and only after the Whigs had triumphed in the Glorious Revolution did the English begin to enjoy their present freedoms. … “To bring the government of England back to its first principles is to bring the people back to absolute slavery.” In the dark days of the past, “the people had no share in the government; they were merely the villeins, vassals, or bondsmen of their lords, “a sort of cattle bought and sold with the land.” Those slavish ancestors had submitted, more or less willingly, to the yoke fastened on their necks by those who prayed and those who fought. Such a servile mentality, it is said, had no rightful claim to a voice in the political community of the modern English commonwealth.

Indeed, White slavery continued to exist in the New World as indentured servants were bought and sold—“a situation not unlike Negro slavery.”

This new social order requires endless economic expansion. If that fails to come to pass, there will indeed be a crisis, and it’s clear where Fraser’s sympathies lie:

One hopes that such a state of emergency will trigger the need to return to the long-forgotten original principles of the tripartite social order, however “atavistic” such needs may seem to the modern managerial mind. The day may yet come when ineffectual WASPs give way to a new generation of Anglo-Saxon leaders possessed of both the sovereign wisdom to revive the communitarian ethos of the ancient republics and the selfless nobility to defend unto death the bio-cultural interests of their people.

However, before discussing in detail his proposal for a return to a primeval Indo-European cultural paradigm, Fraser discusses the rise and fall of WASPs in the United States. His basic proposal is that WASPs are a superior group in terms of IQ and other traits necessary for success in the contemporary world. He accepts the idea that different races and ethnic groups are in competition for survival. This race realist perspective, explicitly based on sociobiology, is combined with the idea that WASP talents should be seen as a gift from God and that WASPs require an ethno-theology capable of serving their biological interests in survival and reproduction. Fraser fundamentally disagrees with the idea that the sacred and secular ought to inhabit two separate worlds. Rather, they should be joined by fostering an ethno-religious sense of peoplehood in which the biological imperatives of survival, reproduction and sense of being part of an ethnic group are embedded in religious belief—a rejection of what he sees as the deformity of Christian theology that occurred as a result of the Medieval papal reforms discussed above. Fraser therefore takes Frank Salter to task for developing a theory of ethnic interests based solely on “mature Enlightenment values”—on reason rather than theology.[6]

Fraser does not see the future as a reconquest of lands once controlled by WASPs, but rather as the creation of WASPs as a diaspora people capable of retaining their ethnic and religious ties in a “postmodern archipelago.”

The Jewish Diaspora based on strong ethno-centrism and in-group altruism and ethnic networking thus becomes the implicit model for a WASP future. As he notes, the original Puritans also had many of the traits that define successful groups—the willingness to suppress individual goals for the good of the group by enacting laws that, for example, prohibited excessive profits.

Part Two deals with America as an experiment in WASP culture, and in particular with “the pathogenesis of Anglo-Saxon Anglophobia.” For Fraser, the pathogenesis starts with a rejection of the religious basis of Anglo-Saxon peoplehood. The entire concept of America independent of Britain is anathema: The American Revolution “suppressed the spirit of ethnoreligious loyalty owed by all British colonists to the blood and faith of Old England.”

Freed of the hereditary aristocracy and the religion of England, during the Jacksonian era, “the few remaining conservative influences in religion, politics, and law” were swept aside. The result was an exultant radical individualism in which every individual was to have direct, unmediated access to God. This radical individualism distrusted all manifestations of corporate power, including chartered private corporations, and Fraser agrees, writing that “a perversion of Christian theology permitted the modern business corporation to establish itself as a secular parody of the ecclesia.”

From a biocultural perspective, the most important consequence of the managerial revolution in corporate governance was the recasting of Anglo-American social character into a novel form, one particularly susceptible to Anglo-Saxon Anglophobia.

The corporation eventually metastasized into a monster “incapable of preserving either the class boundaries of the bourgeoisie or the ethnic character of the Anglo-American nation as a whole.” In the hands of recent and contemporary Anglo-Saxons, the modern business corporation is analogous to the “proposition nation” concept: merely a concatenation of contracts, with no ethnic character, although Fraser is quick to note that corporations dominated by other groups do not lose their ethnic character.

The American Revolution is still “a work in progress.” There have been three transformations thus far: the Constitutional Republic dating from the American Revolution to the Civil War and based on political decentralization, liberty, and egalitarianism; the Bourgeois Republic resulting from the victory of the North in the Civil War and lasting until FDR, typified by the 14th Amendment and a large increase in federal power; and the Managerial/Therapeutic leviathan since that period, characterized by even greater concentration of power at the federal level, combined now with energetic attempts to change the attitudes of Americans in a liberal and eventually in an Anglophobic direction. None of these were explicitly Anglo-Saxon Protestant: even at the outset, “the Anglo-Saxon character of the Constitutional Republic was merely implicit” [emphasis in original]. The fourth, as yet unrealized, republic is slated to be the Transnational Republic where all traces of White domination have been erased and WASPs have become “a shrinking and despised minority.”

For Fraser, the leveling, egalitarian tendencies of the Constitutional Republic went much too far because they fundamentally opposed the aristocratic Indo-European tripartite model which resulted in a leisured aristocracy:

A natural social order dating from time out of mind had been leveled. The egalitarian sense that every free man must participate in labor now outlawed “invidious” social distinctions between those who worked, those who prayed, and those who fought. It also aggravated the growing split between the North and South. Both the celebration of work and the disparagement of idleness made “the South with its leisured aristocracy supported by slavery even more anomalous than it had been at the time of the Revolution.” Combined with the anti- institutional fervor of evangelical revivalism, the democratic ideology of free labor eventually lent its mass appeal to a multi-pronged crusade against Negro slavery… . The conquest and destruction of the Old South marked the second phase of the permanent American Revolution.

The triumph of the North in the Civil War meant that the U.S. was even further removed from its Indo-European roots than before. Congruent with his sympathies for the aristocratic culture of the South as far more compatible with traditional Indo-European social organization, Fraser is unapologetic about slavery: “Not only could a strong scriptural case be made in favor of slavery but a strict construction of the Constitution also favored the pro-slavery argument.”

The result of Lincoln’s victory was that limits on federal power “were swept aside by executive decree and military might”:

By crushing the southern states, Lincoln fatally weakened the federal principle; his arbitrary exercise of emergency powers laid the foundations for executive dictatorship whenever exceptional circumstances justify the suspension of constitutional liberties. The war was an exercise in constitutional duplicity; the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 18 6 8 was accomplished only by means of blatant fraud and military coercion. Nonetheless, once securely enshrined in the Constitution, the amendment provided both the Second [i.e., Bourgeois] Republic and the Third [i.e., Managerial/Therapeutic] Republic with their formal constitutional warrant. … By the standard of the First (Federal) Republic, the Fourteenth Amendment was unconstitutional. But, despite some initial resistance, the legal priesthood of the Republic soon elevated the amendment to the status of sacred writ.

Following the Civil War, there were disagreements among elite Anglo-Saxon intellectuals on race and the ability to successfully absorb the former slaves. For the race realists, Fraser emphasizes William Graham Sumner, a social Darwinist, who thought that social class divisions and competition were part of the natural order of things. Writing in 1903, he noted that “the two races live more independently of each other now than they did” during the slave era. But during the same period, self-styled WASP “progressives,” like Supreme Court Justice John Harlan, “labored ceaselessly to promote the egalitarian myth of the color-blind constitution.”

This was also the period when immigrants from eastern and southern Europe were flooding the country, threatening to change its identity. For a time, at least, the forces of Anglo-Saxon ethnic defense, spearheaded by New England intellectuals like Madison Grant, Lothrop Stoddard, and Edward A. Ross in alliance with the South and West, won out, culminating in the short-lived victory of the immigration law of 1924.

Fraser sees the Managerial/Therapeutic Republic as flatly unconstitutional. The original constitution has been jettisoned to the point that it has no relationship to the actual structure and operation of the federal government. A new managerial class, first described by James Burnham, had come to power. The result is a “multiracialist managerial revolution” that is “an explicitly post-Christian civil religion;

a free-floating Constitutionalism has displaced the implicitly Anglo-Saxon Protestantism of the first ‘white man’s country.’ Since the New Deal … the myth of the Constitution has been severed from its biocultural roots in Anglo-Saxon Christendom.”

Anglo-Saxons have abdicated their leading role to a rainbow coalition of groups, including Jews, Blacks, and Catholics, feminists, and homosexuals.

In Part Three, Fraser concludes with his prescription for the future of Anglo-Saxons. While acknowledging the difficulty of the task, Fraser hopes that WASPs will rediscover themselves as an ethno-nation by rallying around a redefined British monarchy and the Christian tradition: Crown, Church, and Country. Following 18th-century political philosopher Henry St. John, Viscount of Bolingbroke, Fraser advocates a “Patriot King come to deliver them from evil, seizing victory from the jaws of defeat.” The king will be a living icon, inspiring but without real power. He envisions a diaspora where the Anglo-Saxons are given formal recognition as a group and are able to form their own autonomous institutions with “binding norms of in-group solidarity”—in effect governing themselves as traditional Jewish diaspora groups (i.e., Orthodox and Hasidic Jews) have always done. As with Jewish groups, the result would be a global network—a network that will be indispensable in what Fraser sees as a “New Dark Age” of global disorder about to engulf the world. This impending “Long Emergency” of “catastrophe and collapse” can only be negotiated by groups with strong ethnic and cultural ties and a willingness to engage in within-group altruism. In this new age, the Anglican Church will play a central role: “The next Protestant Reformation must recall the Anglican Church to its original mission to shepherd the Anglo-Saxon race into the Kingdom of God.”

Fraser has done an extraordinary job in charting the outline and key turning points in the history of the Anglo- Saxons, and the decline of the West more generally. I agree with Frank Salter, whose comments are reproduced on the cover, that Fraser provides “a fresh analysis of the ethno-religious foundations of the English people.… Agree or disagree with Andrew Fraser’s prescriptions, his combination of originality and scholarship deserves to find a place in literature dealing with ethnicity, nationalism, constitutional history, biosocial science, and advocacy for Anglo-Saxon ethnic identity and biocultural continuity. Be prepared to read, reread, and ponder.”

What follows are some of my own ponderings.

The Non-unitary Ethnic Basis of Anglo-Saxons

I agree with Fraser that the fundamental break in the history of the Anglo-Saxons is the rise of the Puritans and the overthrow of the primeval Indo-European social order in England, to be followed eventually by other European societies. Fraser correctly notes the strong egalitarian tendencies of the Puritans. As noted elsewhere[7], however, these egalitarian tendencies are far more compatible with the hunter- gatherer model of European origins than the Indo-European warrior elite model. So the question is where these strong egalitarian tendencies came from. My proposal is that these tendencies toward egalitarian individualism, which characterize the peoples of Europe, particularly northern Europe, date from the Ice Ages and existed prior to the Indo- European invasions in the 4th millennium BC. This analysis is compatible with relatively small income- and social-class differences characteristic of Scandinavian society throughout its history, including the absence of serfdom during the Middle Ages—a pattern that reflects a hunter-gatherer model far more than an aristocratic model.

