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Life at Fifty

I am now in my third year of writing articles for this site, and they have added up: today’s is my 50th (review them here). Much of my writing here (and at The Occidental Quarterly print journal) has addressed the way Hollywood film has subtly and not so subtly attacked Whites, particularly White males.

One phenomenon I’ve focused on is the role reversal between Black and White male characters. In the old days, White were usually the heroes; now it almost seems evenly matched, despite White males outnumbering Black males by about seven to one.

Of course I don’t believe this is “just happening.” Rather, I think it is a conscious strategy employed by the Jews who dominate Hollywood, yet another part of their relentless  culture of critique. I’ve argued that two African Americans — Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington — have been chosen to lead this image transformation. In other words, they have been used to create the mold for “The Numinous Negro.”

I should have been more on top of this development, but I wasn’t. Thus I was caught off guard when I read the excellent TOO articleHijacked on the Way to the Apocalypse by Penelope Thornton. In it, she discusses three new films and their White and non-White bearings.

First comes the Mayan doomsday story 2012, where Thornton observes that the U.S. President “elects to stay with the un-elect and disappears with the rest of us, under the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier as it flattens what’s left of Washington DC. The image of the wise, altruistic Black president who, as a member of the elite could have saved himself but goes down with the ship is, one of the most striking images of the film.” (Unfortunately, Thornton identifies the actor as Morgan Freeman — “St. Morgan (aka America’s Spiritual Presence-in-Chief) for most of us” — but it is actually Danny Glover. Still, the visual message remains the same. The confusion is understandable: When Americans think numinosity, they think Morgan Freeman.)

She continues: “The political messages are interesting. We are led by a saintly Black president to our inevitable demise. The two structures that you see toppled completely are the U.S. Congress and St. Peter’s in Rome. The United States of America and the Catholic Church have got to go?”

Ah, the old Jewish desire for revenge on Rome again. Remember when Steven Spielberg indulged himself by having a Catholic Church steeple tumble over in War of the Worlds? (Scroll down to the 1:20 mark.) Freud had the same fantasy, too.

Thornton outlines the plot and players:

The movie is pitched to White people, with the main characters, played by John Cusack and Amanda Peet, and their family life providing most of the human element of the story. But the Whites are living in a world where Indian scientists discovered the problem, the Chinese have the technology to escape the disaster, and there’s a Black president of the United States. Although they have a central place in whatever emotional pull the story has, in the big picture, they are bit players.

Next comes the film Legion, in which “Mother Mary who is with child is a slutty waitress. . . . And Mary is a whore, of course.” Sounds like modern Hollywood.

Finally comes The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington.  Thornton describes his role in this movie as “a kind of Black Jesus Figure.”  Why not, Morgan Freeman has twice played a Black God, first in Bruce Almighty and then Evan Almighty. Naturally, the bad guys are all vicious White men. As Thornton writes, “besides having a Black Christ figure, the Whites in the movie are uniformly subhuman, savage, and beyond salvation. To a man they are absolutely repulsive. No subliminal programming here! Hollywood’s war on the White male continues unabated.”

Thornton sums up the message:

Denzel Washington wrote the movie with Joel Silver, a Jewish screenwriter and producer. Once again we are treated to a favorite theme: A noble Black man will lead us out of the darkness of the White man with the words of God’s Chosen People. Jews and Blacks working together to destroy evil White men in the interests of producing a morally uplifting civilization.

As luck would have it, the story I read immediately after Thornton’s was a Los Angeles Times article called A Hollywood Whitewash? In this story, Asian Americans complain about Whites being cast as Asians in two of this year’s big films. Noah Ringer, for example, plays Asian martial arts savant Aang in The Last Airbender.

Then there’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The L.A. Times notes that “None of its principal cast members are of Iranian, Middle Eastern or Muslim descent. And playing Dastan, the hero and titular heir to the Persian throne in the $200-million tent-pole film, is none other than Hancock Park’s own Swedish-Jewish-American prince, Jake Gyllenhaal.” 

That one’s got to gall Arabs and Persians/Iranians as well. Gyllenhaal’s mother is Ashkenazi Jewish, so according to Jewish law, he is Jewish. Given the Persian conquest of Jewish tribes over two thousand years ago, this is a nice little piece of cinematic revenge.

Asian Americans have been most active in challenging how they (and Asians) are portrayed. This issue gained exposure twenty years ago when the Madam Butterfly-derived Miss Saigon opened with White actors playing Asian roles. As Wikipedia tells us:

Originally, Pryce and Burns, white actors playing Eurasian/Asian characters, wore eye prostheses and bronzing cream to make themselves look more Asian, which outraged some who drew comparisons to a “minstrel show.”

In the London production of Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga originally starred as Kim, with Jonathan Pryce as the Engineer. When the production transferred from London to New York City, the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) refused to allow Pryce, a white actor, to recreate the role of the Eurasian pimp in America. As Alan Eisenberg, executive secretary of Actors’ Equity explained, “The casting of a Caucasian actor made up to appear Asian is an affront to the Asian community. The casting choice is especially disturbing when the casting of an Asian actor, in the role, would be an important and significant opportunity to break the usual pattern of casting Asians in minor roles.”

Despite being a far smaller and historically newer minority group in American than Blacks, Asian Americans have constructed a solid apparatus for critiquing images of Asians and Asian Americans. It is largely university-based and features such pioneers as Elaine Kim and Ronald Takaki. The L.A. Times article was over half a page long and there was no shortage of Asian American activists and groups to quote from. Can you name any such White activist groups that would get quoted defending White interests?

I suspect many college students still get exposed to the ritual accounts of endless Asian victimhood at the hands of racist Whites. The documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin? probably still gets screenings on college campuses around the country. Then there is the critique of the feminization of Asian peoples, led by eroticization of Asian women. This can be seen in the films Slaying the Dragonand Picturing Oriental Girls: A (Re)Educational Videotape.

Quite frankly, I sympathize with Asian Americans and their efforts to exercise a greater degree of control over how they are (mis)portrayed. Given the power and pervasiveness of modern media, all too often perception IS reality. In other words, images have consequences. And if your image if bad, your group is likely to suffer the consequences.

I am not aware of any specifically White groups that defend the image of Whites in our media — and get media exposure. David Duke, Michael Hoffmann, and your humble scribe have striven to raise the consciousness of Whites about the very deliberate campaign to paint us as evil racists. But of course we get only the exposure we ourselves generate.

Gone are the days when mainstream White Christian groups such as the Legion of Decency or the Breen Office could cow the Hollywood moguls by threatening boycotts. Today, William Donohue, the head of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Liberties, does some work toward defending the image of Catholics, but this is minor and only implicitly White.

I won’t make a call for the White masses to rally to their own defense because I know that will not happen under current conditions. Far too many Whites have internalized the images our “hostile elite” has created for them. This is unfortunate, for they are in grave danger indeed.

At best, the danger is one of White dispossession and replacement with non-Whites. This is happening apace and is nearing the point of no return. At worst, Whites may face persecution and massacre on a scale similar to that seen in Russia and Eastern Europe when Jews became a hostile elite there. This is a theme I’ve emphasized and written about unambiguously, so I’m reluctant to repeat myself. But our survival demands it.

As luck would have it, the TOO blog for June 21 has Kevin MacDonald writing on this threat as explicitly as he ever has. Called Jews as a hostile elite—again, it begins with a quote from VDARE.com’s founder Peter Brimelow: “Our political class may live in a fantasy world, but the motive for its immigration enthusiasm is all too real: a relentless hatred of the historic American nation.”

MacDonald then argues:

It really wouldn’t matter much that Jews have become an elite except for this relentless hatred and loathing. After all, all societies have elites. What is toxic is that such a substantial portion of our elite—especially that part of the elite that is ensconced in the media, the financial, and the academic world — hates (loathes, despises)  the traditional people and culture they rule over.

