Category Archives: Academic Racism

Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy : A Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory

By Nathan Cofnas

In the 1990s, Kevin MacDonald wrote a trilogy of books arguing that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy,” and the pursuit of this strategy by Jews had far-reaching consequences for world history. In A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994) he proposed that, since its inception, Judaism has promoted eugenic practices favoring high intelligence, conscientiousness, and ethnocentrism. As a consequence, the contemporary Jewish population (at least the Ashkenazi population) is marked by a high level of these traits, including a mean IQ of 117 (weighted on verbal intelligence). In Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998b) he argued that anti-Semitism is a reaction by gentiles to competition for resources with less populous but more organized and competent Jewish groups. In The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998a), he argued that post-Enlightenment Jews who abandoned the religion of Judaism invented a substitute: liberal political, intellectual, and scientific movements with the same social and organizational structure as Judaism, and the same ultimate purpose to promote the evolutionary success of Jews.

According to The Culture of Critique, the most influential of these intellectual movements—Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School critical theory—were headed by charismatic and authoritarian leaders (analogous to rabbis), they placed great value on verbal brilliance and internal consistency rather than testability or agreement with external reality (analogous to Talmudic scholarship), and they promoted Jewish group interests at the expense of gentiles. The movements advocated separatism and ethnocentrism for Jews, discouraged ethnic identification among white gentiles (in order to prevent group consciousness among white gentiles that might lead to a sense of competition with Jews and thus anti-Semitism), undermined and destabilized traditional European culture to weaken resistance to Jewish control, “pathologized” anti-Semitism, and denied that Jewish behavior plays a role in anti-Jewish attitudes.

MacDonald argues that Jewish intellectual and political movements were responsible for major trends in twentieth-century scientific, political, and demographic history. These movements, he says, were responsible for the rejection of Darwinian thinking among most mainstream social scientists, and also for large-scale nonwhite immigration to European and European-colonized countries (the United States, Australia, etc.).

Do MacDonald’s Theories Merit Scholarly Attention?

MacDonald’s books received some positive and some mixed reviews. Eysenck (1995) called A People That Shall Dwell Alone “a potentially very important contribution.” Masters (1996), while enthusiastic about the prospect of analyzing religions as evolutionary strategies, raised concerns about the depth of the author’s familiarity with the history of religion. Figueredo (1999) gave Separatism and Its Discontents a generally positive assessment. In a favorable review of The Culture of Critique, Salter (2000) attributed “much of the criticism of MacDonald [to] ignorance of his scholarship and a confounding of political and scientific issues.”

MacDonald’s work on Judaism did not receive widespread attention until the year 2000 when Slate journalist Shulevitz (2000) used it in an effort to discredit evolutionary psychology. In response to Shulevitz’s challenge that scientists “can’t ignore bad ideas,” Pinker pointed out that they have no choice. It is impossible to do battle against all bad ideas, of which there are a thousand for every good one.

[D]oing battle against some of them is a tacit acknowledgement that those have enough merit to exceed the onerous threshold of attention-worthiness. MacDonald’s ideas, as presented in summaries that would serve as a basis for further examination, do not pass that threshold . . . (Pinker 2000: unpaginated).

Given this fact—that ideas need to meet an “onerous threshold of attention-worthiness”—what justifies giving attention to MacDonald’s theories, published two decades ago and, with just a few exceptions (e.g., favorable treatment in Wilson 2002; criticisms in Atran 2002:230–33), largely ignored in mainstream literature?

Even if Pinker was right that MacDonald’s theories did not have enough prima facie merit to warrant attention in 2000, developments in the past 18 years have changed the situation. There are at least three reasons to give MacDonald a hearing.

First, some respected psychologists and evolutionary theorists have reported that they found value in MacDonald’s work. For example, David Sloan Wilson endorsed the ideas in A People That Shall Dwell Alone and strongly criticized the representatives of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society who rejected MacDonald: “Even evolutionary psychologists, who have experienced their share of persecution in academic circles, seem more concerned to protect their own reputations than to defend the work of their colleague” (quoted in Salter 2000). Wilson is also thanked in the acknowledgments sections of all three books. And, as noted, Eysenck, Figueredo, Salter, and others have publicly given positive evaluations of some or all of MacDonald’s trilogy. There are also a number of serious scholars who are attracted to MacDonald’s ideas but will not endorse or even comment on them publicly because they fear that they will be perceived as anti-Semitic. This amounts to at least some degree of prima facie evidence that MacDonald’s theory should be considered.

Second, it is an undeniable fact that, in the past few hundred years, Jews have had a disproportionate influence on politics and culture in the Western world, if not the whole world. It might be worthwhile to investigate this phenomenon from a biosocial or evolutionary perspective. So far there have been only a handful of such investigations, including Cochran et al.’s (2005) study on the evolution of Jewish intelligence, Dunkel et al.’s (2015) report of high mean levels of the “general factor of personality” among Jews, and, what is by far the most ambitious, MacDonald’s (19941998a1998b). The idea that Jewish influence resulted, at least in some cases, from their pursuit of a group evolutionary strategy cannot be dismissed a priori. Since MacDonald has defended this theory, he seems to provide a starting point for anyone wishing to investigate the understudied issue of Jewish influence. If he is wrong, it may be useful to know why and how.

Third and perhaps most important, though, is that MacDonald’s work has been influential—enormously so—in a certain segment of the lay community, namely, among anti-Semites and adherents of the burgeoning movement known as the “alt-right.” It is hard to overstate his influence among this group. Some years ago Derbyshire (2003) called him “the Marx of the anti-Semites,” and with the advent of the alt-right his audience has grown substantially. Richard Spencer, whom the New York Times calls “the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement” (Goldstein 2016), introduced MacDonald at a conference with one sentence: “There is no man on the planet who has done more for the understanding of the pole around which the world revolves than Kevin MacDonald” (Spencer 2016). Andrew Anglin, who runs the most popular alt-right/neo-Nazi website, says in his “Guide to the Alt-Right” that “MacDonald’s work examining the racial nature of Jews is considered crucial to understanding what the Alt-Right is about” (Anglin 2016). The New York Times describes MacDonald’s trilogy as “a touchstone” for the alt-right, a movement encompassing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people (Caldwell 2016). MacDonald is also editor of the Occidental Observer, a fairly popular magazine that is devoted largely to interpreting current events in the light of his theories about Jews. Anglin (2016) lists the Occidental Observer as one of eight “sites and people” playing a key role in the alt-right movement.

The refusal of scholars to engage with MacDonald has had unintended negative consequences. Many of his enthusiasts see him as credible because there has never been a serious academic refutation of his theories. The strategy employed 18 years ago—declaring his work to be anti-Semitic and/or to not reach the threshold to warrant scholarly attention—had the doubly unfortunate effect of intimidating scholars with a legitimate interest in the topic of Jewish evolution and behavior, and creating a perception among some laypeople—even if it was false—that MacDonald was being persecuted by the academic community.

This paper attempts to give MacDonald’s theories a fair hearing. It focuses on the argument of The Culture of Critique. This book builds on the previous two, so the whole trilogy stands or falls on its merits. It has also been the most influential of the three books. It defends a radical, interesting hypothesis, and the topic it addresses (Jewish overrepresentation in intellectual movements) is worthy of study in any case. The conclusion, however, will be that the argument of The Culture of Critique is built on misrepresented sources and cherry-picked facts. The evidence actually favors a simpler explanation of Jewish overrepresentation in intellectual movements involving Jewish high intelligence and geographic distribution.

Jewish High IQ and Geography: An Alternative, Simpler Theory That Explains More of the Data?

The mean Ashkenazi Jewish IQ appears to be around 110 (Lynn and Kanazawa 2008)—moderately lower than MacDonald’s estimate of 117. Jewish intellectual accomplishment is consistent with higher mean intelligence. The basic facts are well known. For example, though never more than 3% of the US population (Pinker 2006), Jews constitute 31% of US Nobel laureates in chemistry, 50% in economics, 37% in physics, 39% in physiology or medicine, and 33% in literature (jinfo.org). Lynn and Kanazawa (2008) give a good review of their overrepresentation in high-IQ occupations and in leadership positions in the arts, science, and industry.

But a mean IQ of 110 is not enough to explain Jewish achievement (Nisbett 2009:181). It is likely that Jews also have a geographic advantage. Since the Enlightenment and particularly in the twentieth century, European Jews have been highly concentrated in major urban centers (Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, New York City, Los Angeles, etc.). These areas tended to have the infrastructure to support intellectual achievement. Indeed, even without postulating high Jewish IQ, from their location alone we would expect them to be overrepresented in intellectual endeavors.

The combination of the aforementioned factors suggests an alternative theory—what could be called the “default hypothesis”—of Jewish involvement in twentieth-century liberal movements, namely: Because of Jewish intelligence and geography—particularly intelligence—Jews are likely to be overrepresented in any intellectual movement or activity that is not overtly anti-Semitic. The qualification that Jews are not overrepresented in overtly anti-Semitic movements is important because, in the twentieth century, a higher proportion of right-wing than left-wing movements were overtly anti-Semitic. According to the default hypothesis, Jewish involvement in politics has been somewhat skewed to the left in recent history, but Jews are also overrepresented in right-wing movements that are not anti-Semitic.

The default hypothesis seems to have more explanatory power and to be more parsimonious than MacDonald’s because it posits only two factors—IQ and geography—to explain Jewish overrepresentation in all (non-overtly anti-Semitic) intellectual activities: The two factors explain why Jews are more than half of world chess champions (Cochran et al. 2005) and why they comprised “[a]lmost one-half” of the elite American intellectuals in Kadushin’s (1974:23) sample (MacDonald 1998a:3). Of course, explanatory power and parsimony are not the only consideration: Agreement with empirical evidence is the ultimate arbiter. This paper attempts to determine whether the evidence favors MacDonald’s thesis or the default one.

The default hypothesis is not tied to any particular explanation of the cause of above-average Jewish IQ. Some researchers favor a genetic explanation. In an influential paper, Cochran et al. (2005) argued that during the Middle Ages Ashkenazim were selected for the intellectual ability to succeed in white-collar occupations. However, it is theoretically possible that the Jewish–gentile IQ gap is due at least in part to some yet-to-be-identified cultural factor (Nisbett 2009). Whatever the cause, high Jewish IQ presumably plays a role in Jewish overrepresentation in cognitively demanding activities.

Overview of Some Problems with the Arguments in The Culture of Critique

To review, the claim of The Culture of Critique is that “Jewish-dominated intellectual movements were a critical factor (necessary condition) for the triumph of the intellectual left in late twentieth-century Western societies” (MacDonald 1998a:17; see also 214–15).

[I]ndividuals who strongly identified as Jews have been the main motivating force behind several highly influential intellectual movements that have simultaneously subjected gentile culture to radical criticism and allowed for the continuity of Jewish identification. Together these movements comprise the intellectual and political left in this century, and they are the direct intellectual ancestors of current leftist intellectual and political movements, particularly postmodernism and multiculturalism (1988a:213).

While Jewish intellectual movements vary in their details, they have (according to The Culture of Critique) the same broad agenda to (a) subject gentile society to radical critique that undermines its traditional institutions, (b) attack white gentile ethnocentrism and unity (in order to weaken the potential for organized gentile resistance to Jewish domination), (c) “pathologize” anti-Semitism and obscure the fact that anti-Jewish attitudes may be a response to Jewish behavior, and (d) promote multiculturalism for white gentiles (in order to weaken gentile power) while promoting separatism for Jews and racial purity in Israel. Jewish movements are alleged to have been responsible for banishing Darwinian thinking from social science, promoting environmentalism as an explanation for individual and group differences in behavior, and proscribing the study of group differences in psychology. As noted, the way in which Jewish intellectual movements are organized—headed by charismatic, authoritarian leaders such as Freud and Boas—is supposedly analogous to the organization of traditional Judaism.

There are several categories of questionable argumentation in The Culture of Critique. The following is a preview—more detailed examples will be given in later sections.

The Same Behavior Is Interpreted Differently When Exhibited by Jews or Gentiles

A common pattern throughout The Culture of Critique is that the same behavior is given a different interpretation depending on whether it is performed by Jews or gentiles. For example, when gentiles assume leadership positions in radical movements (e.g., John Dewey, Carl Jung), it is because “gentiles have . . . been actively recruited to the movements . . . and given highly visible roles . . . in order to lessen the appearance that the movements are indeed Jewish-dominated or aimed only at narrow Jewish sectarian interests” (1988a:4). MacDonald calls this phenomenon “a major theme” of his book. Another explanation he gives for gentile involvement in radical politics is that “once Jews have attained intellectual predominance, it is not surprising that gentiles would be attracted to Jewish intellectuals as members of a socially dominant and prestigious group and as dispensers of valued resources” (1988a:3).

Of course, it is possible that in all these cases where Jews and gentiles were both involved in radical politics, the Jews were acting as ethnic activists while the gentiles were being manipulated. But this theory requires strong positive evidence to be credible. As shall be argued, MacDonald never provides such evidence.

Sources Are Cherry-Picked and Jewish Involvement in Anti-Jewish Activism Is Ignored

MacDonald says that “there is a broad Jewish consensus [in the US] on such issues as Israel” (1988a:305). Nowhere in the book does he acknowledge that a great deal of Jewish involvement in politics across time and place has been decidedly opposed to narrow Jewish interests, including Israel. The most influential Jewish radical in history, Karl Marx, held extremely anti-Jewish views (Marx 2010). The most influential Jewish radical alive—when The Culture of Critique was published and still to this day—is Noam Chomsky. Chomsky is mentioned one time in The Culture of Critique—in an endnote where MacDonald comments simply that he “could . . . be regarded as someone whose writings were not highly influenced by his Jewish identity and specifically Jewish interests” (1988a:154, n. 15). There is no mention of Chomsky’s extreme anti-Israel positions and opposition to Jewish nationalism. George Soros—possibly the most politically influential Jewish financier in the world and a major promotor of liberalism/multiculturalism—dissociates himself from the Jewish community and opposes Jewish interests (as MacDonald conceives them). He is not mentioned once in the book. MacDonald paints a picture of Jews as hypocrites who impose liberalism on gentiles and adopt nationalism for themselves, but he ignores the fact that many of the most influential Jews seem to promote liberalism and multiculturalism for both gentiles and Jews.

Just as problematically, in a number of cases MacDonald fails to report that Jews whom he identifies as ethnic activists took stands against Israel and other Jewish interests (again, defining “Jewish interests” in MacDonald’s terms as ethnic self-preservation).

The Failure of Jews to Support Overtly Anti-Semitic Movements Is Interpreted as Evidence of Extreme Jewish Ethnocentrism

Many twentieth-century Jews ostensibly abandoned their Jewish identity and sought to assimilate. MacDonald points out that these Jews often did not support gentile nationalist movements—which he acknowledges were anti-Semitic—and he argues that this is evidence that these Jews were insincere in their desire to assimilate and were actually engaging in “Jewish crypsis” (his term).

It is highly questionable whether this inference is justified. Twentieth-century anti-Semitic nationalist movements were generally not welcoming of ethnic Jews regardless of their desire to assimilate. And even if they were, it seems unreasonable to question a Jew’s desire to reject Judaism because he did not want to kill, expel, or oppress his (probably still-Jewish) family and former friends.

Sources Are Misrepresented

In numerous places in The Culture of Critique, references are given to support a claim but no support can be found in the original source, or the original source is misrepresented. Because the present paper is focused on the argument of the book, it only reports some of these misrepresentations where they significantly affect the argument. Also, for considerations of length, it only reports cases of mishandling of sources where the problems can be clearly exposed in a reasonable amount of space. Despite the fact that only some instances of mishandling of sources are reported here, these cases alone raise serious questions about MacDonald’s research practices.

No Evidence Is Ever Acknowledged to Count against the Theory

In many places, MacDonald himself brings up facts that seem to go against the predictions of his theory. While these individual facts may not in themselves necessarily refute his hypothesis, rather than revising his ideas or acknowledging that he cannot explain everything, he dogmatically insists that the apparent counterexamples actually support his views.

For example, he claims several times that Jews are opposed to affirmative action because it is against their ethnic interests (1988a:101, 105, n. 16, 308, 313, 315; see also 240–41). He says that affirmative action policies “would clearly preclude free competition between Jews and gentiles” (1988a:101) and, elsewhere, that they “would necessarily discriminate against Jews” (1988a:315). In a parenthetical, he notes that when an anti-affirmative action measure was put on the ballot in California, Jews voted for it “in markedly lower percentages” than other white groups (1988a:311). That is, Jews voted to support affirmative action. His explanation for this is that “because of their competitive advantage” among whites, “Jews may perceive themselves as benefiting from policies designed to dilute the power of the European-derived group as a whole on the assumption that they would not suffer any appreciable effect.” Again, he shows a facile tendency to spin an apparent disconfirmation of his theory as actually a verification of it.

Hundreds of Years of Gentile Radicalism Are Ignored

The reader of The Culture of Critique who has no knowledge of history is led to believe that European society was traditionally marked by “hierarchic harmony” (1988a:315) and naive, happy acceptance of traditional religion, institutions, and family relations. Then, after the Enlightenment, Jews emerged from the ghettos and commenced what was to be a 300-year war on the foundations of European culture. MacDonald ignores a long history of radical and critical gentile thought from the ancient Greek philosophers to Rousseau to the Social Gospel Movement to French existentialism to Bill Ayers to Peggy McIntosh and countless other examples.

Boasian Anthropology, Environmentalism, and Opposition to the Study of Race Differences

The second chapter of The Culture of Critique is titled “The Boasian School of Anthropology and the Decline of Darwinism in the Social Sciences.” MacDonald sees Boas as having been a strongly identified Jew who pursued (and distorted) science with the goal of preventing anti-Semitism. Boas and his followers in the 1920s promoted the idea that

American culture [was] overly homogeneous, hypocritical, and emotionally and esthetically repressive (especially with regard to sexuality). Central to [their] program was creating ethnographies of idyllic cultures that were free of the negatively perceived traits that were attributed to Western culture. Among these Boasians, cultural criticism crystallized as an ideology of “romantic primitivism” in which certain non-Western cultures epitomized the approved characteristics Western societies should emulate (1988a:28–29).

This passage and others throughout the chapter suggest that Boasians were the first to romanticize primitive cultures as “idyllic” and not subject to the ills of Western civilization. In reality, by Boas’s time this had been a major theme among many gentile intellectuals for more than 150 years. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who popularized the romantic image of “savages” in the eighteenth century, is mentioned once in The Culture of Critique—in passing, in an endnote (1988a:211, n. 35). According to Rousseau:

The more one reflects on it, the more one finds that this state [of primitive life] was the least subject to upheavals and the best for man, and that he must have left it only by virtue of some fatal chance happening that, for the common good, ought never have happened. The example of savages, almost all of whom have been found in this state, seems to confirm that the human race had been made to remain in it always (Rousseau 2011:74).

Not all eighteenth-century European intellectuals agreed that civilization was a mistake. But virtually all seemed to accept Rousseau’s characterization of primitive life as idyllic. His ideas, including his critique of Western civilization, played an important role in triggering the French Revolution and (later) in the development of socialism, especially by Marx. All in all, he was quite probably the most influential thinker of the eighteenth century in both the short and the long run (Durant and Durant 1967).

So, contrary to what is suggested in The Culture of Critique, the tradition of critiquing Western civilization by comparing it unfavorably to traditional cultures was neither developed nor made popular by Jews. But even if he was not its inventor, could it be that Boas promoted the Rousseauian view of “romantic primitivism” to advance Jewish interests? It is true that many of Boas’s students were Jews (e.g., Alexander Goldenweiser, Melville Herskovits, Robert Lowie, Paul Radin, Edward Sapir, and Leslie Spier)—not particularly surprising given the high concentration of Jews at Columbia University at the time. But the most effective and indefatigable “Boasians” were not Jewish. MacDonald (1988a:26) notes that the students of Boas who “achieved the greatest public renown” were the gentiles Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead. He expounds: “As in several other prominent historical cases . . ., gentiles became the publicly visible spokespersons for a movement dominated by Jews.” According to MacDonald (1988a:27), Boas “strenuously promoted and cited” Benedict and Mead as part of a ruse to hide the fact that the whole movement was designed to promote Jewish interests.

But MacDonald does not supply any compelling reasons to think that Benedict and Mead were under the control of Boas. Even if we accept that Boas’s commitment to Jewish interests biased his science and made him critique Western society and promote environmentalist, culture-based explanations of human behavior, both Benedict and Mead were strong-willed, charismatic iconoclasts who seemed to be self-directed. Although MacDonald sees them as puppets of Boas, another possibility is that Benedict, Mead, and Boas were leaders of a somewhat misguided scientific movement, with Boas being technically the “teacher” because he happened to be a few years older, and Mead being the most influential. Criticizing Boas’s scientific standards, MacDonald says that he “completely accepted” Mead’s conclusions derived from a few months of fieldwork in Samoa and “uncritically allowed Ruth Benedict to distort his own data on the Kwakiutl” (1988a:28). But, taking MacDonald’s description of the facts at face value, this suggests that Mead and Benedict were, at least in these cases, taking the initiative to distort science for ideological ends. Perhaps it was the Jewish Boas who made them do this. Or perhaps, in the absence of compelling evidence to suggest otherwise, both Jews and gentiles occupied leadership roles in this movement in anthropology.

