How could anyone possibly dislike jews?!?

[Four answers to a question that has puzzled generations of (((sociologists))).  Adapted from the archives.]

1.  The “classic” explanation: modernization causes antisemitism (Adorno and Horkheimer)

As modernization proceeds, the modern world demands model workers and citizens who will be ever-more perfect cogs in the industrial machine.  This, in turn, requires ever-more repression of anti-social drives; the level of repression rises to levels difficult for human beings to cope with.  Unbearable levels of repression fuels brooding on the traits that are to be repressed, and the more we brood, the greater our need to project such traits onto others to feel clear ourselves —  or so Adorno and Horkheimer claim.

Like any society, a modern society needs to justify itself to its denizens and train them  to serve as its cogs.  The characteristically modern ideologies will package justification and training in some doctrine to the effect that the world is rational.  Unforunately, these cogs are placed in schizophrenogenic conditions if it turns out the world is not rational!  In an irrational world, good-boy progressives who wish to continue to believe the world is rational will have to suppress the reality-principle which ordinarily would ensure beliefs and observations remain in sync.  In the absence of the reality-principle, delusions fester, erratic behavior appears, and psychoses develop.

QL_antisem_Frankfurt (3)

Thus, conclude the boys from Frankfurt, in a modern society the masses are increasingly projecting morally unclean anti-social traits onto others (due to the pressure of pro-social conformity) and succumbing to irrational patterns of thinking, reminiscent of paranoias or schizophrenias (due to the strain of adhering to a continually-falsified ideology).  A modern man’s neuroses and psychoses make him prone to conspiracy theories about filthy, nasty strangers.  When the targets of all these neuroses and psychoses happen to be fine gentlemen of the Hebrew faith, voilà: antisemitism.

Adorno and Horkheimer have little to say about how/why/whether conspiracy theories about filthy, nasty strangers end up directed at one social group rather than another.  As a result, the duo just barely managed to beat Sartre in the race to develop the world’s first Judenfrei theory of antisemitism.

Such theories have two interesting properties.

  1. They rule out a priori any possibility that a victim of antisemitism might have provoked his assailants.  No one to whom antisemitic feelings are directed can ever bear any  responsibility; the eventual target of the “disease” plays no role in its etiology.
  2. They are very easily ported over to other branches of the Left’s victim-hierarchy.

[Editor’s Note: the blog feels obliged to remind its readers that severe mental illnesses are typically caused by rare genetic variants, that equivocating between X causes a mental illness and X causes symptoms analogous to a mental illness is a dangerous intellectual sin — and, while we are interjecting, that sometimes life in the shtetl really is filthy.]

2.  The Marxisant explanation: “Antisemitism is the socialism of idiots

Say a man has been knocking on doors all over town, looking for work, but no one hires him.  What went wrong?  Should he have woken up earlier, knocked on more doors, dressed sharper, had an extra cup of coffee?  Or is his failure to find employment a result of macroeconomic phenomena?

A normal guy blames most of his problems on proximate causes.  This is sensible; proximate causes are very salient, for one thing.  (They may also be the only aspect of his situation he has any control over.)  Social scientists like to flatter themselves that they understand the deep, systemic causes of the problems the masses face (and which the masses wrongly link to local circumstances).  Trying to encompass and integrate all the different timescales along which causal explanations operate is a tricky business.

Anyway: what happens if you’re stuck in the middle?  Neither normie nor scientist, you are suspicious enough to look beyond the proximate causes, but unable to find the road that would lead you to an ultimate explanation.

Let’s say you’ve observed that Adam can’t find work, Bob can’t find work, and Chad can’t find work.  According to orthodox Marxist theory, if you do realize that personal details about ABC don’t explain the general economic pattern ABC are a part of,  but you’re not able to trace the causes as far back as the capitalist social system, you are likely to follow out chains of economic relationships and peter out on some highly visible middleman. Dan the foreman wouldn’t hire Chad because Mr. Edwards, the owner of Dan’s company, ordered him to cut back production — because Fitzwick & Sons, his biggest customer, just went bust — because Mr. Gerstein, Fitzwick’s banker, canceled his line of credit.  If you start to get tired and confused around here, you’ll just remember it was Mr. Gerstein’s fault.  That greedy jew!

If “the greedy jews” are overrepresented among these highly visible, highly memorable middlemen you bump into when you try to understand the interrelated causes of everyday economic problems, you end up substituting the demographic traits of the middlemen for the economic structure within which they are cogs.

Marx and his fellow socialists developed this genre of explanation in the context of factional politics.  Among these rabble-rousers, factions came to be identified not only with a leader (Marx, Bebel, Lassalle), a constituency (the cigar workers, the porters, the Irish) or a characteristic political strategy (bomb-throwing, the 40-hour workweek, the general strike), but also with a trademark interpretation of the nature of the dysfunctional society they hoped to lead into the chaos of revolution.

