In 1988, Kevin Macdonald released the first in a series of three books, titled “Culture Of Critique”. The book was in a sense the rebranding of old Nazi talking points, supplemented with pseudo scientific analysis and cherry picked historical evidence. The central thesis of the Culture Of Critique is that Jews, as a group, are extraordinarily ethnocentric, and that their involvement in left wing intellectual movements throughout history as well as their disproportionate success in high paying influential occupations such as banking, has been a tactic which serves to fulfill this ethnocentricity and actualize Jewish interests by undermining western culture and so on. This thesis has gone far beyond the pages of the Culture Of Critique series, however- the faux intellectualism contained within the series has fed a new tide of alt right anti semitic rhetoric- disposing of this rhetoric will be the central point of this essay.
So, one of the key arguments posited by the modern alt right is a recognition of the disproportionate success and participation of Jews within academia, banking, and many other high paying occupations. The alt right explanation for this success is that, as talked about earlier, Jews are ethnocentric and acquire influential status as a means to serve their ethnocentric interests. Therefore, the first question we have to look at is the question of why are Jews so successful? Well, first, we have to look at IQ. The mean Ashkenazi IQ has been found to be around a half a standard deviation above the American average (Lynn and Kanazawa 2008; Lynn 2004). A half a standard deviation above the average would result in four times as many Jews with an IQ above 130 compared to gentiles. Furthermore, this is regarding average IQ, and the average IQ of a group does not always directly correlate with the amount of people in that group who are of extreme intelligence. Regarding extreme intelligence among Jews, Murray (1954) found that out of the 28 students with the highest IQ in the entire New York school system, 24 of them were Jews. Therefore, given the mean IQ and rates of extreme intelligence among Jews, if extreme intelligence was strongly correlated with monetary success, we would expect Jews to be substantially overrepresented in these occupations. And, in accordance with my thesis, it is; One Duke University study found half of all billionaires are in the top 1 percentile as far as IQ is concerned. However, I’m fully aware that IQ cannot fully account for Jewish success, as has been pointed out several times; Luckily, though, IQ isn’t even needed to explain Jewish success. As one analysis of the causes of Jewish success found, “Since the Enlightenment and particularly in the twentieth century, European Jews have been highly concentrated in major urban centers (Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, New York City, Los Angeles, etc.). These areas tended to have the infrastructure to support intellectual achievement. Indeed, even without postulating high Jewish IQ, from their location alone we would expect them to be overrepresented in intellectual endeavors.” (Cofnas 2018) Furthermore, on the note of historical explanations of Jewish success, Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending (2006) find that during the Middle Ages in Europe Jews were barred from most typical labor jobs and thus forced into finance, money lending, etc to survive. It is no wonder that a group of people who’ve been historically forced into a certain type of occupation would develop a culture around fostering the skills and so on required to succeed in those types of occupations.
The next claim is that Jews are ethnocentric, and influence left wing intellectual movements to serve their ethnocentric interests. First of all, there’s really no evidence that Jews are extremely ethnocentric. The whole notion of this innate ethnocentrism is a bit misleading. How ethnocentric a group is is largely dependent on the environment or culture that they live in. For example, look at the ultra nationalistic Nazis of the 40’s and compare them to the current Germans who’ve supported large waves of immigration coming into Germany. Furthermore, Smooha (1987) conducted surveys on beliefs of Jews and Arabs, the results of which suggests that Arabs feel even more superiority over and hostility towards the Jews than vice versa, which directly contradicts the view of Jews as disproportionately ethnocentric. Moreover, according to Pew Research (2013), the secular liberal Jews, the ones the alt right critiques as influencing left wing movements to feed their ethnocentric interest, have disproportionately high intermarriage rates, one of the key indicators of a lack of ethnocentricity. In fact, given the percentage of the population the Jews constituted in the early 40’s, if they’d maintained low intermarriage rates they’d be close to a majority in America by this point- However, they’ve maintained high intermarriage rates among other things letting their population continually fall- if the Jews are aggressively defending some ethnocentric interest, they’re not doing so very affectively. In contrast my thesis, Dunkel and Dutton (2016) did an analysis of survey responses to questions intended to gauge ethnocentricity. The results suggest that Jews have an ethnocentricity which is similar to that of Baptist’s, but more than that of Methodists and Catholics. This study is often used to prove the ethnocentricity of Jews; However, 1. this study finds Jewish ethnocentricity to be comparable to other religions, not providing strong evidence for some grand conspiracy about the ultra ethnocentric Jews, and 2. this study had some systemic errors such as issues with the vagueness and interpretational openness of the questions, the cultural factors which may make certain groups feel more comfortable saying they are proud of their heritage, the fact that the study listed intermarriage rates as one of the key factors which measure ethnocentricity yet when you measure intermarriage rates among Jews directly the results do not support the conclusion of the study, etc. Furthermore, even if the study did show that Jews do feel more ethnocentric, the interpretation of this study which asserts that this is just some innate level of ethnocentricity that Jews possess would still be false, as ethnocentricity is very fluid and heavily influenced by culture, environment etc.
