Ian Jobling loves Big Brother

Remember Ian Jobling? He had worked for Jared Taylor in the early Oughts, then broke with him over Taylor’s refusal to dissociate himself from the anti-Semites at the 2006 AR conference (an issue extensively covered by VFR at the time). He subsequently created the blog Inverted World, then changed its name to White America. He has long since removed the blog and all its contents from the Web.

Jobling’s intellectual position had always struck me as rather strained, since he identified himself as a liberal while also espousing a Darwinian-based white racialism.

Well, Jobling has finally resolved the contradiction. He has given a long mea culpa interview to one of the most evil liberal organizations in America, the Southern Poverty Law Center. In the interview he does not just repudiate anti-Semitic white nationalism, which of course he has always vociferously opposed (fighting anti-Semitism on the racial right was the main reason he created Inverted World); he rejects all his former beliefs about race. Whereas he once said that race is a primary, perhaps the primary, factor in the formation of human society, now he seems to say that race does not matter at all. For example, he rejects his former belief that “it’s natural for people to align with their own race and to work in their own race’s interests…. and if you don’t defend your own race’s interests, you’re just going to be victimized by other races…. ” What he’s really saying here is that the racial composition of a society does not affect that society in any significant way. From which it follows that it’s not a problem for America to turn itself into a nonwhite country, since, Jobling continues, it is not true “that non-white immigration [is] going to cause the United States to become a Third World country.” His larger implication is that nonwhite immigration will not cause America to change in any negative manner whatsoever. He also denies that black-on-white violence exists, other than as a statistical artifact of black’s minority status. Incredibly, he goes so far as to declare that he’s “not all that convinced” of the reality of black-white IQ differences!

All that’s left of Jobling’s former views of race is that he thinks it is legitimate for scientists to research and write about racial differences in intelligence. That’s it. Evidently his new masters at SPLC will allow him that.

I was about to say that by going to SPLC and renouncing everything he once believed Jobling has done a Winston Smith. But a closer parallel is Alain Finkielkraut, the French Jewish intellectual who in 2005 made some very moderate and self-evidently correct criticisms of the anti-French attitudes of Muslims in France, then went on a leftist radio program and repudiated everything he had said, going so far as to declare that he could not recognize himself in the person who had said these terrible things. (Here are all of VFR’s articles on Finkielkraut. )

However, Jobling goes beyond a Finkielkraut-type repudiation of his former positions; he slanders the people who still hold them, by calling Kevin MacDonald “the major scholarly exponent” of the idea (now rejected by Jobling) that people naturally align with their own race. Of course, MacDonald does not just believe that it is natural for people to organize themselves by race; he is a reductive Darwinian racial determinist who is best known for his view that the Jews are driven by the forces of Darwinian evolution to destroy white gentile societies. Jobling has thus smeared all white racial thinking by associating it with the premier anti-Semite of our time.

By the way, I’ve had no correspondence with Jobling in five years, since he flipped out at me over my article, “An absolute refutation of Darwinism.”

A final quibble: SPLC keeps referring to Jared Taylor as a white nationalist. Taylor has never identified himself as a white nationalist and to my knowledge has had nothing to do with the white nationalist movement.

- end of initial entry -

John McNeil writes:

That’s a shame. Back in 2009-2010 Jobling was a breath of fresh air for me.

It’s sad that people can’t hold a balanced position on race. The pattern seems to be that if a person openly rejects any conventional white nationalist ideas, then he will slide back into pure race-blindness, rather than continuing to advocate for a moderate and positive race-realist position.

Bruce B. writes:

I don’t know the man but my guess is his renouncing of his former views is the price he had to pay to be admitted back into polite society. It’s hard to blame him entirely, since he wrote the things he wrote under his real name (unlike us anonymous cowards). Maybe his financial circumstances required him to earn a living by holding a real job in polite society. [LA replies: He makes it clear in the interview that his racial views caused him significant problems with his family. I assume that his motives are as you describe. It should also be noted that Jobling when he created Inverted World used a pseudonym. But my famous adversary, Undercover Black Man, the late David Mills, exposed Jobling’s real name in late 2006. At that time, I was unaware that Mills had denounced me to David Horowitz and that Horowitz had told Mills that he would no longer publish me because of my “racist and offensive” positions. Mills, after successfully getting Horowitz to blackball me in May 2006, had, without telling me about the blackballing, initiated a more or less friendly correspondence with me in June 2006 by finding interesting historical documents online about my family. (See my response to David Mills’s assertion that it was not true that he initiated a friendly correspondence with me. In that same reply, I explain why I called him a villain.) But when, in December 2006, he discovered and publicized Jobling’s real name, I told Mills that this was unethical and ended my correspondence with him. I said to him that people have legitimate reasons for writing under pseudonyms and that such reasons should be respected. Here is VFR’s discussion about Mills at the time of his death.]