We should never forget what happened when Jews were a hostile elite in the USSR. The loathing and contempt for the traditional people and culture of Russia was a major factor in the avid Jewish participation in the greatest crimes of the 20th century.

So the conclusion is that the Jews … deposed the WASP elite by appealing to their guilt proneness to the point that the new Jewish hostile elite has carte blanche to displace them by importing a new people (opposition would be “racist”) . . . [T]he loss for the traditional people of America is incalculable. And given what happened in the USSR, White people should be very afraid of what the future may hold.

Since this is my 50th column, I’ll address the venue in which I’ve most consistently explored this Jewish hatred of European Americans: Hollywood film. Much of this writing appears in the print journal The Occidental Quarterly. (See here, here,here, and here, for example.)

In essence, the danger is simple to explain. Let’s start with a lie commonly propagated in American universities today. A professor begins a course by writing on the board “Power + Prejudice = Racism.” He then asserts that only White men have such power and prejudice, so racism is a White male problem, the unstated solution to which is eradication of White males.

The more accurate application of this formula would be this:

“Jewish Power + Hostility = Displacement of Whites”

Or, possibly:

“Jewish Power + Hatred = Eradication of Whites”

Limiting myself to Hollywood, this power is easily proved. For instance, take this August 1996 cover story from the Jewish magazine Moment:

What I have addressed in my writing is the “So What?” in this equation. Just like Asian Americans do not control the images created about them, and consequently have to deal with negative and harmful imagery, we Whites too have lost the power to control images of ourselves. This has allowed our enemies to destroy our self confidence, even to trigger altruistic punishment among Whites.

Further, it teaches non-Whites that they have been horribly victimized by Whites and have a moral right to exact revenge. Again, I’ve written about example after example of this. The narrative for Black revenge is already firmly in place, so now Hollywood has moved on to the fast-growing Hispanic population. See my“Machete”: A new front in the war on Whites for how this is being treated cinematically.

I can’t reverse this trend. At best, I can only provide these analyses with the hope that discerning readers will learn how to read the scripted racial codes appearing in so many movies. Once able to decipher them, the effect should be far less potent. I must assume non-Whites will continue to be influenced by the themes of racial revenge, however.

This is not a happy way to celebrate my fiftieth. But of course there is no reason to celebrate. We Whites have allowed this racial assault to go on for far too long. And now the bill is about to come due.

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

Jewish Ethnic Genetic Interests?

A thorough analysis of the recent Atzmon et al. data, particularly the data most relevant to genetic interests (i.e., gene sharing, the IBD findings),  clearly shows that Jews, while genetically close to Europeans, form their own cluster in between Europeans and Middle Easterners, and are more similar to each other than they are to Europeans.  However, a controversy has erupted as to what these findings may mean with respect to the genetic interests of Jews.  How can this issue be more properly addressed?  Here I start such a discussion.  Note that this is obviously not meant to be a comprehensive analysis; it is merely one example of how such a discussion could begin, provided we assume that those discussing this issue actually want to achieve a reasonable analysis, rather than using “Jewish EGI” in a purely instrumental fashion for political propaganda purposes.

Note as well that this analysis can in no way be considered “anti-Semitic,” as the entire point of this exercise is to determine what an optimal strategy would be for Jewish survival as a unique people – in other words, “is it good for the Jews?”

RESOLVED: By promoting mass non-white immigration into the USA and other Western nations, Jews are damaging their own ethnic genetic interests and are hence behaving maladaptively.

Argument: Mass migration of non-whites brings in peoples, who are, for the most part, genetically distant from Jews, directly displacing Jews and harming their EGI.  Since Jews are relatively genetically close to Europeans, and since there are large numbers of European-descended people in the USA, race replacement immigration into America also harms Jewish EGI, by replacing those more similar to Jews (i.e., Euro-Americans) with those genetically more distant to Jews (i.e., non-Whites).

Counter-Argument: Jews are a distinct people from Europeans, and are not really assimilating into Euro-America (see below), and therefore have to be considered separately from Euro-Americans with respect to their direct EGI. Jews make up a very small percentage of America’s population — they are far from directly influencing American carrying capacity with their own numbers. Hence, changes in the demographic composition of the greater American population will not result in displacement of Jews – they’ll always be a small proportion of the population one way or another.  Therefore, the only real possible harm to Jewish EGI comes from the indirect effect of immigration on Euro-Americans, who are genetically closer to Jews than are most non-Whites.

However, Atzmon’s findings show that Jewish groups cluster together and are characterized by a very high degree of gene sharing.  This means Jewish populations have a very marked degree of genetic interests in other Jewish populations, in contrast to their genetic interests in Europeans.  Further, even though there are many more Europeans worldwide than there are Jews, the much weaker Jewish gene sharing with Europeans means that Jewish genetic interests may be overwhelmingly concentrated in their very close gene-sharing relations that Jews group have with their small number of co-ethnics. In this sense, if an action can boost the probability of Jewish group survival, then this action can be adaptive even if it harms the interests of the more numerous Europeans, with whom Jewish populations have a more diluted and attenuated genetic relationship.

In On Genetic Interests, Salter defines four basic ethnic strategies (or lack of a strategy): first, majorities defending their ethnic interests in an ethnic state; second, majorities living in multiculturalism and not defending group interests; third, minorities that assimilate into the majority; and fourth, endogamous strategizing minorities that do not assimilate and preserve themselves as a separate unique ethny. Given that Jews perceive themselves, and are, a unique people, and have traditionally avoided assimilation, it seems that they do/should follow the last strategy, which typically is observed among Diaspora peoples (e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Parsis, etc. — people living in host nations).

If so, the presence of a biologically and culturally homogenous host nation can be perceived as a threat to such an unassimilating minority, if for no other reasons than that (1) there will always be assimilatory pressures in a majority-centered state; (2) in a majority ethnic state, the interests of the majority will be given precedence over that of minorities; and (3) naturally, whenever two distinct groups share the same territory without assimilation, overall differences of interests will always crop up.

Therefore, it would be in the interests of an unassimilating Diaspora-type minority to oppose majority ethnocentrism and the formation of an ethnic state and, instead, favor a minority rights-focused multicultural model in which mobilized minorities are favored over atomized majority members who do not defend specific group interests Further, diluting the biological and cultural preeminence of the majority through mass alien immigration can also be seen as a useful strategy for a Diaspora minority.

Whatever loss of genetic interests that may occur because the minority is relatively genetically close to the dispossessed majority, will be counter-balanced by gains that accrue to that minority by following the anti-majority strategy.  Again, these gains, causing a net positive advancement of genetic interests, are predicated on the facts that (1) the minority is genetically integrated and different from the majority, and (2) the minority is not fully assimilating. After all, even if the genetic distinctions are negligible, minority losses from majority displacement will be large; if assimilation is occurring, then the minority will share the fate of the majority they are melding into, a fate that is obviously maladaptive.

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Argument: First, Jews are assimilating, as intermarriage rates show; therefore, shouldn’t they have interests that coincide with non-Jewish White Americans? A future non-White America may be less accommodating to Jewish interests than are White Americans.  Racial conflict may result in serious anti-Semitism; growing numbers of non-Whites would feel no attachments to Jews or to Israel, and may well just consider Jews to be another variety of hated White.

Counter-Argument: Intermarriage rates are likely over-estimated, and in any case, are 1.5-2 fold lower than they should be, given population proportions, if genuine assimilation was occurring.  Further, there are solid anti-assimilation elements in the Jewish population, and the more ethnocentric elements have the highest birthrates.  There’s no evidence that the separate Diaspora strategy is being fully abandoned.  More importantly, this confuses prescriptive and descriptive arguments.  If Jews are a distinct people and perceive themselves as such, and if they are not already predominantly assimilated (albeit these are descriptive arguments they may be controversial), then, prescriptively, they should eschew intermarriage and follow a separatist model.

