Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jews and tribalism

The hypocrisy is getting old.

My friend suggested I watch the film Everything is Illuminated. I knew nothing about the movie, but trusted his taste. Into it a couple of minutes, I could see that it was a quirky movie about honoring your family. That's a theme I'm interested in, and I was really enjoying the story of a young Jewish man traveling to Ukraine to find relatives left behind during World World II.

That was until the story turned tribalistic. It was revealed that his tour guide--an elderly, anti-Semitic Ukrainian man--had actually grown up Jewish but turned his back on his people after narrowly escaping death at the hands of Nazis in the same area where the young man's relatives were from. Returning to the place where he had survived the shooting squad brought back all the events he had tried to forget. Guilt over abandoning his Jewishness drove the old man to kill himself. His grandson, who came along on the tour as translator, learned of his Jewish ancestry, embraced it, and had his grandfather buried in a Jewish grave.

There wasn't the slightest indication that the young man or his relatives or the old man had any religious sentiment. The message was one of tribalism, not religious belief.

Applying the film's message to yourself, a gentile will learn that it is imperative that you be loyal to your people; to sever ties from your people is an act worse than death. (A hero in the story was shot by Nazis for refusing to spit on the Torah).

In reality, any gentile who does take the message of this movie to heart and loves his people will be called a racist, a bigot, and a hater. For everyone in the world except Jews, it seems, loving your people is a crime. For Jews, it's a crime not to.

Some will contend that Jews are small and persecuted, so they have earned the double standard. I say that is completely unacceptable. To be considered legitimate, principles must apply the same to everyone. As I have argued before, you are racist if you argue for one set of rules for your group, and another set for everyone else.

And it can't be argued that, while tribalism is immoral, religious loyalty is still considered legitimate. The characters in this film were not the least bit religious; this was a blood thing, as it is for many Jews. How ironic it is that the champions of anti-tribalism are some of the most tribal people in the world. It has got to stop.  

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you really think anyone in the mainstream will fault you for embracing your ethnic, not racial, identity? Do you require a parade in New York to prove it?

Anonymous said...

What has got to stop? Tribalism? Or anti-tribalism?

I have no problem with Jews treating their Jewishness as important. So I guess the lesson for me is that anti-tribalism has to stop.

Blode0322 said...
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Blode0322 said...
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Anonymous said...

Actually, Ron, tribalism is the rule, not the exception in the world.

Jim Bowery said...

It would be interesting for the GSS to ask questions that would expose hypocrisy in beliefs about tribalism. I mean it's a perfectly predictable evolutionary strategy.

Gee, I wonder why it doesn't?

Anyone have any clues?

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the recent Bloggingheads diavlog between Razib Khan and David Sloan Wilson? They discussed Kevin MacDonald during one segment.

David Sloan Wilson made some pretty interesting comments:

"much of what Kevin MacDonald said about Judaism has stood the test of time"

"the concept of groups as corporate unites was common sense back then and we're returning to that common sense view"

"when you begin to think of groups as corporate units with their own interests then you get all kinds of examples of exploitation including what you could call parasitism. what's parasitism but something small exploiting something big?"

"predation is something big exploiting something small"

"and of course there is competition"

"now if we expect these along with more cooperative interactions among human groups then do we expect jewish groups to be parasitic? yes. do we expect bigger groups to be predatory? yes."

sabril said...

"How ironic it is that the champions of anti-tribalism are some of the most tribal people in the world."

Would you care to name 3 prominent Jews who are (1) champions of anti-tribalism; and (2) among the most tribal people in the world?

Ron Guhname said...

I can do better than that: three handpicked cases is anecdotal and will convince no one.

The GSS asked people if their ethnic group membership was important to who they are. They were also asked if they were against a law forbidding blacks and whites from marrying--a measure of anti-tribalism. Fifteen Jews were asked both questions. Eleven agreed that their Jewishness was either very or moderately important. Of those eleven, eleven were against the marriage law.

VARIABLES: ETHIMP, RELIG, RACMAR

Anonymous said...

I generally enjoy your entries, but not when you reveal you're very slightly deranged.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Some will contend that Jews are small and persecuted, so they have earned the double standard.

