Afterward, added 26 February 2008
I posted this essay with some hesitancy because it seemed to me the argument was, although correct, not logically tight enough. Immediately a number of replies came, some laudatory and others condemnatory. In fact, I intended it to be an inflammatory piece. I was trying to respond, however impotently, to the atrocious crimes against humanity being perpetrated against the Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza. Possibly more deplorable to me because the Israeli government presumes to be acting on behalf of all Jews, of whom I am one. I no more identify with the Jewish nazis who run the nation-state of Israel than I do with the American fascists who run the United States.
I felt impelled by the urgency of the situation in Gaza to ‘do something’ right away. Never mind if some of the logical i's were undotted and/or some of the logical t's uncrossed — it was more important, I thought, for me to get something out than to spend more time and effort polishing the argument. Now in retrospect (though only a few days later) I'm glad I did post it right away. I’ve managed to respond to the people who wrote me. The results reveal what I see as an inability, perhaps mixed with some unwillingness, of some Jewish people to even try to overcome the profound psychological trauma induced in them by their understanding of Jewish history. I haven't been successful in trying to engage them intellectually. Their hatreds, it seems to me, are too deep for them to overcome. For them, my use of Hitler’s thoughts was like stepping into a bull-ring waving a huge red flag in front of them.
I am adding the complete correspondence as an appendix at the end of the original paper. I asked each person for permission to identify him or her by name and to provide e-mail addresses. If later I get such permission I will then include that information. I may also add, following the correspondence, a more complete explanation of why I think my heading for the original essay was, though provocative, logically justified.
16 Jan 2009, A few belated words of explanation, ten and a half months later, follows the initial burst of correspondence.
In the chapter titled ‘Nation and Race’ of Mein Kampf
Hitler concludes with a lengthy savage condemnation of what he considers to be the ‘Jewish race’, a term synonymous for him with ‘Jewish nation’ and with ‘Jewish people’. He believed, I think mistakenly but sincerely, that the terrible straits in which the German people found themselves after World War I were brought about by the Jews, to whom he attributed the goal of subjugating the German nation. He saw the Jews as master manipulators, crafty in business, banking, the stock market, and effective in shaping public discourse through their control of much of the media, all to the detriment of the Aryan race. 1
Here are some illustrative excerpts of Hitler’s views:
... In hardly any people in the world is the instinct of self-preservation developed more strongly than in the so-called 'chosen.' Of this, the mere fact of the survival of this race may be considered the best proof. Where is the people which in the last two thousand years has been exposed to so slight changes of inner disposition, character, etc., as the Jewish people? What people, finally, has gone through greater upheavals than this one — and nevertheless issued from the mightiest catastrophes of mankind unchanged? What an infinitely tough will to live and preserve the species speaks from these facts!
The mental qualities of the Jew have been schooled in the course of many centuries. Today he passes as 'smart,' and this in a certain sense he has been at all times. ... 2
... [T]he Jew of all times has lived in the states of other peoples, and there formed his own state, which, to be sure, habitually sailed under the disguise of 'religious community' as long as outward circumstances made a completer revelation of his nature seem inadvisable. But as soon as he felt strong enough to do without the protective cloak, he always dropped the veil and suddenly became what so many of the others previously did not want to believe and see: the Jew.
The Jew's life as a parasite in the body of other nations and states explains a characteristic which once caused Schopenhauer ... to call him the 'great master in lying.' Existence impels the Jew to lie, and to lie perpetually, just as it compels the inhabitants of the northern countries to wear warm clothing.
His life within other peoples can only endure for any length of time if he succeeds in arousing the opinion that he is not a people but a 'religious community,' though of a special sort.
And this is the first great lie.
In order to carry on his existence as a parasite on other peoples, he is forced to deny his inner nature. ... 3
The Jewish religious doctrine consists primarily in prescriptions for keeping the blood of Jewry pure and for regulating the relation of Jews among themselves, but even more with the rest of the world; in other words, with non-Jews. ... [O]ur present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties ...