In addition, Jews have shown the ability to make alliances with non-Whites against Whites (e.g., the Civil Rights movement) and are now attempting to make alliances with Hispanics within the USA and with East and South Asians globally. By portraying themselves as a distinct, persecuted minority in solidarity with the non-West, Jews may survive and thrive in a post-Western, post-White world and in American in particular.  They are already strategizing to ditch the West once the White race collapses.

Argument: But, the Jewish alliance with Blacks has essentially fallen apart, and Blacks are among the most anti-Jewish of Americans.  As long as Israel exists, Muslims are expected to be hostile to Jews.  Jews may broker some sort of quid pro quo arrangement with Hispanics (i.e., Jewish support for immigration and amnesty in exchange for Hispanic support for Israel), but for how long willAmerica’s growing Hispanic population tolerate Jewish oversight of their politics?  Won’t they rebel, just like the Blacks?  And why should Asians tolerate Jewish competitors, except as part of a temporary alliance of convenience against Whites?

Despite all the “persecutions” of history, the only place Jews have prospered has been the West.  Therefore, I argue that long term preservation of Jewish EGI requires Jews to drop their historical grudges against the West and to move away from fears of “white goy persecutors” and instead attempt to make a deal with Europeans that would safeguard the existence of both peoples.

Counter-Argument: But, why would the Europeans trust Jews (and vice versa) after all that has happened, and with a growing knowledge of the Jewish role in Civil Rights, mass migration and multiculturalism?

[Debate Continues…]

Obviously, reasonable arguments can be made to support either contention: that Jews are acting adaptively or acting maladaptively in pursuit of their EGI in the context of their “progressive activism.”

Hopefully, the issue will be taken seriously.  All peoples have preservationist rights; even groups that have heretofore wished to deny preservationism to others may become convinced of the legitimacy of Salter’s “universal nationalism” if they realize their own long term group survival depends upon it. Therefore, it seems reasonable that we keep an open mind in the event that Jews rationally conclude that their optimal interests are best served by preserving the European peoples.

As I’ll be working on a conceptual genetics project that hopefully will positively impact racial nationalism, I’ll leave the “finish” of this “argument/counter-argument” to the insightful and thoughtful commentariat here, and focus on that project.

Ted Sallis (email him) writes on scientific issues.

Against the Armies of the Night: The Aurora Movements

The single greatest force shaping our age is unquestionably globalization.

Based on the transnationalization of American capital and the worldwide imposition of American market relations combined with new technologies, globalization has not only reshaped the world’s national economies, it’s provoked a dizzying array of oppositional movements, on the right and the left, that, despite their divergent ideologies and goals, seek to defend native or traditional identities from the market’s ethnocidal effects.

In the vast literature on globalization and its various antiglobalist movements, Charles Lindholm’s and José Pedro Zúquete’s The Struggle for the World (Stanford University Press, 2010) is the first to look beyond the specific political designations of these different antiglobalist tendencies to emphasize the common redemptive, identitarian, and populist character they share.

The “left wing, right wing, and no wing” politics of these antiglobalists are by no means dismissed, only subordinated to what Lindholm and Zúquete see as their more prominent redemptive dimension.  In this spirit, they refer to them as “aurora movements,” promising a liberating dawn from the nihilistic darkness that comes with the universalization of neoliberal market forms.

Focusing on the way antiglobalists imagine salvation from neoliberalism’s alleged evils, the authors refrain from judging the morality or validity of the different movements they examine — endeavoring, instead, to grasp the similarities “uniting” them.

They abstain thus from the present liberal consensus, which holds that history has come to an end and that the great ideological battles of the past have given way now to an order based entirely on the technoeconomic imperatives specific to the new global market system.

The result of this ideologically neutral approach is a work surprisingly impartial and sympathetic in its examination of European, Islamic, and Latin American antiliberalism.

Yet, at first glance, Mexico’s Zapartistas, Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, Alain de Benoist’s Nouvelle Droite, Umberto Bossi’s Northern League, the incumbent governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, and European proponents of Slow Food and Slow Life appear to share very little other than their common opposition to globalism’s “mirage of progress.”

Lindholm and Zúquete (one an American anthropologist, the other a Portuguese political scientist) claim, though, that many antiglobalist movements, especially in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, “share a great deal structurally, ideologically, and experientially,” as they struggle, each in their own way, to redeem a world in ruins.

The two authors accordingly stress that these oppositional movements do not simply resist the destructurating onslaught of global capital.

Since “the global imaginary [has] become predominant, linking oppositional forces everywhere,” they claim antiglobal oppositionalists have adopted a grand narrative based on “a common ethical core and a common mental map.”  For the “discourses, beliefs, and motives” of jihadists, Bolivarian revolutionaries, European new rightists, European national-populists, and European life-style rebels are strikingly similar in seeking to inaugurate the dawn of a new age — defined in opposition to global liberalism.

For all these antiglobalists, the transnational power elites (led by the United States) have shifted power away from the nation to multinational corporations, detached in loyalty from any culture or people, as they promote “hypergrowth, environmental exploitation, the privatization of public services, homogenization, consumerism, deregulation, corporate concentration,” etc.

The consequence is a world order (whose “divinities are currency, market, and capital, [whose] church is the stock market, and [whose] holy office is the IMF and WTO”) that seeks to turn everything into a commodity, as it “robs our lives of meaning [and sells] it back to us in the form of things.”

As the most transcendent values are compelled to prostrate themselves before the interests of capital, the global system disenchants the world — generating the discontent and alienation animating the antiglobal resistance.

From the point of view of the resistance, the power of money and markets is waging a scorched-earth campaign on humanity, as every country and every people are assaulted by “the American way of life,” whose suburban bourgeois principles aspire to universality.   

*   *   *

In their struggle for the world, antiglobalists prophesy both doom and rebirth.

On the one hand, the Armies of the Night — the darkening forces of globalist homogenization, disenchantment, and debasement — are depicted as an “evil” — or, in political terms, as a life-threatening enemy.

Globalization, they claim, disrupts the equilibrium between humanity, society, and nature, stultifying man, emptying his world of meaning, and leaving him indifferent to the most important things in life.

In opposing a global order governed by a soulless market, these antiglobalists attempt to transcend its individualism, consumerism, and instrumental rationalism by reviving pre-modern values and institutions that challenge the reigning neoliberal consensus.

As one Zapartista manifesto puts it: “If the world does not have a place for us, then another world must be made. . . . What is missing is yet to come.”

At the same time, antiglobalists endeavor to revive threatened native or traditional identities, as they deconstruct modernist assaults on local culture that parade under the banner of progress and enlightenment.  They privilege in this way their own authenticity and extol alternative, usually indigenous and traditional, forms of community and meaning rooted in archaic notions adapted to the challenges of the future.  Even when seeking a return to specific communal ideals, these local struggles see themselves as engaging not just Amerindians or Muslims or Europeans, but all humanity — the world in effect.

Globalization, the authors conclude, may destroy national differences, but so too does resistance to globalization.  The resistance’s principle, accordingly, is: “Nationalists of all countries, unite!” — to redeem “the world from the evils of globalization.”

*   *   *

If one accepts, with Lindholm and Zúquete, that a meaningful number of antiglobalization movements share a similar revolutionary-utopian narrative, the question then arises as to what these similarities might imply.

The first implication, in my view, affects globalist ideology — that is, the recognition that globalism is itself an ideology and not some historical inevitability.

As Carl Schmitt, among others, notes, liberalism is fundamentally antipolitical. Just as Cold War liberals tried to argue the “end of ideology” in the 1950s, neoliberal globalists since the Soviet collapse have argued that we today, following Fukuyama, have reached the end of history, where “worldwide ideological struggle that calls forth daring, courage, imagination and idealism” has become a thing of the past, replaced by the technoeconomic calculus of liberal-market societies, conceived as the culmination of human development.

In a word, liberal “endism” holds that there is no positive alternative to the status quo.

The strident ideologies and ideas of liberalism’s opponents have already dislodged this totalitarian fabrication — as The Struggle for the World,respectable university press publication that it is, testifies.

