Anti-Jewish Writing

Degas and the Jews

Edgar Degas: Self Portrait 1865-66

It is customary in our political circles to link cultural modernism (and its negative social consequences) to Jewish influence. While there are strong grounds for this stance, things are sometimes more complicated than this narrative would suggest. Take, for instance, the group of painters who made up the French Impressionist movement of the late nineteenth century. Considered to be the first avant-garde movement of the Modernist period, Impressionism served as a springboard for many artistic movements of the twentieth century, including Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism. Yet among the leaders of the Impressionist movement were artists, like Cezanne, Renoir and Degas, who were notable for their antipathy to Jews.

Of this trio of leading Impressionists, the one who evinced the keenest aversion to Jews was Edgar Degas (1834—1917) who was described by Jewish artist Camille Pissarro as “that ferocious anti-Semite.” Though Degas is regarded as one of the cornerstone founders of Impressionism, he disliked the name and, indeed, many of the artists who made up the movement. He thought of himself as a realist and “pragmatist” painter first and foremost. But this did not stop him from leading the collective and co-organizing their ground-breaking exhibitions from 1874—86.

The label “impressionist’ was coined by a critic who said their paintings looked unfinished, as if they were “impressions” of a scene rather than finished paintings. While many of Degas’ paintings do look spontaneous, they involved intensive planning. He would study his subjects obsessively, making numerous sketches before starting a painting. He once observed: “I assure you no art was ever less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the great masters.” He seldom considered a painting complete, always striving to improve it. Degas combined the classical methods he mastered as a youth with Impressionistic sensibilities: he liked to experiment with light, angles, and focus. Sometimes subjects would have their backs to the viewer or be cut off by the edge of the canvas. He would paint them doing mundane things like ironing clothes.

Unlike other leading impressionist artists, Degas shunned landscape painting — the result of personal preference and the visual ailments that plagued him from middle age. Retinal problems led to his having trouble recognizing colors and made it hard for him to see in brilliant light. He therefore appreciated the low light of the theater and developed a strong preference for working there. From the 1870s, Degas explored the subject of dance which accounts for a large portion of his work. He is most famous for his paintings of ballerinas at work, in rehearsal, or at rest. He depicted them from various angles in hundreds of different positions. His failing vision doubtless affected his work, prompting more extensive strokes, bolder colors, and experimentation in a wide assortment of media, including pastels, photography, and printmaking. In his last years, Degas had to wear dark glasses outdoors and quit working altogether in 1912. He died in 1917 at the age of 83.

Despite Degas’s reputation as a reactionary bourgeois, for most of his long life he was a democrat and a republican. Degas mostly kept his politics — and his opinions about Jews — out of his art. Despite this, some critics insist that anti-Semitism “pollutes his pictures, seeping in to them in some ineffable way and changing their meaning, their every existence as signifying systems.” Jewish subjects appear recurrently in Degas’ canvases. Particularly noteworthy is his 1871 oil portrait of Rabbi Astruc, a leading figure in the Jewish world who helped establish the Alliance Israelite Universelle before his appointment as chief rabbi of Belgium in 1866. Regarding Degas’ portrait of Astruc, the Rabbi’s son never forgave the artist for “making a wreck of his splendid subject, replacing his tiny mouth with thin, sensual lips and changing his tender, loving regard into a look of greed.” For him, the portrait was “not a work of art — it is a pogrom.”[i] Degas painted Astruc rapidly, accentuating in his subject what “he though were the traits of his race.” Degas was intrigued by physiognomy: the act of judging individuals from their appearance. Some critics contend that this interest is manifest in Degas’ allegedly unflattering depiction of his Jewish subjects.

Portrait or pogrom? Portrait of Rabbi Astruc (left) by Edgar Degas (1871)

Degas also depicted Jews in a series of paintings of Parisian brothels and their customers. These brothel scenes include clients whose facial features are recognisably Jewish. Callen argues that, in doing so, and by implicitly constituting Jews as a “racially impure ‘other,’” Degas was attempting to absolve himself and his audience of any potential charge of voyeurism.[ii]

L’Absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker) (1876) by Edgar Degas

Degas’ most famous painting, L’Absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker) from 1876, is considered a masterful representation of social isolation in Paris during a period of rapid industrial growth. This painting was censured as ugly and disgusting and shut away from viewers for a long time until it was introduced again in 1892. Numerous French nationalists (on the left and right) ascribed the immorality and degeneration of French social life encapsulated in this painting to Jewish influence. Jews were seen as “agents of social change; they were symbols of confusion and alteration. Against them, to be safe from the threat they posed, anti-Semites affirmed and invoked a stable social order, stable moral values, immutable and absolute categories.”[iii]

Widely cited by those eager to prove Degas’ anti-Semitic bona fides is his 1879 painting At the Bourse. It depicts the Jewish banker, speculator, and patron of the arts, Ernest May, on the steps of the stock exchange in the company of a certain Monsieur Bolatre.

At the Bourse by Edgar Degas (1879)

Regarding this painting, Brown insists “there is a nasty, if subtle, suggestion of anti-Semitism in the depiction of May’s physiognomic traits,”[iv] while for Armstrong, Degas’ “dark slovenly depiction of moneylenders might certainly be inflected with anti-Semitic racism.”[v] Jewish art critic Linda Nochlin claims this painting depicts Jewishness in an “unflattering, if relatively subtle way,” and “draws from the same polluted source of available visual stereotypes.”

It is not so much May’s Semitic features, but rather the gesture that I find disturbing — what might be called the “confidential touching” — that and the rather strange, close-up angle of vision from which the artist chose to record it, as though to suggest that the spectator is spying on rather than merely looking at the transaction taking place. … What is “revealed” here, perhaps unconsciously, through May’s gesture, as well as the unseemly, inelegant closeness of the two central figures and the demeanor of the vaguely adumbrated cast of characters, like the odd couple, one with a “Semitic nose,” pressed as tightly as lovers into the narrow space at the left-hand margin of the picture, is a whole mythology of Jewish financial conspiracy.

That gesture — the half-hidden head tilted to afford greater intimacy, the plump white hand on the slightly raised shoulder, the stiff turn of May’s head, the somewhat emphasized ear picking up the tip — all this, in the context of the half-precise, half-merely adumbrated background, suggests “insider” information to which “they,” are privy, from which “we,” the spectators (understood to be gentile) are excluded. This is, in effect, the representation of a conspiracy. It is not too farfetched to think of the traditional gesture of Judas betraying Christ in this connection, except that here, both figures function to signify Judas; Christ, of course, is the French public, betrayed by Jewish financial machinations.[vi]

This kind of speculative analysis of Degas’ work to establish his anti-Semitism is ultimately superfluous given the artist’s catalogue of statements critical of Jews. Toward the end of his life, Degas, for instance, declared without equivocation: “I detest them, those Jews! An abominable race that ought to be shut up in ghettos. Or even totally eradicated!” Ostensibly unable to conceive of the existence of rational and valid criticisms of Jews, Nochlin insists that “although Degas was indeed an extraordinary artist, a brilliant innovator, and one of the most important figures in the artistic vanguard of the 19th century, he was a perfectly ordinary anti-Semite. As such, he must have been capable of amazing feats of both irrationality and rationalization, able to keep different parts of his inner and outer life in separate compartments.”[vii]

Nochlin draws on the (now venerable) Jewish apologetic trope of characterizing anti-Jewish sentiment as akin to a virus. The fact that Degas, “stubbornly nationalistic, and blinded by fanaticism,” produced ‘At the Bourse’ while still friends with the Jewish author and playwright Ludovic Halévy, suggests, she claims, that this “virus was in a state of extreme latency, visible only in the nuances of a few works of art and intermittently at that. Or perhaps one might say that before the period of the Dreyfus affair, Degas … was anti-Jewish only in terms of a certain representation of the Jew or of particular ‘Jewish traits,’ but his attitude did not yet manifest itself in overt hostility toward actual Jewish people, nor did it yet take the form of a coherent ideology of anti-Semitism.”[viii]

It was the Dreyfus Affair and the writings of Eduard Drumont that supposedly crystalized Degas’ nascent anti-Semitism into a fully delineated ideology. Through such influences, the “virus” of anti-Semitism “mutated” in the 1880s and 1890s from “stereotyped prejudices diffused all over Europe” into an organized movement and ideology (accompanied by the emergence of anti-Semitic literature, leagues and groups). By 1895 the artist was, “in addition to being a violent nationalist and uncritical supporter of the army, an outspoken anti-Semite.”[ix] According to some accounts, he had his maid read aloud from Drumont’s La Libre Parole and Rochefort’s L’Intransigeant. It was these publications that, according to Kleeblatt, “constructed the anti-Semitic identity of men like Degas.”[x]

Despite the conclusion to the Dreyfus affair, there are no signs, according to a biographer, “that he ever thought he had taken the wrong side in the great clash of the two Frances.”[xi] Chrisci-Richardson ascribes his anti-Semitism to his economic vulnerability — as an “inexcusable symptom of his life-long struggle for money and his uncertain social position.”[xii] Born into a well-off family, Degas suddenly experienced financial difficulties in 1874 with the death of his father and the closure of his brother’s business. He was forced to sell his home and started living with the subjects he was painting, offering his paintings as payment. According to Nochlin:

There was a specific aspect of Degas’ situation in the world that might have made him particularly susceptible to the anti-Semitic ideology of his time: what might be called his “status anxiety.” According to Stephen Wilson: “The French anti-Semites’ attacks on social mobility, and their ideal of a fixed social hierarchy, suggest that such an interpretation applies to them, particularly when these ideological features are set beside the marginal situation of many of the movement’s supporters.” Degas was precisely such a “marginal” figure in the social world of the late 19th century and had ample reason, by the decade of the ’90s, to be worried about his status.[xiii]

Degas was adversely affected by the crash of the Union Générale Bank in 1882. This event was widely interpreted as “the result of deliberate action against the Catholic finance house by its Jewish rivals, led by Rothschild.” The crash of the Bank was only one of the financial and business scandals attributed to Jews in France. Others included to Panama scandal (1892), and the failures of Comptoir des Metaux and the Comptoir d’Escomptes. In the aftermath of these scandals, Jewish financiers like the Halevys, the Hasses, the Schlumbergers, the Camondos, the Ephrussis and the Rothschilds, were “viewed with suspicion and thought to be working for the ruin of France.”[xiv]

For Chrisci-Richardson, as well as being a response to “Jewish capitalists monopolizing the wealth of France” and “Jewish workers taking the jobs from French workers,” Degas’ anti-Jewish outlook was also a response to his vision of Jewish immigrants as “carriers of revolution.”[xv] By the 1880s various Jewish revolutionaries had established themselves in Paris, forming revolutionary circles, whether anarchist, anarcho-communist, or, later Bolshevik. Thousands of politically-radical Jews migrated to France, particularly to Paris, between 1880 and 1925. At the time of the Dreyfus trial, 40,000 of the 75,000 Jews in France were concentrated in Paris.

Fellow impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir also denounced Jews as vectors of political radicalism. According to Nochlin, Renoir was “openly anti-Semitic, a position obviously linked to his deep political conservatism and fear of anarchism.”[xvi] Capps laments that Renoir was an artist “who appeared to embrace the methods of early modernism but none of its revolutionary goals.”[xvii] Renoir maintained there was a good reason for Jews having been repeatedly expelled from countries throughout history, and warned “they shouldn’t be allowed to become so important in France.” He observed that “the peculiarity of the Jews is to cause disintegration.”[xviii]

In her diaries, Renoir’s daughter Julie regularly records her father expressing a variety of anti-Jewish views. In January 1898, during a discussion of the Dreyfus Affair, she quotes Renoir as saying. “[The Jews] come to France to earn money, but if there is any fighting to be done they hide behind a tree. … There are a lot of them in the army, because the Jew likes to walk about wearing a uniform.” Renoir also “let fly on the subject of Pissarro, ‘a Jew,’ whose sons are natives of no country and who do their military service nowhere.” Renoir goes on, “It’s tenacious[,] the Jewish race. Pissarro’s wife isn’t one, yet all the children are, even more so than their father.”[xix]

Renoir’s famous 1880–81 painting Luncheon of the Boating Party, features more than a dozen figures and a dog. One of these figures, a man wearing a hat with his back turned to the viewer, is Charles Ephrussi, a Jewish art critic and collector. From a wealthy Jewish banking family, Ephrussi, the stereotype of the wealthy Jewish banker exemplified by the Rothschilds, played a key role in Renoir’s career. Ephrussi rubbed elbows with the Parisian elite and was an unrelenting networker and social climber. The writer Edmond de Goncourt once observed that “Ephrussi the Jew went to six or seven parties a night, so that he could climb to a position in the Ministry of Fine Arts.”[xx]

Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880–81) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Ephrussi helped Renoir find buyers in the French Jewish community — where he gained popularity as a portraitist. Degas was particularly disappointed with what he saw as Renoir’s transformation into a Jewish-society portraitist. In 1880, he wrote: “Monsieur Renoir, you have no integrity. It is unacceptable that you paint to order. I gather you now work for financiers, that you do the rounds with Charles Ephrussi.” Shortly after Degas’ missive, Renoir ended his activity as a society portraitist. Aside from Degas’ chastisement, Renoir became exasperated with his Jewish patrons — especially the Cahen d’Anvers family. Writing to a fellow artist, he protested: “As for the 1,500 francs from Cahens, I must tell you that I find it hard to swallow. The family is so stingy; I am washing my hands of the Jews.” Over the following year, Renoir penned a succession of letters expressing his disdain for Jewish patrons, and severed all ties with the Ephrussi patronage circle. Melanson notes that:

As he renounced his Jewish patrons, and his anti-Semitic remarks became more frequent, Renoir’s wrath was directed at the artist most commonly associated with Jewish high society. [Léon] Bonnat painted almost every member of the salons juifs, including Albert and Louilia Cahen d’Anvers, Charles Ephrussi, Marie and Edouard Kann, Louise Cahen d’Anvers, Mme Leopold Stern, Mme Bischoffsheim, Countess Potocka, Joseph Reinach, Abraham de Camondo, and Henri Cernuschi. Like many society portraitists, Bonnat and his wife became members of high society, particularly the world of the salons juifs.

