Jews as An Elite

Failed Crypsis and Its Discontents: Past and Present

“Some accuse me of being a Jew; some excuse me for being one; some even praise me for being a Jew. But all think about it.” Thus wrote the nineteenth-century writer and journalist Judah Loew Baruch (1786—1837) who, after ostensibly converting to Christianity, assimilating, and renaming himself Ludwig Börne, struggled to understand why Germans insisted on seeing him as a Jew.

Börne’s lament is a classic of failed Jewish crypsis, and one of my personal favorites. Looking back, one wonders how Börne could ever be surprised. The reasons of the Germans were surely not that difficult to surmise. Börne was an acerbic ethnic activist who used his journalism to pour sarcastic scorn on German Romanticism and folk nationality that he clearly feared and despised. He was a key figure in the Junges Deustchland (Young Germany) movement, a social reform and literary movement in nineteenth-century Germany (c.1830—50), influenced by French revolutionary ideas, which acted as a vehicle for culturally hostile Jewish ideas and opposed the German Romanticism and nationalism then current. Members of Young Germany considered themselves to possess formidable intellectual and literary gifts, and they engaged in a scathing culture of critique. But they failed to inspire much enthusiasm, instead exciting widespread animosity. This is because “Young Germany” was more like “Young Israel,” being intellectually inspired by the Jewish converts Börne and Heinrich Heine, and given a European face by a ‘social justice’ gang of philo-Semites and Leftists who had married Jewish women (e.g., Georg Herwegh). In the words of one Young Germany leader, Karl Gutzkow, “It needed two Jews— Heine and Börne — to overthrow the old ideology and shake all illusions.”[1] Many Germans agreed, which resulted in the movement being discussed colloquially as “Young Palestine,” and the banning of many of its publications. When it came to Jewishness, much to Börne’s despair, all thought about it.

Ludwig Börne

This early alliance of Leftists and Jews, each aware of the destructive power and potential of the other, would result in the promotion of Young Germany novels like Wally, die Zweiflerin, (Wally, the Doubter) that attacked marriage and preached “sexual emancipation.” Such activities, now all too familiar to us, marked an initial confluence of interests between Jews and non-Jewish radicals, since both were keen, as Gutzkow put it, to “overthrow the old ideology and shake all illusions.”

We are now almost two centuries removed from the Young Germany-Young Palestine controversy of 1835, and this confluence of perceived interests seems to have sustained the Left-Jewish alliance for almost the entirety of the intervening years. And yet, if recent events are anything to go by, this alliance appears to be fraying at the edges. The main reason for this fraying, I suggest, is that the initial goal of overthrowing the old cultural and political status quo has now been largely achieved. As we progress into a Cultural Marxist endgame, the alliance is being revised by some, and the most radical on the Left are reassessing their erstwhile partners. What are they getting out of this? Who exactly are these people and what are their interests? How valid are their victimhood credentials? Most important has been the apparently novel discovery that far from being among “the oppressed,” Jews are incredibly influential and bear all the hallmarks of an elite. The mask slips and crypsis fails. The resurgence of Börne’s crisis — the lament of failed crypsis — and with it a revision of perceptions of interests, is thus an old/new characteristic of present-day politics.  Read more

Leonard Bernstein and the Jewish Cultural Ascendency — PART 1

Introduction

2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Jewish-American conductor, pianist, composer and teacher Leonard Bernstein. This milestone has seen a global bonanza of 2,500 concerts, programs, exhibitions and theatrical productions. Bernstein features prominently in the pantheon of “Jewish geniuses” as designated by the West’s Jewish-dominated cultural and intellectual establishment. Bernstein’s centenary year inevitably yielded hagiography: for his Jewish biographer Allen Shawn, he was not just a “genius” but “a powerful cultural and political voice and symbol, transcending all categories.”[1] Mark Horowitz, curator of an exhibition at Philadelphia’s Jewish museum celebrating Bernstein’s “pride of tribe,” fully endorses this view, while for the Jewish music writer for the New Yorker, Alex Ross, Bernstein remains “American music’s dominant figure.”

Bernstein lived during the heyday of the recording industry, at the dawn of the television era and of video recording. He left behind what is possibly the most extensive documentation in recordings, films, and on paper of any musician in history. His archive at the Library of Congress already lists some 400,000 items.[2] During the 1950s and 1960s Bernstein was not only the best known of all American classical musicians; his fame rivalled that of Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe. Attitudes to Bernstein varied dramatically during his lifetime, and many responded negatively to the fact he was so visible, so outspoken, so dramatic, and so politically active on the left.