Lindholm and Zúquete also highlight globalization’s distinct ideological nature, as they contest its notion of history’s closure.

A second, related implication touches on the increasing dubiousness of right-left categories.  These illusive designations allegedly defining the political antipodes of modernity have never meant much (see, e.g., the work of Marc Crapez) and have usually obscured more than they revealed.

Given the antiglobalists’ ideological diversity, right and left designations tell us far less about the major political struggles of our age than do categories like “globalist” and “antiglobalist,” “liberal” and “antiliberal,” “cosmopolitan” and “nationalist.”

Future political struggles seem likely, thus, to play out less and less along modernity’s left-right axis — and more and more in terms of a postmodern dialectic, in which universalism opposes and is opposed by particularism.

A third possible implication of Lindholm/Zúquete’s argument speaks to the fate of liberalism itself.  Much of modern history follows the clash between the modernizing forces of liberalism and the conservative ones of antiliberalism. That the globalist agenda has now seized power nearly everywhere means that the “struggle for the world” has become largely a struggle about liberalism.

Given also that liberalism (or neoliberalism) ideologically undergirds the world system and that this system has been on life-support at least since the financial collapse of late 2008, it seems not unreasonable to suspect that the fate of liberalism and globalism are themselves now linked and that we may be approaching another axial age in which the established liberal ideologies and systems are forced to give way to the insurgence of new ones.

But perhaps the cruelest implication of all is the dilemma Lindholm/Zuqúete’s argument poses to U.S. rightists.  For European new rightists, Islamic jihadists, and Bolivian revolutionaries alike, globalization is a form not only of liberalization but of “Americanization.”

And there’s no denying the justice of seeing the struggle against America as the main front in the worldwide antiglobalist struggle: for the United States was the world’s first and foremost liberal state and is the principal architect of the present global system.

At the same time, it’s also the case that native Americans — i.e., European Americans — have themselves fallen victim to what now goes for “Americanism” — in the form of unprotected borders, Third World colonization, de-industrialization, political correctness, multiculturalism, creedal identities, anti-Christianism, the media’s on-going spiritual colonization — and all the other degradations distinct to our age.

One wonders, then, if a right worthy of the designation will ever intersect an America willing to fight “Americanism” — and its shadow-casting Armies — in the name of some suppressed antiliberal impulse in the country’s European heritage.

Michael O’Meara, Ph.D., studied social theory at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and modern European history at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe (Bloomington, Ind.: 1st Books, 2004).

Hijacking Jesus on the Way to the Apocalypse

Put on your flak jacket. Make sure your seat belt is fastened. Pull down your goggles. And don’t forget your earplugs.

Take a deep breath and steady yourself! Ready? Okay, were going to the movies.

First Stop, 2012

No need to worry about the future, because there isn’t any.

The end is near; the end is here, and it’s not a pretty sight. Dad, reconstituted loser dad, zips along at breakneck speed, saving the family as the freeway buckles beneath them in LA. But it ain’t just California that’s falling off and caving in. It’s the whole planet. Holy Mother Earth is a goner due to some strange of combination global warming, and magnetic pole shift.

Of course, the trend starts in California. All trends start in California. But the idea is to get to Shangri-La or Tibet, in order to be saved! We’ve heard this before. That’s good news for Buddhists, but what about the rest of us? Sad to say most of us don’t get saved. But President Morgan Freeman — St. Morgan (aka America’s Spiritual Presence-in-Chief) for most of us — elects to stay with the un-elect and disappears with the rest of us, under the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier as it flattens what’s left of Washington DC. The image of the wise, altruistic Black president who, as a member of the elite could have saved himself but goes down with the ship is one of the most striking images of the film.

Warning: This movie is profoundly exhausting. So you may just want to double up on the vitamins before you go see 2012.

The political messages are interesting. We are led by a saintly Black president to our inevitable demise. The two structures that you see toppled completely are the U.S. Congress and St. Peter’s in Rome. The United States of America and the Catholic Church have got to go?

The Chinese are the ones that provide the technology to save just those Chosen Few, including a few White people.

The movie is pitched to White people, with the main characters, played by John Cusack and Amanda Peet, and their family life providing most of the human element of the story. But the Whites are living in a world where Indian scientists discovered the problem, the Chinese have the technology to escape the disaster, and there’s a Black president of the United States. Although they have a central place in whatever emotional pull the story has, in the big picture, they are bit players.

And there won’t be many Whites around in the future. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only land mass remaining after the disaster, and it is the destination for the arks after things settle down. Now I don’t know if this is a reference to the Garden of Eden theme, or Africa as the birthplace of the human race, or simply that the Chinese are doing a lot of investing in the resources of Africa.

But the world will re-start in Africa, so that Africans will constitute the vast majority of all humans. Presumably they will all be like President Morgan Freeman — fonts of wisdom and paragons of altruism and morality. The world will surely be a much better place than it is now.

Legion

Children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 23

So opens the film, Legion.

The rain is beating against the gray earth. A mad dog is barking as he descends. And who is he that descends?

The one who kills two cops and behind whom the lights turn off as he pulls off into the darkness.

He is the Archangel Michael, but not as we commonly understand him.

The angel is confronted by another angel, or is it in a demon? Or is it Satan?

A scene opens up with the usual horrifying physical brutality. He cuts off his wings.

Is he getting settled in? So far, the movie reminds me of Blade Runner.

He has come to the America of now, ghetto Blacks and uneducated, poor and demoralized Whites.

Meanwhile back at the diner, appropriately named Paradise Falls, the place is full of the fallen. Mother Mary who is with child is a slutty waitress. Her boyfriend wannabe is needy and weak. The sweet little old lady turns out to be a foul mouthed evil spirit, who crawls on the ceiling and is difficult to kill.

The lost-souls-gathered-together-in-the-diner is an old theme reworked with what are now getting to be popular clichés of the various types of lost American souls.

And Mary is a whore, of course.

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“‘And why is God angry with his children?’ I used to ask my mother as she was tucking me into bed” says Charlie, the mother of the child to be. “I don’t know, I guess He just got tired of the bullshit.”

Michael the Archangel is fallen. He has come to earth, disobeying God’s last command, which is to ‘off’ the rest of us, because “He just got tired of the bullshit.” God’s had it so he’s doing us in.

So Michael has taken it upon himself to save humanity, and he does so by issuing some serious, high-tech weaponry to the people in the diner. He does this so that they can fend off God’s hordes of angels, as they come to finish off mankind.

Lots of hordes and lots of blood, all to the tune of drones, clanging metal and the deep throb of the musical score. Later “Mary” and “Joseph” escape in a SUV loaded down with quite a cache of weaponry. That leaves the Archangel Michael and the Archangel Gabriel to duke it out down here on earth. More heavy metal and more blood.

I won’t say anymore, in case you see it.

A major theme is a clever marriage of the Apocalypse and the Nativity stories. A lot of things are being turned on their head. The first assault is by an ice cream man. The ice cream man cometh? The Angels inhabit the bodies of wasted humans, much in the way aliens have been doing lately.

The only good angel is a fallen angel, who wants to save mankind from the wrath of God. So there’s a lot of re-spinning of old tales.

The babe has not come to save mankind, but rather, mankind will be safe as long as the child is alive. You could take that to mean simply that as long as we keep having kids, we’ll keep surviving — definitely a good message. The Archangel Gabriel was the messenger of God, who came to tell the Virgin that she was with child. This time he’s come to kill the kid, not too angelic, at least by traditional standards.

Let’s say, on a positive note, that Nativity trumps Apocalypse. And in these oh-so-apocalyptic times, that is good news indeed. But what is the message of this movie exactly? Is it Christian? If it is, it’s a twisted kind of Christianity.