In the twentieth century, Jacques-Emile Blanche recalled the affinity of “wealthy Jewish financiers” for Bonnat. Blanche was correct in asserting that it was Bonnat, and not Renoir, who was truly the portraitist of Jewish high society. Blanche explained that Renoir’s Jewish patrons were “not at all convinced of [Renoir’s] talent” but were promised by Ephrussi “enormous returns on the sale of Impressionist pictures.” Accusing Jewish art patrons of speculation was a common trope of anti-Semitic discourse, and Blanche’s tone was demeaning when he described Ephrussi’s circle as “rather proud of their audacity” in commissioning portraits from Renoir that ultimately “ended up in the laundry room or were given away to former governesses.”[xxi]

Despite their anti-Jewish views, Jewish patrons and art dealers avidly bought up the work of Degas and Renoir. While Jewish artists of the first rank were few and far between (Pissarro perhaps excepted), Jews still dominated the art scene in Paris in the late nineteenth century as publishers, collector-patrons and dealers. They were, moreover, absolutely committed to the modernist movement, even to the point of making excuses for artists who, like Degas, Renoir and Cezanne, were anti-Dreyfusards and even openly anti-Semitic. Laufer notes that:

At the end of the long nineteenth century, the [non-Jewish owned] Parisian press often described French Jews as greedy, cosmopolitan, materialistic traitors — and avid collectors of modern art. While several of these characterisations are mere anti-Semitic stereotypes, French Jews did make up a disproportionately large number of the supporters of modern artists (particularly of the Impressionists and the Symbolists).[xxii]

In his exposition of the political significance of the widespread Jewish involvement in cultural modernism, the Jewish historian Norman Cantor noted that: “Something more profound and structural was involved in the Jewish role in the modernist revolution than this sociological phenomenon of the supersession of marginality. There was an ideological drive at work.”[xxiii] This ideological drive was the urge to subject Western civilization (deemed a “soft authoritarianism” hostile to Jews) to intensive criticism. The late Jewish artist R.B. Kitaj concurred with this assessment, equating anti-Semitism with anti-modernism. “Jewish brilliance”, he said, “made the modern world.” Jews were agents of change, architects of human unease.[xxiv]

Degas’ status as a Modernist master therefore sits incongruously, for today’s establishment critics, alongside his political conservatism and anti-Semitism. For Brody, the problem of Degas’ legacy “isn’t a matter of anti-Semitism or bigotry per se, but of a bilious repudiation of the world as it runs, or, in a word, modernity.” Echoing Jewish responses to Richard Wagner, critics have, in recent decades, confronted the “problem” of Degas’ legacy by character assassination — recent articles about the artist abound with epithets like “cruel,” “misanthropic,” “misogynist,” and “embittered man as well as a bigot.” Criticism inevitably centers on his adherence to a “virulent belief system” which, it is argued, is unredeemed by the sublimity of his art.

Brenton Sanderson is the author of Battle Lines: Essays on Western Culture, Jewish Influence and Anti-Semitism, banned by Amazon, but available here and here.

[i] Gabriel Astruc, La pavillon des fantomes: souvenirs (Paris, D. Grasset, 1929), 98.

[ii] Anthea Callen quoted in: Washton-Long, Baigel & Heyd (Eds.) Jewish Dimensions in Modern Visual Culture: Anti-Semitism, Assimilation, Affirmation, (Waltham MA: Brandeis University Press, 2010), 166.

[iii] Roberta Crisci-Richardson, Mapping Degas: Real Spaces, Symbolic Spaces and Invented Spaces in the Life and Work of Edgar Degas (1834-1917) (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), 31.

[iv] Marilyn R. Brown, Degas and the Business of Art (University Park: Penn State Press, 1994), 130.

[v] Carol M. Armstrong, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas (Getty Research Institute, 2003), 282.

[vi] Linda Nochlin in: Maurice Berger (Ed.) Modern Art And Society: An Anthology Of Social And Multicultural Readings (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 30.

[vii] Linda Nochlin, “Degas and the Dreyfus Affair: A portrait of the artist as anti-Semite,” Tablet, January 4, 2019.

[viii] Nochlin, Modern Art and Society, 35.

[ix] Linda Nochlin, The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth Century Art and Society (Taylor & Francis, 2018),

[x] Norman Kleeblatt, “The Dreyfus Affair: Art Truth and Justice,” Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 5: New Research, New Views (United Kingdom: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2008) 425.

[xi] Roy McMullen, Degas: his life, times, and work (London: Secker & Warburg, 1985), 444.

[xii] Roberta Chrisci-Richardson, Mapping Degas: Real Spaces, Symbolic Spaces and Invented Spaces in the Life and Work of Edgar Degas (1834-1917) (United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), 12.

[xiii] Nochlin, Modern Art and Society, 39.

[xiv] Stephen Wilson, Ideology and Experience: Anti-Semitism in France at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair (United Kingdom: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1982), 170.

[xv] Chrisci-Richardson, Mapping Degas, 297.

[xvi] Nochlin, Modern Art and Society, 25.

[xvii] Kristin Capps, “Why Absolutely Everyone Hates Renoir,” The Atlantic, October 15, 2015.

[xviii] Manet, Julie, Growing up with the Impressionists: the diary of Julie Manet (London: Sotheby’s Publications, 1987), 129.

[xix] Ibid., 124.

[xx] Menachem Wecker, “Was Renoir Anti-Semitic?,” National Review, November 18, 2017,

[xxi] Elizabeth Melanson, “The Influence of Jewish Patrons on Renoir’s Stylistic Transformation in the Mid-1880s,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Vol. 12(2), 2013.

[xxii] Mia Laufer, Jewish Taste: Modern Art Collecting, Identity, and Antisemitism in Paris, 1870-1914 (St Louis: Washington University Open Scholarship Institutional Repository, 2019), Abstract.

[xxiii] Norman Cantor, The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews (New York, HarperCollins, 1994), 303.

15 Norman Lebrecht, Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed the World (London: Faber and Faber, 2010), 155-6.

TANSTAAFL and Rational Discussion of Jews

The purpose of this essay is to discuss one of the last decade’s most intelligent Internet activists dealing squarely with the JQ — and in my view he falls completely on the side of men crafting old-school rational discussion. For me, he is a rational counter-Semite par excellence.

He goes by the moniker “Tanstaafl,” which may, in this case, be an acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Here Tanstaafl claims that he liked the Heinlein novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which is where he first encountered the term. In any case, this is the moniker he uses.

Before describing him and his work more thoroughly, I have to offer a heartfelt apology for completing most of this essay four years ago, then inexplicably putting it aside, despite never forgetting it. Possibly this is because much of the steam in Tanstaafl’s own activism had fizzled out by then, but I still don’t accept that as an excuse for my own failure. I still strongly stand by his integrity, his arguments, and his efforts to blend rational discussion of the JQ with Internet forums. It is to be much admired.

Now here is his own description of what he does:

Tanstaafl began Age of Treason in September 2005, writing first at Age of Treason Radio is an extension of this work into audio, which began as part of the White network in June 2012. Since May 2014, both have been brought together here at Email: tanstaafl at age-of-treason dot com.

I likely first heard Tanstaafl when he appeared on the broadcast  “An Interview with Robert Stark” (Jan. 20, 2012). A few years later, I heard him on one of the more exciting Internet outlets, Red Ice Radio. I believe this must be the interview: Race, Biology & Modus Operandi of Jewish Extremists (Oct. 14, 2015). Host Henrik Palmgren provided us with this introduction:

Tanstaafl is a pseudonymous racialist blogger and podcaster at He covers a general interest of science, history, psychology, and language, with a specific focus on Jewish influence.

Tanstaafl first describes his personal evolution of unraveling the mainstream, politically correct discourse that has propagandized the origin of Europeans and reduced Whiteness to a nonexistent social construct. We look into how the fundamental European understanding of the science of human origins has been politicized and weaponized during the 20th century. Tanstaafl explains how the past science of race, which was based in rationalism and objectivity, has been psychopathologized, demonized and derailed.

We discuss the Jewish saga of expulsion from societies across Europe since antiquity, and we evaluate the claim of oppression. Tanstaafl illustrates how Jews use mental word games to psychologically attack and intimidate any intelligent person who dares to question the Jewish parasitism that has crept into all facets of the government, corporate media and academia. Then we focus on the 40,000 years of genetically homogeneous European civilization that has been marginalized by a politically correct shift from physical to cultural anthropology, resulting in the insertion of racial animosity and huge handicaps for scientists who wish to connect the past with the present.

In the members’ segment (try this link), we explore more on the different origins of humans and understanding how the science of racial differences has been politicized. We consider where the manufactured problems of multiculturalism have created blinding ethnocentrism within Europe and opened the door for a dehumanizing transformation of the White European collective. We look at what it will take for Europeans to reach a critical mass of racial awareness and take actions to combat monsters like Barbara Spectre, who unapologetically advocates the destruction of ethnic European societies.

Then Tanstaafl specifies how Hollywood blockbuster movies are infused with psychological warfare designed to divide nations and move homogeneous cultures away from a kinship or biologically related mindset. Later, we examine why Scandinavia, and Sweden in particular, keeps getting pushed to accept more and more refugees, and how the beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed sub-race of Nordics seems to be specifically targeted for replacement. We conclude with some thoughts on Ann Coulter’s calling out of official Jew numbers, and how top cuck Donald Trump is shaping up to be just another pawn in the globalist war game.

Personally, I found Tanstaafl to be one of the premier voices in today’s White Nationalist movement, though I may be biased because I share the “rational counter-Semite” approach. He is intellectually well grounded and provides a myriad of insights made in clear, compelling arguments. He has read and understood his Kevin MacDonald and expands on these themes to take us into new territory. Further, he has an excellent voice for podcasts, so listening is a highly positive experience.

One may approach Tanstaafl’s body of work as a post-textbook form of taking a university class. As a rational counter-Semite, Tanstaafl is methodical in addressing his subjects and arranges them in a highly accessible way. Let’s, then, take a look at Tan’s vast library of podcasts to get an idea of what he’s done. These links give you access to a brilliant array of podcasts.

A small sampling of his oeuvre includes the following topics:

  • Who’s White? (four parts)
  • Race and Genetics (five parts)
  • Jews and Organ Transplants (three parts)
  • Jewish Crypsis (fifteen parts)
  • Race and Jews (seven parts)

As I go back and revisit these links, I see that many of the podcasts come with associated text, but over the last decade, I have been familiar with Tans overwhelmingly through his podcasts, so I’ll try to highlight those.

If memory serves, the first time I heard Tan talk, he made an admission similar to this one:

My wife’s father was an ashkenazi jew. He died when she was young but was by all accounts a loving, intelligent, and productive man who was not involved in stereotypically jewish politics or activism. My wife was not raised as a jew, though she is of course genetically 1/2 ashkenazi, and thus our children are, on average, genetically 1/4 ashkenazi.

I distinctly remember that I was cross-country skiing when I heard this admission and stopped to rewind the podcast a bit to hear if he’d really said what I thought he said. He had. While I didn’t think then (or now) that it was a big deal, it still caught me off guard given his counter-Semitic stridency. I guess life is just messy.

Because I skied so much — and solo cross-country skiing is a sublime way to benefit from podcasts, as soft new snow is utterly silent — I listened to many different podcasts about Jews (or their extended phenotype such as the U.S. government, Wall Street, Hollywood, etc.), and a fair share of those podcasts were from Tan. For example, for a while he either co-hosted a program with Carolyn Yeager or regularly appeared on her show. Personally, I enjoyed their conversations but recall that somehow there was a falling out. Still, that didn’t affect me because I could still find new material from Tan, and three representative topics stood out because I had not understood them well until Tan unpacked them

The first is the assertion that “Jews Are Not White.” While it seems obvious now, at the time I had not realized how important it was to divide Jews and White Europeans so starkly. To be sure, I understood that Jews absolutely considered themselves in opposition to White European Christians and our diaspora, but we Whites ourselves are far less attuned to this reality. Until relatively recently in America, there has been little discussion from the Gentile side that Jews are not White. And because they are cautious not to blow their cover, Jews typically are not publicly explicit that they are not White but they sure do talk incessantly about their oppositional nature vis-à-vis White Christians. Non-stop. My recent Christmas review of Santa Inc. illustrates this in spades.

To see, hear or just imbibe this, be open to Jewish discussions on Jewish identity. Jews have written reams on this topic, as I can attest: I once got roped into spending a year reading and writing about Jewish identity, a wild goose chase if ever there was one, but ultimately it was a priceless experience. To give you a sense of their perception of being “the Other,” all I need do is amble over to my bookshelves and review the titles:

  • People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity, edited by Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky and Sally Fisher Fishkin
  • Members of the Tribe: On the Road in Jewish America by Ze’ev Chafets
  • In Search of American Jewish Culture and American Space, Jewish Time: Essays in Modern Culture and Politics by Stephen J. Whitfield (the latter book is a gem, I can promise you)
  • Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot by Michael Rogin
  • How Jews Became White Folks by Karen Brodkin
  • Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, which led me to . . .
  • Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey by David Horowitz
  • Red Diapers: Growing Up in the Communist Left, edited by Judy Kaplan and Linn Shapiro
  • Jews and the Left by Arthur Liebman
  • Roots of Radicalism: Jews, Christians, and The New Left by Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter
  • Jews Against Prejudice: American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties by Stuart Svonkin

As far back as 2012, Tanstaafl exposed us to the Jewish critique that “the neutral citizen of liberal theory was in fact the bearer of an identity coded white, male, bourgeois, able-bodied, and heterosexual. … This implicit ontology in part explained the persistent historical failure of liberal democracies to achieve anything more than token inclusion in power structures for members of marginalized groups.” In his conclusion, he makes the important remark that Jews play a leading role in attacking White identity:

The take-away for Whites: “Identity politics,” as such, is a jewish, cultural-marxist, anti-White construct. It is wrapped in dishonest universalist-sounding rhetoric, but is in fact defined and deployed solely in opposition to Whites. The essence of its notion of identity is victimization – with Whites portrayed, in a variety of ways, as oppressors, and non-Whites portrayed as oppressed.

(I would add that the ur-narrative of Whites as oppressors is that of the Holocaust, a narrative that continues to be under strain in our day, as Thomas Dalton has shown repeatedly on TOO and elsewhere — here and here, for example).

Soon, however, Tanstaafl expanded his inquiry into White, Jewish and other identities, providing detailed analyses into genetics, organ transplants, crypsis, Francis Yockey’s views on Liberalism, etc. There’s a treasure trove of easily accessible files.

In the first of four podcasts on “Race and Genetics,” for example, he importantly noted that this attempt to erase the concept of race can be laid at the feet of Jewish activists, going all the way back to WWII. Here he argued that “in the 1940s the Boasian/jewish/commie anthropologists behind The Races of Mankind said race and race mixing don’t matter, and ‘science’ proved it? They were lying. Organ transplant incompatibility, most obvious in the case of bone marrow, is an undeniable, biological down-side of race mixing.”

“They were lying.” This is one of the most fundamental realities Whites must learn: Jews use deception endlessly and in highly sophisticated and successful ways. That’s why today we have the absurd beliefs that “Race is a social construct” and “Gender is a social construct, too.”

The Second Area: Blame

In this March 2020 blog Tanstaafl asks us, “How can jews blame goyim for what jews do?” That’s a very fair question, and Tan has devoted considered attention to it. For instance, in “Pathology and Pathogen” (Feb 2015) he writes that Jews “also tend to project their negative thinking onto the Other. Whites, in contrast, are relatively individualist and universalist, with a higher regard for objectivity. In the White mind rationalism trumps emotionalism. Whites tend to project our positive thinking onto the Other.”

Tan sees this as partially genetic, partially cultural, where Jews “inculcate their own [members] with an unapologetic preference for their own kind and distaste for the Other. Jews inculcate most Whites too, but with exactly the opposite moral standards.” Herein lies the problem, as “This kind of lopsidedness, or asymmetry, is characteristic of the entire history and nature of the conflict between Whites and jews. Jews have continuously aggressed against Whites. Whites, for the most part, have been oblivious of this. As [TOO writer Andrew] Joyce observes, jews unabashedly distort reality and invert the conflict, placing 100% of the blame for it on Whites.”