Fraser is certainly aware of differences among the Anglo-Saxons—he several times cites David Hackett Fischer’s classic Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America[8]; but he does not see them as ethnic differences. In this regard it is noteworthy that, as Fischer notes, the elitist, hierarchical model of the West Saxons was already apparent in southwest England dating from at least the 9th century. This group had large estates with lower-middle class servi and villani— essentially slaves.

As Fraser notes, the perception of the newly liberated classes after the English Revolution was that “Old England had been steeped in slavery,” and they had no desire to return to that. It is easy to romanticize the tripartite Indo-European social form, but the problem is that the aristocratic model did result in exploitation, and “those who worked” often reasonably resented the powers and riches of “those who fought” and their oftentimes unholy alliance with “those who prayed.”

My view is that the Puritans exemplify the egalitarian-individualist trend of Western society dating from before the imposition of the Indo-European model tripartite model. As Fraser is well aware, Puritan culture does not at all fit the warrior elite model. Puritans produced “a civic culture of high literacy, town meetings, and a tradition of freedom,” distinguished from other British groups by their “comparatively large ratios of freemen and small numbers of servi and villani[9]—phenomena quite the opposite of the Indo-European aristocratic model. These patterns date from Anglo- Saxon prehistory.

One may deplore the passing of the aristocratic model, as Fraser does, but it’s quite clear that in any case, one must attempt to understand the dominant Puritan influence on WASP culture as a pre-condition for an analysis of contemporary WASP pathology. Briefly, my take is that this subgroup is highly intelligent (e.g., they established Harvard and other elite universities shortly after arriving in America), innovative (as Charles Murray shows[10], inventors derived from the northern European peoples are responsible for a hugely disproportionate number of the important inventions that define the modern era), and capable of producing high-trust societies based on individual reputation rather than kinship relationships. Fraser deplores their materialism, their rational approach to the world, and their concern with worldly success. He is quite correct that in the absence of a strong sense of ethnic cohesion and loyalty, these traits certainly become components of ethnic suicide; but they resulted in extraordinarily successful economies that have been the envy of the world.

Whereas the aristocratic-egalitarian military group was based on the comitatus model emphasizing cohesion and loyalty as a result of fealty to a successful leader, the Puritan model for cohesion was the creation of a morally defined in-group.[11] These two models are thus variants on the individualist theme. The Puritans famously imposed penalties on people who departed from the moral/ideological strictures of the society. Puritan “ordered liberty” was the freedom to act within the confines of the moral order. This might be called the “paradox of individualism”: In order to form cohesive groups, individualists have at times erected strong social controls on individual behavior in order to promote group cohesion. They were also willing to incur great costs to impose their moral/ideological version of truth: Puritans were prone to “altruistic punishment,”[12] defined as punishment of people who depart from the moral-ideological consensus that costs the punisher. And for the secular-minded descendants of the Puritans in the 19th century, slavery and the aristocratic model of Southern society were anathema to the point that their destruction warranted huge sacrifices.

The logic connecting these tendencies to the individualist hunter-gather model is obvious: Like all humans in a dangerous and difficult world, hunter-gatherers need to develop cohesive, cooperative ingroups. But rather than base them on known kinship relations, the prototypical egalitarian-individualist groups of the West are based on reputation and trust. Egalitarian-individualists create moral-ideological communities in which those who violate public trust and other manifestations of the moral order are shunned, ostracized, and exposed to public humiliation—a fate that would have resulted in evolutionary death during the harsh ecological period of the Ice Age—the same fate as the derelict father who refused to provision his children.

The point here, and I am sure that Fraser would agree, is that the culture of the West as it developed in the modern era owes much more to the egalitarian individualism model of the Puritans than to the Indo-European model of aristocratic individualism.

Beyond Puritans and Cavaliers

Fraser is certainly aware of differences among different WASP groups, and thus far, the discussion has emphasized the Cavalier-descended Southern aristocratic culture and the Puritan-descended elite that became dominant, especially after the Civil War. Besides these groups, David Hackett Fischer discusses two other British groups: the Quakers, who are even more universalist and egalitarian than the Puritans, but nowhere near as culturally influential or economically dominant; and the Scots-Irish, who came from Northern England, Ulster, and the lowlands of Scotland. This group had a great deal of influence on culture of the American South and West. Fraser is surely right that the Puritan-descended WASP elite that dominated the board rooms and the elite universities have lost their religious faith, and what is left of it is little more than a mild version of cultural Marxism; they have generally succumbed to the destructive forces of the new cultural dispensation. This is not the case with the descendants of the Scots-Irish. Fischer describes their “prevailing cultural mode as profoundly conservative and xenophobic”;[13] historically, they detested both the Cavalier-descended planters and the Puritan-descended abolitionists. “In the early twentieth century they would become intensely negrophobic and antisemitic. In our own time they are furiously hostile to both communists and capitalists.”

There is some indication that they were less individualistic than other groups originating in England: to an extent far greater than their Puritan co-ethnics, they were more involved in clan relationships of extended families rather than merely lineal descent.“Marriage ties were weaker than blood ties,” and there was a tendency to marry within the extended family—both markers of greater collectivism.

The Scots-Irish certainly have not lost their faith. They showed “intense hostility to organized churches and established clergy on the one hand and [an] abiding interest in religion on the other.” They rejected the Anglican Church, religious taxes, and established clergy, but for all that, they were intensely and emotionally religious. Indeed, this group is the main force behind the culture of the American Bible Belt—the religious fundamentalism that is such an important aspect of contemporary American politics. They are, indeed, socially conservative and a great many of them are involved in the angry protests of the Tea Party movement. They are the epitome of implicit Whiteness,[14] flocking to White cultural events like NASCAR racing and gun shows.

The problem is that, along with the rest of White America, they are channelled by the media, federal government, legal system, and their own religious leaders to be silent on the matter of race; moreover, quite often their brand of evangelical religion is decidedly pro-Israel, which makes them avid supporters of the foreign-policy programs of the Israel lobby and the Republican Party (as defined by the Jewish dominated “neoconservatives.”) Nevertheless, this group of WASPs is likely to be a thorn in the side of the elites well into the future.

Rationality

Fraser deplores the rationalist tendencies of WASP culture because they ultimately undermined religion and ultimately the Anglo-Saxon ethno-nation.[15] Thus, Fraser sees scholastic philosophy, which was heavily influenced by Aristotle, as leading to “the divorce of God from man.” Darwin’s “bleak and disenchanted vision” was simply the endpoint of a centuries-long process that displaced God from the Western mind, rendering Westerners defenseless against the onslaught of other peoples.

However, I would argue that the rationality of Anglo-Saxons is just as fundamental as the irrational, emotional and religious aspects. As Ricardo Duchesne points out, one aspect of European uniqueness originated with the Greeks, who invented scientific reasoning by offering explanations of natural events that were entirely general. Duchesne defends Max Weber’s claim that, far more than any other civilization, the West exhibited a greater level of rationalization of all aspects of life. He comments on the greater extent to which “social activities involving the calculation of alternate means to a given end were rationalized, and in the higher degree to which theoretical beliefs about the nature of the universe, life, and God were rationalized through the use of definitions, theorems, and concepts.”[16]

There are deep relationships between rationality and individualism: individualists are prone to seeing the world in universalist terms, objectively and without biases resulting from in-group allegiances. This accounts for the strong tendency for moral universalism in Western philosophy, and as Weber notes, this rationalistic stance predisposes the West to create rational bureaucracies “managed by specialized and trained officials in accordance with impersonal and universal statuses and regulations formulated and recorded in writing.”[17]

It is certainly the case that this proneness to universalism and rationalism can result in failure to defend the legitimate particularlistic ethnic interests of the West in the name of universalist ideals. That is, indeed, what we are seeing now. However, there is no question that particularist ethnic interests are defensible from a rational, scientific perspective.[18]

Indeed, the WASP ethnic defense of the 1920s, resulting in the Immigration Restriction Law of 1924, was energized partly by an intellectual understanding of Darwinism and race, not by a religious sensibility. The strong emphasis on rationality meant that public discourse on immigration policy in the 1920s necessarily took place in an atmosphere where scientific ideas and rational discourse had pride of place. The basic argument of the restrictionists was that all groups in the country had legitimate interests in retaining their share of the national population, including Whites (or, more accurate in the case of Madison Grant and the eugenicists, Nordics).[19]

Nevertheless, for Fraser, the rational basis of the WASP ethnic defense was why it ultimately failed:

Lost altogether was the primordial understanding that Anglo-Saxon identity is inseparable from the blood faith of a Christian people. Once American political theology fell under the influence of scientific modernism, racial realists lost interest in the ethnoreligious traditions of Anglo-Saxon Christendom… . Scientific racism… bore the stamp of a soulless and self-defeating materialism. Racial realism was too cold and aloof to regenerate a sense of ethnoreligious solidarity among Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It left middle-class Americans unable to decide whether they were simply whites, or one of several more exotic breeds such as the Nordics, Aryans, or Caucasians. Lacking firm roots in the historical literature and popular culture of a folk religion, in ancestral myths of heroism, chivalry, and romantic love, Anglo-Saxon racial solidarity had little purchase within the collective machinery of social control that increasingly governed industrial America.

The WASP ethnic defense doubtless had emotional roots (more apparent in the non-Puritan-descended Anglo- Saxons of the West and South), but it was justified in a scientific, rational manner. The ultimate defeat of the WASP ethnic defense occurred because of the rise of the “Culture of Critique”—particularly Boasian anthropology, the Frankfurt School, and the general academic culture of the left.

It is probable that the decline in evolutionary and biological theories of race and ethnicity facilitated the sea change in immigration policy brought about by the 19 65 law. As Higham (19 84) notes, by the time of the final victory in 19 65, which removed national origins and racial ancestry from immigration policy and opened up immigration to all human groups, the Boasian perspective of cultural determinism and anti-biologism had become standard academic wisdom. The result was that “it became intellectually fashionable to discount the very existence of persistent ethnic differences. The whole reaction deprived popular race feelings of a powerful ideological weapon” (Higham 19 84, 58–59). Jewish intellectuals were prominently involved in the movement to eradicate the racialist ideas of Grant and others.[20]

In other words, the failure of WASP ethnic defense occurred because the high ground in rational, scientific debate had been seized by Jews as ethnic competitors. Note also John Higham’s point that the intense emotions felt by the restrictionists eventually failed because of the failure of restrictionist science. In the absence of an intellectually legitimate grounding, the WASP ethnic defense was doomed.

This is an incredibly important object lesson for contemporary attempts to defend White interests: We must be able to seize the rational, scientific high ground because that is essential to public debate in Western societies and ultimately to the emotional commitment of Whites to a sense of having group interests as Whites—in other words, to their very survival. In my view, a well-grounded scientific understanding of White genetic interests that rationalizes the intense natural motives of ethnic affiliation is likely to be far more effective in rallying Whites, especially elite Whites, than religious feelings. As Fraser is all too well aware, the story of religious feeling in the modern age has been to either sink into irrelevance for secular Whites (who are likely to be more educated) or be diverted into causes that are suicidal for religious Whites.