It’s worth reflecting on the rhetorical effectiveness of this explanation as a memetic weapon in a struggle between different varieties of rabble-rousers.  It offers the carrot —”You’ve seen farther than others! You’ve started the journey!”— and the stick —”If you stop here, you’re a fool!”.  It belittles antisemitism as a garbled version of the truth… yet still acknowledges that it is a version of the truth.  Antisemites have made a mistake, but their mistake was to be lured in by the specious resemblance between the basic structure of the antisemitic diagnosis and the truth of “scientific socialism”; their very error reveals that in their hearts, they are natural socialists!  Never make the mistake of seeking to demolish a position when your goal is really to coopt it, along with all its adherents.

3. The provincialism explanation (Zionism)

Every county hates all the minorities (ethnic, linguistic, religious, and so on) that it comes into contact with in daily life.  Differences cause uncertainty and friction; they are a conduit for contempt and ridicule.  But most minorities here are the majority there, and this gives them (a) someplace to flee to, (b) an imagined community, (c) and, in the Westphalian system of sovereign states, bargaining chips that they can use to protect their co-nationals elsewhere.

Jews, on the other hand, were minorities everywhere.  The tensions of coexistence relentlessly inflamed each nation’s most unsympathetic impulses towards its jewish minority, but without any countervailing pressure, as with all other ethnic minorities, that would inspire sympathy and respect.

There are several refreshing things about this explanation.  First, it acknowledges that hatred is normal.  (Diversity+proximity=conflict, always and everywhere.)  Second, it tries to explain the different degrees of antipathy various groups endure in terms of differences between the groups.

Because the theory that antisemitism is just an exaggerated form of common provincial attitudes towards the out-group was popularized by Theodor Herzl, there is a strong association between Herzl’s theory of antisemitism and Herzl’s Zionist political movement.  Zionism relied heavily on the theory in its arguments for a jewish state.  If all the differences between jews and other peoples were caused by their statelessness then if the jews were subsequently to acquire their own state, any differences between antisemitism and other provincial attitudes towards minority populations would disappear.

Zionism succeeded as a political movement; but as a grand venture in hypothesis-testing, results to date have been… well, let’s just say that the existence of the state of Israel has done little to confirm Herzl’s overarching hypothesis that jewish peculiarities stem from the jews’ abnormal statelessness.  It’s quite curious, for example, that the jews are the only nation in the world whose far-flung minority populations use the power of the states wherein they reside to protect the motherland rather than vice-versa.

Whether or not you think such anomalies refute Herzl’s theory, do not dismiss the early Zionist literature entirely.  Jews drew attention to national majorities’ defense of expatriate enclaves in order to make counterfactual predictions about what the world would look like if there was someone to defend the heretofore stateless jews.  A more sober reason to care about the phenomenon: intervention in defense of ethnic enclaves is a challenge to the formal power of the sovereign who has jurisdiction over the enclave, and a seedbed for the growth of informal power networks which seek to arbitrate (a) the right of intervention and (b) the standards of reciprocal toleration to which the mutual threat of intervention gives rise.

4. The Albigensian hypothesis

Every religion, sect, tendency, or heresy that Christians had to contend with in Roman times is now extinct or moribund… other than pharasaical judaism.

When was the last time a Cathar invited you to have dinner with his family?  Did you ever go to a sleepover at a Cathar’s house?  Do you have any Cathar friends at all?  No, of course not.  The last Cathars were put to death more than five hundred years ago.  For this reason, a question like “How could anyone be so heartless as to kill off the Cathars?” does not have any emotional resonance.  The successful genocides leave no victims.

What is difficult to explain about the jews is not that they were quite seriously despised for nearly two thousand years, but rather that the Christians never wiped them out.

Physical Anthropology in 1950

flores(Observations on intellectual history and ideological struggle)

I recently took a look at a book which gives a standard account of what physical anthropologists thought they knew about race immediately postwar.  If this book is any indication, “naive twentieth-century racial theories” is a bolshevik slur on excellent, careful, and appropriately modest anthropological claims which closely anticipated many findings archaeogenetics has now proven conclusively.

Races: a study of the problems of race formation in man brings together chapters originally given as lectures by the authors (Coon, Carn and Birdsell).  I picked it up for three reasons: (a) To learn how physical anthropology supplements the new DNA studies. (b) To familiarize myself with the sins of naive 20th century racial theories for which 21st century race-realists are held responsible.  (c) And, as the flip side of the same concern, to see where the old physical anthropology was accurate or misleading and precisely which physical evidence (or which interpretations of it) led them off track.

This post focuses on three topics that are interesting in light how how later anthropologists and biologists portray the work from this era: how the authors connect races to species, the sophistication of their evolutionary concepts (particularly, polygenesis and atavism), and the nature of the Nordic/Alpine/Mediterranean distinction.

I. What is race? 

Race, say Coon et al., is the first identifiable step in a process of divergence between two related populations — the same sort of divergence between isolated populations that in other cases leads to speciation.  What caught my eye was the spin they put on their explicit definition of racial divergence: “when one group has become sufficiently distinct from another group so that the majority of its member are easily identifiable, we call it a race.” They immediately contrast this easy identification to the endless acrimony among scientists about higher orders of classification: “Taxonomists argue about [species, genera, and so on] but on race they agree.”