After reflecting on this and looking for further evidence for years, I have concluded Tan is right. To a great degree, Jews like Howard Zinn have transferred Jewish sins onto an oblivious White patsy, and reigning ideological trends like Critical Race Theory to a shocking degree blame Whites for what Jews themselves have so often done. (The complicated history of slavery in America comes to mind. See also Tan’s view that the “British” Empire was in fact Jewish, with its attacks on China, India, and, I would add, Boer South Africa. (Andrew Joyce, for example, wrote that, “Because of the obvious shared ethnic heritage of the mine owners and the diplomats who trod the path to war, ‘the view that the war was a Jewish war was commonplace among its opponents.’”) In fact, Whites have often tried to ameliorate the pains Jews have inflicted on others, so being held responsible is adding insult to White injury. Of course one of the ways Jews pull off this switcheroo is by using crypsis to convince others that they are “White.”

A small example of Tan’s unique ability to add depth and nuance to the JQ comes in his correcting the translation of a fairly well-known Jewish phrase, in this case “shanda fur die goyim.” This phrase, he writes, “is misunderstood as embarrassment. It is a reflection of jewish sensitivity to collective exposure/responsibility/vulnerability. It is an alarm, a call for the making of excuses and transferring of blame elsewhere.” One of the most common tactics is for Jews to point the finger at “Gentile anti-Semitism” rather than acknowledge actual Jewish behavior. Once one learns to recognize this ploy, along with projecting Jewish guilt onto others more generally, it is surprising to discover how routinely it is done. But how do we teach the right Gentiles to truly learn how to see this? I confess I’m at a loss.

(While I’m praising Tan for his parsing of Yiddish phrases, I’ll also note his explanation of how they translate “their cabalist term ‘tikkun olam’ as ‘social justice’. It means: ‘help us dismantle the [non-jew] system and build a better world [for jews].’” Tanstaafl’s podcasts and writing are full of these insights.)

The Third Area: “White Pathology”

The third important area Tan has expanded upon is the biological concept that Jews act as parasites on their host cultures, a familiar theme in European thought but less well known in The New World. Typical is this 2015 interview with John Friend. About an hour in, they talked about Jews as parasites, but what is fascinating is how Tan segues to the related area of “pathogen,” which leads to the common claim that Whites somehow suffer from “pathological altruism.”

Acknowledging that this is a claim made by Kevin MacDonald — and we ourselves can deduce that it’s related to the “critique” in Culture of Critique and subsequent writings — Tan distills it to its essence: “Some say the West is committing suicide due to some white pathology. But if there’s a pathology, then there’s a pathogen. My conclusion is that the pathogen is Jews.” [1]

I won’t get further into these topics because Tan’s podcasts deserve to tell these important stories, so I’ll move on to his July 2018 blog defending Greg Cochran’s views on Jewish attacks as another way Tan has unpacked what is going on under the surface. The link begins with this insightful cartoon:

Cochran, you may remember, is co-author of the 2009 book The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution, whose final chapter “sets out to explain why Ashkenazi Jews have a mean IQ so much higher than that of the population in general, as well as a higher rate of some genetic disorders such as Tay-Sachs disease.” This argument joins those of Richard Lynn, Nicholas Wade and others who have tried to employ the results of modern science to break the taboo on discussing the existence of race, racial differences, and of course the claim of higher Jewish intelligence. No doubt most readers already know about the last category because it is so central to Kevin MacDonald’s thesis about Jews and their group evolutionary strategy. Not surprisingly, the Wiki article on Cochran blames our editor for Cochran’s views, citing old friends in Alabama: “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, these claims were based on the work of discredited psychologist and antisemitic conspiracy theorist Kevin MacDonald.”

In the Cochran piece, Tanstaafl follows Cochran’s exploration of the existence and origins of the Aryan people, though he offers that “[William] Pierce’s Who We Are is more detailed, and a better investment in time. Cochran adds the recent genetic corroboration of the story. He knows well that jews are genetically and mentally distinct from the Europeans whose pre-historic roots he describes.” Becoming even more politically incorrect, Tan further argues that:

Yes, the national socialists were mostly correct about race and the pre-history of Europeans. They are demonized today exactly because they were also right about the jews. They correctly saw the jews not merely as non-Aryan but as an existential threat. The jews, especially the more sciency jews, understand this perfectly well. That’s why they’re in crisis mode. They understand these genetic revelations are damning, and potentially explosive, exposing the anti-”racist”/anti-”nazi” narrative jews have perpetrated for the better part of the past century as a fraud, as an excuse for their own racial animus and ongoing war on Whites. The consensus among jews, including alt-jews, is that this fraud has been good for the jews. In their view it is the potential collapse of this fraud, or worse, potential reprisals for it, which might be bad for the jews, and therefore must now be averted at all costs. They agree the goyim must never ever be permitted to freely discuss race or the harm caused by all this jewing, then or now, or the proverbial jig is up, all over again.

In short, Tan concludes, Jewish deception is controlling the narrative on both race and Aryan history. “Cochran calls out the lying, but won’t explicitly identify it as jewing.” I agree that Cochran knows he’s talking about Jews and lying since he consistently calls individual Jews such as Lewontin, Gould, Montagu, et al. liars when it comes to these topics. And who can blame him for not taking this to its logical conclusion? Most people hate to be destroyed.

As mentioned, Tan mostly rounded out his “Age-of-Treason” series in the fall of 2015 but has continued with interviews, a blog and a collection of related audio files from others. It’s vast and highly informative. The research and choices are top notch, so those new to the JQ could benefit (and save time), partially informed individuals could as well, and even highly seasoned researchers could learn much, especially when non-reading moments are available, such as when driving, doing chores, etc. I’m not really aware of a collection as extensive, accessible, or timely as “Age of Treason.” We’re fortunate it is still available online.


By this point, most readers have likely noticed a few writing anomalies in Tan’s prose, beginning with his refusal to capitalize the group he’s focusing on, Jews. Obviously, this is impossible to detect in his podcasts, and up through about 2016 he was generally dispassionate in his examination of the JQ. After five or so years of intense focus on this abiding topic, however, he began to appear more exasperated, so in his shorter blogs that came after this period, he has become more irritable.

In other cases, I might find this immature, but having gone through similar experiences of peeling back more and more layers of the onion known as the JQ and finding how objectionable much Jewish behavior toward goyim truly is, I’ve responded at times in the same way Tan has: by using a lower-case spelling. Further, I feel justified because I do it only in private writing and consider it to be a minuscule expression of the rage I sometimes feel at the harm done to me and other Whites. I know we are the oppressed and powerless ones in this fight, so it’s the least I can do to vent that righteous anger.

Tanstaafl employs other kinds of language to harmlessly express his own sense of impotent outrage, such as calling highly emotional Jewish descriptions of their situation “screeching” and their talmudic twisting of the narrative to “jewsplain.” On the whole, he now thinks of public Jewish discourse as “jewspeak” and nearly at the end of his rope in observing a certain instance of such discourse, he labeled it as “peak jewing.” Last October he addressed actor and director Rob Reiner’s attack on Trump and White Republicans as “The Screeching Will Continue Until Democracy is Saved” and observed that “Every day the jewsmedia narrative gets insaner in its attempt to either distract from or jewsplain the totally jewed regime’s latest violation of its own previous political, medical, economic, financial, social, and legal norms.” In this podcast, he even coined the word “chutzpathically,” as in “jews chutzpathically assert” this or that. Not really a bad way to vent your frustration, all things considered.

My impression now is that Tanstaafl has greatly retreated from his efforts at rational counter-Semitic education, so this essay may not be as timely as hoped for. Still, his body of work is as valuable as ever, so I’ve shared what I’ve learned from it. Further, I sympathize with him if a sense of burn-out has crept in. Counter-Semitic activism is noble but hard work.

Here is one last point that I’m well advised to bring up: Tanstaafl has explicitly named the Jew and given immense amounts of his time and energy to making rational, cogent, compelling arguments, still readily available in podcast form to the post-reading generation. In contrast, I say don’t trust those who don’t name the Jew. The late Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Alex Jones, Revolver News and so on either do not defend Whites explicitly, or they do so only obliquely and in round-about ways. Worse — much worse — they refuse to talk openly about the Jewish Problem. God bless Tanstaafl for being far more courageous.

In a better world, Tanstaafl would now be a tenured professor of rational counter-Semitism at a top university, cooly teaching undergraduate and graduate students alike the crucial story of Jews among the Nations. But we don’t live in a good world, and much of the reason for that is because of Jewish behavior that is so harmful to the rest of us. I sure don’t see Jews unilaterally changing that behavior, so we need to educate ourselves as best we can and gird for the exceedingly hard times to come. There is much work to be done. Thanks to the selfless devotion to duty Tanstaafl has exhibited, we still have access to superb materials for understanding our bleak situation. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the man.


[1]Tanstaafl expands on his arguments in Pathology and Pathogen:

Jews clearly see that there is a conflict of interests, first and foremost with Whites. Whites are now so deracinated and enervated that they are afraid to see any conflict whatsoever, because that would make them “racists”. Jews hate Whites. Whites worship jews. Whatever anyone thinks caused this situation, this lopsided Stockholm Syndrome relationship with jews, it’s clear that to the extent most Whites even see it as a problem, they blame jews for approximately none of it. Instead, the popular explanation is the jewish explanation: Whites are to blame for all of it….

Among the benefits of calling a parasite a parasite is parasitology – an existing body of understanding based on true science, which offers practical insights and potential solutions no amount of “white pathology” navel-gazing ever will. Another benefit: Rather than misdirecting White resentment toward ourselves, it is directed at the cause, where it belongs – the detestable, whiny, self-obsessed, manipulative, exploitative jews. Without jews Whites would still have problems – but these “anti-semitism”/”white pathology” bugbears wouldn’t be among them.

A Response to Francis M. Naumann

My attention was recently drawn to a critical review of two of the essays that appear in my book Battle Lines: Essays on Western Culture, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism (which, probably not coincidentally, was recently banned by Amazon). This review was penned by art writer and dealer Francis M. Naumann in the online and print journal The Brooklyn Rail. This website and publication claim to “provide an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far beyond.” The ideological tenor of The Brooklyn Rail is captured in the banner across the top of the website’s homepage which declares “Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those affected by generations of structural violence.” Readers will be shocked to learn that individuals with common Jewish names feature very prominently among the contributors to this journal.

Naumann, who is not Jewish, offers a review replete with ad hominem and straw man arguments, and nit-picking, inconsequential argumentation. Unable to debunk the central thesis of either essay, he resorts to ascribing malign motives and psychological imbalances to myself and Professor MacDonald. In his review, Naumann deploys the standard rhetorical devices arrayed against those critical of Jewish influence, or who just stand up for White interests: the tendentious terms “white supremacist” and “conspiracy” featuring prominently. He claims Kevin MacDonald is “accurately described” in his Wikipedia entry as “an American anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist” and “white supremacist.” Naumann, who doubtless has never actually read any of MacDonald’s academic work, claims this description is validated by MacDonald’s simple statement of fact in his foreword to Battle Lines that: “We simply can’t avoid discussing the Jews. Honest discussions of Jewish influence are absolutely necessary if White people are going to have a future.”

Naumann’s apparent a priori assumption is that Jewish influence on Western societies and culture is necessarily benevolent, and that, consequently, any criticism of this influence is inherently invalid and reflects negatively on the psychological health of the critic (hence the title of his review, “Pure Meshuggah: Anti-Semitism Invades Art History” with “Meshuggah” being the Yiddish word for crazy). This kind of illogic and intellectual dishonesty spills over into his discussion of my work.

Francis M. Naumann

In my essay entitled “Tristan Tzara and the Jewish Roots of Dada,” I argue that the Jewish origins and identities of prominent figures in the Dada movement (c. 1916–1924), and particularly of its founder, Tristan Tzara (born Samuel Rosenstock), were critical in shaping its intellectual tenor as a movement arrayed against every cultural tradition of the European past, including rationality itself. I describe Dada’s destructive influence in feeding into the conceptual art that has blighted Western art since the 1960s. I also note the conceptual parallels between Dada and the deconstruction of the Jewish poststructuralist intellectual Jacques Derrida. Both attempted to foster subjective individualism to disconnect Europeans from their familial, religious and ethnic bonds—reducing the salience of Jews as an outgroup and, consequently, the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Western societies.

Offering no real counter-arguments (or critical analysis of my sources), Naumann summarily dismisses this as a “conspiracy theory,” claiming that “Sanderson casts aside logic and reasoning in order to convince us that what he is saying is true.” While a prominent Israeli art historian admitted my essay “is well written and excellently researched” and from an “academic research viewpoint it is without reproach,” Naumann eschews any pretensions to objective analysis and resorts to amateur psychoanalysis. He proposes that my thesis reflects “Sanderson’s fear of the intellectual achievement of these Jewish writers; for like Hitler before him, the exceptional intelligence and success of so many Jews in all professions clearly terrifies him and threatens to undermine his painfully flawed illusion of white supremacy.” Naumann here unintentionally confesses to an ideologically-problematic (for him) strain of race realism: accepting that certain ethnic groups possess “exceptional intelligence” and thus achieve more than others. He is, however, unable to cite a single sentence from Battle Lines that demonstrates my alleged belief in “white supremacy.”

Appalled that anyone would draw negative conclusions about the influence of Dada, which he calls “a playful movement,” or of the Jews who dominated the movement, Naumann insists that “The revolutionary spirit that fueled Dada and abstract art has continued to affect the course of contemporary art, to the good fortune of all reasonable and sentient people.” In addition to being neither reasonable nor sentient, this author is also, according to Naumann, a contaminant. He sanctimoniously claims to never have “imagined that racist politics and white supremacist viewpoints could contaminate my profession.” His self-righteous indignation at the very existence of my work is compounded, moreover, by the fact that Battle Lines had “been awarded five stars from Amazon’s customer reviews.” Naumann sees my work as a “threat to civility and justice” that, left unchallenged, will “grow and fester like an unattended wound. And if we have learned anything from history, that is too dangerous a course of action to follow.”

While leaving the actual thesis of my Dada essay unchallenged, Naumann constructs a straw man from a passing reference I make to Lenin. I note that “living across the street from the Cabaret Voltaire [a Dadaist venue] in Zurich [in 1916] were Lenin, Karl Radek and Gregory Zinoviev who were preparing for the Bolshevik Revolution.” Naumann cavils at the supposed geographical imprecision of this statement (despite its ubiquity in the literature), and falsely claims my objective here is “to implicate Dadaists as Communists whose influence was felt in Russia, and later in Western Europe and America.” I never claim Dadaists were important political actors in the interwar period, but I do stress their destructive artistic and intellectual legacy. That Tzara and the other leading Dadaists were communists or radical leftists is, however, incontrovertible, and is illustrated by their own actions and statements (which are cited at length in my essay). Even the Wikipedia entry for “Dada” states plainly that the Dadaists “maintained political affinities with radical left-wing and far-left politics.”

