The Culture of Critique

The Culture of Critique by Kevin MacDonald
was published in hardback in 1998,
then in paperback in 2002,
with an added 70 page “Preface to the First Paperback Edition.”

because his research and writings contain themes and findings
which are reminiscent of a part of
the anti-Semitism which led to the Holocaust,
is quite controversial;
for his side of the story see his extensive web site, especially its
list of his publications,
reviews and summaries of his books and
selected replies to his critics;
for his more current and popular articles see his blog.

Here are some excerpts from The Culture of Critique;
emphasis is added.

Preface to the First Paperback Edition

[Available on the web in HTML and PDF].

Section 0

The Culture of Critique (hereafter, CofC)
was originally published in 1998 by Praeger Publishers,
an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
The thesis of the book is a difficult one indeed,
not only because it is difficult to establish,
but also because it challenges many fundamental assumptions about
our contemporary intellectual and political existence.

CofC describes how Jewish intellectuals initiated and advanced
a number of important intellectual and political movements
during the 20th century.
I argue that these movements are
attempts to alter Western societies
in a manner that would
neutralize or end anti-Semitism and
enhance the prospects for Jewish group continuity
either in an overt or in a semi-cryptic manner.
Several of these Jewish movements
(e.g., the shift in immigration policy favoring non-European peoples)
have attempted to weaken the power of their perceived competitors —
the European peoples who early in the 20th century
had assumed a dominant position
not only in their traditional homelands in Europe,
but also in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
At a theoretical level,
these movements are viewed as
the outcome of conflicts of interest between Jews and non-Jews
in the construction of culture and
in various public policy issues.
Ultimately, these movements are viewed as the expression of a
group evolutionary strategy
by Jews
in their competition for social, political and cultural dominance with non-Jews.

Section 9

The Culture of Critique is really
an attempt to understand the twentieth century as a Jewish century
a century in which Jews and Jewish organizations
were deeply involved in all the pivotal events.

[Note that that is not an observation only an accused “anti-Semite” would make.
Two years after MacDonald published those words,
the Jewish academic Yuri Slezkine published a much-lauded book
with exactly that title: The Jewish Century.]

From the Jewish viewpoint it has been a period of great progress,
though punctuated by one of its darkest tragedies.
In the late nineteenth century
the great bulk of the Jewish population lived in Eastern Europe,
with many Jews mired in poverty
and all surrounded by hostile populations and unsympathetic governments.
A century later,
Israel is firmly established in the Middle East,
and Jews have become
the wealthiest and most powerful group in the United States
and have achieved elite status in other Western countries.
The critical Jewish role in radical leftism has been sanitized,
while Jewish victimization by the Nazis has achieved
the status of a moral touchstone
and is a prime weapon in the push for
large-scale non-European immigration,
and advancing other Jewish causes.
Opponents have been relegated to
the fringe of intellectual and political discourse
and there are powerful movements afoot that would silence them entirely.

The profound idealization, the missionary zeal, and the moral fervor
that surround the veneration of figures like Celan, Kafka, Adorno, and Freud
characterize all of the Jewish intellectual movements discussed in CofC
(see Ch. 6 for a summary).
That these figures are now avidly embraced by
the vast majority of non-Jewish intellectuals as well
shows that
the Western intellectual world has become Judaized—
that Jewish attitudes and interests, Jewish likes and dislikes,
now constitute the culture of the West, internalized by Jews and non-Jews alike.
The Judaization of the West is nowhere more obvious than in
the veneration of the Holocaust
as the central moral icon of the entire civilization.
These developments constitute a profound transformation
from the tradition of critical and scientific individualism
that had formed the Western tradition since the Enlightenment.
More importantly,
because of the deep-seated Jewish hostility toward traditional Western culture,
the Judaization of the West means that
the peoples who created the culture and traditions of the West
have been made to feel deeply ashamed of their own history—
surely the prelude to their demise as a culture and as a people.

