Nathan Cofnas published a paper in the Israel-based academic journal Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel in February of last year titled “The Anti-Jewish Narrative.” Andrew Joyce wrote a masterful reply, “The Cofnas Problem,” while I decided to try to publish a response in Philosophia. My paper went through two rounds of peer review and was finally accepted. It was the lead article in the January issue of Philosophia, and is available as an open-access paper on Springer Nature. I provide a local version due to concerns the article will be pulled by Springer Nature.
This is the first time I have attempted to publish an article on Jewish influence in the mainstream academic literature since The Culture of Critique was published in 1998 by Praeger, so it is something of a milestone. I have updated quite a bit of the material, particularly the scholarly writing on Jewish involvement in influencing U.S. immigration policy—Chapter 7 of The Culture of Critique. I have always felt that Chapter 7 was the most important chapter in the book. Intellectual movements can decline drastically in influence. This was the fate of psychoanalysis—but not Boasian anthropology, and the intellectual descendants of the Frankfurt School remain influential throughout postmodern academia. Moreover, at least in Western democracies, even political movements, as embodied in the Jewish subculture of radical leftism, can be reversed at the ballot box—unless the people against whom the 1965 immigration law was directed are replaced by a new electorate with no attachment to the people and culture of the West. As argued in the paper, this is exactly what the 1965 immigration law was intended to accomplish in the minds of the Jewish activist community that was by far the most influential force in enacting the law.
Besides updating some critical aspects of The Culture of Critique, the paper emphasizes the point that the enactment of the 1965 immigration law did not occur in a vacuum and cannot be understood apart from the wider context of the rise of a new Jewish elite with influence in a wide range of areas. As I note in the article, the rise of this new elite “implies that vital issues of public policy, including immigration, the civil rights of African-Americans, women’s rights, religion in the public square (Hollinger’s “secularization of American society”), the legitimacy of white racial identity and interests, cosmopolitanism [identifying a “citizen of the world”], foreign policy in the Middle East, and many others will be affected by the attitudes and interests of this new elite.” The post-World War II era saw the emergence of a new, substantially Jewish elite in America. This new elite exerted influence on a wide range of issues that formed a virtual consensus among Jewish activists and the organized Jewish community, including immigration, civil rights, and the secularization of American culture” The 1950s saw the decline of the old WASP elite, recounted in Eric Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America. By the 1960s this new elite was flexing its muscle, resulting in a cultural and demographic revolution which is ongoing and indeed accelerating. This new, substantially Jewish elite was (and remains) centered in academia and the media, and, because of Jewish wealth, this new elite has been able to have decisive influence in the political process via donations to political causes.
The role of Jewish activism in the transformative changes that have occurred in the West in recent decades continues to be controversial. Here I respond to several issues putatively related to Jewish influence, particularly the “default hypothesis” that Jewish IQ and urban residency explain Jewish influence and the role of the Jewish community in enacting the 1965 immigration law in the United States; other issues include Jewish ethnocentrism and intermarriage and whether diaspora Jews are hypocritical in their attitudes on immigration to Israel versus the United States. The post-World War II era saw the emergence of a new, substantially Jewish elite in America that exerted influence on a wide range of issues that formed a virtual consensus among Jewish activists and the organized Jewish community, including immigration, civil rights, and the secularization of American culture. Jewish activism in the pro-immigration movement involved: intellectual movements denying the importance of race in human affairs; establishing, staffing, and funding anti-restrictionist organizations; recruiting prominent non-Jews to anti-restrictionist organizations; rejecting the ethnic status quo as a goal because of fear of a relatively homogeneous white majority; leadership in Congress and the executive branch.