Jewish Ethnic Networking

Hype for Elena Kagan—Round Two

The last time we went through the Supreme Court nomination process, there was a veritable groundswell of hyperbole for Elena Kagan — so much so that I couldn’t resist writing about it  here. The theme is ethnic networking. How else explain the fact that someone with a completely undistinguished scholarly record not only got tenure at the University of Chicago but was appointed dean of Harvard Law School?

She had exactly two publications in law review journals when she got tenure and has done very little since. A record like that would be a tough sell for tenure even in the nether regions of academia, never mind the most elite schools in the land. But now her lack of publications is seen by her supporters as an asset: She has no embarrassing paper trail on controversial issues.

Once again, the same people are hyping Kagan as absolutely brilliant. In a recent Huffington Post article (“Elena Kagan Emerging As Supreme Court Front-Runner“), Charles Fried says, “She is a supremely intelligent person, really one of the most intelligent people I have encountered, and I have met a lot of them, as one does in this business. She is very adroit politically. … She has quite a strong personality and a winning personality. I think she’s an effective, powerful person and a very, very intelligent person, and a very hardworking and serious person.” Presumably she can also walk on water.

Fried also praised Kagan effusively in the earlier round, along with Laurence Tribe, another Jewish Harvard Law professor. As I noted, “Kagan was appointed Dean of Harvard Law by Lawrence Summers — also Jewish and with a strong Jewish identity. Summers and Kagan covered for Laurence Tribe when he lifted a passage from another scholar’s book without attribution. Ethnic networking is nothing if not reciprocal.

The religion/ethnicity issue rears its head only slightly: “There has been some superficial concern over Kagan’s religion — not because she’s Jewish but because without Stevens there will be no Protestants on the court.” And Kagan would be the first open homosexual on the court.  (Actually, it’s surprising we aren’t hearing more about this, given how controversial sexual orientation and issues like homosexual marriage are these days.)  But not to worry: “These are distractions not speed bumps, strategists predict, if Obama chooses to go with Kagan.”

No White Protestants on the Supreme Court in a country that in living memory thought of itself as WASP at its very core. But, with Kagan, there would be three Jews and no White Protestants. Who exactly are these “strategists” and what is the goal of their strategizing?

The really amazing thing is that Kagan is being framed as a conservative. But on the issues that really count — issues related to multiculturalism, executive power, and free speech, there is every reason to suppose that Kagan is on the left: Her record

strongly suggests that Kagan would be quite willing to fashion her legal arguments to attain her liberal/left policy goals, and that is exactly what her other writings show. Her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” (60 University of Chicago Law Review 873; available on Lexis/Nexis) indicates someone who is entirely on board with seeking ways to circumscribe free speech in the interests of multicultural virtue: “I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.”

She acknowledges that the Supreme Court is unlikely to alter its stance that speech based on viewpoint is protected by the First Amendment, but she sees that as subject to change with a different majority: The Supreme Court “will not in the foreseeable future” adopt the view that “all governmental efforts to regulate such speech … accord with the Constitution.” But in her view there is nothing to prevent it from doing so. Clearly, she does not see the protection of viewpoint-based speech as a principle worth preserving or set in stone. Rather, she believes that a new majority could rule that “all government efforts to regulate such speech” would be constitutional. All government efforts.

It’s noteworthy that the organized Jewish community has a long record of opposing free speech related to multicultural issues not only in the US, but in a wide range of other countries. Kagan’s views fit well with the views of the organized Jewish community: Every effort should be made to restrict “hate speech” within the current legal context, but to do whatever possible to change the context so that such speech is outlawed.

Further, as the HuffPo article notes,  “the praise from conservatives may sound damning to those who worry that the court is … too willing to accommodate the radical expansion of executive power. Kagan has been criticized by civil libertarians for her expansive stance on detainee policy.”

The promotion of a strong executive branch and lack of concern for civil liberties is exactly the problem: The worst excesses of government power in the last century have come from the left. Knowing that Kagan advocates a powerful central government is hardly reassuring.

The picture that emerges is that of someone who would have no hesitation to expand the power of the federal government to end First Amendment freedoms and squelch any hope that a White racialist movement could achieve real power. Those ideas are entirely within the Jewish mainstream.