The present Judaized cultural imperium in the West
is maintained by
a pervasive thought control propagated by the mass media
and extending to
self-censorship by academics, politicians, and others
well aware of the dire personal and professional consequences
of crossing the boundaries of acceptable thought and speech
about Jews and Jewish issues.
It is maintained by
zealously promulgated, self-serving, and essentially false theories of
the nature and history of Judaism and
the nature and causes of anti-Semitism.

None of this should be surprising.
Jewish populations
have always had enormous effects on the societies where they reside
because of two qualities
that are central to Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy:
High intelligence
(including the usefulness of intelligence in attaining wealth) and
the ability to cooperate in highly organized, cohesive groups
(MacDonald 1994).
This has led repeatedly to Jews becoming an elite and powerful group
in societies where they reside in sufficient numbers—
as much in the 20th-century United States and the Soviet Union
as in 15th-century Spain or Alexandria in the ancient world.
History often repeats itself after all.
Indeed, recent data indicate that
Jewish per capita income in the United States is almost double that of non-Jews,
a bigger difference than the black-white income gap.
Although Jews make up less than 3 percent of the population,
they constitute more than a quarter of the people on
the Forbes magazine list of the richest four hundred Americans.
A remarkable 87 percent of college-age Jews
are currently enrolled in institutions of higher education,
as compared with 40 percent for the population as a whole
(Thernstrom & Thernstrom 1997).
Jews are indeed an elite group in American society (see also Chapter 8).

My perception is that
the Jewish community in the U.S. is moving aggressively ahead,
ignoring the huge disruptions Jewish organizations have caused in the West
(now mainly via successful advocacy of massive non-European immigration)
and in the Islamic world
(via the treatment of Palestinians by Israel).
Whatever the justification for such beliefs,
U.S. support for Israel is by all accounts
an emotionally compelling issue in the Arab world.
A true test of Jewish power in the United States will be
whether support for Israel is maintained even in the face of
the enormous costs that have already been paid by the U.S.
in terms of loss of life, economic disruption,
hatred and distrust throughout the Muslim world,
and loss of civil liberties at home.
As of this writing,
while Jewish organizations are bracing for a backlash against Jews in the U.S. and while there is considerable concern among Jews about
the Bush Administration’s pressure on Israel
to make concessions to the Palestinians
in order to placate the Muslim world
(e.g., Rosenblatt 2001),
all signs point to
no basic changes in the political culture of the United States vis-à-vis Israel
as a result of the events of 9-11-01.

[At least up through early 2009, he’s certainly right about that.]

End of Preface

Chapter 4
Jewish Involvement
in the Psychoanalytic Movement

Section 4.5


I have noted that there was often an overlap
between psychoanalysis and radical political beliefs among Jews.
This is not at all surprising.
Both phenomena are essentially Jewish responses to
the Enlightenment [cf. Haskalah] and
its denigrating effect on
religious ideology as the basis for developing
an intellectually legitimate sense of group or individual identity.
Both movements are compatible with
a strong personal sense of Jewish identity
and with
some form of group continuity of Judaism;
indeed Yerushalmi (1991, 81ff) argues persuasively that
Freud saw himself as a leader of the Jewish people and that
his “science” provided a secular interpretation
of fundamental Jewish religious themes.

The similarities between these movements are far deeper, however.
Both psychoanalysis and radical political ideology
present critiques in which
the traditional institutions
and socio-religious categorizations
of gentile society
are negatively evaluated.

Both movements, and especially psychoanalysis,
present their intellectual critiques in
the language of science and rationality,
the lingua franca of post-Enlightenment intellectual discourse.
both movements have a pronounced political atmosphere
despite the scientific veneer.
Such a result is perhaps scarcely surprising
in the case of Marxist political ideology,
although even Marxism
has often been touted by its proponents as “scientific” socialism.
Psychoanalysis has from the beginning
been burdened in its quest for scientific respectability
by the clear overtones of its being
a sectarian political movement masquerading as science.