According to The Culture of Critique, Boasian anthropology was only the first Jewish salvo against hereditarianism and the study of race. A major theme in the book is that Jews were responsible for tabooing research on race differences, particularly in intelligence. MacDonald ignores the fact that influential gentiles have been well represented among environmentalists studying race differences in intelligence, and Jews have been clearly overrepresented among prominent hereditarians.

MacDonald (1988a:314) approvingly cites Ryan’s (1994:11) speculations on the psychology of the authors of The Bell Curve (Herrnstein and Murray 1994):

Herrnstein essentially wants the world in which clever Jewish kids or their equivalent make their way out of their humble backgrounds and end up running Goldman Sachs or the Harvard physics department, while Murray wants the Midwest in which he grew up—a world in which the local mechanic didn’t care two cents whether he was or wasn’t brighter than the local math teacher.

(Incidentally, Ryan’s article was published in the New York Review of Books—a journal that MacDonald repeatedly identifies as being an organ of Jewish interests.) This illustrates a blatant double standard applied to Jews and gentiles by MacDonald. The Jewish Richard Herrnstein, then head of the psychology department at Harvard, was the most prominent academic defender of hereditarianism regarding race differences in intelligence since WWII. Instead of accepting that Herrnstein is an example that does not support his thesis, MacDonald spins the facts by implying that Herrnstein supported the theory of race differences in intelligence because it would promote his ethnic interests. In contrast, the gentile Murray is portrayed as having no such sinister motivations—only a wish, in MacDonald’s words, for “a society with harmony among the social classes and with social controls on extreme individualism among the elite” (1988a:314).

A reasonable list of the most high-profile advocates of hereditarianism might be the following: Hans Eysenck, Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson, J. Philippe Rushton, and the aforementioned Herrnstein and Murray. Eysenck had a Jewish mother, making him Jewish by both Jewish law and MacDonald’s standards. Jensen was one-quarter Jewish, so he can be counted as a gentile. That means that two out of seven of the most prominent hereditarians were Jewish, making Jews extremely overrepresented in this group relative to their numbers in the general population.

Freud and Psychoanalysis

According to The Culture of Critique, “There is . . . evidence that Freud conceptualized himself as a leader in a war on gentile culture” (1988a:117). Psychoanalysis was a pseudoscientific movement designed to pathologize anti-Semitism and undermine gentile culture and social cohesion by attacking institutions regulating love and sex. “Psychoanalytic assertions [that sexual repression prevented relationships from being based on love and affection] were never any more than speculations in the service of waging a war on gentile culture” (1988a:126). Jews, led in the US by the “New York Intellectuals,” turned Freudianism into a secular religion, using it to attack the philosophical and institutional foundations of Western culture.

Let’s consider first Freud’s influence via the New York Intellectuals. MacDonald notes that of the top 21 American intellectuals according to peer ratings in the 1970s (Kadushin 1974), 15 were Jewish (and most were New York Intellectuals). Eleven of these 15, he says, were “‘significantly influenced by Freudian theory at some point in their careers,’” and 10 of those 11 held “liberal or radical political beliefs at some period of their career” (MacDonald 1998a:141, quoting/citing Torrey 1992:185). The implication is that these influential Jewish intellectuals promoted Freudianism to undermine gentile culture and advance their ethnic interests. But MacDonald leaves out some crucial information.

The 15 Jews among the top 21 intellectuals were (1) Daniel Bell, (2) Chomsky, (3) Irving Howe, (4) Norman Mailer, (5) Robert Silvers, (6) Susan Sontag, (7) Lionel Trilling, (8) Hannah Arendt, (9) Saul Bellow, (10) Paul Goodman, (11) Richard Hofstadter (Jewish father), (12) Irving Kristol, (13) Herbert Marcuse, (14) Norman Podhoretz, and (15) David Riesman. A closer look shows that only two or three of these cases support MacDonald’s thesis, and several are clear counterexamples. First off, five of these intellectuals are, by MacDonald’s criteria, unambiguously anti-Israel and therefore opposed to Jewish interests. Chomsky was (and still is) arguably the world’s leading critic of Israel. Mailer tended to sympathize with the Palestinians (Theodoracopulos 2015). When Sontag accepted the Jerusalem Prize in 2001, she used the occasion to condemn Israel (Cockburn 2001). Marcuse (who will be discussed in more detail below) advocated the return of Arab refugees to Israel, ending Jewish control of the country (Marcuse 2005:181). Arendt was the student, promoter, and lover (in a romantic sense) of the Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger. She was best known for her book Eichmann in Jerusalem (Arendt 1963), in which she argued that Israeli laws were comparable to the Nazi Nuremberg laws and that holocaust-orchestrator Eichmann had been given a “show trial” and was not a particularly bad person (just that he was prompted to do bad things by circumstances beyond his control—though she faults him for not being brave enough to protest). In 1948, Arendt (along with Einstein, Sidney Hook, and 24 other prominent Jews) signed a letter to the New York Times which described the political party of Menachem Begin as “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties” (Shatz 2004:65).

Another intellectual on the list, Saul Bellow, was a conservative who opposed feminism, multiculturalism, and political correctness. Bellow urged Allan Bloom, another Jewish academic at the University of Chicago, to write The Closing of the American Mind (Bloom 1987), one of the most influential pro-traditionalist academic books in the past few decades (Ahmed and Grossman 2007).

It is ironic that MacDonald casts Robert Silvers as a part of a nefarious Jewish Freudian movement. In the paragraph immediately following the one in which he introduces this list of 15 Jewish intellectuals, MacDonald writes:

The link between psychoanalysis and the political left, as well as the critical role of Jewish-controlled media in the propagation of psychoanalysis, can be seen in the recent uproar [over] Frederick Crews’s critiques of the culture of psychoanalysis. The original articles were published in the New York Review of Books . . . (1988a:141).

Silvers is the longtime editor of the New York Review of Books, and one of the 11 whom MacDonald identifies as being influenced by Freud.1

Bell, Hofstadter, and Riesman were liberals, though not particularly extreme, not known for promoting Freud, and not seriously involved in Jewish causes. (Bell 1962:16 described his perspective as “anti-ideological, but not conservative,” and he criticized utopian schemes such as Marxism as well as aspects of the prevailing social order.) Trilling may have been a nominal Marxist in the 1930s (D. Sidorsky, personal communication), though he evinced little interest in Jewish causes and his ethnic awareness seemed to be triggered mainly when he faced anti-Semitism. Goodman had no apparent interest in his fellow Jews, though he identified as an anarchist, so by MacDonald’s criteria might be considered an enemy of gentile culture. Howe was a liberal who supported as well as criticized Israel. That leaves the neoconservatives Kristol and Podhoretz. Kristol and Podhoretz became decidedly anti-liberal, though later in their careers they openly and aggressively supported Israel, Jewish interests, and, in Podhoretz’s case, unfettered immigration to the US.

The naive reader of The Culture of Critique would think that 11 of 15 top Jewish intellectuals were using Freudianism to attack the traditions of gentile culture while promoting separatism for Jews in the US and in Israel. MacDonald makes this conclusion fairly explicit:

Of these [15 Jewish intellectuals], only Noam Chomsky could possibly be regarded as someone whose writings were not highly influenced by his Jewish identity and specifically Jewish interests. The findings taken together indicate that the American intellectual scene has been significantly dominated by specifically Jewish interests and that psychoanalysis has been an important tool in advancing these interests (1988a:154, n. 15—partially quoted earlier).

But the evidence reviewed above suggests that this is a serious distortion of the facts. Even if it is true that 11/15 of these intellectuals were influenced by Freud “at some point in their careers,” virtually none of them comes close to conforming to MacDonald’s paradigm of a Jewish radical. Only one—Podhoretz—could be accused of hypocritically advocating different immigration policies for the US and Israel, though he was/is not a liberal and Freudianism played no meaningful role in his thinking. On the other hand, we clearly find that several people on the list—a list cited by MacDonald himself to support his thesis—are serious counterexamples to the theory of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. We find on this list possibly the world’s leading critic of Israel (Chomsky), a liberal who advocates the same immigration policies for the US and Israel (Marcuse), a leading advocate of traditional Western values (Bellow), and several others who, to varying degrees, were opposed or indifferent to Israel and Jewish interests.

MacDonald brings voluminous evidence that Freud strongly identified as a Jew. Based on numerous sources, he argues that Freud was unconditionally committed to promoting Jewish interests, that he “pathologized” anti-Semitism, and that he attacked gentile culture because he saw it as a threat to Jews (1988a:146). MacDonald emphasizes numerous times throughout the book that “scientist-activists” like Freud developed theories to show that “Jewish behavior [is] irrelevant to anti-Semitism” (1988a:17; see also 142, 146). He claims that Moses and Monotheism “contains several assertions that anti-Semitism is fundamentally a pathological gentile reaction to Jewish ethical superiority,” citing Freud (1967:114–17) (MacDonald 1998a:120). However, while pages 114–17 of this edition of Moses and Monotheism do discuss anti-Semitism, there is nothing about ethics/morality at all, let alone the ethical superiority of Jews or Judaism. (MacDonald did not respond to an email asking what he was referring to.)

Although Freud certainly did have a Jewish identity—if only because he was continually reminded of it by anti-Semites—MacDonald does not tell the full story. Consider the following incident (not described in The Culture of Critique). In 1929, Jews attempted to erect a partition screen to separate men and women at the Western Wall. In response, Arabs killed 29 Jews in Hebron, which led to riots in which 120 Jews and 87 Arabs were killed. A representative of the Zionist organization Keren Hayesod asked Freud to sign a petition condemning the Arabs for initiating the violence. Freud refused to sign, explaining that the Jews were partly responsible for inviting violence on themselves: “I concede with sorrow that the unrealistic fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed for the awakening of Arab distrust” (Freud 2004). This episode undermines MacDonald’s caricature of Freud as a monomaniacal activist dedicated to excusing Jewish behavior and pathologizing anti-Semitism.

The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

Chapter 5 of The Culture of Critique is titled “The Frankfurt School of Social Research and the Pathologization of Gentile Group Allegiances.” It focuses on the alleged hypocrisy of members of the Frankfurt School in advocating for collectivism among Jews in both Israel and the diaspora, and pathologizing any feelings of group allegiance in white gentiles. MacDonald sees the Frankfurt School as having influenced the field of psychology particularly through the publication of The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno et al. 1950), a book published as part of a series called Studies in Prejudice. He concludes that “the agenda of the Frankfurt School” was to facilitate “radical individualism . . . among gentiles while retaining a powerful sense of group cohesion among Jews” (1988a:215). “[T]he central agenda of The Authoritarian Personality is to pathologize gentile group strategies while nevertheless leaving open the possibility of Judaism as a minority group strategy” (1988a:172). The Frankfurt School influenced the humanities through the development of “critical theory.”

The main problem with MacDonald’s argument is that he interprets criticism of nationalism in gentile groups to indicate approval of Jewish nationalism as long as the latter is not explicitly condemned. He never cites positive evidence that representatives of the Frankfurt School approved of Jewish nationalism, and he ignores evidence that they in fact disapproved of it. Leaving aside the question of the scholarly merits of the Frankfurt School or The Authoritarian Personality, there is no positive evidence that members of the Frankfurt School were hypocrites who condemned collectivism in gentiles and promoted it for Jews.

In his critique of The Authoritarian Personality, MacDonald emphasizes “the double standard in which gentile behavior inferred from high scores on the F-scale or the Ethnocentrism Scales is viewed as an indication of psychopathology, whereas precisely the same behavior is central to Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy” (1988a:168). But nowhere does he present evidence that Adorno et al. approved of this behavior in Jews, which is what would be necessary for them to have a “double standard.” MacDonald just assumes that they approve of this behavior because they were Jewish. Regarding the claim in The Authoritarian Personality that anti-Semitism is associated with a strong in-group ideology, MacDonald comments that “the implication is that strong ingroup ideologies should be reserved for Jews and are dangerous in others” (1988a:170). But nowhere is this actually stated in The Authoritarian Personality. It seems the “implication” is strong in MacDonald’s mind because of the nefarious motives he attributes to the Jewish authors. This does not count as evidence.

To illustrate how The Authoritarian Personality is anti-gentile, MacDonald singles out a chapter by R. Nevitt Sanford (who, incidentally, was a gentile). In MacDonald’s words:

R. Nevitt Sanford . . . finds that affiliation with various Christian religious sects is associated with ethnocentrism, and that individuals who have rebelled against their parents and adapted another religion or no religion are lower on ethnocentrism. These relationships are explained as due to the fact that acceptance of a Christian religion is associated with “conformity, conventionalism, authoritarian submission, determination by external pressures, thinking in ingroup-outgroup terms and the like vs. nonconformity, independence, internalization of values, and so forth” (Adorno et al. 1950:220). Again, individuals identifying strongly with the ideology of a majority group are viewed as suffering from psychopathology, yet Judaism as a viable religion would necessarily be associated with these same psychological processes (MacDonald 1998a:174–75).

MacDonald cites Sanford out of context and totally misrepresents his conclusion. First, when Sanford refers to “conformity, conventionalism, authoritarian submission . . .,” he is notcharacterizing Christian belief. He says that to understand the relation between religion and ethnocentrism, we must consider what psychological factors play a role in the individual’s acceptance or rejection, such as “conformity, conventionalism, authoritarian submission.” He is not talking specifically about Christianity, and he says explicitly that these factors do not play a role in “genuine” Christianity. He clearly distinguishes between nominal Christians who adopt the religion of their parents or of the majority simply because they tend to submit to authority, and those “whose religion would appear to be ‘genuine,’ in the sense that it was arrived at more or less independently of external pressure and takes the form of internalized values” (Adorno et al. 1950:220). Sanford says that the latter—the “genuine” Christians—“tend to score low, often very low, on ethnocentrism.”

Second, Sanford characterizes traditional Christianity in a positive, not a negative, way. He refers to “Christian humanism which works against prejudice” (Adorno et al. 1950:215). He writes that “in America today,” the “traditional Christian values of tolerance, brotherhood, and equality” appear to be “more firmly held by people who do not affiliate with any religious group,” though “genuine” Christians low in ethnocentrism “probably predominate in [certain] Protestant denominations” (Adorno et al. 1950:219–20). Thus Sanford identifies the values promoted by the Frankfurt School with Christianity, not Judaism.

MacDonald (1998a:240) approvingly cites Jay’s (1973:32) statement on the Frankfurt School: “What strikes the current observer is the intensity with which many of the Institute’s members denied, and in some cases still deny, any meaning at all to their Jewish identities.” MacDonald sees this denial as “crypsis”—members of the Frankfurt School “conceal[ed] their Jewish identities . . . [and] engage[d] in massive self-deception.” Jewish intellectual movements “typically [occur] in an atmosphere of Jewish crypsis or semi-crypsis in the sense that the Jewish political agenda [is] not an aspect of the theory and the theories themselves [have] no overt Jewish content” (1988a:241). But again, in the case of the Frankfurt School, there is no positive evidence for this, and MacDonald ignores the evidence against it. For example, in his discussion of Erich Fromm, a leading proponent of the Frankfurt School, MacDonald writes: “The irony (hypocrisy?) is that Fromm and the other members of the Frankfurt School, as individuals who strongly identified with a highly collectivist group (Judaism), advocated radical individualism for the society as a whole” (1988a:142). Here is what Fromm said about Israel: “The claim of the Jews to the land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse” (Woolfson 1980:13). As mentioned earlier, Marcuse, one of the principal leaders of the school, is on record advocating exactly the same policies for Israel as he advocated for majority-white-gentile countries. Marcuse suggested that Arabs who were displaced when Israel was created should return, even though “such a return would quickly transform the Jewish majority into a minority.” Marcuse explained:

[I]t is precisely the policy aiming at a permanent majority which is self-defeating. . . . To be sure, Israel would be able to sustain a Jewish majority by means of an aggressive immigration policy. . . . [L]asting protection for the Jewish people cannot be found in the creation of a self-enclosed, isolated, fear-stricken majority, but only in the coexistence of Jews and Arabs as citizens with equal rights and liberties (Marcuse 2005:181).

Again, by MacDonald’s own standards, this makes Marcuse anti-Israel and opposed to Jewish interests.

Communism

One Jewish radical who is conspicuous for not being labeled an ethnic activist in The Culture of Critique is the most influential of them all: Karl Marx. Marx not only rejected his Jewish heritage, he went out of his way to express and promote viciously anti-Semitic views. In private correspondence, he smeared his socialist rival Ferdinand Lassalle (another Jew) with extremely anti-Semitic slurs and described Lassalle’s physical appearance, mannerisms, and habits as exemplifying unflattering Jewish characteristics (Gilman 1984:37). (The target of these obloquies, who was a major figure in his time, also held anti-Jewish views. In Lassalle’s words: “I do not like the Jews at all. I even detest them in general. . . . I have no contact with them”; Gilman 1984:37.) Most notorious is Marx’s 1844 essay, On the Jewish Question, which contains the famous lines: “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. . . . An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and therefore the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible” (Marx 2010:170).

According to MacDonald (1998a:54), Marx held that “Judaism, freed from the principle of greed, would continue to exist in the transformed society after the revolution (Katz 1986:113).” However, page 113 of Katz (1986) makes no reference or allusion of any kind to Marx or his ideas. In regard to Marx’s views on Jewish peoplehood, Katz (1986:122) cites only his view that (in Katz’s words) “Jews qua Jews would become liberated from their Judaism to take up their place as human beings in the socialist society of the future.”

Marx, Lassalle, and many other Jewish radicals who espoused anti-Semitic views might seem to be counterexamples to the thesis that Jews are uniquely ethnocentric. In any case, although MacDonald says little about Marx himself, he sees Marx-inspired ideologies, particularly Bolshevism, as bona fide Jewish intellectual movements designed to undermine gentile society and preserve Jewish separatism. The evidence for this claim, however, is not compelling.

MacDonald (1998a:80) cites Pipes’s (1993:112) suggestion that Jewish overrepresentation among Bolsheviks requires no special explanation because Jews were overrepresented in many fields—science, business, art, and so on. MacDonald rejects this idea with the following argument:

[E]ven assuming that these ethnically Jewish communists did not identify as Jews, such an argument fails to explain why such “de-ethnicized” Jews (as well as Jewish businessmen, artists, writers and scientists) should have typically been overrepresented in leftist movements and underrepresented in nationalist, populist, and other types of rightist political movements: Even if nationalist movements are anti-Semitic, as has often been the case, anti-Semitism should be irrelevant if these individuals are indeed completely deethnicized as Pipes proposes. Jewish prominence in occupations requiring high intelligence is no argument for understanding their very prominent role in communist and other leftist movements and their relative underrepresentation in nationalist movements.

This response to Pipes seems unconvincing. First, anti-Semitic nationalist movements generally targeted Jews regardless of their self-identity. Jews who identified as “Russian” or “Polish” would still have been discouraged, if not outright prohibited, from joining these movements as equal participants. Second, even “de-ethnicized” Jews might find it difficult to accept anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews due simply to their close contact with Jewish family and former friends.

For MacDonald, having a strong Jewish identity appears to be the only reason not to support anti-Semitic movements. As he says:

Even the most highly assimilated Jewish communists working in urban areas with non-Jews were upset by the Soviet-German nonaggression pact but were relieved when the German-Soviet war finally broke out . . .—a clear indication that Jewish personal identity remained quite close to the surface (1988a:62).

On the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact:

The nonaggression pact provoked a great deal of rationalization on the part of Jewish [Communist Party USA] members, often involving an attempt to interpret the Soviet Union’s actions as actually benefiting Jewish interests—clearly an indication that these individuals had not given up their Jewish identities. Others continued to be members but silently opposed the party’s line because of their Jewish loyalties (1988a:73).

Again, he interprets any objection to anti-Semitism—even silent opposition—as evidence that Jews are uniquely ethnocentric.

MacDonald devotes eight pages to “communism and Jewish identification in Poland” (1988a:61–69). A key claim in this section, based on work by Schatz (1991), is that the communist power structure was dominated by Jews seeking to preserve “Jewish group continuity in Poland while . . . destroy[ing] institutions . . . and . . . manifestations of Polish nationalism that promoted social cohesion among Poles” (1988a:68). He emphasizes repeatedly—based on Schatz (1991)—that the security service was devoted to this goal:

The core members of the security service came from the Jewish communists who had been communists before the establishment of the Polish communist government, but these were joined by other Jews sympathetic to the government and alienated from the wider society. . . . Jewish members of the internal security force often appear to have been motivated by personal rage and a desire for revenge related to their Jewish identity (MacDonald 1998a:66).

