Jews and the Left

Lenin’s Willing Industrialist: The Saga of Armand Hammer, Part 1 of 5

Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
-Robert Burns

There are few things that provide quite as illuminating a contrast as comparing a man’s testament of his own life against those accounts given by others (friend and foe, alike). In that spirit, then, here is an account of the life of Armand Hammer, the Jewish businessman, oil magnate, concessionaire and art collector, who in his telling was a crusader for human rights and the scourge of cancer. The picture that emerges of Dr. Hammer in the eyes of others (and sometimes in declassified documents and secret recordings) is a quite different face than the one Hammer presented to the world. Here is Part One of a five-part series.

Lenin’s Willing Industrialist: The Saga of Armand Hammer, Part I: Roots and Russia

In public relations agent Carl Blumay’s account of his more than twenty years in service to Armand Hammer, The Dark Side of Power: The Real Armand Hammer, he  relates how carefully Hammer crafted his “disarming, grandfatherly public persona” (Blumay 363) and how the man behind the meteoric rise of Occidental Petroleum never missed an opportunity to disprove the darker rumors surrounding his empire. During his career at Occidental, Blumay himself had become a prop in this campaign, conscripted against his will at times. When, for instance, word of “Occidental’s revolving door” (363) hire-and-fire policy was making the rounds, Dr. Hammer made a constant routine of asking the PR man in public how long he had been working with Hammer. He did this to present an image to the world of “the eighty-one-year-old paterfamilias of one of the world’s great multinational corporations standing side-by-side with his devoted sixty-eight-year-old retainer of a quarter century” (Ibid.). Hammer performed this routine using Blumay so frequently that it eventually approached the level of vaudeville with Blumay gritting his teeth in a forced smile while replying with the requisite “twenty-five years” to the day’s audience, whether it was at a board meeting, fundraiser, or an art gallery.

One would be hard-pressed to find a more auto-hagiographic tale than the one related in Steve Weinberg’s Hammer: The Armand Hammer Story, which “told the entertaining story of a saintly but shrewd man whose life consisted of one triumph after another” (Blumay 437). The book’s coauthor put it mildly when he said that “a lot of sanitizing went on” (Ibid.) in the writing. He was being a bit more candid when he related that “[Hammer’s] character was my creation in a fictional enterprise.” Although the author was compensated to the tune of $500,000 plus another roughly $72,000 in expenses for casting his quarry in a nigh-on saintly light, he still walked away from the project feeling as if he had “flogged every atom of my soul.”

The steps that Armand Hammer took to exaggerate (or even invent) certain aspects of his business abroad (especially in Russia) while downplaying others, were sometimes undercut by his vanity and paranoia.

Hammer’s Nixonian obsession with recording and espionage, “what he called James Bond stuff” (Edward J. Epstein, Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, 18), involved using moles, spies, and hidden surveillance techniques he’d picked up during his extensive stays in the Soviet Union to gain intelligence and leverage on others. “Hammer found this secret taping system especially useful for recording sensitive events, such as the disbursement of bribes to which he did not want even his confidential secretaries to be privy” (Ibid.). One of Hammer’s mistakes in this enterprise was to enlist his son Julian in the cloak-and-dagger. Julian Hammer was a quintessential case of affluenza, a princeling who seemed to be above the law. Armand Hammer’s son had been arrested for shooting and killing his friend at the age of 24. Numerous other violent and very public outbursts involving guns and drugs followed, but his police record eventually disappeared from the county files. (According to Armand Hammer, this was none of his doing and was probably attributable to poor clerical competency among California public sector employees.)

The main problem with Hammer’s bugging and surveillance operation, though, was not familial nepotism, but that he was unknowingly collecting a trove of evidence against himself that could be potentially damning one day, assuming it fell into the hands of a journalist who wasn’t a friend or on his payroll. Hammer counted the Sulzberger’s New York Times among his allies going back at least as far as when The Times’ notorious Walter Duranty (who won a Pulitzer for his work in covering up the Holodomor) helped him craft his first autobiography, The Quest of the Romanoff Treasure. This tight relationship with the Times might help explain why he initially let the Gray Lady’s own Edward J. Epstein into his orbit. The journalist who eventually defected from the standard effusive and glowing picture of Dr. Armand Hammer was able to gather enough information to write The Secret History of Armand Hammer, which forms a perfect tonic to the poisonous myths surrounding one of the most consummate sociopaths of the modern era. Carl Blumay claims that Epstein would have never gotten close to Armand Hammer during his tenure working PR for him. But Armand’s obsession with “the notion of using his friendship with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger” (Blumay 392), along with an over-weaning desire for fame and attention, caused him to lower his guard. It also led to the first public revelations regarding just what Armand Hammer had been up to in Russia, and on behalf of the Communists in America.


