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?
Or let’s say you’re black, like Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, or the Black Hebrew Israelites. Are you a violent criminal, merely because your race is dramatically overrepresented among violent criminals? And if a gang of young black men rob and pistol-whip a white man, would that white man be morally justified in taking an AR-15 to the nearest black barbershop and opening fire? Obviously not, so then why entertain the same logic when it’s used by the Black Hebrew Israelites to justify violence against Jews?
That Said, When a Pattern Is Obvious to Everyone, It’s Natural and Often Necessary to Investigate the Pattern
Having said that, I also do not condone the sophistry employed by the Left, of shutting down legitimate discussions because the conversation includes data points that may reflect badly on a particular race or ethnicity. For example, we shouldn’t ignore patently obvious facts about the world when discussing urban crime rates, merely because those facts have been used by racists to justify discrimination against black people generally. If young black men are committing a wildly disproportionate amount of criminal violence (which they are), then we need to figure out why, and the discussion needs to be open and honest if it is to be productive.
Similarly, when Nikole Hannah-Jones talks about America’s history being defined by racism, there is an element of truth to it. That’s what make half-truths like hers so dangerous: some aspects of those claims are rooted in some very ugly historical facts, so you can’t just dismiss everything she says. The problem is, half-truths tend to miss a lot of context, as well as make fallacious leaps of illogic from one context to another. You may recognize Nikole Hannah-Jones for the lying sack of grifting shit that she is, and you may see that she is clearly not arguing or acting in good faith, so the natural response would be for you to reject everything she says as being the fruit of a poisonous tree. That would make sense if you were dealing with her individually, but when her arguments are believed and acted upon by millions of people, some of whom are sincere and well-meaning but also just young and naïve and hot-headed, then you cannot simply reject her claims without a public hearing. You have to have the discussion, and that discussion is emotionally difficult for people (which is why it so seldom happens in any meaningful way in America). Of course, you don’t do like the Left and just treat Hannah-Jones’ utterances as if they were sacrosanct either, but it is important to recognize that there is some validity to the critiques that she makes of America; those critiques are just missing a whole lot of context and pertinent information.
So now back to the Jews. If Jews are overrepresented among, say, con artists in the financial sector, then we should not shut someone up and label him a moral monster merely for noticing this pattern. Pattern-recognition is so deeply ingrained in us on a primal level that the only way not to acknowledge patterns is to resign yourself to unending cognitive dissonance. You can’t un-see what you see. But also, the pattern may not mean what you think it means.
Here’s one thought: New York City is the financial and cultural capital of America (maybe even the entire Globohomo Empire). Besides being the butt of jokes in 1990s salsa commercials, New York City is also home to the biggest concentration of Jews outside of Israel. Maybe that has something to do with Jews being overrepresented among the financial elite?
Or maybe there’s something about Jewish culture that explains why a disproportionate number of Jews go into investment banking or international finance? Although you could probably ask the same question about other professions, like law or medicine or becoming a Zen Master.
Jay Rollins has an interesting theory about how the social language and cultural concepts of Judaism make Jews useful to the globalist elite:
Anyway, there are bound to be cultural reasons why Jews are overrepresented among hedge-fund managers. And if hedge-fund managers, as a group, are responsible for ruining large businesses and the livelihoods of the people who used to work for those businesses, then Jews will be overrepresented among a group of people hated and resented by the victims of vulture-style capitalism. But I guarantee you that among those victims, you will also find plenty of Jews. By attacking the Jewishness of Jewish criminals, you needlessly alienate potential Jewish allies.
As a society, we absolutely should reform institutions and laws that have been hijacked and abused by bad actors. And if a group of bad actors turn out to be Jewish, then prosecute them just the same as you would a criminal cabal of blue-blooded WASPs or a network of Italian mobsters. Maybe a significant number of Jewish con artists are part of a conspiracy; if so, go after them using the same RICO statutes that enabled federal law enforcement to take down the Mafia. But just as Italians have contributed much to our culture besides the Mafia, so too have Jews contributed much to our culture besides Ponzi Schemes and Soros DAs. Deal with the bad actors; if they try to deflect blame and scrutiny by crying “anti-Semitic,” remember they are bad actors, and that’s what bad actors do: deflect blame and scrutiny by making dishonest appeals to some moral rule they expect to be able to use against you. Don’t fall for it. But also don’t actually be anti-Semitic by projecting the guilt of Jewish criminals onto every other Jew.
Why a Man Says What He Says Is More Important than What He Says
There will be people who say and even do bad things. And vowing, as Kanye West did, to go “Death Con 3 on the Jews” is pretty awful. But does that ipso facto make Kanye an irredeemably bad person who deserves never to work or wield cultural influence again?
To assess the meanings of a person’s statement, you usually have to consider more than just the mere words used. Context matters. Subjective meaning matters. Conscious intent matters. Whether the speaker is suffering from untreated psychosis matters. And the identity of the speaker and his relationship to his audience matters. These all provide clues as to the speaker’s intended meaning. Why a man says what he says is more important than what, precisely, he says.