However, MacDonald leaves out a key fact noted by Schatz (1991:225), which is that 40% of the victims of the secret police were Jewish. Since the Jewish population of Poland at the time was miniscule (less than half of 1% of the population in 1949; see Schatz 1991:208), Jews were extremely disproportionately likely to be attacked by the security service. These data are more consistent with the thesis that Jews were simply more likely to be in positions of power—more likely to be in the position to persecute others, and more likely to be perceived as rivals by those in power, so more likely to be persecuted. There is no convincing evidence supporting the tale of Jews qua Jews victimizing gentiles for revenge on a significant scale.

Diversity and Immigration

According to The Culture of Critique, “[the Jewish Horace] Kallen’s idea of cultural pluralism as a model for the United States was popularized among gentile intellectuals by John Dewey . . ., who in turn was promoted by Jewish intellectuals” (1988a:250). MacDonald points out that the editors of Partisan Review “published work by Dewey and called him ‘America’s leading philosopher’” and Dewey’s student, Sidney Hook, “was also unsparing in his praise of Dewey, terming him ‘the intellectual leader of the liberal community in the United States’” (1988a:250). Notice that, earlier, MacDonald argued that Margaret Mead was a puppet of her less-famous Jewish teacher, Boas. Here he argues that Dewey was being manipulated by his less famous, albeit Jewish, student, Sidney Hook. What is the reason why Dewey’s actions should be attributed to Jews?

Dewey was highly influential with the public at large. Henry Commager described Dewey as “the guide, the mentor, and the conscience of the American people; it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that for a generation no issue was clarified until Dewey had spoken” (in Sandel 1996:36). Dewey was the foremost advocate of “progressive education” and helped establish the New School for Social Research and the American Civil Liberties Union, both essentially Jewish organizations (MacDonald 1998a:250).

MacDonald concludes that Dewey “represented the public face of a movement dominated by Jewish intellectuals.”

Of course, any intellectual in late-nineteenth-to-mid-twentieth-century New York City was going to have a lot of Jewish associates. Where is the positive evidence that Dewey’s monumental success was the result of being propped up by Jewish ethnic activists? MacDonald (1988a:250) quotes Sandel’s (1996:35) opinion that Dewey’s “lack of presence as a writer, speaker, or personality makes his popular appeal something of a mystery.” But one explanation for Dewey’s success is that people were taken with his ideas rather than with his personal charisma. This would explain how he came to be extremely influential in China, where he was known as “a Second Confucius” (Grange 2004), even though there were no Jews there to promote him.

The President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization (1953:92–93) cited five experts who submitted testimony denying innate race differences in psychology. Two of these experts were Jewish (Ashley Montagu and Philip Hauser). One of the three gentiles was Mead. Another gentile—former president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) Ralph L. Beals—reported that the AAA unanimously rejected innate race differences. To MacDonald (1998a:254), the followers of Boas were using the “ideology of racial equality [as] an important weapon on behalf of opening immigration up to all human groups.” (Boas himself died in 1942.)

An irony here is that the issue under consideration in this section of the commission’s report was not whether there were innate differences between whites and nonwhites, but whether there were innate differences between “Nordic” whites and other whites that justified limiting immigration from the latter group. The report cites Madison Grant:

The new immigration . . . contained a large and increasing number of the weak, the broken, and the mentally crippled of all [European] races drawn from the lowest stratum of the Mediterranean basin and the Balkans, together with hordes of the wretched, submerged populations of the Polish Ghettos. Our jails, insane asylums, and almshouses are filled with this human flotsam, and the whole tone of American life, social, moral, and political, has been lowered and vulgarized by them (President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization 1953:92).

MacDonald repeatedly cites Grant complaining that Jews opposed his (Grant’s) ideas. But in opposing the theory of Nordic superiority, Jews were effectively promoting, not undermining, white unity. Of course, many “Boasian” Jews argued that there were no differences between any races, but in the early twentieth century they were advocating immigration from all white countries whereas their opponents wanted to restrict immigration from non-Nordic white countries such as Italy and Poland.

According to The Culture of Critique, “American Jews have had no interest in proposing that immigration to Israel should be . . . multiethnic, or that Israel should have an immigration policy that would threaten the hegemony of Jews” (1988a:320). Regarding Jewish hypocrisy, MacDonald says:

Whereas American Jews have been in the forefront of efforts to ensure ethnic diversity in the United States and other Western societies, 40 percent of the [Israeli] Jewish respondents [in a 1988 survey reported in Smooha (1990:403)] agree that Israel should encourage Israeli Arabs to leave the country, 37 percent had reservations, and only 23 percent objected to such a policy. . . . Moreover, immigration to Israel is officially restricted to Jews (1988a:321).

Hypocrisy is when a person or group espouses values but applies them inconsistently. In order to attribute hypocrisy to people, it is necessary to identify the inconsistency in those people. MacDonald says that American Jews support multiculturalism, then cites a survey suggesting that many Israeli Jews advocate policies that are inconsistent with multicultural values. To justify the charge of hypocrisy it is necessary to find individual Jews advocating multiculturalism for the US and opposing it in Israel. Such Jews may exist, but there is no evidence that this is the norm. MacDonald treats the positions espoused by one Jew or group of Jews as a statement on behalf of the Jewish community and concludes that Jews are hypocrites because different Jews advocate policies that are mutually inconsistent. An alternative interpretation of the data is that Jews vary to some extent in their views among individuals and groups, in a way typical of other ethnicities.

Furthermore, the claim that immigration to Israel is restricted to Jews—even nominal Jews—was and is false. Since 1970, Israel will give automatic citizenship to anyone with one Jewish grandparent and their non-Jewish spouse and children (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2013). Hundreds of thousands of gentiles were granted Israeli citizenship because of this policy (Felter 2009). (An exact estimate is difficult to give since Israelis with no Jewish ancestors, or only a distant one, may identify as Jewish in surveys.)

It is also false that liberal Jews do not promote ethnic diversity in Israel. MacDonald says that Jews have supported black integration in the US “because such policies dilute Caucasian power and lessen the possibility of a cohesive, nationalist anti-Semitic Caucasian majority . . . while pursuing an anti-assimilationist, nationalist group strategy for their own group” (1988a:257). “American Jews have had no interest in proposing that immigration to Israel should be . . . multiethnic” (1988a:320). The Culture of Critique makes no mention of the fact that many of the same liberal Jews who advocate on behalf of blacks in the US pushed for the immigration of large numbers of nominally Jewish Ethiopians who have no genetic relation to other Jewish populations (Lucotte and Smets 1999). Israel, with around six million self-identified Jews (including at least a few hundred thousand who are not halachically Jewish), now contains a rapidly growing population of more than 135,000 Ethiopians (Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute 2015). Alan Dershowitz, whom MacDonald (1998a:244, 318) identifies as an ethnic activist, played a leading role in pressuring the Israeli government to accept Africans who identify as Jews. In Dershowitz’s (2007) own words: “we have filed lawsuits, helped raise money, pressured leaders, and argued in the court of public opinion in favor of increased [multiethnic] immigration into Israel.”

At the end of The Culture of Critique, MacDonald asks what the ultimate consequences of Jewish-instituted liberal policies are likely to be in America. He suggests: “An important consequence—and one likely to have been an underlying motivating factor in the countercultural revolution—may well be to facilitate the continued genetic distinctiveness of the Jewish gene pool in the United States” (1988a:318). It is difficult to square this claim with the fact that Reform and unaffiliated Jews—the ones who participated in these liberal/multicultural movements—have an intermarriage rate of 50% and 69%, respectively (Pew Research Center 2013:37). (This may be an underestimate of intermarriage rates since Reform converts were counted as Jewish in Pew’s survey.) In fact, it is only those Jews who, as a group, were much less involved in national politics—the orthodox—who have low intermarriage rates and high fertility. MacDonald states that Jewish activists have increasingly started to see traditional Judaism as a better means of preserving group continuity. “Reform Judaism is becoming steadily more conservative, and there is a major effort within all segments of the Jewish community to prevent intermarriage. . . .” But contemporary Reform Judaism defines “intermarriage” as marriage between someone who identifies as a Jew and someone who identifies as a non-Jew. They care nothing for ethnic purity, and MacDonald never provides any evidence to the contrary.

Conclusion: Evidence Favors the Default Hypothesis, and MacDonald Does Not Represent Evolutionary Psychology

MacDonald claims that several major twentieth-century liberal intellectual and political movements were consciously or unconsciously designed by Jews as part of a group evolutionary strategy to undermine gentile societies while preserving cohesion and continuity among themselves. High intelligence and ethnocentrism are supposedly genetic adaptations that help Jews pursue this strategy. According to the “default hypothesis” proposed in this paper, Jews, having relatively high mean levels of general intelligence and being concentrated in major cities, tend to be overrepresented in cognitively demanding fields, activities, and movements that are not overtly anti-Semitic, regardless of whether they are liberal or conservative. Anticipating this alternative explanation for Jewish overrepresentation in liberal movements, MacDonald seeks to protect his theory from being falsified by evidence that supports the default hypothesis:

As anti-Semitism develops, Jews begin to abandon the very movements for which they originally provided the intellectual impetus. This phenomenon may also occur in the case of multiculturalism. Indeed, many of the most prominent opponents of multiculturalism are Jewish neoconservatives, as well as organizations such as the National Association of Scholars (NAS), which have a large Jewish membership (1988a:313).

After arguing so strenuously that liberal movements were designed to advance a Jewish group evolutionary strategy, he acknowledges that Jews are also in the vanguard in the fight against those same movements.

In recent years, Jews have continued to produce examples favoring the default hypothesis. The most high-profile opponent of liberal activism in social science is, without question, Jonathan Haidt (see Duarte et al. 2015), who is Jewish. The most high-profile advocate of incorporating Darwinism into the social sciences is another Jew, Steven Pinker (e.g., Pinker 2002). The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)—the most prominent organization that defends free speech on campus, primarily the speech of conservatives—was founded by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate, both Jewish. There is reason to believe that Jews played a significant role in Donald Trump’s election and, specifically, in his anti-immigration policies (Dolsten 2017). The term “paleoconservative,” referring to a pro-white, pro-Western-tradition political doctrine, was coined by Herbert Marcuse’s PhD student Paul Gottfried, who is Jewish. Gottfried was also the first person to publicly use the term “alternative right” to refer to a race-conscious conservatism that opposes immigration and multiculturalism (Siegel 2016). The only major white nationalist organization that is not anti-Semitic is American Renaissance. Out of the 10 invited speakers at the first American Renaissance conference in 1994, four were Jewish (American Renaissance 2017).

Salter (2000) notes that many of the sources cited in The Culture of Critique are “mainstream.” Indeed, while the Judaism-as-a-group-evolutionary-strategy trilogy has the accoutrements of sound scholarship, such as detailed endnotes and extensive bibliographies to sources that are themselves credible, the evidence reviewed here suggests that this is a smokescreen. MacDonald’s theory is built on misrepresented sources, cherry-picked facts, and assiduous refusal to consider the more parsimonious default hypothesis that the evidence actually supports.

Finally, let us turn to the question of MacDonald’s relationship with evolutionary psychology. Some opponents of evolutionary psychology have taken his conclusions as the more or less inevitable outcome of applying evolutionary theory to Judaism. Some supporters of evolutionary psychology (such as D. S. Wilson and others listed earlier) have also claimed that MacDonald is correctly applying evolutionary psychological thinking to Judaism. But misrepresenting sources and distorting history are not part of the methods of evolutionary psychology, or any other legitimate academic discipline. Those who have competently applied insights from evolutionary theory to the study of Judaism (e.g., Goldberg 2009; Konner 2003) have come to very different conclusions than we find in The Culture of Critique. It is they, not MacDonald, who should be treated as representatives of evolutionary psychology and biosocial science.

Footnotes

  1. 1.

    MacDonald’s (1988a:154, n. 15) list of the four who were not influenced by Freud does not include Silvers.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Jonathan Anomaly, Steven Pinker, Neven Sesardić, David Sidorsky, and two reviewers for Human Nature for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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This essay was originally published at Human Nature.

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A World of Lies: Understanding and Refuting Holocaust Denial

When we are talking about “ideology,” we are inundated with a sense of relativism about what is “true” or “political.”  On some level, this means there is an idea that politics are just a matter of perspective and opinion.  There is an aspect of truth to that: that the way you see the world is a matter of how you organize it, but this misses a fundamental dynamic.  For the radical right and neo-fascism, it is not just an implicit politics driven by a lens by which they see events and facts.  It requires certain things to actually be true, and not just a matter of interpretation

This sense of “truth” has to be allied with their claims.  The idea that people are generally “unequal,” that some are innately inferior to others.  That biological and genetic groups have biological allegiances to each other and that “in group/out group” dynamics are built in to ethnicity.  That race is a good signifier of biological difference and social particularities.  That a conspiracy of certain groups, often Jews, are actually controlling world events through their superior intelligence vying for increased resources through the destruction of national identities.  For fascists to build a complex ideology, they need these statements to be literally and objectively true, and without that the legitimacy of their perspective unravels.

If the narrative that they prop up is to have any credibility they need to have some evidence to support most of its political ideas.  The idea that human beings are best stratified rather than socially horizontal.  That democracy is a sham since only a natural aristocracy is able to rule.  That immigration, affirmative action, and racial justice are useless since not all races share an equal intelligence level.  They must implant those ideas into different disciplines and fields of thought so they can then reference those areas as evidence for ideology.  This is not usually done by actually injecting these ideas into the academy, though that does happen occasionally.  Instead, they come in from the outside so they can infect the dialogue in the “popularization” of academic discourse.  Therefore, things like race and IQ arguments play only inside amateur blogosphere circles, not inside actual academic conferences focusing on biology research through peer-review.

Fascism is built entirely on this untruth.  It needs it to survive.

They will have to completely rewrite our intellectual foundations, hollowing out and rebuilding science, history, philosophy, and integrated studies onto a world of outright lies.  For anyone that has spent time reading and listening to the intellectual core of the 21st century fascist movement, it will be obvious that many of these people are incredibly sincere.  Often they feel as though they are telling the truth in a world where the truth is persecuted.  In reality, they are driven by very deep feelings that nullify the common understandings of disciplines like history and evolutionary biology, where by their strong conviction requires uprooting the academic traditions if they are to make sense of the world.  How can racial nationalism be a normal and healthy thing if the Holocaust resulted from it?  How can we continue to argue for racial hierarchies and group formations when all contemporary science disregards race as a useful category?  Instead of thinking with the critical nature useful in the academy, they indulge their biases and search for intellectual justifications.  Many are even open about this, with Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal mentioning this dynamic in his discussion of how he came to his political beliefs.  In a later conversation with the Political Cesspool’s James Edwards he makes a very sincere mention that often times your political and social background can “change the way we see facts.”[1]  He does not let himself off the hook for this even though he is talking about contemporary leftists around the Michael Brown killing, and this is certainly the case when those on the radical right choose very marginal studies and histories over the consensus opinion without a compelling reason other than confirmation bias.  They come to their ideological opinions first, then piece out whatever scraps of academic work they can use to build a structural foundation to rely on, even though those scraps are few and far between.

While it appears that this process is only happening on the fringes of the culture, it contributes sharply to a general social “mistruth.”  In the same way that obscure conspiracy theories can create distrust in complex historical narratives, or the failure of the medical establishment opens up cracks that completely untested “alternative medicine” can appear as sincere treatment, or the establishment of points of untruth about certain areas of study can have very real effects on the rest of society.  Radical analysis, science and technology are built on basic factual understandings, even if those are skewed by perception and ideology.  Disinformation allows for manipulation because the mass of information afforded in a modern technological society does not have the ability to be differentiated between those with legitimacy and those artificially constructed.

This is not a dynamic invented by white nationalists, and has instead been fostered in the “fake news” infrastructure of the contemporary American right, with talk radio, Fox News, Breitbart, Heat Street, and others pushing this extreme misuse of facts all the way into the White House.  At this point, the truth is up for political debate, a tool of ideology rather than reality.

This can destroy very constructive social projects built on analysis because researched and sourced ideas often have to compete with sensationalistic rumors.  Outside of a racial and political context, this happened very clearly with climate change.  As the evidence about the correlation between human behavior and global warming mounted, an ideological core with financial interests in continuing mass fossil fuel extraction mounted counter-information campaigns on a massive scale.

One note that is important in this discussion is that by presenting this paradigm it is not meant to validate contemporary elitist liberal notions about the sanctity of civil and educational discourse.  Facts are pliable in the same way perception is, and dominant ideologies and social systems underscore our filtration in all periods and all societies.  The deconstruction of that matrix is part of radical analysis, and revolutionary processes, but the fascist attack on facts is done to undermine our understandings of the physical world and the people in it.  Plainly put, it is a way for them to counter our underlying assumptions of the world to build their own superstructure atop it.

Fascists have often tried to use “crossover” points to bridge their politics to a less politicized group of people.  This happens by using topics where they can easily manipulate data and where average people do not have the immediate tools to refute them.  Fascist ideologues will take a known point, say a historical event or reading of science, and then shift it towards a small minority of evidence that would support their broader ideological points.  They can then use certain fields of rupture in discourse, such as conspiracy theory or “alternative” science, whereby they play on a general distrust of “the system” to provide entry point for their ideas.  Since most people are not well equipped to refute many falsehoods that make scientific sounding claims and pull at arcane and inaccessible data, it has the ability of creating distrust in the conventional narrative and sowing the seeds first for their “evidence” and then, later, for a fascist politic.

 

Killing Collective Memory

For a long time, Holocaust Denial was this crossover point.   The purpose of Holocaust Denial is multidinous, but the central function is the recovery of the idea of the racialized state or racialized society.  In recent memory, the most “successful” example of racial nationalism was the Third Reich.  It is one of the only modern examples of a fully realized fascist state built on racialist principles.  It does vary from the more “generic fascism” in that it was carelessly imperialistic, was even more ruthlessly genocidal, and, to a degree, bizarrely anti-rational and filled with silly superstitions.[2]  Scholar of Comparative Fascist Studies, Roger Griffin, noted that the obsession that modern neo-fascist movements have with Nazi Germany was bound to happen, the two will always be linked in the mythic role Hitler and the Third Reich hold because of its shocking success at meetings its aims.

Nazism was bound to provide a role model to post-war fascists committed to a racist vision of national ‘cleansing’ from degeneration.  For one thing, it was one of only two of “their” movements to have achieved state power…It was the racist aspect of Nazism, however, that was the most significant for a new generation of white neo-fascists who were less alarmed by the political or military weakness of their ‘home’ nation than by the erosion of their pan-European ethnic identity through the impact of mass immigration and multiculturalism.[3]

For the rest of the public, the brutal cruelty of the Holocaust forever demystified racial nationalism in the eyes of the world community, associating it rightly with violence and oppression.  Nazi Germany is the cleanest example of this, but it is also the most clearly realized politic of racialism and anti-Semitism.  The results of these politics were forever exemplified by the crematoria at Auschwitz, something that Alt Right advocates of the “Ethnostate” can never recover from.  As Leonard Zeskind puts it when looking at the far-right Liberty Lobby’s Willis Carto and the creation of the first institutionalized Holocaust Denial campaign within white nationalism, getting rid of the baggage of the past was crucial to building a movement built on racial nationalism.

Willis Carto (and others) needed to rewrite the history of World War Two: it was central, not peripheral, to their white supremacist project.  They all believed a civilization-level change had occurred with the defeat of Hitler…Mainstream historians, although starting from different premises, reached similar conclusions: the fight against racism and fascism in Europe had discredited these ideologies among America’s decision-making elites.[4]

To return to that politic, there is an incredible need to undo the Holocaust so that the function of racial nationalism can be disassociated with the most disgusting atrocity of the 20th century.

It is also important to take Jews off of the register as victims of genocide, and to continue to aid in the general conspiracy theory that is required for white nationalist anti-Semitism.  If they are to place Jews at the top of the pyramid of racial revenge, bent on controlling and destroying the “sovereignty” of the white race, then it is not impossible for them to have been victims of such violence.  Many people on the far-right have actually wanted to maintain a narrative of Jewish genocide in as much as they are open about the degree to which they have a ravenous hatred of Jewry.  This is much of the dichotomy that Leonard Zeskind lays out in Blood and Politics, where by the radical revolutionary politics positioned by the National Alliance and William Pierce refused to deny the Holocaust (at least to some degree) in that they shared the need for this level of destruction of the Jews.[5]  On the opposite end was Willis Cato, founder of the Liberty Lobby and the Populist Party, who needed Holocaust Denial as a centerpiece since there was no way they were going to achieve “white populism” with nationalism having that level of blood on its hands.[6]  The choice between the two is whether or not you want to use the Holocaust to claim victory against the Jews, or to, in turn, deny that it happened so as to lighten the image of the Third Reich and continue to show how much control Jews have over the discourse of modern history.[7]  This is not to suggest that Pierce did not peddle in Holocaust Denial as his National Alliance certainly did sell classic works of denial as a way of drumming up anti-Semitic hysteria, he just did not want to rest his case against the Jews and for fascism in the strength of that argument.[8]

To actually deny the Holocaust, there are a few fracture points that deniers tend to go after.  Andrew E. Mathis explains a clear definition of Holocaust Denial that is in line with what the modern Hitler apologists contend.

Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term “Holocaust denial.” Holocaust deniers, or “revisionists,” as they call themselves, question all three major points of definition of the Nazi Holocaust. First, they contend that, while mass murders of Jews did occur (although they dispute both the intentionality of such murders as well as the supposed deservedness of these killings), there was no official Nazi policy to murder Jews. Second, and perhaps most prominently, they contend that there were no homicidal gas chambers, particularly at Auschwitz or Birkenau, where mainstream historians believe over 1 million Jews were murdered, primarily in gas chambers. And third, Holocaust deniers contend that the death toll of European Jews during World War II was well below 6 million. Deniers float numbers anywhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, as a general rule.[9]

Since there are such varying claims inside of the Holocaust Denial camp, most of which completely contradict one another, it is almost impossible to keep a comprehensive deconstruction of all claims.  To do so would be a full-time project of simply going through increasingly bizarre theories that have no basis in fact.

One of the principle ideas that deniers put forward, as Mathis mentions, is that there was no direct order of extermination going all the way up to Hitler.  In Deborah Lipstadt’s book Denying the Holocaust, she traces a history of these denials from World War II forward.  This looks into the life and work of David Irving, a right-wing popular historian who skated a long road from apologetics to straight revisionism.  This started by altering his book Hitler’s War in later editions to remove reference to Hitler’s order of the Holocaust, as well as claims that Hitler did not have clear understandings of different German war efforts.  Leipstadt’s book made clear that Irving was a liar and a denier, doing so out of racial animus.  Irving, in turn, sued Leipstadt in British court for libel.  Since Liepstadt refuses to actually debate with deniers, she simply counter sued and a theatrical court case ensued where Irving represented himself in trying to defend his claims as historically sound and not done out of racial hatred.  This became one of the more revealing episodes in the destruction of the Holocaust Denial narrative, where it was shown that Hitler’s decisions about the “final solution” happened in stages and was definitive even if it did not have the kind of paper trail that Irving was looking for.  They went through instances where 30,000 plus Jews were killed through specially designed trucks that pumped exhaust into the storage compartments.  Irving was finally pressed to say that this was both deliberate and a part of a larger systematic extermination.  Later, there have been claims that the deaths in the camps were simply because of disease or were actually from Allied bombing campaigns, all of which lack literally any proof.  Instead, things like the IBM punch card system shows the systematization that executions went through in camps like Auschwitz and Dachau.[10]

Hitler himself, was never shy about his intentions with the Jews.  In 1922 he told an interviewing journalist:

Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows – at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example – as many as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews.[11]

He made almost identical claims in January and August of 1939 and December of 1941.  Goebbels mentions this plan in his diary, saying the health of the nation requires that “therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to exterminate the Jew.”   He went on in his diary to provide entries on February 1th and March 27th that outlined that “60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only 40 per cent can be used for forced labor.”  These are really just small snippets of the volumes of evidence that trace Hitler to the final solution and to the planned extermination of European Jewry.[12]

Revisionists will then go on to contest the numbers of the Jews who died, saying that the 6 million number is hyperbolic.  They will suggest that there actually were not that many Jews in Europe at that time, and so the number of Jews left in Europe at the conclusion of the war is actually much closer to the number that was there before.  The numbers of Jews who then died in the concentration camps is then pegged at anywhere from 150,000 to just over a million, and this is ascribed to death from illness, over work, and incidental executions not tied to any over-arching genocidal plan.  It should be noted, however, for even these narratives to be true deniers have to admit to some of the vilest institutional treatments of Jews that lead to murderous death ponds.

The first point that needs to be made about the claim as to the numbers of Jews who died during the Shoah is that it is physically impossible to artificially trump up the numbers to this degree.  It would require millions of people, working with unlimited budgets, on every continent, with the knowing participation of dozens of nations to continue this kind of lie.  The infrastructure would be tremendous, massive even, making up a sort of “secret government” that can control media and history.  If this is a narrative that moves you, then there are even bigger issues at play, but this is simply not how power works in the modern world.  The ruling class institutions work despite their incompetence, not out of divinely inspired efficiencies.  The reasons they give for claimed ruse is the development of the State of Israel that needed the Holocaust as justification, but this is simply not a straight enough line to justify the most massive coordination of lies in the history of the world.

Right from the start, however, the numbers are proven to be literally true.  The number exactly is closer to 5,721,500 Jews executed, with the total breakdown between countries looking like:

Germany – 195,000
Austria – 53,000
Czechoslovakia – 255,000
Denmark – 1,500
France – 140,000
Belgium – 57,000
Luxemburg – 3,000
Norway – 1,000
Holland – 120,000
Italy – 20,000
Yugoslavia – 64,000
Greece – 64,000
Bulgaria – 5,000
Romania – 530,000
Hungary – 200,000
Poland – 3,271,000
USSR – 1,050,000

There is credible analysis and sourcing on this, and the burden of proof of this is on the deniers.  They do, often, come up with “documents” that intend to throw a stick in the wheel on these claims, yet there are so dismal and piece-meal that legitimate scholars have to wonder why they will take non-credible sources over the piles and piles of corroborating material from verified repositories.  Deniers will jump on the fact that there were rounded numbers and that the numbers are flexible, but this is true of literally every global event.  The claims by many on the far right that this was merely “Soviet lies” has yet to be proven true even after the mass data dumps that happened after the Berlin Wall fell, but it also seems to believe its own propaganda in that so-called “communist” countries had a special interest in protecting Jews.  This comes from the continued notion that Marxism is a Jewish idea used to destroy the natural hierarchies and “organic societies” of the West.  This is a painful bit of ahistorical propaganda, one that erases the anti-Semitism suffered in the U.S.S.R.

One of the most virulent claims of the denial camp, and one that has received the most media attention, is that of the gas chambers.  In the 1990s, neo-Nazi Erdnst Zundel, went to infamy for being arrested under Canadian hate-speech laws for publishing two pamphlets: “The Hitler We Loved and Why” and “Did Six Million Really Die?”  He then brought in David Irving to testify in his trial that was designed to prove that the evidence of the Holocaust is a legitimate question and not driven by racial hatred.  They hired Fred A. Leuchter, a man known in the U.S. for having built execution devices for prison death rows.  They sent him on a trip to Auschwitz, which the strange Leuchter also used as his honeymoon with his new wife, and he took sample from the gas chambers and examined their construction.  After the tests were run on his samples, he concluded that these could not have been gas chambers and that there was only a “surface” level of Zyklon B.  When analyzing the Leuchter Report, the first of several documents he put out that were lauded by deniers worldwide, it became clear that the findings were shockingly without merit.  The testing that was requested were the wrong tests, and the lab chemists that did the tests spoke at the trial that their results actually do reflect the amount of the toxin that would have been present on the external bricks.  Leuchster did not have an engineering degree or license, and none of his break downs of the facility seem to show even a cursory understanding of engineering or architecture.  The claims that the Zyklon B was only used for delousing was destroyed when the lab that did the testing explained how the amount used for delousing was a much higher concentration, which is why the lower level of the residue appeared on internal chamber bricks.  Leuchter was slowly blacklisted in his work, and no one would buy his faulty electric chairs or gas chambers for their prisons any longer.[13]

The claims about the gas chambers have been refuted by thousands of eye witness testimonies, the look of legitimate engineers, the documentation en masse at each execution camp, and from tests that are ongoing.   One thing is true however: many of the gas chamber facilities were both substandard in design and destroyed by the Nazis themselves to hide their work as the Allies moved closer.  The BBC summarized what actually happened to the gas chambers well and why the claim that no Zyklon B vents could be found (which is still untrue) would be a red herring.

Deniers have said for years that physical evidence is lacking because they have seen no holes in the roof of the Birkenau gas chamber where the Zyklon was poured in. (In some of the gas chambers the Zyklon B was poured in through the roof, while in others it was thrown in through the windows.) The roof was dynamited at war’s end, and today lies broken in pieces, but three of the four original holes were positively identified in a recent paper. Their location in the concrete matches with eyewitness testimony, aerial photos from 1944, and a ground photo from 1943. The physical evidence shows unmistakably that the Zyklon holes were cast into the concrete when the building was constructed.[14]

For the gas chambers to have been “faked” it would again take thousands of eye witnesses to lie, engineers to be wrong, Nazi records to be forged after the fact, and graves and crematoria to be artificially tainted.  There, the records of the ash collected has been explicit with photos of the mass disposal of crematoria waste, as well as its use in fields for fertilizer.[15]

Holocaust Denial was able to crossover into other fields of thought because people did not have the immediate knowledge to refute it right from the start.  Most discussions of the Holocaust in school curriculum do not go over these fine details because they have no relevant need to, therefore past students are not equipped with the tools to counter the denier’s claims.  Every effort was made to strip the discussion of anti-Semitism so as to make it simply a disagreement over the evidence, and, just as with debates over creationism, they wanted to “teach the controversy” over the two ideas about World War II.  The problem there as with here is that there is literally zero debate amongst historians about whether or not the Holocaust happened as it has been explained in consensus literature.

The next option for many deniers is what many people refer to as “soft denial,” which is to de-emphasize the importance of the Holocaust itself.  While there are a lot of deaths and genocides in war time, there is no reason why the destruction of European Jewry should take special precedence.  This is one of the more thinly veiled arguments, yet one that has seen more credence on the Left who attempts to look at Jewish issues in a different context in connections to issues around Palestine.  This soft denial lacks the understanding of the unique role of anti-Semitism throughout history, where by generation after generation of Jews had their community defined by anti-Semitic purges and pogroms.  The Holocaust was then the grand summary of this persecution, and one that has yet to be matched in terms of its systematization and group propaganda.  The idea that the Holocaust is just “one more tragedy” in the world of international warfare is factually false; it stands as significant and the codify how the contemporary world instituted racial and anti-Semitic thinking.  It is not just one ethnic group that got the brunt end up the warfare gun, but the natural result of the nationalist worldview.[16]

Denial itself was so thoroughly debunked after episodes like the Irving trial, the expose done by Skeptic magazine and the subsequent debate between the Institute of Historical Review’s Mark Weber and Skeptic Magazine’s Michael Shermer, and various condemnations of the Barnes Review and the Journal of Historical Review.  The Institute for Historical Review consistently saw its products decline in sales over the last decade, a sign that the questioning narrative has lost steam.  Weber himself, a suit and tie nationalist and former National Alliance member who poses as a history researcher, has publicly walked away from Holocaust Revisionism and has stated that it really has not had an effect on helping the cause of maintaining anti-Semitism.  He notes that no matter who is discussing the Holocaust, revisionists included, no one can dispute the suffering of the Jews during WWII, and therefore even if they think their argument about numbers is intriguing it comes across as “heartless quibbling.”  Weber still makes clear that he feels the public perception of the Holocaust is exactly a result of what he labels as “Jewish power” and that Holocaust Revisionism is no longer having the effect he would like.

In short, the Holocaust assumed an important role in the social-cultural life of America and western Europe in keeping with, and as an expression of, a phenomenal increase in Jewish influence and power. The Holocaust “remembrance” campaign is not so much a source of Jewish-Zionist power as it is an expression of it. For that reason, debunking the Holocaust will not shatter that power.[17]

The same trend is happening with people like Counter-Current’s Greg Johnson has said almost identical things, and notes that the Holocaust is simply the result of ethnic conflict between Jews and Germans.  Instead of trying to answer for it, he simply wants to “step over it” in the same way that those on the Marxist-Leninist left just ignore the abuses of Stalin, Mao, or Hoo-ha.  This notion is that Nazism was simply just a militant response to the threat of Jewish Soviet Marxism, one that should not be repeated, but also should not be apologized for.[18]  This idea is taking over the previous Holocaust denial camp where the notion is now that the execution of the Jews was simply what happens when the parasitic nature of the Jews themselves force a population into ethnic conflict.  This takes elements both of the Pierce version of Holocaust celebration and of the soft Holocaust denial, where the idea that ethnic conflict is natural and normal is taken as fact and the solution being ethnic nationalism where Jews are removed so they cannot risk destruction for tempting the host people.

This idea is born out most fully in former University of California-Long Beach professor Kevin MacDonald’s work, a series of books called The Culture of Critique.[19]  Here he outlines Judaism itself as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, where by a certain ethnic group created a model of parasitism and attack on ethnic identity as a way of preserving their own ethnic interests and survival.  With this idea, McDonald creates a “grand theory” of anti-Semitism while also perpetuating the idea that “genetic interests” are actually a legitimate scientific concept (they are not), and also delegitimizing ideas such as “Frankfurt School Marxism” by stating that they were only concocted by Jews to destabilize white nations.  His theory was that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” that Jews use to out-compete non-Jews for resources, developing over time as a socio-religious notion that develops ethnocentrism and tribalism.  MacDonald, for example, argues that Jews internally plotted to undermine anti-immigrant legislation that maintained a white majority in the U.S.  They did this, he alleges, to make the U.S. a multicultural and internationally aligned country.  Through institutions like Boasian anthropology, Jews hoped to promte the “ideology of racial equality,” all to weaken the self-interests of whites and so they can manipulate other races to control the larger host population.[20] His conception of Jews and Judaism is largely the understanding that permeates the Alt Right, where Jews are portrayed as a tribal caste who use superior, evolutionarily-derived, verbal intelligence to bore into host white societies and to sow discord in white unity so that they can preserve their own ethnic interests.  The effect of this is multi-pronged.  It reinforces traditional antisemitism by allowing it a fully realized theory backed up by what appears to be scientific research.  It also reframes all of history as defined by ethnic conflict, and further validates their ideas about racial group interests, motivations, personalities, and identity.[21]

While MacDonald’s work is certainly novel in that is uses an interdisciplinary approach caked in tangential research and very smart sounding words, it falls in line with the most renegade views from neo-Nazi right.  For example, Richard Butler, the enigmatic leader of the Aryan Nations until its destruction from a Southern Poverty Law Center lawsuit, lays out the Jewish enemy in almost identical terms.  If the entire history of different species is the competition for survival, than Jews are white’s direct adversary.  While MacDonald uses the social sciences to drum up a narrative about the pernicious Jewish threat, Butler metaphorically translated that to the spiritual realm by weaving a mythic history of Jews as a demonic race that is set on perverting the natural order of man through the subversions of egalitarianism, feminism, capitalism, communism, and what have you.  While caked in Nazi references and esoteric readings of the Bible, Butler mirrors the same model that MacDonald does.  Jews, because of their lack of rootedness in the soil, use abstractions to destabilize the hard, material world of white nations.  Their parasitic nature, and weakness, means they will always be a threat, whether through their control of financial markets, their “invention” of miscegenation, or emerging forms of cultural degeneracy and deracination.[22]

MacDonald’s work has been largely rejected by his colleagues in evolutionary psychology, including the founder of the field John Tooby, stating that his conclusions violate the basic tenets of the field and inaccurately utilizes group-selection theory.  MacDonald’s work made huge leaps beyond what any established research on selection models have created, making wild conjecture about Jewish social cohesion, attempting to link up things like small Jewish organizational support for immigration policy to supposed genetic consciousness drummed up in ancient Egypt and sanctified in the Talmud.  The books are filled with value laden language, describing Jews in horrific terms and citing them with blame for everything from the crimes of Stalin to the perceived terrors of clinical psychology, the theory of relativity, and international trade.  While MacDonald says he is generally “on the fence” about the “official” story of the Holocaust, he continued to testify at Ernst Zundel’s trial to argue that the Holocaust is used to manipulate the public to insulate Jews from criticism.[23]

The reality is that Holocaust Denial is a point of utility, not scholarly intervention.  The purpose of Holocaust Denial is to continue a conspiratorial view of Jews as the source of modern woes through their own use of cabals of crypsis.  MacDonald’s view is simply a sanitized and footnoted version of classic anti-Semitic canards, ones that are at the heart of the logic that drives denialism.  The scale of the conspiracy they claim is so totalizing and so overwhelming that it has an inflective with narratives about the centrality of Jewishness to social instability, and these narratives reinforce each other beyond facts and logic.  This plays into the racial pseudo-science, where Jews remain suspect despite the stereotypes that nationalists attribute to them.

The likelihood is that the resurgence of Holocaust Denial will continue as the presence of the memory, and significance, of the Holocaust fades.  The reality is that with overwhelming evidence supporting the facts, it is not a debate over history that maintains the conspiratorial worldview.  Instead, it is an intentional undermining in systems of thought and logic to ensure that complex and false narratives seem more plausible than reality.  To confront that in the long-term means re-enforcing education and make these organizing opportunities from the earliest encounters with these issues.

Endnotes

[1] This is cited from a now unavailable episode of the Radix Journal Podcast concerning Michael Brown.  After their mass platform denial, this podcast is no longer present online and there is not bibliographic record.

[2] Nazi Germany is by no means the “ideal type” when discussing fascism for a number of reasons, yet few examples really are.  Instead, when we try to “define” fascism as a method of understanding it, we find the common aspects that these movements hold in common to create a sketch of the underlying principles.  This would include essentialized identity, inequality, mythological violence, and mass politics committed to elitism.

[3] Roger Griffin, “Nazism as a Manifestation of Generic Fascism,” A Fascist Century: Essays by Roger Griffin, ed. Matthew Feldman (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008): 110.

[4] Leonard Zeskind, Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009), 56-57.

[5] Ibid, 58.

[6] George Michael, Willis Carto and the American Far-Right (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008).

[7] Zeskind, Blood and Politics, 56-57.

[8] Martin Durham, White Rage: The extreme Right and American politics (London and New York: Routledge, 1998): 28-29.

[9] Andrew E. Mathis, “Holocaust Denial, a Definition.” The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. [No longer available]

[10] “The Trials of David Irving,” PBS/NOVA, 2000.

[11] Adolf Hitler, 1922. (Josef Hell, “Aufzeichnung,” 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte. http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/archiv/zs/zs-0640.pdf Translation at Nizkor.

[12] Ben S. Austin. “Holocaust Denial: How to Refute Holocaust Denial,” The Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/how-to-refute-holocaust-denial.

[13] Fred Leuchter Jr., Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr., directed by Errol Morris (1999; Toronto: Lions Gate Films), DVD.

[14] Deborah Lipstadt, “Denying the Holocaust,” BBC, February 17, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/deniers_01.shtml.

[15] The Nizkor Project, http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/camps/maidanek/ftp.cgi?camps/maidanek//maidanek.04.

[16] Zach Ben-Amots, “The Rise of ‘Soft’ Holocaust Denial,” The Tower, October 2016, http://www.thetower.org/article/the-rise-of-soft-holocaust-denial/.

[17] Mark  Weber, “How Relevant is Holocaust Revisionism?” The Institute for Historical Review, January 7, 2009, http://www.ihr.org/weber_revisionism_jan09.html.

[18] Greg Johnson, “The Burden of Hitler,” Counter-Currents, April 20, 2011, https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/04/the-burden-of-hitler/.

[19] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Praeger 1998), Separation and Its Discontents Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Praeger 1998), A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism As a Group Evolutionary Strategy, With Diaspora Peoples (Praeger 1994).

[20] MacDonald, K. Population and Environment (1998) 19: 295. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024652205516

[21] Shane Burley, “Anti-Semitism in the White House: Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right,” Truthout, November 20th, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38412-anti-semitism-in-the-white-house-stephen-bannon-donald-trump-and-the-alt-right.

[22] Raphael S. Ezekiel, The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansman (New York: Penguin Books, 1995): 138-141.

[23] Rajani Bhatia, “Green or Brown? White Nativist Environmental Movements,” Home-Grown Hate: Gender and Organized Racism, ed. Abby L. Ferber (New York and London: Routledge, 2004): 218.

Refusing the Fascist Future: An Interview With Shane Burley

Below is an interview with Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It author Shane Burley discussing the Alt Right, anti-fascism, and what a mass movement looks like.

So where did the Alt Right come from?

The Alt Right really comes from a few converging political movements, both inside and outside the U.S.  The real beginnings of this goes back to France in the 1960s when a number of far-right intellectuals laid the groundwork to “rebrand” fascist ideas using the language of the left.  The European New Right, led by figures like Alain de Benoist and Guillume Faye, used the language of the New Left, appropriated the arguments of post-colonialist and national liberation movements, and attempted to engage in a type of “cultural struggle” as proposed by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.  Their ideas really were to pick up where the German Conservative Revolutionary movement and Radical Traditionalist thinkers like Julius Evola left off and argue for a going after the culture with nationalist values.  If they change the way that Europeans think about the world, and think about themselves, maybe this can allow a radical shift in politics down the line.

They argued that they were “anti-colonialist” and that white European nations had been “colonized” by forced of “globalist” capitalism and modernity.  Their argument was then for “Ethnopluralism,” a sort of “nationalism for all peoples,” that could then fight the destructive elements of modern multiculturalism, internationalism, and capitalism.  This approach avoided racial slurs, violent white nationalist politics, and the baggage of fascist political parties, and really laid a heavy intellectual groundwork for a new generation of fascists who wanted to appear as academics rather than Klansman.