To understand Armand Hammer, it is necessary to first know something about his father, Julius Hammer. Julius Hammer was a Jewish immigrant from Russia who came to New York ostensibly to practice medicine and thrive as a small businessman. He founded a pharmaceutical supplies concern called Allied Drug and Chemical Corporation. This company was created in “a secret partnership with the Bolshevik government” (Blumay 40). State Department files claim Armand’s father was “one of the first to establish one of the ‘front’ corporations and purchasing agencies” that were controlled by “Soviet-Jewish elements under the direction of the Soviet Government of Russia” (41).

The depth of Julius Hammer’s ideological zealotry is hardly disputed, even by Armand Hammer’s own account (though he soft-pedaled his father’s fanaticism as misguided, starry-eyed idealism – a standard (and largely false) account of Jewish involvement in Communism). Victor Hammer, Armand’s brother, said he got his name because it meant “victory over capitalism” (Blumay 38). Armand Hammer would sometimes claim his father named him after Armand Duval, a character in La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, but later in life Hammer would admit that he was named in honor of the arm-and-hammer symbol of the Socialist Labor Party. “Decades later, Armand would use the arm-and-hammer-insignia as the flag on his yacht” (Epstein 35).

A Scotland Yard report confirmed the elder Hammer’s unalloyed ardor for Communism, and also that he worked in tandem with Ludwig Martens (a Russian-born communist appointed ambassador to the United States by Vladimir Lenin) to help grow the “Communist Party of the United States in America” (Blumay 36), especially in New York, alongside Jewish-American economist Isaac Hourwich.

Edward Epstein corroborates this report from across the pond, and also shows that Julius Hammer’s circle of fellow-travelers included not only intellectuals, but men of action, revolutionaries such as Boris Reinstein “who had been expelled first from Russia and then Germany, Switzerland, and France for his radical activities” (Epstein 34). Reinstein had done two years in prison for his involvement in a terrorist bombing, as well. He and Julius Hammer had both come “from Jewish ghettos in the same area of southern Russia” (34).

In later life Armand Hammer would try to downplay his father’s Jewish identity (and his own) to grease the wheels of his oil concessions in the Middle East, since Israel was not exactly enjoying popularity among the various pan-Arab revolutionaries when he made his successful wildcat play for Libya. Armand would even ridiculously claim that he and his family were Unitarians, but the record shows that Julius Hammer was a strongly-identified Jew. Like many Jews though, he yearned to have it both ways, to reap the benefits of assimilation while gaming the nepotistic perks that come with what John Derbyshire calls “absimilation” (sic). Although this attitude displayed by Julius Hammer (and inherited by his sons) may seem schizophrenic on the surface, it reveals itself as simply expedient when studied closer: When being Jewish proved an impediment to making money, the Hammers downplayed being Jewish. In those circumstances when it was advantageous to be Jewish, no such pains were taken.

Armand Hammer’s brother Victor claimed in his talks with Carl Blumay that his father was “violently anti-Semitic” (38),  but to say that he was extremely cautious would be more accurate. Armand Hammer was given toward a tendency to invoke the specter of pogroms at a moment’s notice in his memoirs, but according to Victor Hammer “Pop’s parents were merchants who prospered under the Czar and denied being Jewish” (Ibid.). Dr. Julius Hammer’s obscurantism extended to his medical practice (more on that later), with Victor claiming that “every time he delivered a baby, if Jewish parents gave their children what he considered a Jewish-sounding first name, he changed the name on the birth certificate.”

Screenwriter Michael Herr (whose credits include Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now) mentions in his book on Stanley Kubrick that Jews can comfortably be themselves (that is Jewish) only in the presence of other Jews. The phenomenon is repeatedly apparent in the lives of both Armand Hammer and his supposedly “violently anti-Semitic” father.  Epstein describes this cultural milieu in which the younger Hammers came of age, in New York neighborhoods “strictly divided between Jewish and Irish immigrants” (34):

The burning issue was assimilation: should Jews remain within their own culture and seek a Judaic form of socialism, or should they seek a nonsectarian form? The Jewish radicals subscribed to the latter position. They passionately rejected ghettoization. In doing so, as social critic Irving Howe points out, “the Jewish radicals … hoped to move from the yeshiva to modern culture, from shtetl to urban sophistication, from blessing the Sabbath wine to declaring the strategy of international revolution. They yearned to bleach away their past and become men without, or above, a country” (34–35)

Despite such pronouncements, it was very typical for Jewish radicals to retain a strong Jewish identity, quite often implicitly and involving a great deal of self-deception.

