November 1, 2007

Jon Entine and Charles Murray on Jewish DNA

AEI hosted a forum last Monday, with a guest appearances by Charles Murray and Sally Satel, to announce the publication of Jon Entine's long-awaited book Abraham's Children: Race, DNA, and the Identity of the Chosen People. (Here's my 2003 interview of Jon.)

In the Washington Post, the ever-shallow Dana Milbank, who seems to be be auditioning for the role of the male Maureen Dowd, snarked incoherently in a column entitled "Nature or Nurture? Well, Smart Guy?"

Philip Weiss comments, "Yes, Jews Are Smarter, But We're Undergoing an IQ Drop by the Minute."


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

26 comments:

Proofreader said...

Rational discussion of IQ is only allowed in the MSM with a fawning mention of "stratospheric" Jewish IQ. Why would that be? Cochran and Harpending didn't get that much flak, compared to Murray, Lynn and others.

mnuez said...

But... after all is said and done, there are still many questions regarding Jews and their history that seem to be unanswered by the hypothesis that natural selection made them super smart somewhere between the Iron Age and the Middle Ages. I mean, this hypothesis does a pretty good job of answering many of the questions that have attached themselves to the word "Jew" over the millennia but it still seems to me that, as we used to say in Yeshiva, "the questions are still better than the answer".

For example:

How is it that of all the truly ancient peoples, only the Jews are still around?

And how is this the case DESPITE their having been on the receiving end of some of the most continuous persecution the world has ever known?

What explains their famous passion for discovery?

What explains their notorious inability to work together as a team in an organizational movement?

Why have they been despised both when involved in the general culture as well as when they dwelled alone?

How has their ancient Bible become the bedrock document of the planet despite hardly any prostelization or conquest of their own?

Why have they always remained so tiny in number?

Why have some of the Bible's predictions regarding the Jews' future actually come to pass - against all odds (such as the return to Zion)?

Why is it that Jews contribution to major changes in the world EVEN OUTSIZES their intelligence superiority (and outsizes it by A LOT)?

Etc. etc.


Please understand that I would LOVE some unified, non-metaphysical, theory to explain the planet-wide unique story of the history of the Jews. To date the best such explanation that I've come across is a combination of their increased intelligence levels (as well as possibly other aspects of their personalities and temperaments) coupled with a downplaying of the uniqueness of their story. But, again,,, the kasha still seems far better than the teretz.

I wrote a bit on the subject here: Are You Sure?

Cheers,

mnuez
www.mnuez.blogspot.com

Bill said...

Weiss is a wise man.

The Jews in my generation don't seem to have anywhere near the zeal their parents, not to mention grandparents, did, and that passionate zeal is the foundation Jewish genius is built on.

Great peoples rise and fall. Consider the Mongols, Normans, Manchus, Greeks, Romans, Rus, and others on down the list. Orwell was right about power corrupting, but perhaps not in the way he thought; corruption is what inevitably eats away at power's base and gives others a shot at greatness.


How is it that of all the truly ancient peoples, only the Jews are still around?

-mnuez


That is far from the case. Are there not still Chinese, Greeks, Persians, Hindus, etc.?


And how is this the case DESPITE their having been on the receiving end of some of the most continuous persecution the world has ever known?


When Jesus said: "The meek shall inherit the earth," I think he meant it quite literally, and he was right. Downtrodden peoples can gain strengths from their persecution that comfortable people do not need. Take the Welsh for example: after becoming the most marginalized people in Britain following Roman conquest and campaigns of extermination against them, then Germanic invasions, the Welsh Tudors and their compatriots managed to turn the tables, gain the crown, and set the stage for the British empire.

What explains their notorious inability to work together as a team in an organizational movement?

You've got to be kidding...

For those who want to know why Jews are intelligent, study Judaism. The answer is there. To understand Chinese and Korean intelligence, study Confucius. Philosophy and ideology, when implemented in a cohesive society, can significantly influence genes over the centuries.

TH said...

mnuez:

How is it that of all the truly ancient peoples, only the Jews are still around?

And how is this the case DESPITE their having been on the receiving end of some of the most continuous persecution the world has ever known?


The Chinese and the Indians, for example, are still around. Lots of ancient peoples are still here, although most of them have changed religious identities during the last two millenia, thanks to the two expansionist creeds, Christianity and Islam. The survival of the Jews in diaspora is due to Judaism, which prescribes endogamy and resistance to the said two religions.

What explains their famous passion for discovery?

Jews had no discernible passion for discovery until the last couple of centuries. Their rise to fame as scientists and scholars coincides with their rejection of traditional Jewish culture in favour of European gentile culture, which values science and innovation. In this new milieu their innate intelligence was put to good use.

What explains their notorious inability to work together as a team in an organizational movement?

What notorious inability? The success of IDF and AIPAC, for example, testifies to a great ability for co-operation.

Why have they been despised both when involved in the general culture as well as when they dwelled alone?

When they dwelled alone, they were despised for the same reasons as all people who refuse to conform to the mainstream. Nowadays they are despised -- to the extent that they really are -- perhaps because of their political clout.

How has their ancient Bible become the bedrock document of the planet despite hardly any prostelization or conquest of their own?

Ever heard of a religion called Christianity, whose adherents adopted the Bible as their holy book, and went on to conquer the world?

Why have they always remained so tiny in number?

Ten percent of the citizens of the Roman Empire were Jews at some point. That's quite a lot. Back then Judaism seeked to convert people. Thereafter they stopped proselytizing, and through centuries lots of people converted away from Judaism.

Why have some of the Bible's predictions regarding the Jews' future actually come to pass - against all odds (such as the return to Zion)?

Jews returned to Israel because of a secular nationalist movement called Zionism, which was opposed by Jewish religious authorities. What other predictions have supposedly turned out right?

Why is it that Jews contribution to major changes in the world EVEN OUTSIZES their intelligence superiority (and outsizes it by A LOT)?

