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Get Smart! and Birth of a Nation: Lessons for White Cultural Emancipation

The deracination of Americans and Westerners in general has been a long process, achieved partly through ethnically blind processes such as assimilation and secularization but also by pressure applied by ethnically aware leftist and minority activists over many decades. The 1960s saw a surge of leftist and minority activist messages in popular culture.

One example among many is the popular comedy series Get Smart! about a blundering spy, Maxwell Smart. The program was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry (Henry Zuckerman) at the request of Daniel Melnick, whose partnership with David Susskind produced the show. Get Smart! was originally broadcast from 1965 until 1970 for a total of 138 episodes. The show starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, and Barbara Feldon (maiden name Hall) as the beautiful Agent 99. Feldon appears to have been one of the few non-Jews among Get Smart! principals.

The evil operative Ludwig von Siegfried appeared in 14 episodes of Get Smart! or 10% of the total. Siegfried speaks with a heavy German accent and dresses as a Nazi. His German and Nazi identities are presented as interchangeable, with heel-clicking made equivalent to Nazi-style uniforms. No ambiguity is allowed. Viewers never get to see normal Germans who reject killing or terror. Exemplifying the conflation of Germanness and Nazism is Smart’s retort to Siegfried after the latter showed technical know-how: “If you’re so smart how come you lost two world wars?” (“A Spy for a Spy” at about 4:13 mins.). Since the Nazis took power well after the First World War ended, this statement can only be true and effective as a slap at Siegfried if his external and subjective identities are German instead of Nazi.

The shaming of German identity impacts people of German descent everywhere, given the global reach of American culture. It helps maintain the demoralization of the German nation established in the post-WWII era. It also tends to alienate Americans from a major part of their European ancestry. This has direct relevance to America because German Americans are the country’s largest ethnic group and have become “old stock” — part of the core national population. Attacks on Germanness amount to attacks on White America. In his 2004 book Becoming old stock: The paradox of German-American identity (Princeton University Press) Russell Kazal observes that German identity is extremely weak in the United States, while others such as Irish are celebrated. He traces the cause to two events, the rapid assimilation of German immigrants during the 19th century and the suppression of German identity and communal organizations after the U.S. entered the First World War.

Major wars produce antagonisms that can last for many years, but the hatred of Germans in popular culture has continued unabated for many decades after the end of the Second World War. That war alone cannot explain what we receive on a daily basis from television, radio and press. Shows such as Get Smart! point to an antagonistic role for the mass media in general and Jewish bias in particular. “Nazifying the Germans” was well analysed by Ralph Raico in Chronicles (January 1997), who noted the connection with Jewish interests. The Nazi murder of millions of Jews is well known through saturation media treatment. But the murder of millions by communists is rarely mentioned. Raico links this to the hollowing out of Jewish identity by which Judaism is being replaced by tribulations and ethnic enemies. “[T]he growing secularization of Judaism and moral disarray of our culture [could] continue to make victims of the Germans and all the peoples of the West” (p. 17). The reduction of fifteen centuries of German history to an aberrant twelve year period has implications far beyond the working out of Jewish identity. It is also a weapon used to intimidate and discredit White ethnic activists.

When Molly Ivins . . . remarked of Pat Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 Republican convention, it sounded better in the original German,” everyone instantly knew what she meant. The casual slander was picked up by William Safire and others, and made the rounds. A constant din from Hollywood and the major media has helped instruct us on what “German” really stands for.

Get Smart! also adopted broad liberal ideology, sometimes in a revealing way. Here is an exchange that seems intended to poke fun at White ethnocentrism. Propaganda is constrained by the sensibilities of its audience and can only persuade at the margins. Thus even the most subversive programs are repositories of contemporary beliefs. Here is an extract from the episode “The Diplomat’s Daughter” broadcast in 1965 which acknowledges the general belief in that fateful year that the United States was a European-derived country. Smart is speaking with Kaos’s Chinese operative The Craw, played by Leonard Strong.

Smart: Perhaps you’d tell me Mr. Craw what you’ve done with all those blondes you’ve kidnapped?

Craw: They are all perfectly safe Mr. Smart. Actually the only girl we want is Princess Ingrid.

Smart: Then why did you abduct the others?

Craw: Unfortunately, Mr. Smart, all Americans look alike to us.

[Canned laughter.]

While on the subject of Get Smart! and ethnicity, here is an excerpt from an extended blooper in which Don Adams leaks the ethnic awareness that lies just below the surface in much of the entertainment industry. The leak takes the form of a rather blunt anti-Semitic phrase while in mock-conflict with Don Rickles, delivered in an accent that is much less evident in Agent 86. The reference to dollars might have been due to Adams having a financial stake in the later Get Smart! episodes.

Adams: Go to some other show. I’m fed up to here with ya.

Rickles: Do that again [laughing].

Adams: You’re a little Jew dwarf.

[General laughter on both sides of the camera.]

Adams: I’ve had it with you. Four days. This isn’t going with the wind [Gone with the Wind?]. We’re standing here, you’re doing 40 minutes, it’s costing me $8 million!”

Like all successful artists and entrepreneurs in the entertainment business, Adams was acutely aware of ethnicity. He categorized individuals by ethnicity as a matter of course, as did the writers, directors, and producers of Get Smart! and innumerable other programs. His humour frequently worked on ethnic themes, and the laughter was directed at predictable targets. In the Jewish milieu of which he formed a part, White Americans were always the other, even though his character was meant to be one of them.

White Americans will continue to lose the culture war — and their freedom and identity — until they retake the commanding heights of mass entertainment and guard that position with the same determination with which their forebears defended the nation’s physical borders.

How realistic is such a strategy? Achieving a monopoly on ethnic signalling in the mass media is surely impossible. And it is surely undesirable given European values of free expression. However it is reasonable — strategically and ethically — to seek a place in the Hollywood sun for producers, directors, writers and actors who are open White ethnic partisans. Producers like Merlin Miller should be supported as part of a project of establishing ethnic balance in mass entertainment.

Actually I doubt that Whites need balance in Hollywood; they only need a toehold. A mere trickle — a steady trickle — of honest films will be sufficient to arouse men and women of talent and compassion to take the lead in freeing their people from cultural enslavement.

That is not merely my opinion but it seems that of the leftist and Jewish media elite, based on their totalitarian quest to banish all expressions of White consciousness and loyalty. That is evident not only in recent years, for example the assault on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and the wave of elite hostility that met the first Dirty Harry film, both highly profitable. It has been evident since the American film industry was captured  by a Jewish group strategy between 1910 and 1920, as described by Neal Gabler in An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood.

The drive to take popular culture out of the hands of ethnically loyal Whites was boosted by one film in particular, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, released in 1915 to public acclaim and Jewish horror. The film’s “racist” content is widely condemned. Nevertheless:

Film scholars agree, however, that it is the single most important and key film of all time in American movie history — it contains many new cinematic innovations and refinements, technical effects and artistic advancements, including a color sequence at the end. It had a formative influence on future films and has had a recognized impact on film history and the development of film as art.

What’s more, Birth of a Nation was profitable, the most profitable film for over two decades. President Wilson was reported to have described it as “like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.”  Those with political awareness realized that a super weapon had been invented that would give its owners unprecedented power to influence public perceptions — to in effect construct culture.

Birth of a Nation is described as promoting “White supremacy” (e.g. here), but in fact it promoted White ethnic defence against the federal government’s reconstruction policy that had given Blacks power over White affairs in a White nation. In the film the KKK leaders adopted the Celtic cross, which they took to be a symbol of Scottish freedom. This fits the Scottish and Scots-Irish descent of many Southern Whites and is fundamentally a defensive orientation. The film also noted the Klan’s racial solidarity — a point intended to unite Whites from both sides of the Civil War. A caption toward the end of the film reads: “The former enemies of North and South are united in common defence of their Aryan birthright.”

The report of President Wilson’s favourable remark is probably accurate because in his own history of the Civil War era he criticized Reconstruction as lawless and the first KKK as a valid defence against it. Wilson’s book History of the American People was even quoted in the film at about the half-way point in three frames:

Adventurers swarmed out of the North, as much the enemies of the one race as of the other, to cozen, beguile, and use the negroes . . . In the villages the negroes were the office holders, men who knew none of the uses of authority, except its insolences.

