The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements
In The Culture of Critique, Kevin MacDonald advances a carefully researched but extremely controversial thesis: that certain 20th century intellectual movements – largely established and led by Jews – have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man. He claims that these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian. He concludes that the increasing dominance of these ideas has had profound political and social consequences that benefited Jews but caused great harm to gentile societies. This analysis, which he makes with considerable force, is an unusual indictment of a people generally thought to be more sinned against than sinning.
The Culture of Critique is the final title in Prof. MacDonald's massive, three-volume study of Jews and their role in history. The two previous volumes are A People That Shall Dwell Alone and Separation and its Discontents, published by Praeger in 1994 and 1998. The series is written from a sociobiological perspective that views Judaism as a unique survival strategy that helps Jews compete with other ethnic groups. Prof. MacDonald, who is a psychologist at the University of California at Long Beach, explains this perspective in the first volume, which describes Jews as having a very powerful sense of uniqueness that has kept them socially and genetically separate from other peoples. The second volume traces the history of Jewish-gentile relations, and finds the causes of anti-Semitism primarily in the almost invariable commercial and intellectual dominance of gentile societies by Jews and in their refusal to assimilate. The Culture of Critique brings his analysis into the present century, with an account of the Jewish role in the radical critique of traditional culture.
The intellectual movements Prof. MacDonald discusses in this volume are Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt school of sociology, and Boasian anthropology. Perhaps most relevant from a racial perspective, he also traces the role of Jews in promoting multi-culturalism and Third World immigration. Throughout his analysis Prof. MacDonald reiterates his view that Jews have promoted these movements as Jews and in the interests of Jews, though they have often tried to give the impression that they had no distinctive interests of their own. Therefore Prof. MacDonald's most profound charge against Jews is not ethnocentrism but dishonesty – that while claiming to be working for the good of mankind they have often worked for their own good and to the detriment of others. While attempting to promote the brotherhood of man by dissolving the ethnic identification of gentiles, Jews have maintained precisely the kind of intense group solidarity they decry as immoral in others.
Prof. MacDonald claims that one of the most consistent ways in which Jews have advanced their interests has been to promote pluralism and diversity – but only for others. Ever since the 19th century, they have led movements that tried to discredit the traditional foundations of gentile society: patriotism, racial loyalty, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint. At the same time, within their own communities, and with regard to the state of Israel, they have often supported the very institutions they attack in gentile society.
Why is this in the interests of Jews? Because the parochial group loyalty characteristic of Jews attracts far less attention in a society that does not have a cohesive racial and cultural core. The Jewish determination not to assimilate fully, which accounts for their survival as a people for thousands for years – even without a country – has invariably attracted unpleasant and even murderous scrutiny in nations with well -defined national identities. In Prof. MacDonald's view it is therefore in the interest of Jews to dilute and weaken the identity of any people among whom they live. Jewish identity can flower in safety only when gentile identity is weak.
Prof. MacDonald quotes a remarkable passage from Charles Silberman: "American Jews are committed to cultural tolerance because of their belief – one firmly rooted in history – that Jews are safe only in a society acceptant of a wide range of attitudes and behaviors, as well as a diversity of religious and ethnic groups. It is this belief, for example, not approval of homosexuality, that leads an overwhelming majority of American Jews to endorse 'gay rights' and to take a liberal stance on most other so-called 'social' issues."
He is saying, in effect, that when Jews make the diversity-is-our-strength argument it is in support of their real goal of diluting a society's homogeneity so that Jews will feel safe. They are couching a Jewish agenda in terms they think gentiles will accept. Likewise, as the second part of the Silberman quotation suggests, Jews may support deviant movements, not because they think it is good for the country but because it is good for the Jews.