The next is really paleoconservatism, a sort of far-right American conservatism that defined itself in opposition to the hawkish foreign policy of the neoconservatives that were coming into power inside the GOP in the 1980s.  They saw themselves as a part of the “Old Right,” which was likely a fantasy rather than a reality, which was isolationist, traditional, and America First.  The paleocons were aggressively conservative on social issues, especially in reaction to queer rights and the AIDs crisis of the 1980s, and were reactionary on racial issues.  Pat Buchanan was the best known of these figures, though he was moderate by their standards.

The third real key element to the Alt Right is old fashioned white nationalism.  The white supremacist movement in the U.S., rebranded in the 1990s as white nationalism, has a train going back to the early part of the century as it had to define its ideas as the rest of the world was leaving vulgar racialism behind.  Many of the major Alt Right institutions, such as American Renaissance, VDare, and the Council of Conservative Citizens, trace back to years of white nationalism past.  The difference with the Alt Right was really one of tone and class rather than ideas.  There has always been a suit and tie contingent inside American white nationalism, but the Alt Right wanted to scrape the top of that intellectual layer off and crystalize it.  The ideas were not much different, but they wanted to make sure that it would mimic radical movements on the left that have huge depth inside the academy.

The Alt Right, really then the Alternative Right, was a concept created by Richard Spencer with a web zine of the same name in 2010.  He wanted to capture an energy he found while working at the paleoconservative magazine Taki’s Mag that was coalescing around different schools of thought.  The European New Right had largely not had major texts translated into English, but they were starting to make their way over, and that was a huge foundational set of ideas for the Alt Right.  Against modern conservatism, capitalism, Judeo-Christianity, and Americanism, it instead wanted an elitist, traditionalist, and aristocratic right.  It broke with American conservatism, which was still founded in enlightenment values, and was open that it believed race was real, identity was fixed, and human beings were not equal.  Paleoconservatism had been considered the edge of mainstream conservatism for years, so that is where a large amount of the its founding energy came from.  It was white nationalism of America that ended up giving it its focus on race and its aggressive tone, which then allowed it to merge with the troll culture found on places like 4Chan and the Men’s Rights Movement.

From that cauldron it created its own synthesis, a more academic foundation for its racism, an aggressive revolutionary aspect from white nationalism, and the communities and connections from paleoconservatism.

What is the ‘Alt Light’ then?

The Alt Light is the sphere of slightly more moderate right-wing people that surround the Alt Right, giving them cover and helping to mainstream their ideas.

Fascism has always required a bridge to the mainstream.  Even inside the GOP, open white nationalism is not going to bring a ton of converts on its own, it needs to have a stop over point if their ideas will have currency with the beltway.  Political movements have done this in years past, whether it was the Goldwater campaign, pro-Segregationists in the 1960s, or paleoconservatism in the 1980s-90s.

Today, the battle is more cultural than traditionally political, just as the European New Right had always wanted.  The ideas and community were also forged online, so it would make sense if it was online cultural figures ranting on social media rather than fringe politicians.

The most obvious of the Alt Light was Breitbart and, now, Rebel Media.  Milo Yiannoupoulos was the first to really champion the Alt Right’s ideas without committing to open white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-egalitarianism.  Later it would be Gavin Mcinnis and his Proud Boys, Lauren Southern, Alex Jones and the conspiracy and patriot crowd, or anti-immigrant nutjobs like Anne Coulter.  The “free speech” rallies have been this in the physical world, as have many patriot militia types.

The main point is that they are often “civic nationalists” rather than racial ones: they are simply more inclusive in their authoritarian nationalism.  This means, though, that the Alt Right and the Alt Light won’t agree on some of the really big questions like race and eugenics.  In that way, the Alt Light, like any of these more moderate crossover movements, are built to betray their more radical counter-parts.  In the end, Milo refused to really endorse the Alt Right’s racialism, the same with figures like Laura Loomer, and, therefore, they were unable to continue the relationship.  This is a very traditional process as well.  The more moderate folks who were helping to mainstream the white nationalists eventually betray them and leave them behind.  And the alienation that those nationalists feel during this process is often what leads to desperate acts of violence.

Is it this process of marginalization that is leading to acts of Alt Right violence?  Is this violence going to increase?

It is hard to say definitively that the violence of the Alt Right is going to escalate, but the pattern is pretty well established.  Right now it appears as if acts of organized violence from Alt Right and white supremacist groups is increasing, especially in the wake of the “free speech” confrontations with antifascist groups and with the debacle at Charlottesville, and that violence is turning bloody.  At the same time, acts of “seemingly random violence” are increasing, with the murder of Heather Heyer just being a recent example.

This process of white supremacist terrorism, which often plays out as “seemingly random violence,” is often less random than it appears.  In the 1980s, after decades of failure to meettheir objectives, many insurrectionary white supremacists took to the strategies of “lone wolf” terrorism and “leaderless resistance.”  These eschewed more formal revolutionary organizations for random acts of violence that were intended to have a “propaganda of the deed” effect on the white working class.  They believed that these acts would spark “racial consciousness” in white people and create a race war.  In periods when more conventional organizing, both community organizing and political organizing, fail to show white nationalists any results, these attacks increase exponentially.  These are also mixed with the increase of violent street formations, which in years past included KKK and skinhead projects and today look more like the Proud Boys and Vanguard America.

With the massive platform denial that the Alt Right has faced since Charlottesville and the growth of a mass antifascist movement, this is largely where the Alt Right is at.  Desperation, failure, and the inability to meaningfully organize leads to increased acts of violence.  While the Alt Right has been hit very hard in the last few months, it isn’t gone, and its acolytes will likely turn towards violence before they simply disappear.

Antifascist organizing has seen a massive explosion with a whole number of organizations and types of projects out there.  What kind of work should someone do who is just now wanting to get involved?

This really depends on who they are, where they are, and what they want to do.  The honest truth is that we always want novelty in times of crisis, and there is certainly some room for that, but this is also a good opportunity to re-establish and re-enforce the organizations that have been doing this work for years.  Many organizations go back more than a decade and have a great handle on antifascist praxis, from how to handle neo-Nazis taking space to doxxing and reporting detailed information to even drawing together mass coalitions.  The first real step would be to look at those organizations that have a track record in doing the work and see if that is something you can connect with.  This is doubly important given the very real material threat that white nationalists offer to people’s safety.   Not only are they targeting marginalized communities, but they are going after those that dare to stand up to their growth, and they often target individuals and make examples of them.  This means that  it is important to not behave recklessly or go off half cocked, and instead work with organizers who are experienced, know how to do the work, and give it the care and respect it deserves.

The other thing would be to look at what skills and resources you bring to organizing work, and what type of organizing and projects you can fit into your life.  I don’t offer this line as a way of providing an “out” to the actual organizing work, it requires organized coordination in formalized groups that are going to do the not-always-fun organizing work, but it is important to make sure that you are able to continue contributing over time.  It is not uncommon to find activist projects that explode with excitement only to peter out months down the line when those doing much of the work find that it is unsustainable in the way planned.  Instead, find a pace and commitment you can sustain over time because continued involved over longer periods is always going to be most effective.

I would also caution against putting too much faith in large electoral or reformist movements, they often fail to deliver the kind of movement building or direct action necessary for antifascist work.  Instead, it may be good to look at organizations that have a deeper foundation in their analysis, that look at the ways that capitalism and white supremacy feed and necessitate insurrectionary fascist movements.  We are not going to Democrat our way out of the rise of populism and white nationalism, and instead we are going to need to have much deeper solutions.  This will also require looking towards community defense as the Alt Right and neo-Nazis pose a threat of violence.  Plainly put, they are out there murdering people, and if we do not organize to stop them then this will only increase.

When did white nationalism first come on your radar?  This isn’t exactly a new thing.

No, it’s not, it really has been one of the most consistent features of the white supremacist institutions of the U.S.  It is really one of the ways that the system of racial injustice gets its sharp teeth.  In the segregation-era South, it was insurrectionary groups like the Ku Klux Klan that helped reinforce the system through the extralegal violence of lynchings.  Technically not state sanctioned, but encouraged and socially condoned anyway.  White nationalism has also always existed as the sort of violent reclamation of privilege.  In times of crisis, rather than choosing to target the white supremacy that enforces worker subjugation, they scramble after lost privilege and attack people of color.  This violence is a consistent feature of the way white supremacy works in late capitalism, reinforcing itself repeatedly.

I began looking at what was then called the AlternativeRight.com in 2011 when famous Holocaust Denier David Irving was touring through upstate New York, where I was living at the time.  When doing research I ran across a podcast that was covering different far-right figures, and the interviewer had a certain way of speaking that seemed as though it could catch on at some point.  That was Richard Spencer, then editing his webzine AlternativeRight.com and hosting a podcast called Vanguard Radio.  From there he sort of lingered in the background through 2014, seeing increased opposition internationally and even in his then home of Whitefish, Montana.  It wasn’t really until 2015, though, that the huge Internet cadre going under #AltRight came forward, and his movement got energy beyond their quiet conferences and academically-toned articles.

How have antifacists been approaching the rise of the Alt Right?  What has been different or successful in the last couple of years?

Honestly, they have been getting shut down everywhere.

The Alt Right, for years, focused on an academic demeanor.  Their move towards what they call “IRL [In Real Life] activism” is pretty recent.  So one of the main sites of struggle was things like their public conferences, especially from the National Policy Institute and American Renaissance.  Organizations like the One People’s Project has made it a focus to confront those conferences for years before the term Alt Right was commonly known, they even got the American Renaissance conference shut down in 2010 and 2011.  The National Policy Institute conference has also been a site of growing protests, with attendants photographed and doxxed regularly.  This has created such an issue that Richard Spencer, who runs NPI, was unable to even get the same public venue this year as he had for the past several.  Instead they had to cram into an unheated barn whose owners booted them when they realized who they were.

One place that has become an increasing location of conflict is on college campuses.  Groups like Identity Europa have honed on college recruitment, and “crossover” groups, who we often call Alt Light, like Turning Point or many Trumpist College Republican groups, have acted as a trojan horse for Alt Right ideas and members.  So antifascist campus groups have grown heavily, and flashpoints like the appearance of Milo or “free speech” rallies have seen huge battles.  Richard spencer wants to focus on public universities since they are more indebted to support his “free speech,” which means they will use hundreds of thousands of dollars of public subsidies and student tuition funds to pay for security if he appears.  The Alt Right is also about “cultural struggle,” the Gramscian battle to change the culture to make it more palatable for their influence.  All of this means that the college campus if very important and a main focus for them.

This has inspired a massive growth in college campus centered groups that are challenging them.  The Southern Poverty Law Center, known for its lawsuits that have crippled white supremacist organizations and for its detailed reporting on hate groups, has moved in the direction of campus organizing.  Their Columbia University chapter has taken on speeches by Mike Cernovich and the founder of the European Defense League, along with the Liberation Collective.  

The Campus Antifascist Network is another huge example, growing really quickly since its announced formation only in August.  They have been taking on huge challenges, defending professors threatened by fascists, confronting events by Milo and other speakers, basically responding to Alt Right organizing on campus.  

The success of different projects has really been from the willingness to do the hard organizing work, to commit to high quality research and journalism work, and to build connections with a real world presence.  The organizations that are successful are not just avoiding interacting with fascists, they are getting into the middle of things.  Here in Portland, groups like Rose City Antifa, the Pacific Northwest Antifascist Workers Collective, the Unite Against Hate coalition, the Rural Organizing Project, among others, really have come together to challenge the space occupied by far-right outfits like Patriot Prayer, who have basically protected explicit white nationalist groups.  They challenge them directly, often with thousands of people in tow.  

The increase of the far-right’s “free speech” rallies, which were happening in notably liberal cities simply to get a reaction, saw an increase in this battle over space.  In Boston, directly after Charlottesville, a similar event sponsored by Proud Boys brought out 40,000 people in response.  This did not just go to another area of the city, but came directly to the space that the fascists hoped to hold.  The Alt Right’s event was effectively canceled by this, and then they continued the march, growing the community presence, reaching out to affected communities and people interested in organizing, and creating a strong and vibrant set of alliances.  

Groups like the IWW’s General Defense Committee have used this mass movement antifascist approach, working in plain sight and building a mass movement with the community while refusing to allow white nationalists to have space.  Redneck Revolt has done similar work in more rural areas, trying to connect with the people that would be the recruiting base for “Patriot” militias.  Groups across the gamut, from non-profits like the SPLC, the Rural Organizing Project, and the Montana Human Rights Network, to militant antifascist groups, have all stepped up a presence to create long-term organizing solutions that don’t see each incident as a one-off affair.

It is hard to overstate just how bad the Alt Right is at actual organizing work, they birthed their ideas out of chatter not action, but without an organized opposition they will find a way.

Largest Alt Right Institution Loses Its Non-Profit Status

For the past several years, the National Policy Institute has stood out as the most prominent Alt Right organizations in the country.  Headed by Richard Spencer, NPI and its journal Radix has been a leader in the intellectual formation of the Alt Right and furthering its brand of fascism.  The non-profit was formed in 2005 around the ideas of the late Sam Francis, a paleoconservative turned white nationalist known for his associations with American Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens.  After Spencer formed Alternative Right in 2008, he rose to prominence and eventually took it over in 2010 turning it into a think tank for “European American interests.”

Since then his flagship has been the NPI bi-annual conferences, which feature the “who’s who” of more pseudo-intellectual and culturally significant white nationalists, like Jared Taylor, Alain de Benoist, and Mike Enoch.  The branding has gone in the direction of the French New Right and the Identitarian movement, with neofolk music acts, philosophical veneer, and an penchant for the dramatic.

NPI publishes books under its Washington Summit Publishing wing, which originally was just putting out scientific racism by people like Michael Levin and Richard Linn.  It has expanded to anti-Semites like Kevin MacDonald, English translations of books by Eurasianist nationalist Aleksandr Dugin(translated by Spencer’s estranged wife), and unpublished tomes by Sam Francis.  The Radix Journal seems to be the most active, which is the home for his podcast, blogs, and an occasional academic-looking journal.

The reasons for the IRS booting NPI from its 501(c)(3) status appears a little confusing, at least for Spencer.  When he was asked by the L.A. Times, he did not seem to have a clear answer.

I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to make a comment because I don’t understand this stuff…It’s a bit embarrassing, but it’s not good. We’ll figure it out.

Spencer had earlier incorporated the non-profit at his Mother’s address in Whitefish, Montana, where he lived for most of the year.  This has recently caused even more controversy as the community and the anti-fascist organizations of the area had enough of the Spencer’s, and even though his mother had presented herself as an unwitting participant she had allowed her facilities to be used by the operation and had herself attended white nationalist conferences.

When Spencer first took over NPI, which did not “officially” take place until 2011, he stopped filing his taxes properly after 2012.  If you do not file your taxes for three consecutive years, you lose your 501(c)(3) status.  The IRS was behind on follow up with this, but after Spencer had raised upwards of $50,000 in donations to create a new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and a central hub called AltRight.com, they got caught up and pulled his status.

Given the behavior of Spencer and the record of NPI, it is quite likely that Virginia will reject their application and they will no longer be able to operate as a non-profit.  This will be a good precedent, especially if it is the targeted language of organizers countering him.  If the result of the ruling can come in the wake of concerted counter-organizing, especially the churches and organizations (like the IWW) who have been protesting the new Alexandria location, then it will create a standard pressure point for anti-fascist organizations to go after.  The New Century Foundation, which props up American Renaissance, may be next, as well as the Pioneer Fund and the various anti-immigrant non-profits out there funding policy research.

Spencer says his strong suit is not paperwork, which is true since he is strongest when complaining on Twitter and Periscope about how the “powers that be” treat him.  We are guessing that is the strong suit we will hear most about in the coming weeks.

Richard Spencer and Alt Right Meet Up Coming to Texas A & M on December 6th

For Texas anti-fascists, the most notorious alt right fascist leader in the country has been invited by a student organizer to speak at Texas A & M.  Alt right former student Preston Wiginton has asked Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute and Radix Journal to come and speak, despite a general lack of approval from the student body and the administration.  While the event is not at all officially endorsed by the school in any way, he will be speaking at Memorial Student Center (275 Joe Routt Blvd).  The exact room has yet to be announced, but they will be announcing it shortly before the event to avoid being shut down by anti-fascists.  Since the exact room will be broadcast eventually, it will be available to counter-organizers.

Preston Wiginton new.jpeg
Preston

In response to the white nationalist event on campus, the president of the university decided to make a statement and open up the stadium for a large event in celebration of diversity and against racism.

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young announced Tuesday the university will host a campus-wide “Aggies United” event Dec. 6 in response to a planned appearance by a controversial leader from the white nationalist movement.

Young said there has been “a significant outpouring of concern by members of the Aggie community and beyond” regarding the non-university affiliated event featuring Richard Spencer.

”Students, faculty, staff, former students and members of the community expressed their outrage over the speaker’s previously-expressed views and have roundly condemned everything for which he seems to stand,” Young said in a statement.

The “Aggies United” event is scheduled to take place at Kyle Field from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will be open to students, faculty and staff as well as the public.

Texas, Spencer’s home state, has been on a roll of rejecting him recently.  His high school, St. Marks Academy, recently did a fundraiser to benefit refugees entering the country, specifically naming Spencer as someone they wanted to disassociate their school’s name from.  His classmates have roundly condemned him and it seems that just about everyone from this part of his past has treated him like the pariah he is.  Texas A&M will be no different.

 

The National Policy Institute is Holding The Largest White Nationalist Conference of the Year November 19th

On Saturday, November 20th, the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C. will host the largest white nationalist and Alt Right conference of the year. After a year and a half of Breitbart and the Donald Trump campaign mainstreaming their message of ethnic nationalism and minority blame, they have seen the kind of unprecedented growth that white nationalism hasn’t seen since segregation. The conference is coordinated by the National Policy Institute, the white bread named non-profit that props up The Radix Journal, Washington Summit Publishers, and the twice-yearly conferences that they hold. The project is all centered on the most prolific, and interviewed, white nationalist personalities of the year: Richard Spencer.

Spencer coined the term Alternative Right in 2010 and set out creating a movement, and string of publications, that were centered on a new “intellectual” brand fascism that brought together white nationalism with masculanism, Southern nationalism, reactionary conservatism, right libertarianism, paleoconservatism, ethnic paganism, and so on. That movement evolved into the snarky internet trolldom we have today after it was picked up by racist nerds on /pol/ and 4Chan/8Chan, and now we have a Trump supporting brand of meme-oriented fascists that have grown far beyond their well-vetted chat rooms.

On Saturday their largest conference will bring them together, with a special focus on younger Millennial “shitlords,” who get a discount on the hefty conference price. The conference is in a public facility that has been resistant to anti-fascist pressure, but as their profile grows it only becomes more vulnerable.

Spencer will be speaking, as always, as he has become a celebrity in their movement and is the one trying to bring an academic tone and fashionable appearance. He is able to do this as his parents still fund most of his luxurious living and he gets a heavy influx of money from William Regnery of the Regnery Publishing legacy.

He will be joined by various speakers popular in the Alt Right today, with a shift from conferences of the past away from fascist philosophers like those of the French New Right and towards internet YouTube magnets that gauge their political effectiveness by the number of “Likes” they get in internet back alleys.

Millennial Woes will be one of these, who has become popular as a YouTube commentator where he essentially holds Google Hangouts with the “Who’s who” of that week’s Alt Right fame. Being inspired mainly by the people at the Daily Shoah, he keeps the content reasonably low-bar, even though he tries to bring on the few PhDs that they have in their ranks.

The headliners, besides Spencer, will be Peter Brimelow and Kevin MacDonald. Brimelow is known for his time in the Beltway conservative journalism world, formerly writing for Forbes and on a crusade to bust the teacher’s unions. This led him to the belief that education outcomes were not the result of actual education state policies, but that some people were innately less able to pick up those smarts in the classroom. This lead to his landmark racialist book Alien Nation in 1995 that set him on his later trajectory, which was founding the racist immigration restrictionist website VDare. Over the last few years he has become increasingly radical in his white nationalism, speaking at places like American Renaissance and the H.L. Mencken Club.

Kevin MacDonald bridges the world of the Alt Right and the insurrectionary world of explicit neo-Nazis and KKK members (many of whom will also be attending NPI). MacDonald is best known for creating a series of books that act as the Das Kapital of anti-Semitism, creating a “Grand Theory” to explain all the disparate conspiracy theories about Jews. Believing that Judaism is a “Group Evolutionary Strategy” to compete with Gentiles for resources, he argues that Jews use their high IQs and eugenic behavior to create a parasitic super-race that dissolves “white racial consciousness” through their false ideologies of communism, capitalism Freudianism, Boasian anthropology, Feminism, and “Cultural Marxism.” He is a “race realist” that believes that black people have innately low IQs and is an avid white nationalist.

F. Roger Devlin bridges the “manosphere” with the Alt Right, being well known for trying to construct crudely realized science and anthropology to buff up his belief that white men are genetically superior creatures. He has latched himself onto Radix as a vessel and is hoping to slide in under its banner into the perception that he is an intellectual of the white nationalist movement. His image is not well known at this point, so this provides anti-fascists an opportunity to reveal him and his real name.

