On the Alt Right, arguing what the Alt Right is has become a perpetual quest, mainly because like most conservative movements, the Alt Right are gut instinct level realists who have no idea how to articulate that intuition as ideology or policy. They just know, approximately, what is right for the long-term.
Of course, once you assert realism and the long-term, you are immediately outside of the Leftist camp and modernity generally, which is based more on anonymity and novelty than it is on any of the things that enabled human survival up until the point where it took over. This means that already the Alt Right is far out of step with our modern world.
As it tries to figure out what it is more than a general instinct toward social order and the type of reverent, eternal orientation that the ancients possessed, the Alt Right finds itself stumbling time and again over a vestige from the old White Nationalism 1.0 world: the “Jewish Question.”
Understand the “JQ” proves a challenge in itself. On the surface, it is a belief that Jewish people have had a disproportionate role in the downfall of Western Civilization. Underneath, it rapidly expands into a paranoid worldview that insists anywhere Jews are active, a conspiracy to control us is thriving.
Naturally, this makes no sense. If a group is actually in control, it has no need to manipulate its underlings. If it is not in control, then other groups have more control than it does, and any manipulations are evidence of it striving for control and struggling against the competition, not exploiting its hapless subjects.
While it is true that many tyrants never feel that their position of authority is secure, and so constantly work to suppress those under them, this is mostly a result of their own incompetence than that of their opposition. If the world Zionist conspiracy is that inept, it never would have come into power, so arguing for an unstable tyranny is not particularly applicable.
In a broader sense, the JQ becomes ridiculous because it soon leads to all ills being attributed to Jews, much as simple people blame “witches” and Leftists blame “the rich.” It seems to be a short step from noticing that a lot of Communist leaders were Jewish to finding The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to be a history text.
Most people, if you get them drunk enough to tell the truth, are somewhere in the middle. They recognize Jews as a competing group, much like Asians or white ethnic groups other than their own. They recognize that Jews are different, with a middle eastern air about them. But they do not see them as a conspiracy.
We can see other groups as competition without demonizing them. Much as we find that other people at work or in social circumstance are competing with us, we realize that every group is out to do what is best for it. To understand that, we have to think a little about game theory.
Translated for everyday use, game theory states that each group in a competition is playing a game, or trying to (1)maximize its reward while (2)minimizing its risk and simultaneously (3)suppressing its competition. The intersection of those three threads is a “sweet spot” for strategy.
This means that while competing groups are working for themselves, they are also suppressing everyone else. In addition, one must be careful of listening to advice from competing groups because their interest is best served in telling partial- or non-truths.
Jews are genuinely over-represented in positions of authority, competence and influence. New York Jews, in particular, snap up a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes (see this Times of Israel article), and Jews are disproportionately eligible for admission at elite universities, where they, along with Asians, tend to be discriminated against (see this Newsweek article).
…No conspiracy. Jewish people are over-represented in positions of competence and authority because, as a group, they have a higher mean IQ. The effect of this group difference (approximately the difference between the typical high school student and the typical state college student) is magnified for occupations/interests that require high general cognitive ability. Equal over-representation may also occur in political movements associated with the left, because high IQ is associated with Openness to Experience, which is in turn associated with liberal/left-leaning political proclivities.
[From earlier in the article: Consider that IQ is the most powerful single determinant of long-term socioeconomic success and influence (my lab has published on this issue). Consider also that the effect of a mean or average difference in IQ is dramatically increased at the tails of the distribution, so that a 10-15 point difference produces increasingly large inequalities in group representation in proportion to the degree that a given job requires higher general cognitive ability. This means that proportional Jewish over-representation increases as the demand for IQ increases. Simply put: if a very complex job or role requires an IQ of 145, three standard deviations above the mean and characteristic of less than one percent of the general population, then a group with a higher average IQ will be exceptionally over-represented in such enterprises.]
Readers interested in such issues may also be interested in a broader recent critique of the idea of Jewish conspiracy: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy: A Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory
I have re-ordered the text somewhat to place his crucial points in a more accessible order. He mentions Dr. Kevin MacDonald’s work; if you have not read The Culture of Critique and would like to, you can do so through this etext (PDF, 2mb).
