Jewish group evolutionary strategy
Jewish group evolutionary strategy refers to theories, most prominently developed by Kevin MacDonald, which argue that there are evolutionary explanations for several argued characteristics of Jews, the Jewish influence and how it has been used by Jews, as well as resistance movements against this from gentiles (which Jews and their allies call "anti-semitism").
The sources for the text in this article is Kevin MacDonald's works unless otherwise stated.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Argued characteristics
- 3 Religion
- 4 Antisemitism
- 5 Jewish strategies against antisemitism
- 6 Future
- 7 Works by Kevin MacDonald
- 7.1 A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples, 1994
- 7.2 Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, 1998
- 7.3 The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, 1998
- 7.4 Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism, 2004
- 7.5 Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilization, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, 2008
- 8 Criticisms
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The fundamental idea of the theory can be described as the Europeans being evolutionarily formed by their ancestral environment to be highly individualistic with relatively little ethnocentrism, which has contributed to their great achievements, but that this at the same time has caused them to be vulnerable to infiltration by Jews who were formed by a different ancestral environment to be highly collectivistic and ethnocentric.
The ancestral environment of Europeans was cold and harsh. The greatest survival problem was not competition from other groups but the physical environment. This caused low ethnocentrism, low xenophobia, and a moral outlook independent of group membership. The low population density excluded large extended families and favored exogamous (out-group) marriages. Successful survival required self-reliance and independent, individualistic reasoning.
These traits can be seen in European culture which early adopted characteristics such as small households, exogamy, and economic and scientific systems based on individualistic achievement and creativity.
The ancestral environment of Jews was less harsh. The greatest survival problem was competition from other groups. This caused high ethnocentrism, high xenophobia, high aggressiveness against outsiders, and a moral outlook where good is what is good for the ingroup. The higher population density allowed large extended families and favored endogamous (in-group) marriages. Successful survival depended on collective group action which favored submission to group norms and leadership.
These general Middle-Eastern characteristics were further shaped by cultural practices within Judaism which among other effects caused a eugenic increase in intelligence.
Jews are argued to have 4 important characteristics:
- High ethnocentrism. This causes favoritism and collectivistic behaviors towards the ingroup. Related to this is high self-deception which may be influenced by the often subconscious distinction between the ingroup and the outgroup. Thus, Jews often seem to subconsciously apply different moral standards to non-Jews and Jews such as indignantly demanding that non-Jews should not favor their own group while at the same time seeing it as praiseworthy to support other Jews in various ways. Another effect is the creation and high support for ideologies that are collectivistic towards the ingroup such as Marxism and socialism more generally. The high ethnocentrism contributes to strong ethnic networking and similar behaviors where Jews prefer to work with and promote the interests of Jews before non-Jews.
- High aggressiveness. In particular towards the outgroup. MacDonald writes that "In a survey commissioned by the American Jewish Committee’s study of the Jews of Baltimore in 1962, 'two-thirds of the respondents admitted to believing that other Jews are pushy, hostile, vulgar, materialistic, and the cause of anti-Semitism. And those were only the ones who were willing to admit it.'" He also argues for a strong sense of group grievance, resentment, and activism against European and Christian culture as responsible for antisemitism.
- High psychological intensity. Emotionally intense people are prone to intense emotional experiences of both positive and negative emotions. It may be thought of as a behavioral intensifier or energizer. Causes among other effects strong drives, strong commitments, single-minded persistence, and black-and-white views. One example is that any criticism of Jews or Israel is seen as a potential cause of mass murder of Jews and must therefore be thoroughly repressed.
- High intelligence. See Jews and intelligence.
Ethnocentrism (and the very similar concept of ethnic nepotism) can be seen as an application of J. Philippe Rushton’s genetic similarity theory. This argues that people for evolutionary reasons will be more attracted to and form alliances with people who are genetically similar. Genetic similarity can judged by number of methods such as similar physical appearance, personality, manners, interests, speech pattern, etc. The genetic similarity theory predicts that at least Ashkenazi Jews, who are closely genetically related, should be attracted to and form alliances with one another, especially if Jews have a particularly strong tendency for attraction towards those who are genetic similar. MacDonald writes that Jews may even be able to recognize one another in the absence of distinctive clothing and hair styles.