The pair from Red Ice Radio will be in the house as well, both Henrik and Lana. They have become the defining Alt Right media operation at this point, building up over the last ten years on a subscription model to doing regular podcasts and video broadcasts. Their content is a mix of bizarre conspiracy theories, embarrassing occult ramblings, attempts at Fedora faux-intellectualism, and “alt health” ideas like that Vaccines were invented by Jews to sterilize gentiles.

Matthew Tait will bring in a foreign nationalist perspective, as he has been a voice in various nationalist parties in Britain, such as the now-defunct British Nationalist Party. He vocally jumped behind the UK Independence Party and its Brexit plan, one that Richard Spencer has been highly critical of. He will likely be there to discuss the recent Brexit vote, which is being called the British equivalent of the Donald Trump election.

One thing that Spencer has been avid about is the building of a “meta-politic,” one that develops a right wing culture, mindset, and identity before it even seeks out political goals. In this way he has set out, mostly unsuccessfully, to make Radix a cultural magnate for the Alt Right. In this way he is including live music at his conferences from here on out, in the past hosting half of the neofolk band Changes. This year he will have neofolk acts Xurious and Upward Path, both of which have been well known for their fascination with racialist Odinism and various nationalist European movements.

What most the press is likely to focus on, besides Spencer’s glee at Trump’s victory, is that in their pre-event they will be hosting a “talk” by reality-celebrity Tila Tequila. Since she faded from television programming, she has made headlines for using her website as a platform for Holocaust Denial, virulent anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and various fascist allegiances. She recently gained headlines for openly denying that the world was round, a claim that seems to have been neither a joke nor a satire. This is the first non-white speaker at an NPI gathering (she is half Asian), which many white nationalists have criticized, especially after a story in Mother Jones revealed that Spencer had romantic relationships with women of Asian descent.

The conference is being held on Saturday from 10am -11pm, with music and drinks in the evening. The night before, Friday, there will be a private event for conference attendees that has not been made public, as well as a brunch for the Sunday morning following the main conference. Spencer hopes to build camaraderie amongst the fascists and help to build networks that can help with on-the-ground organizing.

The One People’s Project has continued their years of incredible work by joining with the DC Anti-Fascist Coalition and Smash Racism DC and organizing the counter-demonstration for NPI. The OPP has been identifying and challenging Alt Right fascists for years, and they will also be photographing conference attendants as they enter the building so that they can be identified.

 

The action will be held at the Ronald Reagan building from 12:30-3:30, show up early if you can.

 

You can RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE.

 

Location Information:

 

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.

 

12:30-3:30

 

You can also contact the Ronald Reagan Building administration to let them know what you think about them hosting a white nationalist conference.

 

Contact Form

 

Peak Alt Right: How the Far Right Has Already Lost

For Richard Spencer, the Republican National Convention was a return to relevance, a coming out party for those who had been out for years before anyone cared.

This was not the first Republican event for Spencer, who spent his early professional years following the small paleoconservative niches blazed by people like Pat Buchannan and Taki Theodoracopulos.  After penning a defense of the student Lacrosse players at Duke University who were accused of sexually assaulting a sex worker of color for the William Taft society, he was brought on as an Assistant Editor of arts at the American Conservative.  The magazine made a name for itself through Scott McConnell’s attempt to channel Old Right politics into a world disgusted by most of the excess of Neoconservative foreign policy, coming out against the Iraq War while few on the right were.

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McConnell eventually helped Spencer to land a job further to the right at Taki’s Magazine, which keeps the overflow of racists let go from places like Forbes and The National Review.  As Peter Brimelow left behind his career attacking teacher’s unions for white nationalism and anti-immigrant extremism with his website VDare and John Derbyshire decided to go public with his with race and IQ arguments, Taki’s Magazine became a place where they could continue to rant to an audience that was almost relevant to beltway Conservatism.

It was here that Spencer decided to make a final transition to the fringes based on the community that he was seeing take shape out of the ashes of paleoconservatism.  Greg Johnson, the editor of the neo-fascist publishing house Counter Currents described the early days of Alternative Right, which Spencer founded as a “big tent” for these dissident right-wing movements, as a place for ideas often conflicting to find a common ground.

[Alternative Right] will attract the brightest ‘young’ conservatives and libertarians and expose them to far broader intellectual horizons, including race realism, White Nationalism, the European New Right, the Conservative Revolution, Traditionalismneo-paganismagrarianismThird Positionismanti-feminism, and right-wing anti-capitalistsecologistsbioregionalists, and small-is-beautiful types.

Though it has gone through several iterations, the Alt Right is the most recent stage of the process started by Spencer several years ago.  Together, it makes up an ideological fascist kernel of ideas, ones that drive the political movement of the racialist right.  While it is largely undefined, it can loosely be thought to encompass anti-egalitarianism, anti-democracy, elitist, racialist, anti-feminist, and other forms of anti-equality thinking that make up its ideological core.  Whether these are arguments to restore the monarchy, to return to the “Ethnic religions” of pre-Christian Europe, or simply proclamations that people of color are more prone to crime or have lower innate IQs, it is the ideological position in favor of hierarchy that drives its ranks, from the white nationalists to the Men’s Rights activists.

While they often mock the neo-Nazis, Klansman, and old guard of the insurrectionary racist movement, they share the same ideological ideas even if the Alt Right are more upper middle class and concerned with a different strategic orientation.

An Intellectual Tradition?

As Spencer walked the streets surrounding the convention in Cleveland he held above him a sign that said “Want to talk to a “racist?”  This is a strategic move for Spencer, who wants to reframe “racism” as simply a preference for one’s own “identity” and “tribe.”  He attempts to liken himself to Latino organizations looking to advance what he calls “ethnic interests,” or Black Nationalists looking to retain a culture that was robbed during colonial slavery.

His arguments, while ignored for years, have finally found an audience in the mainstream press who are trying to make sense of the ideological current that has been associated with the rise of Donald Trump.  HBO, shooting a documentary looking at racialist groups in the U.S., was following him around, and even set up a conversation between him and news anchor Jorge Ramos.  While this may seem like cheap controversy baiting, and it is, Spencer was presented as a reasonable point of debate with Ramos.  Instead of just a spectacle, the message has been sent that Spencer represents a growing point of view that must be considered in the debate.  Previously his ethnic nationalist message would have been considered so obviously repulsive as not to be considered relevant for inclusion, but these are apparently the times we live in.

The Alt Right has pushed itself into the discourse through a few convenient openings.  The first, and most obvious, is the self-destruction of the Conservative Movement.  As Spencer has discussed, at length, the Conservative Movement as we know it today is more of an invention of William Buckley and the National Review as a Cold War ideology.  Here it mixed Christian social conservatism, hawkish foreign policy, and free market economics into something that appeared as a coherent ideology for decades.  Right-wing scholar Paul Gottfried, who consorts with Spencer and company often, calls this ideological pairing “idea clusters,” where the ideas themselves are not necessarily ideologically related yet are put into a bunch and labeled as “conservative.”

As demographics change, capitalism heads into permanent crisis, and the culture shift dramatically, Buckley’s idea cluster is failing to resonate.  It is in this space that alternatives have been tried, with libertarianism being the ideological position popular in the younger areas of the GOP for the last few years.  This headed into decline as Ron Paul faded from view and places like Reason Magazine and the Caito Institute lost power or uniqueness.

Now, in the search for an identity, many of the edgier “dissidents” allied with American Conservatism have found Brietbart, post-Tea Party racial anger, and Donald Trump.

Now That’s What I Call Edgy

When mixed with the second key factor for the Alt Right, the horizontal nature of social media, you can see why the edgy “Shitlords” found a voice.  In an attempt to out offend each other, the culture of the Alt Right was formed on 4Chan, Reddit, and Twitter, where the need to find uniqueness and to rebel against what they believe orthodoxy to be (in this case it is “political correctness”), they united with old-fashioned white supremacy to form a semi-coherent white nationalism that is based in ironic catch phrases, internal jargon, trolling, and unrestrained anger.

With Twitter they can cut through to mainstream discourse by trending hashtags like #Cuckservative, using every media mention as a way to slowly seep in Nazi talking points with kitschy memes and constant trolling.  Gone are the days of concerted organizing around crossover topics like immigration and affirmative action, now it is better to dominate comments sections on articles and post blogs arguing in favor of slavery and Holocaust Denial.

This is perfectly fine with Spencer, who was always looking to foment a fascist cultural movement more than a political one.  As he often proselytizes, he is not a materialist, he is an idealist in the German tradition.  He believes the change starts in the minds and the culture, and “politics are a lagging indicator.”  This is why his movement starts with a tweet, not with a sign, and you will not see concrete goals listed as how to get to the Ethnostate he envisions on the North American continent.

It is all of these peculiarities and contradictions that lead to why the Alt Right is failing before it ever really begins.

What drew out Alternative Right and its successor, the Radix Journal, as well as the entire sphere of neo-fascist publications and publishers was its ability to create a philosophical foundation to the racialist and neo-fascist movement.  It was not just its congenial style, we have had suit and tie racists before (see David Duke wearing suits at Klan meetings), but what Alternative Right attempted to do was do have a real set of philosophical, academic, and new religious interventions.  This was a smart white nationalism, one that was attempting to find some coherence.  As you would expect, this has had mixed results as those with credentials and ideas are few and far between inside of the far right, as is art, music, and literature.

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Radical Traditionalist and esoteric fascist, Julius Evola.

In their pursuit a few key threads came out, from celebrating paganism to the Radical Traditionalism of Julius Evola, Spencer and his ilk worked hard to carry on the legacy of people like Alain de Benoit and Guilluime Faye.  This was to make fascism just as much of a philosophic project as Marxism and anarchism, and one that they hoped to decouple from the more obvious forms of violence and ugly racism that it usually resorts to.  While those on the anti-fascist left will usually point out that this is merely an act, and it is, there is often a deeper process here.  What they are searching for is to give reason and purpose to the bigotry that they feel, and they want to prove that it is not hatred but deep philosophical ideas and socio-biological identity that is driving them.  Spencer has constructed a culture that looks as much as possible like the academic left, using jargon and rhetoric that feels more like the Frankfurt School than like the National Alliance.  Oswald Spangler, Ernst Junger, and Carl Schmidt were pulled off the shelf, mixed with misreadings of Nietzsche, and an “intellectual” fascist tradition was continued in the few conferences the Alt Right had the money to muster.

With the innocuously named National Policy Institute, Spencer hosted conferences that were overpriced and set in posh venues, all with the idea of gaining legitimacy.  With Washington Summit Publishers, the NPI book publishing wing, he basically republished books by scientific racists of the past like Madison Grant as well as “new school” race and IQ ideologues like Richard Lynn and Kevin McDonald, all with names like the “Global Bell Curve” that both try to ride the wave of popular right-wing books in the mainstream and to sound as if they could blend into the world of scientific publishing.  Going further, with the launch of the Radix Journal website, Spencer created a Radix imprint for Washington Summit Publishers to print books that were more cultural.  Here they published a slick journal with themes like “The Great Erasure,” looking at the “global delegitimization of the white man.”  They republished crossover authors like Samuel Francis, who has the strange achievement of being published regularly in the Washington Times as well as for white nationalist publications like the Occidental Observer, American Renaissance, and the Citizen Informer, the newsletter of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Similarly, Greg Johnson of Counter Currents has tried to create an academic tone with his publishing, mixing in the pseudo-spirituality of Heathens like Stephen McNallen, the racial mysticism of Savitri Devi, and tribalists like Jack Donovan.  Going even further, publishers like Arktos Media have tried to build a culture on republishing Julius Evola and French New Right thinkers as well as neofolk records, all with the idea that they can create a far-right wing culture of art and philosophy.

All of this together brought a certain tone that, while masking the guttural racial hatred and genocidal justifications, was meant to make arguments for their position in a world disgusted by racism, sexism, and homophobia.

It wasn’t this culture, however, that gave the Alt Right the name it has today.

Blind Ideology, White Anger

The current state of the Alt Right is one that is based on a certain online cruelty, a culture built almost entirely on the insult.  This did not start with The Right Stuff and their headline podcast The Daily Shoah, but it certainly was popularized with it.  The Daily Shoah was created by a group of former libertarians who had turned towards white nationalism and wanted to create an Opie and Anthony styled radio show for their crew.  As they had built most of their ideological foundations on message boards rather than in political situations out in the real world, they had developed a caustic online culture of racial epithets and angry misogyny.  Uniting the worlds of white nationalism, Men’s Rights Activism, anti-disability blame-rage, and other indulgences of reactionary toxicity, they used the Alt Right philosophical underpinnings as a foundation for their anger.  They hate black people, and call them the N-word and other creative insults, and then pick at “Human Biological Diversity” terminology to justify their anger.  Kevin McDonald’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories fuel their bizarre belief that everything in the culture that pulls progressive or against systemic white supremacy is done by Jews, who conspire in their genes to undermine “Western Civilization.  They bring on other Nazis and right-wingers to indulge in esoteric Hitlerism, strange Euro-paganism, and the intermix of Christian orthodoxy, paleolibertarianism, and secular authoritarianism with their own angry racism to create a culture of Internet trolling rather than political organizing.

Through The Right Stuff, the Daily Stormer, and a slew of blogs and podcasts, we have seen the two cultures, the pseudo-academic and the vulgar anger, unite into one “Alt Right,” with a single soul and two dramatically different faces.

As Spencer walked in circles around the Quicken Loans Arena he tried to turn “stereotypes” about racists on their head, fighting to shake Jorge Ramos’ hand.  In an earlier interview, Ramos had a conversation with a KKK member who refused to lock palms with him, and Spencer wanted to show that he, in fact, respected Ramos.  In their conversation, Spencer wanted to prove that Ramos was an “Identitarian” just like Spencer, fighting for his people.  This is a common talking point among white nationalist who try to argue that they are fighting for white interests just like the NAACP fights for “black interests” and La Raza fights for “Latino interests.”  This is context denial, a term that the Alt Right loves to use, in that they do not like to admit that when it comes to Black Nationalism, it is an attempt to reclaim a stolen culture and identity, while white nationalism actually obliterates European history in an attempt to reconstruct formal white supremacy. One is organizing against verifiable oppression, and the other is the reactionary anger of a group who is having their privilege eroded by progress.

That evening Spencer was invited to Milo Yiannopoulos’ evening party, where he lived out one of the most profound paradoxes of the Alt Right and their participation at the RNC.  Milo has made a name for himself as the most high profile people donning the Alt Right label, though his version is the most watered down by most Alt Right standards.  Many on the Alt Right denounce Milo because he is a gay man with a Jewish ancestry; though the more savvy of the crowd like that he is mainstreaming their iconoclastic views at Breitbart.  Milo was there to lead the anti-Islamic charge, claiming that it Islam was not only irreconcilable with queerness, but incompatible with Western Civilization as a whole.  LGBTrump founder Chris Barron continued this rhetoric during the evening, which echoed the angry scapegoating of Jewish immigrants in 1920s Germany.  While comparisons to Nazi Germany are often obvious and overwrought, this situation seemed obvious as the contempt towards Muslims was explicit and there were open calls for their forced expulsion.

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Matt Forney (Middle)

While Spencer was softening the blows of his racism, Milo was riding the wave of this own offensiveness, all the way to being banned on Twitter.  Spencer was one of many Alt Right people at Milo’s events, including MRA clown Matt Forney reporting for Red Ice.  The party was an RNC associated event that openly invited people who argue that Black people should be forcefully returned to Africa in a “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”  If this doesn’t reveal the current orientation of the GOP, nothing does.

After the first couple days of the party, Spencer joined Jazz Hands McFeels at Fash the Nation, one of the other most popular white nationalist podcasts on the growing Right Stuff podcast network.  After telling Jorge Ramos that he respected all races and cultures, he used racial slurs to refer to black people and laughed along at comparisons between people of color and animals.  Fash the Nation enjoys using the n-word, calling black people “feral” and various types of apes, and laughs about killing Jews.  This is what has spiked its numbers, as its Alt Right Twitter army laughs with glee as they are given permission to revel in the darkest parts of their reactionary bigotry.

Appearance vs. Reality

It is here that the contradiction in the Alt Right has grown to proportions it cannot ignore: it wants to be both an inoffensive political and ideological movement while also being an angry and virulently offensive brand of political theater.  While Spencer previously found racial slurs offensive and idiotic, he dropped his standards once it was those qualities that gave the Alt Right legs.  While he was developing an “ideological” movement built on intellectual credibility, it was words like Dindu, Triggered, Echoes, and Merchant that gave it the culture to grow.

As it hits its zenith, many on the inside of these circles are beginning to realize that you cannot have both.  You cannot have an inoffensive “identitarianism” on one side, that argues that is simply wants its own identity and is not reveling in hatred of “the other” while also indulging in angry insults at people of color and mocking their suffering.

Holocaust Denial has come in waves as a sort of “crossover” topic for white nationalists, one that is intended to find some converts in conspiracy theory circles.  In the early 1990s it saw a peak with organizations like the Institute for Historical Review and the Barnes Review trying to legitimize “Holocaust Revisionism” as just another form of historical inquiry.  They argued that it was simply about uncovering truth and had no social or political agenda besides finding out what really happened.

If this was true, why was it that most of those involved in the revisionism were also involved in racial nationalist projects?  Why were the same people questioning the existence of gas chambers also presenting race and IQ arguments?  Could it be simply that they were repackaging the racial hatred of the past in new pseudo-intellectual arguments?  This became such an obvious sham that places like the IHR shut their doors, and Holocaust Denial became (until recently) an almost forgotten task left to basement dwellers on BlogSpot.

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Mark Weber

They attempted to say that their arguments were disconnected from all of the aspects that society finds repulsive: insulting racism, racial violence, genocide, persecution, and oppression.  Instead, they could not cover their tracks well enough, and it took only the briefest look to reveal them for who they were.  Mark Weber, the most well known front-man for the IHR (after wrestling it away from ignominious racist Willis Carto) often donned a suit and tie and used academic jargon when stating his case for reimagining the second World War.  If he really was just another historian who stumbled on this “inconvenient truth,” then how come he had been a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance since he was a teenager?

A similar situation marks the two-storied history of American Renaissance (AmRen), one of the largest and most established white nationalist projects in the country.  AmRen began in the late 1980s as a newsletter from Jared Taylor as a pseudo-intellectual white nationalist voice, intending to be an alternative to the toxic influence of neo-Nazi organizations that engaged in murderous fits of violence over the 1980s.  Taylor focused in on race and IQ arguments mainly, riding the wave of The Bell Curve and the candidacies of people like David Duke and Pat Buchanan, creating a “high brow” culture for their conferences.  Over the years they have hosted every scientist who has made arguments about the differences between races, often arguing that the organization is simply dedicated to getting out a clearer view of science, heredity, and biological difference.

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Donald Templar, speaking at American Renaissance.

If this were true, then their list of speakers would not be a “who’s who” of nationalist far-right political organizations, ranging from fascist organizations to ones with a history of racial terror.  If it was simply an organization for the scientific study of race, then you would not have “academics” like Donald Templar stepping to the podium to yell about how tired he is of black people “complaining” and how they need to be worked 60-hour weeks in prison so they will stop “giving aids to each other.”  If you listen to a large cross section of American Renaissance speeches, or read their newsletter, the only connective tissue is anger towards non-white people and the value-laden language meant to disparage anyone without pure Aryan ancestry.  All of the “difference” that they outline puts black and brown people in a negative light, and most of the terms and categories used are either antiquated or non-scientific in orientation.   Plainly put, American Renaissance is an organization dedicated towards developing white nationalism through the denigration of people of color, and the “science” is piecemeal, out of context, and almost always discredited.

Why American Renaissance has dropped its scientific veneer in recent years is that it did not work.  They attempted to gain credibility for its beliefs on the one hand, yet empowered a sub-intellectual culture of racial slurs, anger, and insults.

Spencer has spent years disassociating himself with the KKK and neo-Nazis of the world, but that is a surface act at best.  In his most recent podcast, Spencer interview former KKK leader David Duke about his upcoming big for the Louisiana legislature.  He often has Kevin McDonald, the sort of Karl Marx of anti-Semitism, who was on the board of the skinhead-associated American Freedom Party, a place where Spencer has also been interviewed.  He often joins The Daily Shoah, or invites them on his own show, where they do not skimp on the denigrations against Jews, transgender people, and all non-white people.  Spencer may play his rhetorical game, but the only difference between him and a KKK member is that his house is worth almost $4 million.  When it comes to every ideological point, from the “subhuman” nature of black people to the secret power structure of Jews, Spencer is identical to all of the neo-Nazis that the general public finds so repulsive.  When it comes to rhetoric, he is of the same circles as those calling Black people “Dindus,” making monkey sounds during Black History month, and applauding the murder of Mike Brown.