Generally, Peterson is correct, although he is not telling the full story. In this case, it is not dishonest, because like all libertarians, at his best Peterson sees himself as a bridge: he offers ideas we already accept as part of our Leftist brainwashing, and then expands them to include some realism. This brings people over to an intermediate position, and they will eventually discard this through another bridge, maybe Nietzsche or Woodruff, and eventually get to hard line realists like Plato, Linkola, and Evola.
Where Peterson shines here is that he emphasizes the inconvenient fact that no one wants to talk about: intelligence is genetic, and the more of it you have, the more complex things you can do. Jewish people have emphasized intelligence in their breeding over the past two thousand years, and as a result, have optimized themselves for certain high-level functions while decreasing their ability in others (sports, military, manual labor).
However, MacDonald is also partially correct. As someone who grew up with Jewish kids, and knew a fair number of them reasonably well, I can add that Jews have two other factors going for them: a strong drive toward achievement and a strong ethnic identity. Jewish parents want their kids to be doctors, lawyers, architects, or similarly-placed professionals, and they are less interested in having football stars, popular kids, artists, or any other category of career that is not both highly-paid and highly-respected. On top of this, they recognize that Machiavellian/Realpolitik truth that “every group acts in its own self-interest alone,” and so they see other groups as competition and so engage in game playing, favoring their own group through nepotism and self-promotion while suppressing other groups and endorsing ideologies that make them seem blameless, such as Leftism.
While white kids are more fascinated by a whole experience, such as enjoying life, Jewish kids are more focused on material success. Both approaches have their benefits. You do not get the “Aryan” style outlook, which attempts to make life excellent and thus creates many hopeful and creative things, by emphasizing the limited and narrow course of the material. On the other side, white kids could do better by not being so focused on sports, popularity, and emotional drama like art and Leftist politics.
While his general approach is correct, it is not complete, nor does it explore its own implications. Peterson — who attributes high rates of Jewish participation in Leftism to their high openness — would do well to pay attention to (Jewish) psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who points out the differences between the values systems of Leftists and Rightists:
Haidt (pronounced like “height”) made his name arguing that intuition, not reason, drives moral judgments. People are more like lawyers building a case for their gut feelings than judges reasoning toward truth.
…Building on ideas from the anthropologist Richard Shweder, Haidt and his colleagues synthesize anthropology, evolutionary theory, and psychology to propose six innate moral foundations:
- authority/subversion, and
…Liberals jack up care, followed by fairness and liberty. They rarely value loyalty and authority. Conservatives dial up all six.
If we separate the two views, we can see that the three moral foundations that Leftists enjoy are fundamentally defensive: freedom from harm, equal treatment, and the ability to do whatever they want without being marked down for it on the social frame.
So perhaps what Peterson sees as “openness” leading to Jewish tendencies (generally) toward Leftism is something else, and something that is not specific to Jews at all, but to their position in the West. In fact, it relates entirely to their perspective as a minority group, which is a position in which one always fears the majority and consequently adopts a defensive outlook.
MacDonald has a point in that, as part of the diaspora, Jewish expatriates developed a philosophy that enabled them to survive. This involved game-playing: advance selves through discipline and nepotism, demote others by encouraging them to pursue flights of fancy, and defend selves by assuming the role of “savior of the people” so that they would not be attacked for their relatively high socioeconomic position and disproportionate participation in jobs that do not involve getting your hands dirty.
In addition, the Jewish people suffer under certain genetic effects related to their mixed-race status, probably a result of having become a major trade hub and thus incorporating Asian, Berber, Turkic, and possibly Ethiopian blood into their gene pool. Being mixed-race is a schizoid affair since natural instincts are not consistent, and instead people tend to be neurotic, or confused about their intent and thus flitting from one fascination to another almost at random.
However, the root of the pathology that MacDonald and Peterson are debating is diversity itself. A minority group will game-play in order to survive, and in doing so, will become nepotistic and relentlessly self-advancing. We see the same thing among other high-IQ immigrant groups, like Chinese and Koreans, who become very quickly dominant in any communities they encounter. Or even the Arab groups in the southern Detroit area. Diversity makes minorities foes of the majority, and also paranoid enough to be more aggressive about acquiring material wealth and power than the majority is.