The policy of the congressional leaders wrought . . . a veritable overthrow of civilization in the South . . . in their determination to ‘put the White South under the heel of the Black South.’

The White men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation . . . until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.

What is significant for White advocates is that the film took the perspective of White interests, even if, like all fictional creations, it used hyperbole and selective use of historical events. In one caption frame just before Wilson’s quotation, Griffith sought to blunt the negative image of Blacks that the film presented by claiming the film to be “an historical presentation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period, and is not meant to reflect on any race or people of today.”

Birth of a Nation appeared just as the Second Ku Klux Klan was established in Atlanta and the success of the new organization’s recruitment drive has been attributed to the impact of the film (e.g. here) as well as to the role of wealthy Jews and Jewish-owned media (particularly the New York Times) in organizing anti-Georgia sentiment in the Leo Frank affair (see here). (In 1913 Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman, was convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl in Atlanta. IIn 1915, he was lynched after his death sentence was commuted by the governor of Georgia. No one involved in the lynching was ever tried for a crime.  Then as now, Jewish activist organizations have advocated Frank’s innocence and have framed the affair as a flagrant example of anti-Semitism.)

Anti-immigration and anti-elite sentiment was in the air in 1915. The immigration restriction movement had been active for over two decades trying to slow an unprecedented influx of migrants from non-traditional source countries — Catholic southern Europe and Catholic and Jewish eastern Europe. The Klan was also one among many fraternal societies that were popular at the time among all ethnic groups for providing social security. The elite movers and shakers of the restrictionist movement, such as the Harvard intellectuals who ran the Immigration Restriction League, League member Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and sociologist Edward A. Ross, were decidedly not part of the KKK or other populist organizations. On the other side, as described in Kevin MacDonald’s chapter in The Culture of Critique, the major promoters of open-door immigration were Jewish elites, already influential in the press.

Thus the film was really a catalyst that accelerated a reaction already in motion among the White masses.  It was to be joined by war hysteria and revulsion and fear at the communism being introduced by immigrants, the “red scare” of the Bolshevik Revolution years.  This explains and Second KKK’s anti-Communism and anti-Catholicism and also the remarkable success enjoyed for a time by an organization fatally flawed by its separation from the Anglo elite.

It was in this context that the film acted as a recruitment vehicle for the Second KKK by legitimating and romanticising it before a mass audience. The Second KKK’s membership soared to over 4 million in the 1920s, about 15% of the eligible citizenry of the United States, though it rapidly subsided following the cathartic success of the 1924 immigration act and under the burden of corruption and ineptitude on the part of the its leadership, as well as some lawless acts that included lynchings, and a massive media assault led by the Jewish-owned New York World and joined by many elite Anglos.

Since the release of Birth of a Nation, the entertainment elite has behaved as if just one quality film that articulates White interests is a threat. And I think they have been right. It made sense for ethnically-minded Hollywood moguls to welcome outside Jewish oversight of film content, which they did from the 1920s, because patriotic films that are profitable — providing positive feedback to cultural products that empower White America — are a credible threat to Jewish and thus leftist and minority power over American culture.

Whites desperately need films and television-quality shows that portray the devastation wrought by Third World immigration, minority dysfunction and Jewish ethnic enmity, and which do so entertainingly through stories that take White perspectives. Whites need dramas and comedies — programs as engaging as Get Smart! but which also keep White interests before the public  and repeatedly identify the threats to White interests both contemporary and historical. We need films that portray the potential benefits of a White republic, which can be truthfully told in historical dramas of pre-1965 America. In that sense the past is a promise that can be made real and reclaimable — the return of community, of the vibrant inner city life that would return once the minority presence was reduced, of fewer people bowling alone, of the return of dignity to labour as the immigrant flood is halted and reversed, and of the leadership that America could once again give to the rest of the Western world once its governing elites are of, by and for the people.

Creating those images and those stories is an achievable and noble goal and a necessary condition for taking back America.

Charles Dodgson (email him) is the pen name of an English social analyst.

Permanent link:  http://www.theoccidentalobserver.com/2010/01/get-smart-and-birth-of-a-nation-lessons-for-white-cultural-emancipation/

The Archaeology of Postmodernity, Part III: Transvestism in Music

The Austrian statesman Clemens von Metternich once declared that the Orient started southeast of the city walls of Vienna. Western Europe’s centuries-long confrontation with Oriental empires helped define Central Europe as a cultural and historical frontier region.  The experience of imperial subjugation and multi-ethnicity — an Eastern European patchwork of ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, and traditions living closely together — became essential parts of the Central European historical experience.

Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna

As Anthony Alofsin points out, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was “a collage of so many nationalities that it could never be transformed into a unified nation-state.” Within this collage, Jews achieved cultural preeminence. As Robert S. Wistrich points out,

In 1900, Gustav Mahler was the leading conductor and composer in the city, Karl Kraus its high priest of satire, Arthur Schnitzler its outstanding playwright, Adolf von Sonnenthal its greatest actor.  The founder of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, Victor Adler, was a ‘Protestant’ Jew and many of his leading associates were middle-class Jewish intellectuals. Sigmund Freud had just published his epoch-making Interpretation of Dreams and psychoanalysis was about to be born. Waiting in the wings were such central figures of twentieth-century culture as Arnold Schoenberg, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Buber and Franz Kafka, not to mention writers like Joseph Roth, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Felix Salten, Stefan Zweig and Peter Altenberg – all of them of Jewish origin.

Alexander Ringer points out, perhaps defensively, that “as long as familiarity with New England transcendentalism or American individualism is considered indispensable for a meaningful appraisal of Charles Ives and his particular mission, Arnold Schoenberg, his exact contemporary and eventual fellow American, deserves equally serious attention in equivalent Jewish terms.”

In this context, the significance of Schoenberg’s “antirational” view of art and his personal experiences with anti-Semitism in the early 1920s has been emphasized:

His acknowledgement that he could not escape his Jewish heritage initiated a protracted period of reflection upon Jewish issues from both theological and political points of view culminating in the early 1930s with yet another attempt to give a comprehensive statement of his position by means of words and music — this time in his opera Moses and Aron, which presents his personal vision of Judaism.

The moment of truth is usually believed to have come in 1921, when he was asked for his certificate of baptism (to prove that he was not a Jew) while on holiday in Mattsee, near Salzburg (Austria).  Schoenberg explicitly articulated his identification with a classically Jewish perspective and declared himself “no longer a European” but a Jew, in a letter to the painter Wassily Kandinsky written in 1923:

For I have at last learnt the lesson that has been forced upon me during this year, and I shall not ever forget it. It is that I am not a German, not a European, indeed perhaps scarcely even a human being (at least, the Europeans prefer the worst of their race to me), but I am a Jew. I am content that it should be so! Today I no longer wish to be an exception; I have no objection at all to being lumped together with all the rest. … We are two kinds of people. Definitively!

Schoenberg’s statements of an explicitly Zionist position begin in 1924, when he, according to Nicholas Cook, “argued that only military victory could secure a Jewish state in Palestine against its enemies.” In The Biblical Way (1926) he presented his belief in the necessity of an exodus of European Jewry in the form of a psychodrama.

In a letter of 13 June 1933, after Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, Schoenberg declared: “It is necessary to give up all Western acquisitions; we are Asians and nothing essential binds us to the West. … We must return to our origins.” A few weeks later, Schoenberg stated that he planned “a long tour of America, which could perhaps turn into a world tour, to persuade people to help the Jews in Germany.” He explains that he considers this more important than his art, and that he is determined “to do nothing in the future but work for the Jewish national cause.” On another occasion during the same year he states it explicitly: “I offer the sacrifice of my art for the sake of Jewry.”

Arnold Schoenberg: His sometimes banal use of language is expressed in Die Sanftergebenen: “O wie schön lebt sich’s doch im Dreck” (Oh, how beautiful it is to live in the muck).

Although Schoenberg — whose ancestry included both rabbis and cantors — for a period of time discarded the Jewish faith for Lutheran Protestantism, the proximity of his ideas to Jewish theological thought remained obvious. Adorno had a point when he asserted that Schoenberg translated the Old Testament ban on images into music: Dissonance can be seen as an expression of the need to change forms of expression in art, absolutely necessary in order to fulfill the old Jewish prohibition on images.