In 2016, we usually use the opposite approach to sell people on race-realism: something like, “If you believe in species – and you do believe in species, right? species are a basic biological concept – you’ll have no trouble with race, since race is just somewhere between family and species on the continuum of closely-related populations”.  However there are two ways of thinking about race: one presents species as the common ground we can agree on and race as an ambiguous extension of the concept, while the other presents race as the common ground we can agree on and species as an ambiguous extension of the concept.  These two ways offer us a trade-off between the validity of the concept and the precision with which it can be applied.  “Easy identification of the distinctive traits of two groups” does not define a precise concept, because ease itself is a fuzzy concept, so the many clear-cut cases of “an easy identification” will always be surrounded by borderline cases that are nearly as 2375702_d4a2f3d3easy (just as with “a bald man” or “a heap of stones”).  Despite this fuzziness, “easy identification of differences” is logically (and evolutionarily!) prior to whatever degree of difference marks a difference in species, so any questions about the validity or reality of racial categories are ruled out in advance.  In 2016 we have a great deal of excellent and mathematically precise data on the (genetic) traits of human populations; it’s understandable to want to disassociate race from any implications of fuzziness.  But by approaching race as the more intricate, informationally-richer classification, we give up the idea that it is the simpler, logically prior of the two.  In 1950 they couldn’t quite see/quantify the intricacies, so they automatically went for the other horn of the dilemma.

Of course, even if there is a rhetorical trade-off between the two ways to frame the relationship between race and culture, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use both.  Most people who talk about race already use a line like “What, you’re telling me you can’t tell whether someone’s black or white?” now and then, and that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from treating race as easy-identification.  It may seem like cheating to switch back

150819225407-black-lives-matter-activist-african-america-shaun-king-lemon-ctn-00000324-large-169
Fine, maybe not always. Fuzzy concept, right?

and forth between framings as opportunity presents itself, but I’ll let you in on a secret: your fuzzy experience of easy identification is just peripheral awareness of a highly-trained perceptual heuristic which collects, processes and flags intercorrelations between clusters of related traits… the same intercorrelated clusters which we can now explicitly quantify with principle components analysis.

II. There was nothing naive about physical anthropology’s understanding of evolution in 1950.

When science is under siege for political reasons, the anti-science faction is endlessly bringing up older, imperfect versions of theories to bring their most recent versions into disrepute.  However, on at least two counts the common narrative appears to be false.

fourmodelsPolygenesis.  The bolshevik line on polygenesis: “Once upon a time, heapbad racist supremacists thought non-human hominid species spread all over the world, and in every region the populations started evolving, and in every region they evolved into a new species, but always the same new species (Homo sapiens).”  (Impossible, of course: every isolated population of an ancestral species that evolves into a new species must evolve into a different species.) “But,” the bolshevik continues, “Now We Know™ all Homo sapiens came Out-of-Africa, and very recently, and were fully behaviorally modern before the Africa/Eurasia split, and couldn’t possibly have evolved much in the last hundred millennia, anyway.”  — Not just wrong, wrong in every particular!  Evolution can happen very quickly, for one thing.  And most significantly, many modern populations have DNA from non-human hominids (Homo neanderthalensis and Homo denisova confirmed, others suspected), so even if polygenesis was as crazy as the bolsheviks say, monogenesis is also wrong.

When I’ve had to explain the new multi-hominid theory, I’ve leaned on a just-so story: once upon a time, there was a polygenesis-camp and a monogenesis-camp, and each focused on one part of the evidence, each developed a simple model that captured their insights, but ultimately the adherents of each were too rigid to see that the possibility-space for human origins is actually all of the possible linear combinations of these two pure models.  This parable seems to work pretty well (not great, to be honest), but its pox on both your houses attitude implies a false equivalence and reinforces a bolshevik smear against the polygenists.

Lifelike figure of a Neanderthal Man in the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann by Duesseldorf, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.
Stand proud, stand ‘thal

According to Coon et al., “polytypical theory” hypothesizes that “several primates, evolving in parallel fashion, all became men, and the living races are descended from more than one kind of subhuman primate.” (p. 85)  Note that they do not say whether or not they descend from more than one species of primate: in the 1950s at least, polygenesis took no stance on whether the parallel hominid populations were separate races, species, or what.  (Cf. the comment I quoted on the difficulty of delineating species, from the same chapter.  The footnote on Gates’ research into the “question of division into species” as a separate issue appears to emphasize this point, but I have not looked at that citation to verify.)  However, the authors do stake out a position on movement between populations: “Whichever of these theories may be true, … mixture [has] been going on from the earliest times.” (They note three different population movements into Australia, a model genetics has only recently confirmed.)  Thus some big movement out of Africa, they take take for granted; among their contemporaries, polygenesis just meant modern traits are a linear combination of traits spread by these large movements and traits that evolved locally over hundreds of thousands of years, while monogenesis denied any traits were locally evolved.  Unless the presentation in Races is atypical (yet somehow uncannily prescient!) this means the polygenetic camp’s views were always quite sophisticated and have now been vindicated.