Jewish Influence

Fraser is quite aware of the ethnocentric aspect of Judaism and Jewish hostility toward Christianity. Indeed, I agree with his comment that “for most Jews … inveterate hostility toward Christianity is more important to their collective identity than ‘solidarity with Israel.’” Moreover, Fraser is not unaware of Jewish influence. He has a nice comment on Felix Adler’s universalist Ethical Culture society which promoted Anglo-Saxon cosmopolitanism and ethnic disappearance while promising that Jews would lose their ethnic coherence only after everyone else had done so. This sentiment—actually a mainstream ideology among Reform Jews of the period—would put off the sacrifice of their own ethnicity until “the arrival of a ‘post-ethnic’ utopia.” He credits them as “major players in the design and execution of the new constitutional order” underlying the New Deal. He also has a nice section of the Jewish campaign to rid the public square of any trace of Christianity.

Fraser also asks whether the abdication of the WASP has really resulted in a better society now that it is dominated by “an increasingly corrupt corporate plutocracy in which Ivy League Jews are heavily over-represented… . Worse still, Jewish elites harbor a deep-seated animus toward the Christian faith professed by most Americans.” And he notes the hypocrisy whereby “the Jewish civil religion explicitly disallows the desire of both Anglo-Saxon Protestants and ethnic Catholics to live in predominantly European Christian societies. At the same time organized Jewry loudly insists that Israel’s character as an explicitly Jewish state must be preserved and protected.” Moreover, Fraser notes that “ethnocentric Jewish elites bear a large, unacknowledged (but glaringly obvious, to those with eyes to see) share of responsibility” for militant Islam, moral decline, financial collapse and economic depression.

Nevertheless, he fails to deal with the Culture of Critique—Jewish intellectual domination, their very large influence on the media and the political process, and their role in promoting massive immigration of non-Whites which, after all, is the root of the entire problem.[21] As noted above, the triumph of the Jewish intellectual elite after WWII spelled the death knell of the WASP ethnic defense that culminated in the immigration law of 1924. The organized Jewish community was also pivotal in promoting massive non-White immigration beginning with their triumph of the 1965 immigration law. WASPs indeed have their weaknesses. But in the absence of the rise of a hostile Jewish elite, there is no reason to suppose that America would now be confronted with 100,000,000 non-Whites, many harboring historical grudges against Whites, and under threat to have a non-White majority in the foreseeable future.[22]

Whites Versus WASPs

Fraser’s appeal is to WASPs, not the “dangerously over-inclusive racial phenotype” of White. But, as he notes, “in the first ‘white man’s country,’ age-old ethnic differences between English, Scotch-Irish, Scots, Welsh, German and French Huguenot colonists literally paled into insignificance.” Fraser argues that the concept of Whiteness “always implied the inherent equality of anyone passing” for White, a logic that repelled conservatives, who were attracted to the talented members of other races and capitalists who cared more about the cost of their workers than their race. Fraser advises WASPs to shed the label of “White” in favor of “reasserting their ancestral identity as Anglo- Saxons.”

I do think that different White subgroups should continue to remain separate, particularly in Europe where it would be a very large loss to lose the different languages and cultures of the various European groups. Even in the United States, it is nice to see celebrations of Scottish, Irish, and other European cultures by their descendants.

However, it would be foolish indeed to organize politically solely on the basis of these sub-groups. The term “White” in the American political context refers to all 200 million people of European descent—a very large and politically powerful group, whereas the descendants of Anglo-Saxon Protestants are a much smaller group. The obvious strategy is to legitimize a sense of White identity and White interests in the current climate, dominated as it is by elites hostile to the traditional White peoples and White culture of America. Having an identity qua White need not compromise identifications with sub-groups of Whites. There are important differences among these groups, as emphasized in this review. However, we are all quite closely related—indeed, Europeans are the most genetically homogeneous continental group on Earth. And we should all have a sense of our common cultural heritage, spanning from the Classical Age to the Italian Renaissance to German Romanticism to the English drama.

Such a rational construction of our ethnic interests in the contemporary world is therefore not without a strong biological basis of near kinship, but also carries with it an intense emotional appreciation of the common European culture and its accomplishments. My hope is that these two strands can eventually win the day, despite the current very large threat to our people and culture.


KEVIN MACDONALD is Professor of Psychology at California State University–Long Beach. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, as well as A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). He is Editor of The Occidental Observer and The Occidental Quarterly. Cultural Insurrections, a collection of essays, appeared in 2008.


  1. James Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).  ↩
  2. Berta Surees Phillipotts, Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After: A Study in the Sociology of the Teutonic Races (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913).  ↩
  3. 3 See Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), Chapters 4 and 7.  ↩
  4. Kevin MacDonald, “The Establishment and Maintenance of Socially Imposed Monogamy in Western Europe,” Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 14, 1995.  ↩
  5. Ricardo Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2011).  ↩
  6. Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethny, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2006).  ↩
  7. Kevin MacDonald, “Review of Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.” The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 11 (3), Fall, 2011, pp. 47–74.  ↩
  8. David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1989).  ↩
  9. Kevin Phillips, Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare and the Triumph of Anglo-America (New York: Basic Books, 1999), p. 26. See also MacDonald, “Review of Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.”  ↩
  10. Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 8 00 B.C. to 1950 (New York: Harper Perennial, 2004).  ↩
  11. Kevin MacDonald, “American Transcendentalism: An Indigenous Culture of Critique.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8, Summer 2008, pp. 91–106.  ↩
  12. E. Fehr & S. Gächter, “Altruistic Punishment in Humans,” Nature 415, 2002, pp. 137–140.  ↩
  13. Fischer, Albion’s Seed, Ibid.  ↩
  14. Kevin MacDonald, “Psychology and White Ethnocentrism.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 6 (4), Winter, 2006–07, pp. 7–46.  ↩
  15. See. Kevin MacDonald, “Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement,” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 4, Summer 2004, pp. 1–18; “The Neoconservative Mind.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8 (3), Fall 2008, pp. 1–18.  ↩
  16. Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, p. 248.  ↩
  17. Ibid., p 249  ↩
  18. Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests.  ↩
  19. Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), Chapter 7.  ↩
  20. MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, pp. 252–253. The inner quotations are to: Carl Degler, In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); John Higham, Send These to Me: Immigrants in Urban America, rev. ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984).  ↩
  21. MacDonald, The Culture of Critique.  ↩
  22. See my review of Eric P. Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America; The Occidental Observer, July 29, 2009: http://www. theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Kaufmann.html (accessed May 1, 2012).  ↩
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Steven Spielberg’s Masterpiece of Kitsch

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a film that suffers from some of the worst tendencies of the schmaltzy and declining Steven Spielberg. I will contend, nevertheless, that this cryptic work is, in its way, one of the most ambitious and disturbing efforts of two cinematic masters.

The film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), a Stanley Kubrick conception that was midwifed into existence by Steven Spielberg after the former’s passing, was met with favorable, though mixed reviews upon its release. American moviegoers, probably expecting the kinder, gentler fare more characteristic of Spielberg’s defining works, were often nonplussed by what many found to be an odd and gloomy film. A.I. has, to a large extent, been forgotten, by both fans of Spielberg and Kubrick. Generally, I can’t disagree with this popular consensus; A.I. is an odd film, indeed. It is flawed in execution and suffers from some of the worst tendencies of the schmaltzy and declining Spielberg. I will contend, nevertheless, that this cryptic work is, in its way, one of the most ambitious and disturbing efforts of two cinematic masters.

Released in 2001, A.I. was visually spectacular, and it remains one of the more successful attempts at integrating CGI with live action. The film’s deeper meaning, however, is revealed through its plotting and symbology; to understand this, one should revisit its storyline, which fluctuates between futurism and fairytale.

A.I. is set in a world where the icecaps have melted due to manmade global warming. This has caused catastrophic global flooding and changes in weather patterns. As a result, most of the important coastal cities have been lost to the advancing sea, and populations have retreated inland. These changes have also led to a dearth of resources that has annihilated Third World societies. The survivors of the First World live in a civilization that is, on the one hand, full of techno gadgets and utopian material advances and, on the other, still scared by ecological and social collapse.

To meet labor demands, Westerners have invested in the development of highly advanced robots, which require much less resource to sustain than humans. Increasingly, these robots have come to closely resemble human beings, not only in appearance but in their ability to process reality.

The film follows the travails of one particular robot, or “Mecha,” named David (who’s played by the remarkable child actor Haley Joel Osment). David is a sort of “Adam,” a prototype designed to possess a true human sentience or, as described by his creators, “the [genuine] ability to love.”

David is introduced into a human family as a surrogate child. It is a family whose only son has been rendered comatose, suffering from a seemingly incurable condition. David, as programed, develops a strong emotional attachment to his human mother, and the mother, to him. One day, the family’s human child miraculously recovers and, when he returns home, a sort of sibling rivalry ensues between robot and boy. (In this rivalry, the human boy emerges as the the real villain; David, as designed, is nothing if not guileless, innocent, and kind.)

As part of this rivalry, the human child maliciously and subtly teases David by introducing him to the fable of Pinocchio, in which a puppet is turned into a real boy by “the Blue Fairy.” A seed is planted in David’s mind, and, unable to distinguish fairytale from reality, the robot concludes that if only he could find the Blue Fairy, he could be made human—and thus be loved by his mother in the same way she loves her flesh and blood.

Eventually, David unwittingly proves himself a safety hazard to his human sibling, and the decision is made to destroy the robot. However, the mother of the family is unable to execute the plan because of David’s uncanny likeness to a real child; she instead sets him free in a nearby wood. Devastated with grief, she imparts these final words of advice: “Stay away from Flesh Fairs. Stay away from all people… . Only Mechas are safe.” (The mother seems aware of the “inhumanity” of her people when compared to the gentleness of robots.)

Abandoned and alone, David clings fast to his hope of one day becoming a real boy and returning to his mother. Hence begins David’s quest for the Blue Fairy and his journey through a human civilization in deep crisis.

Despite his human mother’s warning, David is soon captured by a wild vigilante gang of humans. He is placed in an “Anti-Mecha Flesh Fair,” an event in which obsolete and unlicensed (undocumented?) robots are destroyed on stage in front of cheering throngs of humans.

While imprisoned and awaiting destruction, the naïve David asks his fellow robots for an explanation of what is happening. “History repeats itself!” is the answer he receives from a wizened old model, who goes on to explain that their persecution is a consequence of a conflict between “electricity and blood.” Here, David also meets his companion for much of the rest of the film, “Gigolo Joe,” a robot played brilliantly by Jude Law.

The anti-Mecha humans are a vaguely Midwestern and lower-middle-class lot (the tone of the setting is like that of a Country Music concert or tractor pull). They are led by a demagogue, who tells the crowd that it is the intention of the societal elite to replace humans with ever more sophisticated robots (a fear that will be dramatically vindicated). When it is David’s turn to be liquidated, he pleas for mercy: “Don’t burn me! Don’t burn me!” Both his cries and his uncanny similarity to a real boy sway the crowd, which demands he be spared. David (along with Gigolo Joe) thus barely evade being made a holocaust in the humans’ crude ritual. In a sort of “civil rights” moment for robots, the rabble rises up against its demagogic ringleader, allowing David and Gigolo Joe an opportunity to escape the pogrom.

