January 13, 2010

David Brooks: The Tel Aviv Cluster

Back in November, I responded to a book review in the WSJ that began:
In "Start-Up Nation," Dan Senor and Saul Singer document Israel's economic dynamism—especially in the realm of advanced technology—and try to account for the country's extraordinary success.

with
Lemme think about this one. What could account for Israel's extraordinary economic dynamism in the realm of advanced technology ... hmmmhmmm ... No, I'm drawing a complete blank ... I guess I'll have to buy the book to find out what the answer could possibly be.

One advantage of David Brooks being a covert member of the Steveosphere is that it increases the sophistication of public discourse. Brooks doesn't want to get laughed at by me for being oblivious to the obvious, so, when he writes about Start-Up Nation in the NYT, he immediately goes there: Israel is full of Jews.

Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.

In his book, “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement,” Steven L. Pease lists some of the explanations people have given for this record of achievement. The Jewish faith encourages a belief in progress and personal accountability. It is learning-based, not rite-based.

Most Jews gave up or were forced to give up farming in the Middle Ages; their descendants have been living off of their wits ever since. They have often migrated, with a migrant’s ambition and drive. They have congregated around global crossroads and have benefited from the creative tension endemic in such places.

No single explanation can account for the record of Jewish achievement.

Brooks is perfectly aware that he hasn't mentioned the higher average IQ among Ashkenazi Jews or the Cochran-Harpending theory of how it evolved. He's not going to mention that, but then he's not going to deny it either and risk getting roasted by the counter-intelligentsia whose views he respects in private (but not in public). So he puts in that last sentence that can be read as admitting to you and me that he's not giving the full story.

Duly noted.

The rest of the article is pretty good except Brooks, as a Zionist and a pro-capitalist, feels compelled to make hazy just how anti-capitalist Zionism was during its heroic age:

The odd thing is that Israel has not traditionally been strongest where the Jews in the Diaspora were strongest. Instead of research and commerce, Israelis were forced to devote their energies to fighting and politics.

"Forced" is not exactly the right word: the early Zionists chose to make their children farmers and soldiers out of a desire for Israel to be "a normal country," rather than one that lives on wits and chutzpah.

Brooks is putting forward a much more toned down version of his 2002 Weekly Standard article arguing that European don't like Ariel Sharon's Israel because the Jewish State is "bourgeois" and Europeans suffer from "bourgeoisophobia."

I responded at the time:

I think, though, David is just using the word "bourgeois" here to mean "good," rather than what it actually means. Sharon, himself, would be offended by being called bourgeois. He sees himself as the embodiment of more ancient virtues: he entitled his autobiography Warrior, not Businessman. The entire Zionist project was distinctly antibourgeois. It was heroic, romantic, anti-capitalist, socialist, collectivist, risky, nationalist, militarist, agriculturalist, trade unionist, anti-individualist, ethnocentrist, feminist, myth-driven, and on and on. If the Zionists had wanted to be bourgeois, they could have made a lot more money by moving virtually anywhere else in the world, or even by buying Baja California from Mexico. The Zionists tried to de-bourgeoisify Jews by creating a national economy in which Jews would hold all the jobs, including farmer and soldier, rather than just the bourgeois middle-man-minority jobs at which they made much money, but also elicited dangerous resentment from other peoples.

From an ideological standpoint, it's more than a little strange that the mouthpieces of the American big business Right in America are so attached to this offshoot of the 19th Century European romantic nationalist Left. The neoconservatives should be complimented for rising above narrow doctrinaire prejudices to warmly embrace a country founded on principles they oppose. Ideological purity isn't everything.

I suspect Brooks doesn't want to get hammered like that again, so he's calmed down his argument a lot:

Milton Friedman used to joke that Israel disproved every Jewish stereotype. People used to think Jews were good cooks, good economic managers and bad soldiers; Israel proved them wrong.

But that has changed. Benjamin Netanyahu's economic reforms, the arrival of a million Russian immigrants and the stagnation of the peace process have produced a historic shift. The most resourceful Israelis are going into technology and commerce, not politics. This has had a desultory effect on the nation’s public life, but an invigorating one on its economy.

... As Dan Senor and Saul Singer write in “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,” Israel now has a classic innovation cluster, a place where tech obsessives work in close proximity and feed off each other’s ideas....

But then he goes off track briefly into his old Zionist Capitalist dreamworld:
Israel’s technological success is the fruition of the Zionist dream. The country was not founded so stray settlers could sit among thousands of angry Palestinians in Hebron. It was founded so Jews would have a safe place to come together and create things for the world.

Uh, I strongly doubt that the Zionists founders had a pro-free trade globalist economic ideology. My understanding was that Israel was founded so that Jews could have their own nation-state and provide for themselves.
..But it’s more likely that Israel’s economic leap forward will widen the gap between it and its neighbors. All the countries in the region talk about encouraging innovation. Some oil-rich states spend billions trying to build science centers. But places like Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv are created by a confluence of cultural forces, not money. The surrounding nations do not have the tradition of free intellectual exchange and technical creativity.

For example, between 1980 and 2000, Egyptians registered 77 patents in the U.S. Saudis registered 171. Israelis registered 7,652.

The tech boom also creates a new vulnerability. As Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic has argued, these innovators are the most mobile people on earth. To destroy Israel’s economy, Iran doesn't actually have to lob a nuclear weapon into the country. It just has to foment enough instability so the entrepreneurs decide they had better move to Palo Alto, where many of them already have contacts and homes. American Jews used to keep a foothold in Israel in case things got bad here. Now Israelis keep a foothold in the U.S.

During a decade of grim foreboding, Israel has become an astonishing success story, but also a highly mobile one.

Of course, all the investment in delicate high tech labs and fabs in Tel Aviv suggests that Israelis themselves aren't talking all the scare talk about Iran dropping a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv as seriously as Israel's advocates in the U.S. are taking it.