517px-apomorphy_-_homoplasy-svgDerived/innovative.  It is one of life’s little incongruities that bolsheviks, who in the study of history and culture ruin everything they touch by projecting “progressive” and “regressive” tendencies onto wholly inappropriate objects, fling the exact same accusation back at biologists and anthropologists who study evolving species which really can be traced back to ancestral forms.  Bolshevik biologists never deny human evolution (it was always one of their pet projects to use evolution to undermine faith in revelation, and unfortunately certain fundamentalists took the bait) or denounced the concept of phylogeny, but they did accuse any and all researchers applying phylogenetic concepts to mankind of believing that evolution progressed towards some goal (!!!) and of judging whether races had “approached” or “evolved towards” this goal with inherently evaluative terms like “primitive” and “advanced”.  In other words, the bolshevik indictment of the scary nineteenth- and twentieth-century racialists was not that they cared about hominid phylogeny, but that they were hopelessly naive about it, and used naive dichotomies like primitive/advanced where any non-idiot would be thinking in terms of ancestral/derived (or conservative/innovative or homologous/apomorphic…).  This is an embarrassing accusation!  But I am even more embarrassed, because I believed the accusers long after I knew they were deeply dishonest.  The authors of Races clarify what “primitive” and “advanced” mean in evolutionary theory (on p. 87, if you’re interested), and it turns out they mean… exactly what “ancestral” and “derived” mean in 2016.  The racialists were pretty sophisticated after all.

16xPolygenesis and primitivism are only two of the alleged errors of the old science of races.  Some of these allegations, I hope, are true.  It would be pathetic if the Cathedral castrated biologists to the point that no of theory of 2016 improves over the best of evolutionary thought, pre-1950.  But in the future I will try to reserve judgments about these allegations, since the track record of the accusers is so poor. — In a loose sense Coon, Carl, and Birdsell simply fell victim to something like a euphemism treadmill (we need ever-more neoteric jargon to distinguish strict senses of words from connotations they invariably carry), which is itself a subset of changes in linguistic context which make old books opaque to us.  Those who read little find pre-war books stilted, eighteenth-century books distressingly convoluted, and everything else impossible.  But even a reader who savors an old book’s style may find the concepts opaque: or rather, he will find the substance forbidding because of the false clarity of words (“the mony of fooles”) with which he is familiar, and which he never suspects he has not understood.  The function of a significant amount of bolshevik propaganda and cultural politics is to accelerate this process, to cut potential opponents off from the arsenal of reaction.

III. Tetchy racial distinctions and the politics of early anthropology.  Whenever race realists try to assert that just maybe there might be some kind of biological differences between, say, Sub-Saharan Africans and Eurasians, bolsheviks bring up all the intra-European racial distinctions 19th and 20th century anthropologists proposed: for example, Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean.

The relevance of the objection is somewhat unclear, and several of its uses (possibly the main ones) have no special connection to Races.  Sometimes bolshies exaggerate how large the N/A/M differences were claimed to be while minimizing how large they actually are, to tar the whole business of racial categorization with a history of error.  This does not seem to be party line: among anthropologists and biologists not even the most radical leftists deny intra-European biological differences (indeed, many insist on it).  Sometimes they seem to be threatening some kind of slippery slope, a regress into ever-more minute racial categories, either as a half-baked reductio or simply to slander categorization.  It could be an attempt to appeal to an American audience’s misleading biases. Americans, after all, are mostly euro-mutts.  Our ethnic self-identifications reflect neither genealogy nor physical traits.  (They are a result of memetic competition between the maternal clan and the paternal clan, just like Americans’ recipes, heirlooms, and denominations.)

But the major thrust of bringing up these apparently tetchy racial distinctions has always been a sort of divide-and-conquer strategy.  “Nordics”, the (((critical theorists))) tell us, are sort of like the white race within the white race; evil white supremacist Anglo-Saxons and (shudder!) Germans, having first vented their fantasies of racial domination by imagining a white race that is superior to the black, now go on to imagine a Nordic race superior even to other Europeans.  Thus (the bolshevik seems to be implying) any racial theory at all that starts making distinctions between white and not-white is heading towards expelling the Sicilians and the Greeks into the not-white category; the Sicilians feel insulted and worried about where all this “race” business might be headed, the Englishman starts to second-guess himself (“Am I being a trifle unsporting to those swarthy chaps?”) and the bolshevik rubs his hands in glee.

640px-carleton_coon_races_after_pleistocene
White race in green (?!)

