“Larry Auster’s lies”

That’s the title of an article by Richard Spencer at Alternative Right. The “lies” of which Spencer accuses me do not concern anything that I said, but statements from two VFR commenters, “A reader,” and “Michael S.” (see text below) about Spencer, Richard Hoste, and Peter Brimelow—statements which Spencer says are completely false.

If the statements made by the two readers are false,—such as that Hoste and Spencer knew each other at Yale (which surprised me, since my memory was that Spencer had gone to Duke), that Hoste got Spencer interested in Kevin MacDonald, and that Spencer, Hoste, and Peter Brimelow attended a dinner honoring MacDonald—then they are false, and the two individuals who made them are either deluded or dishonest. Again, if what they said is false, it is false, their statements are not my statements, and I have no investment in their statements, even though Spencer says:

It’s bootless, of course, to try to disprove crazed charges like these, as I’m sure Mr. S and Auster will keep coming up new ones until they finally claim that Richard Hoste and Richard Spencer were seen together in Hitler’s bunker.

Well, I certainly wouldn’t claim that Spencer was seen in Hitler’s bunker. But I would most definitely claim, without the slightest fear of contradiction, that Spencer publishes Kevin MacDonald, who, like Hitler, seems to want the Jews to disappear from the earth.

Now, concerning the first of the two contested comments, by an unnamed reader, Spencer says that I “approvingly” posted it. In fact I expressed doubts about its truth. Here’s what I said:

I should add that we don’t know that what the reader has said is true. He may be mistaken; he may even be a plant in some kind of John Le Carre-esque plot. But when I asked him what was the basis for his knowledge, it seemed to be valid and he seemed to be sincere and truthful. His information seemed plausible enough to be posted. [Italics added.]

Thus I was posting the comment in a tentative manner, in the expectation that further responses would bring out its truth or expose it as false. Spencer says I posted the comment approvingly. I don’t think that my saying that the comment might be a John Le Carre-esque plant intended to deceive me was to approve of it.

But Spencer doesn’t stop at saying that I posted the comment approvingly. He accuses me of writing it. He continues:

[Auster] goes on to fabricate a story about how Paul Craig Roberts’s and Richard Hoste’s anti-Zionist sentiments are what led the donor to pull out …

I didn’t fabricate anything. I posted the two readers’ comments, the first of which said, “Vdare donors called Brimelow threatening to cut off funding if he didn’t get rid of Hoste,” and the second of which said, “I know a major donor to Vdare and I can tell you that Paul Craig Roberts has been a problem from the start.”

As for the reader’s statement that Brimelow’s donors objected to Hoste’s role at Vdare, other comments in that same thread expressed doubt about whether a person as obscure as Hoste would have become an issue for donors.

In any case, let us provisionally accept that everything said by those two commenters is not true, and thus that it is not true that Hoste and Spencer knew each other in school, that it is not true that Hoste was an intellectual influence on Spencer, that it is not true that Vdare donors were unhappy over Roberts and Hoste, and even that it is not true that Spencer and Brimelow attended a dinner honoring Kevin MacDonald. None of that would alter in the slightest the substance of the issues I have been discussing for the last week. It would not alter the fact that Peter Brimelow has persisted for years, notwithstanding the complaints of many readers, in publishing Paul Craig Roberts’s insane and hate-filled columns (including his column where he said that he would welcome the Mexican conquest of the U.S., if only it would mean the disappearance of the neocons, including his anti-Semitic column, “For Palestinians, every day is Kristallnacht”). It would not alter the fact that Brimelow publishes the foremost promoter of anti-Semitism in America, Kevin MacDonald. It would not alter the fact that Spencer published Kevin MacDonald’s demonization of the state of Israel. It would not alter the fact that Spencer’s blog editor and ideological spokesman Richard Hoste said that the Israeli embassy’s complaint to the German government about an anti-Semitic cartoon is the equivalent of Muslims rioting and attempting to assassinate cartoonists, and thus shows that the Jews should be expelled from the West. It is these and similar facts that have been the substance of my criticisms of Alternative Right and Vdare. Yet Spencer in his article doesn’t refer to any of those issues or contest the truth of my statements about them. His sole argument is to say that I am a liar and fabricator, not because of anything I’ve said in the several entries I’ve written on these issues over the last week, amounting to thousands of words, but because of two brief comments by two commenters at my site. Spencer’s supposed indictment of me is almost on a Richard Hoste level of stupidity. (For proof of the latter, see again Hoste’s equivalence between the Israeli complaint to the German government about a cartoon, and Muslims’ organized campaign to assassinate cartoonists.)