Jews consider Judaism to be a culture and religion so there is nothing tribalistic (in a racial sense) about the movie scene you watched.

I can do better than that: three handpicked cases is anecdotal and will convince no one.

That's funny because the accusation that Jews are ethnocentric and are racially hostile to white gentiles (even though we are white and over 90% of Jews view themselves racially as white) is based on cherry picked anecdotes rather than scientific evidence.

I keep seeing this claim that Jews are ethnocentric but no peer reviewed pyschological data to back it up.

Since the peanut gallery can't bother itself to back up their smear campaign against Jews with actual evidence, here's some more proof showing Jewish racialism is no higher than other whites:

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2009/06/racialism-among-whites.html

Racialism among whites

snip

Jews, despite their social and cultural successes, are a little more cognizant of race and ethnicity than white Gentiles are.

TH said...

Some will contend that Jews are small and persecuted, so they have earned the double standard.

I think it won't be fashionable to be pro-white, until whites are persecuted minorities in their own countries.

OneSTDV said...

"over 90% of Jews view themselves racially as white"

I have to disagree. They see a clear division between themselves and gentiles. Michael medved said this in an article on Jewish liberalism recently:

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/why-are-jews-liberals-a-symposium-15223?page=2

What I can't stand about Jewish norms is the lack of patriotism. To me that's far worse than hypocrisy. America has been the most welcoming of Jews, yet there's a disturbing lack of patriotism amongst Jews.

OneSTDV said...

Question:

Perhaps, it's socially acceptable to be have ETHNIC pride, but not RACIAL pride (unless you're a NAM). i know plenty of Italians and Irish who have similar ethnic pride as is common of many Jews.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

They see a clear division between themselves and gentiles.

Racially, 90% of Jews identify as white.

Jews do view themselves as distinctive, but not because of race or hostility towards whites but because of a distinctive religion, history, and culture.

What I can't stand about Jewish norms is the lack of patriotism. To me that's far worse than hypocrisy. America has been the most welcoming of Jews, yet there's a disturbing lack of patriotism amongst Jews.

I don't dispute that Jews are liberal.

What I dispute is that the motivating factor behind Jewish liberalism is racial/tribal hostility against whites. Jews are liberal because we are secular not antiwhite.

This is because the persecution of Jews in Christian Europe and the Muslim world prior to 1933 was religiously based, not racially based.

Even today there is a direct correlation between how secular or religious Jews are and how conservative they are.

The racialists don't get this because race is the primary motivating factor in racialist philosophy so they wrongly assume that race must be the primary motive behind Jewish motivations:

http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/half-sigma-vs-kevin-macdonald/

More GSS fun! In response to something Whiskey said, I have updated my post on women & immigration. I got home today planning on doing a different GSS post. There had been two recent posts at the Hoover Hog on anti-semites, and a theme that stuck with me is the theory that Jews are pursuing a group evolutionary strategy against the white race. This is used by the racial right (although some deny being rightists) to explain Jewish liberalism. Half Sigma, in contrast, explains Jewish liberalism as being motivated to keep school prayer away from their kids, as Christianity with all its fun holidays and lack of dietary restrictions is just too much of a temptation for a Jewish mother to hazard. I’m going to look at questions that are racially vs religiously charged and compare the responses of Jews vs whites generally to see where the gap is larger.

snip

I’m going to post this and then calculate the results. Are Jews laicites or multicultists? See if you can beat me to it! Yeah, I know I have a head start since you didn’t instantly start reading this as soon as I posted it. You just have to be both lucky and fast.

UPDATE: Finished. Half Sigma wins hands down. Granted, there was subjectivity in what questions I chose to analyze. Think you can do a better job? Get to it! So why did the racialists get it wrong? My guess is that race is simply more salient to them and because they consider it a major motivating factor they assume it must also be for Jews. Because they do not lump Jews in with whites and are themselves concerned with promoting the interests of whites, they think Jews must also contrast themselves with whites (though as Half Sigma has noted, Jews think of themselves as whites) and the status of whites must be their target.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Half Sigma: Why do Jews vote Democratic?