That his father subscribed to radical, violent political revolution does not necessarily imply that Armand Hammer was foreordained to become a Communist, a Communist sympathizer, or a subversive agent of some kind. But it seems that the apple did not fall far from the tree. Despite enjoying all the advantages of American capitalism while incurring none of the costs of Communist revolution, Armand remained Red at heart. These paradoxes made life quite hard for PR man Carl Blumay since he was charged with making sure that allegations against Armand Hammer rarely made it to intelligence agency archives, that nothing unsavory would hinder Hammer’s position in politics or business, or be leaked to the press where the charges could hurt Hammer’s reputation with the public. When Carl Blumay was acting as aide-de-camp to Armand Hammer against one such round of allegations (this time from a member of the Catholic War Veterans), he took the complaint to Armand’s brother Victor and asked him “how to temper his brother’s Soviet ardor” (Blumay 36). Victor’s response was to laugh and to say, “Armand has always looked to the Kremlin with the same kind of reverential regard a deeply devoted Moslem pays to Mecca” (Ibid.).

Revolution (first in Russia and then in Libya) was good to Armand Hammer. Revolution was a kind of religion for him. And even better, revolution made him rich.

When Armand Hammer was pressed regarding his loyalties or his ideology, his answer rarely wavered. In Hammer, he says “I always … tell the Russians that I am a capitalist, that I believe our system is better than theirs and that I want us to coexist peacefully” (159). The pretext of peace glosses much of Armand Hammer’s description of his own philosophy. A claim to be helping the effort toward détente, a thawing of relations between East and West during the Cold War, and a desire to avert nuclear war (for the sake of future generations, of course) allowed him to increase his fortune as well as the influence of Communism, all while shifting attention away from his activities or hiding his true intent behind a veil of philanthropy.

As a result, his jaunts in his Gulfstream jet, OXY 1, to visit characters like genocidal dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu were written off as attempts to find some common ground between two opposing political systems. Incidentally, before Ceausescu was found guilty of genocide and executed, Hammer related to Carl Blumay that the General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party was his “best friend” (251), not to mention “a great leader, a fine, warmhearted man, and a humanitarian who loves his people and has compassion for them” (Ibid.). The throwaway addendum that “he’s so easy to do business with” gets a little closer to the truth of why Hammer (as usual) was willing to look the other way to enrich himself while people were dying.

A memorandum from assistant director of domestic intelligence, William Sullivan, to J. Edgar Hoover classified “Hammer [as] a type who would do business with the devil if there was a profit in it” (Epstein 211). This was only slight hyperbole.


Although intelligence gathering had begun on the Communist activities of the Hammers since at least as early as 1921 (under the aegis of a young Justice Department assistant named J. Edgar Hoover), including “a tip from an informant alleging that Hammer was a courier for the newly-organized Communist International” (Epstein 22), it wouldn’t be the political activities of the Russian-Jewish émigré and his son that first exposed them to the light of the law. Rather it was the gross medical malfeasance of Dr. Julius Hammer and his son Armand, then still in medical school:

A woman had died after undergoing an abortion at the clinic at Hammer’s house. The dead woman was Marie Oganesoff, the 33-year-old wife of a Russian diplomat who had come to America from the Czarist regime. According to the testimony of her chauffeur, she had gone to the Hammer house for the abortion on July 5 and collapsed when she returned home later that day. … When questioned by prosecutors, Julius Hammer did not deny that an abortion had been performed, but he claimed that it was medically justified, and that he, as her doctor, had the right to make such a decision. Nevertheless, he was indicted (Epstein 42).

Julius Hammer had had earlier close calls with the law, having been surveilled in the belief that he may have been the one supplying material for bombs given to subversives and of furnishing dynamite to the radical Boris Reinstein. This suspicion was especially harbored by the NYC Red Squad formed initially “to counter a spate of anarchist bombings in Manhattan” (Epstein 36) and alluded to in an interview Victor Hammer gave to Carl Blumay, in which he admitted “Pop even gave dynamite to a young radical” (Blumay 39). Considering that Julius Hammer was a doctor involved in the pharmaceutical supply business, it would have been easy for him to amass precursors required to make explosives without arousing suspicion, although at this remove it is hard to say which violent crimes he either did or did not help facilitate.

But the law eventually caught up with him anyway.

On June 26, 1920, “the jury found Julius Hammer guilty of first-degree manslaughter. The judge then pronounced his sentence: three and one half to twelve years of hard labor at Sing-Sing” (Epstein 42).