As William E. Benjamin points out, “Schoenberg realized that Judaism provided a historical model for what he was attempting as an artist.” Robert Wistrich emphasizes the “connection between Schoenberg’s musical agenda, his Jewish identity and the commitment to a Jewish national renewal (by returning to the essence of ancient Judaism)”: “The Mosaic aversion to idolatry, to visible symbols and mystery, as well as the Judaic call for the triumph of rational consciousness, are harnessed by Schoenberg to the cause of twentieth-century modernist expressionism.”

In Judaism, as in Islam, it was sacrilegious to make a figurative representation of God. With very few exceptions, there were no Jewish painters before the Russian artist Marc Chagall, who had to come to Paris to paint.”

Gleichgewichtsstörung: The Schoenberg-KandinskyTango

Schoenberg’s friendship and cooperation with the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky — a philosemite who was erroneously listed as a Jew in the Grosse Jüdische National-Biographie (1929) — underscores the impact of the blurring of boundaries between art forms, as well as the underlying, religiously motivated, “aniconic” (i.e., without icons) or “iconoclastic” thematic structure. Music meant a great deal to Kandinsky; he referred to his own paintings as “compositions,” and became deeply interested in Schoenberg’s attempts to establish correspondences between musical tones and colors, and in his rejection of the traditional tonal order.

A new kind of transvestism among the arts was thus born:

We see, for example, a painter who wrote an opera libretto (Kokoschka), a poet who composed music (Pound), and a composer who painted pictures (Schoenberg). It is as if artistic talent were a kind of libido, an electricity that could discharge itself with equal success in a poem, a sonata, or a sculpture. Throughout the modernist movement, the major writers and composers both enforced and transgressed the boundaries among the various arts with unusual energy – almost savage at times.

As Christian Meyer, director of the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna, points out:

The first decade of the twentieth century saw an almost simultaneous musical and visual revolution. Because of Schoenberg’s innovations, musicians were freed from the system of tempered tonality.  At the same time, painters, especially Kandinsky, broke away from the system of central perspective and figural representation. These traditions had been legitimated for centuries by an overwhelming number of masterpieces and were so universally sanctioned that they had come to be regarded as the unquestioned essence of both arts. This explains the anarchist energy that had to be unleashed to liberate music and painting from the bonds of tradition, and at the same time it illuminates the “atonal character” of pre-World War I painting in Europe, which reflects this revolution.  While Schoenberg’s music was an inspiration to Kandinsky as he explored abstraction, today Kandinsky’s paintings function as ambassadors for Schoenberg’s musical works.  The strong colorful essence of Kandinsky’s prewar works has the same richness of sound colors in Schoenberg’s compositions.

Schoenberg approved of Kandinsky’s Der gelbe Klang with its “ungraspable” dimension, comparing it to his own Die glückliche Hand – a work that, according to Christopher Butler, explicitly challenged “the ‘laws’ of art as imposed by the Academy, along with the order of society as a whole.” According to James Leggio, Kandinsky’s “floating sensations” and celestial aspirations were reflections of Schoenberg’s release from “the gravitational grip of tonality”, a feeling of “weightlessness.”

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Kandinsky explained to Schoenberg that Der gelbe Klang was based on the anti-geometrical type of construction attained “by the ‘principle’ of dissonance.” Referring to the Ten Commandments in a letter to Schoenberg, he emphasized the power of negation and the difference between the law as a sign (word) and its signified (the meaning of the law). Kandinsky broke the link between the sign and a transcendental linguistic signified and hence equated art with reality.  As with Schoenberg, the artistic form is conceived as pure perception — independent of external references. This flight from meaning (in the traditional sense) eventually reached its final destination with the Dadaists: “The Dada Manifesto of 1918 proclaimed proudly and in capital letters: DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING.”  As their contemporary Ferdinand de Saussure stated: “The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary.”

Kandinsky and Schoenberg viewed their urge to change forms of expression as motivated by the desire to comply with the ancient Jewish prohibition against images. The old Jewish prohibition on images is characterized by its ability to uphold a separation between the pictorial and its referent, that is, the difference between the sign and what it signifies.

Vassily Kandinsky’s Impression III (Concert), painted immediately after attending a concert featuring Schoenberg’s music in Munich on 2 January 1911

Steven Beller cites Schoenberg’s maxim “music should not decorate, it should be true,” and suggests that his explicit invocation of musical logic (most obviously in his serialism) represents an “invasion of the world of aesthetics by the ethical impulse of truth.” Beller comments that “it does not seem improbable that this stemmed from attitudes whose origins lay in his Jewish background.” Nicholas Cook agrees: “The whole debate about ornamentation … might be seen as resulting from the application to art of traditional Jewish thinking.” Both Schoenberg and Heinrich Schenker have been described as “Grenzjuden” (frontier Jews) — both cultural insiders and alienated outsiders.  Schenker held that Jews are “the compulsory instructors of humanity.”

The Jewish position, inclined to abstraction as in the work of Schoenberg, stood in tension with the aesthetic hedonism of the official Catholic culture of Austrian society.” No wonder, then, that shouting and scuffling accompanied the 1908 premiere of Schoenberg’s Second Quartet in Vienna — a work that certainly did not result in aesthetic pleasure in the audience. A near-riot erupted on March 31, 1913, at an orchestral concert in Vienna in which works by Mahler, Berg, Webern, Zemlinsky, and Schoenberg were played.

As Carl Schorske points out,

The system Schoenberg thus devised was no return to the hierarchical, privileged order of the diatonic system.  Yet its democracy of twelve tones would cohere again in a systematic way: in a hidden order, created by the composer — one in which above and below, forward and back, were related visibly to the analytic mind, even though not generally accessible to the listening ear. … Schoenberg as psychological Expressionist confronted his listener with an art whose surface was broken, charged with the full life of feeling of man adrift and vulnerable in the ungovernable universe; yet beneath it he posited out of his own powers a subliminal, inaudible world of rational order that would integrate the chaos. Here liberated dissonance became a new harmony; psychological chaos, a meta-sensuous order. … Thus Schoenberg the artist, even as he turned back to the faith of his fathers and submission to God, became man the creator, what Goethe would have called ‘der kleine Gott der Welt.’

At a personal level, Schoenberg was hardly a moral icon. Richard Taruskin points out that Schoenberg’s personality “was as absolutist and despotic as any dictator’s,” and that “his personal relationships could be repellently exploitative.” Schoenberg’s only name for skeptics, adversaries, or opponents was “enemies.”

The big step that others called the leap into “atonality,” a term that he deplored for its negativity, Schoenberg called pantonality or the “emancipation of dissonance.” Schoenberg characterized the Tristan chords as “spies reconnoitering weaknesses” to be exploited “in order to create confusion”.  But, as Taruskin points out, it was not dissonance itself that had been emancipated: It was the composer who was liberated “from the constraints of ‘voice leading rules’ whereby dissonance was subordinated to consonance in traditional harmony and counterpoint.”

The assertion that Schoenberg’s atonality represents a consequence of the chromaticism of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde has been commonplace for quite some time.  Heinrich Schenker held that Wagner was directly to blame for the excesses of Schoenberg and his school.  But, as Richard Taruskin points out, the Wagnerian “crisis of tonality” was not Wagnerian at all: “It was read back into Wagner by Schoenberg’s apologists”:

Wagner used the chromaticism of Tristan und Isolde to delay to the point of torture the harmonic resolution that would symbolize the slaking of sexual desire. That harmonic tension … was the mainspring that controlled the syntax of what we now call “tonal” music.  Did the delays caused by Wagner’s chromaticism attenuate that harmonic tension? Don’t be silly.  They only magnified it, vastly so.  Wagner’s chromaticism gave tonality a new source of strength and expressivity. The consequences Schoenberg drew from Wagner’s musical style were entirely idiosyncratic and ahistorical, inevitable only in eyes blinded by “dialectic.”  To say the very least, they had nothing to do with Wagner’s creative aims, least of all in Tristan.

Schoenberg’s style recognized “no distinction between consonance and dissonance, so that harmonically speaking, literally anything goes.” Schoenberg once cracked to a pupil, “Now that I’ve emancipated dissonance, anybody can be a composer.” Removing the qualitative distinction between consonance and dissonance “eliminates the concept of the one being beautiful and the other ugly.”