On this first and greatest lie, that the Jews are not a race but a religion, more and more lies are based in necessary consequence. ... As long as the Jew has not become the master of other peoples, he must speak their languages ... , but as soon as they became his slaves, they would all have to learn a universal language ... , so that by this additional means the Jews could more easily dominate them! 4
... [T]he Jewish influence on economic affairs grows with terrifying speed through the stock exchange. He becomes the owner, or at least the controller, of the national labor force. 5
... a second weapon in the service of the Jews: the press. With all his perseverance and dexterity he seizes possession of it. With it he slowly begins to grip and ensnare, to guide and to push all public life, since he is in a position to create and direct that power which, under the name of 'public opinion,' is better known today than a few decades ago. 6
If we pass all the causes of the German collapse in review, the ultimate and most decisive remains the failure to recognize the racial problem and especially the Jewish menace.
The defeats on the battlefield in August, 1918, would have been child's play to bear. They stood in no proportion to the victories of our people. It was not they that caused our downfall; no, it was brought about by that power which prepared these defeats by systematically over many decades robbing our people of the political and moral instincts and forces which alone make nations capable and hence worthy of existence. 7
Fundamental to Hitler's beliefs is the concept of the Jews being a race, a nation, a people apart from all other peoples, separated by ineradicable biological differences. He thought that blood was basic in determining the cultural and civilizational potentialities of a people, and that mixing of the blood — loss of racial purity — was a surefire disaster for the initially superior race. He was obsessed with vitriolic hatred of Jews, and his thinking was dominated by a deep faith that strength, the use of savage force if necessary to subjugate inferior peoples was both natural and right. Except for an obsessive hatred of Jews, today the thinking of the dominant Americans who control the U.S. government is not significantly different in their reliance on savage force.
Hitler's contempt for German politicians and for the system of representative democracy was almost surely justified. And his bit about Christian politicians debasing themsleves begging for Jewish votes at elections brings to mind the sordid cowering of Democratic presidential contenders Clinton and Barak as they genuflect before the financial threats of Jewish money mongers demanding unconditional backing of the nation-state of Israel. As Hitler correctly observed, all the politicians care about is getting elected.
Hitler’s hate-filled diatribe is not limited to his hatred of Jewry, though surely that was a prime hatred. I think it is a mistake to simply dismiss his perspective in toto as that of a crazy and/or evil man. It seems to me that many Jewish Israelis and American and other English-speaking Jews are prone to ignore his views, to regard him as unfit for discussion, as though he was not a product of history but an ignorable aberration. I have in mind of course the bulk of Israeli Jews and other Jews who support the ongoing savage campaign of Israel to drive as many Palestinians out of the occupied territories as possible. Just as Hitler’s ultra-nationalistic motto proclaimed ‘Deutschland über Alles’ (Germany above all), these Jewish ‘Israel über Alles’ supporters of the nation-state of Israel ignore or rationalize the nazi behavior of Israel towards Palestinians. Regardless of how abominably Israel acts, these Jews back it to the hilt, fully complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity.
I think it’s worth taking note that the idea of Jews as destroyers of the ‘Aryan race’ neither died with Hitler’s regime nor lost its possible lethal potential. One of the advocates of the idea that Jewry is separate from, and a possible threat to the traditional white Christian northern-European-derived American culture is Kevin B. MacDonald, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Long Beach. 8 MacDonald does not hate Jews or any other ethnic group so far as I can see, contrary to the effort of the Southern Poverty Law Center to paint him as an anti-Semite. I earlier wrote about him,
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.
My own experiences tend to corroborate those that seem to have played a significant role in MacDonald’s negative feelings about ‘aggressive Jewish behavior’. The major difference in our interpretation of such behavior, which not incidentally was for me by no means restricted to Jews, is that he sees it as an evolutionary psychological trait and I reject the notion that it is grounded in genetics. In my view, the so-called academic discipline of evolutionary psychology, which was spawned by Edward O. Wilson’s work, does not deserve to be regarded as a legitimate field of study. In a brief exchange, 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 seems to be an effort to hedge. First saying 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 the second clause of his sentence contradicrs the first.