There’s a re-working of an old theme with Michael and Gabriel locked in an immortal combat. The two archangels that have come down to earth are very earth-like. They fight it out like a couple of motorcycle gang leaders in a bar in the Mojave Desert, somewhere on the edge. Even the weaponry used is brutal. The mace-like thing wielded by Gabriel is straight out of the Middle Ages or Mad Max. And it’s interesting to note that it is presented as good fighting good, and not as good fighting evil because we normally associate any angel with good. I don’t really know what it means, and if it’s part of the subtle subtext, or what.

The fallen Angel, Michael, is not evil. He is not satanic. He helps mankind. He is even willing to sacrifice his life to save mankind. So he’s a kind of Christ figure. It is Gabriel, the messenger of God, who is evil and cruel and uncaring. And it is Gabriel, who is doing the work of God, which would then make God evil.  So it does becomes a battle between good and evil in a twisted way.

So here is the Nativity story, resurrected to give God a bad name. Apocalypse is undone, and the angels who return are demons, and not saviors of mankind. So there you go, the updated hip, Twisted Sister version. Strange tales in strange times.

Chics only: Michael is appealing, and I don’t mean just in a spiritual way.

Warning: This movie is not recommended for pregnant women.

Eli’s coming, hide your heart, dear.

Yeah, though I walk in the Valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil

The end has come and gone, and we are 30 years past the “flash.” Yes, it’s yet another apocalyptic movie. This one called the Book of Eli.

Eli, played by Denzel Washington, walks the path. He walks the path through the world after the war, after the flash, after the great hole was made in the sky and the sun poured in, not like honey this time, but dispensing death. Everybody now wears shades, because the sun blinds.

It seems the ozone layer is completely gone. So Eli walks across the vast expanse of what was once America the beautiful. Let’s do that programming thing. We know we are to be nuked; we know we are to be wiped out.  We know because they keep telling us.

Abandon all hope ye who enter the Cineplex.

His first encounter is with a gang of thugs using a woman for bait, thrown out into the desert sun to lure in the unsuspecting. The hero, Eli, a kind of Black Jesus figure, is set upon by a gang of brutal, stupid, sub-humans, who just all happen to be White men. But he is protected by the Lord, or else he is just one hell of a shot, because he nails every single one of them.

Now this post Apocalyptic world makes Mad Max look upbeat, by comparison. Cannibalism is now the norm.

Eli, makes his way to a town run by an evil character played by Gary Oldman. Carnegie rules his town by stealth. He knows where the water is and he’s not telling. No, because he uses his control over resources to control the people. Cold and calculating Carnegie, the smarmy snake oil salesman is evil personified. And interestingly enough, he is a sickly, and pockmarked White man. The very name Carnegie suggests power and its abuses. And in keeping with the evil White man stereotype, he abuses his woman and sends her daughter out to whore. He is obsessed with getting a certain book.

Now the Bible is the good book, and it is carried by the good Black man, Eli. Carnegie wants it because it can hypnotize, and he can control people through its words. His attack animals are physically repulsive, violent, stupid and to a man, White.

The hero, Eli, has been walking for 30 years on the earth; the same number of years as Jesus Christ walked on the earth before his crucifixion. And sure enough, Eli will be crucified. Or rather, set upon by this gang of White brutes and shot as he attempts to continue his walk westward, guided only by the voices in his head and accompanied by Solara, the innocent girl who must escape the brutes.

The color tone is sepia and the sound, a high frequency screech and howling winds. But then, this is the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Eli and the poor little White girl, who has run away to avoid being trashed by her daddy and thrown to the mob, even though he isn’t her daddy, set off on the journey to the appointed place. And then there’s a funny interlude.

Standing alone on the desert flat is a rundown old frame board farmhouse. The paint’s peeled off long ago. It is the very heart and soul of dereliction. The two head for it. They walk up on the porch, knock twice and immediately fall into a trap door.

An old couple have somehow survived these many years and serve them tea in china cups. She winds up their old Victrola. Mind you, the “flash” took place in the time of the MP3, but nonetheless this genteel old lady cranks up the Victrola before cannibalizing the guests. But hell, you know, they’re White folks!

But just in the nick of time the bad guys show up and old Carnegie wants to reclaim his daughter from her Black protector for his evil henchmen. But most of all he wants The Book.

There is a western style shootout with heavy artillery, and Eli gets shot, and surrenders the Bible, but they continue on. He bandages himself up. Now he’s got a hole in his chest the size of a golf ball, but God is great, what can I say?

They make it to the end, they make it to Alcatraz, now a library, and Eli dictates the book. It is at this point, you realize he has walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death without the benefit of sight.

The only good characters in the book besides, the child in Banana Republic wear are Eli and her mother, who are both blind. Blind to the evil around them?

And you have to understand that the evil Carnegie, the snake oil salesmen, only wants the Bible so that he can hypnotize the mob and use them to his evil ends.

The final scene of the movie is of The Book. You see it on a bookshelf with the words, King James Bible, on the spine. And next to it, is a book with the word Tanakh, that is Hebrew for the Old Testament, on its spine.

Denzel Washington wrote the movie with Joel Silver, a Jewish screenwriter and producer. Once again we are treated to a favorite theme: A noble Black man will lead us out of the darkness of the White man with the words of God’s Chosen People. Jews and Blacks working together to destroy evil White men in the interests of producing a morally uplifting civilization.

Afterthoughts

The themes of these movies are relentlessly morose. All the imagery is bleak. And in two of the movies, the optimistic message of Christianity is turned upside down and served up as prophecy of doom. In the Book of Eli, doom is the desert that the world has become. In Legion the scenes of the shootout at the bar are relentlessly gory. The story itself is a sick twist on the Nativity. It features archangels brutalizing each other with maces. This movie starts out on a cold, rainy, bleak night with a mad barking dog trapped behind a chain-link fence. Then there’s the depiction of America as a nation of ghettos and diners, or even worse, a desert full of cannibals.

And the funny thing is that America is becoming like this. The degradation of the society is an ongoing project. This is what people spend their time doing. They go to these insane, hyperventilated, over-the-top sci-fi slug-fests called entertainment.

And all this stuff gets poured into our minds day in and day out.

There is no letting up on the violence, but then added to that is this preoccupation with The End.2012 is the Hollywood spin on the Mayan prophecy, and Legion and the Book of Eli Hollywood versions of Revelations. The promotion and cultivation of fear is a Hollywood staple, using a twist on old themes. In 2012 instead of the visitation of death coming from the sky above, it comes from the very earth beneath your feet, which buckles and erupts for the entire length of the movie. And the heroes again, as with Independence Day, are a Black and a Jew — in this case a Black scientist and a presidential adviser, who appears to be Jewish. Together they usher in the New and Better World.  The White suburban dad is, of course, a loser in 2012, but even so he winds up being saved. The War of the Worlds anti-hero and troubled dad, played by Tom Cruise, is another version of the same stock character.

And in the Book of Eli, besides having a Black Christ figure, the Whites in the movie are uniformly subhuman, savage, and beyond salvation. To a man they are absolutely repulsive. No subliminal programming here! Hollywood’s war on the White male continues unabated.

And then there’s the sound. As we know, the soundtrack makes the movie. The dreary beat of the rain and howling dog in Legion and the high-pitched droning and the howling winds keep you on edge throughout the Book of Eli. It’s all hideously abrasive. I know I was being tongue-in-cheek when I wrote the reviews, but I am serious when I say that you walk out of these movies exhausted, drained of all feeling.

I remember going to movies as a kid and walking out, feeling totally exhilarated and just wanting to dance down the street. My spirit was lifted. The joyful mood would last for hours.

Sitting through these movies is exhausting. Even when I am there I don’t want to be there. The sounds are irritating. Most of the imagery is bleak and ugly. It’s hard to believe this is considered entertainment.

And even more unbelievably, Hollywood tries to pass these movies off as Christian movies.

The constant depiction of life as brutal, as an unending struggle is played out again and again. I think of the scenes of these pathetic people reduced to cannibalizing each other in the Book of Eli. All the subliminal programming. What am I saying? The messaging is as subliminal as a ton of bricks.