Both psychoanalysis and radical political ideology
often resulted in a sense of
a personal messianic mission to gentile society
promising a utopian world
free of class struggle, ethnic conflict, and debilitating neuroses.
Both movements characteristically developed
conceptions of Jewish group identity
as leading gentiles
to a utopian society of the future,
the familiar “light of the nations” concept
represented here in completely secular and “scientific” terms.
The social categorizations advocated by these movements
completely obliterated the social categorization of Jew-gentile, and
both movements developed ideologies in which anti-Semitism
was fundamentally the result of
factors entirely extraneous to
Jewish identity, Jewish group continuity,
and Jewish-gentile resource competition.
In the promised utopian societies of the future,
the category of Jew-gentile would be of no theoretical importance, but
Jews could continue to identify as Jews and
there could be continuation of Jewish group identity

while at the same time
a principle source of gentile identity
religion and its concomitant supports for high-investment parenting—
would be conceptualized as an infantile aberration.
The universalist ideologies of Marxism and psychoanalysis
thus were highly compatible with the continuation of Jewish particularism.

Besides these functions,
the cultural influence of psychoanalysis may actually have benefited Judaism
by increasing Jewish-gentile differences in resource competition ability,
although there is no reason to suppose that
this was consciously intended by the leaders of the movement.

Given the very large mean differences between Jews and gentiles
in intelligence and tendencies toward high-investment parenting,
there is every reason to suppose that Jews and gentiles
have very different interests in the construction of culture.
Jews suffer to a lesser extent than gentiles
from the erosion of cultural supports for high-investment parenting,
and Jews benefit by the decline in religious belief among gentiles.
As Norman Podhoretz (1995, 30) notes,
it is in fact the case that
Jewish intellectuals,
Jewish organizations like the American Jewish Congress, and
Jewish-dominated organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union
[see note at end of paragraph]
  • ridiculed Christian religious beliefs,

  • attempted to undermine the public strength of Christianity, and

  • led the fight for unrestricted pornography.
The evidence of this chapter indicates that
psychoanalysis as a Jewish-dominated intellectual movement
is a central component of
this war on gentile cultural supports for high-investment parenting.

Endnote for paragraph 4.5.10:

The continuing role of psychoanalysis in the movement toward sexual liberation
can be seen in a recent debate over teenage sexuality.
An article in the Los Angeles Times (1994-02-15, A1, A16) noted
the opposition of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood
to a school program that advocated teenage celibacy.

Sheldon Zablow, a psychiatrist and spokesperson for this perspective, stated
“Repeated studies show that if you try to repress sexual feelings,
they may come out later in far more dangerous ways—sexual abuse, rape”
(p. A16).
This psychoanalytic fantasy was compounded by
Zablow’s claim that
sexual abstinence has never worked in all of human history—
a claim that indicates his unawareness of
historical data on sexual behavior in the West
(including Jewish sexual behavior),
at least from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century
(e.g., Ladurie 1986).
I am not aware of any stratified traditional human society
(and certainly not Muslim societies)
that has taken the view that it is impossible and undesirable
to prevent teenage sexual activity, especially by girls.
As Goldberg (1996, 46) notes,
“within the world of liberal organizations like the ACLU,...
Jewish influence is so profound that
non-Jews sometimes blur the distinction
between them and the formal Jewish community.”

It is interesting in this regard that Freud held the view that
Judaism as a religion was no longer necessary because
it had already performed its function of creating
the intellectually, spiritually, and morally superior Jewish character:
“Having forged the character of the Jews,
Judaism as a religion had performed its vital task
and could now be dispensed with”
(Yerushalmi 1991, 52).
The data summarized in this chapter indicate that
Freud viewed Jewish ethical, spiritual, and intellectual superiority
as genetically determined and that
gentiles were genetically prone to being slaves of their senses
and prone to brutality.
The superior Jewish character was genetically determined
via Lamarckian inheritance acting for generations
as a result of the unique Jewish experience.
The data reviewed in PTSDA (Chapter 7) indicate that
there is indeed very good evidence for the view that
there is a genetic basis for Jewish-gentile differences
in IQ and high-investment parenting
brought about ultimately by Jewish religious practices over historical time
(but via eugenic practices, not via Lamarckian inheritance).

