Comment on ZMan’s blog: “Cofnas Versus MacDonald”

The ZMan wrote an interesting blog on the conflict between Cofnas and me. My comment:

I completely agree that Cofnas is a sophist who cares nothing for the truth and keeps making the same arguments while ignoring my counterarguments. But re group selection: My perspective is cultural group selection which is entirely in the mainstream of evolutionary thinking these days. It’s not important to get into how it works genetically. From my review of Joseph Henrich’s The WEIRDest People in the World:

Without mentioning cultural group selection, Henrich describes social norms as “arising directly from cultural learning and social interaction, that is via cultural evolution” (p. 69). Within the group, reputation is important; people with a bad reputation may be penalized, exiled, or even murdered — essentially acknowledging that human groups become, like a military unit, vehicles of selection because they are able to police group membership by expelling cheaters who accept the benefits of group membership without paying the costs. Groups with better norms, especially the ability to inculcate high levels of intragroup dependence and cooperation, are able to prosper by growing faster, and this has genetic consequences. “Wherever we look, from the Arctic to Australia, hunter-gatherer populations compete, and those with the best combinations of institutions and technologies expand and gradually replace or assimilate those with less effective cultural packages”; e.g., the Inuit replaced the “fragmented and isolated communities that had lived there for millennia” (p. 80). The relevance to the expansion of the West after 1500 is obvious.

This is my approach to Judaism, as presented in my first book, A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy: The culture of ethnic separation, endogamy, dietary restrictions, promoting marriages of high IQ people, within-group altruism, enforcing penalties for Jews who violated community norms (which likely selected for ethnocentrism), etc. They developed a culture that had evolutionary advantages (at times Jewish population growth has far exceeded non-Jewish, as in 19th-century Russia; but, as the history of anti-Semitism shows, there are serious disadvantages as well). There are obviously genetic payoffs for groups with successful strategies, as Henrich’s comment shows. But Jews are also highly ethnocentric, as you seem to agree.

I rather doubt that my use of the word ‘strategy’ was a trigger. The first book got good reviews. What triggered people is that in The Culture of Critique I discussed conflicts of interest between Jews and Europeans over the construction of culture, Jews as a substantial part of the post-WWII elite in America, Jewish influence on culture, immigration, multiculturalism, etc. Anyone who takes a less than positive view of Jewish influence will certainly trigger a lot of people. And yes, Jewish cultural influence has been an evolutionary (genetic) disaster for European peoples.

8 replies
  1. Space Cowboy
    Space Cowboy says:

    Yesterday I read about a Jew named Isaac Wolfson. Under “philanthropy” one reads: “He gave immense amounts to charities: from 1948 he included Zionist charities at the urging of his friend Israel Sieff. In 1962 he was appointed president of the United Synagogue, the first to be selected from descendants of the nineteenth century waves of immigrants.”

    This seems to me to be only one example for countless other cases of comparable typical pattern of these “philanthropists”: That they let benefit their own interests and race-members in the first line what they first pick out of substance from a national community not belonging to them.

    • Space Cowboy
      Space Cowboy says:

      Nice “synchronicity”: Interesting that Mr. MacDonald thinks Mr. Cofnan is a sophist. At about the same time, I wrote the same thing in my commentary one blog entry earlier.

      Mr. MacDonald can tell from my IP address that my choice of words happened independently of his. Should our common intuition deceive us? I do not think so!

  2. Brian Rockford
    Brian Rockford says:

    In general, self-identified Jews have been acutely ethnocentric for millennia, and uniquely so even in comparison with (say) Zoroastrians (faith) or Japanese (nation). It can be erroneous, however, to read all their post-1933, post-1947 and then post-1967 reactions back into earlier utterances and activities after “emancipation”. They will put “what’s good for the Jews” as a first consideration, but disagree continually on the details. What unites them is the real or imagined threat of collective destruction, now applicable to Israel, which has not fulfilled the Herzl “promise” of an secure end to “antisemitism” that has now largely shifted from Europeans to Muslims. The 1903 Protocols of Zion are demonstrably fake, but the 2023 Networks of Zionism are very real.
    So Trump’s gifts to Israel did matter to the USA.

  3. todd hupp
    todd hupp says:

    We in the USA are certainly watching the “disaster” of Jewish influence unfolding weekly.

    The Ukraine War promoted by Victoria Nuland et al is a Jewish enterprise- including Zelensky .Tens of thousands of goy Ukrainian soldiers are being sacrificed.It is estimated at least 400 million in USA cash has been skinned off by Zelensky and his circle thus far.Of course they do not want a settlement.

  4. Monsieur X
    Monsieur X says:

    But how evopsy reconcile a social – Darwinian approach with the fact that the result of this social competition is the selection of an egalitarian ideology?

  5. Monsieur X
    Monsieur X says:

    Why the Jewish cultural influence should be a disaster for European peoples if the important thing is not the race but the group evolutionary strategy?

    Why cultural influence should be considered a victory for the Jewish race since it has nothing to do with race?

    May an ethnic group be defined on the sole basis of its evolutionary strategy, i.e., the Jews as the one who had a group strategy?

    • Kevin MacDonald
      Kevin MacDonald says:

      It could be defined without genetics, but in fact the Jewish group strategy included a strong element of endogamy. Ultimately there were effects on gene pools. It’s true that without a genetic component, it really wouldn’t properly be a group evolutionary strategy. That’s why ch. 1 of A People That Shall Dwell Alone made a cultural argument, but in Ch. 2 I reviewed the population genetics showing that Jews had retained significant genetic commonality over the centuries, and Chap. 8 I discussed the long history of what I called Jewish “hyperethnocentrism.”

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