I think each one of us: Hitler, MacDonald and I is (or was) motivated by that profound psychological human need for a sense of self-respect, for a sense of dignity as a human being. We gain such dignity, I believe, by feeling ourselves to be accepted and respected by people for whom we have respect. The idea of segmenting humanity into different ethnic groups, each with its supposedly intractable behavior patterns, can serve to legitimate terrible human suffering, as it did during the Nazi Judeocide and as it is now doing in Israel’s crushing of the Palestinians, to mention only two of numerous examples. In my admittedly limited experience, wherever I have seen different ethnic groups living in close proximity the result is an enrichment of each group as it adopts attractive features from other groups. The more ‘mixed’ a culture is the richer it is. Yes, we each identify with a particular ethnic group, but that ought not preclude our larger, inclusive identification with humanity as a whole.
Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler, translated by Ralph Manheim, Part I, Chapter XI, Nation and Race, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1943, pp.284-329.
2 ibid., p. 300.
3 ibid., p. 305.
4 ibid., pp. 306-7.
5 ibid., p. 314.
6 ibid., p. 315 The 'second weapon' here does not refer to Jewish economic influence but to Freemasonry, which Hitler maintains has completely succumbed to Jewish desires for religious tolerance.
7 ibid., p. 327.
8 Kevin B. MacDonald is the author of numerous academic papers and a number of books, among the latter three volumes on Judaism. See the page of his website at http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/books.htm , which begins with a disclaimer, in my view probably honest, that says,
“This website contains frank discussion of ethnic issues, including ethnic interests and ethnic competition. In all cases I have done my best to be objective and to base my analyses on solid evidence. I want to make it clear that nothing on this website should be interpreted to suggest that I condone white racial superiority, genocide, Nazism, or Holocaust denial. I advocate none of these and strongly dissociate myself and my work from groups that do. Nor should my opinions be used to support discrimination against Jews or any other group.”
On his blog, at http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/blog-Weissberg-Weiss.htm
, speaking of Jews in the United States, MacDonald writes,
“The danger for Jews is that non-Jews will come to realize the deep wellsprings of Jewish ethnocentrism and see Jewish involvement in the displacement of European-descended peoples as resulting from ethnic conflict over the construction of culture. Ultimately, Europeans may come to realize that the conflict is really about the ethnic displacement of themselves as a people.
“Speaking for myself, it would be difficult for me not to have developed something of a sense of my peoplehood after delving into the 2000-year history of Jews who were intensely concerned about preserving their people and their culture. As I’ve come to realize, preserving one’s people and culture is a virtual human universal. No one would contend that, say, Koreans have a moral obligation to allow millions of other peoples into Korea so that what we would call ethnic Koreans become a minority and their culture put up for grabs. Certainly, the idea that Israel is a Jewish state is central to its entire self-concept — so much so that the idea of the Palestinians who were basically expelled in 1948 being allowed to return to create a multi-ethnic, pluralistic society is a political impossibility. The idea that European-descended peoples have no right to preserve their peoples and cultures while others do is a glaring double standard.
“The fact is that the US did have a sense of being a European, Christian society until very recently. Christianity was an uncontested part of public culture until large-scale Jewish immigration in the early 20th century. The immigration laws were biased in favor of Europeans until 1965 when the long Jewish campaign to change them finally succeeded. Such laws were no different from exactly what Israel continues to do with the strong support of the organized American Jewish community. Nevertheless, my research shows that the organized American Jewish community has led the campaign to make assertions of white identity and interests illegitimate. I see that as hypocritical. The big question is whether the WASPs will put up a fight.”
For further information about MacDonald <email@example.com
> , who has in my opinion been slandered by the so-called Intelligence Report of the Southern Poverty Law Center, see my essay “Raw Hate, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – a Christmas rant ” at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-12-25.htm
and to links provided in that article.
9 Immanuel Wallerstein. "Commentary of a Suicide Foretold: The Case of Israel", Commentary No. 249, Jan. 15, 2009. http://fbc.binghamton.edu/commentr.htma/a>.
Appendix, correspondence through
26 February 2008
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 18:22:09 -0500
My late husband was Jewish and he always said exactly the same thing.