The next question then, is why are Jews disproportionately left wing, and is Jewish involvement in these left wing movements serving their ethnocentric interests? Well, regarding the former question, it’s already been established that Jews have on average higher IQ’s- high IQ is associated with the trait “openness to experience” which is associated with liberalism. This would explain disproportionate levels of liberalism within Jews. Furthermore, in the 20th century a larger portion of right wing movements than left wing movements were overtly anti semitic, which explains why Jews would be more so involved with left wing than right wing politics. Finally, Cofnas (2018) found that Jews are also over represented in right wing political movements that aren’t overtly anti semitic, suggesting that Jews are not overrepresented in left wing intellectual movements because it serves their interest- rather, they’re overrepresented in all intellectual movements for historical and geographical reasons as well as because of IQ, but more so left wing ones because left wing movements have historically been less anti semitic. Finally, regarding whether or not Jews use left wing movements or their status to serve ethnocentric interests, it seems pretty clear that they do not. In fact, the same Jews who advocate on behalf of blacks and other minorities in the US who the alt righters claim do so to undermine western culture and serve their self interest, pushed for the immigration of large numbers of Ethiopians who have no genetic relation to other Jewish populations into Israel, which by the alt rights own standards is directly sabotaging their ethnic interests (Lucotte and Smets 1999). Additionally, these same leftie Jews who the alt right claims are operating the world to further their interests have a population which is falling by over one half with each generation. So, to take the alt right position on the Jewish Question is to posit that the same group which literally holds all the power in the world and operates this power solely to serve Jewish interest, is a rapidly dissipating demographic which actively participates in activities and political movements which by alt right standards perpetuates their own destruction. It’s also noteable that the hypothesis that Jews are only concentrated in these professions and movements because they are useful in propagating ethnocentric interests fails at the level of explanatory power in many cases; For example, it fails to explain why Jews are also overrepresented in areas which require high cognitive functioning that have nothing to do and could not possibly have anything to do with perpetuating self interest, such as chess; It is a fact that jews are more than half of world chess champions (Cochran et al. 2005)
The hypothesis which asserts that Jews are ethnocentric and use leftist philosophies and influence academia because of this ethnocentricity and so on has very little explanatory power and falls short under a closer examination of evidence. To demonstrate this lack of explanatory power and the mental gymnastics required to maintain it under closer investigation, let’s examine how Macdonald, the originator and intellectual powerhouse of this theory, has responded to some of these critiques: If jews are more ethnocentric, why do they have higher intermarriage rates? Well, MacDonald claims that intermarrying is a secret tactic that actually benefits the jews! Why did Jews advocate for affirmative action despite the fact that Macdonald claims affirmative action would hurt them? Well, MacDonald retorts, it’s really because the filthy Jews believed if they advocated for affirmative action it would hurt the whites but they’d be less affected by it because of their IQ’s. Why are jews overrepresented in right wing movements which oppose their interests? Well, MacDonald claims, it’s really because they’re trying to trick people into thinking they’re not ethnocentric. How come in many of the movements MacDonald appeals to as Jewish conspiracies there were gentiles who spearheaded them? Well, Macdonald claims, it’s because they’re trying to divert from the fact that the Jews are creating and operating this movement by using puppet gentiles as a cover. What we see is that this hypothesis when under scrutiny fails at the level of explanatory power, and turns into an unfalsifiable pseudo science where all contrary evidence conveniently fits the original hypothesis in a convenient, empirically invalidated way as soon as the hypothesis fails to explain all the variables at play.