The problem is that (judging on the basis of Races, anyway) these insinuations about the N/A/M racial types are all wrong: in fact nearly backwards.  N/A/M were not part of some obsessive trend to chop races ever finer; if anything, they were the opposite, an attempt to make overly broad sub-categories.  They were not an attempt to fortify white supremacy by bringing a more-white/less-white hierarchy inside the white race itself; if anything, they were an attempt to gerrymander the populations of Europe and its periphery to downplay white Europeans as a distinct race.  Far from trying to push anyone out of being “truly white”, the only race-politics dynamic that might have been at work was an attempt to neuter the social implications of race science… and perhaps even to make sure (((certain ethnicities))) couldn’t possibly be excluded from a Europe-centered white race.  The scope of the “Mediterranean race” which Coon et al. assume says it all!  This concept includes not just Southern Europe, not just the Balkans, not just the residents of the entire littoral of the Mediterranean Sea, but even extends into Iran.  In fact, the plates in the chapter on racial typology use an Iranian man as the illustration of the typical Mediterranean characteristics.

I don’t want to delve too far into the N/A/M classification; I don’t have examples as glaring as the Iranian plate for the Nordic and Alpine races and I don’t have time right now to study 1950s physical anthropology in depth.  But it interests me because (if my suspicions are correct) the classification hints at a broader lesson about how progressives orchestrate their cultural offensives.  If you’ve heard of KMac at all you know (((Franz Boas))) and his (((students))) politicized research, faked findings, and hid inconvenient data to promote the Left’s egalitarian ideology.  Given the triumph of Boas’ descendants (and of their cousins in other academic disciplines) and the resulting demonization of their opponents, we could easily get the impression that these opponents were hard-nosed, reactionary, anti-democratic, truth-loving WASP racists.  What heroes!  The reality may be more nuanced.  Many of the physical anthropologists studying racial difference were probably progressive (or even Marxist, tendance hônnete).  Many of them were probably jewish, and would have brought the same Boasian anxiety to normalize their own ethnic status to their research.  Many were simply normal men swept up in the currents of the times, I assume, and tuned their way of thinking to the Cathedral choirs.  What are the consequences?  First, Cthulhu is guaranteed another meal, since he has sway over both sides; second, whatever leftist deformations have been introduced into the “conservative” side of the argument to advance leftist goals can now be exposed, ridiculed, and imputed to the density of the conservative mind; third, any subsequent dissidents who see past the demonization of the defeated faction will be saddled with subtle leftist memes whose creators’ subsequent demonization they take as a proof of integrity.

This memetic pandæmonium is a simple manifestation of a dynamic I referred to today in my reply to EB’s interesting question.  In reality no historical movement, faction, or tendency is all shitlib or all shitlord.  Avoid attribution error!  Coalitions recruit talent wherever they can, and a group which dominates one side may still be present, even overrepresented, on the other.  Different people have many different loyalties, including loyalty to the paycheck. Two people with identical goals may still end up on different sides due to disagreement about how to attain the goal; they may even agree to pursue a mixed strategy[pdf].  Inference from someone’s team to his underlying goals/principles/loyalties is risky, not because the team-to-goal correlation isn’t 1.0 (true of any inference) but because the contrast between the two teams can blind you to the complexity of the team’s structure.

335px-francisco_de_goya2c_saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_281819-182329Even if you wouldn’t have phrased it exactly as I have, you probably already recognize that one major purpose of bolshevik agitprop has always been to encourage this fallacy wherever they can: to get the herd to see everything through the lens of left/right, progress/regress, us/them.  Not until I read Races did I grasp how well demonizing defeated opponents serves this rhetorical strategy.  Demonization encourages conflation of different types of opponents, and this conflation can include not only people who were your enemies for different reasons (fairly obvious) but also people who were not strictly speaking your enemies at all (that is to say, people on the other side with whom you shared some goals, to some degree).  “The Revolution, like Cronos, eats its own children” is easily the best-known of all reactionary dicta; maybe we should add that it vomits this meal back onto the pages of History to frustrate human understanding.

[Thanks for reading. If you’d like to indulge my curiosity about whether people read the whole post, please click on this 26kb portrait of Carleton Coon.]

Religious phylogeny and the “Kike on a stick”

Our text for the day is from the prophet Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

I.

For a very long time, the poz people have been insinuating nasty things about the origins of Christianity to raise doubts about its theological content and psychological effects, and to demoralize Christians.  A relatively recent attack — initiated by Voltaire, but taken up with relish by Friedrich Nietzsche — has tried to associate Christianity with the unpleasant habits and principles of Ashkenazi jews, in particular.  But the attack is not only intermittently demoralizing to Christians: it breeds spectacular ignorance about the history of religions!

The question comes down to this. Was Jesus Christ a jew? Is a Bible consisting of an Old and a New Testament therefore Judeo-Christian? If the members of the ethno-religious group who have been called “jews” since there has been an English language are jews, then the answer to both questions is No.  If the answer to those questions is Yes, then the “jews” are not jews.

Allow me to explain.

II.