What is the point of all this?  What is the perpetual pique of the Hollywood moguls really all about?  Rather than dishing out mindless entertainment, they are making movies that that are full of very mindful propaganda and programming.

We are being told time and again that our civilization is a failure and is going to collapse or be destroyed.  We are told that it is time for it to go.  The Mayan Prophecy tells us that it is inevitable.  The movie 2012, tells us the new world begins in Africa.  Legion tells us our world is rotten to the core and not worth saving.  Christianity is presented as being in a state of self-destruction.  The book of Eli describes a world destroyed by technology of the West, which is to say by White people.

Good guys are Black and Indian scientists in 2012, and a Christ-like Black man in the Book of Eli.  The central White guy is an irresponsible, selfish, divorced dad in 2012.  The Whites in Legion are uniformly bad.  The old lady is a monster, the pregnant girl is a slut, and her boyfriend a nerd.  But the book of Eli depicts White men as either evil or subhuman.  It doesn’t get much worse than that!  I am not sure if Hollywood wants to get rid of Whites, and particularly White men, or just relegate them to the bottom of the pile.

What is this sick thing, called entertainment, doing to people? It really is changing the way people are and, I would go so far as to say, turning people into animals, except for the fact that the animals are far better behaved. It certainly seeks to degrade our society and it succeeds.

Anyway, this goes along with my central thesis that there is no reality — only what we see in the movies and on TV. Media is so big and so overwhelming that it really is creating reality. The media is a giant suction device that sucks people in and they become like it.

Think of the changes in society: the crudeness that is the height of cool, and the brutality that people don’t even question anymore.

Hollywood began seriously trashing Christianity several decades ago. But now it seems that a Christianity in tow is a lot more useful.

Legion lectures us that God is finally so fed up with us that he has to destroy his creation, the human race.  Interestingly enough one of the reasons is our ‘racism”.  Not listed as reasons are murder, rape, arson, and robbery.  The subtext would seem to be that Christians never practiced Christianity.  The movie uses the themes of Christianity without really ever endorsing the religion.   The central themes and images of Christianity such as the Archangels and the Virgin Mary are presented in such a degrading manner that the movie cannot be understood to endorse Christianity.

I believe the message is that Christians were never truly Christian.  At the same time the presentation of the themes and imagery of Christianity belittle  the religion.

In the Book of Eli, we are told that it is only Blacks who truly practice Christianity while Whites use it as a means of social control and a way of deceiving and exploiting the common people. The last scene of the bookshelf, with the two books, the King James Bible and the Tanakh side by side, tell us  that Christianity and Judaism are of equal value.

A politically corrected Christianity is now to be tolerated.  Better to lull audiences into thinking that their religion is not just the butt of jokes and has regained some kind of dignity. Better to finish off what is left of our civilization using Christianity as the primrose path.

Penelope Thornton (email her) is a freelance writer and a serious student of the media and its games.

Learning from the Left: Douglas Hyde’s Dedication and Leadership

White Nationalism is at present confined largely to the political right, i.e., the people who have been on a losing streak since Stalingrad. European rightists do, of course, have much practical wisdom to impart, even if they failed in the end.

But American rightists have not even managed to learn what they can from the losers, much less take an interest in learning from the winners: the left, which has now established ideological hegemony up and down the political spectrum, defining the Limbaughs and libertarians of the “respectable” (viz., ineffectual) opposition as surely as the liberals they huff and puff about.

For those rightists who want to learn from the winners, Douglas Hyde’s Dedication and Leadership (South Bend, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966) is a good place to begin. Hyde was a 20 year veteran of Communist activism, serving as news editor of the Communist London Daily Worker, until 1948, when he resigned, renounced Communism, and announced his conversion to Catholicism.

Although Hyde rejected the ideals and aims of Communism, he thought that the party’s highly effective organizational techniques should be emulated by those who wish to change the world for the better. Dedication and Leadership is a 150-page distillation of his experiences and insights.

Communism has killed more than 100 million people world-wide and is still racking up victims. Thus it is hard to think of Communism as anything but evil. But even evil is an accomplishment, and prodigious evil is a prodigious accomplishment.

How did tiny minorities of Communists accomplish so much? Because they worked harder and smarter than their opponents. They were particularly effective in mobilizing important moral qualities: idealism, dedication, and self-sacrifice. (One tends to feel licensed to kill for causes that one is willing to die for oneself.)

The fact that these moral qualities were bent toward evil ends does not make them any less praiseworthy.

How does one find and mobilize idealism, dedication, and sacrifice? Hyde advises the following.

First, recruit people who are already idealistic.

Young people tend to be idealistic, so special efforts should be focused on recruiting them.

Second, if you want to get a lot from people, demand a lot from them.

Communists inspired tremendous efforts simply because they asked for them. Communists were taught not to ask what they party can do for them, but what they can do for the party. The Marine Corps has no shortage of recruits for the same reason: their recruitment propaganda emphasizes sacrifice and discipline, not the perks of membership.

I was particularly impressed by one example of the dedication and self-sacrifice that was routine in Communist circles. Hyde and his fellow party employees took 8/14 of their income—more than 50%—and tithed it back to the party. They did this every payday, not just on special occasions.

How many White Nationalists are willing to tithe any percentage of their income to the cause they claim is sacred to them?

There are legions of professional Jews and Blacks. But there are fewer than ten full-time White Nationalists in the entire United States, and most of them make so little from the cause that it would be inconceivable that they could tithe anything back to it. Poverty is their sacrifice.

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It is not that money is lacking. There are individual White Nationalists whose wealth runs not just into tens, but hundreds of millions of dollars. Something else is lacking: the qualities of character that give rise to real, effective idealism, dedication, and sacrifice.

The truth is on our side. But truth is not enough to win if it remains locked in our hearts and heads, without consequences in the real world. When the first White Nationalist pledges 8/14 of his income to securing the existence of our people and a future for White children, I’ll believe that we will win.

But beyond asking for 8/14 of an employee’s income, Communism asked for 100% of each member, body and soul. And they got it.

Yes, demanding heroic dedication did make some hesitate before joining the party, but when they did, they were prepared to give their all. It also kept out lukewarm sympathizers and fellow travelers. But the party still had ways of utilizing the talents and resources of those who were unready or unable to take the plunge.  

Third, aim high.

If one is going to ask for everything, one has to have a good reason. The Communists asked everything of their activists because they had a world to win. Grandiose aims are only a problem if there is nothing concrete one can do in the here and now to realize them. But if one can forge that link, then even the humblest drudgery suddenly takes on a deeper and higher meaning.

I once asked an audience at a meeting on White community organizing why they were there. There were many answers: meeting new people, networking, seeing old friends, even learning about White community organizing. All of these were good enough reasons to get people there.

But then I offered a better reason: to save the world. Make no mistake, White nationalists are not just struggling to save the White race, since the welfare of the whole world depends upon our triumph. If we perish, the other races will breed recklessly and despoil the planet unchecked, and the one place in the universe where we know there is life will end up nothing but a burnt out cinder in the vastness of space.

So the next time you attend a White Nationalist gathering, remind yourself that you are saving the world. It will make the commute a little easier, parking less of a hassle.

The Communists realized that demanding heroic dedication to a higher cause does not drain people but energizes them. It does not hollow out their personalities but deepens them. Those who live for themselves alone have less meaningful lives than those who dedicate themselves to a higher cause.

Fourth, be the best.

The Communists taught that there is no contradiction between being a good Communist and being good in every other area of one’s life. The same should be true of White Nationalists. If you are going to be a good White Nationalist, you also have to be a good student, worker, employer, artist, spouse, parent, and neighbor.

One is a more credible and effective advocate for White Nationalism if one is well-regarded in other areas of one’s life. The Communists found that personal relationships with exemplary individuals were more important than ideology in recruiting new people to the cause.

Also, if one finds that one’s political commitments are interfering with excellence in other areas of one’s life, then one needs to scale back and regain balance. This prevents activists from burning out and keeps them in the fight.

