Book review of The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of the Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements by Kevin MacDonald
There are three groups of readers here today. A third of you just shuddered to see that I’m reviewing this book. The second third just boned up in anticipation of discovering a new convert to RealThink on the JQ. And the third third have never heard of the book before and have no idea what the fuss is about.
Hello to all of you.
This is Part III in MacDonald’s trilogy investigating the movements, survival and success of the Jewish people across times and places from an evolutionary point of view. In Critique, he examines the intellectual role of Jews in the west, especially in the profound cultural changes that have taken place since the 1960s.
To summarize: according to MacDonald, the Jews are an ethnocentric group that have promoted various cultural movements in the west, mostly without self-awareness, in order to further their own ethnic interests. They were involved in communism as a way of making European societies more cosmopolitan and less inclined to discriminate against some minorities, i.e. themselves. They further attempted to distract attention from ethnic differences by minimizing them in the western mind (Franz Boaz and Jay Gould).
They undermined a western culture that might exclude or turn hostile towards them through a pseudo-psychology (Freud) and by making normal, middle-class values seem pathologically authoritarian (Adorno et al). Further, Jews attempted to ju-jitsu western military power in order to serve Israel’s security interests through the Neoconservative movement.
In order to disappear safely into a melting-pot within western societies, they created such a melting-pot through anti-restrictionist immigration policies.
All in all, MacDonald claims, Jewish intellectuals undermined our individualist, liberal, traditional Anglo-Saxon society in order to further their own interests.
There are two questions to address in this review. 1. Is he anti-Semitic? 2. Is he right? Let’s address them in turn.
- Is Kev anti-Semitic?
I don’t mean this is in the sense that John Derbyshire gives it in his thoughtful review. This writer suggests that anti-Semitism means generally thinking that the Jews are more of a negative influence for our societies than a positive one, which certainly sums up Kevin’s whole argument, and John rejects it because he admires all those other Jews who are his friends or who did good, ordinary things, say in medicine or physics. You can read his thoughts for yourself.
But my idea of anti-Semitism is simply, ‘not liking Jews’. Having a generally antagonistic attitude towards them. Harbouring ill-will towards them. Disliking the cut of their jib.
Here, Kev is certainly guilty. His earlier books were apparently more positive towards Jews (I have not yet read them), but in Critique he has clearly decided that a primarily Jewish intellectual movement has successfully corrupted his society for its own ethnic ends, especially though unrestrained immigration, and one can feel his rage against them in his every moderate, well-referenced paragraph, in every reasonable sentence, in every polite word.
He doesn’t like them.
To his credit, MacDonald is careful to point out that the vast majority of Jews were not much involved in these movements, and that most are just ordinary, perfectly nice people who at worst are only guilty of being a bit too pinko and pro-Israel. But his hostility is nevertheless palpable.
Compare his work with Solzhenitsyn’s. The latter, though his work is still untranslated in full as his words ring to some ears with the very hoof beat of the Cossack, is genuinely and deeply fond of the Russian Jews, as he is of all those groups that made up the history of that enormous land. His love for them is both patriotic and familial, even when he criticizes their involvement in the Bolshevik movement. This is not a difference of opinion – mostly they see eye to eye – but rather, one of feeling. And you can’t reason with feelings.
As for me, I’m on Solzhenitsyn’s side here. But this is just my feeling, not a rational argument. So let us come to our second question.
- Is Kev right?
That is, are the factual claims he makes about the Jewish underpinnings of, and motivations for, social movements that have undermined Western culture correct?
As all fair reviewers have pointed out, this is a serious, academic book, and its assertions are backed with copious references. It is impossible to read this work and come out thinking that all those social movements mentioned were not primarily inspired by ethnocentric Jews trying unconsciously to protect their own interests in the West. He thoroughly proves his point. However, I must add two caveats to this, one small and one gigantic.
The small one: MacDonald’s bolder claims about Jewish perfidy almost always refer back to his own works. No doubt I ought to read them, but still. It is a bit cheeky and weakens his claims somewhat.
The gigantic caveat: the Jews can’t be all to blame. They are only about 3% of the US population, and exist in only trace amounts in many other Western nations, including my own. The only reason that these social movement succeeded is because many non-Jews wholeheartedly supported and championed them. Not so much Freudianism, but you don’t have to look very far to find Anglo cheerleaders for multiculturalism, socialism, anti-racism, feminism (funny, he didn’t get into that one) and assorted radical movements. The only major exception is Neoconservativism, which has a few Goyim front men but is primarily a Jewish movement, not just a Jewish-inspired one.
So for the most part these moments were not so much a case of Jews furtively undermining us, but rather, of Jews successfully convincing us to change our societies. Had they not convinced us, it would not have changed. We could have just said, ‘No, thank you,’ and that would have been it.
So in what has been charged as an anti-Semitic classic, all I see is a work of anti-Saxonism. It tells us: we freely allowed irrational and self-destructive movements to take over our societies, and now we are paying the price. Don’t worry about the Jews – the more important point is, what the hell is wrong with us?
In my view, the social reforms described – Jewish or otherwise – worked because they appealed to the West’s enduring, weak underbelly: Christianity.
It is just not Christian to refuse to allow hostile foreigners to settle in one’s country. It is not Christian to believe that people are not equal, or to judge others for their moral sins, or to allow a poor little innocent plucky country to be attacked by big baddies.
The Christian thing to do is for the rich to give to the poor, for us to turn the other cheek to any indignity; to forgive, to love our enemies, to accept suffering in this world in return for glory in the next. Sure, you can cherry-pick from certain books to get a different picture, just so long as you’re prepared to ignore the words of Jesus himself in the Gospels. Which most Christians do, in order to live practical lives.
It isn’t the Jews who have pozzed our societies. The poz is entirely in our recent, and unfortunate, return to a genuine and self-destructive form of Christianity, that of the book of Luke – one which hates all that is lofty; it is a revenge of the lowly masses against the greatness of the accomplished few, both on the individual and national levels.
Kev has accidentally written the greatest polemic against Western Christianity since The Anti-Christ.
How would a truly strong, rational, unchristian society react in the face of Jewish intellectual criticism? Its leaders would respond, ‘You’re only saying that in order to feel safe in our society, though you probably don’t realize it. You don’t have to do that. We will maintain our venerable traditions and we will respect your place within them. You no longer live among barbarians so you don’t have to manipulate or undermine us, consciously or otherwise. We’ll look after you. But please continue your critique if you wish – after all, this is a free country. It is our traditions, the very ones you criticize, that make it so.’
And maybe in a few centuries they’ll begin to trust us. But as it is, the immigrants coming into our countries are a far greater threat to the Jew’s continued, safe coexistence among us than Kevin Bloody MacDonald could ever be.