JudenhutIlluminatedThe word jew was originally used to refer to a non-Christian religious group that has lived in and traveled through Europe without belonging to any European nationality; often living in ghettoes and engaging in commercial activities prohibited to Christians; speaking a peculiar dialect of German (in Central and Eastern Europe) or Spanish (in Iberia and other Hapsburg possessions).  Jew, and similar words in other modern European languages, is derived from the Latin word iudæorum, reflecting the fact that this community descends partly or mainly from emigrants from Iudæa.  In the early modern period, this was so well-understood that the translators working on the English Bible (and other Latin texts) translated iudæorum as “jews” rather than “Judæans”.  An innocent enough translation choice, but one that has contributed to an absurd conflation.  In the first place, jews are not Judæans: that is, they are not inhabitants of the Roman province of Iudæa, nor of the eponymous kingdom of Judah which preceded it.  More significantly, the jews have never (since the name existed) practiced the same religion as the Judæans.  The Judæans’ religion was administered by a hereditary priesthood and revolved around a sacrificial cult at a central and unique temple complex.  The jews’ religion has no priesthood, no sacrificial cult, no temple complex; instead it revolves around encyclopedic knowledge of an immense body of texts composed in the Middle Ages, whose earliest elements date back only to the century after the Judæan religion was put down by the Romans (who destroyed the temple complex and its priesthood in 70 AD).  The two religions only share two elements; the creators of the jewish religion continued to use a dialect descended from classical Hebrew as a liturgical language, and the jews also continued to revere some texts which originated with the Judæans (the “Tanakh”, i.e. the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the books of Wisdom) along with their medieval inventions (the Talmud and the Mishnah).

SPQRManhole.jpgIn other words, the religion of the Judæans is as dead as the senatus populusque romanorum (whatever Rome’s manhole-covers say).  It does have living descendants, though.  In fact, the situation is rather more complicated than “descendants”, which implies a family tree.  The graph of religious communities inspired by the beliefs expressed in the Book of Genesis would resemble a mangrove swamp.

III.

The word Abiru (our “Hebrew”) appears in various ancient sources as a sort of pejorative for the loathed herder/robbers who existed in the interstices of the Near East’s irrigation-centric agricultural empires.  If we take Genesis as a record of these herders’ attitudes towards the urban priesthood and its empire, the loathing was mutual.  Of the people following this early desert religion, we can tease out at least two strands; the Jebusites, whom the Judæans considered to practice the same religion, and the Chaldean Abiru, who all claimed kinship through the patriarch Terah, the father of Abraham. The Moabites and

CanaanNationsMaps
Canaan, in the time of Moses.

Ammonites were recognized as descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot.  The Arabs were recognized as descendants of Abraham’s illegitimate son, Ishmael.  The Edomites, even more closely related to the author of Genesis, were acknowledged to be cousins to Jacob’s descendants.

 

The descendants of Jacob or Israel, the Israelites, are an intriguing historical enigma — but the origin of these tribes and the circumstances under which they decided to adopt one another as descendants of a single band of brothers is a topic for another day.  For our purposes the important point is that twelve tribes living in historical Palestine forged a relatively long-lasting military-religious federation, and part of the symbolism of this federation was the belief that the founding patriarchs of each of the tribes were brothers, and that their father was Jacob/Israel.  (These were the people who codified the Pentateuch.)

One of these tribes was the tribe of Judah, which later gave its name to the Kingdom of Judah and to the region of Judæa. The division of Israelites into Judæans and non-Judæans is the first division of this family tree with multiple surviving branches.  The northern tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel, which was eventually destroyed as a

CanaanDividedKingdom
The Divided Kingdom, from circa 930 BC to 722 BC. Judah survived until 586 BC.

political unit, but its non-Judæan inhabitants continued to practice their traditional religion in the region known as Samaria. We meet the “Good Samaritan”, who aids a Judæan ignored by his own tribesmen, in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37).  As the story hints, relations between Samaritans and Judæans were proverbially frosty, so it is a small irony that recent anthropologists have labelled the surviving members of this group “Samaritan Jews”. (Samaritan Judæans?!?)

 

IV.

Now, according to the history recorded in the Old Testament, after the political destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem (at a minimum) were deported to the Assyrian Empire and remained there several generations before a new Persian dynasty permitted the Judæan elite to return to Judæa in order to refound Jerusalem and its temple cult.  (This was the time at which Ezra and Nehemiah compiled the Old Testament in its present form.)  The Persian-sponsored Judæa was short-lived; Persia fell to Alexander’s armies and Judæa was held by the diadochē until the Maccabean revolt founded the Hasmonean kingdom.  (This was the period of the LXX translation.)

The exposure of the Judæans to the culture of their conquerors — first the Persians, then the Greeks — produced a cultural split between Judæans who continued to hold a clannish loyalty to the temple cult and its priesthood, and those willing to conform to the new political dispensation.  The very word for “apostate” which survives from late-classical Hebrew is apikouros: i.e., Epicurean, after the most influential and popular philosophy of the Hellenistic era.  But divisions were also beginning to show among traditionalist Judæans; some remained loyal to the priesthood and the temple cult, while others, the so-called Essenes, escaped into the desert to live a life more centered on personal asceticism and a direct relationship with God unmediated by the temple cult.  These Essenes gave rise to new cults whose characteristic ritual was symbolic immersion; the most famous practitioner of this branch of Judæan religion was Iokaanon, or John the Baptist.

