Released today. Stax store.
The redoubtable, incisive and subtle Douglas Murray is the only current public intellectual I’ve come across to have read Gregor von Rezzori’s Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. While Murray points to Rezzori’s central psychological insight that anti-Semitism is a form of prestige (i.e. snobbery), I want to add a further complicating wrinkle to the discussion. That is, there is a profound schism within Jewry itself. There are those who are deeply ensconced within dhimmitude and there are those whom I term the Maccabean type. The former, as a function of their psychological dhimmitude, ingratiate themselves with Jeremy, Ilhan, Rashida, Ken, Iqra, Joy, Roger, the Women’s March &c. The grievance industry of which they tend to be a part, necessitates their overt distaste for the latter kind, the “muscular” (and therefore “vulgar”) kind of Jew as signified by Israel. This default stance is the dhimmi’s union card so to speak. It’s almost as if they need the musty caricature of the enfeebled Jew to be perpetuated: their bluster is all for show, wets “bravely” rooting-/calling- out only one manifestation of AS (tiki-man, KKK, skinheads etc.), the low-stakes variant. But as Murray points out, this is no more than pissing in the wind. They willfully ignore or (with weasel-wordage) fudge the more ubiquitous and insidious anti-semitism within their very own ecosystem (what Gad Saad scathingly terms as Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome). This is precisely the sort of anti-semitism that Gregor von Rezzori was articulating except manifest here in an inverse and an even more perverse fashion — now it’s Jew vs. Jew. Under Murray’s (and by implication Rezzori’s) understandings, the dhimmi’s irrational monomaniacal obsession with Israel merely reveals their bad faith, despite Israel’s profound humanitarian (technological know-how) contributions to underserved regions. Through their ritualized anti-Zionist sloganeering (e.g. in the paper of record, the New York Times), they ignore the fact that Zionism in all its strands, for the most part, is derivative of mainstream European political thought. Ahad Ha’am’s critique of Herzl has resonance to the communitarian critique of liberalism within contemporary social philosophy: Herzl was the liberal rationalist par excellence, Ahad Ha’am was a conservative in the tradition of Burke and Scruton. Moreover, the irony is lost on these mendacious scattergun critics that it was part and parcel of the marxist-inspired Kibbutzim project to refashion the dhimmi Jew into a new “muscular” type. It’s not a matter of if but when the dhimmis’ ostensible chums will throw them under the bus: there is ample precedence and we are already witnessing prominent instances. When the regressives do lay into the dhimmi who they gonna call?
One of the surest signs that somebody does not understand anti-Semitism is that he talks about defeating it, destroying it, or otherwise ending it. For many Jews, and anyone else who has had to take note of anti-Semitism, such inflated claims elicit only a dark laugh. Imagining you might end anti-Semitism is like saying you might forever postpone the aging process. An ambition, certainly, but one perpetually condemned to disappointment.
It is a virus that endlessly mutates, taking advantage of environment, locale, host, events, and more.
In particular, how might they condemn the Muslim’s anti-Semitism without appearing to be Islamophobic? In this situation it becomes impossible to single out anti-Semitism for specific condemnation. The only way to do it is to condemn, as Corbyn does, “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of racism.”
Gregor von Rezzori
Here is the opening paragraph to Vernon’s Foreward to Propriety and Prosperity. I would urge anyone interested in situated cognition to read his superb Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms, amazingly an unknown work within situated circles, proponent or critic. Also worth a read is Vernon’s memoir.
This book is a welcome addition to the resurgent scholarly and practical interest in Adam Smith’s contributions to market economics and its antecedents in the social order of human culture. In Smith, propriety concerned the rules that govern human sociability by mutual consent in local group interactions. Out of this experience were fashioned the rules of property, justice and the liberal order of political economy, and thence to economic prosperity. It is a grand narrative alive with meaning for the contemporary world in which side-by-side with markets the demand for sociability has found new expression in the social media companies. No wonder that in a seminar Kenneth Boulding could refer to Adam Smith as the first great post-Newtonian scientist.
Matt McManus’ latest on this topic with a special shout-out to Peter. Stay tuned for Matt’s forthcoming book which goes into this topic in great detail.
In History Today.
A Conversation with Andy Clark (video, audio and transcript).