Fifth, activism is essential.

Most individuals who joined the Communist party were immediately required to engage in some form of public activism. (A few with important social connections were trained as Communist secret agents.)

Public activism came before ideological instruction. By acting publicly as a Communist, one makes one’s commitment open and irreversible. By acting before one receives ideological instruction, one learns in a very personal and sometimes painful fashion the necessity of such instruction. Such activism also helps one weed out people who lack moral and physical courage before anything is invested in indoctrinating them.

Activism has a twofold purpose: to change the world and to change the activists. Since the party must act until the world changes, it must be organized for perpetual activism. Campaigns should be designed to (a) demonstrate that the party cares about its constituency, (b) to heighten the conflicts between the system and the party’s constituency, and (c) by building character, skills, and camaraderie among activists.

Hyde illustrates these and many other points with vivid anecdotes. His discussion of Communist cadre indoctrination techniques deserves an article of its own. I have not read many books that pack as much food for thought into so few pages.

Some White Nationalists might find Dedication and Leadership a depressing read, since it highlights the truly primitive, pathetic, unserious nature of the movement today. But that is the wrong way to look at it.

One does not need to read Douglas Hyde to see that White Nationalism in America today is full of kooks, losers, and dilettantes. One needs Hyde and authors like him if one is serious about creating a movement that can win.

Greg Johnson is the Editor-in-Chief of Counter-Currents Publishing, Ltd. He can be reached at editor@counter-currents.com.

A new study on Jewish genetics

Kevin MacDonald:  Gil Atzmon and colleagues have come out with the largest study yet comparing Jewish and non-Jewish populations. (See here and here.) Ted Sallis will be coming out with a longer summary for TOO, but I thought I would highlight a couple points.

The study is remarkable for the number of genetic loci studied (3904 SNPs) and the number of people sampled (273 Jews from 7 different Jewish groups (Ashkenazi, Iranian, Syrian, Iraqi, Italian; Greek; Turkish) and 418 people from 16 non-Jewish groups).  As in previous studies, the main message is that Jewish populations do cluster together and are different from the populations they have lived among for hundreds of years.  The 7 Jewish populations divided into a European/Syrian group with a relatively high degree of genetic admixture with European non-Jews (30-60%) and a Middle Eastern group (Iraqi and Iranian Jews). The estimate of 60% overlap between Ashkenazi populations and Europeans indicates that Ashkenazi Jews are an intermediary population with genetic interests that overlap significantly with Europeans.

The new findings were seen as support for the idea that there was significant admixture with non-Jews in Greco-Roman times. This is based on the clustering of the European/Syrian Jews  and the fact that these groups have been separated since ancient times. The authors argue that the data are consistent  with historical accounts of proselytism and large-scale conversions to Judaism in ancient times.  When I reviewed the historical data in A People That Shall Dwell Alone (Ch. 4, pp. 62-78), I ended up rejecting this theory, coming down on the side of historians who doubted how important conversion really was. One thing that convinced me was that there was a lot of evidence for biases against converts. For example, once they converted they were regarded as very undesirable marriage partners and that a pure Jewish genealogy was a very big asset in the marriage market. Families keep their genealogies for generations, and there is a lot of evidence for hostility toward converts. Contrary to Atzmon et al., conversion is not required to explain the large numbers of Jews in the ancient world.

There was also a very pronounced apologetic tone to Jewish advocates of high levels of prosetlytism. But now it looks like they may have been right because the greatest admixture among the European/Syrian groups comes from the Mediterranean area: French, Northern Italian, and Sardinians. It’s hard to see how that could have happened without the admixture occurring in the ancient world. It’s also worth noting that, once again, the data are not compatible with a major role for the Khazars.

In any case, there certainly were elaborate cultural barriers against intermarriage throughout very long stretches of Jewish history, resulting in genetically different populations with substantially different genetic interests. That’s the point of the group evolutionary strategy idea: Admixture would have been much higher without barriers.

And of course, genetic overlap is not the same thing as a psychological sense of common interest. Following John Murray Cuddihy, I have often stressed the hostility and sense of historical grievance that Jews have had toward the Europeans they have lived among for centuries. Psychological attitudes do not necessarily match up one-to-one with genetic distance. Attitudes are affected not only by genetic similarity but are at least partly affected by ingroup/outgroup psychology which is known to be fairly insensitive to genetic distance: People can develop great hatreds toward the fans of different football teams.

The point is that it’s quite possible that Jewish hostility toward Europeans and their culture is not really warranted by the recent findings on genetic distance–an intriguing possibility to say the least.

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Playing Favorites: Two Illustrations of Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory

Can humans distinguish subtle genetic differences, even within the immediate family?  Apparently, grandmothers can do so, as explained in Molly Fox, et al., Grandma plays favourites: X-chromosome relatedness and sex-specific childhood mortality, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, in October of last year. The story is an excellent example of how evolutionary thinking sheds light on human behavior. As J. Philippe Rushton has theorized, the genes really do matter. People who share a greater percentage of genes favor each other compared to people with less genetic overlap.

The “grandmother hypothesis” has been invoked to explain why women live several decades past the end of their reproductive years.  Older, post-menopausal women can enhance their biological fitness by contributing to the survivability of their grandchildren, since there is significant genetic relatedness between grandparent-grandchildren.  Thus, the grandmother hypothesis suggests that a long post-reproductive lifespan for human women evolved because of the adaptive value of assisting in the care of their children’s children.

However, due to the specific mechanisms of the inheritance of the sex chromosomes, the genetic relatedness of grandmother to grandchild will differ depending on whether the grandchild is a boy or a girl, and whether the grandmother is the paternal grandmother (father’s mother) or maternal grandmother (mother’s mother).  Let me explain.

Girls have two X chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father, while boys have one X chromosome (from the mother) and one Y chromosome (from the father).  These X and Y chromosomes are, in turn, inherited from the grandparents.   

Let us consider a maternal grandmother. She has two X chromosomes.  One of these two X’s will be passed on to her daughter (the mother); thus the probability that any specific X chromosome gene will be passed from maternal grandmother to mother is 0.5. (See Figure.)

The figure shows that a paternal grandmother (PGM) is more closely related to her granddaughter because the granddaughter carries a more or less exact replica of one of her X Chromosomes (the blue X chromosome in the figure) while her grandson carries neither or her X Chromosomes. Theoretically, she should prefer her granddaughter to her grandson. The maternal grandmother  (MGM) is equally related to grandson and granddaughter, so she should not show favoritism. The chromosomes with red and black parts result from recombination (crossover) during meiosis.

The mother has two X chromosomes herself, so the probability of the mother passing any specific X chromosome gene to either a boy or a girl child is likewise 0.5.  Therefore, the probability of any specific X chromosome gene being passed on from a maternal grandmother to a grandchild is 0.25 (0.5 x 0.5).  From the standpoint of the maternal grandmother, there is no difference between grandson and granddaughter in X-chromosome relatedness and, hence, approximate overall genetic relatedness.

The situation is markedly different for a paternal grandmother, the mother of the grandchildren’s father.  Again, she has two X chromosomes, one which can be passed on to her son (the father); thus, there is a 0.5 chance of any X-chromosome gene being passed from paternal grandmother to father.  However, the father has only that one X chromosome to be passed on to his own children. If he has a girl (granddaughter), there is a probability of 100% (1.0) that his X chromosome is passed on to his daughter; therefore, one of the two X chromosomes in that girl must be derived from the paternal grandmother.

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What about the grandson of a paternal grandmother?  His only X chromosome comes from his mother, not his father.  Therefore, the paternal grandmother does not contribute an X chromosome to a grandson, implying an X-chromosome relatedness of 0.

Therefore (and this is the important point), a paternal grandmother, all else being equal, is genetically less related to a grandson than to a granddaughter, and less related to a grandson than is a maternal grandmother.  Conversely, a paternal grandmother likely is more genetically related to a granddaughter than is a maternal grandmother, given the certainty that the granddaughter possesses an X chromosome from the paternal grandmother.