To the extent it does, it's because of their great ability for co-operation. What major changes do you mean in particular?

Evil Neocon said...

Mnuez --

I guess the answers would be, that Jews *DID* change fairly radically unlike other ancient peoples: the Egyptians, Hittites, Persians, Babylonians, etc. For example Greek thought on Jewish religious writing (as well as Babylonian influence) is fairly clear in the Old Testament. And Greek thought clearly informs the still largely Jewish heresy New Testament.

Geographic disbursement may have allowed Jews to simply be more difficult to find in one place and be killed, unlike say Armenians in Anatolia.

Zionism in the 19th Century would argue that Jews DO work well together in organizational movements. As would the Dreyfuss Case make the argument that the scarcity of Jews in European institutions reflected both petty peasant hatreds and high-born bigotry. It's interesting that England c 1700-1960 was seen as a more friendly place for Jews than the Continent.

Available documents from Classical Greek and Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hittite sources don't say much at all about the Jews. Only the Romans were really interested in them and only in their rebellion and monotheism (which made them useful and non-threatening court officials after the Diaspora). For a while Judaism was quite popular in the Empire because it was both cheaper in terms of sacrifice and had a more simple-to-understand theology.

The New and Old Testaments became so popular because of the mixture of Greek Philosophy and Jewish legalism, mixed with compassion as a slave-lower-class religion. But as the loser in the three way monotheistic struggle for the Med and the ME, North Africa, and Europe, Judaism and Jews became suspect by Muslims and Christians as "acting in concert with the other side" and were considered "inferior" by both as theology held that Christianity (or Islam for muslims) superseded the outdated Covenant.

Why have Jews been tiny in number? Assimilation pressures.

colin laney said...

mnuez,

You raise some interesting questions. Let me take them one at a time, and then examine your larger question:

How is it that of all the truly ancient peoples, only the Jews are still around?

It is commonly said that Jews are "five thousand" years old, on account of their calendar, but they're really just a little over three thousand, which means that groups like Parsis, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Armenians, Druze, Inuit, Copts (Egyptians), Hindus, Chinese are as old or older.

It would seem that survival, rather than destruction, is the rule, with the exception of very small groups of primitive peoples and groups whose success intermingled their cuture and genes so thoroughly that they no longer exist: Akkadians, Hittites, etc. Think about it: how old is Austalian Aboriginal culture? Zulu?

I think the advanced age of Jewish culture is scary to Northern Europeans who haven't read much history or anthropology. Otherwise, it's not really so remarkable.

One might charge that groups like Greeks are also so mixed that they do not count as a survival, but then you open yourself to the argument that Ashkenazi and Khazars are hardly pure Middle Eastern stock, either.

And how is this the case DESPITE their having been on the receiving end of some of the most continuous persecution the world has ever known?

The "persecution" is sporadic and intermittent, and often provoked by the Jews themselves. They enjoyed a level of cultural respect among the Romans which bordered on deference (no images on the coins in Judea, etc) and were never subject to any multigenerational exterminationist campaign, of the kinds that Islam and Christianity brought against Classical Paganism or Hinduism.

Don't take my word for it: consult the Jewish theologigan Franz Rosensweig, who pointed out to his nervous followers that the Catholic Church had ushered them through history unscathed, very distinct to the fate meted out to the Albigensians, who were totally physically exterminated.

Anyone who tells you that Jews faced anything remotely comparable to the extermination of the Albigensians is lying. The entire population of the region was exterminated so that there would be no chance of a single Cathar escaping. In contrast, the Nazis encouraged and financed the transfer of Jews to England, the United States, and Palestine (for which see Black's "Transfer Agreement).

For an even more heightened contrast with the life of ease Jews enjoyed in Europe, look up a good account of the Muslim occupation of India. They're not even comparable. The occasional dispossession of a cityful - or a countryful - of Jews during European history is simply not in the same league. As per Rosensweig, the Jews have survived because the Catholic Church (and to a lesser extent, Protestants) need them to survive for a variety of theological reasons. The Protestants intend to use them to summon the end of the world, and the Catholics use them both as evidence of the power of Biblical prophecy, but also mean to see them converted. There's a lot of self interested parties unwittingly conspiring in the Jewish "miracle" here.

What explains their famous passion for discovery?

I am not aware of any Jewish passion for discovery worthy of note. Even Strauss observes that the Greek world view begins in wonder, while the Jewish world view begins in fear. The sole objection to this view would be the genuine enthusiam of many talented Jews for theoretical physics in the 20th century. Jewish curiousity strikes me, an outside observer, as a mile wide and an inch deep - it's more a jockeying for advantage ("who controls the past"). However, the group oriented towards theoretical physics seem an exception to the rule.

What explains their notorious inability to work together as a team in an organizational movement?

You have been sorely misinformed on this point. I recommend examining J.J. Goldberg's "Jewish Power" to see how far of the mark you are here.

Goldberg describes the functioning of NCRAC, "central policy making council of the organized American Jewish community. Its membership includes a dozen fo the most powerful and broadly representative groups on the national Jewish scene: the three main synagogue unions, Reform, Conservative, and Orothodox; the three main "defense agencies," Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, and American Jewish Congress; and the three largest Jewish women's groups, Hadassah, the National Council on Jewish Women, and Women's American ORT. Also included, along with a handful of other national bodies, are 117 locale community councils, representing the world of Jewish federated charities and their donors."

What do they do?

"NCRAC's policy positions are hammed out in intense, year-long negotiations among the agencies, then booted on at the council's annual assembly and published each fall in a booklet, the Joint Program Plan. ... The eighty-four page plan for 1992 included, along with ten pages on Israel and eight pages on anti-Semitism in Russia and the Arab world, no less than six pages on public- school education, six pages on abortion rights and the status of women, four pages on poverty, three pages each on immigration policy, federal courts, and universal health care, and four pages on the environment."

I see no "inability" to work together as an organization here.