As Donald Trump publicly implodes going into the general election, he is continuing to drum up an “anti-PC” culture of racial animosity and fighting words.  This peak has given the Alt Right a place in the public discourse, but it has discredited all legitimacy it had hoped to gain.  While they main gain converts through their toxic discourse and rhetoric, they have undermined all ability to actually have an influence on even the broader American right wing.  While trying to take on both faces, that of the academy and of the bully, they have failed to actually benefit from either, and now they are seeing peak influence.  Even if Donald Trump was to pull a Hail Mary and win in the general election, their rhetoric will continue to fade as Trump’s administration heads to a socially conservative platform, bought into the same neoliberal interests that he has been tied to throughout his career as a bourgeois inheritance baby.  The Alt Right has played all of its cards, and its limited contributions to discourse will not withstand its self-destruction.

For anti-fascists going forward, the biggest lesson is that the Alt Right has rebranded the far right, and will make up the cultural touchstones of fascist organization for years to come.  Broad nationalism, Internet trolling, and silly jargon are what neo-Nazis are today, which gives a great sign of what to look for.  As far as influence, they have created a cap that they will never be able to move past.

Red Ice Creations and the New Fascist Media

The world of the pseudo-intellectual far right used to be relatively isolated. There was a small network of blogs and then a few that peaked above the others, namely Alternative Right, American Renaissance, Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents Publishing, and a few others. Alternative Right morphed over to the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, where they continued their use of meta-politics to introduce white nationalism and used podcasts as a primary means of media communication. In only the last five years this network of online “Alt Right” spaces has expanded exponentially, starting largely with Human Biological Diversity blogs that continued “race and IQ” arguments. They began creating a generalized subculture of trolls, social media warriors, and those who have taken the jargon and influences of the more academic Alt Right and brought them down to the level of the average racist.

Today, podcasts and videos are commonplace for Alt Right commentators who are trying to jump into the fast Internet media cycle, and attempting to create a fascist version of what we see on the left. Through this, the Daily Shoah and the Right Stuff radio network have become incredibly popular for their crass racist audio tracks, and places like Radix have continued to pump out their interview focused episodes with fascist “celebrities of the week.” While all of these have maintained an increasing popularity as Donald Trump mainstreams white nationalism, all of their work combined still pales when compared to a relative newcomer in the fascist Internet scene.

Red Ice Creations, which jumps between Sweden and the U.S., has created a media infrastructure that is more formal and has more socio-political crossover points than you see in other racist media. They have taken up the mantle started by people like Richard Spencer, now doing a regular feed of audio and video programs.

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Henrik Palmgren

We first heard about Red Ice Creations, which includes their radio and video shows, over a year ago when many of the louder voices on the right, like Richard Spencer and Jack Donovan, began getting interviewed on their radio show. At first, it seemed like programming primarily focused on strange conspiracy theories and alternative scientific notions, and perhaps these voices were just a part of their strangeness. As they went on, their founders, Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff, became open about their racial politics, being clear on any show that has a racialist subject or guest that they are there to “defend their race” and demonizing African descended people, immigrants and refugees, and all “leftist” ideas.

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Lana Lokteff

The design of their website is purposefully meant to look like places like Infowars, the conspiracy racket from resident nutjob Alex Jonesnutjob Alex Jones. These places have a generally slick presentation and act as somewhat of a crossover point between the far right and broader conservatives. This connection continues as they repost articles from Infowars and the affiliated Prison Planet regularly. Their news choices fit into an interesting space for the Alt Right as of recently, which is to try and create artificial holes in narratives about the reality of racism. An example is their recently posted article listing 100 “hate crime hoaxes,” which is intending to first undermine the recent history of bigotry related violence and, second, reframe the narrative so that it appears as European-descended people are under attack because they are not “allowed” to organize in their own racial interest. It may seem obvious that they are playing with facts and ignoring very simple bits of analysis to make these connections, yet it is these blind spots that are critical if there are going to create an “analysis” that justifies their white nationalism

Their two primary programs are the podcasts Red Ice Radio hosted by Henrik and Radio 3Fourteen hosted by Lana. Here they focus on guests for interviews, which are quickly becoming the “who’s who” of the broad white nationalist and racist communities. Guests like Richard Spencer, American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, David Duke, Mike Enoch and Seventh Son from the Daily Shoah, various people from the Manosphere and Men’s Rights community, and just about everyone who remains relevant from this growing Alt Right scene.

Because of their connection to Sweden, they have picked up very heavily on one of the hallmarks of the racialist movement in Scandinavia: Islamophobia. Between hearing from anti-Islamic activists to posting articles about Swedish political parties being “infiltrated by Islamists,” they have used Muslim European immigration as a fault line since they see it as having the same social crossover point in Europe that anti-Latino immigrant racism has in the United States.

What could be considered even more of a focus would be pagan guests, always leaning to the far right. Lana herself has spoken about her fondness for the pagan side of the Alt Right, how it avoids the cultural and restrictive trappings of Christianity, and how it can help to define their race.

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Stephen Flowers Speaking About Indo-European Religon

It is this paganism that has created one of its crossover points to the non-racialist circles, though it becomes clear that even those unaffiliated with the Alt Right previously are more than willing to flirt with its racial nationalism. An example of this would be the recent interview with Stephen E. Flowers, who is known inside of heathen circles for writing some of the more respected books on the runes. He caused a controversy inside of the Troth, the largest Universalist heathen organization, for also being a member of the Left Hand Path Temple of Set. Though his interview really does focus on the topics of ancient Indo-European religions, he uses “blood and soil” rhetoric to discuss this and helps to validate the racialist voice of Henrik.

Their radio programs go back for ten years with hundreds of guests that run the gamut, and it is likely that, not until recently, the extent of the racial and political views of the hosts were not known to all of the guests. Over the last year they have honed in on fascist and racist commentators almost exclusively, from anti-immigration activists in Australia to nationalist politicians in Britain like the British National Party’s Nick Griffin.

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Some of Red Ice’s recent videos, showing the fascist sensationalism their recent success has been built on.

More recently they are trying to do regular videos and live broadcasts, following the recent trends on the Alt Right to refer to everyone as “cucks” and to use silly internet Alt Right personalities like Millenial Woes to chatter about any possible issue, usually showing their inability to think through complex social problems.

Their largest point of crossover is in the broad world of conspiracy theory, which is an important component of far right ideology. To reach the point where by you center power on Jews or that non-white racial groups are lacking in intelligence and “agency” you have to created a complex matrix of conspiratorial power that is suppressing this information and denying the truth. These ideas cannot exist on their own, so it is useful to “jump down the rabbit hole”(they prefer “take the Red Pill”) of conspiracy theory, calling most known facts into doubt. From 9/11 Truthers to Climate Deniers (and Holocaust Deniers) to JFK Assassination theories, Red Ice has had major players in these fringe circles all over the place. Besides the Ancient Aliens and “Big Pharma” conspiracies, they have focused on another crossover point: libertarian/Austrian economic ideas. While they certainly do not politically side with Libertarians, especially those of the Mises or Caito Institutes, they do enjoy finding an audience with shows about the gold standard, BitCoin, and the Federal Reserve.

Their connections to the anti-vaxx community have been one of its more solidified crossover points. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, a well-known anti-vaccine activist, has been on the program often, talking about things like Zika Virus conspiracy theories. The far right has often found inroads into spaces otherwise considered left or “progressive” through Alternative Medicine, which often comes from their generalized conspiratorial worldview.

Lana’s show, Radio 3Fourteen, seems to have always had a foundation in European “identitarianism” right from the start, and has had a slew of recent guests like the Political Cesspool’s James Edwards, pan-Europeanists Melissa Meszaros and Alex Gabler, Counter-Currents’ Greg Johnson, and Walter T. Richmond on various Syrian refugee blaming.

What you can see both in Lana and in Henrik’s show where the crossover points to non-racialist subcultures is going to be. Inside of organized power-lifting, martial arts, and cross-fit communities were are seeing a difficult flirtation with the various “tribalist” factions inside the Alt Right, from the masculanism of Jack Donavan to the barely-literate rants of The Pressure Project. And example of this is with David Whitehead, a popular martial arts instructor in Canada who has his own podcast called Truth Warrior. He runs the Warrior Arts Academy in Sooke, which ranges from broad martial arts classes to a condition type of “warrior” training. From his professional personae there is nothing explicitly racial yet on Radio 3Fourteen he joins in with an open racialist to discuss the “warrior” ethic in what he calls a “Culture of Victimhood.”

The question about the guests of Red Ice Creations is not so much whether or not they are open fascists like the hosts. It is likely that they would disagree about many things, yet they still will flirt with those ideas and empower a movement that is explicitly about creating authoritarian ethnostates. Each of these guests should be challenged for this association and we should make it so that they do not feel welcome to associate with the openly racist radical right. The vast majority of guests on the show are open about their fascist politics, but for those that are not, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to distance themselves from the crowd they are associating with.

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A Lana’s Lama image, from their marketing campaign.  The logo is in the upper left hand corner, which you will see on their various products.

Lana has decided to move out of simply broadcasting from her living room studio and has created a clothing company, saying that fashion is normally a “lefty cesspool.” Lana’s Llama is a “non-toxic clothing” company, which is her attempt to carve out a space inside of the organic community. The clothes themselves are your general mid-range mix of blouses, shirts, skirts, and pants, with only a few styles of each. Fabrics are of a major focus for Llama, which advocates the use of natural fibers over synthetic. Nothing about the website indicates her intended “subversion of the fashion world,” which lends to its intent to use the natural clothing/foods community as a Trojan Horse of white nationalist entryism. She goes further than she needs in this way by trying to assert that synthetic fibers are responsible for hormone disruption, fungal infections, respiratory problems, joint pain, muscle fatigue, and a number of other ailments. There is some real agenda in this, especially with the claims about hormone disruption. This plays directly into her notion that chemical companies are responsible for “feminizing men,” or for somehow “creating” transgender people through hormone manipulation. This conspiratorial thinking works to further essentialize gender and to create the notion that “globalism” is actively working to subvert “natural gender roles.”

 

There is a rash of alarmist images and language along these lines, an important component of continuing the sense of dread and conspiracy that is necessary for laying the foundations of a revolutionary white reactionary worldview. Much of the rhetoric that they use draws on elements that are, again, associated with the left, such as the need to have environmentally sustainable clothing production. This has always been a focal point of Third Positionist fascist ideologues, and one that, because of environmentalism’s current cultural image, has allowed for fascist associates to go under the radar.

Lana’s Llama continues the slick appearance of Red Ice and is well linked up with ordering options and social media. Right now it seems that their website is the only way to get the clothing, but it will be important to begin broadcasting what this company is and who it is run by before it gets any further crossover. This means letting people know right on the social media accounts for the company, and to keep up pressure to make sure that those who do not want to fund white nationalist causes do not do so unwittingly.

The same has to be true for Red Ice more broadly, and now that their politics are becoming more known it seems that the guests on their shows are narrowing a bit. The list of those who have been guests is so expansive and touches so many bizarre subcultural spaces that it would be hard to list them one at a time, but it is going to be important to monitor who goes on there from here on out and to make sure they are contacted about their associations. Racial politics are not a safe space because we will not allow it to be. We will make it socially dangerous to associate with these ideas because white nationalism is founded on violence and oppression.

Red Ice has made extensive crossover into the broader Alt Right over the last year, so much that they co-hosted the NPI Conference live podcast with Richard Spencer and Mike Enoch as well as live-streamed, with obnoxious commentary, the videos from Richard Spencer, Nathan Damigo, and Johnny Monoxide from the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space “event.” They also went to the American Renaissance white nationalist conference in Tennessee this year, broadcasting live and doing interviews with speakers and those attendants who were willing to have their faces on camera.

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Image they used when interviewing the Traditionalist Workers Party leader/founder Matthew Heimbach

They extended this live stream project to the recent Traditionalist Workers Party/Traditionalist Youth Network event with the Sac Town Skinheads and Golden State Skinheads, neo-Nazi skinhead gangs who often try to flirt with more “suit and tie” organizations.

Going forward, Red Ice Creations is going to be the leader of this particular wing of the white nationalist movement, consolidating speakers and media output in a way that fascists have rarely achieved in the past. By finding a (slight) financial model that keeps them afloat and by driving deep connections in the conspiracy and pseudo-science/mystical worlds, they have created enough of a base to keep speakers lined up and people paying for premium memberships. Their own folly will likely be in their attempt to follow podcasts like The Daily Shoah and go “full Alt Right,” where their vulgarity will limit their guests to fellow open racists. You can see a direct descent over the last six months as their own “diversity” has been reigned in so as to replicate the ugly success of many of the Alt Right trolls that have defined their movement.

Never the less, they have taken the lead position in the Alt Right digital mediascape, and because of their lack of ideological presence they are bringing in everyone from Britain First activists to open neo-Nazis and Holocaust Deniers. They remain a good marker for those inside of occult, “alternative medicine,” libertarian, and conspiracy circles who are willing to flirt with fascism, and can be a bridge point for confronting the creeping nationalism and racism that often finds these marginal communities as a cross-over pathway into the larger social discussion. Their “success” can also be a tool for anti-fascists who can use their broadcasts as a window into the less-confronted areas of the “intellectual” fascist world, as well as be a regular news feed for what the inside of these new nationalist projects look like.

No matter what Red Ice intends their project to be, the anti-fascist community will use it as a resource to further understand the Alt Right and to build a movement that will shut it down at every turn.

Fascist Chic: Inside American Renaissance 2016

Since 1990, American Renaissance (AmRen) has been a leader in the “suit and tie” racist crowd that was forming during that period. Preferring a congenial conference atmosphere to a cross burning, Jared Taylor created an institution that would use an academic tone to argue for racial differences in biology and intelligence, against diversity, and for white identity. Though it has become slightly more radical over the years, it has generally been a meeting point for a certain segment of the white nationalist movement that wants to see a level of respectability, and even mainstream crossover, for its ideas.

What it is best known for, even within its small subculture, is the particular focus it has given on largely disproven Race and IQ arguments, building on the work of disgraced and marginalized professors like J. Philippe Rushton, Donald Templar, and Richard Lynn to argue that there is a global “Bell Curve” in intelligence. They then tie in qualities like criminality, sexual restraint, and “time-preference” to this, putting whites near the top just below East Asians (Jews are actually at the top, which takes them to a whole other disgraceful set of accusations.). The notion here is that there is a general racial hierarchy, and that it is gene markers that actually drive much of behavior rather than “nurture,” social systems, or culture. This is not where the mainstream of science is, no matter what branch, and the AmRen crowd seems well aware that they are against the tide.

Over the last couple of years, as the Alt Right has formed, the new intellectual internet culture of white nationalism, AmRen has continued to be one of the primary meeting points for a certain department of the movement (the other leader being the National Policy Institute). Here speakers have shifted somewhat from the pseudoacademic prose that has defined most of its history, and instead political nationalism, identitarianism, and crossover social issues have defined its last couple of hears. Human Biological Diversity, the modern term for Race Realism, has gained them quite a following for Internet hate-mongers, but it hasn’t had the organizing results they had hoped for. While they have pivoted the rhetoric a bit, they still return to race and IQ arguments whenever possible.

The most recent AmRen conference that happened on May 27th was held at Montgomery Bell State Park outside Nashville, Tennessee. It has been housed here the last several years after the conference was shut down by organized pressure on hotel managers. Taylor believed that having it at a government venue would provide them a certain level of protection, and this has proven true, as officials have done what they could to protect the racists gathering inside. This track record is one reason that many in the movement are advocating for using government services more as they believe they do not have the same influence from the public, and therefore anti-fascist organizers cannot get the event shut down. The 2010 and 2011 conferences were both shut down when pressure was put on the hotel, and one speaker at the canceled conference even attempted suing the One People’s Project and other activists in an effort to keep them away from the conference.

The 2016 line-up was a mix of known faces and foreign guests, many of which seemed like surprising choices since the growing Alt Right has provided them with enough domestic celebrities that they wouldn’t need to turn to European nationalists. The choice to include them seems like a very clear ideological choice for Taylor, whose vision of politicizing their meta-politics is to follow European nationalist parties and movements. In recent speeches he has discussed returning to the populist model of people like David Duke, and he was an early supporter of the Donald Trump campaign.

 

James Edwards
James Edwards

At the Podium

James Edwards made up one of the more well known faces whose toothy-grins make him the kind of “aww schucks” Southern white-nationalist who attempts to “dumb down” AmRen for the more “hometown” racists. He wears his racism on his sleeve, yet, even in this speech, he uses the cover of paleoconservatism to really act as though he simply represents the edge of Old Right traditional American conservatism. Edwards himself is ideologically aligned with the New Right/Alt Right wing that sides with traditionalism, ethno-nationalism, and hard-right anti-equality views. He is on the board for both the American Freedom Party and the Council of Conservative Citizens, which he got a great deal of media heat for after church-shooter Dylan Roof revealed to be a fan of the CofCC. Edwards is not as well traveled on the conference circuit, but he does have more of a reach than many might realize.

While his radio show, the Political Cesspool, has been denounced openly as a white nationalist “go to” spot, he has been able to acquire a number of semi-well known guests from libertarianism and paleoconservatism. This peaked when he welcomed former GOP Presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan, who Edwards volunteered for during his final Presidential run in 1999. Buchanan, for many years, was the furthest edge of the GOP that was still acceptable, and his 1992 campaign was well known for taking many of the strategic points from the David Duke campaign a year before (Duke is also a frequent guest on the Political Cesspool). Buchanan has often argued for a sort of American nationalism, suggesting that America should have stayed out of WWII, postured in favor of segregation, was against affirmative action and about all progressive racial policies, and adamantly opposed to all things queer. The only strange relief from this hard right politic is that he is strangely in favor of animal rights (to a degree), and PETA even awarded his magazine, the American Conservative, an award for an expose they ran on the meat industry. It was Buchanan’s appearance that lent Edwards’ show mainstream credibility, which led Edwards to appearing on major news outlets not only as a speaker for the hard-right, but actually as a commentator in regular debate segments at places like CNN.

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James Edwards speaking on CNN as a regular guest discussing politics, where refrain from mentioning he is a white supremacist.

Edwards got even more attention recently when he hosted Anthony Cumia of the radio show Opie and Anthony after Cumia was fired for racially loaded comments on the air. Edwards and Cumia ranted for an hour about the “problems in the black community,” and the only breaks in this discussion were for advertisements for survivalist companies and racist community groups.

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Edwards usually sticks to his regular trough of neo-fascist ideologues, which often includes AmRen founder Jared Taylor. His discussion at AmRen 2016 was a familiar story to AmRen crowds: the sacrifices he has made to be a racist, the times he refused to apologize, and the extensive work he has done that should be respected. His rhetoric was noticeably behind much of the rest of the crowd, which is a testament to the fact that his lack of social media skills and well-read mannerisms is starting to push him out of the center of the Alt Right. While he still may be popular with people like the League of the South, the Daily Shoah and the rest of the vulgar Internet trolls are the ones that are defining the movement that lingers at AmRen.

His most recent act of media buffoonery came when the Donald Trump campaign gave him full press credentials and he was allowed to interview the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr. The story was picked up in dozens of publications, listing him as a “pro-slavery” radio host. As he went on discussing how many places the incident was mentioned, it became clear that this was an attempt to impress the crowd and prove his relevance. This included bragging about marrying a model and appearing in a reality show.

 

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Fernando Cortes(left) standing with John Friend, racialist and anti-Semitic host of the Realist Report.

Fernando Cortes was a prime speaker who was given extra room, used as an example that AmRen wasn’t just vulgar racism for white people: it was racism for everyone. Cortes is a well-known Mexican nationalist who advocates for a far right politic that is friendly to white nationalism over the border. During the questions and answer session Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute asked what the Mexican nationalist movement thought of American fascists, which led Cortes to gush and promise that it is only American Mexicans who want to “take back” the American Southwest.

He went after NAFTA, sharing a certain critique with left-wing anti-globalization advocates, though his prescription and core ideas are the anti-thesis of the anarchist project.

NAFTA was a deathblow for Mexican farming, since without protection from imports; Mexico cannot even grow its own corn and beans.

He thanked white people for being so generous and kind even though they were under “racial attack.”  Cortes is known for his Identitarian Congress that hosted famous anti-Semites and Holocaust Deniers like Ernst Zundel and David Duke.  Cortes even appeared on Duke’s radio show, where he again said that American whites were “under attack.”

We [Mexican nationalists] understand the attack and the genocide that is trying to be done with the European and white Americans and we are against it. … The people in the United States, they believe that we want massive immigration, that we think it’s a good thing, that we’re taking advantage. We understand perfectly that it erodes the fabric of your society, that it’s toxic for your nation. It’s also toxic for our nation.

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Peter Brimelow

To those outside of the racialist world, the real superstar would have been Peter Brimelow. That name rings a bell for anyone that has followed anti-immigration politics over the last decade. The author of Alien Nation and the founder of VDare, the anti-immigration web magazine, Brimelow has slowly moved from being a beltway conservative writer to an open racialist. He still has a great deal of pool in those edge areas of mainstream conservatism, with people like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh often crediting his work for informing their views on immigration.

