Abandon all hope, ye who enter the ranks of the Jew-haters
Is a pro-white, non-scary, non-demonic, non-anti-Semitic conservatism possible? That is the question that John McNeil raises, and that I try to answer.
The downward spiral begins as soon as one starts seeing Jews as a collective adversary.
McNeil is a young, intelligent, and stalwart conservative who has been striving over the past year to serve as a voice of sense and moderation at the anti-Jewish right-wing blogs, and now he has come to realize that it’s a futile task.
Mr. McNeil writes:
Re your entry, “The need for a better word for anti-Semitism,” I wouldn’t be too concerned about labels. At the very least, the Alt-Right crowd think you’re a neocon. I had to explain the difference between an Israel supporter and a neocon, and how you don’t advocate Western conquest of the Middle East, but instead separation from the Islamic world. I don’t think the point was taken well. [LA replies: And it’s not just the low-end commenters at those blogs who say such hopelessly stupid things. Richard Spencer, the editor of Alternative Right and a graduate of Duke University, wrote the other day that except for my views on race, I have the same worldview as the neocons. Such remarks lead me to amend my earlier observation that anti-Semitism lowers a person’s effective IQ by one standard deviation; I would say the correct number is closer to two standard deviations.]
If anti-Semites are going to complain about labels, then they need to cease the throwing of the neocon-bomb. Or ZOG, or (my personal favorite) “shill for the tribe.”
I do agree with you that facts are better than name-calling. Several times on Alt Right I’ve been insulted, called nasty names, and even got a death threat at one point. Every time this sort of thing happens, I’m tempted to respond with something equally vile and juvenile. But I cancel the post, and write something more restrained, because I know I will descend to their level if I engage in an insult contest. It’s very hard for me to remain composed when I know I’m not just arguing with anti-Semites like Hunter Wallace, but full-out neo-Nazis. “Another meaningless label!”, the anti-Semites will cry, but you go on Alt Right’s facebook page and see people insisting that Nazi Germany had no death squads and how wonderful fascism is. Or see comments like “Does anyone doubt now that the Anglosphere fought on the wrong side of WWII?” receiving the most “likes” in a thread. It’s a Nazi cesspool, and even Alt Right’s editors are aware of it, but only one has ever dared to confront (his words) the “Stormfronters.”
I’m now seeing the wisdom of VFR’s hard-line stance on anti-Semites. I rescind what I said to you earlier about the Eugene Girin symposium on anti-Semitism at Alt Right, although I’m still personally willing to give Serge Trifkovic the benefit of the doubt. However, I’ve come to see how anti-Semitism is like a cancer that just becomes more extreme over time until people reach a point where they’re barking about wanting to wage war with Israel and praying that it gets nuked by Iran. There’s no reasoning with them. There’s no discernible event-horizon where they are guaranteed not to descend into lunacy. The downward spiral begins as soon as one starts seeing Jews as a collective adversary. Some of the anti-Semites can be saved, but, as you said, it requires a personal journey. There’s nothing we can do to help them in that process except be willing to let bygones be bygones if and when they have emerged from the sewer. [LA replies: Yes, there is nothing that we can do to make a person initiate the process of internal re-thinking that he must undergo if he is to bring himself out of that world of darkness. The movement must begin from an impulse within the person himself.]
It’s sad, because it means once again that I’m searching for a place for non-anti-Semitic, non-bigoted American white ethnonationalism. Oh, well. I think some day I will find it. If it can happen in Britain, why can’t it happen in America, especially considering the fact that America’s history with Jews has been much more benign than Europe’s?
I think—and the existence of at least a part of this blog’s readership is a testimony to what I’m about to say—that there are non-anti-Semitic conservatives who have a normal and healthy attachment to the white race and its civilization, as almost all normal white people have had throughout history until the advent of modern liberalism in the mid twentieth century, but who may not particularly relate to a term like “ethnonationalism.” The latter perhaps has the same off-putting edge to it (including an implied anti-Semitism) as the term “white nationalism.” I would suggest that the thing to do is to defend the white race and its civilization from the forces that threaten them, without turning that belief into a formal ideology. Ethnonationalism sounds like an ideology.