The most provocative aspect of this whole morbid affair was that journalist Edward J. Epstein claims Armand Hammer knew that he had let his father go to prison as an innocent man (or at least one who wasn’t guilty of this specific crime in question):

He would keep his knowledge a secret for three decades. Then, afraid that he was dying, he explained to his longtime mistress that it was he, not his father, who had performed the illegal abortion in 1919. He was then only a first-year medical student, unlicensed to practice medicine, and would certainly have gone to prison if his father had not stepped in to take the blame. Ordinarily, doctors in New York State were permitted leeway in performing such abortions and were rarely prosecuted (46).

As with so many other aspects of Armand Hammer’s life (especially suspected crimes) there is an aura of mystery that remains, even after the files from the collapsed Soviet Union have been disgorged to prove Hammer’s guilt in other realms. Adding ‘back-alley abortionist’ and ‘manslaughter’ to his curriculum vitae would certainly run counter to the image Hammer yearned to project of himself, but it certainly rings truer than the implausible obstetrical escapades he describes in his autobiography. If Armand Hammer would have the reader believe that he “missed the lecture on breech deliveries” (Hammer 83) at Columbia College but was somehow able to skim through Cragin’s Obstetrics in the bathroom of an apartment, “memorize the illustrations on technique” (84) and then perform an emergency cesarean section on an imperiled woman giving birth, then one could be forgiven for thinking he was capable of killing a woman in a botched curetting, letting his father take the blame, and continuing on undeterred in his quest for money and power.

With the old radical warhorse Julius Hammer temporarily sidelined by his prison stint, his sons were ready to take up the mantle of world revolution. Armand was the older, more calculating, and ambitious of the two brothers, and it was while acting in his capacity as go-between for his father in prison and the Comintern on the outside that Armand Hammer would first execute his father’s wishes and then start to fulfill his own much grander schemes for power at any cost. Armand Hammer was about to become one of the most influential players on the global scene and would play no small part in shaping the twentieth century, mostly for the worse.

Go to Part 2.

Works Cited

Blumay, Carl. The Dark Side of Power: The Real Armand Hammer. Simon & Schuster, 1992

Epstein, Edward J. Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. Random House, 1996.

Hammer, Armand and Neil Lydon. Hammer: The Armand Hammer Story. Perigee Trade, 1988.

A Forgotten Revolutionary: John Jacobs, Founder of Weatherman

John Jacobs. From Columbia College Today, “Six Weeks That Shook Morningside: A Special Report.” Spring 1968, p. 31


John Jacobs was the founding father of Weatherman, the late 1960s ultra-radical spinoff from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). While Weatherman has enjoyed remarkably positive coverage in recent years, Jacobs has been virtually forgotten. One reason for that is that his rivals in the organization have been able to shape present-day perceptions of Weatherman; another is that he vanished after his expulsion from the group, relatively early in Weather’s history, never to reappear. His life is an interesting case study in Jewish revolutionary activism. (For a complementary view of Weatherman, see my previous article on Ted Gold.)

John Jacobs represents a vicious but relatively minor Jewish assault against Whites. This attack erupted out of the larger American Jewish body, at a time when the Jewish group as a whole was oriented in the same direction as Weatherman, but working with nonviolent means. The Jews in America had worked long and patiently to increase their power and to delegitimize American society in moral terms, but were not working to launch a direct attack.

Then a small group of youthful Jews formed Weatherman. At their head was John Jacobs, who led them in a frenzied attack on Whites. Although this first, premature, terroristic offensive came to a dead end, Weatherman foreshadowed a potentially far greater Jewish assault on White America.

Early Life

John Jacobs, often called “JJ,” was born in September 1947, one of two sons born to wealthy leftist Jews. His father, a former journalist, sent him to prep school in Vermont. There, Jacobs read deeply on the Russian Revolution, Marx, and Lenin in his spare time. He also became captivated by the revolutionary of the hour, Che Guevara. Jacobs’ interest in this area reveals a strong alienation from mainstream American culture — an entirely mainstream orientation among American Jews. The sources on Jacobs are sparse, but it is virtually certain he gained this cast of mind from his parents and perhaps other relatives, not from feelings of any real inequity in American society, especially since he came from an affluent background. Unlike many other 1960s radicals, he was a revolutionary from the beginning, not a reformer. In the fall of 1965 he entered Columbia University.[1] Read more

Ted Gold and the Jews of Weatherman, Part 2

Ted Kaptchuk and Ted Gold from the Columbia Spectator, Volume CXIV, Number 76, 10 March 1970

