Raw Hate, Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year

– a Christmas rant –
 
by G.S.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>  25 December 2007

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-12-25.htm

      Ah, nostalgia once again during ‘Christian Global Brotherhood Week’,[1] nostalgia for times past. Whatever became of Tom Lehrer?, as he once mockingly asked of Hubert (Humphrey).[2] I loved Lehrer’s incisive social conscience clothed in his rollicking acidic humor? We need to be able to laugh while we live through times of tragedy, and to not lose hope. As always, hate and love are in plentiful supply. I live in a state of rage much of the time, rage at my inability to counter significantly the enormous web of lies in which so much of the misnamed ‘civilized world’ is enmeshed.

      Raw visceral hatred is not my thing, though there is plenty to hate. And I do, but first an affirmation,
    This world with all its troubles, shortcomings, disappointments, pains, problems, unwelcome events, occasional hailstorms is after all, still too beautiful to abandon even if you are sick, tired of life or close to a hopeless end. Stick it out. Keep on fighting, don’t give up. Spit death in its face and turn the other way. The sun is still in the sky surrounded by stars.[3]
—B. Traven
 
      During World War II (many wars ago) the 744th Engineering Oilfield Battalion, U.S. Army was made up largely of hardened oilfield workers from Texas and Oklahoma; drillers, riggers, roughnecks, drivers, etc. I wasn't aware that we had not a single Black among us. Nor did I know about the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps in the American west. The men in the 744th, most from the deep south, were, if not sophisticated intellectuals, honest. They said what they thought. One of them, I remeber, once spit out with bitter ferocity, “I hate niggers so bad I can taste it.” That kind of virulent hatred is totally without a rational basis. It’s just pure ugly racism, instilled by a culture that dehumanizes a different ethnic group of human beings.

      I no more hated that ‘nigger-hater’ than I hate the nazi ‘arab-hating’ Jewish soldiers and ‘settlers’ who have been culturally conditioned to ‘taste’ their visceral hatred of these ‘desert niggers’ they so readily humiliate, torture and kill. What I hate with venom are those people who knowingly promote cultures of blind hatred for what they see as their personal benefit, aware that in doing so they are striving to gain influence over others, power, wealth, and/or other supposed personal benefits. Hate comes easily. Its currency is lies, and lies are cheap. I believe we must above all strive to be truthful if we want to have a society worthy of our species. All ethnic hatreds rest firmly on one essential assumption, namely that there are ineradicable behavioral differences between different ethnic groups, so ineradicable that even if they are not genetically determined, they might as well be. This nonsensical idea collapses under the most elementary examination, as I previously showed.[4]

      The argument, trivially simple, runs as follows: “Consider a new human being. Does this new creature enter the world from its mother’s womb with any preconceptions as to its identity? Nature stamps it only with an instinctual drive to begin breathing and to fasten its tiny toothless gums to a breast, a breast it initially does not know is its mother’s, and to suckle, as do all newborn mammals. Totally ignorant, a finger touched to its lips elicits an effort to suck the finger. So the miracle of a new human life begins with the first breaths and the initial nursing and the warmth and closeness to its mother’s body. It knows not of religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, pride, patriotism, shame, sex, greed, love, hatred, killing, and so on. Totally innocent. That's how each of us began our rocky journey through life.”

      Also on a positive note, a subsequent item calling for an end to the war against Iraq concluded as follows: [5]


      . . . We Americans know that we are not born to kill ― that our newborns are as beautiful and rich in potentialities for having lives of love and mutual respect as any other peoples in the world. They don't have to be turned into torturers and pillagers, and tortured souls themselves, and it is up to us to stop the carnage that is killing both them and their victims, but also the spirits of us all. It is up to us to make of America a land of life and love and not of death and destruction.


Natalia and her father, Juan José García Ortíz, in their home in Guelatao de Juárez, a small indigenous mountain town high in the Northern Sierras of Oaxaca, Mexico. Juan, a Zapotec Indian, is a video film maker. Natalia's occupation is "being a child", as it should be. Photo taken 23 November 2003 by G.S.

      We must cherish the children, all children. They are the true treasures of all our lives. They bear the life of humanity. They are the link to the future, the only true, organic link. We must have a world full of laughing, playing children, and parents free of tortures, economic or otherwise, parents free to enjoy their children and to be enjoyed by their children. Those should be human rights.