Mecha at the Flesh Fair Mecha at the Flesh Fair

I don’t use the word “holocaust” frivolously. Is is an ancient Biblical term meaning “a sacrificial offering that is burned completely on an altar,” and, within the context of this scene and the film, Spielberg is likely evoking images of sacrificial offerings as well as the “Holocaust” of the Second World War.

Like David, Joe was also designed as a playmate, only he is for adults. In A.I.’s version of Sodom and Gomorrah, “Rouge City,” Gigolo Joe was employed as a sex toy for lonely middle-aged women. Joe’s “game” is, of course, crass and degenerate; but Spielberg also make clear that Joe represents a kind of upgrade on humanity. In Joe’s words, “Once you’ve had a lover robot, You’ll never want a real man again.”

Joe makes a point of relating this truth to David in front of a kitschy Catholic Church ensconced in the sin of Rogue City. According to Joe, the mortal women (shiksas?) go to the Church to seek their Creator, yet when they emerge, they invariably seek out Gigolo Joe for more earthly salvation. Importantly, the reason the robotic duo had stopped in front of the church is because David mistook an image of the Virgin Mary for the magical Blue Fairy. It is a comparison, I am certain, Spielberg makes quite deliberately.

Gigolo Joe is on the run from the law and is scheduled for imprisonment (he was framed by a jealous human for the murder of one of his return clients). And his words of wisdom to David regarding humans are similar in sentiment to the advice David received from his human mother: “They hate us, you know. The humans. And will stop at nothing to destroy us.” When David insists that Joe is wrong and that his mother loves him, Joe corrects him: “She loves what you do for her. As my customers love what I do for them. But she does not love you. You are neither flesh, nor blood.”[1] Joe continues,

They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us. That’s why they hate us…

Despite his “sexbot” appearance, Joe makes a profound and prophetic assessment—and one that is the key to understanding A.I. The root of human hatred of robots is not so much fear as envy—envy of a superior “humanity.” Joe also foresees that the meek Mecha will inherit the earth. (Despite all this, David holds fast to the feeling that his human mother loves him and insists on continuing his quest to find the Blue Fairy.)

Later in the film, when Joe is finally captured by the authorities and being hauled away for extermination, he identifies himself, cryptically, to David: “I am.” Then, comically, as he is dragged away: “I was.” (This is not the only place in the film in which the dialogue and imagery shift away from sci-fi realism and take on a kind of fairly tale or esoteric hue.)

This expression “I am,” uttered as a self-identification, has a very specific religious meaning. It is the name that God uses to identify himself to Moses in the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 3:14), and it is a frequent expression in the Torah as the name of God. The Jewish conception of God is that God is synonymous, first and foremost, with the Jewish people; hence every Jew is also God (or a part of him). Is Gigolo Joe identifying himself as a Jew? Perhaps metaphorically … unless, of course, the robots are the metaphor.

Eventually, David’s quest for the Blue Fairy ends when he encounters her in the form of a statue amid the submerged ruins of the Coney Island amusement park. There he sits in a submersible vehicle, baptized by the ocean, vainly praying to this watery siren (an “idol,” which you’ll remember, has already been explicitly compared to the Virgin Mary). Alas, his innate nature is such that a “conversion” is impossible.

David's devotion David’s devotion

Two thousand years pass—the length of time between the birth of Christ and the making of the film—and the ocean freezes around him … as he prays, endlessly, hoping to become “real.”

After the ice age, David is excavated by a race of highly evolved Mecha. They are, in fact, Mecha descended from David’s own race of robots. Two thousand years later, carbon-based civilization has been replaced by silicon. Intriguingly, much like the aliens of Close Encounters of a Third Kind, in physical form, these advanced robots tend to remind one of emaciated prison-camp inmates, with an aura of both long suffering and benevolence.

The Aliens of *Close Encounters of the Third Kind* The Aliens of *Close Encounters of the Third Kind*

Soon it is revealed that humans have gone extinct. Anti-Mecha fears and Joe’s prophecies have proven accurate. Effectively, humans birthed a species that became better than themselves through scientific (or religious and “ethical”?) development. Man lost a competition for dominance in much the same way species may develop a subspecies of itself through mutation, and then lose a struggle for survival against it.

Tapping into David’s memories, these evolved Mecha are able to recreate the setting of his human home. They are even able, at his request, to resurrect his human mother through the DNA of one of her locks of hair (which David’s teddy bear companion has preserved). The rub: she’ll only last a day, at the end of which she’ll die. In a scene suggestive of rabbinical counseling, an advanced Mecha gently explains to David the terms of this interaction before gaining his consent. The ensuing scenes, where loving mother and loving child spend their last joyous but fleeting day together, like a macabre cereal commercial, are undoubtedly Spielberg at his most mawkish and manipulative.

When the mother passes away into oblivion at the end of the day, little David lies next to her in bed (in what, in Freudian terms, could be seen as an Oedipal victory over an absent father). David drifts off to sleep, suggesting that he has finally become a real boy … a mortal … which means that he, too, will cease to exist. As the narrator describes it: “And for the first time in his life, he went to where dreams are born.”

In embracing Mother—humanity, the Blue Fairy, the Virgin Mary—David has converted to a faith that promises a selfish personal afterlife, but which will ensure he does not inherit the earth, as do others of his kind.

So what has just happened here?

Is A.I. merely another cautionary tale of technological development gone amok? Is it merely an arty variation of “robot apocalypse” movies like James Cameron’s Terminator series?[2]

Or is there, as one strongly senses, a deeper metaphor at work? Who are these manmade robots? These rejected and cast-out Golems, who—unlike the Golems of Rabbinic fables (among whom Adam and Eve are included)—prove more intelligent and divine than their creators? Who are these beings that are both irresistible saints and irresistible entertainers (and smarter, more industrious and productive workers, endlessly capable of adapting, “progressing,” and evolving)? Who are these descendants of “David,” prophesied to inherit the earth while all other nations of man are cursed by God are destroyed (and destroyed in a flood of Biblical proportions)?

And what are we to make of the striking Anglo-ness of Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment? Is this casting simply an effort to more deeply conceal an esoteric message? Or is it an abstruse form of scapegoating (much like that carried out by the Gentile Martin Scorsese in the film The Wolf of Wall Street, in which Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jordan Belfort)? (The term “scapegoating” derives from the ancient Jewish practice of figuratively placing the sins of the tribe onto a goat and then sacrificing the animal. Thus the goat, like Christ, dies for the tribe’s sins, thereby absolving it.) Or perhaps this casting speaks to how “robots” have come to so closely resemble “humans,” though not, as we learn, in their ultimate evolution? (Or maybe Spielberg simply wanted to get butts in the seats by casting cute actors?)

Whatever the case, Spielberg (using images and ideas from Kubrick) has created a work of potentially great longevity (despite its current obscurity), largely because he has imbued A.I. with esoteric elements analogous to those in Wagner’s Ring of the Niebelung, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and the ancient myths of Scandinavia, Rome, Greece, and Judea.

A.I. is certainly not high art; nevertheless, I imagine that it will have a staying power, whereas better films will prove ephemeral. After all, when one reviews the Biblical oeuvre, one is struck by the innumerable instances of crude, convoluted, unimaginative, and simply soporific tales—which have, nevertheless, remained touchstones in Jewish and Occidental cultures because they are imbedded in peoples’ ethnic and religious understandings of themselves.

In other words, Spielberg and Kubrick have created a story with an exoteric value— that is, the sci-fi, CGI-laden, sentimental “entertainment” that is consumed by the masses—and one that simultaneously carries an esoteric meaning—which speaks to those parties with ears to hear.

Kubrick decided well before his death that he would not be the director of A.I., and he considered Spielberg’s aesthetic far better suited to dealing with a child-centered story (which, as mentioned, even includes a robotic teddy-bear). Certainly, the “coldness” in much of the film (at least in comparison to Spielberg’s other offerings) would have been greatly magnified had Kubrick helmed the project (and it would have likely turned off a great deal of the movie-going public). As a director, Kubrick’s interests were never in “humanizing” protagonists; his cinematic world is one of “de-humanization,” in which landscape, color, and abstract ideas overwhelm the drama. Kubrick was also a master at wryly and caustically satirizing his protagonists’ “authoritarian personalities” (most notably in Paths to Glory, Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket).

Spielberg, on the other hand, had E.T. on his résumé, the heart-warmer about a trans-galactic immigrant who was more “human” than the humans. (E.T. was also a parable, and, in retrospect, Spielberg’s rehearsal for A.I..) This was likely Kubrick’s real motivation for selecting Spielberg: to create a protagonist that audiences could feel deserved, in some way, to outlive humans. And certainly, handing the film to Spielberg gave Kubrick’s vision greater salience in the world: more eyes would see it, and thus more kindred minds might understand it. Additionally, if the film was, in fact, intended to carry the esoteric message I’ve suggested, Spielberg is a most subtle vehicle for delivering it. Kubrick is a darling of film buffs and academics, and his works are picked apart endlessly for possible esoteric meanings.[3] A Spielberg movie, on the other hand, is “just a movie,” that is, art that can be passively absorbed by audiences and critics without undergoing much deep analysis.

A.I. thus represents a rare synthesis: the originator of the film’s mythos and ideas—which are shocking and disturbing in unmediated form—had the self-awareness and honesty to hand the project off to another director who, though inferior as an artist, was much better skilled at imbuing the film with entertainment value and “innocence.” And it is fitting that Kubrick and Spielberg carried forth this work together, like Biblical scribes, as it is a story bigger than either one of them. The exoteric myth of A.I. is that of Pinocchio, the puppet who wants to become a real boy; the esoteric myth is that of Exodus, in which the Chosen People must flee a persecuting and degenerate society, which is, afterwards, destroyed by “God” or “I Am”.[4]

Those who wish for a rebirth of Occidental civilization would be wise to follow this example and learn the importance of collaboration—and of finding the right messenger. A.I. is a masterpieces of kitsch. Let us strive to make masterpieces of high art!


  1. In the midst of this tirade, one is tempted to wonder if Spielberg feels the same of his audiences, for whom he furnished entertainment, moral instruction, and enlightenment, even while, perhaps, believing himself to be envied and reviled by these very same ungrateful hypocrites.  ↩
  2. In these films, Cameron predicts that Austrian-accented Nazi robots will inherit the earth … quite a different vision to Spielberg’s!).  ↩
  3. Incidentally, A.I. compels another look at the more opaque 2001: A Space Odyssey.  ↩
  4. In this effort, Spielberg and Kubrick remind me of a less cohesive, less complementary version of the Cohen Brothers, who are, likewise, deeply convinced of shared goals and through a effective, close, and egoless collaboration have brought into the world works they feel serve a purpose larger than themselves.  ↩
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Tom Clancy’s American Dream

Tom Clancy’s books hearken back to the Indian summer of the historic American nation in the 1980s, when patriots imagined they battled godless Communists in a fight for the free world. But they also point the new to the grim reality—that the American government is warring against the American nation, that our technologically advanced military is defending an empty shell, and in the end, maybe we lost the Cold War after all.