An awareness of Zionist history raises a warning flag that Brooks doesn't notice: the anti-capitalist Zionist project of converting merchants and financiers into farmers was undertaken in part because of the belief that Jews were hated by peasants for being so good at capitalism. Therefore, we Jews will stop being capitalists and be farmers ourselves. Who doesn't like a farmer?

Unfortunately, this just got Jewish farmers (and Jewish soldiers) involved in an endless Malthusian struggle in the West Bank with Palestinian farmers over land. So, opinion among Jews has now turned 180 degrees: Everybody hates us because we're farmers and soldiers. Let's be capitalists instead. Who doesn't like a capitalist?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

70 comments:

mcat said...

This kills me. Brooks-and-Sailer Show is like a reverse Marx Brothers routine with the 'straight' Jewish guy getting his pants pulled down by the pranksterish gentile guy.

Anonymous said...

It's natural that ethnic Jews should be proud of Israel much like other ethnics in the US are proud of their mother countries.

However, I find it amusing how the pro-Israel type has to walk a fine line between bragging and begging.

On one hand, Israel is a vibrant economy that is head and shoulders above its dim-witted neighbors. On the other hand, poor little Israel needs the US to give them free access to our markets, break up the Arab boycott, provide government loan guarantees and $3 billion in direct aid per year.

On the one hand, Israel has the greatest military in history. On the other hand, poor little Israel needs the US to attack Iran and take the blowback.

While acknowledging the prowess of the Ashkenazi Jews, I don't think Israel would last long if it weren't for the US, despite all the praise Brooks and others heap upon her.

PS. In regards to all the Nobel Prizes you mention, are they won by Jews of all backgrounds, or is it overwhelming the Ashkenazi?

Reactionary said...

American Jews used to keep a foothold in Israel in case things got bad here. Now Israelis keep a foothold in the U.S.

Yes, it's a good thing those bad old days are over! You just never knew when the Southerners would start buying Zyklon B and retrofitting cattle cars.

John Seiler said...

The biggest factor was that, in the early 1990s, Israel enacted Reaganesque income tax cuts, which worked to spur growth, just as such cuts did here in the 1980s. It's amazing what letting people keep more of their money to invest does for an economy. Now, in the 2010s, its a lesson America will have to re-learn.

Whiskey said...

Steve, you're ignoring the elephant in the room of Zionism: it was a reaction to the FAILURE of "bourgeoisie-ism." From the founding of the Zionist movement by Herzl, who saw in the Dreyfuss Affair evidence that turned him from assimilationist politico to one seeking separation, to the Holocaust, there has been no experience OUTSIDE AMERICA where Jews have been able to live inside a non-Jewish nation and not be persecuted.

PERIOD.

Zionism is the ideology of desperation. Nothing more, nothing less.

The idea that Jews can flee to the US was (and is) a non-starter because history showed that even FDR would not let Jews into the US fleeing the Holocaust (i.e. the "voyage of the Damned") because his electoral coalition of Blacks, Hispanics, and Catholics would not allow it, and FDR feared offending Muslims in the ME.
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You also ignore that while Israel was filled with Jews, those "smart Jews" did not contribute much beyond some classical music orchestras until deregulation in the late 1980's AND the nexus of military-academia-think-tanks ala Silicon Valley and the Defense Dept. circa 1945-75. Presumably Jews did not suddenly jump 50 IQ points smarter so what changed?

Smart people are necessary but not sufficient to a knowledge-based, productive society.

Finally, both yourself and Brooks miss the main strategic point and the Weakness of the West. The City of London and Manhattan (finance), along with Zurich and perhaps Hong Kong; Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv; The I-95 corridor (defense contractors) -- all are places where lots of smart people concentrate to provide economies of scale AND connections, it's easier to walk across the street and talk to a potential partner or subcontractor to take on a new business solution.

What you don't get is that this puts all the eggs in one basket, and allows societies that are organized around the Big Man and raiding principle to suddenly attack them because technology is a commodity. Nineteenth Century London was invulnerable to the Fuzzy-Wuzzies, while the latter was not, because of the advantage of concentrated technology AND cooperation (which in fact created the technology advantage).

The concentration still creates the advantage, but leaves it vulnerable to a nuking. Why wouldn't Iran use Hezbollah to nuke Tel Aviv and other Isreali cities out of existence? They'd show Iran as the "true Muslim leader" instead of AQ. They'd intimidate Saudi Arabia into a vassal state (including greatly reduced oil production to let oil rise to say $200-$300 a barrel which is where the regime is self-sustaining in payoffs to gunmen/thugs/enforcers), and use the use of nukes (and US impotency) to take effective control of the Gulf AND Eastern Med.

For a failing regime this is the "wonder-weapon" that lets them hold onto power. The likely Israeli (or Pakistani) murder of an Iranian nuke scientist shows that threat is taken seriously (Pakistan is also threatened by Iranian nukes -- they both claim influence over massive parts of Central Asia).

Its not just Tel Aviv either. It could be Copenhagen (over cartoons, to make Europe surrender to Sharia), or Austria (over Mozart operas), or NYC (over South Park or Jews or booze or what have you) to expel the US Navy from the Gulf. The Wealth and power than concentrated amounts of connected smart people create in places like Tel Aviv (which has been rocketed for the first time by Gazans) makes it a target for those oriented on the hyper-gangster/Big Man/District 9/Charles Taylor model, the latter empowered by cheap, commodity technology.

Stir the Pot said...

A look at the comments section of this article, sorted by READERS' RECOMMENDATIONS,says it all and then some.

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/opinion/12brooks.html?sort=recommended

The comments are over 10 to 1 about Jewish nepotism, US foreign aid buying Israeli wealth, double standards, Zionism, Israeli illegitimacy, etc.

kurt9 said...