Tzara joined the French Communist Party and interpreted both Dada and Surrealism as revolutionary currents, and presented them as such to the public.[1] The leading Dadaists in Germany were self-declared communists: Richard Huelsenbeck and Raoul Hausmann affirmed that Dada “is German Bolshevism”[2] and that “Dadaism demands: the international revolutionary union of all creative and intellectual men and women on the basis of radical Communism.”[3] Robert Short notes that, among the German Dadaists, were those for whom: “Dada was a political weapon and those for whom communism was a Dadaistical weapon.”[4]

Dada leader Tristan Tzara

Naumann insists it is “now well known” in the literature on Dada that “Lenin was a frequent visitor to the Cabaret Voltaire, where he went to see if what was going on there could contribute to his political aspirations.” Actually, this notion is widely disputed in the literature. Huelsenbeck stated that Lenin once visited the Café Voltaire, and Marcel Janko later made a similar claim. The veracity of these accounts is, however, strongly doubted. Jones, for example, questions “the wistful reminiscing on Richard Huelsenbeck’s part to suggest that Lenin actually visited the Cabaret Voltaire; similarly, Marcel Janko’s distant and apocryphal retrospection of the cabaret room, thick with smoke, ‘where some sudden apparition would loom up every now and then, like the impressive Mongol features of Lenin.’”[5] Rappaport is similarly unconvinced, wondering if “the subversive nature of Dada as performance” was enough to arouse “Lenin’s curiosity enough to prompt him to cross the road and take a look.”[6] The official website of the city of Zurich is similarly skeptical, noting: “Whether Lenin visited the Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dadaism, is still unknown but has fueled speculation as to whether Lenin was a secret Dadaist.”

Naumann falsely alleges that I claim that Lenin influenced Dada and abstract art, and, correcting a point I don’t make, declares: “But in reality, Lenin had no effect whatsoever on Dada or abstract art. In fact, he and the other Bolsheviks were against abstract art, since its emphasis on individualism was diametrically opposed to Communist ideals.” The first statement is correct, but things are more complicated than Naumann’s second point would suggest. The new Soviet state led by Lenin that emerged after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 initially adopted a policy in favor of radical experimentation. As Christine Lindey notes:

Initially, most avant-garde artists welcomed the revolution because Lenin’s idea of a political avant-garde as an agent for social change legitimised their own calls for radical action to combat conservative attitudes to art and society. For Marxists like [the Russian painter Vladimir] Tatlin, here was an opportunity to make real and meaningful change. … Others, like Kandinsky, were not sympathetic to Bolshevik politics, but welcomed the artistic freedom which it brought, while aesthetically or/and politically conservative artists feared a loss of private patronage and critical status. Contrary to western propaganda, no artist was sent to the salt mines: Lenin and Lunacharsky, (Commissar of Enlightenment 1917–1929) pursued a pluralist arts policy.

With Stalin’s rise in power the avant-garde artists who flourished under Lenin were silenced. All avant-garde movements were forced out of the Soviet Union (or forced underground) until Stalin’s death in 1953. Locke observes that “Stalin squashed the entire evolution of avant-garde ingenuity in Russia and replaced it with his own brand of art, Soviet Realism.”

Naumann quibbles at the supposed chronological imprecision of my assertion that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf as Dada peaked in Paris. Hitler’s comments on Dada were written (or at least dictated to Rudolf Hess) in 1923 and Paris Dada was officially ended in 1924. Naumann insists that “Hitler knew virtually nothing about Dada, which he lumped together with Cubism and called an ‘artistic aberration.’” I make no assessment of Hitler’s knowledge of the movement in the essay besides quoting his brief statements about it in Mein Kampf. Naumann does make a single valid (though inconsequential) criticism: the American art collector Walter Arensberg is incorrectly identified as Jewish. This is something I will amend in future editions of Battle Lines.

In my essay I draw parallels between the ideas underpinning Dada and those of poststructuralist Jewish intellectual and founder of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida. Naumann takes issue with my description of Derrida as a “crypto-Jew intensely preoccupied with his own Jewish identity and the evils of European anti-Semitism.” He claims “By crypto-Jew, he implies that Derrida hid his Jewish identity.” Some basic research by Naumann would have revealed that my epithet is correct, and while Derrida posed as a leftist Parisian intellectual, a secularist and an atheist, he descended from a long line of crypto-Jews, and explicitly identified himself as such: “I am one of those marranes who no longer say they are Jews even in the secret of their own hearts.”[7]

Derrida was born into a Sephardic Jewish family that immigrated to Algeria from Spain in the nineteenth century. His family were crypto-Jews who retained their Jewish identity for 400 years in Spain during the period of the Inquisition. Derrida changed his first name to the French Christian sounding ‘Jacques’ in order better blend into the French scene. Furthermore, he took his crypto-Judaism to the grave:

When Derrida was buried, his elder brother, René, wore a tallit at the suburban French cemetery and recited the Kaddish to himself inwardly, since Jacques had asked for no public prayers. This discreet, highly personal, yet emotionally and spiritually meaningful approach to recognizing Derrida’s Judaism seems emblematic of this complex, imperfect, yet valuably nuanced thinker.

Derrida was a crypto-Jew until the end, even instructing his family to participate in the charade. Kevin MacDonald notes the obvious reason: “Intellectually one wonders how one could be a postmodernist and a committed Jew at the same time. Intellectual consistency would seem to require that all personal identifications be subjected to the same deconstructing logic, unless, of course, personal identity itself involves deep ambiguities, deception, and self-deception.”[8]

In his notebooks, Derrida underscores the centrality of Jewish issues in his writing: “Circumcision, that’s all I’ve ever talked about.” His experience of anti-Semitism during World War II in Algeria was traumatic and resulted in a deep consciousness of his own Jewishness. He was expelled from school at age 13 under the Vichy government because of official caps on the number of Jewish students, describing himself as a “little black and very Arab Jew who understood nothing about it, to whom no one ever gave the slightest reason, neither his parents nor his friends.”[9] Later, in France, his “suffering subsided. I naively thought that anti-Semitism had disappeared. … But during adolescence, it was the tragedy, it was present in everything else.” These experiences led Derrida to develop “an exhausting aptitude to detect signs of racism, in its most discreet configurations or its noisiest disavowals.”[10] Caputo notes how Jewish ethnic activism underpins Derrida’s deconstruction:

The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue. … The idea is to disarm the bombs… of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants, … all of whom… are wholly other. Contrary to the claims of Derrida’s more careless critics, the passion of deconstruction is deeply political, for deconstruction is a relentless, if sometimes indirect, discourse on democracy, on a democracy to come. Derrida’s democracy is a radically pluralistic polity that resists the terror of an organic, ethnic, spiritual unity, of the natural, native bonds of the nation (natus, natio), which grind to dust everything that is not a kin of the ruling kind and genus (Geschlecht). He dreams of a nation without nationalist or nativist closure, of a community without identity, of a non-identical community that cannot say I or we, for, after all, the very idea of a community is to fortify (munis, muneris) ourselves in common against the other. His work is driven by a sense of the consummate danger of an identitarian community, of the spirit of the “we” of “Christian Europe,” or of a “Christian politics,” lethal compounds that spell death of Arabs and Jews, for Africans and Asians, for anything other. The heaving and sighing of this Christian European spirit is a lethal air for Jews and Arabs, for all les juifs [i.e., Jews as prototypical others], even if they go back to father Abraham, a way of gassing them according to both the letter and the spirit.[11]

Derrida’s sociological preoccupations (and suggested solutions) replicated those of Tristan Tzara. Sandqvist links Tzara’s profound revolt against European social constraints directly to his Jewish identity, and his anger at the persistence of anti-Semitism. For Sandqvist, the treatment of Jews in Romania fueled the Dada leader’s revolt against Western civilization. Bodenheimer notes that:

As a Jew, Tzara had many reasons to call into question the so-called disastrous truths and rationalizations of European thinking, one result of which was the First World War — with the discrimination of Jews for centuries being another. … He came from a background in which jingoistic and anti-Semitic arguments had long reproached Jews for using impure, falsified language, from early examples in the sixteenth century … all the way to the arguments of the Romanian intellectuals in Tzara’s time, who attacked Jews as “foreigners” importing “diseased ideas” into Romanian literature and culture.

[Tzara consequently] seeks to unmask language itself as a construction that draws its value, and sometimes its claim to superiority, from an equally constructed concept of identities and values. In themselves, all languages are equal, but equal in their differences. This claim to the right of equality while upholding difference is the basic Jewish claim to a secular society. But the European peoples, be it first for religious or later for nationalist reasons, have never managed to actually understand this right, let alone grant it to minority societies.

Both the Dadaists and Derrida attacked the notion that the world really is as our concepts describe it (i.e., philosophical realism), and used nominalism (the view that concepts are nothing more than human artifacts that have no relation to the real world) to deconstruct and subvert Western realism. Both thought the idea of objective truth was dangerous because of the possibility that truth could be deployed against the “other.” For the Dadaists, the principles of Western rationality “were held to be highly problematic, because of its instrumental connections to social repressions and domination.”[12] The Jewish Dadaist Hans Richter declared that the abstract language of the Dadaists would be “beyond all national language frontiers,” and saw in Dadaist abstraction a new kind of communication “free from all kinds of nationalistic alliances.”[13] Like the Dadaists, Derrida decided, if you dislike the prevailing power, then strive to ruin its concepts. Dada used nonsense and absurdity to achieve this goal, while Derrida developed and deployed his methodology of deconstruction.

Jacques Derrida

When the Frankfurt School established itself in the United States, it made a conscious effort to give its Jewish intellectual activism a “scientific” veneer by gathering “empirical data” (such as that which formed the basis for The Authoritarian Personality) in order to challenge existing ideas seen as inimical to Jewish interests (such as Darwinian anthropology). Derrida and the poststructuralists instead sought (like the Jews within Dada) to discredit threatening ideas by undermining the notion of objective truth that underpinned all Western knowledge production.

Despite the difference of critical approach, a common Jewish ethno-political thread runs through Tzara’s Dada, Derrida’s deconstruction, and the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. Each attempted to foster subjective individualism to disconnect the masses from their familial, religious and ethnic bonds in order to lessen the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Western societies. Like the other movements chronicled by Kevin MacDonald in Culture of Critique, these movements were preoccupied with undermining the evolutionarily adaptive precepts and practices that had historically dominated Western societies (e.g., social homogeneity via immigration control, the nuclear family based on ties of love and affection, ethnocentrism, the drawing of clear ingroup and outgroup distinctions, sexual restraint), with the implicit goal being to render White Europeans less effective competitors to Jews for access to resources and reproductive success and less able to develop a cohesive, ethnically homogeneous movement in opposition to Judaism.

I am far from alone in noting the conceptual parallels between Dada and Derrida’s deconstruction. Wicks observes how strongly Dada resonates “with the definitively poststructuralist conception of deconstruction advanced by Jacques Derrida in the 1960s.”[14] Pegrum likewise notes the “strong link between Dada and postmodern artistic theory, the most obvious point of contact being with the work of Derrida.”[15] The literary critic Frank Kermode also traces deconstruction back to Dada influences, while Richard Sheppard regards the poststructuralists “as more introverted, less politicized, and less carnivalesque descendants of their Dada daddies.”[16]

Yet, for Naumann, my thesis is just a “conspiracy theory.” But why wouldn’t Jews (as a highly ethnocentric group) use their high levels of intellectual and cultural influence to advance their group interests at the expense of a group they perceive as an immemorial and existential threat?

Switching attention to my essay on Mark Rothko and Abstract Expressionism, a key theme of which is this artist’s political radicalism and Jewish ethnocentrism (and that of his entire social milieu), Naumann asks: “If Jews were such great supporters of Communism in the 1940s—as both Sanderson and MacDonald posit (and to a certain degree they are right)—then why did they not support the efforts of Regionalist painters (Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry) and the Social Realists (Ben Shahn, Diego Rivera)?” I address this point at length in my essay — which makes me wonder if he actually bothered to read it to the end. Jewish artists like Rothko regarded Regionalism as exactly the kind of American painting they most despised: scenic, provincial, anecdotal, and conservative. They associated rural America with nativism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, and fascism as well as with anti-intellectualism and provincialism.

Jewish gallery owners like Sam Kootz decried the “nationalist” art of the Regionalists and promoted the internationalist art of a rising generation of expressionist, surrealist and abstract artists. “America’s more important artists are consistently shying away from Regionalism and exploring the virtues of internationalism,” he commented in 1943. “This is the painting equivalent of our newly found political and social internationalism.”[17] Incensed by the awarding of an art prize to John Steuart Curry in 1942, Jewish abstract artist Barnett Newman denounced Regionialism as “isolationism” and as akin to National Socialism, declaring: “Isolationist painting, which they named the American Renaissance, is founded on politics and on an even worse aesthetic. Using the traditional chauvinism, isolationist brand of patriotism, and playing on the natural desire of American artists to have their own art, they succeeded in pushing across a false aesthetic that is inhibiting the production of any true art in this country. … Isolationism, we have learned by now, is Hitlerism.”[18]

The Homestead by John Steuart Curry

The hostility of Jewish artists and intellectuals to Regionalism is no great mystery. A subset of Jews did support the work of the Social Realists, but this changed with the failure of socialism to take hold in North America in the 1940s. As I explain in the essay:

For Jewish writer Alain Rogier, it seems “hardly a coincidence that Jews made up a large percentage of the leading Abstract Expressionists.”[19] It was an art movement where the culture of critique of Jewish artists, frustrated that the post-war American prosperity prevented the coming of international socialism, turned inward and instead “proposed individualistic modes of liberation.” This mirrored the ideological shift that occurred among the New York Intellectuals generally who “gradually evolved away from advocacy of socialist revolution toward a shared commitment to anti-nationalism and cosmopolitanism [i.e., the multicultural project], ‘a broad and inclusive culture’ in which cultural differences were esteemed.”[20] Doss notes how this ideological shift manifested itself among the artists who became the Abstract Expressionists:

As full employment returned, New Deal programs were terminated — including federal support for the arts — the reformist spirit that had flourished in the 1930s dissipated. Corporate liberalism triumphed: together, big government and big business forged a planned economy and engineered a new social contract based on free market expansion. … With New Deal dreams of reform in ruins, and the better “tomorrow” prophesied at the 1939–1940 New York World’s Fair having seemingly led only to the carnage of World War II, it is not surprising that post-war artists largely abandoned the art styles and political cultures associated with the Great Depression.[21]

The avant-garde artists of the New York School instead embraced an “inherently ambiguous and unresolved, an open-ended modern art … which encouraged liberation through personal, autonomous acts of expression.” The works of the Abstract Expressionists were “revolutionary attempts” to liberate the larger American culture “from the alienating conformity and pathological fears [especially of communism] that permeated the post-war era.”[22] Rothko claimed that “after the Holocaust and the Atom Bomb you couldn’t paint figures without mutilating them.” His friend and fellow artist Adolph Gottlieb, declared that: “Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind … abstraction is not abstraction at all. … It is the realism of our time.”[23]

At the heart of Abstract Expressionism lay a vision of the artist as alienated from mainstream society, a figure morally compelled to create a new type of art which would confront an irrational, absurd world — a mentality completely in accord with that of the alienated Jewish artists and intellectuals at the heart of the movement who viewed the White Christian society around them with hostility. MacDonald notes that the New York Intellectuals “conceived themselves as alienated, marginalized figures — a modern version of traditional Jewish separateness and alienation from gentile culture. …” Norman Podhoretz was asked in the 1950s “whether there was a special typewriter at Partisan Review with the word ‘alienation’ on a single key.”[24]

During the 1950s, Jewish artists and intellectuals chafed against the social controls enforced by political conservatives and religious and cultural traditionalists who limited Jewish influence on the culture, “much to the chagrin of the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals who prided themselves in their alienation from that very culture.” This all ended, together with Abstract Expressionism as an art movement embodying the alienation of the New York Intellectuals, with the triumph of the culture of critique in the 1960s, when Jews and their gentile allies usurped the old WASP establishment, and thus had far less reason to engage in the types of cultural criticism so apparent in the writings of the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals. Hollywood and the rest of the American media were unleashed.