1b. Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 16:05:03 -0500
Thank you Y for writing. I only hope that he and I are correct, and that others come to the same views. I’ve stirred some very strong feelings with this note.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 17:35:02 -0600
I enjoyed your post. I have so much to learn (and unlearn) in my lifetime. I know there are ideals worth shooting for in our ongoing formation of self and we need input from others. It is to be thankful of to have the also human ability to recognize truth, even if we choose not to accept or follow it. I hear it from you.
2b. Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 16:12:10 -0500
Thanks for writing. I hope you and J are well. Wow, did I awaken some strong feelings this time! I try to tell the truth as I understand it, but who’s to say? I’m sure I get some stuff wrong.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 20:00:14 -0500
Thanks for getting me on your mailing list, George, enjoy your essays--
I’ve been working on building up a One State group, and thinking of how to make arguments for this concept -- Your last paragraph in your recent essay was so humane and brings us into the 21st century in a realistic way -- I’ve been thinking of sending it on to our list, just by itself -- would that be ok? (with attribution, of course)
(by the way, would you like to be on the B One State list?)
When discussing the advantages of mixing people of differing ethnic backgrounds, the situation in the US South is instructive in this respect-- An irony that after fighting integration for years and making any number of Black families miserable in one way or another, when integration and more or less equality arrived, the white southerners have a much richer culture for having the benefit of people of African origin as part of it -- the idea of a purely European south would seem absurd, unpleasant, and in
the end, less interesting. (This even outside of issues of justice and equality)
I think each one of us is ... motivated by that profound psychological human need for a sense of self-respect, for a sense of dignity as a human being. We gain such dignity, I believe, by feeling ourselves to be accepted and respected by people for whom we have respect. The idea of segmenting humanity into different ethnic groups, each with its supposedly intractable behavior patterns, can serve to legitimate
terrible human suffering, as it did during the Nazi Judeocide and as it is now doing in Israel’s crushing of the Palestinians, to mention only two of numerous examples. In my admittedly limited experience, wherever I have seen different ethnic groups living in close proximity the result is an enrichment of each group as it adopts attractive features from other groups. The more ‘mixed’ a culture is the richer it is. Yes, we each identify with a particular ethnic group, but that ought not preclude our larger, inclusive identification with humanity as a whole.
3b. Enviado el: Sábado, 23 de Febrero de 2008 08:47 p.m.
CC: Uri Avnery
I appreciate very much getting feedback, and of course you and I are kindred spirits, which makes for positive feedback. I’d be glad to be added to your B One State list, though I doubt I could contribute much. But it would be good to know what’s happening with your efforts. Also, you should feel free to use anything I’ve written that you think might be useful. I’m more interested in having good ideas and thoughts disseminated than in making sure I ‘get credit’ for my contributions. I see remaking the world as a gigantic collective grassroots effort. The truth is that I feel somewhat discouraged at how little I seem able to accomplish, but I do what I can, and have to settle for that.
Incidentally, right after I sent off my piece today I got an article by Uri Avneri that is probably one of the worst things by him that I’ve seen. A good humane person, I see him as trapped in the value system in which nation-states, power relations, ethnic distinctions, Zionist ideology, and even might-makes-right are accepted as unchangeable parts of reality. I’ll attach his essay for you to see. I believe he’s committed to the so-called two-state solution in substantial part because he believes basically that ‘Jews are different’. It’ll be interesting to see whether Z-Net and Counterpunch, which seem to grab most everything he writes, post this piece, so counter to their position on the destruction of Yugoslavia.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 21:32:49 -0500
What a pathetic idiot you are.
Maybe you would like to reheat the ovens also while your at it.
Director of W.
4b. Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 08:28:03 -0500
What you have not understood is the extent of hatreds being generated by the destruction of the Palestinians, who, like Jews and all peoples, are human beings. A decent human being simply does not kill children. Period! No further discussion. Are you capable of writing something substantive?
I don’t know why you got my paper, since you are not on my mailing list. A Google search for you and W yields nothing.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 21:34:46 -0500
Hope all is well with you. Question: In your article headed: “Israelis conform to Hitler’s prediction
Why are so many Jews acting as Hitler said they would?” I think I missed something, because I’m not sure what the prediction is that you refer to. Can you please enlighten me?