Yes, yet another post on this topic. In my post about the 2006 exit poll, I noted that gay, lesbian, and bisexual voters were more than twice as likely to vote Republican than Jewish voters. It's easy to see why gay, lesbian, and bisexual voters would vote Democratic The Democratic Party supports gay rights. But what exactly do Jews get from the Democratic Party that makes them even more fervent Democrats than gays, lesbians, and bisexuals?

This time I had a new idea. Using the National Election Survery, years 1982-2000, I broke down the electorate into Jewish Democrats (JD), White non-Hispanic gentile Democrats (WD), Black Democrats (BD), and Republicans (R). By comparing these groups, maybe one can spot some trends?

First thing we observe is that Jews are more liberal on economic issues, but maybe slightly less so than other Democrats:

We see from the above table that Republicans favor the free market while Democrats favor strong government. Jews seem slightly more conservative than other Democrats, but the sample size is small. Blacks, on the other hand, are clearly more liberal on this issue than other Democrats.

The following question asks whether Social Security spending should be increased or decreased:

Once again, we see that Jews are more conservative than other Democrats, while black Democrats heavily support more government spending on Social Security.

Even among Republicans, only a minority supports lowering spending on Social Security.

On the issue of government health insurance, we see that Jews are slightly more conservative than other Democrats, while black Democrats strongly support government health insurance:

Now let's examine the issue of affirmative action:

Note that no group supports affirmative action except for black Democrats. It's strange that a policy which has such little support from the electorate is so entrenched.

The issues where Jews differe substantially from the rest of the electorate is on religious issues:

CONCLUSIONS

I still believe that Jews tend to feel more guilt than gentiles, and this guilt leads them towards government policies to help the less fortunate. Jews, being one of the wealthiest groups in the country, certainly don't need help from the government. Thus Jews vote Democratic for the purpose of guilt alleviation. But I have decided that this only explains part of the puzzle.

We see an area where Jews differ radically from the rest of the electorate, and that concerns issues of religion. For example, 65% of Jews think school prayer should always be illegal, compared to only a tiny minority of the rest of the electorate. I think the comment from SFG called it right. An important reason why Jews vote Democratic is because they want protection from Christianity.

It's also interesting to note that blacks are rock solid conservative on the issues of abortion and school prayer, but their interest in these issues are weaker than their interest in liberal economic policies and affirmative action, so they vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

Why do gentile whites vote Democratic? Probably for a combination of reasons. There are poor whites who vote Democratic for the same reasons as blacks. They want more government help. And then there are some more well off whites who vote Democratic because of guilt, and there is probably a small number of gentile whites who think like Jews on issues of religion. The Democratic party is a coalition of these different interest groups. I also believe that the Democratic party has core of leftists who have somewhat different motives than the vast majority of Democratic voters, even the Jewish Democratic voters.

Anonymous said...

There are many of us detached Jews, who never seem to be considered in these discussions. I have no offspring. I deny all religion. Many of my generation are converting to a lukewarm Christianity, or Buddhism. The "Jewish People" is a mirage that's eroding at the edges. Count me out, please.

Anonymous said...

I think the message of that film is that you have a duty to be part of a particular group simply because it was attacked, regardless of whether it is currently strong or weak and regardless of whether you have any genuine cultural attachment to it or think it has any particular worth.

Judaism to spite Hitler (for example) is destructive and stupid, even to itself.

If someone evil destroys something, but you judge that that thing was neither something particularly good nor worthy of your attachment nor something you feel close to, even if it did not deserve its fate you do not have a responsibility to live in remembrance of it and to forsake the life you have to protect it.

OneSTDV said...

"Jews do view themselves as distinctive, but not because of race or hostility towards whites but because of a distinctive religion, history, and culture."

Viewing themselves as distinct doesn't at all imply hostility.

I was just merely noting that Jews mostly think of themselves in ethnic or racial terms as Jews. White people like Sarah Palin and listen to Rush Limbaugh.

In my experience, Jews tacitly believe that conservatism and racial conservatism are the domain of gentile whites like Palin and O'Reilly. That's why wehn I argue with Jews about these topics I bring up Michael Savage or Bernie Goldberg or Barry Goldwater.