Further information on the ineffectiveness of Jewish organization can be judged by the treatment of Mearsheimer and Walt's book and speaking tour. It is denouced as "anti-semitic" conspiracy mongering while their speaking engagements are mysteriously being cancelled. Maybe someone's trying to make AIPAC look bad.


Why have they been despised both when involved in the general culture as well as when they dwelled alone?

For a lot of reasons. I recommend "Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State" by Benjamin Ginsburg and "Esau's Tears" by Lindemann for a good overview. The works of Israel Shahak are also quite instructive on this point.

How has their ancient Bible become the bedrock document of the planet despite hardly any prostelization or conquest of their own?

It is false that Judaism was not a prosleytizing religion in Antiquity. I would also commend to you Nietzsche's account of Saint Paul as a vector for transmission of the gospel. Finally, the text was absorbed by a sprawling authoritarian empire subject ethnic and administrative disarray and no small degree of social alienation arising from its urbanized proletariat. The Good Book was imposed BY the Empire by the usual means: a totalitarian revolutionary vanguard goading the mob into the destruction of libraries, temples and priests: very similar to how Henry VIII de-Catholicized England. Except that this process continued for centuries. When Rome expelled those heretics it did not kill, they fled East, which resulted in the creation of the Qu'ran out of various rejected cornerstones of Constantine's monster.

Christianization of Europe is another story, with plenty of blood and tall tales: I recommend "The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity" for details.

Basically, the Bible achieved world hegemony more or less the same way "Das Kapital" did: through terror, bloodshed, endless wars, torture, megacide, democide, witchunts, etc. I suppose the same can be said of the Qu'ran.

It's really a lot like Lovecraft's Necronomican, when you think about it.

Why have they always remained so tiny in number?

That's a good question, which I've thought about, but don't have an answer to. I'll provisionally attribute it to a reproductive K-strategy with low levels of defection.

Why have some of the Bible's predictions regarding the Jews' future actually come to pass - against all odds (such as the return to Zion)?

Again, I think about this, too. To any rational (but non-rationalistic) mind, it's quite obvious that the future is visible to a certain extent to certain people, and that their reports entangle their cultures into very complicated causal chains - this is certainly true in Sophocles, and in the story of Tarquin the Proud and the Sibyl, but is also present in modern American fiction, such as Frank Herbert's Dune books and the Star Wars Cycle. Rationalists hate to admit it, but oracle and prophecy - or even just belief in the same - is one of the major dynamos of Western experience.

So, I'd offer several answers here: many people have reported historically to have access to some report of the future, which they adjusted their own behavior to match. The recent Thermopalye film 300 omits that Leonides remained at his post with his small expeditionary force precisely because the Delphic Oracle told him that either a kind of Sparta would die or that Sparta would be overrun: he sacrificed his life, and the lives of his men, on a prophecy. Whether or not he was misguided to do so does not change the fact of why he did so. Prophecy plays a role in Pre-Christian Briton (Merlin stories), among American Indians, for Germans (Ragnarok > Wagner> Battle of Berlin), and so forth. I'm satisfied that we're seeing something here that is not amenable to modern historical analysis - can you imagine a sociobiologist giving any of this stuff a fair shake, except to consider it bunkum? It would be like a Marxist discussing aesthetics! Everyone is trapped in their monocausal just-so stories.

Regarding specific prophecies: we can also afford to be honest and admit that loads of OT prophecies never came true and that some of them are - to put it kindly - "postdated", as in the Book of Daniel. Consult the Skeptic's Annotated Bible for details.

Finally, there is a place for self-fulfilling prophecy, as can be seen among modern American evangelicals and the "end times", i.e. they are very obviously trying to bring them about. To my mind, that's cheating.

Why is it that Jews contribution to major changes in the world EVEN OUTSIZES their intelligence superiority (and outsizes it by A LOT)?

Extreme hyperethnocentrism, the characterological sequelae related to 'chosenness', crypsis, verbal intelligence/ duplicity - here we get into dangerous territory. I will simply say that, first of all, Jews WANT something from history in a way that non-Jews do not, and this desire informs everything they do.

Secondly, I observe that other groups afflicted with messianism are just as powerful as Jews: the dedication of loyal Communists must be accounted one of the psychological wonders of the world. People who believe that true deliverance lies in this world - and that it's just around the corner - are so much more powerful than groups that they contend with, that there's hardly any comparison.

Consider liberal v. conservative in the culture wars and elsewhere: Liberals always win and conservatives always lose: that's because they're playing defense, because they limit themself to reacting.

Finally, Kevin MacDonald discusses the obvious fact that group strategies outcompete individual strategies quite effortlessly. When the Jews were boxed up in Near Eastern social forms of relatively impereable ethnic groupings in an Imperial setting, they were not particularly influential. Among free individuals, they seem unstoppable. How can one man hope to compete with fourteen million?


Please understand that I would LOVE some unified, non-metaphysical, theory to explain the planet-wide unique story of the history of the Jews.

Check out Ginsberg, Shahak, Lindemann, and MacDonald. Reading about Franz Rosenweig (Asia Times' Spengler is a big fan) will also help you with this question.

There's more, but those are the best starting places.

Two final notes, though.

First, the Jews aren't the only group who have a unique destiny. Being raised in a Judeo-centric culture, we can be forgiven for thinking so, but there are other lenses with which to view the world.

Lastly, why insist on a non-metaphysical perspective? There are metaphysical perspectives which are not Biblical which certainly allow Jews their uniqueness and power, and in my opinion, you should remain open to these.

Publius said...

On my honor, I never knew Dana Milbank was a man/

Mary Pat said...

The question is why the Jews are still around, when they didn't have a nation for a couple thousand years.

The Chinese and Indians are still around because there's a China and an India. It's not that difficult to see that continuity can be maintained when you've got a geographical home that's rarely conquered from the outside.

But if you're not in that lucky position -- if you're Celts or Assyrians or the like -- you get conquered and through intermarriage and inculturation your distinct grouping goes away. A little bit of the Celts live on in my DNA, but it's not a distinct ethnic group any more.

tommy said...