In summary, Kagan “sees her job as a legal scholar to find a way to ensure that these goals are achieved while paying lip service to the legal tradition of the First Amendment.” And in the long run, she would just love it if the First Amendment would be jettisoned entirely.

So the hype for Kagan is dishonest on two counts: First, there is no evidence whatever that she is brilliant; all the evidence is that she has achieved far more in the academic world and in government than she deserves  based on her actual performance. Second, she is inaccurately presented as a conservative. Her meager paper trail of academic writing  clearly indicates that she would be a staunch warrior on the side of the multicultural left on critical issues like free speech.

And despite all the hyperbole from “conservatives” like Charles Fried, I suspect the people who are promoting her are well aware of that fact.

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Ethnic Conflict in German Physics

Dan Michaels’ current TOO article on Jewish-German conflict in physics raises some fascinating issues about intellectual styles between the two groups. He quotes Johannes Stark, a Nobel laureate and leader of the German Physics movement as follows:

The dogmatic approach seeks to extract scientific knowledge from the human mind. It builds thought systems based on human concepts of the outside world and sees in these only manifestations of their own thoughts and formulas. Our pragmatic approach [i.e., experimental physics] draws its knowledge from careful observations and planned targeted experiments. Our own imagination is used only as a means of planning the experiment. If the plan does not confirm the experiment, then it is replaced by another concept that better corresponds to reality. … The pragmatic [experimental] approach seeks to understand reality in patient, often yearlong laboratory work and limits itself to the publication of the results so obtained..

This struck a chord with me because one could say the same about the ideas in the Jewish intellectual movements described in The Culture of Critique. Psychoanalysis is a paradigm: Freud and his followers projected their own ideas of reality onto the world and then spent the next century elaborating on the ideas without ever being bothered that no one could prove the ideas one way or the other. For this effort in mental gymnastics, Freud was deified not only by his followers but lavishly promoted in the media as a genius.

Meanwhile, American behaviorists of the early 20th century began slowing building up knowledge one experiment at a time — using rigorously controlled methods and altering the theories as new data became available. Behaviorism finally ran out of steam when psychologists showed that human learning couldn’t be explained without cognition, and since then cognitive science has been slowly and gradually accumulating knowledge of the inner workings of the human mind.

It was the same in American sociology, where Jews committed to Marxist ideology conflicted with native Protestants committed to an empirical science framework. From Ch. 2 of The Culture of Critique:

The ethnic conflict within American sociology parallels to a remarkable degree the ethnic conflict in American anthropology that is a theme of this chapter. Here the conflict was played out between leftist Jewish social scientists and an old-line, empirically oriented Protestant establishment that was eventually eclipsed:

American sociology has struggled with the contrary claims of those afflicted with physics envy and researchers . . . more engaged in the dilemmas of society. In that struggle, midwestern Protestant mandarins of positivist science often came into conflict with East Coast Jews who in turn wrestled with their own Marxist commitments; great quantitative researchers from abroad, like Paul Lazarsfeld at Columbia, sought to disrupt the complacency of native bean counters. (Sennett 1995, 43)

The struggle of the Frankfurt School to produce empirical data that would be acceptable to American social scientists (reviewed here) provides an interesting saga in its own right. In the end, they managed to produce data that at least had the appearance (and only the appearance) of supporting their a priori commitment to producing a politically effective intellectual rationale for White displacement.

It is tempting, then, to think of Einstein as part of this Jewish tradition in the social sciences, and several commentators over the years have mentioned this to me as a research project. There may be something to this. But one problem is that, unlike psychoanalysis, Marxism, or the ideas of the Frankfurt School, the subject matter of Einstein’s theories cannot be seen as directly furthering Jewish ethnic goals (even though Einstein himself was a strong Zionist and had the usual Jewish fetishes about Jewish racial purity and racial superiority; see here). For example, the theories of Freud and the Frankfurt School were used in the battle to make people think that Whites with a sense of White identity and White interests have a psychiatric disorder and pathological family relationships. These theories were also used to fashion malignant and self-serving theories of anti-Semitism in which Jewish behavior is irrelevant. This was not the case with Einstein’s theories.

