Mangan replies to my attack on Alt-Right

James P. writes:

Another festival of Israel-bashing and Auster-bashing commences at Mangans.

Expatriot writes (June 3):

Of the 34 comments posted at Mangan’s at the time I checked, 12 were fully supportive of Israel’s actions and only 5 were at all critical. There were 7 references to you, 5 supportive and 2 critical. Most of the critical comments are civil and in no way qualify as bashing.

I know you’re busy and don’t have time to read all the comments on threads you link to, so I thought I should point this out to you.

LA replies:

Thank you for this information. I’ve replaced the original title of this entry, which had two possible meanings, one of which appears to have been more contentious than was warranted.

* * *

David I. writes:

Alternative Right talks about Israel again. Is this anti-Semitic?

LA replies:

As little as I want to, I’ll read it soon and get back to you.

Allan Wall writes:
Re the Richard Spencer piece, there are a number of comments defending Israel.

- end of initial entry -

June 3

James P. writes:

Certain of your readers have noted that the Mangans thread is not 100% anti-Israel or anti-Auster. I don’t agree that the comments have to be uniformly anti-Israel/Auster in order to constitute a festival of Israel-bashing and Auster-bashing. It is inevitable that both sides would be drawn into the debate, as they were in previous Mangans Israel/Auster posts, as a lot of people read both blogs. Nevertheless, Mangan’s opening remarks in the post, in which he criticizes you and endorses so-called conservatives “who harshly criticize Israel,” were a clear invitation for commenters to indulge in Auster-bashing and Israel-bashing. I see that a lot of the usual suspects—Svigor, Richard Hoste, Tanstaafl—have accepted the invitation.

LA replies:

This is a repeat of a problem that occurred before, when I posted a comment by you pointing to a Mangan thread but hadn’t read it myself. After various things Mangan has said about me over the last year I wrote him off, I don’t care to read him and analyze his discussions. Also, while Mangan lacks a coherent view of the world, as he himself admits, he does have a lot of foxiness, and he uses it to send out contradictory messages and protect himself from being pinned down. So in addition to my having no desire to read and analyze Mangan’s statements, I also feel that it’s not worth the trouble to analyze him, though on occasion it may be necessary.

In any case, we have a confirmation of what I said a couple of months ago, that anti-Semitism is the organizing idea of the paleocon “tribe.” As I explained then, this does not mean that all paleos are anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or that they always adopt an anti-Semitic or anti-Israel position; in this instance, for example, Mangan apparently sides with Israel on the “peace flotilla” issue. What it means is (1) that anti-Semitism is one of the predominant components and perhaps the predominant component of the paleocon belief system; and (2) that while individual paleocons may disagree with specific anti-Semitic / anti-Israel positions, they do not disagree with anti-Semitism / anti-Israelism itself. They do not and may not say that anti-Semitism is unacceptable. To say that anti-Semitism is unacceptable is to place oneself outside the paleocon circle. Which is Mangan’s point. What he has attacked me for in his current entry and previously is not that I defend Israel, but that I say that the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas paleocons are beyond the pale. By saying that, I have, from Mangan’s point of view, placed myself beyond the pale. The upshot is that outspoken anti-Semites like Tanstaafl are ok by Mangan and are a part of his world, and I am not. In the paleocon circle, anti-Semitism is allowed and indeed dominant, while rejection of anti-Semitism is the one thing that is not permitted. This is what I mean when I say that anti-Semitism is the organizing idea of the paleocon tribe, even though there are individual paleocons who are not anti-Semitic.

LA continues:

Here is an example of how anti-Semitism has a privileged position within the paleocon world. A few years ago, Randall Parker of Parapundit and I were on good terms, emailed each other regularly, and occasionally commented at each other’s sites. Then in a discussion at his site about Lewis Libby, I stated my position that Libby should have been pardoned, as the special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s case against him was an outrage from start to finish. A commenter said that I had this position because as a “jew,” lower case, I automatically sided with Libby, who is a Jew. Parker then pointed out why the commenter’s reasoning was mistaken. He was polite to him and didn’t criticize his gross anti-Semitism; he only pointed to the logical flaws in his argument. When I mentioned this to Parker, he said that he could not criticize the commenter for his anti-Semitism because many of his readers would not like that.

Thus, in the paleo world, it’s ok to disagree with specific arguments that anti-Semites make; it is not ok to condemn anti-Semitism as such. Realizing that notwithstanding Parker’s frequently expressed respect for my work, he had no problem with, and would not protect me from, anti-Semitic attacks on me at his site, I never posted there again.

Parker thus exemplifies the paleocon profile I have been talking about. He had never himself made anti-Semitic statements as far as I was aware; but he also wouldn’t criticize anti-Semitism, because that was considered a no-no in his world. Among the paleocons, anti-Semitism is allowed, while condemnation of anti-Semitism is not allowed. Anti-Semitism has a privileged position among the paleocons, and all paleocons, whether or not they themselves are anti-Semites, are fellow travellers with anti-Semites.

Here is the entry at Parapundit.

Here are VFR follow-ups on it and related matters:

The anti-Libby arguments; and a discussion of anti-Semitism

Reply to Randal Parker (Parker posted a comment at Secular Right grossly misrepresenting the incident, and I set the record straight)

In 2007, Randall Parker allowed a commenter to call for my murder (a full discussion of Parker’s relationship to anti-Semitism and of the comments about me he allowed at his site)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 02, 2010 09:14 PM | Send

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