Does the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations apply to the Jews?

Over at Brave New World Watch a couple of weeks ago, John Savage posted a collection of my various formulations of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society, which I appreciated and also found useful in focusing my thoughts on the meaning of the First Law. Another commenter then came along and argued that the First Law really applies to the Jews, and charged me with covering up that fact. I’ve posted a reply [note: John Savage’s site is now open only to members], and also copy a revised and expanded version of it below:

I just came upon this exchange and want to reply to the points made by Tanstaafl (which frankly sounds to me like a neo-Nazi moniker, but which, I’m informed, is an acronym for the libertarian slogan “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”).

Tanstaafl is just wrong to say that the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society is about Jews and that I’m covering that up. The First Law is about conspicuously different minorities who are perceived as minorities, and who are perceived as dysfunctional, unassimilable, alien or hostile. Since Jews are not generally seen these ways, except by anti-Semites, the First Law does not apply to Jews, though some aspects of it may apply some of the time.

When I say this, I am not denying the fact that there is a Jewish problem, since that is something I often talk about. But I believe in the need to talk about it rationally. The Jewish problem—not the Jewish problem of the Jew haters, but the real Jewish problem—consists in the fact that Jews are a distinct people who because of their energy and talents tend to become dominant in culturally influential areas of society. This leads to the problem that a small minority group begins to become the definer of cultural standards for the majority. For the most part, this is not due to any Jewish racial agenda or conspiracy, as Kevin MacDonald would have it, rather it is just built into the fact of Jewish distinctiveness combined with Jewish talents. But even though the situation is not anyone’s fault, it is not a healthy situation. The way the problem can be resolved, as I’ve said many times, is by the majority recovering and maintaining its majority identity, functions, and authority, and thus requiring minorities to conform to the majority’s standards.

It used to be this way in America. A classic example is the Golden Age of Hollywood. The movie industry was largely a Jewish creation, yet the Jews of Hollywood loved the majority culture and elevated its ideals. For example, the beautiful MGM movies of the late ‘30 and early ’40s that were set in England and were imbued with an English atmosphere (so that it’s hard to believe the movies were made in Los Angeles), were the brain child of Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM. Contrast that with today, when many of the Jews of Hollywood, such as Steven Spielberg, are self-consciously alienated from the majority culture and seek to tear it down. An example is “Saving Private Ryan,” in which the elderly Ryan, re-visiting Normandy in his old age, is bizarrely portrayed as a broken down figure overwhelmed with guilt. That’s the way alienated leftist Jews want to portray the Christian majority.

What is the solution? There is no quick solution, but there is a solution. The majority needs to rediscover itself and start acting like the majority again and start setting the standards for America. Once a new elite was in place setting different and better standards from those we have now, the viciously anti-American movies that are now standard fare in Hollywood would cease being made. Jews who persisted in alienation toward or simply a lack of identification with the majority culture would still be able to express themselves in a minority cultural setting, but their minority views would not be considered legitimate or authoritative for the society as a whole. The basic principle is that people who do not identity with a society do not have the right to speak for that society. I am not talking about legal restrictions, but about the restrictions that a healthy majority culture would naturally impose.

In short, the Jewish problem can be solved, and Jews can function, as they have in the past, as a minority that has a certain distinctiveness and yet conforms itself to the standards and allegiances of the majority culture.

It is not the same with, say, Muslims. Muslims, as Muslims, cannot be conformed to our culture. The relationship between Muslims and our culture is of an entirely different order from the relationship between Jews and our culture. Jews are assimilable. Muslims are not only not assimilable, but are commanded by their god to subject our society to Islamic law. The fact that a major non-Western group is intrinsically incompatable with and dangerous to our culture cannot be acknowledged by the liberal consciousness, because it would disprove the liberal belief in the equality and fundamental sameness of all human beings. Therefore the liberals must conceal the truth about Islam—the more unassimilable and hostile Muslims are, the more they must be praised and celebrated. We saw this happen immediately after the 9/11 attack, when, even as Muslims all over the world were cheering the wound inflicted by devout Muslim jihadists on our country, Muslims began to receive vastly more bouquets from our government than they ever had before. It was a perfect example of the First Law in action. The First Law applies to dysfunctional and unassimilable groups, it does not apply to functional and assimilable groups.

Far from being dysfunctional outsiders whose failures must be covered up, Jews are successful insiders. However, as indicated above, this does not mean that the Jews, with their distinctiveness, their activism, and their frequent leftism, do not represent a challenge to our culture. They do. And it goes without saying that this fact is denied by the liberal culture, since liberalism must deny any group differences that matter (not to mention that there is a particular need to defend the Jews from anti-Semitism). So there is inevitably some overlap here with the First Law. But because the Jews are highly successful and productive insiders rather than obviously incompetent or incompatible outsiders, the socialistic dynamic conveyed by the First Law—the more alien a group is, the more it is celebrated, the more undeserving a group is, the more it is given—does not apply to them

Thus to try to make the First Law be about the Jews—and especially, in Tanstaafl’s treatment, primarily about the Jews—would hopelessly confuse the issue and ruin the First Law as an analytical tool. It is but another illustration of how anti-Semites, because they see all issues through the filter of the Jewish issue, cannot see any issue truly. Their obsession with Jews as the source of all evil makes them intellectual cripples who are incapable of defending the civilization they supposedly want to defend.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 30, 2007 08:37 PM | Send

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