Letters of love in the face of tragedy,
and letters of hate

      The mail and blogs these days are, as I suppose we might expect, full of letters and pronouncements of love and of hate. The key difference between the authors seems to me always to be whether or not they believe in the essential unity of all human beings. Those who do are the lovers; the haters are always among those who don’t. And it is not just a matter of so-called political orientation, i.e. left or right. It’s true that adherents to the political right fall almost always among the haters, but the political left also counts haters among its ranks.

      Mazin Qumsiyeh’s message titled “All the love.. from occupied Nablus” begins, “Scroll down for a moving holiday message from a Palestinian in Nablus who lost his mother and speaks of love this holiday season.”.[6] Qumsiyeh is a Christian Palestinian American.

      Eva Moseley, an American Jew whose Viennese family escaped from Austria in 1939, is another lover, a gentle soul who, like Qumsiyeh, is touched and angered by the tragedy visited on the Palestinians but, though angered, is free of hatred. Her Christmas message for 2007 begins, ‘Fifteen of us from Cambridge, Massachusetts, formed a people-to-people delegation to Bethlehem, visiting that “little town” of legend and current West Bank reality for five days in late November 2007, with a day in Jerusalem before and after.’ [7]

      Kevin B. MacDonald, psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, believes that Jews are responsible for a great deal of damage and destruction in the world, far out of proportion to the percentage of Jews in the global population.[8] In this regard I believe he is correct. I also believe it is worthwhile to understand his belief system because, from what I have read so far I think he is not a rabid, visceral Jew-hater, in fact not a Jew-hater at all, although his views have been welcomed by some U.S. groups in the rabid radical right. He has gained a limited notoriety, in part because of an effort by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to smear him as a simple anti-Semitic hate-monger.[9] In my opinion that smear campaign reveals a great deal more about the SPLC than about MacDonald.

      After receiving a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MacDonald’s professional training included an M.S. (Master of Science) in (evolutionary) Biology in 1977, and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Biobehavioral Sciences in 1981, both at the University of Connecticut. My major disagreement with MacDonald's world view stems from our conceptions of the human species. He has accepted as fundamental the body of thought formulated by E. O. Wilson in his ambitious work, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.[10] Edward O. Wilson’s work takes as axiomatic the controlling role of genes in determining the evolution of species. Like the great French naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre, Wilson's primary study focussed on the social behavior of insects, in his case mainly on ants. However, lacking Fabre’s modesty and disdain for purely theoretical constructs, he sought with some success to promote his ‘New Synthesis’ as the modern scientific incarnation of and replacement for old-fashioned Darwinism.

      Wilson’s hypothesis had great appeal to important dominant social sectors and was widely promoted by, for example, Harvard University and the New York Times, the latter with a laudatory front-page story announcing Harvard’s release of Sociobiology. The key point was not application of Wilson’s ideas to insects but its extension to human beings, in which Wilson himself participated. The attribution of various human social behaviors to the sometimes supposedly nefarious impulses of genes – for example in ‘explaining’ rape of women by men – were criticized within the scientific establishment. I remember Richard C. Lewontin, a research professor of evolutionary genetics at Harvard, one of Wilson’s departmental colleagues, terming some of the supposed scientific explanations of social behaviors as “Just-So Stories”.[11] Nevertheless, as with other politically useful but scientifically dubious constructs — such as I.Q. — ‘The New Synthesis’ found a home in academia.

      Among the academic specialties spawned by Wilson’s work is the (in my view scientifically dubious) field called evolutionary psychology. Specialists in the so-called social sciences often clothe their work in the language of the ‘hard’ sciences and mathematics in the belief that they are engaged in ‘real’ science (like e.g. chemsitry, geology, physics, biology). Kevin MacDonald wrote me on 6 May 2007, “my theory emphasizes Jewish culture, not Jewish genetics as influencing their behavior, although I do argue that Jewish culture has typically served the interests of Jewish peoplehood and there is definitely a genetic basis for that.” To me this statement by MacDonald appears to be an effort to hedge, saying initially that he emphasizes Jewish culture not Jewish genetics as influencing behavior, but then claiming a genetic basis for his asserted belief that Jewish culture serves Jewish interests. If in fact Jewish behavior (which of course is part of Jewish culture) serves Jewish interests, as he believes, and that behavior is (he asserts) definitely genetically based, then it seems to me the second clause of his sentence contradicts the first clause.