While Wagner in his heyday took center stage, Schoenberg remained marginal or sectarian, as noted by Leon Botstein:

In contrast to Wagner, Schoenberg’s music and the rhetorical strategy employed in its defense (designed largely by Schoenberg himself) never achieved wide acceptance. … [F]rom the beginning, in the face of controversy, [Schoenberg’s] assertion of artistic integrity assumed a nearly puritanical façade of ethical superiority. Schoenberg’s envy of Stravinsky, Ravel, Respighi, and Bartók took the form of high-minded moralizing about aesthetic concessions and superficialities.

Nevertheless, it is a matter of fact that without Schoenberg, our era would have made a different sound.” As Jacques Le Rider points out, the utopias of mysticism, genius and narcissism – as responses to “feelings of solitude, ego-fragility, and instability” – had in common the striving to transcend limitations imposed by tradition: “they negate the male/female dichotomy and tend towards an androgynous ideal; they aim at the auto-destruction of a self that suffers because it cannot accept its contingent qualities (sex, race, etc.) and at the creation of a more perfect self.”

As Taruskin notes,

Surmounting the majory/minor dichotomy, voiding all distinctions between particular keys, was for him an achievement comparable to embodying androgyny or double gender. … To his pupil Anton Webern he confided that pantonality, like androgyny, “has given rise to a higher race!”

As Jacques Le Rider points out, “Viennese modernism recognised that [the] old certainties had crumbled. The androgynism of the modern psyche and the inextricable commingling of Jew and non-Jew had given rise to the most bewildering confusion.”

Egon Friedell presented his essay on Peter Altenberg (“the Zarathustra of the Café Central”) as a “natural history” of the human race in process of mutation. Indeed, the phenomenon of Schoenberg “stemmed from an intellectual Gesamtkunstwerk, closely related to new ideas then overflowing from science, literature, and painting that quickly intermingled with those emanating from music per se.”

It has been suggested that the formation and evaluative assessment of systems in relativistic or quantum physics and atonalistic or dodecaphonic music are inspired by the same operative principles and insights, and that there is “a historical-cultural link between these two system mutations as such and the new world-view they produced” (e.g. probability taking over from determinism, the pivotal role of the observer, theoretical pluralism, etc.). In many respects the determinism inherent in tonality theory reflected the determinism in classical physics. In a similar fashion, quantum physics and atonality share an indeterministic rationale, affirmed in the principle of probability and in the disappearance of external determinism (tonality).  As Mark Delaere points out: “In quantum physics external determinism and causality were toppled. The description of reality in terms of probability represented the triumph of ontological determinism over the mechanical determinism of classical physics.”

The ‘twelve-tone idea’ can be defined as a systematic circulation of all the twelve pitch classes based on “transposition, inversion, retrograde, and retrograde-inversion”; a shift from harmony as its principal structural determinant and toward counterpoint, reversing the stylistic change that occurred from Bach to Mozart by returning again to polyphonic thinking,” as noted by John Covach (pp. 604–610).

Delighting in parody and outrage, the avant-garde, according to Richard Drain, “fought a guerilla war against bourgeois culture”, the first onslaught of which came with futurism (launched in 1909), followed by Dadaism in 1916. Dada preferred non-Western cultures to ‘modern’ culture, opposed all –isms, including modernism, favoured spontaneity and a cabaret environment, cubist paintings and cacophonous music. Relativity – a key modernist notion, invoked also by the Dadaists and the futurists – was used “to deflate the status of ‘objective’ truth, license multiple viewpoints, and release them from the judgement of a final authority.”

Indeed, transmutations parallel to the convergence between Kandinsky’s painting and Schoenberg’s twelve-tone music – a turning point sometimes described as a ‘Metaphysik des Schwebens’, i.e. a ‘floating’ condition between the subject and the world – can also be seen in a general shift away from apparently absolute certainties in the direction of relativity: Boasian anthropology, denying the concept of race; Saussurean linguistics, insisting that there are no positive quantities but only differences; Gödel’s incompleteness theorem; the Heisenberg Indeterminacy Principle and the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’, marking the advent of a “postmodern” science characterized by “paradox, uncertainty, and the limits of precise measurement”; Einstein’s theory of relativity; Nietzsche’s scorn for the unfounded pretences of religion, logic, or history; Freudian “decentring” of homo sapiens, not to mention expressionism, surrealism, absurdism, Cubism (Picasso’s “extravagant deformations”), Dadaism, and atonalism in the arts.  Charles Lemert has pointed out that the rise of the relativistic paradigm – or relativistic deconstructionism – was based on the conviction that reality itself is not self-evident and orderly. Relativism is critical of traditional rationality, uncritical realisms, strict tonalisms, objectivisms, and systematic explanations.

This development set off a chain reaction that paved the way for the critical dismantling of Western tradition and traditional modes of thought, the cultural logic of deconstructionism or The Culture of Critique, according to which “the Western ideal of hierarchic harmony and assimilation” was gradually destabilized and perceived as “an irrational, romantic, and mystical ideal.”  The outcome was a gigantic meltdown of a whole civilization’s “cultural DNA structure,” a transition to “liquid” (post-)modernity through a memetic “epidemiology of ideas,” inventing a kind of “assembly line nihilism.”  The age of the gardeners has been succeeded by the age of the hunters and the order of chaos and wilderness.

Jacques Attali was right: music is prophecy. Music makes mutations audible.

Part I: Viennese Mutations

Part II: The Emancipation of Dissonance

E. R. E. Knutsson (email him) is a freelance write

Gabriel Schoenfeld exists in an alternate universe

Gabriel Schoenfeld’s The Weekly Standard  article “Back to the Future: British Anti-Semitism Returns with a Vengeance” is the sort of thing that makes you want to bang your head against a wall. The idea is that those virulent anti-Semites John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt managed to “peddle” their vicious article on the Israel lobby to the London Review of Books when it was sensibly rejected by American publishers. It then metastasized into a book that was much admired in the US by the likes of David Duke and pretty much no one else. The “respectable middle” were on page with Leslie Gelb’s authoritative review in the august New York Times which accused them of “shoddy scholarship” that promoted anti-Semitism. As I noted in an earlier blog, “Some of Gelb’s charges might even seem reasonable—if you haven’t read the book.”

The fact that Mearsheimer and Walt managed to first publish their monstrosity in England is no accident. After all, the Brits are a bad lot and always have been. Anti-Semitism has deep roots in England. In the 12th century, many of the country’s Jews were put to the sword in a wave of massacres. The 13th century began with the introduction of the yellow badge, the mandatory marking that Jews were compelled to wear, and ended with the mass expulsion of the Jews.”

There you have it. Nothing much has changed in England since the 12th century when it comes to the Jews. Anti-Semitism remained rampant in England throughout the 20thcentury, going underground when the Brits were fighting the Nazis (who were even more anti-Jewish), but re-emerging now into the open. In its latest incarnation, it manifests itself as hatred toward Israel.

According to Schoenfeld, this irrational anti-Jewish hate is more obvious than ever.  You can tell that because Britain is now “a congenial home” where radical Muslims “preach their genocidal doctrines.” (Never mind the role of Jewish organizations in facilitating immigration into England and opposing nationalist parties like the BNP that want to keep England English. See Ch. 7 of Culture of Critique.)

In fact, right now Parliament is considering a law to force Jews to report to concentration camps.

No wait. Actually, it’s an inquest into how Tony Blair made the decision to join in the Iraq invasion. Not only that, but a newspaper columnist had the temerity to complain that two of the panelists were Jews. Another chimed in that this complaint was “helpful” because the war was “initiated .  .  . by a group of influential American neocons .  .  . nearly all of whom were ardent Zionists.” And the London Times didn’t even label all of this “anti-Semitic.”

And then there was Peter Oborne’s program (see Martin Webster’s TOO article) on the influence  of the Israel Lobby: “With shades of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and shades of Mearsheimer-Walt, the program conveyed a picture of a nefarious conspiracy to plunge Britain into war in Iraq.”

The last straw is the court decision that an Orthodox school is guilty of discrimination for insisting on matrilineal descent as a criterion of admission. Schoenfeld puts ‘discrimination’ in quotes because, you see, it’s not discrimination if Jews do it. Surely it’s obvious that Jews (and no one else) ought to be able to discriminate on the basis of biological descent.