Naumann has no actual response to any of this. However, in assessing the Jewish domination of Abstract Expressionism, he claims that I envision “the whole enterprise as nothing short of a Jewish conspiracy, whereby Jews placed themselves in a position to be viewed by the intellectual establishment of the time as ‘self-appointed gatekeepers of Western culture.’” A major theme of my essay on Rothko and Abstract Expressionism is the power of Jewish ethnic networking and nepotism — which is abundantly demonstrated in Mark Rothko’s rise to fame on the New York art scene. Rothko biographer Annie Cohen-Solal emphasizes the role of Jewish ethnic networking in Rothko’s rise from obscurity to artistic celebrity. More broadly, Jewish artists (Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman), critics (Harold Rosenberg, Clement Greenberg, Thomas B. Hess), curators (Katherine Kuh, Peter Selz, Henry Geldzahler) and art dealers (Sidney Janis, Peggy Guggenheim, Samuel Kootz), were instrumental in the rise of Abstract Expressionism. Such an overwhelming representation from a group that comprised less than two percent of the American population is utterly remarkable and testament to the power of Jewish ethnic networking and nepotism.

Naumann falsely claims I “invent” a Jewish connection to the non-Jewish artist Willem de Kooning when I note that he had to ingratiate himself with the Jewish critics and intellectuals clustered around the leftist journal Partisan Review. It was hardly necessary for me to “invent” a connection between de Kooning and Jews. His wife, Elaine de Kooning, was half-Jewish (born Elaine Fried), and de Kooning shamelessly pimped her out to leading Jewish art critics like Harold Rosenberg and Thomas B. Hess, who, in return, helped further his career.[25] Hess, the editor of Art News, the oldest and most widely-circulated fine arts journal in the world, was hugely influential in promoting Abstract Expressionism. Mentored and promoted by the magazine’s editor in chief, Alfred Frankfurter (also Jewish), Hess was part of the triumvirate of Jews (with Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg) who “were instrumental in championing Abstract Expressionism in the early stages of the movement.” Hess’s Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase (1951) was the first book on the movement to be published, and the critic and art historian Barbara E. Rose (also Jewish) described him as running a “propaganda vehicle for launching the New York School internationally.” While Hess’s Wikipedia entry doesn’t mention his ethnic background, a quick internet search reveals that his mother was buried at the Mount Zion Temple Cemetery in Minnesota.

Naumann claims that in pointing out the prominence of Jews in the art world I give “proof of how important and influential Jews were in shaping the culture of our times. If you were to remove the names of everyone who was Jewish from the roster of twentieth-century artists, writers, critics, collectors, and art dealers, you would find that very little of that history would exist.” Indeed.

He claims to be deeply offended by my custom of placing the word “Holocaust” in quotation marks – which I do to highlight the absurdity (not to say impossibility) of much of the official narrative, and also to protest its use as a tool of psychological warfare against White people. Naumann insists that, rather than Jews engaging in competitive victimhood (as I discuss in a recent article), it is “Sanderson and MacDonald [who] envision themselves as the ultimate victims … since they have found themselves ostracized from mainstream academia.” In all of the writing I have done for The Occidental Observer going back over a decade I have never described or presented myself as a victim.

Naumann concludes his review in the same vein in which he starts it — eschewing rational arguments in favor of baseless speculation about the mental health of yours truly and Professor MacDonald: “It does not take a trained psychiatrist to determine that the biased and racist rants of most white supremacists are the product of an innate psychiatric disorder, one that causes them to hate all people who are not like them.” Naumann’s total reliance on these kind of personal attacks reminds one of how little things have changed since the nineteenth century when Richard Wagner was declared to be suffering from a psychiatric disorder for daring to criticize Jewish influence. No doubt Naumann would lump Wagner in with his “many notable psychotics in history” whose criticisms of Jews he attributes to psychopathology. In the final analysis, none of this name-calling amounts to actual arguments, and only serves to highlight the weakness of his position.

Brenton Sanderson is the author of Battle Lines: Essays on Western Culture, Jewish Influence and Anti-Semitism, banned by Amazon, but available here.

[1] Irina Livezeanu, “From Dada to Gaga: The Peripatetic Romanian Avant-Garde Confronts Communism,” Mihai Dinu Gheorghiu & Lucia Dragomir (Eds.), Littératures et pouvoir symbolique (Bucharest: Paralela 45, 2005), 245-6.

[2] Bernard Blisténe, A History of Twentieth Century Art (Paris: Fammarion, 2001), 62.

[3] Dawn Ades, “Dada and Surrealism,” David Britt (Ed.) Modern Art – Impressionism to Post-Modernism, (London, Thames & Hudson, 1974), 222.

[4] Robert Short, Dada and Surrealism (London: Laurence King Publishing, 1994), 42.

[5] Daffyd Jones, Dada 1916 in Theory: Practices of Critical Resistance (Liverpool University Press, 2014), 176.

[6] Helen Rappaport, Conspirator: Lenin in Exile (Basic Books; 2012), 256.

[7] Jacques Derrida, “Circumfession,” In Jacques Derrida, Ed. G. Bennington & Jacques Derrida, Trans. G. Bennington (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 170.

[8] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth‑Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Bloomington, IN: 1stbooks Library, 2001), 198.

[9] Derrida, “Circumfession,” op. cit., 58)

[10] Jacques Derrida, Points… Interviews, 1974-1994, Trans. P. Kamuf et al (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995), 120–21.

[11] J.D. Caputo, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1997), 231–2.

[12] Matthew Biro, The Dada Cyborg: Visions of the New Human in Weimar Berlin, (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 154.

[13] Hockensmith, “Artists’ Biographies,” Leah Dickerman (Ed.) Dada (Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, 2005), 482.

[14] Robert J. Wicks, Modern French Philosophy: From Existentialism to Postmodernism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2007), 11.

[15] Mark A. Pegrum, Challenging Modernity: Dada between Modern and Postmodern (New York: Berghahn Books, 2000), 269.

[16] Richard Sheppard, Modernism-Dada-Postmodernism (Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1999), 365.

[17] Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko, Toward the Light in the Chapel (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 2015), 90.

[18] Ibid., 88.

[19] Alain Rogier, “Jewish Artist Mark Rothko: An Outsider in Life and Death,”, April 26, 2016.

[20] Ibid., 212.

[21] Erika Doss, Twentieth-Century American Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 124.

[22] Ibid., 130-1.

[23] Doss, Twentieth-Century American Art, 128.

[24] MacDonald, Culture of Critique, 212.

[25] See: Lee Hall, Elaine and Bill: Portrait of a Marriage (HarperCollins, 1993).

Vampire Cartoons

Andrew Joyce’s recent essay (“On Jews and vampires”) features two notorious anti-Jewish cartoons from the National Socialist periodical “Der Stürmer.”  They were drawn by the talented cartoonist Philipp “Fips” Rupprecht, who produced hundreds of such images between 1925 and 1945.  Recently, a skilled digital artist named Robert Penman has recovered, restored, and colorized 200 such cartoons.  These are compiled in the new book Pan-Judah!, edited by myself (available at  Below are the colorized versions of two of the cartoons featured in Joyce’s article:

Penman has done a spectacular job; the colorized images are bright and vivid, and virtually leap off the page.  We can now view Fips’ cartoons as they have never been seen before.  Pan-Judah! is available in three formats: 6 x 9 paperback, 6 x 9 hardcover, and deluxe 8.5 x 11 hard cover coffee-table edition.  See the publisher’s website for purchase details.

On the True Meaning of Hate Speech

“A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.”
—Joseph Goebbels, diary (April 19, 1943)[1]

‘Hate’ is such an ugly word.  And such a juvenile word.  It calls to mind the stereotypical eight-year-old girl who screams “I hate you!” to her mother when she is not allowed to join the local sleep-over.  The word is most often used half-jokingly—“I hate the Yankees!”, “I hate broccoli!”, etc.—or to describe some detested task (“I hate cleaning the bathroom”).  Or it can be used for rhetorical effect.  But the use of the term in the context of ‘hate speech’ is silly, juvenile, and formally meaningless.  We may dislike someone or some group, or be repulsed by them, or wish to dissociate from them.  But to hate them?  Seriously—what mature individual today is willing to openly and earnestly say “I hate you” to anyone?  Only a highly insecure or severely distressed person would do such a thing.  It’s a sign of weakness.

And yet today, hate seems to be the ethos of the moment.  More specifically, we seem to be surrounded by talk of ‘hate speech’ in the mass media.  To judge by various headlines and liberal pundits, hate speech would appear to be among the greatest dangers of modern existence—on par with racism and “White supremacy,” and greater than political corruption, international terrorism, global pandemics, financial instability, environmental decline, overpopulation, or uncontrollable industrial technology.  Most European countries have legal prohibitions against various forms of hate speech, however ill-defined, as do Canada and Australia.  Even in the US there is increasing pressure to create legal sanction for some such concept, the First Amendment notwithstanding.

I take this whole topic very personally.  It’s no secret that I’ve written harshly against Jews and other minorities.  It’s no secret that I prefer living in a White community and a White nation.  I have no need to apologize for any of this.  And yet, for these very reasons, some people find it appropriate to call me a ‘hater’:  “Dalton hates the Jews”; “he hates Blacks,” “he hates Latinos,” etc., etc.  But I state here, for the record, that nothing is further from the truth.  I hate no one.  I may dislike certain people, I may find them malevolent and malicious, I may want them punished, and I may want to separate myself from them; but this does not mean that I hate them.  In this era of “hate crimes” and “hate speech laws,” this requires some explanation.

As usual, we should start by knowing what we are talking about.  What, exactly, is it to ‘hate’?  The word has ancient origins, deriving from the Indo-European kədes and Greek kedos.  Originally, and surprisingly, it meant simply ‘strong feelings’ in a neutral sense, rather than something negative.  In fact, the Old Irish word caiss includes both love and hate.  But the negative connotation emerged with the Germanic khatis (later, hass), the Dutch haat, and eventually became ingrained in the English ‘hate.’

The standard dictionary definition typically runs something like this:  “intense or extreme dislike, aversion, or hostility” toward someone or something.  As such, the word is fairly innocuous; I can hate my job, hate asparagus, and even hate my boss.  But this is not at issue.  We are more concerned about hate as a mindset, and specifically as oriented toward classes of people, or increasingly, toward certain privileged ideologies.

But we immediately confront a major problem here:  Hate is a feeling, and feelings are indelibly subjective.  And anything that is completely subjective cannot be quantified in objective terms.  No one can say with certainty that “Dalton hates X.”  Only I can say, “I hate X,” precisely because it is my own feeling.  If there is one thing that I insist upon, it is complete sovereignty over my own feelings.  No one else will ever dictate how I feel about anything.

And even if I say “I hate X,” how does anyone else know that I really feel the hatred?  They don’t.  Maybe I’m being sarcastic.  Maybe I’m joking.  Maybe I’m just trying to cause a stir.  No one will ever know my actual feelings except me—precisely because they are my own.  No one will ever know if I am expressing “real” hatred, or just pretending.  (Does that even matter?)

The point here is that hatred, because it vanishes into a subjective void that is utterly inaccessible to others, can never be quantified or objectified, and thus can never be the basis for legal enforcement—at least, not in any rational sense.  Therefore, the corresponding concept of ‘hate speech,’ viewed as the expression of hatred, likewise melts into thin air.  It is, technically, an incoherent concept when put forth as a basis for law.  This fact, of course, does not stop corrupt lawmakers around the globe from trying to enforce it, though for very different reasons, as I will explain.

So, let’s take a look at how some attempt to define the indefinable.  Here is one interesting definition from the Cambridge Dictionary:  hate speech is

public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence toward a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation (= the fact of being gay, etc.)

This is a hugely problematic definition, on several grounds.  First, how public is ‘public’?  If I tell my neighbor, is that public?  If I publish something in a private chat room, is that public?  What if I mumble something aloud to a friend while in a shopping mall?  Am I responsible if a private email to a colleague gets reposted online?  And so on.

Second:  it involves the “expression of hate,” or “encouragement of violence.”  These are two vastly different things.  ‘Expression of hate’ is, as I said, functionally meaningless.  What, exactly, does it take for something to qualify as an “expression of hate”?  Presumably if I say “I hate X,” that counts.  But what else?  Does “I really, really, really dislike X” count?  Does “I’d like to see X die” count?  What about “I’d like to see X get very ill”?  Does “X is a total scumbag” count?  We can see the problems.  Incitement to violence is somewhat less ambiguous, but still problematic.  Who, for example, is to judge ‘encouragement’?  This is another highly subjective term.  And how much violence is necessary to qualify?  Is a good shove violent?  A pie in the face?  Tripping someone?  Is ‘emotional distress’ violence?  What about financial loss?

Third, we notice that it’s not violence per se, but rather violence “based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”  This is very odd.  What does the phrase “something such as” mean here?  The qualifiers mentioned are usually assumed to be intrinsic to the person or group (race, gender)—except that religion, and even sexual orientation, can be changed at the drop of a hat.  Therefore, the qualities need not be intrinsic.  So what, exactly, is this mysterious criteria, this “something such as,” that is so crucial for the whole concept?

The point here is that the whole notion of ‘hate speech,’ like hate itself, dissolves into a subjective void.  In objective terms, it is virtually meaningless.  How, then, can be it be subject to the force of law?

The UN Takes a Shot

As if they don’t have enough on their plate already, the United Nations is now highly distressed by the spread of hate speech around the world.  Recently, in May 2019, they issued a short statement called “Strategy and plan of action on hate speech.”  It included this observation:

There is no international legal definition of hate speech, and the characterization of what is ‘hateful’ is controversial and disputed.  In the context of this document, the term ‘hate speech’ is understood as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are—in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.  This is often rooted in, and generates, intolerance and hatred and, in certain contexts, can be demeaning and divisive.

The key phrases here:  “controversial and disputed” (obviously), “any kind of communication” (very broad), “pejorative or discriminatory language” (highly subjective and undefined), and “on the basis of who they are” (mostly intrinsic factors, except for nationality and religion, and possibly “other identity factors”).  And then we read the subsequent explanatory paragraph:

Rather than prohibiting hate speech as such, international law prohibits the incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence (referred to here as ‘incitement’).  Incitement is a very dangerous form of speech, because it explicitly and deliberately aims at triggering discrimination, hostility and violence, which may also lead to or include terrorism or atrocity crimes.  Hate speech that does not reach the threshold of incitement is not something that international law requires States to prohibit.