      From what I have read by and about MacDonald, I believe he had bad experiences with Jewish fellow students in the anti-Vietnam War movement, i.e. some of the Jews in that movement mistreated and misused him. I have no difficulty believing that his negative experiences with those Jews were real, not figments of his imagination. I conjecture that given those early negative encounters and his subsequent attraction to and work in evolutionary psychology, it was natural for him to attempt to explain his experience in terms of the behavior theory that is now his chosen life work. I don’t see him as a ‘hater’ but as someone who fully accepts that different ethnic groups are fundamentally different in their social behavior. Unsurprisingly, since uncritically his work appears to be solid academic research in favor of ‘racial separation’ he is well regarded among various real rabid ‘hater’ groups. He and they are fearful of what they see as the ‘mongrelization’ of the White, Christian, northern-European-derived American ‘race’ with which they identify themselves.

      One of the groups that MacDonald links to on his website is called American Renaissance.[12] His own blog of course reflects his thinking. For example,[13] see his entry titled, “Outside the Jewish Mainstream: Robert Weissberg and Philip Weiss” which begins:

Robert Weissberg is something of an unconventional Jew. An emeritus political scientist at the University of Illinois, he has written articles for American Renaissance, Jared Taylor’s publication, and he has spoken at their conferences. His 1999 AmRen article, “In Defense of the Racial Spoils System,” argued that because of the intractable cognitive difference between blacks and whites and the propensity of blacks to resort to violence unless they are provided middle class jobs and a constant stream of government benefits, whites have in effect decided to keep the peace by appeasing them. “Most whites, even those dispensing the benefits, understand that this is little more than extortion but they say nothing. Blacks, by contrast, see it all as legitimate ‘racial fairness.’” The racial spoils system, then, is a form of taxation — the price whites pay to keep the peace.

Note that the final sentence is not in the quoted part. It is MacDonald expressing his own views. At any rate, I don’t care to dig more deeply into the hate literature to which MacDonald’s blog links us. Perhaps someday he will link to my website, mistakenly regarding me as also being “something of an unconventional Jew”. But I doubt it.
—completed 2008-01-05

NOTES
[1] Once upon a time in the United States the third week of February was promoted as a time to put aside our hatreds of people who differed from us in one or another way — rich-poor, Protestant-Catholic, Black-White, etc. — and to make believe we were all just human beings full of love, or at least tolerance, for one another. Of course no one in the U.S. over the age of five believed it for a moment — How can you love someone one week a year who you hate the other fifty-one weeks? Like turning a faucet on and off? So now, at the end of the Christian year, it’s the tiny toddlers whose joy at getting candies and trinkets from overdressed Santa Clauses is untarnished while the older folks enjoy the momentary nonsense that if only we all loved one another, like Jesus and some others futilely advocated, everything would be OK. There’s some information about National Brotherhood Week at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Brotherhood_Week .

[2] For those of you young enough not to have encountered Tom Lehrer before, you may enjoy listening to his song, National Brotherhood Week. I assembled links to the songs on his LP (long-playing) record, That Was The Year That Was, the first of which is National Brotherhood Week. Whatever Became of Hubert? is the first song in Part 3.Here they are:
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph2_5Io3jAc&feature=related
    National Brotherhood Week
    The MLF (Multilateral Force) Lullaby
    George Murphy
    The Folk Song Army
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dILeb1sEHZM&feature=related
    Smut
    Send the Marines
    Pollution
    So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III)
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myht21Oao3A&feature=related
    Whatever Became of Hubert?
    The New Math
Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTL71yZ3Mo&feature=related
    Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel
    Who’s Next?
    Wernher von Braun
Part 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL16jZXxk6c&feature=related
    The Vatican Rag

[3] B. Traven, the great internationally famous anarchist novelist, who lived much of his life in Mexico, challenged life right to the end. According to Professor Karl S. Guthke, Traven penned the short inspiring passage on 4 March 1969, just twenty-two days before his quiet acceptance of death in his Mexico City home. B. Traven: The Life Behind the Legends, Lawrence Hill Books, 1987, Brooklyn, New York, p.405.