A note on your characterization of MacDonald’s position. I agree that he is a Darwinian reductionist and has an irrational axe to grind with Jews. But saying that he characterizes them as “driven by the forces of Darwinian evolution to destroy white gentile societies” makes it sound like they’re wired to destroy white societies in particular. I’d guess that he would say that Jews would undermine any society of non-Jews (Japanese, Indians, whoever) but Jews because of historical circumstances just happen to exist in large numbers among Europeans. It might seem like quibbling with your words, but saying that they’re programmed to uniquely destroy white societies is likely to produce an especially large amount of rage towards Jews among the irrational-minded and to me it makes MacDonald sound especially nutty.

LA replies:

As far as I am aware, the view of MacDonald and his followers is exactly as I described.

Mark Jaws writes:

This turning of Ian Jobling is understandable. Back in 2008 I worked closely with Ian as he assisted me in lobbying my county’s school board to remove Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” from our History AP classes. In March 2009 I orchestrated a huge turnout (by conservative standards) of 35 people to show up at a school board meeting to speak out against the book. My wife, my friends, Ian, and I all addressed the board. Since all speakers had to sign in, Ian listed his organization, “White America,” on the sign-in sheet. To make a long story short, a reporter researched Ian’s organization, his website, and Ian’s and my postings, and wrote an article about it. It caused a huge problem for me among respectable conservative circles. Fortunately, in the long run my racialist postings won more friends than enemies, and I was able to recover from what was a terrible time for me. However, I learned an important lesson about community organizing—to stay clear of imprudent misfits.

LA replies:

Well, there you have a significant part of the picture. The man who was so emotionally fired up on the issue of race that he advertised in a mainstream forum—a school board meeting!—that he ran a website called “White America,” and by doing so got his fellow speakers at the meeting in trouble, was the same man who a couple of years later repudiated all his beliefs about white America and at least by implication smeared the people who still have the same beliefs that he once had. This is not a stable person.

People whose positions are based on emotion, not on considered principle, do not keep their positions, but drop them when they become inconvenient or unfashionable.

Another case in point is Michael Levin. His views on black intelligence, while correct, were largely driven by a visceral dislike of blacks. That’s where he was really coming from. His writings on the subject were so dry and dense and academic because that was the opposite of the visceral element which was really driving him and which, he knew, was unacceptable for public consumption.

And then what happened? Several years ago Levin announced in an interview at AR that he no longer cared about race and race differences, that what really got his goat was the war in Iraq and those damned neocons!

My point: Levin’s position on race was not principled and solid, but driven largely by emotion, and so he did not maintain the position he had but shamelessly abandoned it when his emotions or his situation changed. And Jobling, at least to some extent, seems to be the same.

LA writes:

I want to underscore this: Could anything be more dishonorable and self-discrediting than a former racial conservative giving an interview in which he renounces his former views and denounces his former associates—and giving this interview to the SPLC? This is the organization whose main activity is automatically labeling all even slightly non-liberal organizations as “hate-groups.”

Julian C. writes:

“Since all speakers had to sign in, Ian listed his organization…”

I recall Jobling writing on his site that he had watched the movie Milk about gay activist Harvey Milk. The lesson Jobling took from that story was “to be explicit” about one’s position. He perhaps took that a bit far though in listing his organization at a school board meeting!

LA replies:

Yes, and it’s one thing to be explicit about one’s gayness in San Francisco in the 1970s; it’s another to be explicit about being a white nationalist in any mainstream venue in today’s America.