So, hate speech per se is not to be prohibited, but rather only a special kind of hate speech—“inciteful (to violence) hate speech.”  In other words, only the worst of the worst, apparently.  Clarification and elaboration would soon follow.

Also, the Foreword to the statement reveals something of the deeper motives at work here.  We find, in the opening paragraph, references to “anti-Semitism,” “neo-Nazis,” and the dreaded “White supremacy.”  Strange how we inevitably find such terms in any discussion of hate speech; more on this below.

Evidently dissatisfied with this short statement, the UN issued a 52-page “detailed guidance” report, under the same name, in September 2020.  Here they establish three levels of hate speech:  1) the worst kind: “direct and public incitement to violence” (including to genocide), 2) a grey zone of hate speech to be prohibited based on “legitimate aims” and only as “necessary and proportionate”, and 3) an unrestricted and lawful form that may still be “offensive, shocking, or disturbing.”  Level One (“Incitement”) hate speech in turn is based on, and determined by, six conditions:

  • 1) social and political context
  • 2) status of the speaker (!)
  • 3) intention of the speaker (!)
  • 4) form and content of the speech
  • 5) extent of dissemination
  • 6) likelihood of harm

Level One Hate must satisfy all six criteria, meaning (presumably): a sensitive time or social context, an influential or important speaker, bad intent, provocative style, widely disseminated, and with reasonable probability of harm.  Again, all six are required, for Level One status.  Levels Two and Three may meet some, or none, of these.  The six criteria are elaborated on pages 17 and 18 of the report.

Later in the document we find an interesting admission:  “The terms ‘hatred’ and ‘hostility’ should be understood to refer to intense and irrational emotions of opprobrium, enmity, and detestation towards the target group” (p. 13).  This is actually quite a relief; any opposition to Jews or other minorities, if rational and non-emotional (e.g., fact-based) cannot count as hate speech!  Therefore, writings by scholars, academics, or other serious researchers, who build a case based on facts, history, and plausible inference, are under no circumstances engaging in hate speech.  This is a huge loophole that somehow slipped past the ideological censors, one which we should be able to use to our advantage.

We (some of us, at least) get further relief on the following page, where we read that Level Three (allowable) Hate includes not only “expression that is offensive, shocking, or disturbing” but also covers “denial of historical events, including crimes of genocide or crimes against humanity.”  As the UN sees it, so-called Holocaust denial is permissible, or at least non-punishable, hate speech.[2]  And in Figure 4 they go further still, stating that Level Three hate “must be PROTECTED” as a form of free expression.  This is a remarkable concession.  Ah, but there’s a catch:  “unless such forms of expression also constitute incitement to hostility, discrimination, or violence under article 20 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”  This document, written in 1966 and made effective in 1976, includes these words under article 20:  “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”  So it would seem that, for example, Holocaust “denial” (whatever that means) is not prohibited as long as it avoids any connection to “incitement” of any kind.  Presumably discussing it as a historical subject is fine; just don’t implicate anyone today who promotes, exploits, or profits from the conventional Holocaust story.

“It’s always about the Jews!”

So, let’s get down to the rub.  I have a tentative hypothesis that I am willing to put forward:  Hate speech is by, for, and about Jews.  (Oops—is that hate speech?)  That is, that hate speech laws have been invented and promoted by Jews, primarily for their benefit.  I further hold that Jews are the master-class haters in world history, and that they understand the power of hatred better than any other people.  They have furthermore learned how to project their hatred onto others in service of their own ends, including by trickery and deception.  Let me marshal whatever evidence I can, mostly implicit, to build a case for this hypothesis.

Start with a little history of Jews and hatred.  Perhaps the first explicit connection came way back in 300 BC, in a short writing by Hecateus of Abdera titled “On the Jews.”  Only two fragments remain, one of which is relevant:  As a result of the Exodus, “Moses introduced a way of life which was, to a certain extent, misanthropic (apanthropon) and hostile to foreigners”.[3]  It is striking that, even at that early date, the Jews had a reputation for misanthropy—a hatred of humanity.  The same theme recurs in 134 BC, when King Antiochus VII was advised “to destroy the Jews, for they alone among all peoples refused all relations with other races, and saw everyone as their enemy.”  The king’s counselor cited “the Jews’ hatred of all mankind, sanctioned by their very laws.”[4]  Not only was their hatred notable, so too was the fact that it was “they alone, among all peoples”; the Jews were exceptional haters, it seems.

It is worth further expanding on the idea that Jewish hatred is “sanctioned by their very laws”—by which they mean, the Old Testament.  We know, of course, that the Jews viewed themselves as “chosen” by the creator of the universe:  “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth” (Deut 7:6).  Clearly, then, everyone else is second-best.  We also know that God supposedly gave the Jews a kind of dominion over the other nations of the Earth.  The Book of Exodus states, “we [Jews] are distinct…from all other people that are upon the face of the earth” (33:16).  Similarly, the Hebrew tribe is “a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations” (Num 23:9).  In Deuteronomy (15:6), Moses tells the Jews “you shall rule over many nations”; “they shall be afraid of you” (28:10).  There is Genesis:  “Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you” (27:29); or Deuteronomy, where God promises Jews “houses full of all good things, which [they] did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which [they] did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which [they] did not plant” (6:11).  And outside the Pentateuch, we can read in Isaiah:  “Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you…that men may bring you the wealth of the nations” (60:10–11); or again, “aliens shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers…you shall eat the wealth of the nations” (61:5–6).  What is this but explicit misanthropy, sanctioned by God, and sustained “by their very laws”?

Around 50 BC, Diodorus Siculus wrote Historical Library where, in the course of discussing the Exodus, he observes that “the nation of Jews had made their hatred of mankind into a tradition” (34,1).  A few decades later, Lysimachus remarked that the Hebrew tribe was instructed by Moses “to show good will to no man” and to offer only “the worse advice” to others.  And in the early years of the Christian era, the writer Apion commented on the Jewish tendency “to show no goodwill to a single alien, above all to Greeks.”[5]  Again, repeated observations of Jewish hatred toward Gentile humanity.

The most insightful ancient critique, though, comes from Roman historian Tacitus.  His works Histories (100 AD) and Annals (115 AD) both record highly damning observations on the Hebrew tribe.  In the former, the Jews are described as “a race of men hateful to the gods” (genus hominum invisium deis, V.3).  Somewhat later, he remarks that “the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity” (hostile odium, V.5).  But his most famous line comes from his later work, Annals.  There he examines the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, and Nero’s reaction to it.  Nero, says Tacitus, pinned the blame in part on the Christians and Jews—“a class of men loathed for their vices.”  The Jews “were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race” (odio humani generis, XV.44).  Clearly this was the decisive factor, certainly in Tacitus’ eyes and perhaps in all of Rome:  that the Jewish odio humani generis, hatred of humanity, was a sufficient crime to banish and even slay them.

I could go on, but the message is clear:  The ancient world viewed the Jews as exceptional haters.  I could also cite, for example, Philostratus circa 230 AD (“The Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against all humanity”) or Porphyry circa 280 AD (The Jews are “the impious enemies of all nations”)—but the point is made.

Importantly, this impression carried on for centuries in Europe, into the Renaissance, the Reformation, and even through to the present day.  Martin Luther’s monumental work On the Jews and Their Lies (1543) includes this passage:  “Now you can see what fine children of Abraham the Jews really are, how well they take after their father [the Devil], yes, what a fine people of God they are.  They boast before God of their physical birth and of the noble blood inherited from their fathers, despising all other people.”[6]  Two centuries later, circa 1745, Jean-Baptiste de Mirabaud wrote that “The Jews…were hated because they were known to hate other men.”[7]  And then we have Voltaire’s entry on “Jews” in his famous Philosophical Dictionary, which reads as follows:

It is certain that the Jewish nation is the most singular that the world has ever seen, and…in a political view, the most contemptible of all. …  It is commonly said that the abhorrence in which the Jews held other nations proceeded from their horror of idolatry; but it is much more likely that the manner in which they, at the first, exterminated some of the tribes of Canaan, and the hatred which the neighboring nations conceived for them, were the cause of this invincible aversion.  As they knew no nations but their neighbors, they thought that, in abhorring them, they detested the whole earth, and thus accustomed themselves to be the enemies of all men. …  In short, we find in them only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.[8]

British historian Edward Gibbon stated the following in his classic work of 1788, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

The Jews…emerged from obscurity…and multiplied to a surprising degree. …  The sullen obstinacy with which they maintained their peculiar rites and unsocial manners seemed to mark them out a distinct species of men, who boldly professed, or who faintly disguised, their implacable hatred to the rest of human-kind.[9]

A similar observation came from the pen of German philosopher Johann Fichte in 1793:

Throughout almost all the countries of Europe, a mighty hostile state is spreading that is at perpetual war with all other states, and in many of them imposes fearful burdens on the citizens: it is the Jews.  I don’t think, as I hope to show subsequently, that this state is fearful—not because it forms a separate and solidly united state, but because this state is founded on the hatred of the whole human race…[10]

Who, then, are the master haters in all of history?

Particularly striking are the words of Nietzsche.  A long series of negative comments on the Jews began in 1881 with his book Daybreak, where he observes in passing (sec. 377) that “The command ‘love your enemies’ had to be invented by the Jews, the best haters there have ever been.”  So it would seem that the Jews are truly best at something after all: hatred.  Then in The Gay Science (1882), Nietzsche sarcastically notes that the Jews are indeed ‘chosen’ people, precisely because “they had a more profound contempt for the human being in themselves than any other people” (sec. 136).

But the most stunning discourse appears in Nietzsche’s work of 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals, where he offers a detailed analysis of hatred from the Judeo-Christian perspective.  In short, Jewish hatred is manifested most visibly in their rabbis, religious men, and their priests.  Sanctioned by God, priestly hate is the deepest and most profound; it is the hatred of those without tangible power.  Jewish hatred then metastasized in Christianity, taking form as its nominal opposite, namely, love.  The First Essay is a masterpiece of literature and philosophy; I quote it at length:

As is well known, priests are the most evil of enemies—but why?  Because they are the most powerless.  From their powerlessness, their hate grows among them into something huge and terrifying, to the most spiritual and most poisonous manifestations.  The really great haters in world history and the most spiritual haters have always been priests—in comparison with the spirit of priestly revenge, all the remaining spirits are generally hardly worth considering.

Let us quickly consider the greatest example.  Everything on earth which has been done against “the noble,” “the powerful,” “the masters,” “the rulers” is not worth mentioning in comparison with what the Jews have done against them: the Jews, that priestly people, who knew how to get final satisfaction from their enemies and conquerors through a radical transformation of their values, that is, through an act of the most spiritual revenge.  This was appropriate only to a priestly people with the most deeply repressed priestly desire for revenge.  In opposition to the aristocratic value equations (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = fortunate = loved by god), the Jews, with an awe-inspiring consistency, dared to reverse things and to hang on to that with the teeth of the most profound hatred (the hatred of the powerless)…  (sec. 7)

But you fail to understand that?  You have no eye for something that needed two millennia to emerge victorious? … That’s nothing to wonder at: all lengthy things are hard to see, to assess.  However, that’s what took place: out of the trunk of that tree of vengeance and hatred, Jewish hatred—the deepest and most sublime hatred, that is, a hatred which creates ideals and transforms values, something whose like has never existed on earth—from that grew something just as incomparable, a new love, the deepest and most sublime of all the forms of love: —from what other trunk could it have grown?

However, one should not assume that this love arose essentially as the denial of that thirst for vengeance, as the opposite of Jewish hatred!  No: the reverse is the truth!  This love grew out of that hatred, as its crown, as the victorious crown unfolding itself wider and wider in the purest brightness and sunshine, which, so to speak, was seeking for the kingdom of light and height, the goal of that hate, aiming for victory, trophies, seduction, with the same urgency with which the roots of that hatred were sinking down ever deeper and more greedily into everything that was evil and possessed depth.  This Jesus of Nazareth, the living evangelist of love, the “Saviour” bringing holiness and victory to the poor, to the sick, to the sinners—was he not that very seduction in its most terrible and most irresistible form, the seduction and detour to exactly those Jewish values and innovations in ideals?  (sec. 8)

On this view, Christian ‘love’ grows out of Jewish ‘hate,’ like the crown of the tree from its roots.  The Jews (and Paul specifically), the master haters, purveyors of the “deepest and most sublime hatred” that has ever existed, created the idea of a saviour who loves everyone.  They did so as cover for their hatred of humanity, and as an enticement into their Jewish-inspired worldview—one of a Jewish man-god (Jesus), of Jehovah the Almighty, of heaven and hell.  These destructive and nihilistic “values and innovations” could only be foisted upon a humanity that was detested.  Christianity was thus the greatest manifestation of Jewish hatred ever conceived.

Nietzsche summarizes his thesis concisely in section 16:

In Rome the Jew was considered “guilty of hatred against the entire human race.”  And that view was correct, to the extent that we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values.

The nihilistic Christian values—based on a mythical God and an unknowable and perhaps nonexistent future life—managed to undermine and ultimately displace the superior Greco-Roman values that had flourished for 800 years and created the foundation of all of Western civilization.  Only an overthrow of Judeo-Christianity and a return to classic, aristocratic values can save humanity at this point.  The quoted passage refers, of course, to Tacitus.

We can’t leave the Genealogy without brief mention of a fascinating and humorous allegory on hatred that Nietzsche offers in section 13.  There he compares the situation between lowly (Judeo-Christian) haters and the strong and noble (Roman) aristocrats to the opposition that might exist between baby lambs and some nasty predator (Raubvogel), like an eagle.  The lambs are innocently and peacefully munching grass in a field, but live in constant fear of a predator who may, at any time, swoop in and snatch them up.  The weak lambs are haters; they hate those birds of prey.  But the noble eagles don’t hate at all.  Nietzsche explains:

But let’s come back: the problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has imagined it for himself, demands its own conclusion.  —That the lambs are upset about the great predatory birds is not a strange thing, and the fact that they snatch away small lambs provides no reason for holding anything against these large birds of prey.  And if the lambs say among themselves, “These predatory birds are evil, and whoever is least like a predatory bird, especially anyone who is like its opposite, a lamb—shouldn’t that animal be good?” there is nothing to find fault with in this setting-up of an ideal, except for the fact that the birds of prey might look down on them with a little mockery and perhaps say to themselves, “We are not at all annoyed with these good lambs.  We even love them.  Nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.”

The noble don’t hate; they rule and dominate.  Only the weak hate.  The weak haters furthermore seek to portray the strong and noble in the harshest possible terms: “evil,” “killers,” “sinners.”  But this is ludicrous, of course.  The strong are just doing what is appropriate to their nature.  The haters might then try to confuse the strong, to guilt them into changing their behavior, to get them to become ‘weak’ and ‘good’ like the haters themselves.  But this would be the death of them, just as a life of munching grass—so pleasant for a lamb—would mean death for an eagle.  Nietzsche emphasizes this very point:

[I]t’s no wonder that the repressed, secretly smouldering feelings of rage and hate use this belief for themselves, and basically even maintain a faith in nothing more fervently than in the idea that the strong are free to be weak and that predatory birds are free to be lambs: —in so doing, they arrogate to themselves the right to blame the birds of prey for being birds of prey.