Obviously, Jews like Schoenfeld (and they’re the ones we keep hearing from in the media) are out of touch with reality. This is Abe Foxman on steroids. In Scheonfeld’s eyes, the inquest into the Blair government’s actions and the Oborne program are nothing more than updated examples of centuries-old anti-Jewish hatred. No need to look at what actually happened.

Indeed, the very thought that Jews might be biased against finding that Jews whose main allegiance is to Israel were the major force behind the decision of the British government to join the Iraq invasion is so obviously wrongheaded that even asking the question betrays vicious hatred of Jews. By their very nature Jews are impartial and completely uninfluenced by their ethnic identification. Schoenfeld doubtless sees himself as an exemplar of evenhandedness — completely above the fray and able to judge Israel’s actions and all things Jewish with brutal, impartial honesty.

Schoenfeld and the rest of these Jewish spokespeople are living in an alternate universe — a universe where mundane things like facts and truth are irrelevant. It’s an absolute article of faith that Jewish behavior is always — always —completely irrelevant to anti-Semitism. No matter how much money Jewish activists and organizations shower on politicians and no matter now much media they own and influence, Jews never actually influence anything. And if they do happen to have a slight influence, they only want the best for everyone. There could not possibly be legitimate conflicts of interest between Jews and non-Jews.

There is simply no way to communicate with people like Schoenfeld. And that’s a big part of the problem.

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She Died for Palestine

In memory of Rachel Corrie

Like all things pure and precious

Like holy bread and wine

I love the radiant Rachel

Who died for Palestine.

Beautiful in life … Beautiful in death

… cut down like a flower of the field

Once through a green field drifting

In the doldrums of the day

Watching ravens peck out lambs’ eyes

In their cruel, gloating way:

“You take the gun. You shoot. You do what you want.”— Israeli soldier

“The Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs.” —  Menahim Begin

I remembered, I remembered,

How those raptors vulturine

Seized the land and plagued the people

Of historic Palestine.

 

Deir Yassin, April, 1948

… and elsewhere

The Massacre of the Innocents.

“We shall have no pity on them until we shall have destroyed their so-called Arab culture, on the ruins of which we shall build our own civilization.” — Menachem Begin

How the snipers on the rooftops,

Armed with Uzis, standing tall,

Splash the blood of little children

On the weeping classroom walls.

 

How the settlers spit on Christians

In the land where Jesus died—

And how those who do the spitting

Have the world upon their side.

“I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday,” —  Daniel Rossing.

How they bulldoze people’s houses

Till the roofs crash on their heads

And the women lie all broken

With their babies in their beds.

How the wolfish killers wander

Through a vale of endless tears

Shooting children in their faces

While the world stands by and cheers.

 

How the bright-eyed Rachel Corries

Lie in cemeteries dead

While the birds of prey grow fatter—

And the world just turns its head.

Christ, come back and save these children—

Put an end to all their pain!

Put an end to evil Zion!

Palestine, come back again!

 

“The difference between a Jewish soul and the soul of non-Jews

is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul

and the soul of cattle.”

Rabbi Kook

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon (email her) is an academic, age 31, with higher degrees in classics.  A published poet and translator, she is also a political  activist with a special interest in Middle Eastern affairs. ‘Lasha Darkmoon’ is a pen name.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen: Peddler of Hate

Now that we’ve reached December, it’s the time of year to observe (and suffer from) that familiar Jewish attitude toward Christmas: hate.

VDARE is now running its excellent War Against Christmas exposé of assaults on Christmas by “multicultural” haters of a holiday hundreds of millions of Americans love and cherish. For my money, it’s the best source of information on this particularly hurtful aspect of the war on Western cultures and people.

Tom Piatak leads off this year’s account, giving us a link to an Israeli paper’s description of what some Jews do on Christmas Eve. Reading it, I clearly saw the source for so much of Hollywood’s distaste for what Christmas means and what Christians do to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Scurry over to this Israeli site for the skinny — For them, it’s wholly unholy:

Christmas Eve is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study, do not conduct weddings or go to the mikveh. But they do play chess and work on their bills.

On Christmas Eve, known in Jewish circles as Nitel Night, the klipot (shells) are in total control. The klipot are parasitical evil forces that attach themselves to the forces of good. According to kabbala (Jewish mysticism), on the night on which “that man” — a Jewish euphemism for Jesus — was born, not even a trace of holiness is present and the klipot exploit every act of holiness for their own purposes.

For this reason, Nitel Night, from nightfall to midnight, is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study. On this horrific night, they neither conduct weddings nor do they go to the mikveh (ritual bath). An entire folkloric literature has developed around the unusual recreational activities of Nitel Night.

Oh, there’s the usual disclaimer that not all Jews follow this custom, but in two decades of research on Jews, I’ve found that it’s simply a truism that Jews have an exceedingly negative view of Jesus, Mary, Christians and Christmas. No wonder so many spit when passing a church . . . or even spit on Christians themselves.

But in the Haaretz story, this passage about Kabbalistic toilet paper really stood out:

The Knesset correspondent of the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Hamodia, Zvi Rosen, relates that celebrated Hasidic admorim (sect leaders) would cut a year’s supply of toilet paper for Sabbath use (to avoid tearing toilet paper on Sabbath) on this night. Actually, this disrespectful act has profound kabbalistic significance, because kabbalistic literature extensively discusses Christianity as waste material excreted from the body of the Jewish people.

Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up. And get this: One of their commandments recommends that they attempt procreation on Friday night, which is a holy time. “Yet on Nitel Night, which has no holiness, it is customary to refrain from observing the commandment, because of the fear that a Jewish child conceived on Jesus’ birthday could become an apostate.”

Now how might this anti-Christian sentiment play out in, say, The Big Apple, home to so many hip and chic magazines? According to one account, “it is tough to beat an illustration by the prominent comic-book creator Art Spiegelman. This was intended to go on the cover of the New Yorker magazine in December, 1994, and it revealed Santa urinating in public. Even Tina Brown, the publicity-loving editor of the New Yorker at the time, thought Spiegelman had gone too far, and the piece was never used. In the long history of fallen Santas, that was a rare moment of restraint.” (But Brown did run Spiegelman’s Easter cover picture of the Easter Bunny being crucified.)

As we’ll see below in another case, here Jews spin their own hatred of others as a response to — drum roll — “anti-Semitism.” As one rabbi explained about Nitel Night, “Anti-Semites would ambush Jews and savagely beat them, sometimes even killing them, in the streets on Christmas Eve. Thus, the rabbis decreed that Jews should remain at home that night and not wander in the streets.”

Now go back and read my two-part series last year about Hollywood movies that kill the spirit of Christmas, and sometimes kill Santa, too. (See Merry Christmas . . . NOT! and Merry Christmas NOT! Part 2. We now have a better idea of the font for such a spirit of hatred.

Our editor Kevin MacDonald recently captured this spirit in his post on TOO’s new blog. When talking about a trio of rich Jews, he notes a passage from one of their books:

The Wikipedia entry includes a comment on [John Sperling’s] book The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America: “One America, to judge from the book’s illustrations, … lives in ‘vibrant’ cities with ballet troupes, super-creative Frank Gehry buildings and quiet, tasteful religious ritual; the other relies on contemptible extraction industries (oil, gas and coal) and inhabits a world of white supremacy and monster truck shows and religious ceremonies in which beefy men in cheap clothes scream incomprehensibly at one another.”

Now that I’ve got you in a spirit of, well, hate, let me introduce today’s subject: Professor Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

Younger readers may not remember the name Daniel Jonah Goldhagen because he first came to our attention back in 1996 when his blistering first book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, appeared. That heavily hyped book wanted to take the blame for the Holocaust off Hitler and his lieutenants and put it where Goldhagen felt it belonged: on ALL Germans. They loved killing Jews in the Holocaust, Goldhagen argued. Being Christian and all, they had internalized  virulent “eliminationist anti-Semitism.”

Naturally, the New York Times adored the book (it spent twenty-five weeks on their Best Seller list), and it was translated into at least fifteen languages.