With that in mind, we can stop worrying about which ethnic groups are good or bad and start realizing that the presence of any ethnic groups other than our own is fatal for our civilization. First, we will be displaced by newcomers selected for aggressive desire for material power; second, our civilization will tear itself apart through distrust and internal conflict; finally, we will be conquered and/or outbred and cease entirely to exist.
Anti-Semitism on the other hand presents a problem. It is factually incorrect; all civilizations perish by lower-caste revolt, and ours is no exception, which means that this problem would occur without Jews and, even if we killed all Jews tomorrow, our problem would still exist. It is misleading, which will cause us to attack a false or at least minor problem and ignore the big problem that is the cause of most of our woes. It also leads, dangerously, toward demonizing a group of people which will in turn lead to violence against them. Once we are done with the murders, and our problems remain, we will be exhausted and promptly fall back into the same decay, thoroughly defeating ourselves with no one to blame but our own stupidity.
Jews, on some level, recognize that diversity will destroy them too. In another few generations, outbreeding will essentially deplete Jewish numbers to the point of no return. The biggest threat to Jews is not enmity, but acceptance, which leads to diversity destroying them as surely as it will any other population:
THE GOOD NEWS is that American Jews–as individuals–have never been more secure, more accepted, more affluent, and less victimized by discrimination or anti-Semitism. The bad news is that American Jews–as a people–have never been in greater danger of disappearing through assimilation, intermarriage, and low birthrates. The even worse news is that our very success as individuals contributes to our vulnerability as a people.
…Jews have faced dangers in the past, but this time we may be unprepared to confront the newest threat to our survival as a people, because its principal cause is our own success as individuals. Our long history of victimization has prepared us to defend against those who would destroy us out of hatred; indeed, our history has forged a Jewish identity far too dependent on persecution and victimization by our enemies. But today’s most serious threats come not from those who would persecute us, but from those who would, without any malice, kill us with kindness–by assimilating us, marrying us, and merging with us out of respect, admiration, and even love. The continuity of the most influential Jewish community in history is at imminent risk, unless we do something dramatic now to confront the quickly changing dangers.
…As Jews and Israel become more secure against external threats, the internal threats are beginning to grow, as graphically illustrated by the recent assassination of an Israeli prime minister by a Jew, the growing conflict between fundamentalist Jews and more acculturated Jews, the increasing trends toward intermarriage and assimilation, and the decline of Jewish literacy.
He appears to have correctly noted the ongoing destruction of American Jews, at least, through intermarriage and outbreeding:
The survey suggests that intermarriage is common among Jews; 44% of all currently married Jewish respondents – and 58% of those who have married since 2005 – indicate they are married to a non-Jewish spouse.
…The new Pew Research survey finds that, overall, 56% of married Jews have a Jewish spouse, while 44% of Jewish respondents are married to a non-Jew. Among Jews by religion who are married, 64% have a Jewish spouse and 36% have a non-Jewish spouse. By comparison, Jews of no religion are much more likely to be in mixed marriages; just 21% of married Jews of no religion are married to a Jewish spouse, while 79% are married to a non-Jewish spouse.
…Among respondents whose current, intact marriage took place in 2005 or later, 58% have a non-Jewish spouse. A similar number of those who got married between 2000 and 2004 are also in mixed marriages, as are 55% of those who got married in the late 1990s.
If you substituted the words “Jewish” and “Jew” for “white” above, these documents would read like something published the Alt Right. The same force that threatens us — diversity, emerging from egalitarianism, pluralism, and democracy — also threatens to eliminate Jewish people. It is typical for threatened groups to attack each other because it is easier than solving the bigger problem, but it leads to everybody losing, when like any game-player, we want to win.
Peterson says nothing untrue but the problem is bigger than he reveals. Jews are not our problem, but neither will libertarianism and the resulting inevitable diversity solve it, which is why the Alt Right has taken over from libertarian-derived moments as the forefront of resistance to the Leftist regime that rules us. Our future is one of hierarchy and strong cultural values, not “muh freedom” and civic nationalism.
However, for us to inherit that future, we must become more than the people of the plausible option; we must become excellent like the society we wish to create. We cannot indulge in scapegoating or other illogical activity. For this reason, I am glad to see Dr. Peterson helping put “the Jewish Question” to rest.