Like all human societies, ours has plenty of unwritten rules, especially when it comes to how you talk about racial or ethnic groups that have been historically marginalized or discriminated against in our society. Human Nature seems to involve an attraction for what is taboo, so there will be people (especially children) who will say deliberately offensive things purely because it is taboo (and because our postmodern culture has vanishingly few taboos left for them to violate); often they will have only a dim awareness as to the historical reasons for the taboos. A couple of drunk white teenagers who say the N-word at a party for shits and giggles are probably not seriously intending to lynch anyone or bring back segregated lunch counters, and it’s absurd to pretend that they are in the same category as George Wallace and Bull Connor in terms of the harm they are supposedly causing black people, especially when plenty of black people routinely and very publicly use racial slurs about white people (as well as about Asians) for shits and giggles and practically never face any consequences for doing so. So you have people who violate social norms because they’re emotionally immature and being rebellious, and that’s not at all the same thing as being actually malicious.
There are three more types of people who are prone to violating society’s unwritten rules: autists, manic-depressives (at least in their manic phases), and creative artists. It should be noted that Kanye appears to be a blend of all three. And given his history with bipolar disorder, it is very possible that his recent erratic statements and behavior were largely the product of his untreated mental illness; as Dave Chappelle noted in his SNL monologue, mental illness can be an excuse (as opposed to a justification) for murder, so why shouldn’t it also be an excuse for offensive speech? And as for autists, the hallmark of autism is having difficulty discerning and understanding unwritten rules that “normal” people just take for granted. So when Kanye West took out his dick and pissed all over society’s third rail by publicly proclaiming that he’s going “Death Con 3 on the Jews,” you have to factor in his personal and psychological history when assessing his character.
Of course, there are also the psychopathic grifters who use racist and anti-Semitic tropes to lure followers and gain status and influence (like leaders of the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Nation of Islam). And if they talk about going Death Con 3 on the Jews, you cannot respond to them with kid gloves. They will kill — or will manipulate their mentally unstable followers into killing — without remorse or compunction.
Is Kanye West a psychopathic grifter? I don’t know him personally, so I cannot say for sure; but based on what I know about his history, I really doubt it. Kanye strikes me as a misguided but very intelligent and creative man with untreated manic-depression and possibly a touch of autism, and if I am correct in that assessment, then he is a man who can be brought to the table for a difficult but potentially fruitful and even life-changing conversation.
Here’s the thing: certain patterns do exist in our culture. The mainstream media and popular pundits want to shut down any discussion where these patterns are acknowledged, because they are afraid that these facts will be twisted and weaponized by bad actors. The problem is, by shutting down the conversation and demonizing its participants without a hearing, the mainstream cultural leaders are effectively creating the very monster they are trying to avoid.
People notice patterns. It’s pretty hard-wired into us. And when the mainstream culture tells people they’re wrong for merely noticing those patterns, some people will get the message and pretend not to see those patterns, thereby resigning themselves to unending cognitive dissonance. But others will not. These others will say, “No, I really do see that pattern, so let me investigate it further.” And when these hapless seekers go looking for someone to answer their questions, they will likely cross paths with the psychopaths and grifters spewing their racist and anti-Semitic screeds across the seedy underbelly of the internet, and the seekers will frequently say something like, “Holy shit! What this [racist or anti-Semitic] guy is saying really seems to address the patterns I have observed! Maybe he is right and mainstream society, with all its arbitrary rules about race and ethnicity, is wrong!”
But sometimes a person who encounters these con artists will, after entertaining the ideas behind “race realism” or anti-Semitism, decide that that’s not the complete picture either. And he’ll continue seeking until he finds the additional context and perspectives and information that actually do foster a more complete and psychologically healthy attitude about race and ethnicity and a host of other hot-button issues. But doing that takes work, a lot of work. Because thinking critically and abstractly about these issues is hard work, especially when you live in a culture that does not permit open and honest discussions about these issues to happen publicly. And that is the real problem, because there are so many people who could be reached and reasoned with and given a better framework for making sense of the world, but instead they get caught up in the ideological movements run by grifters and psychopaths, because those grifters and psychopaths are the only people willing to discuss these issues with them.
So if there’s a take-away from this essay, I hope it’s this: let’s have those conversations, however, difficult they may be; and let’s extend grace to fellow seekers, while at the same time being willing to call them out on their bullshit. St. Paul formulates it as “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4: 15), and you definitely need both a benevolent will and a commitment to Truth and intellectual honesty. As long as people demonstrate that they are participating in good faith, and as long as we are willing to be open and honest with each other and resist the impulse to project evil motives onto people for merely asking sincere questions that we find difficult to answer, then these conversations can be productive and can bring people together in a truly transformative way.
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