On my honor, I never knew Dana Milbank was a man/

I confess that for the longest time I didn't know she was a man either.

Fred said...

"Weiss is a wise man."

Eh. The Jew who whines about the foolishness/wrongness of other Jews while setting himself above the fray is almost a cliche at this point. We have a knack for producing Weisses. There's probably one in every extended Jewish family.

"How can one man hope to compete with fourteen million?"

This fantasy that fourteen million Jews are actually rowing in the same direction is endlessly entertaining to me.

Svigor said...

This fantasy that fourteen million Jews are actually rowing in the same direction is endlessly entertaining to me.

Direction != destination.

Yep, hard to ignore all those jews disagreeing over "is it good for the jews" as central criterion.

Svigor said...

And yes, you've done a great job disabusing us, by "defending" jewry (not substantively).

Attack Euros and they shrug. Attack jews and they return it with interest. Nope, no rowing here.

Svigor said...

Eh. The Jew who whines about the foolishness/wrongness of other Jews while setting himself above the fray is almost a cliche at this point.

Lol, sorry for the third response all, but it just struck me how funny this statement is; in Euros, there's seldom an exception to this behavior in an extended family.

colin laney said...

This fantasy that fourteen million Jews are actually rowing in the same direction is endlessly entertaining to me.

Let me assure you, it is becoming less amusing to everyone else.

Don't think that your statement here isn't being seen - accurately - as yet another oar in the water: Nothing to see here - move along!

After the jokes, of course, then the more serious accusations will come out.

Then economic pressures.

Then press campaigns.

Suddenly, the target - even a great American hero like Charles Lindburgh - becomes an unperson for generations, if not forever.

Are you seriously asserting that this isn't how it works? There's the real barrel of laughs.

I suppose the real question, which neither you nor I can answer, is whether or not you know that you are engaged in ethnic strategizing.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your explanation of how the virtually universal smear campaign against Mearsheimer and Walt - given the supposed 'fractiousness' of Jews - is combined with a very effective campaign to even deny them speaking outlets, by bringing to bear pressures against the venue.

Are we merely seeing Brownian motion here, the agitated movement of atoms that are completely uncoordianted?

Go on, pull the other one.

I would add that the nature of these pressures still hasn't been made public. I'm going to assume that some sort of economic embargo combined with the threat of universal pariah status imposed by the press is the threatened instrument.


Communists used to say they weren't monolithic, but at the level where it mattered - who was to be attacked, who was to be defended, what was to be kept hidden, and what was to be pursued, they did finally seem capable of some rudimentary forms of organization - not wholly unrelated to the forms of extreme group coherence which so excite mnuez' curiousity, and which you deny exist.

Indeed, you don't just deny their existence, you invite readers here to laugh at the idea of their existence.

For the record, I don't think you're taking orders from any centralized committe, but I do think you're acting on very powerful instincts, which you share with your co-nationalists. Coordination can often be arrived at without a committee in this way.

Any thoughts on Goldberg's reports on NCRAC? Or is that merely more fantasizing that tickles your funny bone?

Maybe Goldberg just made up all his facts and figures to spook the paranoid goyim? Do you think?


On the other hand, what becomes of your thesis if Mr. Goldberg's account of NCRAC is true? That would sort of tend to mitigate against your account of Jews as the hapless Keystone Kops of world politics, now wouldn't it?

To give an idea of just how highly organized "Organized Jewry" is, here is Goldberg on some of the manuevering that resulted in the 1965 Hart-Cellar act:

,Everyone agreed that the Jewish community must undertake a massive effort to repeal the quota system, but the ADL and the American Jewish Committee refused to join an operation under NCRAC auspices. Instead, Minkoff put NCRAC immigration specialist Jules Cohen in charge of a "non-auspices committee," operated by NCRAC under its "non-auspices." In 1955, this committee spearheaded the formation of a broad coalition for immigration reform, made up of civic associations, labor groups, and Protestant and Catholic groups. For a decade the coalition lobbied, leafleted, planted articles in magazines, and held public meetings on the racist nature of the immigration quota system. The entire operation was run by a steering committee of the "non-auspices committee," made up of four staffers from the three defense agencies and NCRAC. The quotas were finally repealed by the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, passed by Congress during the civil rights surge of President Lyndon Johnson's early years.

You, and everyone else here, may consult Mr. Goldberg's book Jewish Power, pg. 127, for further details. MacDonald extends this perspective fairly broadly over the twentieth century in Culture of Critique and the end results of what you insist is Jewish helplessness on account of factional infighting can be seen in the pages of Yuri Slezkine's The Jewish Century.

I don't see anything in those books that would interfere - even slightly - with the 'endless entertainment' you take from the fact that group strategies outcompete individual strategies. You should really pick up these books and read through them sometime - you'll laugh yourself silly!

Anonymous said...

"And if is genetic, well, our genes are being shared because so many others want to marry us."

Jewish ego at work, lol. Men pursue woman. Why do so many Jewish men want to marry our Gentile women?

Fred said...

Svigor and Colin Laney,

Let me share with you what I did yesterday afternoon. I went to visit an old friend of my father's and his wife, who is dying. For the edification of the young rabbi I brought with me to console them (an immigrant from a British Commonwealth country), they talked about how they met in Poland, how they knew my late father, etc. My father's friend recalled how he saw my grandfather's body being tossed into a mass grave at Budzyn, how his wife survived by being hidden by elderly Christian neighbors, how they went back look for those neighbors after the war, etc.

Upstairs from this couple lives a Jew who is a senior executive at one of the top firms in an industry I've worked in. He bought all the apartments on his floor and turned then into one big apartment, easily worth several million dollars (my father's friends, incidentally, bought their place for less than $15k when NYC was at its nadir in the '70's). He also owns a ski house in Colorado, a private jet, etc. Last year, after a conversation with this exec in the elevator, my father's friend asked me to give him a copy of my resume so he could give it to his neighbor. We spoke briefly, he said he'd get back to me, and nothing came of it. So on the way out yesterday, I asked how my "friend" upstairs was doing.

