The Jewish Question?
Or swap "Jewish" for "Black" or "White" or "Boomer" or Any Other Group Blamed for Ruining the World, and the Question Remains the Same . . .
Kanye West’s inflammatory statements about the Jews are already old news, but he definitely won’t be the last person to raise the “Jewish question” publicly. This issue has been with us in one form or another for literally millennia, so we might as well talk about it.
A few things I’d like to get out of the way before wading into this murky debate. First — and this is true no matter what the issue we’re discussing, but it is all the more true when it’s as controversial and emotionally charged as this one — we have to remain always mindful that we are, as B J Campbell over at Handwaving-Freakoutery puts it, “the human tools” being used by abstract higher-level entities (call them what you will: egregores, demons, spiritual algorithms, or whatever). If you and the guy you’re arguing with are basically two puppets being controlled by different arms of the same demon, the only one who’s winning the argument is the demon, and like in the movie War Games, the only way to win is not to play the game. It truly takes an almost superhuman amount of self-awareness and self-control not to get played in this way, so we all are susceptible to it. Especially when discussing issues like this.
Second, I will go ahead and give you my priors. You will never convince me that the Nazis were the good guys. Maybe you can convince me that the Allies were also bad, or that the other parties to Weimar Germany’s culture wars were also bad — I’m open to having that discussion — but I can never believe that the Shoah was somehow morally justified. Not saying there weren’t Jewish scoundrels and demagogues in Weimar Germany who, like the scoundrels and demagogues of any other race, may have fully deserved condemnation and punishment for their crimes, but to say that literally every other Jew was guilty by association and therefore deserved the Holocaust? No way. No fucking way.
So with that out of the way, let me try to clarify what seem to me some pertinent issues in this debate.
The Same Conversation Could Be Had about Practically Any Other Racial or Ethnic Group
Note the pattern used in complaints about Jews. Now, substitute “Jews” for “white people” or “black people” or “Baby Boomers” or any other group that sometimes gets accused of ruining the world, and the pattern remains exactly the same.
What are the grounds for attacking Jews collectively? That they are disproportionately represented among groups of people doing terrible things, whether that’s the criminal corruption in the financial sector of either Weimar Germany or 21st-Century America, the catastrophic Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, or the banana republic of Ukraine that’s laundering billions of embezzled American dollars via a war designed to kill as many Slavic people as possible?
Without disputing any of that, let me just point out: Jews are not the only group that has been disproportionately represented among groups of people doing terrible things. That’s exactly what Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram Kendi, and Robin DeAngelo got rich for saying about white people. Basically their argument amounts to something like the following: “Look at all the evil shit done to black people, as a group, throughout American history; most of that has been done by white people; therefore, there is a white-supremacist conspiracy, and all white people are part of that conspiracy by default, unless they admit their complicity in the conspiracy and renounce it and take affirmative steps to fight it [by buying my book and attending my seminar on antiracism].” Isn’t that “logic” awfully similar to that which informs so many blanket condemnations of Jews?
I have been surprised by how much sympathy there appears to be among my white friends on the Right for anti-Jewish criticisms that can essentially be distilled into the exact same freaking argument made by race hucksters against white people, but when it’s the BLM insurrectionists making that argument, white right-wingers easily see through it and call it out for what it is: sloppy reasoning and group libel. But swap out “white people” for “Jews,” and exchange “white supremacy” for “Zionism,” and all of the sudden, they think it’s a killer argument (which it can literally be, as in, an argument literally used to rationalize homicide or even genocide).
If you’re white, think about how you respond when you hear some mainstream-media blowhard talk about the “wealth gap” and how it shows that [all] white people are privileged relative to blacks. So I’m lumped into the same statistical category, namely “white,” as all these outlier billionaires like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, whose wealth dramatically skews the “average” wealth of white people? And then the wealth of these billionaires is used to justify telling me that I should shut the fuck up when DEI mandates cost me a promotion or acceptance to university because my spot is given to a less-qualified black applicant? And that it’s okay for them to fuck me over because I am so privileged, vis-à-vis my membership in the same race as so many billionaires? Obviously, that’s horseshit. If our racial connection was really that deep, then I could just call up Bill Gates and ask him to help his white brother out with a cool $50K to help me start a business, but everyone knows it doesn’t work that way, so why is the wealth of ultra-elite whites used to justify policies that harm working-class whites? Because it’s a half-truth deliberately designed to pit working-class blacks against working-class whites. And because it’s based on some sliver of truth and accords with some popular narratives about systemic racism, it works.
So when a right-leaning white man is told that he, a non-elite white person, is privileged by virtue of being the same race as the majority of our society’s ruling class, and when he’s told that this means it’s okay for him to be fucked over by our most important cultural institutions because he’s so privileged, he can quickly recognize the absurdity and injustice of it. So . . . how about when a non-elite Jew gets lumped in with that demon George Soros, merely by virtue of them both being Jewish? Is that not exactly the same freaking thing?
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