- end of initial entry -
We can perhaps understand the point better by means of an example. The nuclear family is the central institution of human society, but it’s not good to turn support for the nuclear family into an ideology. Rather such support should be built into our common understanding of things. When the family is made into the object of an explicit ideology, we end up with what I call “family fascists,” people who treat the family as an all-purpose weapon to be employed against all the ills of the age. (Note: I am not saying that this is true of most family-values conservatives; I am pointing to this as one possible tendency.)
I think I’ve previously mentioned that when I attended Paul Weyrich’s “cultural separation” conference in 1999 there was a man there from a pro-family organization whom a friend and I jokingly referred to as the Family Guy. The man had no thought process, no interest in and no ability to deal with the range of issues being discussed at the conference. Everything with him was just the family, the family, the family. Such reductionism, such one-issue politics, is deadly to the life of the intellect, deadly to any real politics and culture.
John McNeil writes:
I understand what you mean about the problems of the term “ethnonationalism”. While I don’t think it’s as loaded as white nationalist, you are correct that most whites are still terrified of the implications when you explain what it is. I suppose I prefer using it because it’s the best way to describe what I’m about. True I could use “conservative” or “traditionalist”, but for me, those labels seem vague. And I feel that I would be accused of being a closet racist if I pretended to be a normal conservative with strong racial views that are leaked out in the conversation. By saying I’m an ethnonationalist from the get-go, people then know what I’m about. Leftists lose the witch hunter power. I also think that by avoiding the label, I am in essence surrendering it and thus giving power to the Left. Sanitizing the label and resisting attempts at making it an ugly word is much along the same vein as liberal battles to sanitize socialism as a label, and deconstruct the negative connotation of it.
You are right that one must not be a one-issue person. I suppose for me, it’s not so much that I’m single-issue. Rather I see ethnonationalism as my number 1 cause, with other causes taking a back seat, partially because it’s a cause that most conservatives will not take up. Thus I feel the need for someone to “specialize” in its advocacy.
But as I’m writing this, I do see the weakness in describing oneself as just an ethnonationalist, because that leads to being, what you term, a amoral biological reductionist, where everything boils down to Darwinian struggle, with the interests of the “tribe” being the morality. I believe in a universal truth and morality that isn’t just about tribal politics.
So I’m open-minded as far as adopting a new label. Perhaps I can say that ethnonationalism is one of my beliefs, not the only one, and perhaps more closely tie it in with other causes.
I appreciate what you’re saying. It shows your honesty and your seriousness.
I don’t myself have an all purpose answer to this. It’s true that I call myself a racialist, or a moral racialist, as I’ve explained many times. But I also understand that this is a term others might not like and so I wouldn’t use it as the description of a movement.
One possibility is racial conservative. Here is a discussion about that term between a reader and me last year:
Bruce B. writes:
I prefer racial conservative” to “white nationalist.” I think anything with an “ist” in it sounds more threatening, especially if it also has the word “white” attached to it. I think my term conveys what we seek and emphasizes that it’s non-threatening. What do you think?
I like “racial conservative.” It’s precise and appropriate.
This goes back to my long-standing critique of conservatism. What is conservatism about? The preserving and flourishing of certain constitutive aspects of our reality and the values connected to them. So, we have “economic conservatives,” “social conservatives,” “family values conservatives,” “cultural conservatives,” “constitutional conservatives,” “Christian conservatives.” All those types of conservatives are recognized as part of the conservative mix. But there are two problems with this picture. One, the various types of conservatives are often in different rooms, only seeing and defending one part of the whole, rather than the whole. Two, there is one type of conservatism that is completely missing from this recognized conservative mix: racial conservatism. Without racial conservatism, all the other types of conservatism will go down, because without the continuance of the Anglo-European white majority and its culture, everything else about our society will be lost. That is why I said in my speech at the 1994 American Renaissance conference that a conservatism that lacks a recognition of fundamental racial realities is not a serious conservatism.