Across the Big Pond, it sparked the “Goldhagen Debate” in Germany. Defeated in war in 1945, and more thoroughly defeated in spirit ever since, the German nation lauded Goldhagen’s assault on them. A prestigious prize was given: “Because of the penetrating quality and the moral power of his presentation, Daniel Goldhagen has greatly stirred the consciousness of the German public.”

Not all informed readers were as thrilled. Professor Albert Lindemann, for one, wrote in Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge U. Press 1997) that treatments of the Holocaust by those such as Goldhagen “lack penetration in striking ways. A large number might best be described as cries of pain or expressions of indignation rather than efforts to understand.” Further, he called the book “questionable and simplistic; [Goldhagen] typically ignores, or is ignorant of, evidence that contradicts his by no means original reading of German history.” In sum, Goldhagen’s thesis about pan-German responsibility for the Holocaust “might be termed a twentieth-century psogos, a tirade that is motivated by goals other than the impartial search for truth.”

Well, that’s putting it more nicely than I would, but then Lindemann was writing a year after Goldhagen’s first book, while I have the advantage of a dozen more years to draw on. By 2002, Goldhagen had cast his net more widely in his next work, A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair. One reviewer for National Review, called A Moral Reckoning “a 352-page exercise in intellectual bad manners” and “a spree of intellectual wilding.” This was part of the genre of anti-Catholic books that were all the rage during that period, prompting Philip Jenkins to pen The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice.

Now comes Professor Goldhagen’s latest book, Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity. And what a doozy it is. I read the review of it in The New York Times Book Review. Reviewer James Traub thought it was swell.

To my surprise, another review of it turned up in The National Interest. The title of the review, “The Willing Misinterpreter,” captures the tone of the review. Though reviewer David Rieff is a fellow Jew (his mother was Susan Sontag, of blessed memory), he tears apart Goldhagen’s heated prose, beginning by labeling him an “amateur historian.”

As I noted, Goldhagen has widened his net in hunting bad guys, as Rieff picks up on: Worse Than War is, depending on your point of view, either the logical conclusion of the path Goldhagen has been taking for the past fifteen years or its reductio ad absurdum.” Acknowledging Goldhagen’s families’ history, Rieff still states that Goldhagen’s views “are either willfully naïve or idiotic.” Tracing the bombastic style Goldhagen employs to Goldhagen’s high regard for . . . Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Rieff concludes that “The man really does give self-love a bad name.”

In addition to the differences in assessments of the worth of Worse Than War, I noticed one other important difference between The Times piece and that in The National Interest: The former ignores Jewish identity and Israel, while Rieff twice notes Goldhagen’s powerful pro-Israel orientation. This prompts me to unpack the review in The Times.

To do this, however, allow me a short digression. Earlier this year, I was musing over the question of whether Jews ever feel guilt or remorse when they blatantly insult, injure or kill goyim. I had to conclude, based on my research and observations, that the answer was no. Invariably, they possess mental traits that allow them to project their guilty behavior onto the actual victim, and in turn conceive of themselves as the victims. (Have a look at Chapter 8 of Kevin MacDonald’s Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, which deals with the phenomenon of Jewish self-deception.)

No sooner had I reached this conclusion than E. Michael Jones in his magazine Culture Wars called my views into question. In the April issue, he published his essay “Jewish Monsters from the Jewish Id.” The essay was partially based on his 2000 book Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film. The book discussed how the sexual liberation crowd “tried to drive religious and moral nature out with a pitchfork, but found that nature only returned through the back door, in the form of a monster.” In other words, as one review summarized with respect to sexual license and its attendant abortion problem, “Horror, says Jones, comes from a guilty conscience that won’t admit that it’s done anything wrong — and horror stories reveal the true nature of that guilt again and again.”

Jones combined this with his remarkable 2008 book The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History to argue that the 2009 film The Unborn is about Jewish guilt over abortion manifesting itself as fetal monsters.”

Jones’ review is too long to describe here, but let me say I found his argument compelling. Let me just offer this one passage because it informs what follows on Goldhagen. The crucial Jewish role in getting abortion legalized in America, Jones argues, plus the high rates at which Jews abort their own children,

explains the need to bring up Auschwitz, because the function of the holocaust is to absolve all Jews from any guilt they may have incurred by violating the moral law. Auschwitz is the totem which calms the troubled Jewish conscience by assuring the Jew that he is the eternal victim, and, as such, incapable of incurring guilt as the perpetrator of some immoral act like, say, killing a fellow Jew in the womb of his mother.

More pertinently yet, Jones sees that last December’s Israeli massacre of innocent Palestinian women and children also inevitably creates subconscious Jewish guilt. Which brings me back to Goldhagen and the review of his book in The New York Times.

The Times review never mentions Israel or its behavior. Goldhagen is writing about all manner of genocides and man’s inhumanity to man, but the review is silent on one of the most prominent ongoing examples in the world: that of the Israelis against the Palestinians (seeFor Whom the Gaza Bell Tolls,” Part 1 and Part 2.) Early chapters in Worse Than War have titles such as “Our Age’s Slaughters” and “Varieties of Eliminationist  Assault,” so I have to wonder if he admits to what Israel is doing and has done.

More broadly, I find it highly unlikely that Goldhagen will highlight the prominent Jewish role in the Communist takeover of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, resulting in tens of millions of deaths of non-Jews. Perhaps readers familiar with this new book can help me.

Based on the two reviews I’ve discussed, however, as well as Goldhagen’s past works, I’d wager that he ignores, downplays, or denies Jewish guilt in any number of mass slaughters over the ages. If so, I can proffer this hypothesis: A Jewish writer like Goldhagen is projecting Jewish guilt for Jewish behavior onto the groups he writes about. More to the point, Goldhagen himself is dealing with the guilt engendered by concrete Jewish behavior, but is repressing it. As we all know, what is repressed must come out somewhere.

The result in Goldhagen’s case is a series of increasingly obsessive books, where the target group grows larger and larger. Meanwhile, because Goldhagen has mis-identified the source of his rage, his rage only grows.

Daniel Goldhagen

So what else might be going on in the mind of Goldhagen, one of the most privileged Americans of his generation? As far as I can tell, no one has ever touched or threatened a hair on his head. He was born in Massachusetts and raised as the son of a Harvard professor (who survived the Holocaust). In turn, Daniel attended Harvard from B.A. through Ph.D. and then taught there for some years. What might account for his elevated level of what can only be termed hate?

Getting back to my introductory discussion on this “Jewish virtue” of hate — yes, it was so identified in an infamous essay in First Things, “The virtue of hate” where the Jewish rabbi and then Yale Divinity School student admitted that a nun who realized that “hatred is in the Jewish religion” was right. As most of us already know, “Hebrew prophets and judges believed ardently in the ‘virtue of hate.’” With a passion. I like that. And the rabbi has no problem acknowledging that “many Jews, in my own experience, have continued to despise religions Christians.” Bottom line: “When hate is appropriate, then it is not only virtuous, but essential for Jewish well-being.”

It is a common Jewish personality trait that we cannot ignore because so many Jews direct so much hatred toward so many of us non-Jews. Worse, they have the power to turn that hatred into real harm (and to subsequently protect themselves from their actions).

As just another taste of this process, peruse Hervé Ryssen’s characterization of Jewish intellectuals’ contempt for non-Jews in this piece:

It is not enough for these intellectuals to talk nonsense, to lull us with “human rights,” to bind us with repressive laws, and to inject us with alien cultural poisons. They also have to pour into our ears their contempt for our old cultures. But this contempt does not seem to fully satisfy their thirst for revenge. They must also insult us and spit in our faces: “ignoramuses, xenophobes, paranoiacs, morons, lunatics, etc.” . . .

And I will not recount the innumerable films in which the cosmopolitan scriptwriters take their revenge against Christian civilization and the white man in general. It seems obvious to me, regarding all this logorrhea, that these people hate us. It could not be any more obvious if they wore flashing neon signs on their heads.

Let me close with this point: Goldhagen writes that “hundreds of millions of people are at risk of becoming the victims of genocide and related violence.” God help us if Goldhagen is projecting repressed Jewish desires and intentions, for given the current Jewish stranglehold over America, they could indeed induce mass slaughter. We have seen the process at work in Russia, so we know many of the details, accentuated by the tremendous death toll of non-Jews. Recall that “anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with and possibly shot by a Jewish investigator.”