It just means that Israel is starting to become the kind of country, like an East Asian economic success story, that I can relate to. I have never understood the anti-free market romantic world-view. This world-view has not invented anything or contributed anything of substance to the improvement of mankind. If anything, the Romantics have often gotten in the way of innovators and others who have tried to create REAL value and real options.

The whole romantic world-view is utterly worthless. The "romantics" should go back into the sewers that they came out of.

Anonymous said...

"American Jews used to keep a foothold in Israel in case things got bad here."

Do any other Americans find this insulting?

Both commentators fail to mention the $10 billion in assets that the US sends Israel for free every year.

TGGP said...

Did either of you distinguish between Ashkenazi, Sephardic & Mizrahi Jews? I've heard it said that the Ashkenazim lean Labor and control the government while the Sephardics lean Likud (contrary to some lefties who think they should naturally form common ground with Arabs/Muslims) and control the private sector, somewhat analogous to the Afrikaaners & English of South Africa.

Zionism in its origin was quite leftist (and the American right thought very little of it), but that seems like a long time ago. The left in Israel today is said to be in shambles.

At my blog the surprisingly poor economic performance of Israel & Armenia was discussed here.

Anonymous said...

"Forced" is not exactly the right word: the early Zionists chose to make their children farmers and soldiers out of a desire for Israel to be "a normal country," rather than one that lives on wits and chutzpah.




Sorry, but that's not the case. Israel's problem was (and still is to some extent) that Jews are commited statists who set up Israel as some sort of socialist utopia.

Jews in America still suffer from this same affliction.

Anonymous said...

Good one, Steve. This is what I come here for. Just facts, no spin. Israel is the most interesting and least-(rationally)-discussed topic of our time. About as close to an experimental study in human populations as you will find.

Anonymous said...

Sailer-bate:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/nyregion/14fire.html?hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/nyregion/14fire.html?hp

Anonymous said...

Judge Says City Discriminated With Intent Against Firefighters

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're generally not very egotistical, when you go off against well-known writers though you occasionally go off the rails. You regularly speak of Gladwell, Brooks and other NYT writers as being obsessed with you, secretly reading you and clutching their blankees close lest you show them to be fools. I don't believe that this reflects reality. Yes, your blog is worth ten times more than their oeuvre but do you seriously think that Thomas Friedman sits at home obsessing over you? Or that David Brooks spends the small hours of the night secretly plumbing isteve for Wisdom and Truth?

These guys have an awesomely sweet sinecure where they get to fart into the wind, have myriads bow before their milquetoast methane and get paid tremendous amounts of money for it. Sure, all things being equal they'd prefer that you call their secretaries to request an appointment to suck their rooster and surely they get momentarily annoyed when some idiot forwards them a blog post of yours that describes them as a kindergarten satan, but generally I'm pretty sure they really don't think of you at all and don't obsess over your blog either.

I'm not sure that I understand why you get so crazy-eyed when talking about these guys. Jealousy? sure. Heck, I'd be jealous as hell if I were in your shoes. You have more knowledge, wit, analytical ability and honesty than these guys do yet you have to beg for pennies while these guys jet around the globe on chartered planes! Yep, I'd be jealous. But it surprises me that you not only are so jealous, despite generally not being very egomaniacal, but are also so unashamed to let it fly free in so raw and unhinged a state that you imagine David Brooks thinking closely about your potential opinion as he chooses what particular words to use for his piece!

Oh - and overall a pretty good piece. Nothing great, but in these circles any non-neoconservative piece about Jews that manages to also skirt majorityrightsism is a cause for celebration. Hallelujah! an article about Jews that doesn't describe them as either a magical folk or as a virus. it's a miracle...

Whiskey said...

Somewhat OT, the Obama Administration is using the "Temporary Protected Status" to admit Haitan refugees into the US.

How that plays out in particularly, Florida where they will land with Whites and Cubans vs. Blacks and Haitans for political, social, cultural, and particularly policy/spending battles is probably net negative for Dems short-term. But if Obama can "instantly grant citizenship" to Haitans, then he can flip a battleground state to permanent Democratic, and also Majority Black.

Just think (imagine you are Obama). If you make Florida a Black Majority State, the first ever in the US, that's a "Historic Accomplishment."

However, using some quick and dirty math off Wikipedia (I know, not very accurate), it would seem that Florida is 18% Hispanic (most of that Cubans) or 2.88 million, 16% Black (2.56 million), and 66% White (10.56 million) out of a population of 16 million or so. Haiti's total CIA World Factbook population is only 9 million. Thus even if Obama imported ALL of Haiti into Florida and made them instant citizens, he'd still be about a million short, assuming Cubans + Whites bloc vote for goodies, spending, crime enforcement, the like. As a practical matter he won't get all of Haiti anyway.

I'm sure he will try, Obama does not strike me as numerate or savvy enough to see the dangers for himself (picking a fight in Florida over "making Florida Black majority") in a deep and permanent recession.
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Sorry for the OT. My guess is that Israel has not nuked Iran first because they are hoping/betting on the Iranian revolutionaries. They don't need or expect to be friends with a new regime, just not wiped out by them.

The current one pretty much has to wipe out Israel -- they've threatened it too many times to back down, and need to make examples to cow the Saudis into oil cuts to keep the money flowing to their militia-secret police.

The example of the Soviets, undone by the Saudis pumping like crazy and crashing oil prices, to the point where the regime could not keep up the payments to Honecker and Ceaucescu, let alone their own guys, must weigh on their mind. Don't forget they've got Hezbollah and Hamas to pay too. The money has to come from somewhere and exports of carpets and pistachios won't cut it.

Anonymous said...

Sturdy burgers can be warriors too.