My father's friend's response: "He's not your friend! What, do you expect rachmones [compassion] from him? You shouldn't". And of course he was right. We're not all rowing in the same direction, after all*.

I hear folks like you spout your conspiracy theories of evolutionary group advantage and yet I've never seen a material advantage for me or anyone I know in being a Jew. I doubt the Jewish senior exec got any advantage out of being Jewish either (particularly since he rose up the ranks in a decidedly non-Jewish firm). He got where he is by being smart and talented, and I got where I am by being not as smart and talented.

That's how it tends to work in America, whether you are a Jew or not. I don't get invited to any secret meetings with the Israel lobby. And that's true of all the Jews I know: they advance as far as their abilities allow, their politics vary, but none of them is part of any conspiracy against non-Jewish American whites (or if they are, they don't let me in on it).

*There are small, insular communities of Jews (and other groups) where everyone in the community is essentially rowing in the same direction -- The NY Times Magazine had an article recently about one, the Syrian ("SY") Jewish enclave of Brooklyn -- but this certainly doesn't apply to all 14 million Jews as a whole, the vast majority of whom don't live in such communities.

tommy said...

My father's friend's response: "He's not your friend! What, do you expect rachmones [compassion] from him? You shouldn't". And of course he was right. We're not all rowing in the same direction, after all*.

One thing that stood out for me in reading up on the history of organized crime in the U.S. is that Jewish gangsters, far from being highly cooperative and clannish, were fiercely competitive. For all the bloodshed between Mafia families, the Italians did a far better job cooperating with each other for the sake of continuing their ethnic group's control over the rackets than their Jewish or Irish counterparts. That's why the Italians are still a significant presence in organized crime and the Jews aren't.

Svigor said...

Tommy:

That's why the Italians are still a significant presence in organized crime and the Jews aren't.

Or maybe organized crime was just a stepping stone for the more-intelligent immigrant Jews, whereas it made for a permanent niche for the less-intelligent Sicilians.

Svigor said...

Fred:

(If your first paragraph contained or supported an argument counter to one of mine let me know (preferably with explication) and I'll respond)

Upstairs from this couple lives a Jew who is a senior executive at one of the top firms in an industry I've worked in. He bought all the apartments on his floor and turned then into one big apartment, easily worth several million dollars (my father's friends, incidentally, bought their place for less than $15k when NYC was at its nadir in the '70's). He also owns a ski house in Colorado, a private jet, etc. Last year, after a conversation with this exec in the elevator, my father's friend asked me to give him a copy of my resume so he could give it to his neighbor. We spoke briefly, he said he'd get back to me, and nothing came of it. So on the way out yesterday, I asked how my "friend" upstairs was doing.

My father's friend's response: "He's not your friend! What, do you expect rachmones [compassion] from him? You shouldn't". And of course he was right. We're not all rowing in the same direction, after all*.


Caveats about anecdotes aside - are you saying there was NO expectation of advantage due to coethnicity here? I mean, does your father's friend ask for copies of your resume to give to all the rich gents he knows? Or, just to the jewish ones, or just to the ones in your building, etc?

That said, none of this involves the meat of the question. There are real, tangible differences between Jews and Euros vis-a-vis the behaviors in question. That's why Jews have Organized Jewry, which: gets its money from Jewry as a whole; toes a rigid party line vis-a-vis Israel and "is it good for the jews" as central issues. That's why Euros have a mass of atomized individuals jockeying to one-up one another via racial-ethnic self-abnegation.

That's why the answers to "is it good for our people" coming from Jews and Euros are like night and day.

Btw, once again, destination is not direction.

Finally, do you have any idea how this rich Jew spends his charity money? If he's anything like other rich Jews, he's rather generous, and his generosity points disproportionately toward Jewish causes. This stands in stark contrast to rich Euros, who spend their charity on screwing themselves over, racially-ethnically speaking.

I hear folks like you spout your conspiracy theories of evolutionary group advantage and yet I've never seen a material advantage for me or anyone I know in being a Jew.

I doubt the Jewish senior exec got any advantage out of being Jewish either (particularly since he rose up the ranks in a decidedly non-Jewish firm). He got where he is by being smart and talented, and I got where I am by being not as smart and talented.

That's how it tends to work in America, whether you are a Jew or not.


Well, we all know how valuable anecdotes are and all, but really, your assertions about meritocracy are laughable. I mean really - 2% of the population are 60% of the power-brokers in Hollywood on merit alone? And it just so happens that this skew centers on the world's nervous system? 7 out of 8 of the original post-Communism "Russian" oligarchs were Jews, on merit alone?

Just listen to yourself - you're here defending Jewry by arguing that Jews don't defend Jews!

I don't get invited to any secret meetings with the Israel lobby.

That you haven't yet been shamed into ditching this facile taunt is telling. Of what, I don't know. :)

Sure, there are lots of assimilated Jews. But tell me, how much of the work Colin points to above have you actually read? How much of it can you refute (sans assertions)?

Anonymous said...

On my honor, I never knew Dana Milbank was a man

Well, you're lucky, you have an excuse. I, however, have known the dirty secret all along, and yet whenever I have the displeasure of reading another one of his whiny, incoherent gas emissions, I still can't believe he has a pair of cojones secreting testosterone.


JD

Fred said...

Svigor,

"(If your first paragraph contained or supported an argument counter to one of mine let me know (preferably with explication) and I'll respond)"

You mean the part where my father's friend recounted seeing my grandfather's body being tossed into a mass grave? Stop for a moment and imagine you're me. How interested would you be in reading what you or Colin have to say about how great it is to be a Jew after that? How interested would you be in reading the sources he cites? Let me help you out with that: not very. To be honest, I didn't read most of Colin's post. I think I stopped about where he misspelled Charles Lindbergh's name.