Go to Part 1

Weather Terror: the New York Cell

After the Flint War Council, the Weathermen organized quasi-underground cells or “collectives” in various major cities, and began planning a terror campaign. They renamed the group “Weather Underground.” The leadership assigned Gold to one of the several Weather groups based in New York. John Jacobs, always militant, led one group. Terry Robbins, a shrimpy New York Jew who was one of the strongest advocates of the terror policy, headed the main cell, which was tasked by the leadership with finding targets to bomb. At least two gentile females were members of Robbins’ cell: Cathy Wilkerson, Robbin’s girlfriend, and Diana Oughton, Bill Ayers’ girlfriend. Also present was Kathy Boudin, member of the prominent leftist Jewish Boudin legal family. Robbins, Gold, and the women based themselves in Wilkerson’s family townhouse on 11th Street in Manhattan while her parents were on vacation.15

Gold matched the others in adopting the idea of “bringing the war home,” the Weather motto for making America’s “White power structure” feel the violence that they were inflicting on the Vietnamese. Jonathan Lerner, fellow Weatherman, recalls that he and Gold had discussed planting a bomb on a Chicago railroad to kill workers returning home at night.16 Rudd remembers that Robbins and Jacobs “would rant, “White people are pigs. This whole society has to be brought down. We have got to defeat White-skin privilege.”17 In the last days before the fatal explosion, the once mild-mannered democrat Ted Gold issued a warning that anyone defecting from the group would be subject to death, with the strong implication that he himself would kill them.18

Robbins’ cell began building a nail-studded shrapnel bomb to plant at an Army dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. There was just one snag in their planning. None of them knew how to make a bomb.

Just before noon on March 6, 1970, the day of the planned bombing, Terry Robbins was putting the finishing touches on the crude dynamite bomb in the basement of the townhouse. He mistakenly detonated what proved to be a tremendously powerful device. The bomb instantly ripped Robbins and Diana Oughton apart. Robbins was a bit more than ripped, actually. He was shredded. The collapsing townhouse crushed Ted Gold.

I have to confess that it brings me some pleasure to relate this exquisite misadventure. Three communist terrorists destroyed with their own infernal device. Cathy Wilkerson and Kathy Boudin, occupied upstairs, were stunned but unfortunately escaped. Boudin later descended into a front “revolutionary” organization (the May 19 Communist Organization) for a sordid group of coked-up Black faux revolutionaries and helped get three gentlemen killed in the Brink’s armored car robbery in 1981. (Gold’s old buddy, the Jew David Gilbert, another “mild-mannered idealist,” is still in prison for that one. So is Judy Clark. Can you guess her ethnic background? Gilbert, described as “luminously brilliant” by a former professor, and Clark resorted to the hilarious stratagem of denying the legitimacy of the court—because they were revolutionaries you know—and refused to mount a defense. The court consequently and logically sentenced them to forever in the slammer. Boudin, however, accepted good legal advice from her father and got out after twenty years. Last time I checked she was working as—what else!—a professor at Columbia University.) Read more

Ted Gold and the Jews of Weatherman, Part 1


Townhouse explosion in Greenwich Village, 1970

Ted Gold was a Jewish member of Weatherman, the Communist terror group of the late 1960s and 70s, which was a radical spin-off from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Gold is best known for perishing in the dramatic explosion in the New York townhouse caused by Weatherman’s ignorance of how to build a powerful bomb that explodes when desired and not before. His real importance, however, lies not in his spectacular demise, but rather in his frank public call for a communist dictatorship in this country, run by a revolutionary committee from the Third World. Consistent with the thesis that Jews place a high value on group interests, Gold worked unwaveringly within a mainstream Jewish subculture against Whites and White power, the enemy whose destruction many Jews thought would advance their own influence and power.

Gold’s Early Years

Gold was born in New York City in December 1947. His father was a doctor and his mother a professor at Columbia University. His parents were classic liberals of the era; his father worked for civil rights in the South and volunteered his medical services on behalf of the poor on the East Side. The family lived on the Upper West Side, and were generally considered as upper middle class.1

As a child, Ted played stickball with his father and became an avid sports fan. He earned his way into a top high school, Stuyvesant, where he graduated 212 in a class of 699, with an 89% average. (The Weathermen are fond of describing each other as “brilliant,” but 89% is a bit removed from brilliant.) He joined the track team, the Stamp Club, and the History and Folklore Society and was also “politically active” in the civil rights movement, helping to set up a chapter of “Friends of SNCC” (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), which provided material support for civil rights workers. (Have you ever heard of a gentile who was so politically active in high school?) Gold’s parents also sent him to summer “camp,” Camp Webatuck, whose clientele was basically red diaper babies. I send my son to camp, where he exerts himself physically and comes home enthralled with the joys of athletic competition and boyish camaraderie. Camp Webatuck was for socialization in Leftist ideology, complete with Woody Guthrie music: “labor songs, unstructured hours, muted Marxist rhetoric.”2