5b. Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 23:23:34 -0500
You’re quite right to pin me on this. I really needed more time and effort to clearly make the point I wanted to drive home than I took, because of how desperate I feel about the strangulation of the Gazans. Hitler’s writing is scattered, repetitious and, at least to me, in places confusing in that it’s unclear what he is saying. The truth is that under the pressure I ran out of steam and put up a piece that I’m not completely happy with. I was of course focussing on those Jews who are defending the Israeli state’s attack on the Palestinian peoples, especially the Gazans.
A few of the quotes suggest, but don’t clinch, ‘Hitler’s prediction’. He says that as soon as the Jew felt strong enough to give up the disguise of being (just) a religious community he did so. Also, as soon as other peoples became slaves (of the Jews), the Jews would not have to speak their languages. Hitler claims that Germany’s defeat in 1918 resulted from ‘that power’ (he means Jewish power) that over many decades systematically weakened the German people.
The entire thrust of the part of Mein Kampf that I’ve read so far (Volume I and the beginning of Volume II) that deals with Jews treats them as a devious group dedicated to weakening and gaining control over the Germans. In so far as he saw such behavior and goals as inherent in the Jewish peoples, one can infer that he would predict similar behavior and goals to govern Jewry in respect to the Palestinians. But of course an inference is not a deduction. So I have work to do.
Thanks B for calling me on this. Nancy and I are OK, although for me the situation (here and everywhere) is quite discouraging. Americans, of all political stripes, seem to be ultra-absorbed with electoral politics in the U.S.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 21:56:07 -0500
Hey George - a couple comments on this one. First, I don’t quite see how all this means Jews are conforming to what Hitler said about them. Personally I wouldn’t enter into such a debate with such language, as I think that if Jews are to be judged as a people (a VERY debatable goal), it should be on the basis of objective ethical and political considerations, not through fascist criteria, looking at how some behavior might conform to something Hitler said at some point.
More importantly - after reading some of his work I attended a lecture by Wilson in college and was very impressed. I always felt he had gotten a bad rap by the left. Gould et al may have had some valid points in his critique but to reject outright an evolutionary, biological explanation for social behavior on political grounds seems to me to be dangerous and much more anti-scientific than any of his work. (I think I remember you being involved in Science for the People and maybe you have some insights into the whole controversy that I don’t.)
I am surprised that you attack Wilson and the school of thought he founded saying it “does not deserve to be regarded as a legitimate field of study,” while at the same time defend MacDonald’s “solid academic research.” Here are some quotes I found from MacDonald on his own website:
“The best way to preserve ethnic interests is to defend an ethnostate—a nation that is explicitly intended to preserve the ethnic interests of its citizens. From an ethnic point of view, a major problem with massive immigration is that there is likely to be an increase in ethnic competition. Multicultural societies sanction ethnic mobilization because they inevitably become a cauldron of competing ethnic interests.”
“And given that some ethnic groups—especially ones with high levels of ethnocentrism and mobilization—will undoubtedly continue to function as groups far into the foreseeable future, unilateral renunciation of ethnic loyalties by some groups means only their surrender and defeat—the Darwinian dead end of extinction. The future, then, like the past, will inevitably be a Darwinian competition in which ethnicity plays a very large role. The alternative faced by Europeans throughout the Western world is to place themselves in a position of enormous vulnerability in which their destinies will be determined by other peoples, many of whom hold deep historically conditioned hatreds toward them. Europeans’ promotion of their own displacement is the ultimate foolishness—an historical mistake of catastrophic proportions.”
I share your skepticism of the SPLC but this is really beyond the line of acceptable for me. His disclaimer of “I don’t hate anyone” doesn’t convince me for a second. Most of the white supremacist organizations in the country have some line about “We don’t hate [blacks/jews/latinos/etc], we admire them, but we think our country should remain white and European in character just as their countries should remain [black/jewish/latino/whatever].” It’s a lame old cop-out to avoid calling a spade a spade. This is racist thinking if I’ve ever seen it.