Tom Clancy’s death means that Command Authority, released on December 3, will be the last book for the man who largely invented the military techno-thriller. Clancy generated a seemingly endless stream of material about heroic spies and soldiers making the world safe for democracy with futuristic weaponry and old-fashioned American ingenuity. Around the country, aging conservative men read stories about the adventures of Jack Ryan while their sons curse out other teenagers on Xbox 360 playing Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.

His impact on American culture was multigenerational. To older Americans, Clancy is best known as the author of the Jack Ryan series of books. The inspiration for this character had to have come from Clancy himself. Raised a bookish Roman Catholic, Tom Clancy volunteered to be an Army officer, but was rejected for service because of poor eyesight. Instead, he became an insurance salesman. Well into middle age, he wrote The Hunt for Red October, introducing the world to his alter ego.

Ryan was a super version of Clancy himself, with all his actual traits magnified. Jack Ryan is a faithful Catholic, a Marine officer, a financial expert who makes millions on Wall Street, and eventually an analyst from the CIA who leaves his desk to kick Communist ass in the field.

As Clancy may have seen himself in Ryan, so did Americans see what they wanted to see in the heroic CIA analyst. No less an authority than Ronald Reagan praised The Hunt for Red October. In future adventures, Ryan would rise to become National Security Adviser, Vice President, and eventually President of the United States. In these books, he would represent a kind of pro-military Reaganite conservatism, where patriots get the job done against America’s enemies, with liberals occasionally getting in their way.

Still, even though Jack Ryan fights against a President’s illegal war in Clear and Present Danger, there was a militaristic aggression in Ryan’s books that appeals to a certain kind of conservative. In Without RemorseJohn Clark murders criminals in American streets and even executes a Senate aide and antiwar activist who betrayed American POWs. President Ryan starts “The Campus,” an off-the-books intelligence agency that has 100 blank signed Presidential Pardons so they can execute the people who need to be executed. When the “United Islamic Republic” hits America with a terrorist attack, President Ryan shuts down transportation in the entire country, even though he has no authority to do so. When he blows up the opposing head of state with a missile, he makes sure it is aired to the entire world as part of his Presidential address.

Reporters are whiny eggheads who don’t understand what needs to be done to protect the country; foreigners are always plotting against American interests. Even Ryan’s political opponent, the nefarious and immoral “Ed Kealty” seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to the late Ted Kennedy. Interestingly, in Clancy’s fictional universe, Russia is a key ally of the United States (it even joins NATO), while China is a dangerous foe. Ryan recognizes the independence of Taiwan. The enemies are Communists, Arab terrorists, and even radical environmentalists. President Ryan even gives us a flat tax.

However, just like Glenn Beck or other “movement” conservatives, Ryan holds to a kind of raceless civil religion of Americanism where the overwhelming majority of Americans of all races are patriots loyal to Freedom, Flag, and Founding Fathers. 

There are still, however, White racists lurking in the shadows. . . . In Executive Orders, racist militia members plot against President Ryan, but are stopped before launching their attack. Ryan’s best friend in many of the books (and later his vice-President) is Robby Jackson, a Black Vice-Admiral, who later becomes President in his own right (the first Black President in Clancy’s alternative reality) . . . before being assassinated by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Incidentally, this is what allows the evil liberal Ed Kealty to become President. Ryan then fantasizes about killing the assassin. This may also be inspired by Clancy’s personal life, as his second wife (who remained with him until his death), was Alexandra Marie Llewellyn, daughter of J. Bruce Llewellyn, one of the first Black owners of a Coca-Cola bottling plant.

The problem of course is that even the raceless “Jack Ryan conservatism” is dependent on White privilege and racist cultural assumptions. Why, after all, should the non-White America identify with the history, heroes, heritage, and institutions of a country created by WASP slaveholders? Why not instead transfer loyalty to a global sense of anti-racism or liberal values?

In one of the films based on the Jack Ryan stories, one of his antagonists mocks him, saying, “You are such a Boy Scout!” Today, of course, the Boy Scouts are not a paragon of morality and straight-laced living, but a borderline hate group. More poignantly, when Ryan finally brings Captain Marko Ramius to America, Ramius quotes the words of Christopher Columbus, “The sea will grant each man new hope, the sleep brings dreams of home.” Ryan smiles and says, “Welcome to the New World, sir.” Certainly, one could never positively identify The Admiral of the Ocean Sea with America now, in the age of Indigenous People’s Day and mandated mourning that Europeans made it to America.

Rather than a symbol of the old America, Clancy’s legacy lives on in two ways. First, there is a new generation of techno-thrillers written by authors like Brad Thor. These continue to perpetuate an image of America serving as a “Global Force for Good” in a dangerous world.

Secondly, and more importantly, Clancy lives on in the wave of video games and cultural appropriation of military lingo in pop culture, especially through his Splinter Cell series. Even as the military becomes ever more remote from the lives of most Americans, millions (of all political persuasions) sit on the couch to blast away and play soldier from the comfort of their own home. As Call of Duty: Black Ops puts it, there’s a soldier in all of us.

As America’s legions bomb all around the globe and her soldiers and Marines continue to die in the field for seemingly unknown purposes, American culture has grown more militaristic (just look at our police). However, this militarism is divorced from a sense of national identity, culture, or even pride. It is militarism for militarism’s sake. You can even fantasize about being an “operative” in your new “Brad Thor Alpha Jacket.” In both the new techno-thrillers and the fantasies of Generation Kill, American power is strangely disconnected from anything resembling an actually existing American nation. Instead, we’re just a big collection of Diversity living in the same place, united by terrifying weapons.

In The Hunt for Red October, a Soviet officer speaks hopefully about the possibilities of living in Montana, where he can raise rabbits, get an American wife to cook them for him, and drive around the country with “no papers” in a “pickup truck.” He also hopes he can live in Arizona in winter.

It’s probably better Captain 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin is killed before he makes it to America. The Department of Agriculture’s armed response team would raid his farm and demand paperwork for the rabbits; his American wife would divorce him after attending a Gender Studies class; he’d be inspected by the TSA driving around the country; and if he rediscovered Orthodoxy in Montana, the SPLC (or the Army) would do a report on him as a homophobic religious extremist. If he fled to Arizona, he’d be murdered on his ranch by illegals—unless he defended himself, in which case the Southern Poverty Law Center would confiscate his farm.

Tom Clancy’s books hearken back to the Indian summer of the historic American nation in the 1980s, when patriots imagined they battled godless Communists in a fight for the free world. But they also point the new to the grim reality—that the American government is warring against the American nation, that our technologically advanced military is defending an empty shell, and in the end, maybe we lost the Cold War after all.

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Remaking the Right

Norman Podhoretz is something of an anomaly. His entire life has been centered around his Jewishness, but he sees himself as an outsider in the mainstream Jewish community. He shares a great many of the attitudes typical of that community, but draws different conclusions about how to navigate the contemporary American political landscape in a way that is “good for the Jews.”

Under Discussion: Why Are Jews Liberals? By Norman Podhoretz. Doubleday (2009), 337 pages.

Norman Podhoretz is something of an anomaly. His entire life has been centered around his Jewishness, but he sees himself as an outsider in the mainstream Jewish community. He shares a great many of the attitudes typical of that community, but draws different conclusions about how to navigate the contemporary American political landscape in a way that’s “good for the Jews.”

One area where Podhoretz is absolutely mainstream among American Jews is his sense of history. The first half of his recent book, Why Are Jews Liberal? lays out his version of the “lachrymose” theory of Jewish history in Europe and America in which the Diaspora has been one long vale of tears since the beginnings of Christianity. Whether or not this view of history is correct, the important point is that this is how the great majority of Diaspora Jews see themselves and their history. (My view is that many outbreaks of anti-Jewish feelings result from our evolved ingroup/outgroup psychology.)

This lachrymose view has major implications for understanding contemporary Jewish political behavior in the Diaspora. It proposes that, beginning with an unfortunate theological belief (that Jews killed God), Jews have been passive, innocent victims of marauding non-Jews. The lesson that Jews learned from the Middle Ages carries down to today:

[The Jews] emerged from the Middle Ages knowing for a certainty that—individual exceptions duly noted—the worst enemy they had in the world was Christianity: the churches in which it was embodied—whether Roman Catholic or Russian Orthodox or Protestant—and the people who prayed in and were shaped by them. It was a knowledge that Jewish experience in the ages to come would do very little, if indeed anything at all, to help future generations to forget.

Jews were thus wary and mistrustful (at the very least) of all manifestations of Christianity. But the demise of Christianity as the central intellectual paradigm of Europe didn’t improve things for Jews. During the Enlightenment, anti-Jewish ideologies smoothly morphed into non-theological views in which Judaism was a superstitious relic that prevented Jews from shedding their attachment to their people—in Podhoretz’s words, “giving up their sense of themselves as a people whose members were bound together across national boundaries wherever they might live.”

The Enlightenment implied that Jews should accept the atomized individualism implied by the modern nation state. As Count Clermont-Tonnere expressed it in addressing the French National Assembly in 1789, “The Jews should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything as individuals… . The existence of a nation within a nation is unacceptable to our country.”

In the 19th century, Jews began to be seen by their enemies as an economically successful alien race intent on subverting national cultures wherever they lived. Podhoretz is squarely within the Jewish intellectual mainstream in his attack on the idea that Jews and non-Jews are biologically different and in competition—“the new racist rationale [that] manifested itself in the portrayal of a war between Aryans and Semites as the central drama of history.” For example, Ivan Aksakov, a leader of Slavophiles in Russia, viewed Jews as a competitive threat intent on destroying Christianity:

The Western European Christian world will be faced in the future, in one form or another, with a life-and-death struggle with Jewry, which is striving to replace the universal Christian ideal by another, Semitic ideal, also universal, but negative and anti-Christian.

Even in the United States—the “golden land” as seen by Jewish immigrants—there was exclusion and antipathy from “the upper echelons of the WASP patriciate.” In America, Jews were excluded by WASP elites, and Christian forms of anti-Semitism (e.g., Father Coughlin) remained strong through the 1930s. Isolationists such as Charles Lindbergh also tended to see Jews as an interest group aiming at getting America involved in war with Germany. (Podhoretz refers to Lindbergh’s famous speech as “notorious.”)

Jews concluded, as they had ever since the political Left and Right came to be defined, that their enemies were on the right. But the main lesson Podhoretz draws is that over the centuries, Western intellectuals produced a variety of Christian and non-Christian anti-Jewish ideologies, each with the same result: Irrational hatred toward Jews. So it’s not just Christianity, but European civilization itself that is the problem for Jews.

And, although Podhoretz doesn’t explicitly make this move, it’s a very short jump from blaming the culture created and sustained by Europeans to the idea that Europeans as a people or group of peoples are the problem. Ultimately, this implicit sense that Europeans themselves are the problem is the crux of the issue.

Podhoretz generally underplays the reality that Jews tended to make alliances with elites wherever they lived. The main exception to this is an important one: The situation of Jews in Russia from around 1880 to the Bolshevik Revolution. But even here, Podhoretz fails to note that most Jews were better off than most Russians, and he fails to acknowledge legitimate, often-stated concerns by the authorities to protect the Russian farmers from Jewish domination of the rural economy and to protect the nascent Russian middle classes from Jewish competition. Most importantly, he fails to discuss the very large rate of natural increase among fundamentalist Jews in Eastern Europe in a situation where they had overshot their traditional economic niches. The result was widespread poverty among Jews and attraction to messianic ideologies of Zionism and, most importantly for the history of the West, Marxism.