A Faustian Burg was more Marx's god than most peoples, but some of the pioneer Zionists might have him beat.

Anonymous said...

My reaction wasn't that it was because Israel was full of Jews but rather than it had enormous financial support from the US government.

Tino said...

"Of course, all the investment in delicate high tech labs and fabs in Tel Aviv suggests that Israelis themselves aren't talking all the scare talk about Iran dropping a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv as seriously as Israel's advocates in the U.S. are taking it.

Very good point. I always say that the fact that the Tel Aviv stock market is up 66% during the last 5 years is an indication that Iran nuke threat is small (unless the market is uber-rational and anticipated this years ago, or completely short sighted and ignoring it altogether).

Anonymous said...

I think that they should have bought Baja California.

In regards to the delicate fabs; those facilities become obsolete pretty quickly. Building one in Tel Aviv reflects confidence that it won't get nuked in the next three or four years; but a decade from now is a much murkier horizon.

And consider that Silicon Valley is located on the San Andreas Fault.

~ Risto

Anonymous said...

"American Jews used to keep a foothold in Israel in case things got bad here. Now Israelis keep a foothold in the U.S."

Gee, I wish *I* had a spare country.

Anonymous said...

Can one of the insiders bring me up to speed on how Steve knows Brooks is a reader?

Anonymous said...

Some years ago I read a column in Haaretz or some such publication in which the author lamented that Israelis were criticized and their accomplishments diminished by the fact that they are a welfare case heavily dependent on foreign aid and "Holocaust reparations" nearly 60 years after independence.

The author suggested that Israelis should "invite" the top 100 universities and companies in America to "partner" with Israeli universities and companies, and that it would be helpful if readers contacted "their" (Israelis have US congressmen?) congressmen to make this happen. I see some indication that this plan has come to fruition.

With respect to software development (my field) I'm just not seeing much coming out of Israel, nor am I much impressed with Jews as programmers. Yeah, I know, the Google guys were Jewish, and that brings up another point: success in IT depends much on the amount of media hype a product can generate, and of course how much money a startup can raise.

Jews, being "over represented" in the media and in finance and being a highly tribal people, would seem to have a great advantage over non-Jews in this regard. Facebook, Myspace, and other (Jewish) examples come to mind: not exactly groundbreaking technologies which were helped immensely by media hype.

Anonymous said...

Off-Topic:

"Half of the country's mortgages in default are held by blacks."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122516602

(Yes, NPR.)

Andrew Gilbert said...

Steve, your Zionist history is seriously lacking. Can you site an early Zionist arguing that Jews should become farmers in Palestine because everyone loves farmers? The kibbutzniks didn’t become farmers because Eastern European peasants hated Jewish capitalists. They were socialists who believed in reclaiming the land and in the value of labor.

They wanted to create a new kind of Jew, who could fight, farm, and live free from pogroms. This was decades before Israel took over the West Bank. By 1967 the kibbutz movement was already starting to wane. Israelis have embraced capitalism because they’re good at it, and they don’t have natural resources to trade besides, as you state, what they create with their intellectual prowess. Your fixation with Jews would be easier to stomach if you actually made a sympathetic attempt to understand the history.

Anonymous said...

OT. Racist Discrimination, Not In Tel Aviv, of course.

Anonymous said...

Steve---

you need to stop moderating comments.

yes, some of them are abusive, so what!???

i want to know how people are reacting! even if they go ape-poop

remember said...

"Can you site an early Zionist arguing that Jews should become farmers in Palestine because everyone loves farmers? The kibbutzniks didn’t become farmers because Eastern European peasants hated Jewish capitalists. They were socialists who believed in reclaiming the land and in the value of labor."

Zionism was a form of national socialism or a democratic fascism. Zionism embraced something more than leftist 'Enlightenment' ideals. It was into Kultur and 'blood and soil'. Zionism was partly a reaction against gentile hostility but also against gentile hospitality. Some Jews feared too much assimiliation would lead to loss of Jewish identity. Thus, many Jews who prospered in gentile lands supported the Zionist enterprise.

Farming was attractive to some Zionists because they wanted to be rid of the image of the money grubbing Jewish middleman who lives off the labor of other people. They wanted Jewishness to be associated with 'honest labor'.

Zionist socialism was also a reaction to Soviet communism. Jews had become disillusioned with the USSR by the 40s and thought they should show the world what REAL socialism--one with a human face--could be like.

"They wanted to create a new kind of Jew, who could fight, farm, and live free from pogroms. This was decades before Israel took over the West Bank."

The image of the weakling Jew notwithstanding, the problem was never that Jews couldn't fight. Problem was they were vastly outnumbered. Jewish involvement in Soviet communism had shown that Jews could be tough, rough, ruthless, and murderous. In anti-Jewish pogroms, thousands of Jews had been terrorized periodically. The communist system that radical leftist Jews helped erect murdered nearly 20 million people in a single decade. It's said 50,000 churches were destroyed in the USSR. Many gulags were headed by 'tough Jews'. This was many times more horrific than anti-Jewish pogroms under the Czars.

"By 1967 the kibbutz movement was already starting to wane. Israelis have embraced capitalism because they’re good at it, and they don’t have natural resources to trade besides, as you state, what they create with their intellectual prowess."

As long as the kubbutz movement was voluntary, no problem. But, the communist movements that leftist Jews supported in Eastern Europe didn't give the people a choice in the matter.

"Your fixation with Jews would be easier to stomach if you actually made a sympathetic attempt to understand the history."