Further, whatever else one may say about Einstein’s theories, they have produced an enormous amount of research attempting to confirm them — unlike the Jewish intellectual movements discussed in CofC where agreement was enforced by simply expelling and ridiculing dissenters. In the end, providing a theory that produces a lot of new research is perhaps all that any good theory can do.  Of course, this does not absolve Einstein from the allegations that he didn’t adequately acknowledge the contributions of his predecessors — always an issue in the academic world where priority is everything.

Still, there seems to be a difference in intellectual style between Jews and non-Jews. One of the quotes that was left out of Culture of Critique (because I didn’t know quite what to make of it) was from John Maynard Smith, the prominent British biologist. He made the following statement on contrasting intellectual styles in evolutionary biology:

By and large, those who held that [natural] selection played a major role in evolution were English country gentlemen, but…those who were not have largely been urban Jews….I mean urban intellectuals, people like Stu Kauffman and Steve Gould . It’s the search for universal truths. They seem to say, if there are not universal truths, how can you do science? Natural selection appears to be too ad hoc for them, just opportunistic adaptation. For me, that’s the way nature is.

Again we see the contrast between the Jewish style of universalist abstraction and the style of patient naturalists like Darwin steadily accumulating data over many years —  fascinated with finding out how nature works, developing their theories inductively on the basis of evidence and not having any preconceived ideas about how nature works. E. O. Wilson titled one of his books The Naturalist and another Biophilia, reflecting his fascination and love of the natural world and how it works. Sociobiology, his 1975 synthesis of theory and data on the social behavior of animals and humans, remains a paradigm of powerful theory firmly grounded in empirical reality.

Of course, people like Gould also had ethnic reasons for disliking natural selection since, as Jewish leftists, they feared the development of a robust evolutionary science  of humans. (Gould is a major villain in Ch. 2 of CofC.) Gould was a well-known critic of sociobiology and research on race differences.

Indeed, it is interesting that the only example in CofC where Jewish social scientists deviated from a commitment to weakly grounded universalist abstraction comes in the attack on Darwinism as it applied to the human social sciences. Here the method was radical skepticism and the enshrinement of an anti-theory of the differences between cultures and differences between human races. Gould is a prominent example, but the most important figures historically were Claude Levi Strauss and Franz Boas whose influence meant that anthropology would deify the minutiae of cultural differences rather than seek the sort of unifying theory that had been elaborated by the Darwinian anthropologist Louis Henry Morgan on the basis of patiently accumulating and synthesizing data.

As is the case in other arenas, Jewish intellectual style can be altered radically to suit Jewish interests. Whatever is good for the Jews and all that.  As I note in Ch. 6 of CofC,

Within the intellectual world, the greatest potential danger for a collectivist minority group strategy is that science itself as an individualist enterprise conducted in an atomistic universe of discourse could in fact coalesce around a set of universalist propositions about human behavior, propositions that would call into question the moral basis of collectivist minority group strategies such as Judaism. One way to prevent this is for science itself to be problematized and replaced by a pervasive skepticism about the structure of all reality.

As I argue elsewhere, the decline of the non-Jewish intellectual elite inspired by Darwin was a critical factor in the decline of WASP America and the West generally.

Apart from this destructive effort directed against Darwinism, the thesis of Culture of Critique is that Jewish intellectuals have a long track record of developing theories in the social sciences and humanities that are very difficult, if not impossible, to test. Rather than empirical testing, group cohesion was maintained by ingroup consensus and fealty to god-like figures, with dissenters being expelled. This was also true of traditional Jewish groups: These groups saw the world through the lens of a non-falsifiable, abstract theological theory, and they were centered around charismatic rabbis, with heretics and other non-conformists expelled from the group.

At the same time, these theories — both the religious and secular versions — have been very useful to Jews politically. In traditional societies they enabled cohesive, effective groups where any event (e.g., anti-Jewish persecutions) could be explained by the theory (e.g., Jews had strayed from God’s law). And since the Enlightenment, these theories have been used as weapons against non-Jews and their culture. Conceptually, these theories are similar to Einstein’s theory in being internally consistent and difficult to verify. But Einstein’s theories have resulted in a lot of novel research attempting to confirm them and it is my (unsophisticated) understanding that aspects of his theories have been confirmed. And I rather doubt that Einstein’s theory satisfied Jewish political aims in quite the same way as the theories discussed in The Culture of Critique. Nevertheless, I await comment by people trying to make a case for a stronger relationship.