Tomislav Sunic expounded on this parallel between Soviet Russia and today’s America in Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age. In that book, he saw dark clouds on the horizon for any group in America that might be targeted: “Thus, in order for the proper functioning of future Americanized society, the removal of millions of surplus citizens must become a social and possibly also an ecological necessity.” Kevin MacDonald, in the book’s Foreword, identified what sectors might be targeted “and therefore worthy of mass murder by the American counterparts of the Jewish elite in the Soviet Union—the ones who journeyed to Ellis Island instead of Moscow.” They are the European-derived Whites populating vast areas of the American nation, particularly in the so-called “red states.”

Remember, ideas have consequences. And the good Professor Goldhagen seems to have a fixation on genocide. That worries me, given that he is plugged into the ruling circles of the United States.

But in some distant future, there might be hope. As evidenced by his own books, Goldhagen opts to collectively blame Germans, to collectively blame Catholics, to collectively blame many other groups for their trespasses. What if Jews were ever to collectively repent for their considerable trespasses against others these last three-four millennia? To repent for their financial, political, and most of all lethal crimes against humanity? Maybe then the projection and repression might stop and the world would become a far better place.

Edmund Connelly (email him) is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.

The Archaeology of Postmodernity, Part II: The Emancipation of Dissonance

From an “archaeological” point of view, there are several striking parallels between early 20th-century Austria (as exemplified by the case of Vienna) and early 21st-century America. The easiest ones to unearth are these: increasingly intense minority activism (encouraged by laissez faire policies), a gradual breakdown of the hegemony of the national language and traditional culture, accompanied by a demographic shift away from the country’s Traditionskern — its Germanic ethno-cultural core.

At the turn of the 20th century, Vienna — as the center of the multi-ethnic state of the Habsburg Empire — sheltered a hodgepodge of nationalities, language groups, religious confessions, avant-garde artists, renowned scientists, and rebellious intellectuals who “comingled to give rise to a unique cultural ambiance.”

The ethnic minorities most abundantly represented were the Czechs and the Jews, followed by the Poles and Hungarians. Jacques Le Rider points out that “the xenophobia aroused by the growth of the Czech colony, and the spread of anti-Semitism made Vienna an ethnic battlefield rather than a melting pot.”  The unresolved nationality conflicts “were sapping the foundations of the Monarchy”, according to Robert S. Wistrich.

Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria

As Stefan Newerkla points out, the basically tolerant laws “provided for the right to have education in one’s native language and stated that no citizen should be forced to learn the language of any other ethnic group.”  Language became a prominent site for inter-ethnic conflicts.  Thomas Wallnig emphasizes the fatal consequences of “the massive struggle between the nationalities that marked the final decades of the Habsburg monarchy”; the state was “unable to establish ‘equal rights of all branches of the people’, since every change to the status quo was interpreted as a political advance by one group at the expense of another with state support.”

These tensions were also felt in the world of music – an art form that occupied a special place in the history and cultural identity of Vienna, as a major repository for some of the greatest composers in the history of Western music (Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, among others).

By the early 20th century, the Jewish impact on music and modernity had become so obvious that critics demanded to “stem Jewish music and Jewishness in music before they spread too far,” as Philip Bohlman points out.

Richard Wagner’s polemical writings — tracing Jewishness in melody and speech, body and race (“inner spaces”) — “unleashed a flood of responses to the presence of Jewishness in music, pro and contra.” The rhetoric shared by Wagner and his detractors stressed the ontological interority of music: das Judentum in der Musik (Judaism or Jewishness in music). As Philip Bohlman notes,

Rather than rejecting Wagner’s anti-Semitism as baseless prejudice, most Jewish responses mounted counterarguments affirming the possibility of Jewishness in music, using the same terms, if not case studies, as Wagner and often embracing the racialization of music.

Thus, Heinrich Berl in his essay Das Judentum in der abendländischen Musik (“Jewishness in Western Music,” later published as a monograph with Wagner’s exact title, Das Judentum in der Musik) not only accepted the charge that Jewishness in music inevitably embodied oriental traditions, but even rejoiced in “the richness of Eastern influences.”

Richard Wagner held that the capacity of Jewish composers only to reproduce enabled them to enter European music history at a moment of historical collapse, in the aftermath of Beethoven’s death in 1827. Bohlman points out that “Wagner’s claim that Jewishness allowed only for the reproduction of music [indirectly] opened the historical door, emancipating Jewish music from ritual and recalibrating it as Western.”  Since Wagner held that Jewish musicians were essentially bricoleurs –  i.e. ‘handy-men’ adopting relational rather than rational approaches to assemble and enchain their performances from bits and pieces – no Jewish innovations were to be expected.

On the other hand, as Thomas S. Grey points out, the Central European lingua franca of Yiddish was seen as “emblematic of a tendency to appropriate and distort all genuine cultural forms, from speech to writing to philosophical or political thought to singing, acting, and musical composition.”

The movement away from classical tonality was thus radicalized with Gustav Mahler’s “tonal irony”, and culminated with Schoenberg’s atonal revolution — the dissolution and abandonment of tonal structures as an organizing system in favor of the radical constructivism that emerged with twelve-tone serial music: “With the progressive fragmentation of musical material — its decomposition into its smallest elements — the hierarchically ordered tonal structures, together with the restrictions they placed upon possible relations and combinations among tones, were dissolved.”

The ‘emancipation of dissonance’, according to Carl Schorske, not only destroyed harmonic order and cadential certainty: “By establishing a democracy of tones … [the] tonal relations, clusters, and rhythms expand and contract ‘like a gas’, as Schoenberg said.”  Schoenberg, as Leon Botstein points out, “sought to transmute a German national heritage — the pre-Wagnerian German tradition, seen as the universal in music — adequately into the twentieth century. In this way Schoenberg sought to dominate the musical world the way Wagner had, but in a manner in which all Jews … could partake as equals. … Like the inter-war protagonists of Esperanto, Schoenberg sought to fashion a new, valid universal modernist art in which both reason and emotion could be communicated and to which no social class, religion or ethnic group had claims of priority or higher status.”

Arnold Schoenberg

Since the Renaissance, Western music  has been conceived on the basis of a hierarchical tonal order, the diatonic scale, whose central element was the tonic triad, the defined key. Musical events, thus, are not of equal importance: Some are structurally important, while others are primarily ornamental.  Music, like linguistic discourse,  has traditionally been a time-oriented structure that progresses from a beginning to an end.  As Carl Schorske emphasizes,

The task of the composer was to manipulate dissonance in the interests of consonance, just as a political leader in an institutional system manipulates movement, canalizing it to serve the purposes of established authority.  In fact, tonality in music belonged to the same socio-cultural system as the science of perspective in art, with its centralized focus; the Baroque status system in society, and legal absolutism in politics. It was part of the same culture that favored the geometric garden — the garden as the extension of rational architecture over nature. … The tonal system was a musical frame in which tones had unequal power to express, to validate, and to make bearable the life of man under a rationally organized, hierarchical culture. To make all movement fall in the end into order (the musical term is ‘cadence’) was, appropriately, the aim of classical harmony in theory and in practice.

Ethan Haimo points out that with Schoenberg’s atonal revolution, it simply becomes difficult or impossible to determine which of the tones in the chord is the unstable tone, and which are the stable ones:

When the dissonance cannot be identified, its resolution cannot be directed. And when that happens, the emancipation of the dissonance is at hand — not as the result of theoretical speculation about the more remote overtones of the harmonic series but as a consequence of the extension of the methods of chordal formation to include multiple altered and elaborative tones. … Schoenberg was not searching for stable intervals when he reached toward the more remote overtones of the harmonic system; instead, his principles of chord formation made it impossible to identify which tones needed resolution. The consequences of this are profound. If dissonance cannot be identified, it cannot be resolved. And if it cannot be resolved, then the very notion of consonance and dissonance becomes moot.

Consequently, some of the essential pillars of tonality were pulled down by Schoenberg: “The lack of directed harmonic progressions throws the existence of a tonic into doubt; the lack of hierarchy abolishes the diatonic scale as a referential collection; the inability to identify the dissonance erases the distinction between consonance and dissonance.”