Why can't we be 'fixated' with Jews? Isn't it only natural to be 'fixated' with people with so much power, influence, and wealth? Don't you believe in speaking truth to power? If Steve were fixated with Nepalese or Sri Lankans, that would indeed be weird. But, how can any sane person not be 'fixated' with Jews? Weren't Jews fixated with Germans in the 30s? Haven't Jews been fixated with Poland in the post-war era for its lingering 'antisemitism'? Aren't Jews fixated with Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians? And with Sarah Palin and white conservative Christians and white nationalists? Just look at ACLU and SPLC's non-stop venom against Vdare. Indeed, what is really odd is that so many gentile Americans are NOT 'fixated' with Jews. But then, they've been told that being critical of Jews is 'crypto-Nazi' or 'antisemitic'.

And, how about Jews try to understand and sympathize with non-Jews as to why so many gentiles don't really trust or like Jews. Try to sympathize with the dispossessed Palestinians. Try to sympathize with Ukrainians who suffered a tragedy comparable to the Holocaust thanks to Stalin and his Jewish henchmen. Try to understand why we white gentiles are pissed at Jews. We supported Jews and Israel a 100% in the last 40 yrs, yet what did Jews do but give us open borders, gay agenda, anti-white propaganda, and Barack Obama. TRY TO UNDERSTAND!!!

Anonymous said...

It's quite a bit more than 10 billion. What is the cost of the European military establishment ? Ramstein and Aviono, and the fleets in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf ? And two armies in two hot wars. Yes, part of it is for oil. But a substantial part of it is to keep Israel safe.
And who does this ? It is White America. I mean, if Israel needs F16 fighters, or an Army to fight their enemies, or reloads of bombs after the Lebanon or Gaza wars, who do they go to ? To Sharpton ? To La Raza ? Get real.
What irritates me is we get no respect for this, and no thanks. Not even one word of thanks at all, ever - that I've heard, and I'm old.

Pseudothyrum said...

Israel is actually not a very successful or particularly distinguished country, especially considering that many nations have been funneling Israel billions per year (without which the Israeli economy would collapse) plus ultra-rich diaspora Jews also send unknown billions per year to Israel similar to the way Hispanics in the USA send back billions to their families back in Latin America -- Israel also recieves loads of technology and military assistance from the USA and various European nations.

After 2 or more generations of living in Israel it seems that the average IQ of Jews living there becomes lower than diaspora Jews as the Jews adjust to being another normal/rooted group.

Looking at the evidence, it seems that Jews almost have to live in a diaspora situation in order to be more successful than average because when millions of Jews live amongst themselves they all turn out to be, well, rather average. And this is exactly what the Zionist goal was - to turn diaspora Jewry in to just another average settled ethnic group permanently rooted in a single land.

Leo said...

Whiskey, if you knew anything about economics, you'd know that the danger in concentration is not simply being more logistically vulnerable (really mostly office buildings and some talent; not as much as you're cracking it up to be) to attacks by your Eternal Bogeymen i.e. Muslims/Arabs.

The bigger danger, especially in the long run, of concentration is that productivity gains become increasingly concentrated at the top at the expense of wages/salaries. This leads to a situation where basically the economy's way of planning for the future (investing) becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands in the capital markets. Average individuals end up not making and without any real "investments" to speak of, and become saddled with huge debts.

What you end up having in an ostensibly "free-market" economy is essentially the same problem found in socialist, centrally planned economies (see the "socialist calculation debate"). You have an economic calculation problem. No matter how smart these guys with concentrated power and wealth are, they simply can't effectively plan for such a large, dynamic system like a massive economy. Not better than a more decentralized decision process, anyway.

And this is what we've had in the US since, oh, about 1974. There's been no income growth in the US since 1974 - median per capita income today is the same as it was then while there's been torrential capital accumulation / concentration and the capital markets have enjoyed a nearly 30 year run of unbridled expansion. And this mismanagement and miscalculation is pretty evident to everybody, especially these days.

Also, this ties in with immigration. A major component of capturing productivity gains that would normally be shared through rising wages/salaries is by keeping wages/salaries low or falling, which immigration of course does by increasing the supply of labor.

Uncle Peregrine said...

"If Steve were fixated with Nepalese or Sri Lankans, that would indeed be weird."

Steve is fixated with the "tiny but fierce" Andaman Islanders.

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve is fixated upon the 'tiny but fierce' Andaman Islanders."

Indeed.

But if there were some great golf courses in the Andaman Islands, then you'd really never hear the end of it from me.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

I wonder if SWPL open borders neconon David Brooks would ever write a similar column where he replaced the term "Jew" with "white" (and the relevant percentages) in defense of the values of West and the survival of white nations as white nations.

Don't think so.

there has been no experience OUTSIDE AMERICA where Jews have been able to live inside a non-Jewish nation and not be persecuted. PERIOD.

Gee, so you're admitting that Jews haven't been persecuted in America? I thought it was horrible persecution the Jews were usffering in America, what with owning or runnign much of the media, controlling 13% of the Senate, 8% of the House, 22% of the Supreme Court, 25%+ of Bill Clinton's (and probably Barack Obama's) top advisers.

But once upon a time it was terrible for Jews in America. Why granddad Leonard couldn't get into Harvard - an insitution founded by a Christian religious denomination, no less!

But of course Jews haven't been persecuted in Canada, or in Mexico, or in Australia, or in Britain since 1290, or in quite a few other countries, I'm sure.

even FDR would not let Jews into the US fleeing the Holocaust (i.e. the "voyage of the Damned")

Oh, God, Whiskey, get over it. The Jews on that boat weren't "fleeing the Holocaust" because it hadn't started yet. The folks on that "voyage of the damned" all found refuge in countries outside of Germany. The real problem was that Germany later invaded those countries. Wonder how many of them, after getting settled in their new homes, decided to enlist in the military. Because they just knew that Germany was coming, didn't they?

Maybe instead of running Jews could've used their ability to see the future (which you apparently think mere goys should've possessed) to convince European leaders to take on Germany before it became too big for its britches.

Anonymous said...

