Why does Peters hate Europe?
I have written elsewhere on this “Samson syndrome.” For quite understandable, and tragic, reasons, there are Jewish persons whose hatred for Europeans in general and Germans in particular blind them to the dangers inherent in a non-Christian world. Because they will not forgive and cannot reconcile themselves to the events of the past century, they are eternally in “vengeance mode.” This is unhealthy for all concerned. It drives liberal Europeans to even more insane acts of self-effacement, and it never satisfies the seeker-of-vengeance. I call it the “Samson syndrome” because the great Jewish hero pulled down the pagan temple and destroyed himself into the bargain. I know this is an imperfect analogy, but here it seems to fit. I am, of course, assuming that Peters is Jewish.
The general phenomenon unquestionably exists, has deep roots, and is a serious problem that needs to be exposed and criticized. I’ve written about it. Andrew Bostom (who is Jewish though not religious) has written about the distorted “Judeo-centric” view which condemns Europe and praises Islam solely on the basis of the supposedly worse treatment Jews got in Europe than in the Moslem lands, ignoring all other facts.
However, it never occurred to me that Peters is Jewish. I think he’s made vague references to being Christian. What reason do you have for thinking he’s Jewish?
This is from the Wikipedia article on Peters. How many coal miner’s sons in Pennsylvania are Jews? Of course anything is possible:
Peters was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Schuylkill Haven. His father was a coal miner and unsuccessful businessman. Peters has written “I am a miner’s son, and my father was a self-made man who unmade himself in my youth.”
Also, nothing about Peters’s persona and style of mind every struck me as Jewish. I always felt he had this hard-bitten, somewhat bitter quality about him. Now that I know his father was a coal miner, and that he was of working-class background, that fits with my general impressions of him. He looks that way in his photos too. His resentment of Europe is not the Jewish-style resentment of Gentiles but a certain type of working-class American
resentment against anything that smacks of aristocracy or high culture or the Old World.
Peters enlisted in the Army as a private, and spent ten years in Germany working in military intelligence.
Peters has written, “I am a miner’s son, and my father was a self-made man who unmade himself in my youth.”
So it’s not simply a matter of working class. His father failed in business when Peters was a boy and Peters decades later mentions it. There’s a possible background for Peters’s bitter, angry quality.
Consider. Peters’s father was a coal miner. Then he went into business and became a self-made man. This coal miner’s family became well-to-do or at least middle-class. Then he lost it all. Peters, at the sensitive time of youth, was thrown from a relatively privileged position back to his father’s working-class origins. There was a humiliation. He saw other people pass him by. He lost the opportunities and privileges he had enjoyed and expected. He enlisted in the Army as a private.
Ever since I first began reading Peters’s columns in the NY Post during the Iraq War in spring 2003, I was struck by the bitter, resentful look on his face.
Charlton G. replies:
Thank you for your thoughtful responses. This makes it even more inexplicable, doesn’t it? The idea of a privileged, aristocratic Europe has been defunct since the end of the first world war. I don’t understand his blindness to the value of our European heritage and the horrendous tragedy of losing it. Now I’m really at sea.
First, we know from his attack on the Islam critics last September that he’s nuts. If he could describe the likes of Bat Ye’or, Spencer, and Bostom as some fantasy lynch mob lusting to exterminate Muslims, then he’s crazy. So that would relieve us of the job of trying to figure him out.
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Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. For one thing, we know he’s not completely crazy, but is capable of astute, rational analysis in other areas. So what is it that makes him crazy in this area? I don’t know, but it seems to be a combination of the standard liberal “hatred of hatred,” with a bent side of his own personality in which he has personalized past atrocities like the Holocaust and reacts to anything that he sees as “Nazi-like” with excessive emotion.
What drives him, then, is the typical liberal condemnation of anything that seems “discriminatory” or “exclusive,” including traditional European nations, heightened to an irrational, vengeful, even sadistic degree by his own personal factors. (Remember the column where he spoke gleefully of sitting back and watching the Europeans getting their teeth kicked in.)
The same analysis could explain his indifference to the European heritage. Indifference or hostility to the white Western heritage is already a standard liberal attitude; it’s just carried further in his case by his personal factors.
Alex K. writes:
Peters is a Christian; recall this old classic:
“And as a believing Christian, I must acknowledge that there’s nothing in the Koran as merciless as God’s behavior in the Book of Joshua.”
You don’t have to be Jewish to have the anti-Europe hang-up. Also see his weird use of “Untermenschen” earlier in the article. Attributing its use to his phantom Muslim-haters, but he’s the one with Nazism gratuitously on the mind.
A reader writes:
Peters is not Jewish but his wife is. He mentioned this fact in an article he wrote about European anti-Semitism within the past year or so.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 09, 2007 10:29 PM | Send