As Podhoretz notes, Jews, even when wealthy and powerful, had always been attracted to the Left much more than their non-Jewish counterparts. But the result of this Jewish population explosion and widespread Jewish poverty in Eastern Europe was that the tradition of Jewish opposition to national cultures—well known and commented on at least by the latter part of the 19th century—was now embedded in an ideology of Marxist revolution—often combined with Zionism. Podhoretz’s background places him firmly within these two most important strands of 20th-century Jewish intellectual life.

These Marxist radicals emigrated in droves to the United States and other Western countries. In a few short decades, this politically radical Jewish sub-culture became not only the dominant political culture among American Jews, it became a major force on the intellectual and political left generally. In this Jewish subculture, being merely a socialist was considered “right wing.” The very strong Jewish identity of these Jewish leftists—Podhoretz among them—reminds us once again that a strong Jewish identity is and was entirely compatible with an ideology of Marxist universalism.

Podhoretz grew up in this mindset and, by his account, he remained a radical until the late 1960s. His central intellectual question is why Jews remained on the left despite what he sees as changes in what’s good for the Jews.

Podhoretz sees being on the left as good for the Jews for most of their history in America. In the early 20th century, the enemies of Jews were the “conservative upholders of the old order”—WASPs who prattled on about the importance of retaining ethnic homogeneity during the era of WASP ethnic defense that culminated in the 1924 immigration law. F. Prescott Hall, founder of the Immigration Restriction League, wrote, ”It must be remembered … that … our institutions were established by a homogeneous community, consisting of the best elements of population selected under the circumstances under which they came to the New World.“ And some of the enemies of the Jews were concerned with Jewish competition—“the Hebrew conquest of New York,” as Henry James phrased it.

Is the Left good for the Jews?

In presenting the case that circumstances have changed so that it is now irrational for Jews to be liberals, Podhoretz has one or two paragraphs on the idea that affirmative action is bad for Jews (not likely), the role of the Left in quelling debate on IQ other issues related to diversity on college campuses, and on alleged anti-Semitism by radical Blacks during the 1960s. Then he devotes 160 pages on the relative failure of the Democratic Party, and the Left generally, to protect the interests of Israel. It’s not hard to fathom what his real concerns are.

But despite his labors, the case is unconvincing.

Podhoretz certainly doesn’t have any difficulty finding anti-Israel attitudes on the left. For example, he devotes an entire chapter to Gore Vidal’s “The Empire Lovers Strike Back“ article that appeared in The Nation in 1986 – “The most blatantly anti-Semitic outburst to have appeared in a respectable American periodical since World War II.” Vidal’s article included this quote discussing Podhoretz and his wife, Midge Decter: “Although there is nothing wrong with being a lobbyist for a foreign power, one is supposed to register with the Justice Department.”

But whereas there was “complete silence from the left” regarding Vidal’s indiscretion, William F. Buckley is praised for not only condemning Vidal but also for expelling Joe Sobran from National Review.

The problem for Podhoretz is that there are also anti-Israel views on the right. Indeed, Podhoretz goes to great lengths to show that Buckley and National Review didn’t do enough to condemn Pat Buchanan for his “Amen Corner” column and his culture war speech at the 1992 Republican Convention. And because of failure to condemn Buchanan, there was “great damage to the prospect of a significant move by Jewish voters in a more conservative direction.”

So how are Jews to choose between the anti-Israel voices on the left and those on the right? One consideration is that, although there are anti-Israel voices on the left (Podhoretz would label them ‘anti-Semitic’), with the exception of Jimmy Carter’s activities after his presidency, he doesn’t provide any examples from within the Democratic Party (which, after all, is by far the most important institutional embodiment of the Left in the U.S.) Does the fact that Carter allowed certain anti-Israel resolutions to go un-vetoed at the UN and that since his presidency, Podhoretz sees him as “openly and virulently hostile to Israel” constitute reasons why Jews should not support the Democrats today? Indeed, Carter was prevented from speaking at the 2008 Democratic convention by Jewish activists, notably Alan Dershowitz.

What about Bill Clinton? Podhoretz notes that Clinton helped himself by tapping the “strongly pro-Israel” Al Gore (also a Democrat!) as vice-president, but then showed his true colors by appointing Warren Christopher as Secretary of State and Anthony Lake as National Security Advisor. (Both committed the sin of favoring withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.) Podhoretz doesn’t seem to think it relevant that in fact Israel was never under serious pressure to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza during the Clinton years.

Although tough talk on settlement expansion characterized the early Obama administration, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has “dramatically changed her tone,” praising an offer of Israeli “restraint” on settlement expansion, whatever that means. Now we learn that Mahmoud Abbas has withdrawn his candidacy for president of the Palestinian Authority because he feels betrayed by the Obama administration.

Recently Congress approved by a lopsided margin a resolution calling on the Obama administration to “oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ [i.e., the Goldstone Report, a scathing indictment of Israeli actions during the Gaza invasion of 2008–2009] in multilateral fora.” Democrats voted for it by a margin of 179 yea to 33 nay, while Republicans voted for it by a margin of 165 yea to 3 nay votes.

Podhoretz is correct that Republicans in Congress are more likely to be slaves to the Israel Lobby—for reasons to be discussed below. But in any case, there are certainly no signs of a groundswell of anti-Israel sentiment among the Democrats.

On the other hand, examples of anti-Jewish or anti-Israel attitudes on the right are quite close to the Republican Party. Exhibit A is Buchanan himself.  And then there’s George H. W. Bush and his “I’m just one lonely little guy” up against “something like a thousand lobbyists on the Hill”—said in the context of attempting to get Israel to freeze settlement activity by delaying a housing loan guarantee to Israel. And then there’s Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker who is widely reported to have said, ”Fuck the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway.”

Podhoretz bends over backwards trying to reassure Jews about anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes on the right. For example, he gets into his legal-brief mode when trying to exonerate Pat Robertson on charges of anti-Semitism because of “certain crackpot ideas originating in the eighteenth century about a conspiracy between Jewish bankers and Freemasons to take over the world.” One would think that such ideas would make Robertson completely anathema to Jews. But for Podhoretz, Robertson is okay because of his “unwavering support of Israel.”

Indeed, Podhoretz is willing to forgive pretty much anything if its accompanied by pro-Israel attitudes. In the same passage, he forgives Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn his views on the role of Jewish revolutionaries in bringing communism to Russia for the same reason. (To Podhoretz’s credit, he even acknowledges, “Solzhenitsyn’s ideas about Jewish revolutionaries were based on an uncomfortable historical reality.”)

Oddly, Podhoretz fails to mention Robertson’s claim that “the part that Jewish intellectuals and media activists have played in the assault on Christianity may very possibly prove to be a grave mistake… .

For centuries, Christians have supported Jews in their dream of a national homeland. But American Jews invested great energy in attacking these very allies. That investment may pay a terrible dividend.
In a 1995 Commentary article, Podhoretz defended Robertson even on this, noting that in fact Jewish intellectuals, Jewish organizations like the American Jewish Congress, and Jewish-dominated organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have ridiculed Christian religious beliefs, attempted to undermine the public strength of Christianity, or have led the fight for unrestricted pornography. I couldn’t agree more.

Oddly, Podhoretz makes no mention of his defense of Robertson on these issues in the book under review – perhaps because he realizes that this is a bridge too far for the vast majority of Jews. However, he does note, “If you scratch a liberal organization like the American Civil Liberties Union or the United Nations Association, you will find Jewish members and Jewish money sustaining it, and if you scratch a Jewish organization, you will find a liberal agenda.” Jews also contribute 50–60 percent of the funding for the Democratic Party.

Without question, Jews fund the left in America.

One wonders if Podhoretz would take such a principled stand on other conservative issues like affirmative action, immigration, or big government – not caring about ideas deemed by some to be anti-Jewish (e.g., “the Jews control Hollywood”) as long as one opposes affirmative action or massive non-White immigration.
The answer would be no.

The good news is that someone like me could be rehabilitated within the Jewish community even though I do believe in the uncomfortable historical reality that Jews control Hollywood and that this influences the content of movies by, among other things, denigrating Christianity. All I would have to do is come out as rabidly pro-Israel.
Ummm, sorry, but I can’t go there. Different countries have different interests—a simple fact that escapes an unregistered lobbyist of a foreign government such as Podhoretz.

Grand New Party

I conclude that Jews reading Podhoretz are unlikely to be convinced that they are better off with the Republicans or by becoming conservatives. Podhoretz is correct that the Republicans are a tad more likely to be slavishly pro-Israel. But he completely ignores another uncomfortable historical reality – that neoconservative Jews have been very active in purging true conservatives like Buchanan from mainstream Republican politics and that the neocons have remade the Republican Party in their own image. Indeed, as he phrases it (without evaluating the evidence one way or the other), paleocons believe that neocons like Podhoretz are “liberals in disguise who … succeeded in kidnapping and corrupting the conservative movement.”

This brings us to the heart of the issue. Podhoretz’s enterprise is fundamentally a fraud.
His issue is not whether American Jews could ever stop being liberal. His issue is whether they could bring themselves to vote for the Republican Party if the Republican Party was better for Israel. It has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism, Big Government or Constitutionalism.

And the best proof of this is that Jewish neoconservatives – by far the most important group of Jews who (at times) advocate voting for the Republicans – are not really conservatives at all. Their one and only concern has always been to steer U.S. foreign policy in the direction of Israel. They have consistently advocated liberal positions within the Republican Party and have only adopted conservative positions as “positions of convenience” designed not to imperil their larger pro-Israel agenda. The fact that the overwhelming bulk of Podhoretz’s book deals with support for Israel rather than any specifically liberal or conservative issue confirms this.

Exhibit A for this is immigration. Jewish neoconservatives have been staunch supporters of the most destructive force associated with the left since WWII – massive non-European immigration into America and other Western countries. As neoconservative Ben Wattenberg has famously written, “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality.” Such attitudes typify the entire Jewish political spectrum, from the far Left to the neoconservative Right.
And when it comes to opposing illegal immigration, the neocons jumped on the bandwagon only after it became politically expedient to do so. Bill Kristol, whose comments in the Commentary symposium on Podhoretz’s book indicate that he doesn’t want to think too deeply about why Jews are on the left (my paraphrase: “Just keep on being Jewish and things will take care of themselves”), is a good example of a neocon who navigates Republican politics to achieve his more basic goal of supporting Israel. As John O’Sullivan noted regarding Kristol’s activism on an amnesty bill,

Kristol, representing many neoconservatives disposed to favor the bill, came out against it. He did so in part because it had serious drafting defects but, more importantly, because it was creating a bitter gulf between rank-and-file Republicans and the party leadership. That in turn was imperiling Republican objectives in other areas, notably Iraq.

Peter Brimelow says it best:

Kristol will return to immigration enthusiasm once he has helped persuade Bush to attack Iran.