Finally, whatever one thinks of Einstein as a scientist, the media hype for Einstein is unquestionably intense, and there can be little doubt that the pervasiveness of the cult of Einstein as a Jewish genius has overtones of Jewish influence. For example, in 2000 Einstein was Time Magazine’s Person of the Century.” Einstein is useful not just as a Jewish intellectual genius (and all the positive aura that provides for Jews generally). He is also useful because he had values typical of a very large section of the Jewish Diaspora in Western societies then and now — the same values that publications like Time wish to celebrate and that dominate the mainstream media and elite intellectual and political discourse now. The implicit logic is that really smart people have left/liberal attitudes — just the sort of person all non-extremists want to be. Indeed, this suggests that a really interesting Einstein project would be to try to figure out how influential Einstein and his cult were in molding elite opinion during the crucial 20 years following World War II.

This is from the Time article, written by Frederic Golden, who is careful to quote non-Jews who worship at the altar of Einstein:

Following World War II, Einstein became even more outspoken [with his leftist political views]. Besides campaigning for a ban on nuclear weaponry, he denounced McCarthyism and pleaded for an end to bigotry and racism. Coming as they did at the height of the cold war, the haloed professor’s pronouncements seemed well meaning if naive; Life magazine listed Einstein as one of this country’s 50 prominent “dupes and fellow travelers.” Says Cassidy: “He had a straight moral sense that others could not always see, even other moral people.” Harvard physicist and historian Gerald Holton adds, “If Einstein’s ideas are really naive, the world is really in pretty bad shape.” Rather it seems to him that Einstein’s humane and democratic instincts are “an ideal political model for the 21st century,” embodying the very best of this century as well as our highest hopes for the next. What more could we ask of a man to personify the past 100 years?

I’m guessing Prof. Holton is a philo-Semite.

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Totenberg On the Bench, Totenberg on NPR, Totenberg Everywhere

From the Self-Perpetuating Jewish Power Circle Dept. comes the recent news that Amy Totenberg, sister of NPR legal reporter Nina Totenberg, has been nominated to the federal bench by President Obama.

This nomination reflects a well-established trend of powerful Jews, often related to each other by blood or acquaintance, being elevated to incredibly powerful positions in our society that can then be leveraged to keep the other positions protected or elevated.

Nina Totenberg, for instance — in addition to her already heavy liberal, anti-white bias — is now in a position to report positively on her sister (not likely, as that would be too obvious), fail to report negatively on her sister (a guarantee), and generally put a spin on legal coverage that reflects her sister’s likes and dislikes (very likely).

Amy Totenberg, meanwhile, would be in a position to issue rulings that track the bias of her sister’s liberal views.

The two of them together could operate like that two-man hand-crank train car you see in the cartoons.

Did I mention that Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at Nina Totenberg’s wedding?

The entire thing makes me sick to my stomach.

One, the same power-grabbing by White gentiles would described by Jews as an example of “the good ole boys’ network”, “institutional racism” or “the white power elite.”  Practiced by Jews, it goes unremarked.  No, make that “uncommentable”, because anyone pointing to it will be branded an awful racist.

Two, unlike high-level nepotism by Whites, the Jewish variety works in a hundred different ways against whites.  Their clear trend, with rare exceptions, is toward policies and media messages that are harmful to white interests.

The Totenberg sisters are not going to be addressing in any positive way the injustices facing whites.  Instead, we can expect them to be working overtime to perpetuate those injustices.

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Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist. Email him.

Edmund Connelly: Steve Sailer gets it

Edmund Connelly: Now I’ve got more reason to like Steve Sailer. He recently showed again on his VDARE blog why I’ve recommended him so strongly. Recall my two columns last year recommending his work—see here and here. I really think he does a great job at quantitatively showing how Jews have become the new elite in our society. And he does a pretty good job at pointing to some Jewish behavior that the MSM doesn’t always want to acknowledge. 