Famous for his flamboyantly extroverted temperament, Bernstein was a “personality on such a big scale that he would naturally manage to offend many people along the way. … His self-regard and need for attention were also, to be sure, extreme.”[3] Bernstein’s brash self-confidence and monstrous ego incurred the enmity of many of those he encountered. He “loved to be the center of attention, even if it meant being obnoxious” observed a fellow student at the Curtis School of Music who noted that his “extroversion was extreme.”[4] John Rockwell, writing for the New York Times in 1986, observed that “It is quite a remarkable personality, for better and for worse, the defines every aspect of his near-manic existence. There are those who still find him inherently annoying — when he shoots off what he likes to call his ‘big Jewish mouth,’ when he prances and gyrates on the podium, when he seems to squander his compositional gifts in flashy trivia or overwrought excess.”[5] Bernstein’s own children pointed out his unsurpassed ability to become emotional on his own behalf, to “move himself.”[6]

Bernstein’s unusual, extremely emotional, visual presentation was his trademark as a conductor. He conducted with his entire body in a style that led to much criticism and derision over the years. German composer Gunther Schuller, for example, observed that Bernstein was “one of the world’s most histrionic and exhibitionistic conductors.” Schuller saw Bernstein as a musician with “very little discipline and no shame,” whose interpretation of Brahms’ First Symphony contained “too much of an ‘oy-vey’ Weltschmerz to be bearable.”[7] Read more

Joe McCarthy and the Jews: Comments on Jewish Organizations’ Response to Communism and Senator McCarthy, by Aviva Weingarten (2008).

Beginning in the 19th century, liberal/leftist politics has been a hallmark of the Jewish community in America and elsewhere. The attraction of Jews to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution was an entirely mainstream movement among large numbers of Jews in America and led to one of several anti-Jewish stereotypes during the 1920s and 1930s — stereotypes that were aided and abetted by people like Henry Ford and Father Charles Coughlin. Into the 1930s the American Communist Party (CPUSA) had a Yiddish-speaking Jewish section. and Jews around the world had positive attitudes toward the USSR, at least partly because Jews had achieved elite status there.

After World War II, however, anti-Semitism declined precipitously in the US, and Jewish organizations were poised to spearhead the transformations in civil rights and immigration legislation that would come to fruition in the 1960s. By 1950 the Jewish community was part of the establishment — well connected to the power centers in the media, politics, the academic world and the construction of culture generally.

But there was a major problem that the organized Jewish community was forced to confront—a problem stemming from the long involvement of the mainstream Jewish community in communism and the far left, at least until the end of World War II, and among a substantial number of Jews even after this period. In Jewish Organizations’ Response to Communism and Senator McCarthy, Aviva Weingarten points to a “hard core of Jews” (p. 6) who continued to support the Communist Party into the 1950s and continued to have a “decisive role” in shaping the policies of the American Communist Party (CPUSA) (p. 9).

Weingarten notes that unlike other communists, Jewish communists continued to have an ethnic  identity (p. 10) and often participated in the wider Jewish community. This is a refreshing change from a long history of Jewish apologetics over this issue. The standard line, not only among Jewish activist organizations but by academic authors such as Yuri Slezkine, has been that Jews ceased being Jews when they joined the Communist Party or participated in other far left causes. As a result, the focus of Chapter 3 of The Culture of Critique is to demonstrate that Jewish radicals retained a strong Jewish identity and a sense of pursuing specifically Jewish interests. Most egregiously, the American Jewish Congress — by far the largest Jewish organization in terms of membership — continued to be associated with the far left and was formally affiliated with organizations listed as subversive by the US Attorney General. The CPUSA viewed members of the American Jewish Congress as “democratic forces”  in their attempt to create “democratic and anti-fascist” policies in the World Jewish Congress (p. 25).

This history of Jewish involvement in communism and sympathy toward communism was now combined with the new situation of the Cold War in which the Soviet Union had become the mortal enemy of the United States. Read more

In Praise of James Petras

I’m thrilled to see that retired scholar James Petras is still punching above his weight. Last month he published yet another powerful essay on his website, this one explicitly bringing to our attention the whopping over-representation of one particular ethnic group at the top of America’s power structure. He begins: “Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court marks a continuation and deepening of the lopsided ethno-religious representation in the US judicial system. If Garland is appointed, Jewish justices will comprise 45% of the Court, even though they represent less than 2% of the overall population.”

PowerPetras, retired Bartle Professor of sociology at Binghamton University whose views are generally on the left, came to my attention nearly a decade ago when he released three books that were extremely critical of not just Israel but Jewry as a whole. First was the 2006 book The Power of Israel in the United States, followed a year later by Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants. Then, in 2008, came Zionism, Militarism, and the Decline of US Power. (For those interested, my forty-two-page review of The Power of Israel and Rulers and Ruled appeared in the Winter 2007–2008 issue of The Occidental Quarterly.)

Obviously, it’s rare to see such critical prose from an academic. Despite his stature and wide exposure, Petras has continued to this day his principled criticism of Jews and Zionism — and has not been silenced by the usual tactics. I’m impressed. Read more

Reflections on Jewish Intermarriage into Native Elites

“I want to thank my Jewish daughter. I have a Jewish daughter. This wasn’t in the plan but I’m very glad it happened.”
Donald Trump, February 2015.