[4] On human differences attributable to ethnicity, the excerpt in the text is from a more extended discussion in the essay, “Changing History, 1” at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-03-18.htm .

[5] The excerpted part is the conclusion of the essay “Blessed be the killers, Part III”, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2004-12-06.htm .

[6] Mazin Qumsiyeh <qumsi001@hotmail.com> is an unrivalled source of hope and inspiration. A man of prodigious energy, seemingly incapable of experiencing hatred, his stream of messages is a saga of the human family’s ongoing struggle for a decent world. You can subscribe to his messages by sending a blank e-mail to <wheelsofjustice-subscribe@lists.riseup.net>. The letter from Nablus is is in the following part of his note:

    Message from a Palestinian in Nablus (Saad Abuhijleh, his mother was murdered by an Israeli soldier while at the balcony in her home):
Beloved sisters, brothers, family, friends, and colleagues,
    May you have a blessed Eid Al Adha, merry Christmas, and a happy New Year...
Be true to the voice that comes from within...
Be Love for Love is the only way
That leads to that place where you do not have to say ... a word ... to be understood ...
That leads to that bed in which you can sleep and dream like a baby ...
Be gentle with nature and nature will be gentle with you ...
Slow down and feel yourself ... do not overwhelm yourself with too many unnecessary inputs ... first things first ... do not sell the long-term for the short-term ... walk with grace ... you are the steward of Allah on Earth ... join hands and energies with other Lovers that have understood the Way ... allow for the synergies of Love to carry us all to the higher consciousness that will allow us to heal the bleeding wounds and the broken hearts ... And smile ... let your whole Being smile ... and do not understand the power of those sweet words you tell to your friends ... the Arabs say “The good word comes out and the bad word comes out” ... So make it the good one. But if you hear a bad word that hurts you, learn how to forgive ...
    I pray to Allah almighty to protect you all and to gather us all on the right path ... to unite us in the cause of peace ... to forsake selfishness and be good to each other ...
    Our great prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
    Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) also said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say something good or remain silent.”
    Allah almighty says in the Quran: “Buy time! Surely the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.” [Surah al-`Asr]
    Salaam from a city that lies between two mountains, Ebal and Jerzim ...
    Salaam from those who are waiting patiently for the dawn ...
All the Love,
Your brother,
Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
-----------------------
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
http://qumsiyeh.org
‘Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him, will he be able to gain anything by it? Will it restore him to control over his life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj, self-rule for the hungry and also spiritually starved millions of our countrymen? Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away.’ —Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

[7] Eva Moseley's letter, which she titled, “A Visit to the Holey Land” (No, Holey is not a mistake), is posted at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-12-17.rtf . She can be contacted at <esmoseley@mindspring.com>.

[8] Kevin MacDonald <kmacd@csulb.edu> maintains a substantial website, the homepage of which is at http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/ .
    Probably a good introduction to him and his work is the 2006 article by George Michael, “Professor Kevin MacDonald's Critique of Judaism: Legitimate Scholarship or the Intellectualization of Anti-Semitism?” Journal of Church and State, 48(4), 778–806, which is posted at http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/JC&S48-2006.pdf . I came to Michael’s article with some skepticism because of the information identifying him, namely, “George Michael. (B.S., Widener University, M.S., Temple University, Ph.D., George Mason University) is assistant professor, Administration of Justice and Political Science, the University of Virginia College at Wise. He is author of The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right. His articles have appeared in Terrorism and Political Violence, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Population and Environment, and Chronicle of Higher Education. Special interests include terrorism and political extremism.” Despite my initial skepticism, I think Michael has probably given a fair introduction to MacDonald.

[9] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) campaign against Kevin MacDonald is discussed in some correspondence about the SPLC posted at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-12-18.rtf .

[10] Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University is one of the foremost American evolutionary biologists.

[11] Richard C. Lewontin, like Wilson a widely recognized evolutionary biologist. A member of the group Science for the People, he and a third very well known Harvard departmental colleage Stephen J. Gould were both critical of Wilson's generalization of his ideas to human social behavior.

[12] An American Renaissance item MacDonald links to is at http://www.amren.com/ar/2000/05/ . The American Renaissance Archives are at http://www.amren.com/ar/ .

[13] Kevin MacDonald blog, at http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/blog-Weissberg-Weiss.htm .


All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>

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