Religious splits within the temple cult continued towards the end of the Hasmonean dynasty.  The two major currents were the Saducees (the traditional hereditary priestly aristocracy, the “sons of Zadok”) and the Pharisees (self-styled religious gurus).  The Pharisees might best be compared to astrologists, numerologists, witch-doctors, psychics, and other popular entrepreneurs of the paranormal.  The Sadducees encouraged the Judæans to worry as little as possible about the trivialities and perplexities of religious revelation and the rituals it commanded; their attitudes towards religious requirements might best be described as “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.  But if someone with a religious preoccupation went to the Pharisees, they would be happy to humor any superstition and offer a satisfyingly complex solution – for a modest consideration, of course!  The Pharisees also seem to have been more receptive to foreign religious and magical doctrines, in particular Babylonian numerology and Zoroastrian mythology; their base of support may have been among the large Judæan communities which remained behind in the Persian Empire.

Enter the son of man.  Jesus of Nazareth was not, technically speaking, a Judæan; rather, He was a Galillean.  Nor was He a Hebrew-speaker; available evidence suggests that sayings of Jesus were originally recorded in the Aramaic language. But He was a member of

JesusWhip01.jpg
Jesus with a whip, Jn 2:15/Mt 21:12

the tribe of Judah and a practitioner of the traditional Judæan religion, well-versed in its prophetic texts and attentive to the dignity of the temple cult.  (For example, He was notably unhappy about the impropriety of conducting forex operations on temple premises.) Theologically, He endorsed and amplified the mild pietism of the Sadducees, as against the superstitious orthopraxy of the Pharisees; but He also showed a strong affinity for the ideals and practices of the ascetic Essenes.  His distaste for the Pharisees was strong enough that “pharisee” is still, two millennia later, a term of abuse.

 

The crucifixion of Jesus ended His personal ministry in Galilee, but His message was kept alive by His apostles.  It was the Sadducees, ironically, whom the Romans were to extinguish.  The destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the active persecution of the priesthood decimated both the Sadducees themselves and the source of their religious authority (control of the sacrificial temple cult).  Over the next century, most Judæans and Judæan expatriates either abandoned Judæan religion entirely, or converted to the more universalistic Christian strand of it.  These Judæans and their descendants ceased to have a distinct Judæan ethnicity, and blended in to the host population.  However, at the same time the remaining Pharisees were compiling their superstitions and esoterica in two collections, the Talmud and the Midrash.  As they reached peak complexity in the high Middle Ages, the religious doctrine of these books proved capable of preventing the Pharasaic diaspora from (a) converting to other religions or (b) mingling with non-Pharisee populations to the point of losing their distinct Judæan ethnicity.  As a result, the small fraction of the Judæan communities around the Mediterranean which had not yet assimilated when the Talmud and Midrash became available, and who subsequently adopted them, became the foundation of medieval Judaism, the stable form which brought the Pharasaic strain forward through the next dozen centuries.

Masada
Was zealotry the last stand of implicit Sadducee identity?

IV.

A “jew”, to my way of thinking, is a member of that tribe whose ancestors lived in the medieval Talmudic ghettoes.  Jesus of Nazareth may have been Rex Iudæorum, but not even Pontius Pilate accused him of being King of the Talmudic ghettoes.  Christianity may have suffered Zoroastrian, Manichæan, and Mithraic influence; but Jesus was no more influenced by the Talmud than Plato was, or Arjuna.  And while there is not shame in scrutinizing our favorite writers for the long shadow of “deplorable ghetto inbreeding”, the Fathers of the Church hammered out Christian doctrine centuries before the first wall was build around the first ghetto.

The NatSocratic Method (or: How to act confused about the Holocaust)

Our text for the day is from the Gospel of Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send ye forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

I.

SWPLs virtue-signal about the Holocaust. We counter-signal. Whether the Holocaust happened doesn’t matter. What “the Holocaust” means doesn’t matter. Even if the Holocaust happened and lots people died and it was really really sad, counter-signaling would still be the way to break the SWPLs of their habit of virtue-signaling.  But we should note three kinds of counter-signals. 1/We counter-signal in anonymous forums against cucks and Israel-firsters to communicate our contempt for them and their position, to demoralize our opponents, and to uncuck the right. 2/We counter-signal for one another, partly for fun, partly for practice, but largely because it’s a shibboleth of the alt-right. (And it’s a shibboleth for good reason. May say more some other day.) 3/We counter-signal in front of friends, family, and colleagues, because these are the people who put most stock in our positions.

Counter-signaling against opponents in anonymous forums is all well and good (although perhaps some people use poor judgment: there is a time for trolling and a time for planting seeds). Counter-signaling amongst ourselves is our greatest source of amusement (well, that and purges). It’s counter-signaling with people we know that presents problems.  These are people we have real ability to influence.  But we have this influence because of trust built up between us which we need for the ordinary business of life: parties, chess, tennis, babysitting each others’ children. Virtue-signals are not intrinsically bad.  Swapping virtue signals is an efficient way to build and maintain the high levels of trust that make a high-IQ society work.