While I’m obviously no expert on these issues, I don’t think the idea that there is some biological basis to the above-average academic or financial performance of certain groups is to be completely dismissed. Though, my feeling is that is probably more like an evolved RESPONSE to certain circumstances that is common across the species. I don’t think Jews have been an isolated or well-defined enough population to make those kinds of conclusions. But hey, who knows. Even if the former is true in some way, it doesn’t justify any racist ideas or deterministic thinking about how one’s ethnic background determines his or her potential.
6b. Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 23:48:41 -0500
You’re in good company. B also called me on this posting, though not as extensively as you. I can’t answer you right now, but will as soon as I can. You can see the exchange between B and me, which I’ll insert below.
6c. Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 23:07:06 -0500
I think you have partially misread some of what I wrote. I said, of MacDonald, “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.” (emphasis added) Contrary to your assertion that I “defend MacDonald’s solid academic research”, I do not regard his work in a favorable light, and was pointing out that there are rabid ‘hater’ groups who buy into his stuff uncritically. My criticism is that he has gained stature within the field of evolutionary psychology, a field that I think ought not be recognized as a valid scientific discipline. This is not the same as saying I don’t believe that social behavior has not evolved or that there is no genetic component in such evolution. Wilson was wrong, I believe, in attempting to generalize from insect social behavior to that of humans. I was not involved in the work of the Science for the People Sociobiology Study Group, though my wife Freda was an active member (her work on that and other matters is in the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Harvard-Radcliff). While I cannot claim any detailed first-hand knowledge, I do remember that their critique seemed solid to me. Of course it’s true that we largely shared the same political perspective.
You express surprise that I “attack Wilson and the school of thought he founded”, which is somewhat inaccurate. My attack was on ‘evolutionary psychology’, which is not the same as ‘social behavior’. Even within social behavior in human groups there is plenty of ground for dispute, as for example Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid illustrates, where he tried to argue that in the long run evolution favored mutual aid within species over “The Struggle for Existence” propounded by Thomas H. Huxley in his famous essay with that title. I never found Kropotkin’s thesis as convincing as I wished. However, what I was critical of was not social behavior theory but the field of evolutionary psychology.
So far as I know, people in evolutionary psychology do not make predictions that can subsequently be tested experimentally as in real sciences (chemistry, biology, physics, etc.). It’s easy enough to make hypotheses, but unless they make up a coherent theory, one subject to possible falsification through testing, there’s no basis for having confidence that they are correct. To my knowledge, admittedly very limited, this is the nature of the ‘discipline’ in which MacDonald works.
There’s no question in my mind that MacDonald is a racist. However, I don’t see him as a virulent hater of other ethnicities. Obviously, from what he’s written, he buys into the ideas of ethnic distinctness, differences which he probably believes are genetically fixed (despite his effort to hedge by citing cultural sources of differences, which I mentioned in my piece). You may be right, and I may be naive in accepting his disclaimer at face value. If I see evidence that he does hate, say Jews or Blacks for example, then I’ll change my mind.
You state, “I don’t think the idea that there is some biological basis to the above-average academic or financial performance of certain groups is to be completely dismissed.” I think you’re dead wrong about this. To me it is akin to maintaining the possibility that there may be some biological (genetic) bais for the ability of say the Swiss to make fine chocolates and precision timepieces. I see it as totally cultural. As I wrote in my Christmas rant,
... 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. This is note  in the Christmas rant, which reads, On human differences atributable to ethnicity, the excerpt in the text is from a more extended discussion in the essay, “Changing History, 1” at
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.”
Incidentally, there’s a well-known untestable hypothesis that maintains that each new human creature enters this world with what is conceptualized as ‘original sin’. We know that’s absurd, even though many people believe it.
Although I don’t see MacDonald as a hater, his ideas are in my opinion potentially very dangerous because they can be used to stir hatreds, possibly with lethal consequences.
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 09:25:49 +0100
Dear George Salzman!
I am Austrian and I have watched your postings for a while. At some point you were busy defending yoursef against accusations of antisemitism
Now you are posting sth., that implies you are reading Hitler and taking it seriously, and in one and the same Headline you are confounding the terms Israelis and Jews. Not to mention the headline which opens doors to asking what “Endlösung” your “prophet” (He has predicted the Jews, no?) Hitler had in mind.