Ed H. writes:

What interests me is the very curious business of this man going to the SPLC and confessing to all sorts of thought crimes. If a man has a change of mind, if he reconsiders his opinions, that’s one thing. But why does it necessarily involve self-humiliation like this? If a man is interested in the truth why go to an organization that is notoriously, flamboyantly not interested in truth, and confess to them? If you are mortified by the wrongness of your past ideas you are driven in the direction of private sober reconsideration and penance. not in the direction of publicly asking for acceptance from an utterly corrupt organization like the SPLC. [LA replies: Isn’t the most likely answer simply that he wanted to new start in life, cleared of his “racist” past, and the way to do this was to confess and repent in the most flamboyant way possible?]

Your allusion to Big Brother is well taken. Orwell’s original title for Nineteen Eighty-Four was The Last Man in Europe. The book is really the story of a totalitarian system arriving at its own perfection. The last hold-out against English Socialism INGSOC is Winston Smith. We watch as every shred of private thought and feeling is taken from him. His only source of love denounces him to the state, he betrays her in turn, his memory of his mother is one of betrayal and remorse, his most private thoughts are recorded, his one admired friend has him arrested, his government job is the destruction of human history. The final disintegration of his humanity comes when the telescreen announces the total victory of INGSOC over the whole world. There is no place to stand outside of the system. The human mind has ceased to exist.

Indulge me then in a bit of speculation. Ian Jobling’s decision to go the SPLC came on the night of November 6, 2012. A man with no capacity for truth, gave into the only thing he ever really understood. Power.

LA writes:

You’d think there would be a lot of discussion in the right-wing blogosphere about Jobling’s confession to SPLC. I just googled

jobling splc

and VFR is the only site other than SPLC that has anything on it. There’s one anti-Semite blogger who mentions it but he just has a brief note and points to VFR’s discussion. This anti-Semite is under the impression that Jobling is Jewish. He writes: “Jobling, Berman, and Auster are proof that the Jews don’t control Amren.” Jobling is not Jewish. (By the way, has anyone ever met a Jew named “Ian”?) But the anti-Semites are so stupid, or so under the spell of Darwinian tribalist determinism (which is the same thing), that they think that anyone who opposes anti-Semitism must himself be Jewish.

November 30

Dan R. writes:

All I can think is that here was a flash-in-the-pan. Nobody knew him before he came to American Renaissance and nobody will know him hence. I met him once at an AR conference. An obviously bright guy, my impression from his own past comments was that he came from a relatively privileged background, enough so that he didn’t have to be very concerned about financial matters. He devoted a significant portion of his life to gaining at doctorate and then left his field behind. “White nationalism” appears to be something that grabbed him for a few years and now that too is left behind, as he ventures into the world of computer consulting. All in all, a sad story, for the bottom line, as you have put it, is that the SPLC is simply a despicable organization, and for Jobling to use them as his vehicle is worse than sad—it’s contemptible.

By the way, I am Jewish and growing up in my nearly all-Jewish neighborhood in Queens I knew a Jewish boy named Ian. The family was very Jewish-conscious, and I recall talk, as a teenager, regarding Ian or his older brother wishing to move to Israel. The father had very strong pro-Israeli sentiments, and their last name was an obviously Jewish one. As with you, however, I never had the impression that Jobling was Jewish and I’m not sure I can name another Jewish Ian!

How interesting, as you say, that you could find no other site discussing the Jobling matter.

Paul K. writes:

In my younger years I believed that once a person had had his eyes opened to the falsity of liberalism, he couldn’t return to his former blindness. This was obviously incorrect. We have numerous examples of people like Jobling who switch sides. You have written about David Brock, the scourge of Anita Hill and chronicler of the Troopergate scandals during the Clinton years, who now runs the left-wing Media Matters and serves as a Democratic operative. Another such unstable character whom you have discussed is Charles Johnson of the Little Green Footballs website.

LA writes:

To reprise: This is a man who was so gung-ho for white racialism that he went to a county school board meeting with a group of moderate conservatives and officially identified himself as the writer of a website called “White America,” and now, three years later, this same man goes to the SPLC to seek absolution for his racist sins. The story is so extreme, so emblematic of a certain personality type, namely a man without a self, that it’s more like a movie or novel (say, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist) than real life. But it is real life.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 29, 2012 02:24 PM | Send

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