His blog here paints a pretty clear picture again. His column is a coment David Brooks NYTimes column extolling the virtues of the new meritocracy compared to the bad old days when the WASPs ran the country. Brooks claims that “we have opened up opportunities for women, African-Americans, Jews, Italians, Poles, Hispanics and members of many other groups.”

In reality, however, the big winners from this “meritocracy” are Jews. Sailer points out that 

 In 2009, 35% of the Forbes 400 are from one ethnic group that makes up only 2% of the population. So, is “The Power Elite” really that much more diverse today?

If you break down Brooks’ list — “African-Americans, Jews, Italians, Poles, Hispanics”– by membership in the 2009 Forbes 400, you come up with:

African-Americans: 1 (Oprah)
Jews: 141
Italians: 14
Poles (and all other Eastern Europeans): 6
Hispanics: 2

Similarly, if you look at the 2009 Atlantic 50 ranking of most influential pundits, it’s half Jewish, versus 2% black and 0.5% Hispanic.

In other words, this increased “meritocratic diversity” among the elites that Brooks is writing about essentially consists of the rise of Jews over the last century.

The fact is that the new order is reasonably seen as less of a meritocracy than a new form of clubbiness where ethnic ties among Jews ease the way into top positions. Ethnic cohesion is certainly the main story of the Jewish academic and intellectual elite that constructed the Culture of Critique in the academic world, and the vast overrepresentation of Jews in the media elite mentioned by Sailer suggests it’s the same story there. Indeed, Jews are vastly overrepresented as students in elite academic institutions even controlling for IQ.

This new elite based on ethnic networking is at least as corrupt as the old WASP elite and its family ties. The new elite reacts with angry aggression and charges of “anti-Semitism” if one even mentions that they are in fact an elite.

The old elite had a sense of civic responsibility and national interest. As Sailer notes, the new elite seems to care nothing about the long term success of the society as a whole:

The unspoken implication of Brooks’ analyses is that American Jews should start thinking of themselves less as oppressed outcasts who need to go for whatever they can get while the getting is good, and start thinking of themselves more realistically as the core of the New American Establishment. Thus, American Jews should realize that, like the Protestant Establishment of yore, their privileged position as a de facto leadership caste bestows upon them corresponding duties to conserve the long-term well-being of the overall nation rather than to indulge in personal and ethnic profit and power maximization.

But the terrifying reality is that the Jewish ascendancy remains hostile to the traditional people and culture of America. Jews continue to earn like Episcopalians (actually more than Episcopalians) and vote like Puerto Ricans. They are the financial backbone of the Democratic Party and its coalition of non-White ethnic groups. (83% voted for Obama.) The organized Jewish community is a major pillar of support for massive, non-White immigration that will add 100 million non-Whites to the US in the next few decades.

The new elite is definitely not about conserving America for the long term success of the society as a whole. It’s about ethnic paranoia, ancient hatreds, and the desire to completely transform the society at the expense of its traditional people –elite and non-elite alike — at whatever the cost to the society as a whole. Hey, when it falls apart, just take the money and run to Israel.

Sailer makes it pretty clear that Brooks was not connecting the obvious dots: Since Jews took over America, things have definitely changed for the worse for White Americans.

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Edmund Connelly (email him) is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. His most recent TOO article is “Farewell, My Dear WASP

Why Has Mahler Become a Cultural Icon?

R. J. Stove has a delightful article on Mahler posted at the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation:

The Mahler symphonies … get me out of here. I keep surreptitiously cheering Kingsley Amis’s verdict “Mahler lacks talent even more spectacularly than he lacks genius.” …

The leap in Mahler’s stature from near-oblivion in 1960 (when, as Britain’s Spectatornoted on January 13, “[H]is impact on the general public was roughly the equivalent of, say, [Poland’s Karol] Szymanowski today”) to deification after that date, has little or nothing to do with musical merits and almost everything to do with external considerations.

And what might these external circumstances be?

Once it became widely known that Mahler had lamented being “a Bohemian in Austria, an Austrian in Germany, and a Jew in the world,” his identity-politics credentials became the aesthetic equivalent of a nuclear warhead, lacking only homosexuality to complete his posthumous triumph.

With the exception of a few musicians enthralled with the challenge of playing his music, the people who love Mahler love him because of who he is, not because they enjoy listening to his music.

