Must my analysis of Buchanan be applied to the Jews?
So it’s not exactly the case that I’ve never said that Buchanan is anti-Semitic. I have said that it is a rebuttable presumption that his attacks on Israel are motivated by an animus against Jews, and I’ve said that he is among those who are “Jew-haters, as they are attacking Israel solely because of its Jewishness.”
Do you hold the same rebuttable presumption standard towards Jews who attack the Christian structures of American society?
Is it a rebuttable presumption that any organized Jewish attacks on conservative Christian politicians in the West (America, Western Europe) are motivated by an animus against gentiles? I was under the impression that you attributed Jewish animus towards conservative America as being motivated by their utopian liberalism. If you could clarify these different standards, I would be grateful.
I don’t know what your question is referring to: “Is it a rebuttable presumption that any organized Jewish attacks on conservative Christian politicians in the West (America, Western Europe) are motivated by an animus against gentiles?” I’ve dealt a lot with objectionable Jewish behavior of various kinds. (For example, see my recent condemnation of Jewish organization for promotiong open borders on an explicitly Jewish basis.) I don’t remember any case of “organized Jewish attacks on conservative Christian politicians.”
As for your question, “Do you hold the same rebuttable presumption standard towards Jews who attack the Christian structures of American society?”, I don’t think it works to take one set of terms, developed in an effort to articulate one particular issue, in this case the tricky question, which I’ve wrestled with for years, of whether Buchanan is anti-Semitic, and then insist on applying the same terminology to another issue that also has been dealt with at length but which is an entirely different issue.
For example, a couple of years ago, the blogger John Savage—or rather the commenter Tanstaafl at Savage’s site, whom Savage subsequently agreed with—asked why I didn’t apply Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society to the Jews? It was an interesting question which hadn’t occurred to me before, and I answered it at length, showing that the Jewish issue didn’t fit with the First Law, as it involved a different set of problems requiring a different kind of analysis. Namely, the Jewish problem is not one of under-achievement or dysfunction resulting in some obvious social problem which then must be covered up to protect the liberal belief in equality, but rather of high achievement and excessive influence. Tanstaafl, seconded by Savage, would have none of my explanation. They suspected me of practicing a pro-Jewish double standard because I didn’t apply the First Law to the Jews as well as to other minorities.
(Savage, who had previously been an intellectual ally of VFR, shortly thereafter accused me of suppressing negative truths about Jews and declared himself to be in sympathy with white nationalists whom he described as anti-Semitic.)
This is an example of insisting that an analytical tool, developed in an effort to understand one particular problem, must be mechanically applied to other problems, even if the analytical tool doesn’t fit that problem.
Mark A. replies:
Thanks. Very interesting. Your remarks about Savage are helpful. I am beginning to see more and more why you struggle against the reductionism of Steve Sailer and Randall Parker.
That’s right—it is a kind of reductionism which conceives of truth in terms of crude equivalences and “balance,” e.g., “Since you’ve criticized Group X for such and such, you must also criticize Group Y for the same thing, otherwise you are practicing a double standard in favor of Group Y.” But truth is not a matter of equivalence or balance. Truth is a matter of what’s true.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 03, 2009 12:36 PM | Send
For example, Jewish organizations generally supported the removal of prayer from the public schools, and thus were “attacking the Christian structures of American society,” to refer back to your original question. That was arguably an objectionable thing to do, But it was not the same thing, and not the same order of thing, as demonizing Israel and siding with its murderous enemies. It doesn’t by itself lead to the rebuttable presumption that Jews are motivated by an animus against Christians. Our understanding of this issue evolves out of our attempts to grapple with this issue; it doesn’t arise from wrenching an argument from another issue and applying it mechanically to this issue.