Given that the differences between Jews and gentiles are genetically mediated,
Jews would not be as dependent
on the preservation of cultural supports for high-investment parenting
as would be the case among gentiles.
Freud’s war on gentile culture through
facilitation of the pursuit of sexual gratification,
low-investment parenting, and
elimination of social controls on sexual behavior
may therefore be expected to affect Jews and gentiles differently,
with the result that the competitive difference between Jews and gentiles,
already significant on the basis of the material reviewed in PTSDA
(Chapters 5, 7),
would be exacerbated.
There is evidence, for example, that
more intelligent, affluent, and educated adolescents
mature sexually at a relatively slow rate (Belsky et al. 1991; Rushton 1995).
Such adolescents are more likely to abstain from sexual intercourse,
so that sexual freedom and the legitimization of non-marital sex
are less likely to result in early marriage, single-parenting,
and other types of low-investment parenting in this group.
Greater intelligence is also associated with
later age of marriage, lower levels of illegitimacy,
and lower levels of divorce (Herrnstein & Murray 1994).
Hyman (1989) notes that Jewish families in contemporary America have a
lower divorce rate (see also Cohen 1986; Waxman 1989),
later age of first marriage, and
greater investment in education
than non-Jewish families.
Recent findings indicate that
the age of first sexual intercourse for Jewish adolescents is higher
and the rate of unwed teenage pregnancy lower
than for any other ethnic or religious group in the United States.
Moreover, since Jews are disproportionately economically affluent,
the negative effects of divorce and single-parenting on children
are undoubtedly much attenuated among Jews because
the economic stresses typically accompanying divorce and single-parenting
are much lessened
(McLanahan & Booth 1989; Wallerstein & Kelly 1980).

These data indicate that Jews have been relatively insulated from
the trends toward low-investment parenting
characteristic of American society generally
since the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s.
This finding is compatible with data reviewed by Herrnstein & Murray (1994)
indicating overwhelming evidence that
the negative effects of the shifts that have taken place
in Western practices related to sex and marriage in the last 30 years
have been disproportionately felt
at the bottom of the IQ and socioeconomic class distributions
and have therefore included relatively few Jews.
For example, only
2 percent of the white women
in Herrnstein and Murray’s top category of cognitive ability
(IQ minimum of 125) and
4 percent of the white women in the second category of cognitive ability
(IQ between 110 and 125)
gave birth to illegitimate children, compared to
23 percent in the 4th class of cognitive ability (IQ between 75 and 90) and
42 percent in the fifth class of cognitive ability (IQ less than 75).
Even controlling for poverty fails to remove the influence of IQ:
High-IQ women living in poverty
are seven times less likely to give birth to an illegitimate child
than are low-IQ women living in poverty.
Moreover, in the period from 1960 to 1991,
illegitimacy among blacks rose from 24 percent to 68 percent,
while illegitimacy among whites rose from 2 percent to 18 percent.
Since the mean Jewish IQ in the United States is approximately 117
and verbal IQ even higher (see PTSDA, Chapter 7),
this finding is compatible with supposing that
only a very small percentage of Jewish women
are giving birth to illegitimate babies,
and those who do
are undoubtedly much more likely to be wealthy, intelligent, and nurturing
than the typical single mother from the lower cognitive classes.