Mahler has been the subject of TOO articles by E. R. E. Knutsson and Elizabeth Whitcombe. Knutsson described the Jewishness of Mahler’s music in the context of the fin de siècle cultural scene of Vienna:It has been arguedthat Mahler’s music has links back to the Hasidic music of Eastern European ghettos of the eighteenth century in which dance music is deployed as a remedy to misery.” An anti-Jewish critic at the complained, “What I find so utterly repellent about Mahler’s music is the pronounced Jewishness of its underlying character. … It is abhorrent to me because it speaks Yiddish. In other words it speaks the language of German music but with an accent, with the intonation and above all with the gestures of the Easterner, the all-too-Eastern Jew.”

Whitcombe links Mahler to T. W. Adorno: “Adorno claimed that the bourgeois musical world was repressing Mahler’s work because Mahler shunned ‘moderate peacefulness.’ In Adorno’s words: ‘The genuine significance of Mahler that can be discovered for today lies in the very violence with which he broke out of the same musical space that today wants to forget him’ (Mahler Today,” 1930).”

Stove’s comment does not get into the details of how Mahler became so important. I suspect that an argument can be made that Mahler’s incredible success since the 1960s has to do with ethnic networking and with peculiarly Jewish attitudes toward culture. The topic deserves a full treatment.

Mahler’s visibility these days is truly phenomenal. Leon Botstein labels Mahler “the most visible figure from the high-art classical music tradition since Mozart.” Whereas in the 1930s Adorno complained that Mahler was on the verge of being forgotten, by the 1960s the intellectual landscape had changed dramatically, bringing to the fore the intellectual movements discussed in The Culture of Critique, including Adorno’s Frankfurt School.  By several accounts, the two most important advocates of Mahler during the 1960s were Adorno and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Adorno’s campaign on behalf of Mahler did not bear fruit until his influential 1960 book Mahler: A Musical Physiognamy. An historian notes, “The effect [of Adorno’s book] on the cultivated, on many musicologists, on composers, has been immense.” The Culture of Critique shows that Adorno had a strong Jewish identity and a hostility toward traditional Western culture (viewed as inevitably leading to fascism and anti-Semitism) that colored all of his writing.  In his view, Mahler was attractive because he was the antithesis of the traditional muscial culture of the West. (The same can be said of Adorno’s attempt to promote Arnold Schoenberg; see TOO’s Knutsson and Whitcombe.)  Re Bernstein, Botstein notes that “Bernstein was Mahler’s most prodigious advocate in the seminal 1960s…. Bernstein implicitly set Mahler’s ambivalence to his fate as a Jew alongside his own proud assertion of Jewish identity and faith.”

The result was that Mahler has become a sainted icon of the new culture — another example of Jewish genius. Even if no one really enjoys listening to his music.

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Elena Kagan: Jewish Ethnic Networking Eases the Path of a Liberal/Leftist to the Supreme Court

A recent LA Times article, “Supreme Court Nominee has admirers left and right,” by David G. Savage and James Oliphant, although masquerading as news, is a brief for the candidacy of Elena Kagan for the position on the Supreme Court vacated by David H. Souter.  The article notes that she is well connected to top people in the Obama Administration, and there is effusive praise from two legal bigwigs, Laurence Tribe and Charles Fried, both of Harvard.

Kagan’s candidacy raises a number of issues. If nominated and confirmed, there would be three Jewish justices on the Supreme Court — all on the left. Jews are of course always overrepresented among elites — especially on the left, but 33% is high by any standard given that Jews constitute less than 3% of the US population. This is much higher than Jewish representation in the US Senate (13%) and the House of Representatives (~7%).  The last time I checked, if there were three Jews on the Supreme Court, the percentage would be about the same as the percentage of Jews among the wealthiest Americans.