Beauregard said...

This kind of reminds me of David Goldman aka Spengler's shell-game:

"Judaism has nothing to do with race-there are Jews of every race-but it does have to do with family. Jews are members of Abraham's family. Not only tradition, but a great deal of DNA evidence support this claim."

sabril said...

"I can do better than that: three handpicked cases is anecdotal and will convince no one. "

It wouldn't convince me completely, but I would accept it as a persuasive piece of evidence.

However on the other hand, if you are unable to come up with the 3 names, it suggests to me that you are full of BS.

So please: Give me 3 names if you can. Because I doubt that you can.

"They were also asked if they were against a law forbidding blacks and whites from marrying--a measure of anti-tribalism. "

It could also be a measure of how much value you put on personal freedom.

Anyway, I'd be curious to know how other ethnic groups responded.

But mainly I would like the 3 names. Because if hypocrisy is rampant among Jews as you claimed, it should be easy for you to come up with the 3 names.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

However on the other hand, if you are unable to come up with the 3 names, it suggests to me that you are full of BS.

I'd also like to see peer reviewed evidence from psychological journals that Jews are unusually ethnocentric compared to other groups - and not questionable, cherry picked historical anecdotes about individual Jewish intellectuals.

OneSTDV said...

While I think Jews are very tribal, I don't think they're significantly more ethnocentric than Italian-Americans, to name one group.

Plus, there's also the issue of Jews simply advertising their ethnocentrism more. They're allowed to do so because they're a protected minority.

Other white ethnicities could be as ethnocentric but not advertise it b/c it's socially unacceptable.

Blode0322 said...
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sabril said...

Just to follow up on my earlier post, I don't see a necessary contradiction between (1) valuing your membership in a particular ethnic group; and (2) opposing miscegination laws.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

While I think Jews are very tribal, I don't think they're significantly more ethnocentric than Italian-Americans, to name one group.

The ethnocentrism of Jews (which appears to be in line with other white ethnic groups and does not seem excessive compared to Europeans) is not the issue because clannishness doesn't predict Jewish politics.

The most tribalistic Jews are the Orthodox and the Orthodox are very conservative politically speaking.

As TGGP and Half Sigma showed in their GSS anaylsis which I posted above, Jewish political activity is motivated by secularism/relgiousity, not ethnicity or tribalism.

sabril said...

"No gentile could get away with making such a flat-footed pronouncement."

I disagree. Many times I have heard gentiles say that Judaism is primarily a religion. I've never seen them chastised for it.

". But he is both against the conception of Jews as merely ethnic, and against interfaith marriage, and a believe in the inevitable of mixed marriage in our society ... "

I don't see a contradiction here. I'm against a lot of things which are inevitable in our society, and you are too.

"former member of political movements which supported marriages between blacks and whites."

Which political movement are you referring to?

The Undiscovered Jew said...

"former member of political movements which supported marriages between blacks and whites."

The Supreme Court Justices who overturned 9-0 the 1967 anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v Virginia were largely Episcopalian. Are Episcopalians persuing an ethnic strategy?

Only Abe Fortas was Jewish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

Court membership

Chief Justice
Earl Warren

Associate Justices
Hugo Black ·
William O. Douglas
Tom C. Clark ·
John M. Harlan II
William J. Brennan, Jr. ·
Potter Stewart
Byron White ·
Abe Fortas

sabril said...

Personally I favor laws against miscegination. But it seems pretty clear to me that a decent argument can be made against such laws.

So in my opinion, the fact that 11 random Jews oppose such laws is insufficient evidence to support a charge of hypocrisy against the Jews.

Inductivist, is that the best evidence you have?

Phelps said...

Ashkenazim are miscegenated.

Blode0322 said...
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palestra said...

Jewish political activity is motivated by secularism/relgiousity, not ethnicity or tribalism.

Secularism and religiosity can be proxies for ethnicity and tribalism.

Blode0322 said...
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Eric said...

What has got to stop? Tribalism? Or anti-tribalism? I have no problem with Jews treating their Jewishness as important. So I guess the lesson for me is that anti-tribalism has to stop.