The sexual revolution has thus had little effect on parental investment
among people in the highest categories of cognitive ability.
These results are highly compatible with
the findings of Dunne et al. (1997) that
the heritability of age of first sexual intercourse
has increased since the 1960s.
In their younger cohort (born between 1952 and 1965)
genetic factors accounted for 49 percent of the variance among females
and 72 percent of the variance among males,
and there were no shared environmental influences.
In the older cohort (born between 1922 and 1952)
genetic influences accounted for 32 percent of the variance for females
and none of the variance among males,
and there was a significant shared environmental component for both sexes.
These data indicate that
the erosion of traditional Western controls on sexuality
have had far more effect on
those who are genetically inclined toward precocious sexuality
and, in conjunction with the data presented above,
indicate gentiles have been far more affected by these changes than have Jews.

Although other factors are undoubtedly involved, it is remarkable that
the increasing trend toward low-investment parenting in the United States
largely coincides with
the triumph of the psychoanalytic and radical critiques of American culture
represented by the political and cultural success
of the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s.
Since 1970 the rate of single-parenting has increased
from one in ten families to one in three families (Norton & Miller 1992),
and there have been dramatic increases in teenage sexual activity
and teenage childbearing without marriage (Furstenberg 1991).
There is excellent evidence for an association among
teenage single-parenting, poverty, lack of education,
and poor developmental outcomes for children
(e.g., Dornbusch & Gray 1988; Furstenberg & Brooks-Gunn 1989;
McLanahan & Booth 1989; J. Q. Wilson 1993b).

Indeed, all the negative trends related to the family
show very large increases that developed in the mid-1960s
(Herrnstein & Murray 1994, 168ff [Chapter 8];
see also Bennett 1994; Kaus 1995; Magnet 1993),
including increases in trends toward
lower levels of marriage,
“cataclysmic” increase in divorce rates (p.172) and rates of illegitimacy.
In the case of divorce and illegitimacy rates,
the data indicate a major shift upward during the 1960s
from previously existing trend lines,
with the upward trend lines established during that period
continuing into the present.
The 1960s was thus a watershed period in American cultural history,
a view that is compatible with
Rothman and Lichter’s (1996, xviiiff) interpretation of
the shift during the 1960s in the direction of
“expressive individualism” among cultural elites
the decline of external controls on behavior
that had been the cornerstone of the formerly dominant Protestant culture.
They note that the influence of the New Left in producing these changes,
and I have emphasized here the close connections
between psychoanalysis and the New Left.
Both movements were led and dominated by Jews.

The sexual revolution is “the most obvious culprit”
underlying the decline in the importance of marriage
(Herrnstein & Murray 1994, 544)
and its concomitant increase in low-investment parenting:
What is striking about the 1960s “sexual revolution,”
as it has properly been called,
is how revolutionary it was, in sensibility as well as reality.
In 1965,
69 percent of American women and 65 percent of men under the age of thirty
said that
premarital sex was always or almost always wrong;
by 1972, these figures had plummeted to 24 percent and 21 percent…
In 1990, only 6 percent of British men and women under the age of thirty-four believed that it was always or almost always wrong.
(Himmelfarb 1995, 236)

Although there is little reason to suppose that
the battle for sexual freedom so central to psychoanalysis
had the intention of benefiting
the average resource competition ability of Jews vis-à-vis gentiles,
the psychoanalytic intellectual war on gentile culture
may indeed have resulted in an increased competitive advantage for Jews
beyond merely lessening the theoretical importance of the Jew-gentile distinction and providing a “scientific” rationale for pathologizing anti-Semitism.
It is also a war that has resulted in a society increasingly split between
a disproportionately Jewish “cognitive elite” and
a growing mass of individuals who are
intellectually incompetent,
irresponsible as parents,
prone to requiring public assistance, and
prone to criminal behavior, psychiatric disorders, and substance abuse.

Although psychoanalysis is in decline now, especially in the United States,
the historical record suggests that
other ideological structures will attempt to accomplish
some of the same goals psychoanalysis attempted to achieve.
As it has done throughout its history,
Judaism continues to show extraordinary ideological flexibility
in achieving the goal of
legitimizing the continuation of Jewish group identity and genetic separatism.
As indicated in Chapter 2, many Jewish social scientists continue
to fashion a social science that serves the interests of Judaism and
to develop powerful critiques of theories perceived as antithetical to those interests.
The incipient demise of psychoanalysis as a weapon in these battles
will be of little long-term importance in this effort.