I don’t like the Israeli government either, but “the Jews” don’t have a collective identity and many of them don’t like what the israeli government is doing, independent from where they are living.
Whatever this article talks about, I am disgusted. Please take me off that posting list and please at least admit to yourself, that you are using the same discourse strategies that antisemitists use today and that the NAZIs used yesterday.
Don’t take it personally, I think you are quite a nice guy (at least when I met you back in 2005). It’s just those thoughts of yours I don’t wanna listen to ...
7b. Enviado el: Domingo, 24 de Febrero de 2008 09:56 a.m.
Asunto: Thanks for writing. I’ve taken you off my list.
I appreciate hearing from you your reaction to this last piece. In fact I got reactions from B and from D, both very astute people, who took me to task with some justification. Here is the exchange with B, which may clarify my post somewhat.
D’s criticism was much more extensive than B’s, and I haven’t as yet written back to him any kind of detailed response. I realize of course that I used very provocative headings. That was deliberate, conceivably not a good choice. But my discourse is completely different from that of anti-Semites. You have misread me. I was quite specific that my criticism was directed at those Israelis and English-speaking Jews of other countries who support the deplorable actions of the Israeli government. I am certain that the actions of the Israeli nation-state and the widely publicized efforts of some so-called mainstream Jewish groups to act as ‘defenders’ of Israel is generating an enormous well-spring of hatred, undifferentiated hatred from which all Jews may eventually suffer directly. I think I am trying to give a wake-up call to those Jews who I see as badly misguided. But most of all, it is urgent that the killings and torture stop.
All good wishes, George
P.S. Of course I’m reading Hitler’s book, and taking it seriously. The fact that he was able to lead a supposedly civilized nation to do such terrible things was based on the misery many Germans were suffering as a result of the vindictive Versailles treaty. I don’t think other national populations are immune from being misled into doing equally terrible things.
7c. From: M
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 21:14:19 +0100
just never, never, never intermingle the term “jew” with the term “israeli” or “pro-israeli”. That’s like equalizing “Iranian” and “muslim”.
You may read Hitler with some interest as for how to lead a nation of mainly authoritarian characters (that is: people who, all their lives and with physical punishment, were taught to do as they are told to without questioning it) to commit any collective crime against humanity that is completely beyond reason. However, be aware that taking anything seriously that Hitler postulates about “the Jew” (a group that he later defined as “human like looking animal, which (!) cannot prove all their 4 grandparents were not Jewish (and neither Roma or Sinti or a few other arbitrary groups”) is something between plain stupid and anti-semite.
And I noticed you were trying to provoke and it’s good you realize you are taking it too far.
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 22:49:53 -0500
i think this is a really terrible article. you shouldn’t be sending it
around. for me, it confirms that anti-zionists are actually anti-semites,
according to whomever would want to predict that.
8b. Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 10:06:20 -0500
Your note, which came last night, is the most recent response to my essay. People reacted in a large variety of ways. There are of course shortcomings in the article, as I tried to partially explain in terms of my own desperation and sense of urgency about Gaza in my note to B, always an astute critic. You may be interested in what other people wrote. Although I’ll insert the entire correspondence up to now as I have saved it, it is only for you, because the names of my correspondents are included, although I have not asked anyone for permission to make his or her note public.
V, you’re much too intelligent to believe that “anti-Zionists are actually anti-Semites”. You were obviously agitated by what I wrote, probably in particular by the very provocative title I used. But you know me too well to accept the notion that because I am anti-Zionist I also hold hatred for Jewish people, simply based on their being of that ethnicity. And I can’t imagine that you buy into that absurdly concocted notion of ‘self-hating Jews’, which my long-time friend and personal physician once accused me of being.
I don’t understand the meaning of the final phrase of yours, “according to whomever would want to predict that.” Perhaps you can restate it for me. But more important, I urge you to rethink your own position. As committed anarchists we surely ought to agree on the universality of humanity and the values that should govern our social behavior. I live in a state of anguish but I know that most people are good, decent folks, and nearly every nation-state is a ‘crime against humanity.’ Every day my experiences reaffirm this conviction.