Good for them. They are doing so well, then why the US gives them Billions of dollars every year?

Statsaholic said...

"Can one of the insiders bring me up to speed on how Steve knows Brooks is a reader?"

Brooks mentioned Steve in an article about the "Natalism Movement".

"You can see surprising political correlations. As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates."
-David Brooks, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html

Toasty Magma said...

Pulitzer Prize = left wing biased

Nobel Prize = left wing biased

Academy Award = left wing biased

Apart from the hard science Nobel awards: These organizations are arguably a bunch of left wing liberals handing out awards to other people who embrace the requisite left wing value system.

Jews are famously biased to the left side of the political spectrum and they will show up in disproportionate numbers in left wing social hierarchies such as Nobel etc.

Steve Sailer said...

But you get the same or more for the three hard science Nobels.

Hmm Magma said...

"_________ hate us, because _______"

Jews are constantly filling in the blanks in the above statement, while at the same time they seem to be oblivious to the fact that many other groups on this planet have been persecuted on all sides.

Kurds?

Armenians?

Black diaspora Africans?

Poles?

Tibetans?

Diaspora Chinese?

Various Mideast Christian sects?

Magma Caliente said...

>>>>>But you get the same or more for the three hard science Nobels.

Should I then logically deduce, in a thought experiment from a parallel universe, that politically non-biased Nobel Prizes, Academy Awards and Pulitzer Prizes would still be disproportionately awarded to Jews?

How about in a bizarro world where anti-liberal values reigned supreme among the voters of these award organizations? Jews would then still overachieve? Like they do in the anti-liberal U.S. military?

After further thought: Irrespective of Jewish achievement in the sciences, I regret using the term "hard science" at all, and I deeply regret reflexively giving the benefit of the doubt to the people at Nobel. As if there there could be any non-political decisions made there. The scientific profession worldwide is a heated political environment of groupthink and extreme peer pressure. That is the long history. The global warming farce is just the latest sordid chapter.

I will stand by my original point: In our modern world a lot of liberal organizations (pretending to represent the mainstream) are handing out awards to liberals, and Jews, being very liberal, likely benefit.

Kijkfaas McGee said...

SS writes: '"Forced" is not exactly the right word: the early Zionists chose to make their children farmers and soldiers out of a desire for Israel to be "a normal country"....'

This overlooks the fact that Zionism required a kind of Tolstoyan ideology to motivate the smartest people in the world to become dirt-diggers. So 'forced' is not too far off the mark. Zionism as a movement was compelled. Pioneers had to be motivated somehow. There was a considerable functional necessity in the emergence of Zionism-labour ideology.

The commentator who noted that the US was the only country in the world where Jews could exist as such is a bit simplistic. Jews managed alright throughout Britain and its empire (Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand (which has had several Jewish PMs)), as well as Italy, France, Denmark, and even 19C Germany.

neil craig said...

The willingness of the American libertarians to support socialist founded Israel is a strong rthi8cal point in their favour. Even more remarkable is that they were one of the few groups in western countries to support Milosevic & the Yugoslavs even though he was a proud socialist.

The "left" on the other hand were led by the nose by all the media hype & enthusiastically supported people who were (ex-)Nazis still openly committed to racial genocide simply because the media sold the ex-Nazis as the white hats.

Robert said...

I'm sorry Steve, but farming is a capitalist pursuit! Were Thomas Jefferson and George Washington socialists? You should clarify that farming is only socialist when it is done on a commune or a collectivist kibbutz.

David said...

>The current [Iranian government] pretty much has to wipe out Israel -- they've threatened it too many times<

They have never threatened it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not downing Jewish accomplishment, but there is a political dimension to even the hard science Nobel Prizes. Laureates are nominated by previous laureates and certain selected other scientists(i.e. a group in which Jews are heavily represented). for example, Einstein nominated Wolfgang Pauli. The pro Nazi physicist Lenard nominated fellow Nazi and Einstein critic Gericke(sp?) who subsequently won the prize.

It has been alleged that the British astronomer Hoyle was never awarded the prize because he was a creationist. He tried to prove that the Archaeopteryx in the British museum was a hoax! It has been alleged that the American scientist Dicke was denied the prize because he was a critic of general relativity. Check out the "Nobel Controversies" page on Wikipedia for many more examples.

Anonymous said...

jews make up 21% of the ivies..
white christian males are about 10% at harvard

you steve honestly believe that has nothing to do w/ ethinic nepotism?!

Big bill said...

Herzl was quite clear: if Jews persisted in being "a nation apart" they needed their own country and could not expect other nations (i.e. France) to tolerate their social/cultural meddling. If they stuck around in France, they needed to assimilate.

I would agree.

So did Ariel Sharon and other sabras who lost (and lose) little sleep over soi-disant Jews who whine about life in the Diaspora and how mean The Nations are.

The painful truth that you cannot hang onto a homeland elsewhere and expect to keep the country you are currently in has been a continuing Jewish theme for generations now. Mencken had some pointed comments. In fact that is why most Jews opposed an Official Jewish Homelnd for quite a while. You can see tangible evidence of this in the multiple drafts of the Balfour Declaration that were circulated worldwide to the entire Jewish Nation to get their collective consent.

The Jews that were happier living in Christian countries making a decent buck off the goyim insisted that the Balfour Declaration say they had a perfect right to stay right where they were in the Diaspora rather than "rising up" (making "aliyah") from lowly degrading gentile lands and joining the rest of the Jewish Nation right there in the Promised Land.

God bless 'em, I know a bunch of cool Israelis who are as brash, coarse, arrogant, race loyal and patriotic as they come. Like many if not most Israeli Jews, I dont like the idea of my people mongrelizing with other peoples. And like many if not most Israelis I don't have much interest or concern for the whiney over-educated Jews living in the West. As one Israeli Jew told me, "if they don't want to be Jews in Israel, they ought to stay in America and become Americans."