Today, weak and lowly haters—Jews, Jewish-inspired Christians, and Jewish lackeys in the media—have been working hard to convince the strong and noble that they are bad, evil, bigoted, racist, and supremacist.  And to the extent that they have succeeded, it has been the death of noble humanity.  We must resist this tendency with all our might.

Hate Speech in the Twentieth Century

With growing wealth and financial clout, and with a 2,000-year history of skill in hatred under their belts, organized Jewry began to press the case for legal sanctions against their opponents.  With the flood of Jewish immigrants around the turn of the century, it is perhaps not surprising that Jewish legal advocacy took hold in the US.  In the first two decades, a number of major pro-Jewish groups emerged, including the American Jewish Committee (1906), the Anti-Defamation League (1913), the American Jewish Congress (1918), and the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).  All these groups were de facto anti-hate speech advocates, even if the federal legal apparatus did not really exist at that point.  Their focus was on so-called “group libel,” a novel legal concept that was formulated specifically to benefit Jewish interests.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Jews were making better legal progress in the proto-Soviet Union.  The rise of Jewish Bolsheviks from around 1900, including Leon Trotsky and the quarter-Jewish Vladimir Lenin, brought a new concern with anti-Semitism to the Russian Empire.  When they took power in the February Revolution of 1917, they immediately set to work to make life better for Russian Jews.  Pinkus (1990) explains that these Bolsheviks “issued a decree annulling all legal restrictions on Jews” in March 1917.[11]  He adds that, unsurprisingly, “Even before the October [1917] Revolution, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party were hostile to anti-Semitism.  Lenin castigated it in the strongest terms on a number of occasions.”  As soon as July 1918, the Soviet Council issued a decree (though without legal enforcement) stating that “the anti-Semitic movement and the anti-Jewish pogroms are a deadly menace to the Revolution”; all Soviet workers are called upon “to fight this plague with all possible means”.[12]  Lenin himself continued to press his pro-Jewish propaganda; in one short but notable speech of March 1919, he said:

Anti-Semitism means spreading enmity towards the Jews.  When the accursed Czarist monarchy was living its last days, it tried to incite ignorant workers and peasants against the Jews.  The Czarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organized pogroms against the Jews.  The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. … Only the most ignorant and downtrodden people can believe the lies and slander that are spread about the Jews.  This is a survival of ancient feudal times, when the priests burned heretics at the stake, when the peasants lived in slavery, and when the people were crushed and inarticulate.  This ancient, feudal ignorance is passing away; the eyes of the people are being opened.

It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people.  The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries.  Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority.  They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. … Shame on accursed Czarism which tortured and persecuted the Jews.  Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations.

As (non-Jew) Joseph Stalin rose to power in the 1920s, he found it expedient to continue working with the Soviet Jews and generally defended their status.  Consequently, that decade became a sort of ‘golden age’ for Jews; it saw the emergence of the likes of Lazar Kaganovich, Yakov Sverdlov, Lev Kamenev, Karl Radek, Leonid Krasin, Filipp Goloshchekin, and Yakov Agranov—all high-ranking Jews in the Soviet hierarchy.[13]  Partly because of this governmental dominance, anti-Semitism among the Russian masses continued to percolate.  Eventually, “in 1927, a decision was reached to take drastic steps to repress anti-Semitism.”[14]  Various forms of propaganda were employed, including books, pamphlets, plays, and films; the process culminated in harsh legal action against anti-Jewish hate, up to and including the death penalty.  Stalin confirmed this in writing in 1931:

Anti-Semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism.  Anti-Semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle.  Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-Semitism.  In the USSR, anti-Semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system.  Under USSR law, active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty.

The Jewish Golden Age in the Soviet Union lasted until the late 1930s, when Stalin inaugurated a retrenchment of Jewish power, apparently in response to the National Socialist stance.[15]

But the Soviet (and Bolshevik) philo-Semitic policies of the 1920s and 1930s were not lost on Hitler.  He and Goebbels were relentless, and justified, in their critiques of “Jewish Bolshevism” as a dominant threat to Germany and Europe.  Goebbels in particular noted the growing push for ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’ laws in defense of Jews in both the USSR and the UK; for him, this was proof of (a) a deep-seated and imminent mass uprising against the Jews, and (b) an over-playing of their legal authority.  Anti-hate laws are a sign of desperation; they indicate that the end-game is near.  In a revealing diary entry of 19 April 1943, Goebbels writes:

The Jews in England are now calling for legal protection against anti-Semitism.  We know that from our own past, in the times of struggle.  But even that didn’t give them much advantage.  We’ve always understood how to find gaps in these protective laws; and moreover, anti-Semitism, once it rises from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by law.  A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.  We will make sure that anti-Semitism in England does not cool down.  In any case, a longer-lasting war is the best breeding ground for it.[16]

The following month, in his published essay “The War and the Jews,” Goebbels commented on the legal situation in the USSR—the very law that Stalin described above, and that was still in force some 13 years later:

We constantly hear news that anti-Semitism is increasing in enemy nations.  The charges being made against the Jews are well-known; they are the same ones that were made here.  Anti-Semitism in enemy nations is not the result of anti-Semitic propaganda, since Jewry fights that strongly.  In the Soviet Union, it receives the death penalty.[17]

The status of anti-Semitic hate speech laws was of importance to Goebbels right to the very end.  In his last major essay, “Creators of the World’s Misfortunes” (1945), he reiterated the significance of the Soviet law:

Capitalism and Bolshevism have the same Jewish roots—two branches of the same tree that in the end bear the same fruit.  International Jewry uses both in its own way to suppress nations and keep them in its service.  How deep its influence on public opinion is in all the enemy countries and many neutral nations is plain to see: it may never be mentioned in newspapers, speeches, and radio broadcasts.

There’s a law in the Soviet Union that punishes ‘anti-Semitism’—or in plain English, public education about the Jewish Question—by death.  Any expert in these matters is in no way surprised that a leading spokesman for the Kremlin said over the New Year that the Soviet Union would not rest until this law was valid throughout the world.  In other words, the enemy clearly says that its goal in this war is to put the total domination of Jewry over the nations of the Earth under legal protection, and to use the death penalty to threaten even a discussion of this shameful attempt.  It is little different in the plutocratic [Western] nations.

Even at the bitter end, this theme still impressed Goebbels.  In one of his final diary entries, he wrote:

The Jews have already registered for the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans].  It is characteristic that their main demand is to ban anti-Semitism throughout the world.  Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the Jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.[18]

And indeed, they have succeeded, at least in part.  The postwar German Volksverhetzung and the Austrian Verbotsgesetz both stand as among the most embarrassing legal capitulations to Jewish interests in the Western world.

Thus we clearly see the origins of hate speech legislation in the twentieth century: it was first constructed by Jews and their sycophants (like Stalin), both in the US and in the Soviet Union, to quell any looming opposition to their power structure.  So intent were they on stifling objection to Jewish rule that they were willing to kill those who opposed them.

To the Present Day

With the growing dominance of Jewish influence in American government over the past five decades, and ongoing influence in Europe, calls to restrict and punish any anti-Jewish commentary via hate speech laws have become ever more strident.  The U.S. government—or at least the Republicans—have so far mostly resisted such efforts, but social media has come around to the philosemitic stance.  Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube, have all taken it upon themselves to censor hate speech, especially of the anti-Semitic variety.  Google has altered its search algorithms to de-rank offensive and “hate” sites.  All this is perfectly understandable, given the huge Jewish presence atop Big Tech; we need only mention Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Larry Page, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Sheryl Sandberg, Safra Katz, Susan Wojcicki, Steve Ballmer, Brian Roberts, Marc Benioff, Craig Newmark, and Jeff Weiner, for starters.

Parallel to Big Tech censorship, Jewish advocacy groups like the SPLC and the ADL continue to press civil cases against those ‘haters’ who they believe have violated the rights or reputation of some aggrieved party.  The SPLC has a section of its website dedicated to “anti-Semitism and hate speech,” and the ADL—well, that’s their raison d’etre.  Third-party lawsuits and tech censorship serve the purpose of implementing de facto pro-Jewish hate speech policies, at least within the U.S.


But to come full circle:  I began this piece with a discussion about the logical vagueness and incoherence of the concept of hate speech.  Clearly, though, many powerful, Jewish-inspired corporations and politicians find the concept useful.  For them, in the most basic and practical terms, it becomes quite simple:  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.  Yes, they may claim to hate anti-Muslim speech or anti-Black speech, but this is so only because it is a necessary corollary to anti-Jewish hate speech.  The Jews are not so stupid today as to push for uniquely Jewish, “anti-anti-Semitism” laws; those are a thing of the past.  Today, such laws require cover language that, at least in theory, includes other “oppressed” groups.  Jews and their defenders must appear universal and fair—when in reality most seem to have utter contempt for virtually all non-Jewish groups (there’s that “hatred of humanity” again).  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.

Consider:  If you hate what I say, who’s the hater?  It’s you, not me.  The fact that you may not like what I’m saying does not make me a hater.  It makes you the hater.  And if you happen to be a champion, master-class, world-historical hater, well then—it’s all hate to you.

Thomas Dalton, PhD, has authored or edited several books and articles on politics, history, and religion, with a special focus on National Socialism in Germany.  His works include a new translation series of Mein Kampf, and the books Eternal Strangers (2020), The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019), and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020), all available at  For all his writings, see his personal website

[1] Reprinted in Goebbels on the Jews (2019; T. Dalton, ed), p. 199.  This and most other books cited below are available at

[2] For the record, I am no denier.  I believe that there was a Holocaust of the mid-20th century:  it was called World War Two, and some 60 million people died as a result of Jewish-instigated actions both here and in Europe.  Jewish fatalities seem to have numbered around 500,000, according to the major revisionists.  For more on these issues, see my books The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019) and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020).

[3] Eternal Strangers (2020; T. Dalton, ed), p. 16.

[4] Emilio Gabba, “The growth of anti-Judaism,” in The Cambridge History of Judaism (vol. 2, 1984; Cambridge University Press), p. 645.

[5] Eternal Strangers, pp. 19, 21, and 25, respectively.

[6] On the Jews and Their Lies (2020, T. Dalton, ed; Clemens & Blair), p. 53.

[7] Eternal Strangers, p. 68.

[8] Eternal Strangers, pp. 70-71.

[9] The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1788/1974, vol. 2; AMS Press), p. 3.  See also Eternal Strangers, p. 59.

[10] Eternal Strangers, p. 78.

[11] Benjamin Pinkus, The Jews of the Soviet Union (1990; Cambridge University Press), p. 84.

[12] In Pinkus, p. 85.

[13] The parallels to the Biden regime are striking; see my recent piece “Confronting the Judeocracy.”

[14] Pinkus, p. 86.

[15] Postwar, Stalin’s purging of high-ranking Jews accelerated, resulting in a decade-long period of virtual state-sponsored anti-Semitism, ending only with Stalin’s death in 1953.

[16] Goebbels on the Jews, p. 199.

[17] Ibid., pp. 206-207.

[18] 4 April 1945, in Goebbels on the Jews, p. 255.

Namatianus and the Sullen Jew

For a sullen Jew was guardian of the spot,
An animal that spurns at sound human food.
He charges our bill for the bushes disturbed, the sea weed,
Struck with our sticks, and clamours that his loss
Is grievous in the water that we drink.
We fling fit answer to the filthy race,
That upholds shameless circumcision —
They are a height of stupidity; cold sabbaths charm their heart;
And yet their heart is even colder than their creed,
Each seventh day to shameful sloth’s condemned,
An effeminate picture of a wearied god!
Their other wild fancies from a bazaar of lies
Not even a child in their sleep would believe.
Would that Judea ne’er had been subdued,
By Pompey’s wars and under Titus’ sway!
The plague’s contagion all the wider spreads;
The conquered presses on the conquering race.

From On His Return, by Rutilius Claudius Namatianus, 416 A.D.

I recently devoted some time to reading the entirety of Saint John Chrysostom’s eight homilies on the Jews, an experience I’m not inclined to recommend to anyone seeking a clinical exploration of Jewish influence. The homilies are masterworks of rhetoric and invective, but, like many pre-Enlightenment texts tackling problematic Jewish behavior, they are overwhelmingly dominated by Christian theology, and empirical analysis of the socio-economic relationship between Jews and Europeans is only hinted at. It would be redundant for me to labor these points here since the best exploration of Chrysostom’s hints and allusions to Jewish socio-economic misbehavior can be found in Kevin MacDonald’s Separation and Its Discontents (pp.95-97, 116-118 in paperback), and in a 2015 TOO post by MacDonald that in turn reflects on an interesting article by Roger Pearse, a scholar of Christianity. I was, however, prompted by my reading of Chrysostom to search for ancient writers that did offer the kind of analysis or critique that met my expectations, and that hadn’t already been covered by MacDonald’s treatment of late Roman anti-Semitism in Separation and Its Discontents (pp. 109-139 in the paperback version)—at a time when anti-Jewish writing emphasized Jews enslaving Christians; and accusations of Jewish greed, wealth, love of luxury and of the pleasures of the table became common. I was also keen to move beyond some of the more familiar figures of the ancient world to whom anti-Jewish remarks have been attributed: Cicero, Seneca, Tacitus, Horace, Quintilian, Dio Cassius, Celsus, Plutarch, and Strabo. It was while reading “Cultivated Pagans and Ancient Antisemitism,”[1] a 1939 article from The Journal of Religion, that I finally encountered a substantial reference to the remarkable piece of poetry opening this essay. What follows is an effort to analyze the poem and place it in historical and cultural context.

Rutilius Claudius Namatianius was a high Roman functionary, aristocrat, and Imperial poet. He was a native of southern Gaul, having his origins somewhere near modern Toulouse. His long Imperial career saw him occupy influential roles at a time when Rome was in chaos, and Namatianus claimed to have personally witnessed the final sack of Rome in 410 and its aftermath. Around the year 415, Namatianus undertook a voyage home to Gaul, later penning a kind of travel memoir in epic poetic form titled On His Return. The poem, of which only the initial third has survived, offers unique insight into a period not normally associated with literary treasures (the early ‘Dark Ages’), as well as a singular example of late Pagan lament on civilizational decline and the characteristics and growing influence of the Jews.

The episode opening this essay occurs during Rutilius’s trip, after he passed the island of Elba and landed at the port of Falesia Portus. I have been unable to determine precisely where on a modern map this would be, but I assume it’s somewhere between modern Piombino and Livorno. At Falesia Portus, Rutilius and his travelling companions watched celebrations organized for the god Osiris, before exploring and enjoying their surroundings:

Landing, we seek the town and roam the wood;
The ponds delight us, sweet, with shoals begirt,
The waters, spread within the enclosed flood,
Allow the sportive fish amid the pools,
To dart and play.

This peaceful commune with nature offers some reprieve from the omnipresent signs of social and political collapse. Problems begin, however, when the group arrive at their lodgings, a villa and gardens whose conductor (the middleman who administrated the inn and its domain) is a Jew.

But he who leased the spot,
A harsher landlord than Antiphates,
Made this reposeful loveliness pay dear.

