Ron Unz on Janet Mertz

It is likely dawning on Ron Unz that writing a solid, well researched article that conflicts with Jewish interests is fraught with peril. If nothing else, there will be no end of carpings and criticisms — assuming it’s not completely ignored. The minimal goal in such attacks is to render the article in question “controversial” so that those who would disregard it have some citations on their side. Because it touches on Jewish interests, even sympathetic articles in the mainstream media would be likely to feel a need to cite both sides in the interests of “fairness.”

Unz’s most recent foray (“Meritocracy: Almost as Wrong as Larry Summers“) is a dissection of Prof. Janet Mertz. Unz acknowledges that Mertz’s more exhaustive analysis of lists of high-achieving may be slightly more accurate, but that her results in no way undermine his conclusions on the relative achievements by Non-Jewish Whites, Asians, and Jews; nor do they successfully challenge the collapse of Jewish academic distinction. But the high point is that Unz quite clearly sees the ethnic motivation behind Mertz’s critique:

Given that two of Prof. Mertz’s greatest areas of policy interest seem to be the relative rate of elite performance by gender and by ethnicity, I notice a curious mismatch in her analysis.

She notes the large over-representation of males in math achievement, and strenuously argues that this is merely an artificial byproduct of social conditioning or even unfair gender bias, which distorts the inherently near-equal abilities of males and females. Therefore, she advocates major policy changes to bring the numbers of men and women in elite mathematics into much closer equality.

Yet at exactly the same time, she seems perfectly comfortable with Jews being over-represented at elite academic institutions by perhaps 3,000% relative to non-Jewish whites, and totally disproportionate to their apparent academic ability.  I also suspect that she would be unwilling to endorse social policies aimed at bringing Jewish elite representation into much closer alignment with their 2% share of the national population.

Although I cannot explain this puzzling inconsistency in her logical positions, I can only note the curious coincidence that she herself happens to be a Jewish woman.

I assume the comment that such behavior is “puzzling” is tongue-in-cheek. Actually, it’s par for the course. As Andrew Joyce noted in the conclusion of his article on the apotheosis of Baruch Spinoza, “Jewish academics have a tendency not to behave like other academics but behave much more like ethnic activists in whatever field they are in, particularly in the social sciences, the humanities, and even in the natural sciences as they relate to issues of race and ethnicity.” We don’t expect ethnic activists to behave in a principled manner, and Mertz is no exception.

Unz’s comment also reinforces some of what we at TOO have maintained about Larry Summers (see Edmund Connelly’s “Jews and Money“. Unz writes:

I am hardly someone willing to defend Summers from a whole host of very serious and legitimate charges.  He seems to have played a major role in transmuting Harvard from a renowned university to an aggressive hedge fund, policies that subsequently brought my beloved alma mater to the very brink of bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis.  Under his presidency, Harvard paid out $26 million dollars to help settle international insider-trading charges against Andrei Shleifer, one of his closest personal friends, who avoided prison as a consequence.  And after such stellar financial and ethical achievements, he was naturally appointed as one of President Obama’s top economic advisors, a position from which he strongly supported the massive bailout of Wall Street and the rest of our elite financial services sector, while ignoring Main Street suffering.  Perhaps coincidentally, wealthy hedge funds had paid him many millions of dollars for providing a few hours a week of part-time consulting advice during the twelve months prior to his appointment.

 Once again, Unz is to be congratulated on a very daring commentary challenging the powers that be in the United States.