It’s hard to believe it’s been four and a half years since I wrote a column about British polymath John Derbyshire. That was well before Lehman Brothers collapsed, before the world economy teetered on the brink, before the U.S. government gave untold bailout money to the largest banks and corporations.
In my column, I was critical of Derbyshire’s views on the writings of our editor, Kevin MacDonald. The column discussed Jewish power and the taboos surrounding that very power. (See a recent account of Jewish power here —”Elena Kagan’s “diversity problem” and Jewish privilege” by Patrick Slattery.)
Derbyshire began his ruminations on MacDonald’s writings in the March 10, 2003 issue of The American Conservative under the title “The Marx of the Anti-Semites.” There his take on the books was mixed, beginning with “The Culture of Critique includes many good things. . . . Kevin MacDonald is working in an important field.” Derbyshire even validated an important point in MacDonald’s work: “These Jewish-inspired pseudoscientific phenomena that The Culture of Critique is concerned with — Boasian anthropology, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, and so on — were they a net negative for America? Yes, I agree with MacDonald, they were.”
In the end, however, Derbyshire was critical. In fact, he was more critical about MacDonald’s book than was his Jewish sparring partner Joey Kurtzman, a Jewish editor of the website Jewcy.com, who came across as the greater booster of MacDonald’s work. Kurtzman wrote:
MacDonald has presented us with a fascinating and genuinely novel examination of the history and internal workings of the Jewish world. His trilogy is a hell of a read. To any Jewcy readers tired of pious, ‘hooray-for-us!’ Jewish historiography, or just interested in seeing traditional Jewish history through a kaleidoscope, I happily recommend it.
Why, however, even after Kurtzman had graciously praised the book, did Derb change direction and claim that “This is, after all, in the dictionary definition of the term, an anti-Semitic book.” Of course, Derb nowhere attempted to define “anti-Semitism,” but he did reveal the brutal politics behind discussing the topic, describing wonderfully the reality of Jewish power. In that remarkable exchange with Kurtzman, Derb shared his experiences:
So far as the consequences of ticking off Jews are concerned: First, I was making particular reference to respectable rightwing journalism, most especially in the U.S. I can absolutely assure you that anyone who made general, mildly negative, remarks about Jews would NOT — not ever again — be published in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The New York Sun, The New York Post, or The Washington Times. I know the actual people, the editors, involved here, and I can assert this confidently.
Hmmm, suddenly we’ve gone from Derb valuing truth and facts to worrying about what subjectively might “tick off Jews.” It sounds to me like we’re dealing with what Bill Buckley once called “the prevailing structure of taboos.” No wonder one of the subtitles in the Kurtzman exchange was “Be Nice, or We’ll Crush You: Criticizing Jews is professional suicide.” The links to the exchange are confusing, but if you scroll to the bottom of each exchange, you can find a link for subsequent posts, one of which reads: “Thursday: The first thing you hear when you go into opinion journalism is “don’t f*ck with the Jews.”
Well, Mr. Derbyshire, based on all this, we might say that “First they came for those who wrote unkindly about the Jews.” Then, observing your own experiences this year when you were fired by National Review, we could continue, “Then they came for those who wrote unkindly about groups Jews have been using in their war against European-derived Whites.”
You were certainly judged guilty of that in your Taki Magazine essay “The Talk: Nonblack Version, where,” among other things, you wrote:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).
(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
All very sensible, it seems to me, but obviously such truths grossly violate our “prevailing structure of taboos.” You had to go, John.
Now, in addition to still writing for Takimag, you contribute to VDARE.com and American Renaissance. Still, I notice that while you are even less afraid to break many taboos — “Gypped By Gypsies In Canada” and “Orientalia: ‘Chineseman’, ‘Chinaman’ And PC” are just two VDARE titles that break such taboos, you still seem reluctant to, in your words, “f*ck with the Jews.”
Should you now reconsider that policy?
First, as I’ve discussed, giving Jewish behavior a pass did not save your job at National Review. Second, last year you began describing your experiences with a form of lymphatic cancer. I’ve observed that in some cases, a brush with death, a close encounter with one’s own mortality, allows a person to focus on what is truly important — and sometimes to be less solicitous of prevailing taboos.
So I am here inviting you to consider making a new journey, a new crossing. You have avoided crossing the River Styx. You have also taken a boat away from the mainland of received opinion. Why not now consider a more challenging boat ride, one out to the island inhabited by the likes of Kevin MacDonald, E. Michael Jones, James Edwards, Tom Sunic, Yggdrasil, Andrew Hamilton, Greg Johnson, Michael O’Meara, myself and so many others. This is the Island of Those Who Dare to Speak Out on Jewish Power and Misbehavior.
To be sure, the weather is foul, food is hard to come by, poisonous creatures abound underfoot, and attacks both sudden and sustained batter the inhabitants. We’ve taken our casualties, too, Joseph Sobran for one. And there on the horizon sits the ship called The Southern Poverty Law Center. Beneath the waters roam submersibles and stealth craft patrol the air. Both underwater and airborne craft are funded by moneys of the state as well as private funds. Our adversaries are formidable.
I don’t know what your financial situation is, nor do I know the limits or your mental and spiritual stamina. But should you row out to us, you will be met by further trials by fire, financial assault, and maybe even assassination.
Then why do it? For starters, our cause is just and you have demonstrated at times a love of justice. Second, our enemies firmly believe that truth is whatever they want to make it (e.g., making eugenics disappear off the mainstream intellectual universe); yet you have hewn more closely to truthtelling than have most other pundits. Finally, The Prevailing Powers may be at the pinnacle of world control today, but that could change. And if it does, our supporters will be rewarded.
I’ll close with a quote from Culture Wars editor E. Michael Jones. He concludes his massive book The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History with these thoughts of power and its impermanence: “The conversion of the Jews did not seem imminent. The Jews had never been more powerful . . . But appearances can deceive. . . . Reversal was in the air.”
Mr. Derbyshire, do the right thing with your God-given talent.