There is anecdotal evidence for this statement. Theologian Eugene Borowitz writes that Jews seek each other out in social situations and feel “far more at home” after they have discovered who is Jewish. “Most Jews claim to be equipped with an interpersonal friend-or-foe sensing device that enables them to detect the presence of another Jew, despite heavy camouflage.” Another Jewish writer comments on the incredible sense of oneness he has with other Jews and his ability to recognize other Jews in public places, a talent some Jews call “J-dar.” While dining with his non-Jewish fiancée, he is immediately recognized as Jewish by some other Jews, and there is an immediate “bond of brotherhood” between them that excludes his non-Jewish companion.
Robert Reich, Clinton administration Secretary of Labor, wrote that in his first face-to-face meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, “We have never met before, but I instantly know him. One look, one phrase, and I know where he grew up, how he grew up, where he got his drive and his sense of humor. He is New York. He is Jewish. He looks like my uncle Louis, his voice is my uncle Sam. I feel we’ve been together at countless weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. I know his genetic structure. I’m certain that within the last five hundred years—perhaps even more recently—we shared the same ancestor.”
The Jewish religion has placed a strong emphasis on endogamy and in practice made conversion into Judaism difficult. There is relatively little emphasis on religious artifacts and instead a religious emphasis on the unitary ethnic group. This contributed to in-group altruism and separation from out-groups.
There is an emphasis on in-group egalitarianism, in-group collective economic responsibility, and in-group class harmony. This may have contributed to the strong Jewish support for various forms of socialism (for those in the in-group).
Kevin MacDonald has also argued for similarities between the esoteric and pseudoscientific analyses used in many ideologies and movements created by Jews and the esoteric and pseudoscientific Jewish textual analyses in Torah study (such as the sophistic hair-splitting in pilpul). Such textual analyses have long been very important parts of Jewish culture and religion.
Kevin MacDonald argues against explanations for antisemitism which see peculiar traits of Western civilization as responsible such as Christian theology, the particular social class of Jews in Western capitalism, or Freudian views which see Western culture as causing psychological problems. Antisemitism exited and exists also in historical and current non-Western societies. MacDonald describes many examples of antisemitism in pre-Christian societies and in non-Western societies such as Persia and Muslim societies.
Furthermore, the explanations given by those critical of Jews are argued to be remarkably similar in different cultures and in different times. The themes include Jewish separatism and clannishness, Jewish economic, political, or cultural domination, the idea that Jews possess negative personality traits making them willing to engage in unscrupulous economic exploitation of gentiles, and Jewish disloyalty.
Generally, antisemitism is argued to have developed as a response to the Jewish group evolutionary strategy in contexts of economic and other competition with non-Jewish groups. Non-Jewish groups have been threatened with displacement and marginalization and in response developed a heightened sense of group identity and antisemtic mass movements.
In the Middle East the non-Jewish populations were like the Jews highly ethnocentric and impermeable to outsiders. Consequently, the Jews in the Middle East did not achieve the degree of success they did in Europe and they did not encounter the degree of antisemitism which occurred in Europe in response. (However, more recently and in response to Israel and various action against the Islamic world perceived to be due to Jewish influence, antisemitism is now generally much stronger in Islamic countries than in Western countries and most Jews have emigrated or been expelled.)
Jewish strategies against antisemitism
Jews are argued to have developed a number of strategies against antisemitism. In some cases this has involved controlling Jewish behavior. In other cases this has involved constructing rationalizations and apologia for Jewish behavior.
There are also more indirect strategies. Jews are argued to often have developed and promoted intellectual movements to further their own interests and counter antisemitism. Examples include:
- Race denialism and genetic denialism more generally. A prominent example is Boasian anthropology. Similar developments is argued to have occurred in social science generally (see cultural Marxism). In particular, there have been opposition to race and intelligence research results.
- Marxism and socialism more generally. For example, the Czarist regime was recognized as anti-Semitic. Jews figured very prominently among the Bolsheviks during the revolution and the Jewish element is argued to have been necessary for the success of the revolution. Jews are also argued to have been leading agents in the Great Terror.