Nicholas Cook points out the “thread of violent political imagery [that] runs through Schoenberg’s Harmonielehre,” as when he (Schoenberg) writes:

The tonality must be placed in danger of losing its sovereignty; the appetites for independence and the tendencies towards mutiny must be given opportunity to activate themselves; one must grant them their victories, not begrudging an occasional expansion of territory. For a ruler can only take pleasure in ruling live subjects; and live subjects will attack and plunder.

Schoenberg talks of vagrant chords bringing about the destruction of the tonal system.

Cook also points out that ”the overlapping of insider and outsider identities that coloured Viennese modernism is often seen as a specifically Jewish phenomenon,” and that there was “a longstanding Viennese, or Habsburg, tradition … of associating music and social structure.”  He draws attention to “the network of terms connected with harmonic rootedness, terms which have a technical musical meaning yet at the same time carry the imprint of the political and racial discourses of fin-de-siècle Vienna”:

These political and racial connotations tend to be spelt out more explicitly in Schoenberg’s theoretical writings than Schenker’s, and the term Schoenberg uses in his Harmonielehre to describe chords that lack rootedness immediately reveals what is at issue: they are ‘vagrant’ chords. … Circumstances can turn any chord into a vagrant, he says … perhaps he was thinking of the displaced Ostjuden (later he might have thought of himself). … [A]t all events he [Schoenberg] assigns a range of equally dubious attributes to his vagrants: they are ‘the issue of inbreeding’, their character ‘indefinite, hermaphroditic, immature’. It is possible for them to be assimilated (Schoenberg’s phrase is ‘fit into the environment’), but when they appear in large numbers they will ‘join forces’, and ‘through accumulation of such phenomena the solid structure of tonality could be demolished’; elsewhere Schoenberg says that vagrant chords have ‘led inexorably to the dissolution of tonality’.

In the 1920s, the conservative musicologist and critic Alfred Heuss attacked the “specifically Jewish spirit” of Schoenberg’s music, which he saw as resulting from a “ruthless tendency to draw the very last consequences from a narrow premise.” Annegret Fauser points out that Schoenberg’s expansion of Wagnerian chromaticism pushed “quasi-polyphonic voice-leading to extremes.”

According to Arnold Whittall, Wagner’s use of “half-diminished” seventh chords to promote tonal ambiguity at moments of great dramatic tension and instability remained of absorbing interest in the writings of Arnold Schoenberg:

[T]he very “indefiniteness” of the Tristan chord has made it possible for theorists to regard it as a post-tonal or even atonal entity, thereby promoting that very breakdown of tonality of which Wagner’s own practice stopped short. … [T]he tonally disruptive potential of the chord, and of Wagner’s use of it, was well understood by those early twentieth-century theorists who were experiencing the consequences for composition of the breakdown of tonal order and, as they saw it, of the formal coherence that went with that order.

As Cook observes, Schoenberg ends up undermining the conservative discourses from which he borrows: The way Schoenberg turns a conservative argument against the archetypal ‘Other’ into an affirmation of the role of the ‘Other’ in the future of German culture, might be seen as “a deconstruction of the conservative discourse of hybridity”:

It works by taking a political stance, translating that into musical terms, developing the musical argument, and then translating (or leaving the reader to translate) the conclusion back into political terms.  In other words, it uses music to create an assertion about something other than music — in rather the same way … that television commercials use musical logic to make a point about hair dye or financial products (Cook, p. 310).

The birth of atonality was, according to Ethan Haimo, “the result of a single composer’s intellectual and artistic makeup.” Bryan Simms points out that Schoenberg “jealously defended his historical role as the first to break with tonality and as the discoverer of the twelve-tone system.”

Arnold Schoenberg’s abandonment of tonality in 1908 and the development of the Second Viennese School were both symptom and cause of an ever-widening gulf between composers using music to make discursive political and aesthetic statements (a product of analytical reason) and a public that still yearned for the psychological satisfaction that comes from formal coherence.

From this perspective, Schoenberg — at least in effect — can be regarded as Wagner’s opposite, as a Jewish “Anti-Wagner”. Wagner successfully claimed for art, according to Tim Blanning, “the function previously exercised by religion and arrogated in modern times by politics or economics.” Schoenberg dethroned that position, by composing “irrational”, atonalistic, “liquid,” “decentered” music, twelve tones “in free circulation, without any firm hierarchy or even distinction between the seven diatonic tones and the remaining chromatic tones.”

As he declared in a letter (1909) to his colleague Ferruccio Busoni: “I strive for complete liberation from all forms … from all symbols of cohesion and of logic.”

Part III: Transvestism in Music

Part I: Viennese Mutations

E. R. E. Knutsson (email him) is a freelance writer.



Jewish Intermarriage

There has been a lot of talk about the “high” intermarriage rate (~ 50%) of American Jews and how this “proves” a willingness to assimilate.  However, in Separation and Its Discontents, Dr. Kevin MacDonald analyzed the data and concluded that the 50% rate was likely an over-estimate, at least for first marriages (i.e.,  those most likely to lead to family formation), and because of undercounting conservative and orthodox Jews.  In addition, even if we accept a 50% rate, I previously commented on other forums that such a rate is actually indicative of a resistance to assimilation, not a tendency toward it.  That is because not only do virtually all white gentile ethnic groups have an intermarriage rate greater than 50% (as the work of Alba has shown), but proportion of the population needs to be figured in.  The larger a group, the greater the probability, and possibility, of finding a mate of the same ethnic (or religious) background; the smaller the group, the greater the chance of mating with someone different – that is, if the people in question have no innate resistance to assimilatory intermarriage.  Given that Jews make up a very small percent of the American population, the Jewish intermarriage rate in the absence of anti-assimilation pressures should be much higher than 50%, in fact at least 80%.

An excerpt from a relevant article, emphasis added:

Individuals that make up ethnic groups may influence the group’s rate of assimilation. While not necessarily providing the ultimate explanation for variations in assimilation between ancestry groups, ethnic capital plays a vital mediating role in the transmission of ethnicity. Not only is ethnic capital an outcome, as is implicit in the assimilation literature, but it plays a role in ethnic choice, as individuals with greater ethnic capital will be more likely to retain ethnic identification and invest in their children’s ethnic capital, a subject that has received little attention in the literature. The lack of an explicit concept of ethnic capital has contributed to the focus on group-level, structural analyses of assimilation rather than at the level of the individual….

While the concept of ethnic capital has been shown to incorporate existing theories, its utility depends on its ability to expand theoretical and empirical knowledge about ethnicity. To demonstrate the usefulness of an ethnic capital approach to assimilation, we examine the causes of intermarriage, a key product of and contributor to assimilation among American Jews. The Jewish intermarriage rate of about 50 percent is extremely low, given environmental odds of intermarriage of 98 percent. This compares with ethnic intermarriage rates of 80 percent for U.S.-born whites (Alba 2000:218-220) and religious intermarriage rates of 38 percent for Catholics and 65 percent for moderate Protestants (Sherkat 2004), each of which would be expected to have far lower intermarriage rates than Jews given the greater size of the groups. American Jewry may represent the outer limits of resisting assimilation for white ethnic groups in the United States.

Even though the intermarriage rates for Catholics and Protestants, when adjusted for population, demonstrate a far greater willingness to “mate with the other” than the Jewish rate, those religious comparisons are not reasonable; the correct comparison should be to the ethnic intermarriage rates.  After all, what does Catholic or Protestant intra-religious marriage really mean?  A Catholic marrying a Catholic could be an Irish ancestry person marrying another Irish, or an Italian or a Pole.  Or, it could very well mean the Irish person marrying a mestizo Mexican, mulatto Puerto Rican/Dominican or an Asiatic Filipino.  Likewise, a Swedish ancestry Protestant can “marry within the faith” with a Korean or a Negro.  On the other hand, the vast majority of American Jews are Ashkenazi and a sizable fraction of the small non-Ashkenazi minority is still Caucasian Sephardic or “Oriental” (e.g., Iraqi, Iranian, etc.) Jews.

Therefore, comparing Christian vs. Jewish intermarriage is like comparing apples and oranges, and makes the Jewish resistance to intermarriage less extreme than it really is.  Given the strong ethnic/racial component to Jewish identity, the real comparison is the white gentile intermarriage rate of 80 percent.  Even with a Jewish rate of 50% — likely an overestimation — that’s almost two-fold lower than what is should be.

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