In a passage that should be required reading for all Republicans, Samuel Francis recounted,

[T]he catalog of neoconservative efforts not merely to debate, criticize, and refute the ideas of traditional conservatism but to denounce, vilify, and harm the careers of those Old Right figures and institutions they have targeted.
There are countless stories of how neoconservatives have succeeded in entering conservative institutions, forcing out or demoting traditional conservatives, and changing the positions and philosophy of such institutions in neoconservative directions…. Writers like M. E. Bradford, Joseph Sobran, Pat Buchanan, and Russell Kirk, and institutions like Chronicles, the Rockford Institute, the Philadelphia Society, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute have been among the most respected and distinguished names in American conservatism. The dedication of their neoconservative enemies to driving them out of the movement they have taken over and demonizing them as marginal and dangerous figures has no legitimate basis in reality. It is clear evidence of the ulterior aspirations of those behind neoconservatism to dominate and subvert American conservatism from its original purposes and agenda and turn it to other purposes…
What neoconservatives really dislike about their “allies” among traditional conservatives is simply the fact that the conservatives are conservatives at all—that they support “this notion of a Christian civilization,” as Midge Decter put it, that they oppose mass immigration, that they criticize Martin Luther King and reject the racial dispossession of White Western culture, that they support or approve of Joe McCarthy, that they entertain doubts or strong disagreement over American foreign policy in the Middle East, that they oppose reckless involvement in foreign wars and foreign entanglements, and that, in company with the Founding Fathers of the United States, they reject the concept of a pure democracy and the belief that the United States is or should evolve toward it.

So Podhoretz is exhorting Jews to defect from liberalism while his wife is deploring “this notion of a Christian civilization.” With conservatives like this, who needs liberals?[1]

In Commentary’s symposium on Norman Podhoretz’s Why Are Jews Liberal? historian Jonathan D. Sarna calls attention to the fact that “outside the United States liberalism is nowhere near so dominant a faith among Jews. In Israel, to take an obvious example, Jewish liberals and Jewish conservatives are fairly evenly matched.”

Actually, Israelis who might remotely be described as liberal are a distinct minority—the old Labor Party founded by Zionist socialists is on its last legs, accounting for only around 10 percent of the Knesset and functioning mainly to provide a fig leaf of respectability for the dominant ethno-nationalist Right.

Identification with the Left is not a general characteristic of Jews; it is, however, a definite phenomenon within countries in the Jewish Diaspora, indicating that in searching for an explanation of the attraction of American Jews to the left, one must also look to this Diaspora experience in Europe and other European-derived societies.

Thankfully, Podhoretz does not try to explain the Jewish attraction to the Left as resulting from a moral imperative stemming from the very nature of Judaism itself.

Such a self-conception remains strong among many Jewish liberals, including Deborah Lipstadt, who opines, “The Torah repeatedly instructs us to care for the ‘widow, the orphan, poor, and the stranger.’” Jewish advocates for non-White immigration sometimes use this rationale—Gideon Aronoff’s Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, for example:

Drawing strongly on Jewish tradition, we provide services to Jewish immigrants, refugees, and others in need—without regard for their religion, nationality, or ethnic background. We are guided by our Jewish values and texts. The Torah (Hebrew Bible) tells us 36 times in 36 different ways to help the stranger among us. This, and our core belief that we must “fix the world” (tikkun olam, in Hebrew), are the driving principles behind our work.

But the idea that the Jewish religion makes Jews into altruistic world-healers is an obvious non-starter, and not only because, as Podhoretz notes, the highly religious Orthodox are less prone to liberal attitudes than the rest of the Jewish community. More decisively, even the most out of touch among us are now becoming aware that Israel is an apartheid state dominated by the most extreme religious and ethnocentric factions of the Jewish community. The Palestinians are treated brutally and are dependent on the largesse from the rest of the world.

The morally uplifting Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and pretty much the entire organized Jewish community in the U.S., aid and abet Israel as an aggressive, racialist ethno-state, or at least they turn a blind eye to it. Whatever else one might say about it, the Jewish religion does not make Jews into moral paragons or champions of the oppressed. And it certainly doesn’t make Jews into champions of religious and ethnic diversity.
Podhoretz’s explanation is that liberalism has become the religion of American Jews—an irrational set of beliefs resistant to disconfirmation. As he notes, the same was true of the long Jewish love affair with Marxism, and it was certainly true of Jews in traditional societies.

Liberalism is not a “substitute for religion”: it is a religion in its own right, complete with its own catechism and its own dogmas … obdurately resistant to facts that undermine its claims and promises.

The idea that Jewish political ideologies and behavior have religious overtones is attractive. My book Separation and Its Discontents has two chapters on rationalization, apologetics, and self-deception among Jews, beginning with a quote from a famous Talmudic scholar describing the ideology behind an example of classic Jewish religious writing: “Things never are what they seem because they cannot be.” In traditional societies, Jewish scholars interpreted any and all historical events as conforming to the messianic hope of a return to political power and worldly riches in a restored Israel.

All religious thinking tends to be impossible to refute, while at the same time it promises to explain everything. The interesting thing about Jews, however, is that they have dominated several intellectual movements that masqueraded as “science” while nevertheless having strong religious overtones.

Podhoretz is quite correct that the powerful Jewish attraction to Marxism was fundamentally religious in this sense. I have made similar comments, not only about Jewish involvement in Marxism, but also in psychoanalysis and other movements of the intellectual left. These movements were centered around charismatic rabbi-like leaders, and they were constructed in a way that allowed them to explain everything and be impossible to disconfirm. As in all religions, dissenters (heretics) were simply expelled.

Therefore, I have no problem agreeing with Podhoretz that there is a strong streak of religious thinking among Jews—even among the “secular.” In my view, religious thinking has been highly adaptive throughout Jewish history because it resulted in a powerful ideology of the ingroup. No matter what happened, the fundamental rationale for group cohesion would not be threatened. Whether in synagogues during the Middle Ages, in Marxist cells in the 20th century, or at conventions of psychoanalytic societies, true believers make good group members. Nothing can cause them to waver in their allegiance to the group.

But the fact that Jewish identification has always had religious overtones—even among secular Jews in the 20th century—does not explain why Jews in the Western Diaspora are liberal—only that their belief systems are immune from conflict with empirical reality.

Moreover, contra Podhoretz, liberalism seems awfully compatible with Jewish self-interest. In America, both the Democratic and Republican parties are Israeli occupied territory. So it’s hard to see that Jews are being “irrational,” as Podhoretz claims, in not voting for Republicans. For rational Jews concerned only about Israel, it’s pretty much a toss-up.

The clincher is that, as Podhoretz himself notes, citing an academic study, Jews “back Republicans only so long as they adopted the liberal position on ’such bellwether issues … as immigration, abortion, gay rights and the separation of church and state.”

In other words, Jews have been opposed to the traditional culture of America and the West and are strong advocates for the displacement of Whites via immigration.

In attempting to understand this, a good place to start is John Murray Cuddihy’s classic, The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss and the Jewish Struggle With Modernity:

With the advent of Jewish Emancipation, when ghetto walls crumble and the shtetlach begin to dissolve, Jewry – like some wide-eyed anthropologist – enters upon a strange world, to explore a strange people observing a strange halakah. They examine this world in dismay, with wonder, anger, and punitive objectivity. This wonder, this anger, and the vindictive objectivity of the marginal nonmember are recidivist; they continue unabated into our own time because Jewish Emancipation continues into our own time.

In psychological terms, Jewish identity in the Diaspora is based on psychological mechanisms of between-group competition. A strong sense of Jewish identity has always been accompanied by negative attitudes toward non-Jews—ranging from the laws of cleanness in traditional Judaism (according to which anything associated with non-Jews was unclean) to the revolutionary hatred of the non-Jewish power structure by Jewish Marxists, to the adoption of values in opposition to the traditional culture of America and the West. These negative perceptions are exacerbated by the lachrymose theory of Jewish history accepted by Podhoretz and the mainstream Jewish community: It is not simply that Christianity is evil, but that Western culture itself is poisonous to Jews.

The implication therefore is that Jews will be much more likely than non-Jews to have negative attitudes toward the traditional culture of America and the West. Importantly, Jewish voters are liberal on all issues, from government power to welfare. But as Podhoretz notes, it is especially on social issues where Jewish liberalism becomes “unmistakable and undeniable.” A 1996 poll of Jewish attitudes indicated that

Jews are firmly committed to permissive social codes, sexual codes in particular. The gap between Jews and others in polls regarding non-marital sexual behavior, marijuana, and divorce laws is quite substantial: 58 percent of Jews had liberal responses on these items as opposed to just 31 percent of non-Jews. In like fashion, huge gaps separate Jews from others on abortion (86 percent vs. 44 percent) and control of pornography (71 percent vs. 45 percent).

There are similar differences even when controlling for socio-economic class. Not surprisingly, support for gay marriage and for Roman Polanski are good career moves in Hollywood.  Moreover, Jews are dead last among all American groups in “confidence in the military,” but they favor gun control laws more than any other American group. And Jewish antipathy to the culture of America and other Western Diaspora societies extends to hostility against the formerly dominant White Protestant elite. Podhoretz quotes sociologists Mark Lipsett and Earl Raab, noting that Jews “are more at ease with the kinds of people they find in the Democratic Party – their fellow ethnics with whom they grew up in America – than with the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants still predominant in the Republican Party.”

So it’s not just Christianity that keeps Jews away from social conservatism. Latino Catholics, Black Southern Baptists, and Asian Christians are much preferred to the formerly dominant WASPs, who represent the traditional American culture and erstwhile ruling class. It’s not really about religion but ethnicity and race.

Nevertheless, it is indeed the case that White Christians are an object of special Jewish hostility. In the Commentary symposium, Michael Medved describes Jewish atavistic phobia about Christianity as the religion of the outgroup: “Jews fear the GOP as the ‘Christian party.’” And Jewish hostility towards Christianity unites the most Orthodox and conservative Jews with the most secular and liberal.

It is the hostility of the outsider against the culture of the White majority. As a result, expressions of hostility toward Christianity have a special place of pride in the contemporary culture of the West. A good recent example is Larry David pissing on a picture of Jesus in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm—an event which evoked yawns from the rest of the media.

The Moral Status of the Outsider

This status of being an outsider with deep historical grudges has grave moral implications. As Benjamin Ginsberg notes, the social marginality of Eastern European Jews made them useful instruments for the imposition of Soviet rule over reluctant populations, not only in the first genocidal decades after the Bolshevik Revolution when they acted as Stalin’s “willing executioners,” but also during the post-WWII period in the USSR’s satellite states (Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, and Romania). Throughout Eastern Europe after WWII, because Jews were outsiders and dependent upon Soviet power for their positions and even personal safety, they could be trusted to remain loyal to the Soviet Union.

This has been a pattern throughout Jewish history. Jews as outsiders in traditional societies allied themselves with elites – often oppressive alien ruling elites engaged in exploiting the people under their control. In the Commentary symposium, Sarna gives a rather tepid version of this, quoting historian Ben Halpern, “They depended for their lives on the authorities, on the persons and groups who exercised legitimate power.” Quite correct. Jews were protected by the government, but their outsider status also made them more willing to engage in unpopular activities, such as collecting taxes for rapacious elites with no allegiance to the people they ruled.