Apart from calling me a liar, Spencer’s only other argument is to attack my supposed self-image and motivations: “Auster also combines lying with a rather grandiose assessment of his influence. Throughout his tirades, he seems to positively gloat over the fact that Peter Brimelow and VDARE have lost the funding of a vital donor.” Spencer doesn’t have to imagine my motivation. Here is my motivation: to expose the anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism that currently are harbored at the heart of the paleocon and immigration restrictionist movements, and to get conservatives and immigration restrictions to reject those evils, so that the cause of saving America and the West is not tainted and discredited by them and might actually have a chance of success. Not only does Richard Spencer not share that motivation; it is beyond his ken. He can imagine only that I have some mean or pathological motive:

As I wrote in my earlier piece of “Austercism,” I often get the sense that Auster is a kind of Ayn Rand of the paleo Right, though perhaps the long-time leader of “paleoconservatism” would make for a better comparison. Ill-tempered and ruled by jealousy, these individuals have taken pains to denounce everyone who has ever praised their works for the crime of not adhering exactly to their peculiar ideologies. Each has cultivated his or her own echo chamber.

There you have the ultimate clueless statement about yours truly, made by innumerable mindless commenters at right-wing websites and now by Richard Spencer, that I am an insane dictator who “criminalizes” and denounces anyone who doesn’t agree with me on all issues. The truth, again beyond Spencer’s ken, is that in my long-standing view there are certain things that are simply unacceptable; that among these are anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity, and rationalization of those who seek to exterminate Jews; and that any moral and viable conservatism must steer clear of these things.

—end of initial entry—

For reference, here are the two VFR comments that are the subject of Spencer’s article:

A reader writes:

I just want you to know that Richard Hoste was a graduate student at Yale when Richard Spencer was an undergrad there. Spencer was simply a conservative before Hoste started to influence him. It was he who introduced Spencer to Kevin MacDonald, and now the two Richards are ideologically very close. Hoste wanted to do his Master’s on Jewish group behavior and had a falling out with his department. This must have influenced Spencer. Hoste has also been able to impress Peter Brimelow. Vdare donors called Brimelow threatening to cut off funding if he didn’t get rid of Hoste but Brimelow refused, seeing Hoste’s position on Israel as something he must defend on principle.

Michael S. writes:

I know a major donor to Vdare and I can tell you that Paul Craig Roberts has been a problem from the start. Brimelow truly believes in anti-Semitism. He, Hoste, and Spencer are all members of the anti-Semitic Charles Martel Society and were at an event where Kevin MacDonald was awarded 10K for his work for “our people.” The disagreement between Brimelow and his donors is getting really bad. Brimelow wants to focus even more on Israel. Roberts retiring saved him a lot of headache, but now Brimelow wants to bring Roberts on as an “advisor.” It’s a symbolic role, but he’d do it to make a point. If Roberts turns the job down, Brimelow may bring Hoste or even Jared Taylor into the position.

I’m also told that Hoste volunteered to step down as the blogger of the HBD section at Alt-Right because of all the controversy he was drawing, but Spencer begged him to stay and offered to double his pay.

As a Jew who cares about the immigration restrictionist movement, I’m very worried.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Send

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