By 1963, Gold was very pro-Castro. He was sixteen. He loved the Yankees, the Knicks, and a Communist dictatorship. Read more

Dunkirk Backstory: Jewish Traitors, Communist Spies, and the Internment of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts

The success of Christopher Nolan’s powerful film Dunkirk shows there is still an insatiable appetite amongst the British public for stories about World War II.  This is partly fueled by the gradual opening of wartime archives which has led to a seemingly never-ending stream of titles about wartime espionage. But there are some fascinating stories which mysteriously no-one wants to pursue.

One such was revealed by Christopher Andrew, the official historian of Britain’s security service MI5, in 2009, when he said in his magisterial history, that at the end of the war there was a ban on the service recruiting any more Jews to its ranks because of fears they would be disloyal. This informal ban stood for thirty years. It was a startling revelation, but produced little further comment.

That Jews have a special talent for international espionage is hardly news. Their role as a diaspora population coupled with their insistence that they be recognized as full citizens of whatever territory they happen to be occupying gives them unique advantage. But it is a quality that can be a two-edged sword for the host population.

For a good example we need to travel back in time to 1942 to a sprawling Regency house in Oxford’s Woodstock Road where a puzzled policeman is staring high up at a radio transmitter cable that has been slung between the big house and an adjacent former coachman’s cottage. It strikes the policeman as unusual in wartime when there was a strict ban on private radio transmitters. He reported this to MI5 and added that ‘you might think this worthy of further inquiry.’ The file shows that someone in MI5 has marked the paragraph of special interest. Yet no further action was taken.

It’s understandable why the police would want to tread carefully, as that Regency house was occupied by a very important person in British public life. For the previous six years Neville Laski QC had been President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. In this role he had been much concerned with gaining admission to Britain for thousands of German Jewish refugees and was enthusiastically assisted by his wife Sissie, the daughter of a rabbi and the sister of a prominent member of the Communist Party. It was probably at a temporary refugee shelter in London that Sissie met Ursula and Len Beurton and it might have been out of sympathy for this intelligent young family’s predicament that the Laskis’ offered them the cottage at a low rent.

But Ursula Beurton was very far from being just another poor refugee. Her real name was Ursula Ruth Kuczynski and she had been born in Berlin into a well-off Jewish family of academics of pronounced left-wing sympathies. She had joined the Communist Party in the early thirties, been trained as a radio wireless operator in Moscow and then criss-crossed Europe for the party under the codename of ‘Sonya’. In 1938 she returned to Moscow to be secretly awarded the Order of the Red Banner, promoted to colonel and then sent to Britain to pose as a refugee. Read more

Differences between the Eastern European immigrant community in the US and the older German-Jewish establishment — and their commonalities

Eastern European Shtetl Jews; photos from “Rare Photographs and Images of Shtetl Life

In his VDARE article of April 22, “Eastern European Jews And The Case Of the Marginalized Elite,” Paul Gottfried claims that I fail to make important distinctions among Jewish groups:

Though Kevin MacDonald argues his theory about Jewish group behavior ably, I believe it is unwarranted to generalize about the social behavior of all Jews simply because of the behavior of Eastern European Jews. …We are clearly dealing with a group that embraces all kinds of Leftist causes, most of which have a destabilizing effect on what remains of a traditional Christian society. Let me repeat: I don’t find anything about this behavior that has characterized all Jews at all times (unlike MacDonald).

This article summarizes some of my comments on different groups of Jews, some of which may have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle. In fact, beginning with my first two books on Judaism, I have repeatedly discussed differences among Jewish groups (e.g., IQ differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic groups in chapter 7 of A People That Shall Dwell Alone). This includes the important distinction between Eastern European Jews and Western European Jews, beginning with Chapter 6 of Separation and Its Discontents (1994) on Jewish strategies to minimize anti-Semitism.

It has often been critically important for Jews to be able to present a divided front to the gentile society, especially in situations where one segment of the Jewish community has adopted policies or attitudes that provoke anti-Semitism. This has happened repeatedly in the modern world. A particularly common pattern during the period from 1880 to 1940 was for Jewish organizations representing older, more established communities in Western Europe and the United States to oppose the activities and attitudes of more recent immigrants from Eastern Europe (see note 20). The Eastern European immigrants tended to be religiously orthodox, politically radical, and sympathetic to Zionism, and they tended to conceptualize themselves in racial and national terms—all qualities that provoked anti-Semitism. In the United States and England, Jewish organizations (such as the American Jewish Committee [AJCommittee]) attempted to minimize Jewish radicalism and gentile perceptions of the radicalism and Zionism of these immigrants (e.g., Cohen 1972; Alderman 1992, 237ff). Highly publicized opposition to these activities dilutes gentile perceptions of Jewish behavior, even in situations where, as occurred in both England and America, the recent immigrants far outnumbered the established Jewish community.