The self-conceptualization of Jews as outsiders certainly should not make the European-descended population of America confident about the Jewish role in future governments when they are a minority.

However, the Jews-as-outsider theory does not adequately get at the role of Jews as a nascent elite displacing previously dominant non-Jewish elites. The Jewish identification with the left should also be seen as a strategy designed to increase Jewish power as an elite hostile to the White European majority of America. As I have argued, Jewish intellectual and political movements have been a critically necessary condition for the decline of White America during a period in which Jews have attained elite status.

All of these movements have been aligned with the political left. As Democrats, Jews are an integral part of the emerging non-White coalition while being able to retain their core ethnic commitment to Israel. Indeed, the organized Jewish community has not only been the most important force in ending the European bias of American immigration laws, it has assiduously courted alliances with non-White ethnic groups, including Blacks, Latinos, and Asians; and these groups are overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party.

Whereas the Democratic Party is becoming increasingly non-White (the last Democratic president to get a majority of the White vote was Lyndon Johnson in 1964), 90 percent of the Republican vote comes from Whites. In the recent off-year elections, Democratic candidates for governor received only about a third of the White vote.

America will soon realize that it is at the edge of a racial abyss.

Because the Republican Party remains an important force in American politics, Jews are well advised to retain an influence there as well. Republican Jews retain their core liberalism on all the key issues like immigration and culture by aligning themselves with the “moderate” wing of the Party. Like Podhoretz, Republican Jews are motivated mainly to keep the Republican Party safe for Jews, in their estimation, and to promote pro-Israel forces within the party. In general, Republican Jews have acted to make the GOP as much as possible like the party they left behind and to influence it to eschew nationalistic attitudes, especially self-consciously White or Christian identities.

At the end of the day, Podhoretz’s enterprise is an exercise in deception. He erects an image of irrational Jewish liberals who cling to liberalism as a set of religious beliefs completely beyond the reach of logic or empirical data. In fact Jewish liberalism is quite clearly a Diaspora strategy designed to obtain power for Jews at least partly by building coalitions with non-White ethnic groups. Moreover, he erects an image of principled, rational Jewish conservatives as true conservatives, while in fact they are leftists who have been a prominent force in elbowing out true conservatives within the Republican Party in order to pursue their pro-Israel agenda and make the Republican Party into something they deem safe for Jews.

Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of Jewish political thought.


  1. Indeed, it would be a good project to find out exactly what Jewish intellectuals think conservatives are. In the Commentary symposium, historian Jonathan D. Sarna labels Louis Marshall a “stalwart conservative.” In fact, Marshall (1856–1929) was a Republican, but, like the neocons, he cannot be called a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. Marshall was a director of the NAACP and a champion of minority rights. He was also the point man for the Jewish thrust for unrestricted immigration during the period. At a time when the population of the United States was over 100 million, he stated at a Congressional hearing on the ethnically defensive 1924 immigration law, “[W]e have room in this country for ten times the population we have”; he advocated admission of all of the peoples of the world without quota limit, excluding only those who “were mentally, morally and physically unfit, who are enemies of organized government, and who are apt to become public charges.”Obviously, Marshall, a Zionist, did not believe that the American majority had a right to defend their ethnic interests by controlling immigration policy. The neocons would be proud.  ↩

The article was originally published at AlternativeRight.com in 2010.

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As Boring As Paradise

The problem with dystopias is that they’re often way too optimistic. Either what they warn us against is already happening, or the future they had envisioned turns out to be better than the actual one. To take a striking example, the kind of corporate fascism to be found in Robocop‘s Detroit is unquestionably more appealing than the Haiti-like heap of rubble and crime-ridden cesspool the “Paris of the West” has become.

The problem with dystopias is that they’re often way too optimistic. Either what they warn us against is already happening, or the future they had envisioned turns out to be better than the actual one. To take a striking example, the kind of corporate fascism to be found in Robocop‘s Detroit is unquestionably more appealing than the Haiti-like heap of rubble and crime-ridden cesspool the “Paris of the West” has become.

Elysium is set in 2154, and we’re supposed to imagine what Los Angeles would look like “if current trends are not reversed.” Well, if the ongoing demographic overrun afflicting the West is not stopped, I wonder how there could still be factories producing droid robots. For that to happen, it would require a sufficient number of skilled researchers, engineers, technicians that will likely be gone in mid-22nd century Mexifornia. And given the imminence of this future, I don’t think they’ll have enough time to shut themselves in a space station, chiefly since space exploration has been sacrificed on the altar of racial inclusiveness. Today, the main use of American and European space rockets is to shoot satellites to outer space so that anyone can send that video of a dog peeing on a baby via their “smart”phone. Terraforming Mars or Venus is not a priority.

This was the main trouble with the movie Idiocracy.  Because of centuries of dysgenics, the population has become so dumb that the hero’s lawyer attacks his own client during his Kafkaian trial, but there are still first-class medical facilities and fine cars.

As “nightmarish” as Elysium‘s L.A. seems to Dr. Kevin MacDonald, who is a direct observer of the city, it is what it would look like if things go well. And why should we wait a century and a half to see what will directly result from the coming amnesty?

The war within the liberal mind

This criticism aside, I really enjoyed Elysium and I wouldn’t follow Matthew Heimbach in saying that the movie is “anti-White.”  I think there’s more to this movie than just open-border, pro-amnesty propaganda. It’s more accurate to characterize it as a war within the liberal mind, similar to what Richard had noted when commenting on World War Z.

A superficial analysis would lead to the conclusion that  Elysium tells the story of a Rainbow Democratic coalition claiming its “right” to benefit from Elysium’s delights (healthcare mostly, which rings a bell, three years after the Obamacare bill), reserved so far to an overwhelmingly White, fascistic elite ruling the space station. I would argue exactly the reverse, that if liberalism is anywhere in this movie, it’s aboard Elysium itself.

Much like in Star Trek, the station is ruled by an androgynic, PC learned assembly. The president is an effeminate, racially undetermined progressive who doesn’t want to be too hard on the spaceships full of illegal immigrants that try to storm Elysium, just like today’s European politicians refuse to wreck the boats reaching Lampedusa every day.

Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster), though being a Frenchwoman, is the Secretary of Defense of what thus looks like a “Bilderberger” or Trilateral government. No one is forced to take “conspiracy theorists” seriously, but the fact that Elysium’s structure is a circled pentagram often shown inverted on the screen is certainly no coincidence.  As for Elysium’s public buildings, they remind one of the ones in Metropolis or Hunger Games, the latter being troublingly similar to those of  Kazakhstan’s capital,  Astana.

Delacourt faces the usual liberal dilemma: she must resort to fascistic methods (coup d’État, hired killers) to preserve her progressive utopia. Elysium‘s director, Neill Blomkamp, belonging to the Afrikaner people, a progressive nation if there ever was one, it’s not too hard to see why this moral dilemma is at the heart of the movie. The name Delacourt is maybe a reference to South Africa’s French Huguenot co-founders. This character echoes more recent figures from a country ethnically related to the Boer people, and it is the Netherlands, with Pim Fortuyn, Theo Van Gogh and Geert Wilders who can best be defined as worried liberals. Further North, there is Norway’s Breivik.

Boring as Paradise

Elysium is a liberal wet dream: people are “nice,” they spend their days having lavish cocktail-parties along their lagoon-like swimming pools. Their suburban homes are reminiscent of the dying world we witness in American Beauty, with those ubiquitous white-picket fenced houses inhabited by Last Men hardly hiding their unspeakable boredom. If the Elysian life reminds you of some articles or speeches by paleocons and even White nationalists who “just want to be left alone,” it’s normal: conservatives are mainly outmoded liberals, waving a crippled fist at a world they no longer understand.

The problem being, of course, that you can’t preserve a White country when you transform a race of conquerors, creators, builders and navigators in a herd of sheep. Much like zoo lions and tigers, Westerners don’t procreate and die out since the only highlight of the week is to wait for their Friday BBQ with their drone-minded neighbors.

Elysium’s final invasion by third world hordes saddened me, as predictable as it was, but I couldn’t help thinking that it was inevitable. When Whites spend too much time in their comfort zone, their suicidal liberal policies are little more than a waking up from the dream they were stuck in. Elysium is a new Eden, and that’s why it looks so boring.

History implies pain, misery and suffering, but it’s also what it takes to feel really alive.

Outsourcing rebellion to the Third World

In comparison, what’s left of the Earth strikes me as particularly non-liberal.  Men are masculine, women, though not very good-looking, are feminine, manly virtues are necessary to survive the day-to-day violence, and though the general population has little conception of honor, there’s still a warrior ethos embodied by some characters.

The “White Hispanic” character played by Matt Damon, Max da Costa (which sounds more Portuguese/Brazilian than Hispanic to me, by the way), for all his flaws, has renounced crime not out of fear like Zarathustra’s “honest” citizens, but out of choice.

To storm Elysium, Da Costa has to become the 22nd-century equivalent of a Medieval Knight by undergoing a surgical transformation into a droid. Dialectically, his main opponent, Kruger, who is Delacourt’s mercenary, has to follow the same process. To overcome the challenge imposed by the Machine, Man has to become a Machine himself, a dialectic process present in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as in the recent low-brow Pacific Rim, where brain-controlled robots bash giant lizards.

In his review of Elysium, Gregory Hood laments that Blomkamp, though conscious of the fact that a non-White take-over of Elysium will mean that the station will know the same fate as Los Angeles, offers no solution. Mr. Hood knows Hollywood too well to ignore that even if Blomkamp is a closet right-winger as Steve Sailer (who is captivating when he’s not sliding on the bell curve) thinks he is, he can’t release a film in which Delacourt is victorious and the Latina Frey can’t heal her daughter’s leukemia.

In a movie Hood’s become a specialist ofThe Dark Knight Rises, we see the Wayne mansion turned into an orphanage for non-White children, something that is probably not to the taste of the elitist Christopher Nolan (whose right-wing leanings are more obvious than Blomkamp’s, despite the parallel that Sailer tried to draw in his review). We also see that Bruce Wayne has become a tourist, content with drinking chianti along the Arno river in the company of a woman who betrayed him quite a few times. That is mildly infuriating, but it’s the only way to have Hollywood display an un-PC message.

In Elysium, we have this vibrant coalition of non-liberal Mestizos and Blacks which defeats a liberal, White elite with token minorities, but we might as well reverse the roles in our heart of hearts and imagine a White coalition storming a White gated community to force its inhabitants to stop fleeing and thus letting their common enemies turn the West into hell on Earth. In what I see as an allegory of White flight, Elysium reminds us that there’ll be no victory for Westerners if they keep believing that shutting themselves in behind CCTV, armored doors, intercoms, code-encrypted gates and other reality-denying devices will suffice to save their and their children’s lives.

It should also warn White nationalists that if an Ethnostate or a collection thereof were to be established some day, it shouldn’t be about “going back” to some reconstructed version of “liberalism when it worked,” for the outcome will always be that of the film.

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