- Psychoanalysis. Freud argued that antisemitism was due to sexual repression in Western culture and Freudian psychoanalysis contributed to breaking down the marriage and traditional controls of sexuality.
- Marxism and psychoanalysis were combined into critical theory and cultural Marxism more generally. See the article on cultural Marxism.
- Mass immigration. Jews and Jewish organization are argued to have been very prominent in causing more ethnic heterogeneity due to this being seen as beneficial for Jewish interests.
- Other minority interests. Jews are argued to have worked with other minorities in order to further perceived minority interests against the majority.
- Neoconservatism. Argued to be a largely Jewish and Zionist movement with the best predictor of attitudes, at least on foreign policy, being what the Israeli political right think is best for Israel. This including the United States starting wars on the enemies of Israel. The movement is also argued to apply a double standard by supporting multiculturalism in the West while opposing it in Israel.
Several of the movements are argued to make use of some highly visible non-Jewish front figures in order to somewhat conceal the extent of the Jewish influence.
More generally, Jews are argued to have figured prominently in movements adversarial to traditional Western culture.
"MacDonald categorically rejects an overarching conspiracy a la The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and concedes that Judaism does not constitute a unified movement. Furthermore, he points out that not all segments of the Jewish community and not all Jewish social scientists and intellectuals have been involved in these various movements. Nevertheless, he argues the basic thrust of Jewish activism has been to manipulate their surrounding environment in a manner that conforms to their interests. A central theme is that the leaders of these movements saw their involvement as furthering Jewish interests, particularly the eradication of anti-Semitism."
Kevin MacDonald argues that the increasingly multicultural and ethnically heterogeneous societies being created in Western countries are incompatible with Western tolerance. This tolerance that has been so beneficial for Jews will disappear once the share of Europeans decline below critical levels. Instead, a society will appear where it is "every group for itself". The Europeans will either be obliterated or adopt more ethnocentric strategies themselves.
Works by Kevin MacDonald
The first three books are the most well-known and describe the theory but MacDonald has also written other related works.
Describing the evolution of his thinking over the course of his writing the trilogy, MacDonald says in his preface to the paperback edition of The Culture of Critique:
- I think there is a noticeable shift in my tone from the first book to the third simply because (I'd like to think) I knew a lot more and had read a lot more. People often say after reading the first book that they think I really admire Jews, but they are unlikely to say that about the last two and especially about CofC. That is because by the time I wrote CofC I had changed greatly from the person who wrote the first book.
A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples, 1994
MacDonald describes Judaism as de facto including a group evolutionary strategy which limit exogamy, enforce cultural segregation, promote in-group charity and economic cooperation, and create eugenic and environmental pressures which cause high levels of intelligence, resource acquisition ability, parenting care, and group allegiance. He examines evidence from Jewish history, culture, and genetics in support of his thesis, arguing that Judaism is based on a strong and genetically based predisposition to ethnocentrism characteristic of Middle Eastern cultures generally but exacerbated as a result of selective effects resulting from Jewish cultural practices. These practices can be traced back to 600-500 BC when during the Babylonian exile the Hebrew Bible was redacted by the religious leaders to promote Jewish group cohesion, segregation, and endogamy. He analyses the high prestige of Rabbinic learning and studying the complex and extensive Jewish scriptures as de facto eugenic mechanisms which promoted Jewish verbal intelligence.
He further argues that Jews were commonly used as an intermediary group between a ruling elite (and especially alien elites) and the native population with often detrimental effects for last group. Facilitated by strong social controls within the traditional community, Jewish economic activities have often been characterized by a high degree of nepotism and within-group charity combined with strong controls against Jews who cooperated with gentiles against Jewish interests or who patronized gentile businesses or aided gentiles in economic activities.
Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, 1998
Building on his work in A People that Shall Dwell Alone, MacDonald argues that antisemitism can be analyzed as a consequence of resource competition between groups in which each group is rationally pursuing its own interests, and non-Jews often reacting to the presence of the highly successful group evolutionary strategy used by the Jews, rather than antisemitism simply being a manifestation of irrational malice by non-Jews. MacDonald examines antisemitism during three periods of institutionalized antisemitism: the Roman Empire in the fourth century; the Iberian inquisitions from the fourteenth century; and German National Socialism in the period 1933-45. He further examines various mechanisms used by Jews to minimize antisemitism such proscribing objectionable Jewish behaviors during prosecutions, lobbying, bribes, and having personal relationships with and performing indispensable services for the gentile elite. Image-management strategies include recruiting gentiles to support Jewish causes as well as controlling the public image of Judaism via censorship of defamatory materials and the dissemination of scholarly material supporting Jewish interests.
He further discusses the long history of rationalizing Judaism and argues that Jews, in particular strongly identified Jews, will be relatively prone to self-deception by ignoring or rationalizing negative information about themselves and their ingroup. Finally, he discusses whether Judaism has ceased to be an evolutionary strategy because of the current levels of intermarriage among some groups of diaspora Jews, arguing that it has not ceased to be so and that it continues to flourish.
The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, 1998
MacDonald examines intellectual and political movements such as Boasian anthropology, leftist political ideology and behavior, psychoanalysis, The New York Intellectuals, and the Frankfurt School, arguing they have been spearheaded by people who strongly identified as Jews and who viewed their involvement in these movements as serving Jewish interests. He further describes Jewish efforts to shape United States Immigration policy in opposition to the interests of Europeans. An important thesis is that all of these movements may be seen as attempts to alter Western societies in a manner which would neutralize or end antisemitism and provide for Jewish group continuity either in an overt or in a semi-cryptic manner.
He concludes the book by discussing the future effects of the mass immigration. "The prediction is that segments of the European-derived peoples of the world will eventually realize that they have been ill-served and are being ill-served both by the ideology of multiculturalism and by the ideology of de-ethnicized individualism. If the analysis of anti-Semitism presented in SAID is correct, the expected reaction will emulate aspects of Judaism by adopting group-serving, collectivist ideologies and social organizations."
He writes that it is unclear if "The reactive strategy will be sufficient to stabilize or reverse the present decline of European peoples in the New World and, indeed, in their ancestral homelands; whether the process will degenerate into a self-destructive reactionary movement as occurred with the Spanish Inquisition; or whether it will initiate a moderate and permanent turning away from radical individualism toward a sustainable group strategy. What is certain is that the ancient dialectic between Judaism and the West will continue into the foreseeable future."
Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism, 2004
Three essays and an introduction by the late Samuel Francis.
- "Background Traits for Jewish Activism" - outlines the four traits described above in the overview.
- "Zionism and the Internal Dynamics of Judaism".
- "Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement" - including a discussion of the Middle Eastern warfare waged by Western powers.
Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilization, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, 2008
The same three essays as in Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism but in addition 11 other essays, an introduction, and a foreword by Virginia Abernethy.
Not surprisingly the extremely not politically correct theory has been vehemently criticized. Criticisms have included race denialism arguments, race and intelligence denialism arguments, accusations of incorrect use of sources, and accusations of incorrect application of evolutionary principles. MacDonald has usually written detailed responses to the criticisms. See the "External" links section below.
- Articles by Kevin MacDonald at The Occidental Observer
- Professor Kevin MacDonald's critique of Judaism: legitimate scholarship or the intellectualization of anti-semitism? - George Michael, Journal of Church and State, September 22, 2006. Includes a detailed description of the theory as well as an interview with Kevin MacDonald.
- The Culture of Critique reviewed by Stanley Hornbeck
- Is Kevin MacDonald a Scholar? - Frank Salter, Human Ethology Bulletin, September 2000, Vol. 15(3), pp. 16-22.
- Civil rights group condemns work of CSULB professor - Karl Peterson, 2004, Daily Forty-Niner.
- The Marx of the anti-Semites – John Derbyshire, March 10, 2003, The American Conservative.
- Kevin MacDonald. Background Traits for Jewish Activism. Understanding Jewish Influence I. http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/UnderstandJI-1.htm.
- George Michael. Professor Kevin MacDonald's Critique of Judaism: Legitimate Scholarship or the Intellectualization of Anti-Semitism? Journal of Church & State. http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/JC&S48-2006.pdf
- preface to the paperback edition of The Culture of Critique