Jews as one-third of the Supreme Court seems sure to raise the eyebrows among people like me who think that Jewish identity often makes a big difference in attitudes and behavior. And if there is one area where mainstream Jewish political identity has had a huge effect (besides anything related to Israel), it’s in attitudes and behavior related to multiculturalism. This is true of the Jewish mainstream across the entire Jewish political spectrum, from the far left to the neoconservative right. A major theme of The Culture of Critique is that Jewish identities and interests were apparent in all the Jewish-dominated intellectual movements of the left that have rationalized multiculturalism, massive non-White immigration, and the general displacement of Europeans:

Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology. (Ch. 5 of The Culture of Critique; emphasis in original)

Kagan seems to have lived a charmed life, with perhaps a whiff (or even a stench) of ethnic networking. At least one of the journalists writing the LA Timespanegyric is Jewish (David G. Savage), and the two legal scholars who are quoted in the article (Fried and Tribe) are both Jews. In addition, Kagan was appointed Dean of Harvard Law by Lawrence Summers — also Jewish and with a strong Jewish identity. Summers and Kagan covered for Laurence Tribe when he lifted a passage from another scholar’s book without attribution. Ethnic networking is nothing if not reciprocal.

While Jewish activists are doing all they can to promote a Jew for this position, we don’t hear a peep from White Protestants — a group that dominated the Supreme Court for 150 years.  With Souter’s departure, the only White Protestant left on the court is the superannuated Stevens, who is 89 and will doubtless be replaced by an ethnic minority if he retires during the Obama administration. (White males need not apply.)  When it comes to playing help-my-tribe battles, White Protestants are completely inept — in fact, they don’t even play at all.

Tribe’s praise for Kagan is particularly interesting: “She has an excellent chance, and she would be terrific. … She has a masterful command of so many areas of law. And she’s been vetted and recently confirmed. Her writing is not voluminous, which is also a plus.”

Indeed, her writing is not voluminous at all. In her entire career at the University of Chicago and Harvard — the very apex of elite academic institutions — she has written a grand total of 9 articles. Actually, her scholarly output is even less than that because two of these publications are book reviews and one is a tribute to Thurgood Marshall. When she received tenure at the University of Chicago in 1995, she had exactly two scholarly articles published in law journals — a record that would ordinarily not get her tenure even at quite a few third tier universities much less an elite institution like the University of Chicago.

But on the basis of this record and later work in the Clinton Administration, in 2003 she became the dean of Harvard Law School, the most prestigious law school in the country. She has yet to publish any articles or books since becoming dean. But now her lack of scholarship is called a plus by Laurence Tribe, presumably because her positions on many issues are unknown. (Doubtless if Kagan had a stellar scholarly record, Tribe would have seen it as a major plus.)

Not only does she have a weak record as a scholar, she has yet to argue a case as Solicitor General even though she had the opportunity to do so. Her next opportunity to argue a case will not happen until after the Supreme Court nomination process is over, so we will have no information on how effective she would be in fending off the arguments of the conservative intellectual heavyweights on the Court before this weighty decision is made. On the basis of the arguments she endorsed in the Solomon Amendment case (see below), one must assume that she would not fare well.

Nor are there any other discernible positives. As Savage and Oliphant note, “Kagan does not have the ‘real world’ experience in politics. …  It is not clear whether she has the “quality of empathy” Obama has said he wants in a nominee. But she has had an uncanny knack for winning important admirers and avoiding enemies in a series of top legal jobs.”

The only thing Kagan has going for her seems to be that important people admire her. She’s good at networking, and it would seem that many of her most prominent admirers are other Jews — liberal and conservative. (Tribe and Summers are liberals; Charles Fried is considered a conservative. Fried was Solicitor General in the Reagan Administration but voted for Obama.) Ethnic networking indeed!

This points to corruption in the Jewish sector of the American academic elite. Kagan’s path to the academic heights of the legal profession and perhaps to a position on the Supreme Court is not based on a solid record of scholarship or any other relevant experience, but on ethnic boosterism from other Jews. As I noted elsewhere, Jews are represented in elite American academic institutions at levels far higher than can be explained by IQ.

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Kagan is a poster girl for Jewish affirmative action. Not only does she have no discernible skills that would warrant her high position as dean of Harvard Law — much less an appointment to the Supreme Court, she is boosted by another Harvard professor (Laurence Tribe) who plagiarized another scholar’s work. (Plagiarism seems to run rampant at Harvard Law. Norman Finkelstein provides a credible case that Alan Dershowitz plagiarized others’ work in writingThe Case for Israel. Charles J. Ogletree Jr., an African American, was involved in double plagiarism: foisting off the plagiarized work of his assistants as his own.) And Kagan was appointed dean of Harvard Law by then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers who has massive ethical problems of his own related to shielding another Harvard professor, his friend and protégé Andrei Shleifer. Shleifer  was found liable by a federal court in 2004 for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government for his activities during the transition to capitalism in Russia in the 1990s. Summers also accepted $2.7 million in speaking fees from companies that received government bailout money when he later became head of the National Economic Council.