You, or Colin, can continue to believe that all 14 million Jews are acting in concert to impede your prospects in life, and there's nothing I can do to disabuse you of that.

"I mean, does your father's friend ask for copies of your resume to give to all the rich gents he knows?"

This was the first and only time he had ever asked for a copy of my resume. The reason he asked for a copy of my resume in this case was because the neighbor mentioned something to him first about liking to help out younger people with their careers.

"Finally, do you have any idea how this rich Jew spends his charity money?

I actually don't know how that particular rich Jew spends his charity money.

"If he's anything like other rich Jews, he's rather generous, and his generosity points disproportionately toward Jewish causes."

If you consider hospitals and universities to be Jewish causes, then this is especially true. In New York you have the Stern School of Business at NYU, the Weil Medical College of Cornell University; the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, etc. There are Jews who donate to specifically Jewish causes as well, of course. Do they do so disproportionately? I don't know. Do you? If you have data on Jewish donations to specifically Jewish charities versus general charitable donations like the ones I mentioned above, feel free to post it here.

My father wasn't a rich Jew, but one of the charities he donated to was The Hebrew Free Burial Society, which pays for proper burials of Jews for whom verbal facility and evolutionary group strategy weren't enough to keep them from dying poor. He also donated to non-Jewish causes: his alma mater, the American Red Cross, etc.

"Well, we all know how valuable anecdotes are and all, but really, your assertions about meritocracy are laughable."

If there's some secret program where Jews are vaulted to the top of various fields absent merit, let me know where I go to sign up for it. You might as well convert and sign up too. With your verbal facility and love of argument you could pass for a Jew.

"Just listen to yourself - you're here defending Jewry by arguing that Jews don't defend Jews!"

I didn't realize I was "here defending Jewry". I was just pointing out that, from my perspective, the idea that 14 million Jews are working in concert to impede the prospects of non-Jews is laughable.

tommy said...

Or maybe organized crime was just a stepping stone for the more-intelligent immigrant Jews, whereas it made for a permanent niche for the less-intelligent Sicilians.

Intelligence is an asset in organized crime (though obviously not the only asset) and there are plenty of less intelligent Jews who could get in the game.

What is most evident to any student of organized crime is that even when Jews were a major force in the field they were much more open to working with other ethnics than was your average mafiosi or Irish dockyard gangster. The inter-ethnic cooperativeness of Jewish criminals was very noticeable from Arnold Rothstein onward. By contrast, a young Lucky Luciano had to murder a large part of the old guard in his Mafia family, including the boss of that family, so that he could openly work with non-Sicilians like Meyer Lansky and Owney Madden. No one of New York's Five Families has ever opened itself up to non-Italian capos. Even the ethnocentric tendency to dismiss as important and powerful a non-Italian as Lansky as a mere Mafia money man persisted among younger Italian mobsters decades after Luciano's death.

Svigor said...

Fred:

"(If your first paragraph contained or supported an argument counter to one of mine let me know (preferably with explication) and I'll respond)"

You mean the part where my father's friend recounted seeing my grandfather's body being tossed into a mass grave? Stop for a moment and imagine you're me. How interested would you be in reading what you or Colin have to say about how great it is to be a Jew after that? How interested would you be in reading the sources he cites? Let me help you out with that: not very. To be honest, I didn't read most of Colin's post. I think I stopped about where he misspelled Charles Lindbergh's name.


In other words, a central part of your Jewish identity gives you a get-out-of-debate-free card that you can play whenever the conversation makes you uncomfortable? No matter how well-reasoned or -supported the criticism?

You, or Colin, can continue to believe that all 14 million Jews are acting in concert to impede your prospects in life, and there's nothing I can do to disabuse you of that.

And you can construct as many straw men as you wish - I won't wrestle with them.

On second thought, Jewry is acting in concert* to impede one of my central goals in life - to see my people get for themselves what Jews have for themselves. So, I suppose that isn't so egregious a straw man as I thought at first.

* Shiksa by John Hartung:

In-groups sandwich an outline for animosity, an organizing principle for prejudice, between layers of social support. Whether Christian or Muslim or Jewish, every extremist is supported by a small number of less extreme admirers and each of those supporters is buoyed, in turn, by a larger group of sympathizers. These connections are continuous right down to the bottom of the pyramid, where vaguely sympathetic in-group members are offended by the very extremists who would have no base, and no basis, without them. It is that vague sympathy which needs to be examined.

****

"I mean, does your father's friend ask for copies of your resume to give to all the rich gents he knows?"

This was the first and only time he had ever asked for a copy of my resume. The reason he asked for a copy of my resume in this case was because the neighbor mentioned something to him first about liking to help out younger people with their careers.


I didn't assume you knew the answers; the questions were rhetorical.

There are Jews who donate to specifically Jewish causes as well, of course. Do they do so disproportionately? I don't know. Do you? If you have data on Jewish donations to specifically Jewish charities versus general charitable donations like the ones I mentioned above, feel free to post it here.

I always feel free:

Rapid Rise of Mega-donors Reshapes Communal World

"Well, we all know how valuable anecdotes are and all, but really, your assertions about meritocracy are laughable."

If there's some secret program where Jews are vaulted to the top of various fields absent merit, let me know where I go to sign up for it. You might as well convert and sign up too. With your verbal facility and love of argument you could pass for a Jew.


Ethnic nepotism isn't a secret program, so unfortunately you can't just sign up. Being Jewish does give you a leg up in heavily Jewish sectors (e.g., Hollywood) though.

As for passing for a Jew, don't assume the thought hasn't crossed my mind more than once, in more than one sense, or that I find the comparison unflattering (it's no secret that I admire Jews, or that I hold Jewry up as a role model for my own ethny).

"Just listen to yourself - you're here defending Jewry by arguing that Jews don't defend Jews!"

I didn't realize I was "here defending Jewry". I was just pointing out that, from my perspective, the idea that 14 million Jews are working in concert to impede the prospects of non-Jews is laughable.


