The world-bending pathology of the anti-Semites

A long discussion at the blog deals with Jews, anti-Semitism, and my recent criticisms of Jared Taylor. There are extreme anti-Semites in the discussion, particularly a Geoff Beck who says that “Jews are satanic,” plus people who come to my defense such as Mark Richardson of Australia, plus people in between. But the key figure in the discussion is one “Matt O’Halloran,” a Christian anti-Semite who says that he places no importance on this world compared to the world to come, and no importance on biology, yet who nevertheless sees Jews as the biological enemy. For O’Halloran, it doesn’t matter, as various people in the discussion point out, that I am a defender of the Christian West, that I’m against Hispanic and other Third-World immigration, and that I make very critical statements about Jews. So long as I oppose Islam and defend Israel, I am an alien Jew acting out the genetic imperatives of my race. And that is the only thing that matters about me.

Turning Jewishness into the center of everything, the anti-Semites turn the world into a fun-house mirror.

While I appreciate the people in the discussion who argued against the anti-Semites, my own position remains that one should not engage with anti-Semites (or with any other irrational or unappeasable party), but look at them, understand what they are, and exclude them. In short, I don’t believe in “peace processes.” But on that point I still seem to be in a minority, even among conservatives.

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Reader N. writes:

Some years ago I used to read the newsgroup alt.revisionism, a battle ground for Holocaust-deniers and those hardy souls that cared to dispute with them. It was rather like wading into a foul backwater swamp; often I felt like *washing up afterwards, I mean literally taking soap and water to my hands, arms and face. From time to time some of the denizens of that newsgroup would leak out to somewhere else, such as talk.politics.guns, where I was a regular.

Anti-Semitism is one of _those_ “single explanation” phenomena; a single, simple, easy to grasp explanation for all the bad things that happen, _including personal failure_. Some guy who didn’t do well in school has a dead-end job, owes money to a finance company for his used car, lives in a crummy apartment or mobile home park; which is more palatable, that he made a series of poor choices leading to his current not very pleasant life, or some vast konspiracy is keeping him and others like him oppressed? The further that someone goes into it, the more contradictions they have to keep in tension, though, and the more their behavior resembles that of someone with a mental disorder such as paranoia. Alternatively, one could postulate that people with certain mental disorders are going to be drawn to single- explanation notions, because they are easy to understand.

Either way, such people are to be engaged in debate only under particular circumstances (such as an anti-Semite attempting to convince others that “gun control” is really a Jewish plot) and otherwise, as you note, observed & shunned.

LA replies:

Your experience at that site is a good lesson. The thing is to learn about these people, not by engaging with them directly (they’re too disgusting) but by reading their writings and statements. If one does engage with them, it’s only briefly, to draw them out and draw conclusions about them, as I used to do in VFR comments threads.

With Holocaust deniers, I learned all I needed to know from a massive volume of the transcripts of the Zundel trials in Canada. These trials had every significant denier show up and testify. After I read a goodly portion of this, I was—in Jimi Hendrix’s sense of the word— “Experienced.” And I didn’t have to wash my hands.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 19, 2006 10:21 PM | Send

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