Selah.

If you go to the ZOA website you ca

Anonymous said...

Your fixation with Jews would be easier to stomach...

This is really funny because no people are as fixated about Jewishness as the Jews themselves. It's not enough for Jews to be Jews but remind all of us that they are Jews. Consider the remembrance or coverage of Holocaust, Israel, and Jewish issues in the media.

Indeed, Jews want us to be fixated with them and Israel BUT ONLY IN A POSITIVE WAY. Jews don't mind if we obsess about Jews 24/7 as long as we praise, love, hug, and worship them.

But, if you were to fixate on Jews in a negative way, then Jews accuse you of having a sick, evil, paranoid, authoritarian, and crypto-fascist mentality.

Meanwhile Jews fixate 24/7about "Islamofascism" and Iran's non-existent nuclear threat. Indeed, the nuclear weapons issue a perfect metaphor of how Jews want us to see the world. We are not supposed to notice that Israelis have over a 100 nuclear warheads but we are supposed to panic about nukes that Iran doesn't have but will have--according to AIPAC fantasies.

J said...

American economic assistance to Israel is negligible and we have just told Obama that we no longer need American loan guarantees. We do receive about 2 Billion dollars American military assistance which must be spent buying American weapons. We thank American good will, but 2 billion is not vital for Israel's 200 Billion economy. For America's 13 TRILLION economy, it is pocket money. I think it is would be true to say that Israel thirsts more for America's friendship than for its money. We have been unable to make friends with our savage neighbors.

josh said...

Theyre rich...now we can stop giving them all of our money???

Anonymous said...

I wonder if SWPL open borders neconon David Brooks would ever write a similar column where he replaced the term "Jew" with "white" (and the relevant percentages) in defense of the values of West and the survival of white nations as white nations.

Good point. Or, would he ever replace the term "Jew" with "African" in a column about why some cultures have been so hopeless in creating or maintaining a viable and healthy modern civilization.

josh said...

"The current(Iranian regime) has to wipe out Israel..." Whiskeys dumbest statement yet. That Iran feels a need to drop nukes on America's boss?? Achmajinedad:"Boys,I just got the word. The nukes are up and ready!" Mullahs:"Bitchin'!! When do we drop 'em?" Achm:"Uhmm..what?" Mullahs:"The nukes,asswipe! Shoot em off,lets go!" Achm:"Well,uhm,aint we gonna,you know,make speeches and stuff,demand stuff,that kind of thing?" Mullahs:"Fuck THAT! We got em ,lets use em!If we dont,we'll look lousy! We dont want people laughing at us,like we're dumb,specially with the Magic 12th Imam on his way,and all. (comic Yiddish accent)Hey Moishe! Oy have ve got a bomb for you!" (laughter among the boys)...

Anonymous said...

Steve: "David Brooks [is] a covert member of the Steveosphere"

Having just seen "Harry Potter" with my kids for the ten millionth time, I can't shake the thought of Steve as the punditocracy's He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I envision a venerable bar where all conversation ceases when any pundit commits the faux pas of speaking his true name...

Everyone knows him, everyone fears him, but nobody, nobody speaks of him.

Well, I'm off. G-g-gotta wrap up m-m-my purple t-t-turban.

SWPH

WASP-Harvard-Mafia said...

"The idea that Jews can flee to the US was (and is) a non-starter because history showed that even FDR would not let Jews into the US fleeing the Holocaust (i.e. the "voyage of the Damned") because his electoral coalition of Blacks, Hispanics, and Catholics would not allow it, and FDR feared offending Muslims in the ME."

"...his electoral coalition of Blacks, Hispanics, and Catholics would not allow it, and FDR feared offending Muslims in the ME."

-----

Hispanics??

'Offending' Muslim's in the ME??

Before decolonization, which started *after* WW2, Muslim 'opinion' didn't really matter all that much.

Vintage Testy! (Don't worry man, we still love ya!)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if SWPL open borders neconon David Brooks would ever write a similar column where he replaced the term "Jew" with "white"




Now that would be racist! White supremacist even.

Jewish supremacism = good, anybody elses supremacism = bad.

Mike said...

there has been no experience OUTSIDE AMERICA where Jews have been able to live inside a non-Jewish nation and not be persecuted. PERIOD

How could Brooks spread this lie? Jews have lived in India and China without persecution for hundreds of years.

Anonymous said...

there has been no experience OUTSIDE AMERICA where Jews have been able to live inside a non-Jewish nation and not be persecuted. PERIOD

How could Brooks spread this lie? Jews have lived in India and China without persecution for hundreds of years.

And keep in mind Jews have persecuted many non-Jews through history. Just ask whites sold by Jewish slave traders in the Middle Ages. Just ask Christian peasants who had to deal with Jewish tax collectors employed by kings and noblemen. Just ask Christians who had to live under communism. Just ask the Palestinians.

Steve Sailer said...

"I regret using the term "hard science" at all, and I deeply regret reflexively giving the benefit of the doubt to the people at Nobel. As if there there could be any non-political decisions made there."

Go ask people in Hiroshima if all those Jewish physicists at Los Alamos were overrated for ethnic reasons.

Anonymous said...

Intellectual debauchery in high places! Say it isn't so! The topic reminds me of this astounding article which would seem to describe Rube Goldbergism at the US Federal Reserve:

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/01/in-defense-of-secrecy-three-prong.html

"The Fed is pulling out all stops to defend its secrets, including publishing self-serving mathematical gibberish. Please consider the St. Louis Fed article on the Social Cost of Transparency."

Anonymous said...