End of Chapter 4

Chapter 6
The Jewish Criticism of Gentile Culture:
A Reprise

[Available on the web here.
By the way, his first cut at this topic was chapter 1.]

The material in the previous four chapters [2–5] indicates that
individuals who strongly identified as Jews
have been the main motivating force behind
several highly influential intellectual movements
that have simultaneously
subjected gentile culture to radical criticism
allowed for the continuity of Jewish identification.

Together these movements
comprise the intellectual and political left in this century,
and they are the direct intellectual ancestors
of current leftist intellectual and political movements,
particularly postmodernism and multiculturalism.

these movements have called into question
the fundamental
moral, political, and economic foundations of Western society.

A critical feature of these movements is that
they have been, at least in the United States,
top-down movements in the sense that
they were originated and dominated by
members of a highly intelligent and highly educated group.
These movements have been advocated
with great intellectual passion and moral fervor and
with a very high level of theoretical sophistication.
Each movement promised
its own often overlapping and complementary version of utopia:
  • a society composed of people
    with the same biological potential for accomplishment and
    able to be easily molded by culture into ideal citizens
    as imagined by a morally and intellectually superior elite;

  • a classless society in which
    there would be no conflicts of interest and
    people would altruistically work for the good of the group;

  • a society in which
    people would be free of neuroses and aggression toward outgroups
    and in tune with their biological urges;

  • a multicultural paradise in which
    different racial and ethnic groups
    would live in harmony and cooperation—
    a utopian dream that also occupies center stage
    in the discussion of Jewish involvement
    in shaping U.S. immigration policy in Chapter 7.
Each of these utopias
is profoundly problematic from an evolutionary perspective,
a theme that will be returned to in Chapter 8 [para. 8.7 et seq.].

The originators of these movements
were all vitally concerned with anti-Semitism,
and all of the utopias envisioned by these intellectual and political movements
would end anti-Semitism
while allowing for Jewish group continuity.
A generation of Jewish radicals (Chapter 3)
looked to the Soviet Union as an idyllic place
where Jews could rise to positions of preeminence
and where anti-Semitism was officially outlawed
while Jewish national life flourished.
The psychoanalytic movement (Chapter 4) and the Frankfurt School (Chapter 5)
looked forward to the day when
gentiles would be inoculated against anti-Semitism
by a clinical priesthood that could heal
the personal inadequacies and
the frustrations at loss of status
that gentiles murderously projected onto the Jews.
And the Boasians (Chapter 2) and the Frankfurt School and their descendants
would prevent the development of
anti-Semitic ideologies of majoritarian ethnocentrism.

A palpable sense of intellectual and moral superiority
of those participating in these movements
is another characteristic feature.
This sense of intellectual superiority
and hostility to gentiles and their culture
was a recurrent theme of the leftist movements discussed in Chapter 3.
I have also documented
a profound sense of intellectual superiority
and estrangement from gentile culture
that characterized not only Freud
but also the entire psychoanalytic movement.
The sense of superiority on the part of
a “self-constituted cultural vanguard”
(Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics,
pp. 453–455)
of Jewish intellectuals
toward lower-middle-class mores and attitudes was a theme of Chapter 5.

Regarding moral superiority,
the central pose of post-Enlightenment Jewish intellectuals
is a sense that
Judaism represents a moral beacon to the rest of humanity (SAID, Ch. 7).
These movements thus constitute concrete examples of
the ancient and recurrent Jewish self-conceptualization as
a light of the nations,”
reviewed extensively in SAID (Ch. 7).
Moral indictments of their opponents
are a prominent theme in the writings of political radicals
and those opposing biological perspectives on
individual and group differences in IQ.
A sense of moral superiority
was also prevalent in the psychoanalytic movement,
and we have seen that the Frankfurt School
developed a moral perspective in which
the existence of Judaism was viewed as an a priori moral absolute
and in which
social science was to be judged by moral criteria.