What could we expect from Kagan on the Supreme Court? Kagan has been flagged by conservatives because of an amicus brief she and other law professors wrote seeking to strike down a law that prohibited colleges and universities that ban military recruiting on campus from receiving federal funds. The motive behind the brief signed by Kagan was to protest the military’s policy on homosexuality. Their arguments were rejected 8-0 by the Supreme Court, indicating that even the Court liberals thought it was completely outside the mainstream.

This strongly suggests that Kagan would be quite willing to fashion her legal arguments to attain her liberal/left policy goals, and that is exactly what her other writings show. Her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” (60 University of Chicago Law Review 873; available on Lexis/Nexis) indicates someone who is entirely on board with seeking ways to circumscribe free speech in the interests of multicultural virtue: “I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.” She acknowledges that the Supreme Court is unlikely to alter its stance that speech based on viewpoint is protected by the First Amendment, but she sees that as subject to change with a different majority: The Supreme Court “will not in the foreseeable future” adopt the view that “all governmental efforts to regulate suchspeech … accord with the Constitution.” But in her view there is nothing to prevent it from doing so. Clearly, she does not see the protection of viewpoint-based speech as a principle worth preserving or set in stone. Rather, she believes that a new majority could rule that “all government efforts to regulate such speech” would be constitutional. All government efforts.

And until that day comes — doubtless speeded by her arrival on the court, she advocates finding ways to rationalize restrictions on free speech within the current guidelines of the court.  Her article proposes a variety of ways that “hate speech” may be restricted without running afoul of current Supreme Court guidelines. For example, she supports the constitutionality of “hate crime” laws that enhance penalties for crimes motivated by racial bias — precisely the sort of law recently passed by the House and now being considered by the Senate. Such laws have been strongly promoted by the organized Jewish community and condemned by conservative legal scholars as creating special victim categories and destroying federalism because they punish acts that are already illegal in the states.

Kagan’s conclusion shows where her heart is:

[Efforts to draft restrictions on speech] will not eradicate all pornography or all hate speech from our society, but they can achieve much worth achieving. They, and other new solutions, ought to be debated and tested in a continuing and multi-faceted effort to enhance the rights of minorities and women, while also respecting core principles of the First Amendment.

For Kagan, the crusade to restrict speech is motivated by her feminist and leftist political attitudes. Indeed, her 1993 paper was originally presented at a conference titled, “Speech, Equality, and Harm: Feminist Legal Perspectives on Pornography and Hate Propaganda.” She sees her job as a legal scholar to find a way to ensure that these goals are achieved while paying lip service to the legal tradition of the First Amendment. Indeed, she sees heavy-handed attempts to restrict free speech, such as the Stanford speech code, as counter-productive because they make “the forces of hatred into defenders of Constitutional liberty” and because they are so unreasonable they invite criticisms of the rest of Stanford’s race and gender policies.

In a revealing comment, she notes that those who want to restrict speech in heavy-handed and unconstitutional ways are motivated by the stubborn failure to close the racial gap:

The magnitude and duration of these inequalities may make them impervious to political (let alone to academic) efforts. We do not know how to solve these problems; we may not even know how to talk (or perhaps we are afraid to talk) about them. So some succumb to the allure of sideshows such as the one involving the Stanford Policy.

Given what many believe is the biological basis of these racial differencesand recent reports that the racial gap in education is not narrowing despite the No Child Left Behind law aimed at raising the scores of Blacks and Latinos, I suspect that this temptation to restrict speech will be increasingly irresistible in the future. And if Kagan is on the Supreme Court, we can certainly expect that she would vote for such restrictions. Her heart, as I am sure Obama must know, is definitely in the right place.

They say politics is the art of the possible. For Kagan, law is also the art of the possible. There are no principles. Only better or worse tactics for achieving her policy goals.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.  Email him.