Sowing doubts about the Holocaust is not so important you should invite your social circle to shun you over it. You need your community to flourish as a human being. (Is there anything we teach people on the alt-right, if not “no man is an island, entire of himself”?) And if you are going to use your social ties to save Western Civilization, there will be far more valuable opportunities to cash them in.  But if you just go around virtue-signaling like a cuck, you’re no better than a cuck. Therein lies a problem.

The solution is to throw sand in the gears.  Act dumb.  Be the confusion you want to see in the world. This disrupts the mechanism of the symbolic handshake by which the virtue-signal works; at the very least, the message that the virtue of their signal has not been recognized discourages your acquaintances from sending more signals on the same topic.

II

Even if you know nothing else about the Holocaust, the Holocaust industry, or research into the historical facts of the Holocaust, you can employ the NatSocratic method to raise doubts. The underlying logic of the NatSocratic method is that most people know nothing about anything; anything they have to say about any topic is a greasy film of blather on the surface of a deep sea of ignorance. If you ask them any questions about anything they have said, it makes them acutely uncomfortable, even nervous.  “What the devil is he driving at?”, they think. “Is he hinting that I said something wrong? Am I making a fool of myself?”

PepeStoa

 It is very difficult to convince a fool he is dead wrong about something by directly contradicting him.  Once you contradict him, his silliness is laid bare to the jeers of a cruel world, and he has no better option than to stand firm and defend his honor. But if you ask a fool to clarify some point, to expand on some claim, or even just to repeat himself, watch how he wriggles! Watch him consider retreat, watch his statements get progressively vaguer…

The basic fact to recognize about your friends’ virtue-signals is that all virtue-signaling is chatter.  Chatter takes place within a realm of shared common assumptions where the precise meaning and truth of the statements matters very little, because the function of the statements is not to communicate facts, but something else (for example, establishing a shared mood or building trust).  As a result, it is very easy to disrupt people’s beliefs during a chatter-session simply by treating them as experts on the subject; discovering that the shared assumption wasn’t shared surprises them, and they get the impression they played a clumsy move in the chatter-game.  The more you elevate their position as the local expert, the more insecure they become on the topic you were discussing.

Just simple questions work fine. Pretend you’re a martian anthropologist who knows nothing about the fabulous misadventures of the jews. “Six million, you say?” Now he’s worried — what’s wrong? Is it too high or too low? “They were cremated? All of them?” It had never occurred to him that there was more than one symbolic jew pushed into one symbolic oven; he may not even know that there is a party line to remember, let alone which one it is.  Ask, ask, ask. Stay confused. Don’t be afraid to seem dumb! Seeming dumb terrifies most people, but improves the results immensely.  Confusion is like yawning: infectious.  It both makes your target more liable to confusion, as he tries to understand your impenetrable, confused thinking, and makes him less afraid to admit his own ignorance.

III.

But if you know a few hate-facts about the Holocaust, you can dig the knife in much, much deeper.  This is the kind of stupidity that is truly inspired, and it takes both a decent amount of background knowledge and quick thinking to pull it off.  It will take a little bit of practice to get the hang of it.  But it is very, very fun.  It takes the basic form of Given that we know X, isn’t it also true that Y? Some examples:

Given that there were 1.1M Holocaust survivors alive in 2003, and given that the youngest person to be born in a German concentration camp would have been 58 in 2003, doesn’t that imply that historians are conspiring to conceal the absolutely enormous scale of these murder camps? If 1.1M survivors were still alive in 2003, there must have originally been hundreds of millions of people in the camps. Why are historians conspiring to minimize the extent of the Holocaust?

Given that the Germans were able to completely incinerate millions of bodies (including the teeth!) without coal or wood using a technique developed by a camp commandant in a previous posting at a Brandenburg insane asylum, shouldn’t we be researching his technique to use it for green energy purposes?  Doesn’t this mean the fat of a small mammal, when used correctly, contains as much energy as 100-200kg of firewood or 50-100kg of coal? (Item.)

Given that we would know nearly nothing about the planning of the Holocaust without the incentives provided by judicial torture, threat of summary execution, and other innovations of Soviet-style jurisprudence, what great historical crimes remain unresolved because we are too indifferent to justice to torture their perpetrators into revealing the truth? Which great criminals remain unpunished because our torture-free justice system has no respect for the lessons of the Shoah?

…and so on.  For every hate-fact, work out the implication if you accepted the available evidence against the Narrative but accepted the Narrative anyway.  Remember, when they appear skeptical or express doubts about the conclusions you are drawing, to accuse them of denying the Holocaust.

IV.

Jews are not that important in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes trolling jews works bizarrely well; sometimes it is a terrible waste of time.  This little guide for how to switch between Holocaust-denial and Holocaust-confusion is only worth your time because it is a general template for how to start to introduce your friends to hate-facts.  You don’t need to choose between virtue-signaling like a cuck and raging like an Old Testament prophet.  Just dumb it down and spread confusion.  The NatSocratic method works for gender and race too.  Confusion is not, in itself, the red pill –– but it might just be your white rabbit.