As noted in Chapter 1,
current psychological theory and data
are highly compatible with supposing that
viewpoints advocated by minorities
are able to influence attitudes held by the majority,
especially when possessing a high degree of internal consistency
and especially when they are disseminated from
the most prestigious academic and media institutions in the society.
Although the influence on gentile societies
of Jewish involvement in these intellectual and political movements
cannot be assessed with any degree of certainty,
the material presented here suggests that
Jewish involvement was a critical factor in
the triumph of the intellectual left in late-twentieth-century Western societies.

Several features of these intellectual movements
can be viewed as serving Jewish interests.
The greatest danger for a minority group strategy is
the development of a highly cohesive, sectarian majority group
that views the minority group as a negatively evaluated outgroup.
In combating this potential threat, one type of strategy has been
to actively promote universalist ideologies within the larger society
in which the Jewish-gentile social categorization is of minimal importance.
Judaism as a cohesive, ethnically based group strategy continues to exist,
but in a cryptic or semi-cryptic state.
The exemplar of this strategy is leftist political ideology;
however psychoanalysis and even forms of Judaism
that minimize phenotypic differentiation between Jews and gentiles,
such as Reform Judaism (see SAID, Ch. 6),
adopt a similar strategy.

Jewish interests are also served by
facilitating radical individualism (social atomization) among gentiles
while retaining a powerful sense of group cohesion among Jews

the agenda of the Frankfurt School.
Gentile group identifications are regarded as an indication of psychopathology.
An important component of this strategy is
the deconstruction of majoritarian intellectual movements
that are incompatible with the continuation of Judaism.
These majoritarian intellectual movements may range from
radical assimilationism
(e.g., the forced conversions to Christianity)
exclusivist majority group strategies based on majority group ethnocentrism
(e.g., National Socialism).

Jewish interests are also served by
the Frankfurt School ideology that gentile concerns about
losing social status and
being eclipsed economically, socially, and demographically by other groups
are an indication of psychopathology.
As an exceptionally upwardly mobile group,
this ideology serves Jewish interests by
defusing gentile concerns about their downward mobility,
and we shall see in Chapter 7 that
Jewish organizations and Jewish intellectuals
have been at the forefront of
the movement to eclipse the demographic and cultural dominance
of European-derived peoples in Western societies.

Several themes common to these Jewish intellectual movements
bear mentioning.
An important thread apparent in the discussions of
psychoanalysis, Boasian anthropology,
the Frankfurt School, and radical intellectual and political circles
has been that
Jewish intellectuals have formed highly cohesive groups
whose influence derives to great extent from
the solidarity and cohesiveness of the group.
The influence of minority ideologies is augmented to the extent that
there is a high degree of consensus and internal intellectual consistency
among those adopting the minority position (see Ch. 1).
Intellectual activity is like any other human endeavor:
Cohesive groups outcompete individualist strategies.
Indeed, the fundamental truth of this axiom has been central to
the success of Judaism throughout its history (PTSDA, Ch. 5).


Scientific and intellectual respectability was thus
a critical feature of the movements reviewed here.
these intellectual movements have been fundamentally irrational
an irrationality that is most apparent in
the entire conduct of psychoanalysis
as an authoritarian, quasi-scientific enterprise
and in
the explicit depiction of science as an instrument of social domination
by the Frankfurt School.
It is also apparent in
the structure of psychoanalysis and radical political ideology,
which are, like traditional Jewish religious ideology,
essentially hermeneutic theories in the sense that
the theory is derived in an a priori manner
and is constructed so that
any event is interpretable within the theory.