The only thing I don’t like about it is that if you say that’s what you are it can sound like that’s all you’re for conserving, so it needs qualification.
I agree, it absolutely needs qualification. :-)
[end of 2009 exchange]
I would add this. It’s not necessary to make a big deal about race in our description of our position. All that’s necessary is to say that we care about race, perhaps using the terms I used the other day, when I wrote:
First, that I believe that race matters in specific ways that are important to society…. Second, that I care about the well being of the white race, the race which created our nation and our civilization, the race which is the source of everything we are and everything we have, the race without which, it goes without saying, we ourselves would not exist.
Simply indicating that we think race matters in certain ways, and as one issue among many others—that alone tells people that we stand outside the usual race-blind, anti-discriminatory, universalist, Glen Beck-type conservatism, and that we are speaking a different language from all liberals and mainstream conservatives and have in mind a different kind of politics. We don’t need (at least initially) to say more than that. So there’s certainly no need to use hardline, ominous-sounding terms such as white nationalism or ethnonationalism, which add much more to the picture than is needed, and which I personally wouldn’t use in any case. We just need to say that we think race matters. That alone distinguishes us from other conservatives.
Also, as said above, I think that the term racial conservatism shows the continuity between conservatism in general and racial conservatism in particular, namely that all types of conservatism seek to conserve some fundamental and definitional aspect of our social, cultural, and spiritual being. And, prior to the last few decades and the rule of postwar liberalism, no one would have dreamed of denying that the whiteness of the West was a fundamental aspect of the West. So, when it comes to race, my intellectual aims are really quite modest. All I am trying to do is make explicit what everyone in the West (and in the non-West as well) at least implicitly believed about the West through its entire history up to the 1950s and ’60s, when what had been a normal part of reality and a normal part of human consciousness (e.g., the taken-for-granted view that America was basically a white, European-stock country) became forbidden.
Returning to the question of the right-wing anti-Jews, I think it’s become so clear that they are off in some mad world of their own, that it’s less and less necessary to discuss them. They are too flagrantly loony to be a serious threat that needs to be confronted and refuted. Every time they open their mouths, they discredit themselves. No one else needs to do it for them.
And I must say, blogging is so much more pleasant and interesting when one is not dealing with these people and their pathologies. There are so many better and more fruitful topics to discuss.
Also, as I’ve said before, I at least am realistic enough to know that my views are marginal, and that a big change in society will be necessary before my views are even partly admitted into the mainstream. But the right-wing anti-Jews actually seem to be under the impression that their views are central. They think they’re major players, when, in reality, they are gathered in a tiny, dirty alleyway in the most disreputable part of town….
Van Wijk writes:
Mr. McNeil and I frequent some of the same blogs and I’ve always been impressed by his contributions. You are both spot-on regarding anti-Semitism.
What I find most interesting about the phenomenon is that, even if you set aside the moral argument in its entirety, anti-Semitism is still destructive on a purely pragmatic level. Recently I read a comment at a conservative blog (I don’t recall which) that stated approvingly that Western European people and fundamentalist Muslims seem to be the natural enemies of Jewish supremacy. This mindset represents the logical conclusion to the anti-Semitic thought process. “ZOG” is a myth, but because it is a myth it grows to mythical proportions and eventually envelopes the mind. At that point the anti-Semite sees Jewish influence all around him, and in desperation will seek to ally himself with anyone who is against the Jews. The anti-Semite and the Muslim are natural allies. Allah in Heaven, Hitler on Earth was popular for a reason.
In order for us to survive as a people, white men must eventually stand up and take back what is ours. When we do, leftist Jews will fall in line fairly quickly; they represent no physical threat. Anti-Semitism is both undesirable and unnecessary.
Speaking of myths that grow to mythical proportions and envelope the mind, what about the fact that the anti-Jews have made a cause celebre over the idea that I criticized Polansky’s arrest (which I did for about an hour, until I learned the facts of the case) because he is Jewish? Try to get into the thought process of someone who would actually think that the reason I criticized the arrest of a public figure on a sex charge was that he was Jewish, and that this fact reveals my true agenda. Is one going to expend energy defending oneself from such a charge? That means getting into their dementia with them.