Again, you've rephrased my position into a straw man. Jews are tribal. Everyone who knows anything about them knows that. It's obvious to anyone with eyes to see that Hollywood (and the cults of Freud and Boas, academic "anti-racism," the Frankfurt School, the push for the 1965 immigration act, etc., etc., etc.,) isn't as Jewish as it is simply on the basis of merit (unless one includes ethnic nepotism and ethnic motivation under the aegis of merit, which is fine by me as long as it's above-board) or happenstance.

David said...

I feel as if I have dropped into an editorial meeting of "The Forward." Sheesh.

Great that Jews strongly identify more or less positively as a people. Not great that White Gentiles of various stripes are discouraged from doing the same...by the entire culture, educational system, and government. This official policy against White Gentile Pride (WGP?) is based on various Jewish critiques of same, decades before and after The Authoritarian Personality and many others - including that iSteve favourite, Boasian anthro.

Anyway, enjoy the anguish of being uniquely brilliant, gentlemen. (Do females ever post comments here? Do females read iSteve?)

mnuez said...

Though it's been difficult to do so, I've stayed out of this comment section completely. I did so partly for the shameful reason of not wanting to start a comment that I knew would take a volume to finish but more so because I know that involving oneself in a discussion is the surest way to chip away at your own objectivity and openness to what another might say.

In any event, the conversation here appears to be pretty much over so I suppose it might be time for that volume after-all... except that at this point I realize that almost no one will actually READ this comment so I'll feel free to leave said volume unwritten.

Nonetheless, I have put finger to key and I've done so on account of Svigor's recent comment, within which he quoted another commentor (Fred) as saying:


There are Jews who donate to specifically Jewish causes as well, of course. Do they do so disproportionately? I don't know. Do you? If you have data on Jewish donations to specifically Jewish charities versus general charitable donations like the ones I mentioned above, feel free to post it here.


To which he replied:


I always feel free:

Rapid Rise of Mega-donors Reshapes Communal World




Svigor, Svigor... You can't honestly complain of strawmen and other rhetorical devices (including a claim of Fredian evasion) when you employ those yourself. Obviously puffing your chest out ("I always feel free") and taciturnly throwing down the all-proving link shows confidence. And study after study (not to mention thousands of years worth of human history as well as the easily-noted behavior of other mammals) shows that projecting confidence and showing strength will often suffice to convince the herd without the presence of any actual strength behind the facade. But...that's hardly the honest way to debate.

In fact, if I may say so, it would appear that you already made your mind up a while ago and are currently simply pulling all the stops in order to convince others of your point of view! But perhaps that's not the case.

Perhaps your as intellectually honest as I am and are willing to follow the evidence to whatever conclusion it may lead you. But that hardly appears to be the case.

The fact of the matter is that the article you threw out as one that required no further explanation beyond some chest-puffing for its introduction is one that presents evidence COUNTER to your claims. COUNTER, again that's COUNTER.

As for me personally, I'm always interested to know more information on any subject and being as I'm terribly interested in all things Jewish ("there! an admission! we got him!") for tribal, religions, scientific and philosophical reasons, I'd be interested to know more about Jewish charitable givings. I honest to God could not care less however as to whether all of it goes upkeeping the Western Wall or to building hospitals in every African capital. I mean, sure, I care and might be pleased with some sort of giving more than another but - unlike yourself - I have no argument proven or disproven based on where rich Jews give their money. That being the case I - again, unlike your seemingly pre-judging self - have no vested interest in what the facts are. So here are the relevant quotes from the (obviously unread by yourself) article ~



At the tail end of the article, after a full page worth of data indicating that Jews (sadly, for my tastes) give mostly to non-Jewish causes, the newspaper attempts that "journalistic balance" that's so highly thought of these days and presents this counter view:


But some experts in the world of philanthropy say that Jews still give to Jewish causes at higher rates than other Americans give to their own religious and ethnic communities. No Catholic causes were on The Chronicle’s list, and Paul Schervish, who is the director of Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, said his research has shown that Jews give to religious causes at higher rates than Catholics or Protestants.


And it should go without saying that the data had to be fudged a little in order to get this "she said" into the picture. No one on this list was speaking of Jews v. Catholics for the simple reason that not a single reader (of any view) sees those as comparing apples to apples. The question at hand always was whether Jewish success is based primarily on Jews directing what success and money they have toward primarily helping each other rather than towards assisting all sorts of people regardless of ethnic or religious identity.

It SHOULD go without saying but now that I realize that I'm dealing with people willing to engage in rhetorical play in order to convince minds more open than their own of their pre-judged conclusions, I suppose that, sadly, has to be said.

Of course there's also much more that "has to be said" in order to clear up some inaccurate and dishonest arguments but, as mentioned before, I doubt that this is the proper place for my masterpiece on the subject. Feel free to note what other honest questions one might have on my own blog and there's some chance that I'll respond to those questions in a post. My personality entirely precludes me from making any promises on the subject but the odds of getting any specific question of yours answered by me increases exponentially (though the odds still hover in misty ambiguity and chance) if I know the question.

In any event.... oh, where does the article offer data countering Svigor's fantasy of Jewish charity heading largely toward "Jewish causes" rather than toward causes in the general interest?

Well,,,, that's kinna the whole article. But okay, cliff notes:


The two largest donations after Buffet were made by Herbert Sandler and Bernard Osher, co-founders of a California bank who each gave nearly $1 billion to enlarge their own philanthropic foundations, both of which donate relatively small amounts to Jewish causes. .....


Among the 60 donors on The Chronicle’s list, four gave sizable gifts to explicitly Jewish causes. ......


Most Jewish donors, like most donors at large, made their gifts to non-Jewish universities and hospitals .....


In the world of Jewish organizational leaders, lists of mega-gifts inevitably elicit expressions of disappointment about the relatively small number of Jewish donors who are giving major gifts to Jewish organizations. The only major gift on The Chronicle’s list to a Jewish federation was Arthur Zankel’s $10 million bequest to the one in New York. This was a small fraction of the amount he gave to New York cultural organizations.