This difference between the Eastern European immigrant community and the German-Jewish establishment in the US is a central theme of “Jews, Blacks, and Race” (in Samuel Francis (Ed.), Race and the American Prospect: Essays on the Racial Realities of Our Nation and Our Time [The Occidental Press, 2006]):

Anti-Jewish attitudes that had been common before [World War II) declined precipitously, and Jewish organizations assumed a much higher profile in influencing ethnic relations in the U.S., not only in the area of civil rights but also in immigration policy. Significantly this high Jewish profile was spearheaded by the American Jewish Congress and the ADL, both dominated by Jews who had immigrated from Eastern Europe between 1880 and 1920 and their descendants. As indicated below, an understanding of the special character of this Jewish population is critical to understanding Jewish influence in the United States from 1945 to the present. The German-Jewish elite that had dominated Jewish community affairs via the American Jewish Committee earlier in the century, gave way to a new leadership made up of Eastern European immigrants and their descendants. Even the AJCommittee, the bastion of the German-Jewish elite, came to be headed by John Slawson [in 1943], who had immigrated at the age of 7 from the Ukraine.

The AJCongress, a creation of the Jewish immigrant community, was headed by Will Maslow, a socialist and a Zionist. Zionism and political radicalism typified the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. As an indication of the radicalism of the immigrant Jewish community, the 50,000- member Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order was an affiliate of the AJCongress and was listed as a subversive organization by the U.S. Attorney General. The JPFO was the financial and organizational “bulwark” of the Communist Party USA after World War II and also funded the Daily Worker, an organ of the [Communist Party USA], and the Morning Freiheit, a Yiddish communist newspaper. Although the AJCongress severed its ties with the JPFO and stated that communism was a threat, it was “at best a reluctant and unenthusiastic participant” in the Jewish effort to develop a public image of anti-communism—a position reflecting the sympathies of many among its predominantly second- and third-generation Eastern European immigrant membership. Concern that Jewish communists were involved in the civil rights movement centered around the activities of Stanley Levison, a key advisor to Martin Luther King, who had very close ties to the Communist Party (as well as the AJCongress) and may have been acting under communist discipline in his activities with King.

Read more

Moralism and Moral Arguments in the War for Western Survival, Part 2

Part 1.

Moral Indictments of the West as Characteristic of Jewish Intellectual Movements

Here I want to stress one aspect of my book The Culture of Critique. It’s no accident then that all of the intellectual and political movements discussed in the Culture of Critique were moral indictments if the West. These Jewish intellectuals understood how to appeal to Westerners. They knew what buttons to push. Together these movements comprise the intellectual and political left in this century, and they are the direct intellectual ancestors of current leftist intellectual and political movements, particularly postmodernism and multiculturalism. From Chapter 6 of The Culture of Critique (p. 213–214).

Collectively, these movements have called into question the fundamental moral, political, and economic foundations of Western society. A critical feature of these movements is that they have been, at least in the United States, top-down movements in the sense that they were originated and dominated by members of a highly intelligent and highly educated group. These movements have been advocated with great intellectual passion and moral fervor and with a very high level of theoretical sophistication. Each movement promised its own often overlapping and complementary version of utopia: a society composed of people with the same biological potential for accomplishment and able to be easily molded by culture into ideal citizens as imagined by a morally and intellectually superior elite [Boas and the war on IQ and behavior genetics]; a classless society in which there would be no conflicts of interest and people would altruistically work for the good of the group [communism, socialism]; a society in which people would be free of neuroses and aggression toward outgroups and in tune with their biological urges [psychoanalysis]; a multicultural paradise in which different racial and ethnic groups would live in harmony and cooperation [the Frankfurt School]—a utopian dream that also occupies center stage in the discussion of Jewish involvement in shaping U.S. immigration policy in Chapter 7. Each of these utopias is profoundly problematic from an evolutionary perspective, a theme that will be returned to in Chapter 8.