But this descent into extreme sickness is actually a good development, as I’ve suggested above. They are so sick and far-out that one doesn’t need to bother refuting them; they marginalize themselves. Which means that they are not a problem that we need to worry about or fight against.
When Alt-Right began, I was concerned about it and wrote against it, because it seemed like a serious effort to form a new right wing movement along explicitly anti-Semitic lines. But now I realize that they are so far gone that one can happily ignore them. Over the last couple of weeks I had not posted anything about the anti-Jews, and I realized how pleasant that was, and that writing about them was not necessary.
Which does not mean that I am never going to write about them in the future. When something extraordinary comes up, I will post about it. For example, there’s the recent thread at Alt-Right in which Richard Spencer supports Paul Craig Robert’s statement that he would welcome the entire population of Mexico coming to the United States, if only that would mean getting rid of the neocons.
In his initial entry, John McNeil says about Alt-Right:
It’s a Nazi cesspool, and even Alt Right’s editors are aware of it, but only one has ever dared to confront (his words) the “Stormfronters.”
I would note that Mr. McNeil, in his long-time efforts to reason with the anti-Jews, has always used moderate language to characterize their positions. For him to describe their online community as a “Nazi cesspool” suggests how bad it really is.
Mark Jaws writes:
Now, this is a topic which I can sink my teeth into.
First, I would like to ask whether Tanstaafl claims to regard “ALL Jews” as his enemy, or just those Jews who are an active part of the political, media, and academic left. Because if he regards all Jews, to include me, who is the most vociferous anti-Jewish liberal whom I know, as his enemy, then I would say he is “anti-Jew.” But what if Tanstaafl were to say, that Jews and semi-Semites such as Mark Jaws are OK, and are not to be regarded as the enemy? Could we then call Tanstaafl an “anti-liberal Jew?”
Second, is someone like me an anti-Jew? I have a grasp of the demographic makeup of the American Left and see Jewish dominance, and therefore hold Jews responsible, more than any other group on a per capital basis, for the societal drift to the left. Or am I an anti-liberal Jew? I also believe that the majority of American Jews are culturally inculcated, and quasi-genetically hardwired, given the 1500 years of persecution in Gentile Europe, to be anti-Christian and anti-conservative, which makes these otherwise brilliant people unreasonable when they enter the political realm.
I don’t think your first question is worth pursuing. Haven’t you read Tanstaafl? He says the Jews are his enemy. Period. He’s never said the problem is just “leftist” Jews.
Mark Jaws replies:
OK. In my opinion, if the “anti-Semites” accept me, as I am, then they are not anti-Jews. There have been times when I have done some infiltration into the REAL anti-Jew websites, such as Storm Front, and in describing myself as a semi-Semite, I have NEVER received one nibble to my fishing expeditions. I am completely ignored.
“I have NEVER received one nibble to my fishing expeditions. I am completely ignored.”
Does that mean that they are hostile to you as a half-Jew, or that they don’t care one way or the other?
Mark Jaws replies:
They are hostile. No one can completely ignore me, because when I talk about blacks, I make too much sense. No, they ignore me because they hate Jews.
Ok, then your own experience shows that the answer to your “if/then” question is no. They do not accept you, they want nothing to do with you; therefore they are anti-Jews. Case closed.
First you raised the hope/possibility that they are not anti-Jews (“if the ‘anti-Semites’ accept me, as I am, then they are not anti-Jews”), then you showed decisively that they are anti-Jews. So why did you even raise the hope/possibility? I think you’re having trouble accepting the truth.
Mark Jaws replies:
My original goal was to determine if Storm Fronters are anti-Jew. I determined they were and then shook off the dust from my keyboard. HOWEVER, there have been two cases when I did encounter folks who sounded originally anti-Jew, but they were willing to engage me and they are now simply anti-liberal Jew.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 20, 2010 06:01 PM | Send