Sincerely and affectionately,
8c. Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:53:31 -0600 (CST)
honestly george, how can you expect me to be at all sympathetic to a
posting that waxes about Hitler’s fundamental sincerity?
8d. Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 22:49:47 -0600 (CST)
george, i very much do not agree with your stance on israel/palestine.
you really lost me with that hitler thing. while i would welcome your
updates about mexico, please do not send me any more messages about this topic. thanks, V
8e. Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 10:45:15 -0500
I’m transferring the names on my personal e-mail distribution list to the new listserv I began recently. Soon – probably within a few days – you will get an e-mail that says
Change of mailing list
Oaxaca, 4(+ whatever) March 2008
I am removing your name from my personal e-mail list and adding it to the subscribers on my listserv. You will receive a notice from the listserv announcing your subscription. If you decide you do not want further notices, just send an e-mail (no message is needed) to
The notices I post there go to subscribers automatically and are archived, where anyone can see them. With close to 1,300 addresses I cannot undertake to select which things go to some people and which to others. It will be up to you whether you want to see a particular item of mine, which is how it should be.
I am sorry that you were so offended by my last essay. You are not the only American Jew who seems to have a psychological block against thinking in historical terms of the Nazi Holocaust and who is unwilling to even discuss it. I see that as something that arises from a deeply internalized fear, a fear that has been carefully nurtured, as Alan Novick explores and thoroughly documents in The Holocaust in American Life. My belief, as you probably know, is that there is no fundamental difference between people of one ethnicity and those of another. I see myself first as a human being, like all other humans. My ethnicity is just a cultural feature of my person, like all the other cultural conditionings to which people are subjected.
Take care xxxxx, and best wishes,
P.S. You’ll laugh when I tell you that yesterday I got my Mexican citizenship. Imagine this anarchist pretending to affirm loyalty to a fascist government. Of course the reasons are practical. Since we plan to remain here it makes sense not to have to go through the yearly hassle and expense of getting a new visa.
16 Jan 2009
I posted the essay on my website 23 Feb 2008. Eight people wrote me on the 23rd and 24th, three of whom responded very positively or positively, three very negatively or negatively, and two non-committally or slightly negatively. Now it’s ten and a half months later. Today the Israeli military is completing its third week of a terrifying total assault against the entire population of Gaza (the aerial bombing began 27 Dec 2008 and the ground invasion on 3 Jan 2009).
The objections raised to my essay were more or less centered on my use of material from Hitler’s Mein Kampf
in my attempt to show that the Zionist regime was indeed behaving as Hitler predicted ‘Jews’ would act when they gained a position of mastery. Hitler of course did not discern differences of behavior among ‘Jews’, all of whom were, for him despicable untermenschen
. In rereading the entire exchange now I’m struck by the ease with which my words were misunderstood at that time, as though I had been arguing that because
Hitler (my “prophet”, one person claimed) said ‘Jews’ would, when they gained control, act to destroy the people under them, the Israeli government was acting terribly, with unbearable cruelty. But of course I was not arguing that at all. I was asserting that the actions of the Israeli government themselves were unbearably cruel, as they were and still are, and this is a fact that is independent of what Hitler said or didn’t say. My use of Hitler was intended to shock readers into the realization that Israel, which is in its ideology every bit as loathsome as was the Nazi government, is providing a broad popular base to support another fanatic like Hitler who might fixate on ‘Jews’ as the cause of everything terrible in the world, and see another Judeocide as the solution. To have misread everything I’ve written and conclude that I’m antisemitic was absurdly unjustified. By now it ought to be clear to anyone who does not refuse to look outside Israeli and U.S. official propaganda, mouthed ad nauseum by much of the English language corporate press and media where there is significant English-literate Jewish population, that most of the world's peoples view with horror and hatred the Israeli attempt to carry out a genocidal program against the Palestinians.
I think the correspondence stimulated by my essay is instructive to reread now from the perspective of the worldwide reaction to Israel’s latest actions. I believe, in agreement with Immanuel Wallerstein who wrote yesterday that Israel is destroying itself, that Israel has crossed the rubicon. It’s gone too far along its self-destructive path to recapture its viability. 9
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