Further, genetic recombination between the X and Y chromosomes in the formation of sperm is very limited, meaning that a granddaughter inherits from her paternal grandmother a more or less “intact” X chromosome. On the other hand, the X chromosome inherited from the maternal grandmother will contain some amount of genes from the maternal grandfather, due to the extensive recombination between X chromosomes that occurs during the formation of the human egg.

The bottom line is that the highest degree of genetic relatedness is most likely to be between paternal grandmother and granddaughter, the least between paternal grandmother and grandson, with maternal grandmother-grandchildren exhibiting more intermediate levels of relatedness. (See Figure above.)

The authors of this study hypothesized that grandmothers’ investment in their grandchildren would mirror the relative genetic relatedness.  They analyzed the effect of the presence of paternal or maternal grandmothers, in the grandchildren’s household or in the grandchildren’s village, to childhood survivability/mortality.  The data were obtained from seven populations: Japan, Germany, England, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Malawi, and Canada dating in some cases as far back as the 17th century (when available) and extending to the 21st century.

The findings are remarkable.  The presence of the paternal grandmother was detrimental to the survivorship of grandsons.  In six out of the seven populations (Gambia being the exception) the presence of the paternal grandmother was better for girls than for boys.  In all populations, boys survived better with the maternal, as opposed to the paternal, grandmother; in four out of the seven populations, girls survived better with the paternal, as opposed to the maternal, grandmother.  The findings essentially support the authors’ fundamental hypothesis.

What can be the mechanism behind this phenomenon?  Here the authors speculate that a “behavioral adaption” may cause women to favor grandchildren of a specific sex; alternatively, the grandchildren may be sending out “signals” that represent relative genetic relatedness (e.g., physical resemblance, pheromones, etc.).

The authors unfortunately tend to dismiss a behavioral mechanism based upon negative results of “questionnaires” that did not observe a relationship between preferential care and genetic relatedness. However, in my opinion, these sorts of social science analyses are very weak and highly dependent upon the types of questions asked and the honesty of those answering the questions.

The authors instead propose a purely genetic explanation in that genes related to phenotypes influencing fitness are likely found on the X chromosome and thus variation in the inheritance of these genes between grandmother and grandchild can influence survivability.  For example, if the paternal grandmother carries particularly helpful genes on her X chromosome, these would be present in the granddaughter, enhancing survivability, and absent in the grandson, depressing survivability.  However, this explanation, and the related one involving “epigenetic modifications” of X chromosome genes inherited from the paternal grandmother to granddaughter, do not explain why the presence of one or the other grandmother should have such a marked effect on childhood outcomes and why the presence of the paternal grandmother actually seems detrimental to grandson survivability.

I believe that the social science “questionnaire data” do not eliminate the possibility of a behavioral mechanism predicated on the ability of the grandmothers to somehow become aware of the differing levels of genetic relatedness of the grandchildren.  I do not suggest any sort of conscious activity — “that grandson of mine is less related to me than his sister, so I’ll ignore him and help her.”

On the contrary, similar to J.P Rushton’s “genetic similarity theory” (GST) of which this phenomenon is likely a variant, the grandmothers’ perception of genetic relatedness is probably more on the unconscious level; there is a greater attraction to and affinity for the more genetically related paternal granddaughter, resulting in a greater investment. Likewise, there may be a subconscious aversion towards a paternal grandson which results in a more careless attitude toward care and provisioning.  Averaged over large numbers of people, these subtle differences in behavior would result in variant levels of childhood survivorship vs. mortality.  How exactly the genetic differences are being unconsciously detected is as yet unknown.

Related to this, and also likely associated with GST, is a fascinating analysis from the laboratory of Neil Risch, who is one of the few population geneticists honest about the biological reality of race (Risch et al., Ancestry-related assortative mating in Latino populations, Genome Biology, doi: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-11-r132).  Risch and colleagues set out to determine whether there was any correlation between the ancestral proportions of spouses in either Mexican or Puerto Rican populations.  Assortative mating (like with like) is a proven phenomenon, based on a number of characteristics, including physical appearance, behavior, and other biological attributes.  Hispanic populations are well suited for analyzing whether genetic ancestry influences mate choice, since “Latino” groups are heavily admixed and exhibit a wide range of ancestries within single ethnic-national-cultural groups.  Both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are significantly triracial (European-sub-Saharan African-Amerindian), with Mexicans characterized by greater Amerindian and minor African admixture, and Puerto Ricans by significant African and somewhat lower, but still significant, Amerindian ancestry.  Socioeconomic status (SES) and geographical origin (Mexico/Puerto Rico or the USA) of the study participants was controlled for, strengthening the findings.

Risch et al. discovered was that among Mexicans there is a strong correlation between spousal European and Native American, but not African, ancestry; in other words, Mexican husbands and wives are well matched in percent European and Native American ancestry, significantly beyond random chance.  African ancestry does not correlate significantly in Mexican spouses.  For Puerto Ricans, the spousal correlations were significant for European and African, but not Amerindian, ancestry.

It seems that Mexicans are somehow gauging the Amerindian admixture in their potential mates, while Puerto Ricans concentrate on matching levels of African ancestry.

Analysis of the distribution of gene alleles within and between individuals strongly suggests that this “like with like” mating has been going on for quite some time, and possibly was more pronounced in previous generations than today.  Given that SES and geographical origin do not seem to play any roles in markers of ancestry, what is the mechanism by which this assortative mating takes place?

Obviously, physical features can serve as a proxy for ancestry; therefore, perhaps, Latinos are hooking up with each other based upon who “looks Whiter” or “looks more Amerindian or African.”  However, the authors note that to achieve the fairly high correlations of husband-wife ancestry, a very marked association between physical traits and genetic ancestral proportions is required.  The problem is that previous studies of Latin American groups have not shown genotype-phenotype associations of the required levels.  Therefore, it is unlikely that physical appearance alone can suffice as an explanation.

Perhaps a number of different factors, including appearance, acting in concert can have a synergistic effect on ancestral identification for assortative mating. One must remember that a number of “Latino” cultures have historically prized higher degrees of White ancestry, and perhaps older family members “advertise” their “whiteness” so as to attract the “right sort” of mates for the younger generation.

Both the grandmother and Latino assortative mating stories are of relevance to us because they describe real-life examples of GST-like behavior. They show the ability of individuals to, at some level, recognize relative differences in genetic similarity.

This obviously has bearing on the recognition of ethnic kin in multiracial, multicultural societies, and the propensity to favor such kin, either consciously or unconsciously.  One may speculate that if people can perceive relative genetic ancestry via some sets of cues, and if this influences behavior, then this may explain some of the costs of diversity, including lower levels of societal investment.

Indeed, given that these studies suggest the ability to distinguish genetic differences even within immediate families, it is plausible that differences in ethnic kinship within single ethnic groups can determine societal harmony and progress.  For example, one would expect that ethnic-national groups that are relatively genetically homogenous would exhibit higher degrees of investment in collective goods, such as public health insurance. On the other hand, ethnic-national groups that are more genetically heterogeneous, for whatever reason, would exhibit less societal investment and more focus on the family unit and extended kin relationships.

The possibility that relative genetic homogeneity could be part of the explanation for differences in social structure and public goods investment in different European nations is a provocative hypothesis.  It is also possible that different ethnic and racial groups exhibit these sorts of behaviors to different degrees; more ethnocentric peoples may be better at detecting subtle differences in genetic kinship than those who are more tolerant.

And what if the mechanism behind the Fox and Risch findings is discovered? Will those opposed to our people’s survival attempt to find ways of short-circuiting this mechanism, perhaps even to misdirect it so as to make Westerners favor aliens over kin to an even greater extent than they already do? Conversely, can we use these discoveries to our advantage?  Only time will tell.

Ted Sallis (email him) writes on scientific issues.