The paradigm is shifted from a scientific perspective
that emphasizes the selective retention of theoretical variants
(Campbell 1987; Hull 1988; Popper 1963)
to a hermeneutic exercise in which
any and all events can be interpreted within the context of the theory.
In the case of Critical Theory, and to a considerable extent, psychoanalysis,
the actual content of the theory continually changed
and there was divergence among its practitioners,
but the goal of the theory as a tool of leftist social criticism
remained intact.

Despite the fundamental irrationality of these movements,
they have often
masqueraded as
the essence of scientific or philosophical objectivity.

They have all sought the aura of science.
Harvard sociologist Nathan Glazer
included himself and the other New York Intellectuals in his statement that
“Sociology is still for many socialists and sociologists
the pursuit of politics through academic means

(in Jumonville 1991, 89).
Jumonville (1991, 90) comments that
“Part of the impact of the New York group on American intellectual life
is that they dignified that outlook of political pursuit.
They were never embarrassed to admit
the political content of their work,
and in fact brought into the intellectual mainstream the idea that
all strong work had ideological and political overtones.”


At a deeper level, I suppose,
a fundamental aspect of Jewish intellectual history
has been the realization [sic; opinion] that

there is really no demonstrable difference between
truth and consensus.

Within traditional Jewish religious discourse,
“truth” was the prerogative of a privileged interpretive elite
that in traditional societies consisted of
the scholarly class within the Jewish community.
Within this community,
“truth” and “reality” were nothing more
(and were undoubtedly perceived as nothing more)
than consensus within
a sufficiently large portion of the interpretive community.

As we have seen in SAID (Ch. 7),

Jewish religious ideology
was an infinitely plastic set of propositions
that could rationalize and interpret any event
in a manner compatible with
serving the interests of the community.

Authority within the Jewish intellectual community
was always understood to be based entirely on
what recognized (i.e., consensual) scholars had said.
It never occurred to the members of this discourse community
to seek confirmation of their views
from outside the community of intellectual discourse itself,
either from other (gentile) discourse communities
or by trying to understand the nature of reality itself. [!!]
Reality was whatever the group decided it should be,
and any dissent from this socially constructed reality
would have to be performed within a narrow intellectual space
that would not endanger the overall goals of the group.

Acceptance of the Jewish canon,
like membership in the intellectual movements reviewed here,
was essentially
an act of authoritarian submission.
The basic genius of the Jewish intellectual activity reviewed in these chapters
is the realization that
hermeneutic communities based solely on
intellectual consensus within a committed group

are possible
even within the post-Enlightenment world of intellectual discourse
may even be successfully disseminated within the wider gentile community
to facilitate specific Jewish political interests.

[It is worth at least pondering the relevance of that statement to
the well-known examples of so-called “group-think” within our “intellectual” “elite”
  • that led to the belief that the U.S. had to invade Iraq and that

  • so thoroughly neglected
    the risk that was accumulating in the U.S. financial system prior to 2008
    (cf. “The Last Temptation of Risk” by Barry Eichengreen).

The difference from the pre-Enlightenment world, of course, is that
these intellectual discourses were forced to develop
a facade of science
in order to appeal to gentiles.
Or, in the case of the skeptical thrust of
Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction and the Frankfurt School
(but not involvement in activities such as The Authoritarian Personality),
it was necessary to defend the viability of philosophical skepticism.
The scientific veneer and philosophical respectability sought by these movements
then functioned to portray these intellectual movements as the result of
individualistic free choice based on rational appraisals of the evidence.
This in turn necessitated that

great efforts were required
to mask Jewish involvement and domination of the movements,
as well as the extent to which
the movements sought to attain
specific Jewish political interests.

The difference from the pre-Enlightenment world, of course, is that
these intellectual discourses were forced to develop
a facade of science
in order to appeal to gentiles....


Here are some articles on a variety of themes vaguely related to
The Culture of Citique.

The Culture of Deceit
by Edmund Connelly
TOO, 2009-08-01

Jews and Money
by Edmund Connelly
TOO Blog, 2010-02-25

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