“We’re not doing a good job as a community of putting visions before these people that capture their imaginations,” Charendoff said. ......



So, again. Unlike Svigor I have no point to prove and have nothing to lose based on the outcome of the article. I clicked over to read the article for the same reason that I click over to any link that claims to offer interesting data. Had the article have made the assertion that Jews donate primarily to Jewish underachievers I would still regard my original question (at the top of this comment thread) as unanswered. The issues that I raised would not be explained by a few extra billion heading toward hiring tutors for learning-disabled yarmulka wearers.

But Svigor DID think he was somehow explaining the extraordinary financial and intellectual success of Jews in the modern world through linking to this article as evidence for his assertions. That sort of dishonest nonsense appeared to require some redress.

mnuez
www.mnuez.blogspot.com

Svigor said...

mnuez:

Svigor, Svigor... You can't honestly complain of strawmen and other rhetorical devices (including a claim of Fredian evasion) when you employ those yourself. Obviously puffing your chest out ("I always feel free") and taciturnly throwing down the all-proving link shows confidence.

It wasn't intended as chest-puffing. It's my way of saying "gee, now that I have your permission." Just a pet peeve of mine; when people say "feel free to (insert something everyone should always feel free to do here)." I say pet peeve because it's just an innocent colloquialism that annoys me (sorta like when people say "to be honest"; what, you usually aren't honest? It's harmless, but mildly annoying on a pet peevish level).

And study after study (not to mention thousands of years worth of human history as well as the easily-noted behavior of other mammals) shows that projecting confidence and showing strength will often suffice to convince the herd without the presence of any actual strength behind the facade. But...that's hardly the honest way to debate.

Every argument is not a debate. I think debates need moderation, and far more structure, than a typical comment thread can provide.

In fact, if I may say so, it would appear that you already made your mind up a while ago and are currently simply pulling all the stops in order to convince others of your point of view! But perhaps that's not the case.

It is the case, though I'd stop short of saying "all" the stops. There are plenty of dirty tricks I know, but don't use. It isn't out of any sense of fair play, but more out of a sense that they're beneath me and my audience (i.e., counter-productive at the level at which I communicate); I don't need to fight dirty, I've got the facts on my side. And I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything other than this: you should look into this; don't be afraid to think freely or critically. What could possibly be wrong with that message?

(It's not the sort of thing people typically notice, but if you get really bored you might go back and review my pattern of behavior here at Steve's blog on this matter. I rarely bring it up. But, when I read what I consider bullshit, I call "bullshit." Call it a character flaw. I can't help myself. I've disturbed more than one evening in polite company because of this defect (I think it might be genetic); I can refrain from bringing up the topics that I feel passionately about, but I just can't listen to bullshit without calling "bullshit.")

However, I don't play as fairly in these quick and dirty comment thread discussions as I do in more in-depth arguments (which sometimes approach what I'd call "debates"); unfortunately I don't have the time to pursue those sorts of conversations the way I used to. So, I'm reduced to QND shorthand.

Perhaps your as intellectually honest as I am and are willing to follow the evidence to whatever conclusion it may lead you. But that hardly appears to be the case.

I'm very intellectually honest. I'm perfectly willing to follow the evidence to its best conclusions, whatever they may be. And I'm open to persuasion. Those values all led me to where I am now. But, it's going to take a hell of a lot more than one of these quick and dirty comments threads to get that done. Man, do you think I wanted to "get the Jew thing"? No! No one in his right mind wants to go there. He's dragged, kicking and screaming.

The fact of the matter is that the article you threw out as one that required no further explanation beyond some chest-puffing for its introduction is one that presents evidence COUNTER to your claims. COUNTER, again that's COUNTER.

[...]

In any event.... oh, where does the article offer data countering Svigor's fantasy of Jewish charity heading largely toward "Jewish causes" rather than toward causes in the general interest?


All that for a straw man? From whence this "largely"? If we're going for rigor, shouldn't we be more careful than this?

But Svigor DID think he was somehow explaining the extraordinary financial and intellectual success of Jews in the modern world through linking to this article as evidence for his assertions. That sort of dishonest nonsense appeared to require some redress.

Again, you're being inexcusably sloppy. I in no way whatever stated or implied what you have imputed to me with your straw man argument. So, you're decrying the intellectual dishonesty of...your straw man. Alrighty-then! :P

I started out by copying and pasting your lengthy post into my word processor so I could reply in kind...but there's no beef (so I left out the fat). The upshot of the linked article is that the charitable patterns of wealthy Jews are ethnocentric. It stands to reason that if similarly wealthy Euros were giving large sums of money to (non-existent) ethnocentric Euro organizations, we'd have heard about it by now. No, the Gates' and Buffets of the world are too busy working directly against Euro interests for any of that.

How much money do you suppose Israel gets from American Jewry? How much American Jewish money goes to the Israel lobby, how much directly to Israel (in one form or another), etc? Should we count the amount of our tax money that goes to Israel in the totals, as leveraged "donations"?

How much money do you suppose (imaginary Euro ethnostate here) gets from Euro Americans? How much Euro American money goes to the (imaginary Euro ethnostate lobby here), how much directly to (you get the idea), etc? How much does this state get from the feds?

Ever read the numbers on just how much money Jews donate in politics? I can dig up some links if you like. How much of that is money that would've stayed in Jewish pockets if there were no "Jewish question"?

Oh, I almost forgot the "Freudian evasion" thing. Too true, I was thinking the same thing when I was writing it: circular logic, Freudian denial, whatever you want to call it. But, it's manifestly true that Jews tend to defend Jews more than non-Jews do (how's that for alliteration?), and FAR more than Euros defend Euros, and that this is evidence of Jewish ethnocentrism. What can I say - arguments about circular logic don't dismantle the truth of this.