The originators of these movements were all vitally concerned with anti-Semitism, and all of the utopias envisioned by these intellectual and political movements would end anti-Semitism while allowing for Jewish group continuity. A generation of Jewish radicals looked to the Soviet Union as an idyllic place where Jews could rise to positions of preeminence and where anti-Semitism was officially outlawed while Jewish national life flourished. The psychoanalytic movement and the Frankfurt School looked forward to the day when gentiles would be inoculated against anti-Semitism by a clinical priesthood that could heal the personal inadequacies and the frustrations at loss of status that gentiles murderously projected onto the Jews. And the Boasians and the Frankfurt School and their descendants would prevent the development of anti-Semitic ideologies of majoritarian ethnocentrism.

A palpable sense of intellectual and moral superiority of those participating in these movements is another characteristic feature. This sense of intellectual superiority and hostility to gentiles and their culture was a recurrent theme of the leftist movements discussed in Chapter 3. I have also documented a profound sense of intellectual superiority and estrangement from gentile culture that characterized not only Freud but also the entire psychoanalytic movement. The sense of superiority on the part of a “self-constituted cultural vanguard” (Lasch 1991, 453–455) of Jewish intellectuals toward lower-middle-class mores and attitudes was a theme of Chapter 5. [This was a prominent theme really of the Trump victory.]

Regarding moral superiority, the central pose of post-Enlightenment Jewish intellectuals is a sense that Judaism represents a moral beacon to the rest of humanity (SAID, Ch. 7). These movements thus constitute concrete examples of the ancient and recurrent Jewish self-conceptualization as a “a light of the nations,” reviewed extensively in SAID (Ch. 7). Moral indictments of their opponents are a prominent theme in the writings of political radicals and those opposing biological perspectives on individual and group differences in IQ. A sense of moral superiority was also prevalent in the psychoanalytic movement, and we have seen that the Frankfurt School developed a moral perspective in which the existence of Judaism was viewed as an a priori moral absolute and in which social science was to be judged by moral criteria.

The “Holier than Thou” Phenomenon and the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Anonymity

I think part of the dynamic pushing things right now is that there is a “holier than thou” phenomenon that often characterizes political and religious movements of all stripes. Strongly religious people compete with each other to be most virtuous in their local church. On the left, we see vegan fanatics shunning vegans who even talk to people who eat meat or eat in restaurants where meat is served — even family members. I am sure there is a dynamic within antifa groups where people who are do not condone violence or are unwilling to crack heads themselves are ostracized or at least have much less status.

This is also true on the Alt Right. People often vilify me for not coming down squarely on the side of Holocaust revisionism. And I don’t have swastikas on my page, nor do I tweet pictures of Jews going to ovens, or advocate National Socialism.

I think quite a bit of this, on both the left and on the right, has to do with anonymity made possible by the internet, but is especially true on the right given the moral opprobrium we are subjected to. I have found that as editor of TOO it is not unusual for me to have to tone down articles from people who use pen names. And there are some who may well have felt that there will be no consequences for them personally if they engage in Roman salutes or joke about the Holocaust while at the same time it marks them as on the cutting edge, as more authentic and more “in your face.” Ironically, people taking these positions are often plugged into this moral dynamic of being holier than thou. They see themselves as more honest — no matter what the consequences for the movement as a whole.

There is definitely a place for such things. There are different audiences out there, and different things work better with some people than with others. We should never get caught in a “one size fits all” approach. For some people, this brash sensibility may turn them on to a whole new way of thinking and make them read more about Jewish power and influence. It may appeal to them as a young person just because it is cutting edge and definitely not your parents’ attitudes. My approach is doubtless too boring and academic for quite a few people — I suspect the demographic for TOO readers and certainly TOQ readers is a bit older than some. But then, people who resonate to approaches like mine quite often are repelled by any hint of advocating National Socialism.

The problem comes when people do Roman salutes in a mixed situation where some people stand to lose a lot by being associated with such things and where the media is sure to be all over it — and make sure that their readers never forget. In that situation, the moral opprobrium that a large majority of the public feels about such things gets attached to everyone present. It is unfair of course, to suggest or imply that everyone present approves of such things, but who ever said life was fair? The media is indeed the opposition party to the Trump administration, and that goes double for us. They care nothing for fairness.

Of course, anonymity is indispensable for many of us. We are all aware that the left is only too eager to make us lose jobs and family ties. We see the disastrous results that can occur to people like Mike Enoch and the TRS crew when they are doxxed. But the anonymity has to always be tempered with responsibility and understanding of other people’s interests and concerns, especially when one is in a mixed group where not everyone is on the same page and where people are likely to be compromised (albeit unfairly) by media exposure. Losing livelihood and family connections are difficult indeed.

So an obvious message is that we have to have a clear understanding of our particular audience and act accordingly.

Go to Part 3.