Antiphates, of course, was the king of the Laestrygonians, described in Homer’s Odyssey as a race of giants known for devouring foreigners. The comparison with Antiphates sets the stage for Namatianus’s poetic reflections on the misanthropic, anti-social, and exploitative nature of the Jews, both in the personal interaction with the Jewish innkeeper, and in the much broader clash between Jews and the late Roman Empire. It’s worth recalling that it was unusual for Jews to be found so far north in Italy during the 400s, because, in a preference that has remained almost constant to the present, Jews tended to cluster around seats of government and commerce. In the Italy of the 400s, this meant Jewish concentration around Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileia. More predictably, it’s notable that this Jew is not a rustic farmer, soldier, or craftsman, but a middleman.

The standard narrative of most apologetic histories of the Jews will earnestly feed readers the fairytale that Jews were sons of the soil, much like any other people, until Christians persecuted them, counter-productively it would seem, into powerful and exploitative financial positions. This is despite a clear record of evidence demonstrating that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded Christianity. Jews had settled among European host populations since ancient times, with the oldest communities located in the urban centers of the Mediterranean. A list of Jewish colonies in this area can be found in the First Book of Maccabees, and in the early Roman empire clusters of Jews could be found as far north as Lyon, Bonn and Cologne.[2] The economic nature of these communities was uniform, and similar to those in the East. Even prior to the Talmudic era, c.300–500 A.D., Jews had developed a strong interest and aptitude in commerce and banking and, from its beginning, Jewish involvement in these spheres was regarded by host populations as malevolent and exploitative. In one of the earliest examples, a papyrus from the first half of the first century B.C., a man named Heracles writes to a friend in Hellenistic Egypt about some associates who “detest the Jews.”[3] In another, dated to 41 A.D., an Alexandrian merchant warns a friend to “beware of the Jews.”[4] During the fourth century, Alexandria witnessed a number of anti-Jewish riots, almost all of them provoked by accusations of economic exploitation. Under Tiberius, several Jewish middlemen in Rome were discovered to have been misappropriating silver and gold, prompting the expulsion of 4000 Jews to Sardinia in 19 A.D.[5] In short, Namatianus’s Jewish innkeeper is not so much of an aberration as might first appear to those schooled only in mainstream apologetic scholarship.

It’s clear that Namatianus already has a pre-existing animus towards Jews, an aspect of his politics and worldview presumably shaped over decades as a Roman administrator. For Namatianus, this sullen innkeeper is primarily an anti-social “animal,” and a true example of his breed. Namatianus expresses no surprise at the character traits of the innkeeper, nor does he attempt to explain his complaints. He clearly expected his readers to understand and sympathize with what he has to say about Jews and Judaism. Namatianus rather nonchalantly sets the sullen Jew in the context of his tribe, pointing out before anything else that the innkeeper is part of an ethnically solipsistic race that sets itself apart even through diet by avoiding “sound human food” like seafood and pork (similar complaints were made by Juvenal in his Satires and Tacitus in his Histories). Roman hatred of Jewish separatism ran deep, with its origins at least as far back as Pompey’s siege of Jerusalem in 63 B.C. Jewish rebellion began almost immediately, and accelerated after the establishment of the province of Judea in 6 A.D. Roman officials were unanimous in attributing this rebellious behavior to Jewish ethnocentrism, the sense of Jewish uniqueness, and the Jewish belief that, as Tacitus expressed it, the East would be victorious and leaders from Judea would come to rule the world (Historiae, 5, 13: “ut valesceret Oriens profectique Iudeaea rerum potirentur”).

The sullen Jew encountered in Falesia Portus is money-driven. He “charges our bill for the bushes disturbed, the sea weed, Struck with our sticks, and clamours that his loss, Is grievous in the water that we drink.” Namatianus and his companions finish their enjoyment of the landscape only to find that their every move has been watched, and every broken branch accounted for. We might presume that this is a well-used process of exploitation for the innkeeper, regularly employed to milk ignorant travelers for more profits. Jews are thus not merely presented as a people apart, but unscrupulous, unreasonable, and untrustworthy in financial transactions of any type. In a scene almost comical, the Jewish innkeeper is so miserly and exploitative that he would even go so far as to demand money for water drunk from pools on his land, pleading that, by quenching their thirst, Namatianus and his men had caused him a “grievous” financial loss. Namatianus’s account of this stingy Jew, shamelessly hard in business, is a pointed rejoinder to those who claim that ‘tropes’ about Jewish financial misbehavior were a side-effect of the putatively accidental (!) entry of the Jews into highly lucrative moneylending niches during the Middle Ages.

Namatianus recounts that he responded to the innkeeper’s attempted exploitation with “fit answer to the filthy race,” by which we must assume that he responded with verbal abuse or aggression of some kind. The term “Jew” was itself a pejorative at the time, with even the Jewish Midrash containing a story about two Roman women who argue only to later reconcile apart from one outstanding issue — the insulted party could not forgive the other party for saying she “looked like a Jew” during the argument.[6] Roman aversion to Jewishness was such that both Vespasian and Titus refused to accept the honorific ‘Judaicus’ after having suppressed the great revolt and their victory in Judea (unlike the very willing traditional adoption of titles such as “Britannicus,” “Germanicus” and “Africanus”).

In popular Roman culture, two aspects of Jewish identity were singled out for particular scorn and derision — circumcision and the sabbath. As with diet, both were viewed as symbols of Jewish separatism, but both also included further strata of meaning. Namatianus’s use of the term gens obscena, “filthy race,” is directly connected with the remark on circumcision, and it’s likely that Namatianus responded to the innkeeper not only by referring to his Jewishness, but also with some kind of reference to circumcision and perversion. In the Roman mind, both were linked, and accusations of hyper-sexuality or perversion among Jews are common in the literature of the period. At the more comedic end of the scale, Juvenal chuckled at the strangeness of Jews who “worship the sky” and “by and by, shed their foreskins,” (Satires, 14.99), while at the more serious end there were accusations from figures like Tacitus that Jews were addicted to lust. Sexual slander of competing groups was of course extremely common on all sides during the period. The Jewish literature, for example, depicted Romans as addicted to pederasty, and gentiles in general as prone to bestiality. In this regard, Tractate Avodah Zarah 22b, an entire chapter of the Talmud dedicated to the subject, has some truly remarkable allegations, including the stunningly improbable account of a Rabbi who says he witnessed a gentile engage in bestiality with a goose before roasting and eating it, and the claim that “The animal of a Jew is more appealing to gentiles that their own wives.”

Namatianus’s comments on the sabbath are equally interesting. The allusion to the “chilly” nature of the sabbath, and coldness more generally in the first instance, is a likely reference to the then frequently mocked fact Jews could not light fires on that day. But Namatianus immediately reflects on something deeper in the Jewish personality, implying that this “cold” concept of a day of rest “charms their heart” because “their heart is even colder than their creed.” For Namatianus, there is something fundamentally cold, sterile, and inhuman about the Jews and their religion, something hinted at first in the exploitative approach of the Jewish innkeeper, but now expanded upon as a primary racial characteristic. The philosophical background influencing many Roman aristocratic groups, to which Namatianus belonged, included a respect for humanitas—the ability of men to be sociable. The coldness of Jews is found in their lack of humanitas, which was an essential structuring aspect of higher Roman society. Being incapable of humanitas, Jews were inevitably seen as being themselves disruptive and undesirable within a society they were not prepared to co-operate with but merely exploit. Such perspectives are remarkably similar to complaints made about the social behavior of Jews in the early twentieth century, as they entered and ascended the Western middle class, upsetting many social conventions in the process.

As well as “coldness,” the sabbath is also linked to the idea that Jews are given over to a “shameful sloth,” dictated by a god apparently lassatus or “wearied” and therefore, in a Roman culture where masculinity was linked to motion and action, irredeemably mollis or “effeminate.” When not engaged in active rebellion or sedition, one of the primary perceptions of Jews among the Romans was of a people prone to, as Tacitus put it (Historiae, 4, 3), “the charms of indolence.” That the brief interaction with the sullen innkeeper at Falesia Portus would prompt a reflection on the sabbath may indicate Namatianus’s opinion that the innkeeper was slothful. The complaint that Jews are unique in their apparent dedication to avoiding physical work has been common in anti-Jewish writing for almost 2000 years, and the linkage here is difficult to side-step. For Namatianus, the sullen Jew is cold and lazy, preferring, like a spider, the passive exploitation of those who fall into his web rather than the active earning of his own daily bread. In the Roman aristocratic worldview, such an approach to life is not only lacking in morality and human warmth, but is fundamentally effeminate.

It’s especially interesting that Namatianus implies that Jews are not merely superstitious in holding to these traditions, but also prone to advancing falsehood. He situates Jewish religious customs, “wild fancies,” as originating from “a bazaar of lies, Not even a child in their sleep would believe.” The reference to the bazaar or marketplace (catasta—literally, the stage on which auctions take place), is a further association with Jews and merchant activity, but it also suggests a proliferation or abundance of falsehood for profit, and the idea that the Jews themselves are a fountain of lies and exaggerations.

The section’s final four lines are perhaps the most thoughtful and poignant. Namatianus regrets that Judea had been conquered by Pompey and Titus because these conquests facilitated the ingestion of that which could not be digested. The annexation of Jewish territories and the free movement of Jews within the empire brought into the Roman body a “plague’s contagion” that “all the wider spreads.” The sullen Jewish innkeeper, who, in his rejection of humanitas, is not prepared to co-operate with his guests but merely to exploit them, is therefore merely symbolic of the broader gens obscena who reject humanitas and thus live within the Roman Empire not to co-operate and take part in it but merely to exploit and destroy it. Through such an approach, inconceivable though it may have been to his contemporaries, Namatianus argues that “The conquered presses on the conquering race.” The term has close resonance with Seneca’s complaint of the Jews that “the vanquished have given laws to their victors,”[7] as well as with some of the most famous and pessimistic anti-Jewish texts of the nineteenth century including Marr’s The Victory of Jewry over Germandom and Toussenel’s The Jews: Kings of the Epoch. Marie Roux comments, in her analysis of On His Return, that “The biological metaphor used by Rutilius forms part of his argumentation according to which Jews are and will remain pernicious enemies of Rome that had clearly taken advantage of Rome’s generosity. … Jews are presented as internal enemies that show the limits of Rome’s imperialist policy.”[8]

By making such clear references to Jewish misanthropy, financial exploitation, social disruptiveness, and status as an “internal enemy,” this remarkable poem by Rutilius Namatianus offers a shocking riposte from the early fifth century to those keen to portray such concepts as simply the warped byproduct of Christianity or as the recent invention of bigots. One of the most surprising aspects of the poem is how fresh it appears in its concerns and complaints. One might imagine it written today, referring perhaps to a sullen slumlord in Brooklyn, or to Jewish influence in the declining American empire. It is this last element that I find especially haunting. Namatianus was a man writing at the twilight of his age, in almost total disbelief that the all-conquering European force to which he belonged had succumbed to something so outwardly pathetic and yet so inwardly fanatical, cold, and unmoving. For me, the poem speaks volumes.

[1] N. W. Goldstein, “Cultivated Pagans and Ancient Antisemitism,” Journal of Religion, 19:4 (1939), pp.346-364.

[2] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), p.171.

[3] S. Almog (ed), Antisemitism Through the Ages (Jerusalem: Pergamon, 1988), p.16.

[4] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York: Schocken, 1976), p.22.

[5] Almog, p.18.

[6] Lamentations Rabbah, 1:11.

[7] See St. Augustine, City of God, VI. 11.

[8] Marie Roux: Rutilius Namatianus, On His Return I.377-398.

Slavoj Žižek’s “Pervert’s Guide” to anti-Semitism

“ [Kevin] MacDonald’s theory is a new chapter in the long process of the destruction of Reason.”
Slavoj Zizek

“Žižek is, at his best, a posturing charlatan.”
Thomas Moller-Nielsen, Current Affairs, Oct. 18 2019.


This is an essay on anti-Semitism, but because it’s also about Slavoj Žižek we’re going to have to start with the subject of extra-marital affairs. Very early in my academic career, I was asked to take part in a cross-faculty seminar, where PhD students could present small talks on the development of their research. It was hoped that, as a newly-minted PhD, I’d ask presenting students some tough but helpful questions, and thus somehow contribute to a team atmosphere in my department. I was provided with a list of proposed talks and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of apathy at the litany of feminist tripe and quasi-Marxist navel-gazing, none of which was in any way related to my own fields of research. I was eager to please in my new role, however, and so I fell dutifully into line. I’ll never forget the first presentation because it was so remarkably surreal, being an effeminate young African-American who quite literally gave a performance poem titled “Black Skin” about, well, you get the idea. But the more memorable event of the day came later, when a young woman gave a presentation on gender in the media, or something to that effect. Something about her manner irritated me considerably, so I gave her a hard time during the Q & A. This was picked up on by a senior figure in the department, a soft meek-looking and much-gossiped-about English historian, who, after the seminar had finished, invited me to his office for a discussion on gender and sex politics.

I’ve been politically aware since I was a teenager. I’d read deeply about Marxism since the age of seventeen, and was familiar with its cultish elements. None of this prepared me for my adventure in this otherwise unremarkable Englishman’s office, the walls of which were festooned with small red flags and quasi-religious images of Lenin and Trotsky. So, I thought, here was a Red in the flesh. I was in the presence of a dedicated Marxist, and that right there in front of me stood a solitary tangible example of the long march through the institutions. He made tea, and we sat down. He began to talk, I listened. During his initial monologue, my host started speaking from a personal perspective, explaining that even in his private life he aimed to live in accordance with his “socialist beliefs.” Before he got married, he explained, he and his fiancée agreed that they wouldn’t take traditional vows, agreeing they wouldn’t be so possessive as to make an oath of exclusivity to one another. They might “expect” exclusivity, but they wouldn’t demand it. They believed in “freedom,” he said, and ultimately this was what social progressivism and modern gender and sex politics was all about. It wasn’t anything to get upset over, he implied, or laugh about.

Except that it was. The faculty gossip I’d heard was that the wife of this “free love” advocate had been on a short-term teaching stint in Norway and had just recently decided to permanently settle there with a Norwegian lover she’d been having an affair with for some time. She had the marital couple’s two children with her in Norway, and was making it extremely difficult for the meek, permissive, Lenin-loving Englishman to see them. The family home had also been declared off-limits, and my Marxist colleague was apparently reduced to staying in a local bed and breakfast. Tragic? Quite possibly. Hilarious? Most definitely. All of this flooded my mind as the cuckolded Leninite sat opposite me recounting his lukewarm marriage vows, tea in hand, eyes glistening with — tears? Steam from the tea he said, wiping them casually and glancing at the window. My face was stone. The time passed, and my host gradually fell silent. I thanked him most disingenuously, and made a hasty retreat, taking a deep breath as I emerged from the building. I never set foot in that office again.

What does any of this have to do with anti-Semitism? If you’re the superstar Marxist intellectual Slavoj Žižek, it has everything to do with anti-Semitism, since as we will find out, infidelity and anti-Semitism are irrefutably linked. I say “irrefutably” quite deliberately, because his arguments are irrefutable — and they are irrefutable because they are nonsensical. Read more