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RamZPaul (Paul Ramsy)

RamZPaul did the dinner speech once again, just as he had at the last couple of AmRen conferences. RamZPaul has made a name for himself doing rambling YouTube videos where he tells racist jokes into the camera. His speeches at AmRen are often to explain a right-wing phenomenon, with the last one being “What is the Dark Enlightenment.” This year’s was “What is the Alt Right,” which outlined the main trajectory for the Alt Right starting with paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Samuel Francis and Paul Gottfried. He traced it through the founding of the website Alternative Right by Richard Spencer, who Paul showered with affection. He went through the basic political ideas, the mobilization behind Donald Trump, and the validation by “mainstream” sources like Milo Yiannapoulos and Breitbart. His rendition, which is supposed to be something of a stand-up comedy routine, was mainly old jokes thrown awkwardly to intersect with nationalist themes. He started his speech with the “unveiled” video by Alt Right parody artist UnCuck the Right called “We Didn’t Start the Movement,” which is a cheesy song naming different right wing allies and has Jared Taylor in a brimmed hat and Hawaiian shirt singing along out of key. At the end of Paul’s speech they played an even more embarrassing video, “Dildoween,” which was a voiced over parody of the opening song in The Nightmare Before Christmas. This was even more embarrassing than the first, mainly just mashing together slang from the Daily Shoah into a barely rhyming string of insults and racial slurs. This was a low point even for AmRen, which they have always attempted to brand as an intellectual gathering rather than just an attempt for Nazis and Klansman to wear a bow tie.

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Anke van Dermeesh

Going Euro

Anke van Dermeesh, a Belgian nationalist Senator, came mainly to talk about the “perils” of Muslim immigration and her work doing Islamophobic organizing in Europe. She claimed that “third world immigration” was a battle for the very soul of Europe, comparable to the Greek battle against the Troy invaders. It was Europe’s own materialism and individualism, however, which made it vulnerable, so Europeans needed to reclaim their racial spirit. Her organization, Women Against Islam, is ugly enough on its own, but what is even more frightening is that she has held several major elected offices in Belgium.

The multicultural ideology assumes that different civilization levels can live peacefully with each other on the same territory. However, history has already proven that this leads to bloody clashes. After which one culture, the dominant culture, gets the upper hand over the weakest. Pointing out historical facts, and referring to the theory, like the one of Charles Darwin, is an act of racism in Europe….The multicultural society will never exist. Many human lives have already been destroyed and still people’s races, civilizations, and cultures collide.

Van Dermesh mentions the American cities where she says that these clashes are still happening, where black people with their “lower level” of civilization cannot handle sophisticated white societies. She said that regular “folk” identity has been criminalized, and that the influx of immigrants are undermining a sense of identity, authority, law, order, and moral astuteness that will lead to degeneracy of their great European people. While she attempts to throw these ideas into abstractions, they are the same ideological core that you would find with hard-core neo-Nazi organizations around Europe. Her ideas indicate the notion that there is an essential racial soul to whites that is being destroyed by modern science and logic, and that we need to attack rationality, give in to violent reactions to the “other,” and try to reinstate an anti-democratic order of racial supremacy.

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Ruuben Kaalep

Ruuben Kaalep brought a similarly international experience from the Conservative Party of Estonia, a country from which AmRen enjoys pulling its racialists. At only 22, he is a leader in the six-year-old party that is making nationalism a major player in Estonian party politics. Kaalpe seemed to be even radical by their standards, and talked about bringing Europeans, and Estonians specifically, back to their “12,000 years of roots.” Kaalep could not explain these ideas in genetic terms since there is no coherent genetic history that Estonians can trace back 12,000 years as specific people because that is not not how genetic histories work, nor do isolated genes have any real influence on the development of culture. Nationalism is a social construct, not an idea embedded in biology, so the call to the past 12,000 years is just as arbitrary as going back to the reformation or the French Revolution. Neither one brings that back to an era of racial identity and purity because that period did not exist in history. Likewise, most of the AmRen speakers likely would not have joined in with Kaalep’s Estonian nationalism since they prefer a pan-European white nationalism. While the statements are not based in research, science, or historical facts, it does make good rhetoric for a crowd looking to class up their racist impulses.

On the evening plenary before AmRen, Red Ice Radio asked Kaalep what he was going to be talking about at the conference.

I will encourage the young people in America to start a movement, and to act against what they see is happening around the world in white countries. To do it just as we have done it in Estonia with our youth movement. Because it is very important, even as human beings it is very important that we have an identity. A living identity that connects us with the people around us and the places that we live.

This was Kaalep’s first time out of Europe, and he said that it was a culture shock since he was coming from “Europe’s last white country.” He spent some time bragging about how many blondes there were in Estonia.

Filip Dewinter also spoke about his position in the European Parliament for the Vlaams Belang, and did the standard speech about non-white immigration and its threat to a white Europe.

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Jared Taylor

Benediction for Racists

Jared Taylor always speaks at American Renaissance, and this year was no exception. His talk was intended to be on why progressive whites “lie,” to themselves and to others, and he goes down the line: they lie about Black victimization by police, lie about the science proving black intellectual inferiority, and lie about race and crime. He tapped into well-known Alt Right talking points, rehashing the Cologne attacks, which the far right tries to use to “prove” that Islamic refugees are systemically raping white European women. Their idea is then that political correctness is a “religion” so powerful that it makes authorities neglect rape and violence so as to not be called racist. Never mind that the statistics do not support what he says, nor was the Cologne attacks universally Muslim refugees. There is no statistical threat of sexual assault posed uniquely by Muslim immigration, but Taylor’s entire purpose is to twist statistics to drum up a fear narrative. With the same aristocratic drawl that has become a meme on the Alt Right, Jared Taylor states that the “ludicrous” notion of racial equality has no real world basis.

During his Question and Answers section he is asked about the Jews, and he convenes to the idea that some “elite Jews” have been very “destructive” to their interests. He then points out that many Jews have been on the nationalist side of the argument, but that racialists should “have their eyes open” about the Jews. He says that the Jews may have been the “hand pushing at the door” of the ‘Death of the West,’ but “that door was rotting from within” already.

This really marks a change for Jared Taylor on the Jewish Question as he used to be vigorously opposed to anti-Semitism at AmRen. Not only were there Jewish scholars at AmRen conferences like Byron Roth, even David Duke was asked not to return to the conference because of his rabid anti-Semitism. While Taylor was not willing to go fully into blaming Jewish people, he certainly did not admonish anti-Semitism, and seems to be warming up to these ideas. This also shows the persistence that anti-Semitism has had on the Alt Right/New Right and the fact that it is going to continue to play a major role in American racialism.

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Sam Dickson

Sam Dickson did his regular “Benediction for Heretics,” which is often a rambling set of remembrances and accolades to racists of the past. As usual, Dickson tempered his language and used a sort of “liberals are the real racist” argument to say that people who do not want racial separation are actually manipulating people of color and attempting to “solve the problem of black people.” For someone who does not immediately appear as being particularly sophisticated, his use of left-wing rhetoric and warm personalities is masterful, which is probably why he has continued to be a staple of the Alt Right while many of the Southern racist organizations have drifted into irrelevance.

Dickson carried on the theme that the left and the media lie about them to put the racist movement in disfavor, mentioning the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on Dickson that he characterized as saying he was a “financial swindler.” The story, which has been well sourced and proven, shows that Dickson makes his money by manipulating poor homeowners in the South through predatory property purchases.

Since 2001, Dickson, a 59-year-old former Klan attorney and active veteran of numerous extreme-right causes and groups, has built a multi-million dollar business in the niche field of tax lien and title acquisition. His success has depended in no small part on keeping his otherwise well-known racism concealed from his targets, many of which are poor and black. According to those who have observed and worked with Dickson, his profits have been earned through a combination of bullying, stealth, and legal pretzel-making in the arcane world of tax lien purchases, redemptions and foreclosures. When contacted, Dickson declined to comment on the charges.

Many in the story mentioned how Dickson was casually racist, often saying that people on the phone couldn’t be black because they were “too smart” to have that skin tone. Dickson, of course, takes issue with this characterization of him as a predator and low-class racist, especially since he likes to call himself an Identitarian and says that he has the best interests of people of color at heart. Though Dickson went on and on about sacrifice, he has become a millionaire despite being in the racialist movement for almost 50 years.

Dickson recommended that the young racists in the crowd get themselves some degree of financial stability since the “struggle”(their racist struggle) is ongoing, and will not just be victorious with the election of Donald Trump. While he seemed optimistic by the billionaire buffoon’s casual racism, he is still one of the strongest voices against investing in reformist political moves. A couple of years ago, Richard Spencer and Dickson debated John Derbyshire and Peter Brimelow about the possibilities of reform. Brimelow and Derbyshire discussed how they thought that the American political system could be used, even though unlikely, to “fix the race problem.” Spencer and Dickson took the more radical view that America was beyond fixing, largely because it is still an enlightenment, propositional project that has invested in phrases like “all men are created equal.” Dickson was brash in the past, saying, “no man, in the history of the world, was created equal.”

One of the more “unofficial personalities” of AmRen 2016 was Richard Spencer, who could not help but pontificate on the microphone during Question and Answer sessions. Spencer has often been the debatable leader of the intellectual wing of the Alt Right, defining the term itself and bringing together disparate elements of the far right into an intellectual current to build a movement on traditionalist, racialist, and hierarchical lines. Spencer has often been a divisive figure, often finding opponents inside of religious and working-class racist circles. This was made clear when he banned Trad Youth’s Matt Heimbach from NPI’s 2015 conference for his homophobia, which Spencer is offended by because it would leave out masculanist writers like Jack Donovan.

Spencer’s presence was heavy this year as he holds onto the growing Alt Right, and this comes, in part, because he was able to reconcile the intellectual elitism of his publication and non-profit with the vulgar racist populism of places like the Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation. This has given him a new life, and one where he is able to maintain his crown as an aristocrat of racialist philosophy and pseudo-science.

 

Patting Themselves on the Back

Jared Taylor has declared that this AmRen conference was their largest effort, which he attributes to Donald Trump and the wave of Internet followers.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s candidacy has given our movement a boost, but the continuing slide towards chaos–riots in Ferguson and Baltimore; the immigration invasion of Europe–are rousing unprecedented numbers of whites from complacency.

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Red Ice Radio’s Lana and Henrik interview Jared Taylor in a streaming broadcast.

Both the Political Cesspool and Red Ice Radio made AmRen a streaming media event as well, which helps to circle their own internal media landscape around AmRen as a centerpiece. Nathan Damigo of Identity Europa was Red Ice’s first guest, where he basically acted starstruck by all the celebrity racists and discussed campus activism. A Pakistani-American engineer, a bi-racial man who identified as a “racial realist”, followed him up. He went on about how Pakistanis could do better to maintain their nation’s IQ by avoiding cousin marriage and irrigating water better. He explained race realism in much the same way J. Philippe Rushton did, that white people evolved in “harsher” conditions in Europe, giving them a higher IQ. He basically provided a “we’re different, so what?” perspective, but said that IQ was the important thing and that society needed to stop subsidizing low IQ people or civilization will die. This was an interesting development for a conference like AmRen, but it also shows how HBD and neo-eugenic rhetoric has worked its way into Asian and Middle Eastern communities online as well.

Counter-Currents Publishing, the neo-fascist publishing house from the infamous Greg Johnson, covered the conference in a review from Michael Polignano. He noted the “celebratory mood” in the room and the several “Make America Great Again” hats dotted around the tables. He also noted the “diversity” and young age of the attendants, which is new for a white nationalist movement that was almost universally composed of older white men. As he went down the line he seemed especially drawn to Dan Roodt’s speech, and South Africa is always a topical favorite for this crowd since they have so well embedded the lie of “white genocide” in the country that they use it repeatedly as an example of “what happens” when white relinquish hegemonic control over a country.

Since African IQ is insufficiently high to sustain the civilization that Afrikaners built from scratch and sustained for centuries up until the end of the apartheid era, Pakistanis and Chinese have raced to filled many positions of power and responsibility held by whites. What can be done? In the short run, all white South Africans can do is either flee or try to hold on. to(sic) survive, they need to increase their physical and economic security. Physical security measures include bodyguards, security guards, and private police, neighborhood crime watches and increasing ownership. Economic security measures include networking and mutual aid to keep wealth within the pro-white segment of the white South African community.

South Africa has long been a centerpiece of the “white genocide” narrative, where the rural “farm murders” has given them a rhetorical strategy for conjuring up images of racial revenge. In reality, the rural Boer murders that they cite are statistically lower than the regular murders in South Africa broadly, and are much more a testament to the brutality with which wealthy farm owners have historically treated their farm hands with.

In general, Polignano said that the conference was a “triumph,” that showed the future of the movement. What he still does not seem to grasp is what a “movement” actually means, and what is to happen when they come to grips with the fact that they are vastly outmatched by the anti-fascist left and that they have no concept of what real organizing actually means.

Audience
Photo from inside AmRen

Anti-Fascism Has Localized

AmRen has always been a strategic meeting point for the racialist movement, and generally has been in a state of flux. When their movement moves towards HBD, it shifts its speakers. When it is looking towards electrical politics, it brings in political nationalists from Europe. What it has always acted as is more of a meeting point than anything else, and while this is larger than in years past, it is also made up of people less willing to be open about their politics. This means that simply by shining a light on who these people are and the reality of what they are saying, we can help to challenge any growth they will have.

There was an organized Antifa presence this year, as there always has been, yet much of the energy has grown locally as organizers challenge Donald Trump appearances instead of focusing on conferences like AmRen. This is a good sign as anti-fascism is becoming a strategic orientation for community defense, and just as Donald Trump has emboldened the Alt Right, it has made anti-fascist organizers a central piece of building intersecting local movements.

The white nationalists in the U.S. need AmRen because they lack the fellowship and community that the left has always built, and they will continue to lack coordination and organizing ability as their focus will always be on their racial idealism. Why they congratulate themselves under the protection of U.S. state authorities, we are building a movement against the rising tide of nationalism.

Fash the Campus: Identity Europa, Millenial Recruitment, and the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space

What was the purpose of having an Alt Right ‘Safe Space,’ other than to mock the idea that people need safe spaces sometimes?

 

When the idea was announced only a few days ago it seemed like an insulting media stunt, and it was, but it was also a strategic point for the growing Alt Right and its attempts to market racism and bigotry to Millenials. Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute put together a video and a plan, to promote an outdoor meeting at the historic Sproul Plaza on the University of California and Berkeley campus. This was a place where 60s radicals joined together to confront the Vietnam War, and to build the Berkeley Free Speech movement. The point they were trying to make is that Berkeley is no longer a bastion of free speech because of the Political Correctness that has run rampant. Though this seems like the embarrassing overreach of angry children who are stomping their feet about no longer being able to say the N-word in public, what they are tapping into is a feeling in much of middle America of not understanding the new developments that have come in confronting interpersonal oppression.

NathanDamigo
Nathan Damigo, Identity Europa

The event was put together and manned primarily by Richard Spencer along with Nathan Damigo and Johnny Monoxide. Damigo is running the organization Identity Europa, whose name seems intended to conjure up the French organization Generation Identity that the American Alt Right often fawns over. That organization is built as a more radical alternative to the fascist Front National political party run by Marine Le Pen, which they think is too reformist and populist. Generation Identity has been pushing the “Identitarian” identification, which brings them somewhat in line with the fascist philosophy of the Nouvelle Droite movement and people like Alain de Benoit and Guillaume Faye.

Identity Europa began as the National Youth Front, but after a Christian group of the same name threatened to sue, Damigo changed it.  That organization went into disarray when Nathan’s co-founder,Angelo John Gage, left the organization in October.  When it was still the National Youth Front it had a back and forth relationship with the fascist and populist American Freedom Party, where they automatically registered NYF members with the AFP when they turned 35.  NYF hit more hurdles when their fundraising efforts were canceled by both GoFundMe and IndieGoGo for violating the terms of service, which comes from the fact that you can only strategically phrase things so much before the open racism becomes obvious.  The only real press that the NYF got on campuses was for trying to target professors at Arizona State University and Boston University for being “anti-white.”

Nathan is an example of the kind of middle ground that the Alt Right has always been on. Good looking, well spoken, dresses and combs his hair like a hip Banana Republic model; he is a good advertisement as he looks far from a Klansman (looks a lot like Richard, to be exact). He is an Iraq war veteran, but he is also a felon for a hate crime. Several years ago, after he returned from Iraq, he brutally attacked a Muslim man on the street, and robbed him. He went to prison for this, and, to be fair, is generally publicly apologetic for his behavior, but it actually reveals a driving set of perspectives that lie under his fashy hair. He has hoped that by being open about his conviction he would be spared of ridicule, but it is actually just provides more background about who he is and what has inspired his organizing program.

Though Identity Europa seems to be little more than his brainchild and attempt to coordinate with young people, they seem to attempt to be largely the same project that Youth for Western Civilization, the Traditionalist Youth Network/Workers Party, and the various White Student Unions are. They wish to make whiteness an identity battle, and present white advocacy as the same as Black and Latino rights organizations, including reaching out to communities of color to find “allies of color” who think that whites are being discriminated against on college campuses.

Johnny Monoxide
Johnny Monoxide at Burlingame Trump event.

Johnny Monoxide is another level of racism piled on, which may be a testament to the way that the Alt Right has been mainstreamed by gutter podcasts like the Daily Shoah. In fact, Richard Spencer had moved on from even using the term Alt Right and was simply referring to himself as an Identitarian in the French model, but after places like The Right Stuff started popularizing the phrase he returned to it. Monoxide is best known for hosting the short-lived podcast on the Right Stuff/Daily Shoah podcast network, The Current Year Tonight. This is a joke from the Daily Shoah lexicon referring to how liberals will respond to racism on social media by saying something like “racism, its 2016,” so now they will just respond by saying “it’s the current year.” Monoxide matches the angry racialism of Mike Enoch and Seventh Son, yet, unlike them, he shows his face in videos quite often. In a recent set of videos at the Burlingame, California Donald Trump appearance, he made a series of videos where he mocked protesters, using racial slurs and “calling the Jew ‘the Jew.’” He was interviewed and filmed heavily by Infowars, the conspiracy website that has taken a hard right turn and now spends most of their time mocking women and leftists.

Richard Spencer talking into the camera to the Red Ice Creations hosts.
Richard Spencer talking into the camera to the Red Ice Creations hosts.

The entire event was live streamed by Red Ice Radio, the white nationalist podcast network that has become one of the largest in their movement. From a semi-professional studio built in their living room, married team Lana and Henrik provided stunted commentary as Johnny Monoxide live streamed from what appeared to be his phone and was able to hear them in an earpiece. Monoxide doesn’t seem too worried about being found out in the world for his behavior because he is a union electrician in the Bay Area.  This doesn’t stop consequences from a counter-movement, but he is right that unions vessels of protecting their membership.

The event went as many expected it to go, including the organizers. Generally it was Spencer, Monoxide, and Damigo, and a couple of simple student protesters holding broad Alt Right sloganed signs as people came up and tried to argue with them. It was often an attempt to slip the group up on some kind of rhetoric, and a few Trump supporters, including students of color, came through to defend the group of racists. At one point, a loud man came through who obviously knew this was in progress and what it was. He identified Spencer as a “suit and tie Nazi” and called out Monoxide for being a union electrician. Spencer yelled back for the man to stop “whitesplaining” to the mostly non-white crowd, a move that he will likely be bringing up in speeches and podcasts for months with a self-congratulating smile.

While there were dozens of people that came through the square, none of them were necessarily set to argue the point because, as with most people, they were not trained to argue with a fascist whose entire purpose there is to bait you into an argument. Jack Donovan, a white nationalist allied male tribalist who rolls in these Alt Right circles, has a new book out calling Becoming a Barbarian. It is generally masculanist nonsense, yet one section has something that we thought was interesting to folks looking to confront fascism. Arguments, he says, are only between friends. There is no point in arguing with enemies since you have no stake in changing their mind. Let them have their ideas, and save disagreements between people that you really do want to find unity with.

We will never find political or social unity with Damigo and Spencer, and the arguments themselves end up being relatively politically useless. They want to get you to engage with them so they can hopefully have a chance to pontificate more rhetoric and then use very well planned verbal prose to try and sow doubt. Most people have not sat there and trained themselves to make arguments about race and IQ, to know the latest archeological evidence about pre-colonial Africa, to understand the nuance in race and crime statistics. Spencer knows this, and so he can use the very small amount of evidence he has to support his wild ideas and most people are not ready to combat it. In this case, he knows that getting people into the argument is a win. Most of the people in the square that day were strong voices that advocated for inclusivity and diversity. A conversation still should be had about what anti-fascists call the “no platform” approach, and why we should leave our arguments between comrades and those who are not open racists. While those people argued with them, Lana and Henrik mocked them on air, using racial language and laughing at each impassioned plea against racism.

Spencer and Damigo intended to use the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space experiment to see if they were going to do this on other college campuses. Given the way that they discussed, promoted, and reflected on it, they likely will do this again.

This is not the last time that they will show up on campus, but a college anti-fascist movement can be equipped to handle their push when it returns.