As discussion continues among White advocates over the Trump candidacy, I haven’t failed to notice that perhaps the most persistent criticism of Trump from our ranks has been his strong links to Jews, in particular his familial ties to Jewish blood. There’s certainly some substance to this. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has adopted the Jewish religion as her own and has been married to Jewish real estate speculator Jared Kushner since 2009. Both of Donald Trump’s grandchildren are Jewish. Looking into the situation in more detail, I was intrigued to discover that Ivanka’s previous two significant relationships were also with Jews, Greg Hirsch and James Gubelmann. Of further note is Ivanka’s very close friendship with Chelsea Clinton, another progeny of the American power elite, who married the Jewish financier Marc Mezvinsky in 2010. The Trump and Clinton situations are excellent examples of the centuries-old practice of strategic Jewish intermarriage with native elites, and this phenomenon deserves some focussed attention.

Jewish intermarriage into non-Jewish power elites is a significant but under-researched aspect of Jewish strategies to maintain and expand influence. At first sight, of course, it appears paradoxical. A major part of the Jewish group evolutionary strategy is concerned with segregation of the gene pool and preventing high levels of genetic admixture from surrounding groups. Judaism has historically been replete with social and cultural controls designed to minimize contact with non-Jews, and therefore greatly inhibit admixture. Additionally, converts are dissuaded and scorned in Judaism in a manner quite without parallel in any other religious culture. However, as Kevin MacDonald has noted in A People That Shall Dwell Alone (2002, hereafter PTSDA), conversion and admixture were permissible, if not eagerly sought, when such an admixture was very small and offered significant net benefits to the group. Similarly, at the opposite end of the Jewish strategic ghetto, controls were also far from airtight — the most sincere Jewish apostates to Christianity tended to be overwhelmingly poor and obscure, and were little mourned by the group at large. The eugenic benefits of pursuing such a strategy are obvious. Read more

“As Happy as God in France”: The state of French Jewish elites, Part 2

Part 1

Raymond Aron on Jewish ethnocentrism

It is effectively illegal in France to suggest that over-represented Jewish elites are ethnocentric, have dual-loyalty problems with regard to Israel, and that this has an influence on the way power is wielded in the country. Two men who do so, the nationalist essayist Alain Soral and the Franco-Cameroonian comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, have paid a hefty price for it, although their struggle has earned them a certain notoriety and place in history in compensation.

I will therefore not say anything of the community, but quote Raymond Aron, a universally-respected liberal-conservative French patriot of Jewish origin, who died in 1983. Towards the end of his life he increasingly, in his ever-diplomatic, reasoned and understated way, criticized the rise of Western Jewish elites’ ethnocentrism and uncritical support for Israel, worrying that these would contribute to anti-Semitism.

In a text sent to the 28 January 1980 World Jewish Congress, Aron said:

In the United States, the American Jewish Community, almost always if not always, supports the diplomatic positions adopted by the Israeli government. The French Jews who publish Jewish reviews and are active in Jewish organizations do the same. Whatever is the Israeli party (or coalition) in power, the official representatives of the community support the arguments of the Israeli government. This situation does not strike me as healthy.[1]

These elites have typically paired their uncritical support for Israeli nationalism with hysterical opposition to any flicker of French nationalism. Read more

“As Happy as God in France”: The state of French Jewish elites, Part 1

Valls BHL

Then-interior minister and current Prime Minister, Manuel Valls tells a Jewish audience (including the Jewish Defense League) on 19 March 2014: “The Jews of France are more than ever at the vanguard of the Republic!” Bernard-Henri Lévy watches over him.

The Jewish community in France, as in most Western countries at least since the Second World War, has been remarkably successful. This very success however has brought on backlash as other groups — Whites, Blacks and Arabs — feel their interests and honor are not as well-respected by the French politico-media system.

There are an estimated 600,000 Jews in France, or just under 1% of the population. Almost half are Ashkenazim (a mix of people living in France for centuries, especially from the eastern parts of the country, and immigrants from Germany, Poland, etc.), while the rest are Sephardim, most of whom came to France from North Africa in the wake of decolonization in the 1960s.

According to the francophone Jewish-Israeli nationalist website “Terre Promise,” Jews are massively over-represented among the 500 richest Frenchmen: three out of the top 20 (15%), nine of the top 50 (18%), 23 out of the top 50 (18%), 23 of the top 200 (11.5%) and 44 out of the top 500 (8.8%). This is the same order of magnitude of over-representation (1000–2000%) that one finds in the United States. Ashkenazim and Sephardim are equally-well represented among this elite, showing the remarkable social mobility of the new arrivals from North Africa.[1] Read more