I just read Alex Solschenizyn's "200 Years together". Such a contrast to the "Jews being farmers" meme. The pre-communist Russian government busted its arse to get Jews to farm, hoping to turn them into law-abiding, patriotic citizens. They gave them land, implements, seed, buildings and even free labor. It never worked. Jews sold off most of the implements, ran down the buildings and sold the land, only to return to being merchants or political activists.

Outback said...

"The entire Zionist project was distinctly antibourgeois. It was heroic, romantic, anti-capitalist, socialist, collectivist, risky, nationalist, militarist, agriculturalist, trade unionist, anti-individualist, ethnocentrist, feminist, myth-driven, and on and on."

Man, that sounds like another movement I've heard about across the ocean, but one which, according to a bunch of movies, was pure evil.

Victoria said...

American economic assistance to Israel is negligible... For America's 13 TRILLION economy, it is pocket money.

Isn't this cute? I always love it when a Jew comes up with this "negligible" stuff. Would you dare to tell a wealthy person from whom you're trying to borrow money that your request is only "negligible" compared to all the money he has in the bank? Is that nerve or what? What the hell has his resources got to do with your begging? And in this case, it's the resources of individual citizens.

It's similar to what blacks like to claim. They like to compare the subsidies, the welfare, the affirmative action, the scholarships, ad nauseam, to the military budget. And then they claim, Look how little the U.S. spends on us, in comparison to what it has in its coffers.

Indeed, Jews want us to be fixated with them and Israel BUT ONLY IN A POSITIVE WAY.

So true, so true. What the heck are all those Holocaust museums about, if they're not meant to keep the goys fixated on the Eternal Jew?

We have been unable to make friends with our savage neighbors.

Gee, I wonder why. Maybe those "savages" are not so dumb.

PRCalDude said...

Do any other Americans find this insulting?

Yes, we find it insulting. I'm still trying to figure out how many Israeli nationals ended up in the birth class my wife and I are taking.

Don't they have a country of their own?

PRCalDude said...

I just read Alex Solschenizyn's "200 Years together".

Is that available in English yet, or are the WASPy publishing companies still suppressing it?

Anonymous said...

PRCalDude said...

Is that available in English yet, or are the WASPy publishing companies still suppressing it?

I read it in German. What an eye-opener! Blows holes into all the usual propaganda coming forth from the Zionist machine. Makes Whiskey look like an idiot. And it's all based on facts.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

You can see surprising political correlations. As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates.

The family values/Republican voting correlation holds true in all kinds of ways. I crunched the numbers a few years ago (the results of which I've since lost) and found that states that voted for Bush over Kerry also had higher marriage rates, and that Kerry won 8 of the 10 states (and 16 of the 19) with the highest abortion rates. Colorado and Nevada, iirc, were the only 2 states in the top 10 that went for Bush - and they both flipped to the Democrats in 2008.

And keep in mind Jews have persecuted many non-Jews through history. Just ask whites sold by Jewish slave traders in the Middle Ages.

The story of Jewish persecution (prior to the holocaust) seems to more play than it deserves. Were Jews persecuted in Europe any more than the 50% or so of the population that were serfs? They often, as the "king's men," seemed to possess more freedoms and protections than the Christians around them. They were confined to certain jobs - the best paying ones. When Jews were being persecuted, such as in the Rheinland during the First Crusade, they inevitably sought out the local nobleman or bishop for protection - who generally tried to protect them.

And above all, as with any other trait that persists through time and space, if a group is consistently persecuted by its neighbors, doesn't it suggest they themselves may be doing something to invite such persecution?

Anonymous said...

Makes Whiskey look like an idiot.

I'm sure it does. But it isn't even necessary - Whiskey's comments here speak for themselves.

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"American economic assistance to Israel is negligible and we have just told Obama that we no longer need American loan guarantees. We do receive about 2 Billion dollars American military assistance which must be spent buying American weapons. We thank American good will, but 2 billion is not vital for Israel's 200 Billion economy. For America's 13 TRILLION economy, it is pocket money. I think it is would be true to say that Israel thirsts more for America's friendship than for its money. We have been unable to make friends with our savage neighbors."

So, it sounds like Israel will now forego ANY foreign aid, at all anymore. Right?
Delightful!! Including the money to buy American weapons, right? Because as an American, I want American tax dollars spent buying American weapons that remain in America to defend America.

If Israel really wants America's friendship, not its money, then it's time for Israel to see to that the
foreign aid money flow starts leaving Israel and coming OUR way. Cause, frankly, we're broke and
that mere few billion "pocket change" would repair some bridges.

Svigor said...

The pre-communist Russian government busted its arse to get Jews to farm

Some medieval king actually enacted a law requiring Jews to farm. I think I have that right, it was a passing reference I read years ago. From what I understand, he didn't have much luck.

Also as I understand it, the problem for medieval Europeans and Jews vis-a-vis farming had absolutely nothing to do with poor Jews being forbidden the noble, earthy task of tilling the land (and being forced into the horrible banking profession, lol!). It had to do with forbidding Jews from using the interest to buy up all the land and peasants from the European nobles they were out-competing.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

American economic assistance to Israel is negligible and we have just told Obama that we no longer need American loan guarantees

Set the issue of whether we should ever give billions to Israel or any other country aside for a moment. The real issue is this: when the federal government is borrowing hundreds of billions and even trillions just to keep the lights on, does it make any sense tot urn around and give that money to foreign countries - to borrow it in order to give it away?

Not now, not ever. I got hit during the dotcom recession, and the first thing I stopped doing was making charitable contributions to anything. When you are in debt you should not be giving to charity.

Mike said...

And keep in mind Jews have persecuted many non-Jews through history.

Jews have persecuted Christians since the beginning of Christianity. Jews collaborated with Romans in the persecution of Christians. Jews opened the gates of Spain to Muslim invaders and collaborated with Muslims Moors who enslaved Christian Spaniards for 800 years.