A couple of years ago, I knocked off a mean-spirited
commentary on Dennis Cooper's literary MO. In my hamfisted rush to twist the dagger, I neglected to weigh the prospect of an audience, and I certainly
never took account of the possibility that the subject of my
self-satisfied animadversion might ever take notice. So when
Cooper thought to list me in his gallery of "people who hate me,"
I was surprised, and mildly embarrassed. It seemed too late to
point out that I actually admire much of Cooper's writing, that I simply found his better instincts to have been smothered in this one pretentious
failed experiment, or that there might be reasons. I just wanted to buy
the guy a drink and talk about foreign documentaries and homo stuff. You
scratch against the tubes and there is humility. Conscience dictates. I could never use a
So I should state up front that I rather like and
respect Kevin MacDonald. I like that he keeps mining this abandoned vein, that he ruts through the footnotes and invites trouble and always seems up to the fight. I appreciate
the absence of coating and face-saving apology in his work, and I like the personal subtext that he
might not deny. The formal strictures of academic writing muffle the
beat, but there is an adventurous spirit detectable in the project to
which he is fused, for good or ill. I'm sure many Jewish intellectuals are more interested
— and more amused — than they'll ever confess. As Superman needs a foil, Jewish history needs a threat. Considered as symbiosis, it's almost quaint.
Of course, I felt the same way about Andrea Dworkin.
Now track back to a recent sputter. Where the mysterious paleocon essayist, Takuan Seiyo, files a shrewdly critical commentary on Kevin MacDonald's troublesome intellectual mission. Where, in a testily pitched response, Prof. MacDonald conveniently accuses Seiyo of "ethnocentric self-deception." Where the beat goes on.
That Seiyo's critique should be only the most recent exhibit in a sideshow of rightwing flare-ups over the MacDonald mystique is not really a surprise. It makes sense that the row should be noisiest at the traditionalist edge, where Occidentalist romance is still limned in crude hoping measures. I suppose this is a good thing. It's at least grist.
I just don't hear the music. I don't think it's real.
Considered as evo-psych, MacDonald's heterodox Jewish studies trilogy — especially the The Culture of Critique — may be preposterously overconfident, but once you get past the pretense to science there are some devilishly incisive dissident deconstructions to swish around. I happen to think old MacDonald is on to something, for example, when he decrypts what might be called a "Jewish Savior" trope in a number of pop-cultural artifacts, such as Ordinary People and Independence Day (I would add Welcome Back Kotter and Taxi, though Northern Exposure can almost be read as a parody of the same narrative strategy). If I had the means, I'd pay the bad professor to annotate TV Guide for my perpetual amusement and edification. Subversive pop-crit is a tart snack, even when the main course goes down like persimmon goulash.
If non-cognitivism reduces philosophy to a transvaluative aesthetic game, then I am liberated to play it loose from Stirner's trench, or from the gut. And so I will. Because I have no use for nationalism or racialism. I don't like babies (of any hue) and I have little respect for pregnant women. I absolutely want to have my cake and eat it too, and why the fuck not? I didn't ask to be born and now I wait to die, all because two gene-propagating robots heeded nature's algorhythimic call. Fuck them for that. I'm left with bells and whistles and taste and sensibility, and the call to some greater awakening will always read as static dash and dot, cuz that's just what it is.
I like the idea of middlebrow WASPish housewives talking Phillip Roth at the Wednesday bookclub. I like that they'll remember the best lines and miss the subversive hostility that grates against another tunneled priority. Fuck Bob Hope, if that's what's left. Milton Friedman ended the draft and that's good enough for me. Murray Rothbard, that eternal Jew, unwittingly convinced me that breeding was indecent. Steven Pinker is a Jew. Ayn Rand could never shake the tethers. Stalin's Willing Executioners may have been disproportionately of a certain mein and stock, but Larry David makes me chuckle and Freud is wonderfully mad, and that's worth a mound of corpses at least. Thank those and fuck the others is my redoubt. It's not a ledger. Life is too short. I don't get lonely. I care more about animals than people. I see no need for apology. I know just where it ends. Call it salience. I am not joking.
But I want to be fair, because I know you disagree. So listen as MacDonald restates a foundational point in reply to Seiyo:
makes much of the fact that the people and ideas that were discussed among
Jewish radicals were in fact discussed by a whole lot of people, including “the
entire continental European intelligentsia.” Right. The whole point of The Culture of Critique is that movements that were originated
and dominated by Jewish intellectuals eventually became the culture of Western
suicide. This implies that they also became the culture of non-Jews. That was
the whole point of writing about my memories of
(OK. I want to interject, because that "Memories of Madison" piece it worth a read. The personalized drift
leaves me to wonder whether MacDonald got laid in college. Jewish
femininity can be so much sensory overload and I'm tempted to imagine a
certain recovering princess talking up young Kevin in the commons, or perhaps in the dorm late at night. Maybe she was having trouble with her
boyfriend back in New York. Maybe there was that tantalizing mind-melding moment, or a confession,
intoned in embarrassed laughter. To be honest, pot makes me nervous, too! Or: don't tell him, but I've never read a line of Pushkin!
Oh, I know. Probably not. But damnit, when MacDonald talks about feeling "alienated," I don't sense he's playing at Marxian allusion. Do you? It must have meant something. It could have meant
Anyway, he continues:
In CofC, I present a theory of how these
movements spread their influence throughout society: These movements succeeded
because they were able to dominate the prestigious academic and media
institutions of the West. Once this domination was established, people were
socialized within a culture dominated by these ideas. And people who wanted to
establish themselves in the intellectual hierarchy perforce engaged in status
competition within the universe of acceptable discourse established by these
movements. People who dissented from these ideas were ostracized and vilified;
they were unable to gain recognition or, quite often, employment. Psychoanalysis
is a paradigm of this sort of movement. A major theme of CofC is that these movements did not
function like scientific movements — a product of Western individualist culture
— but much more like politburos and kangaroo courts. In that regard, there were
much more like traditional Jewish culture as described, for example, by
Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky.
Yeah, OK. It might be a little bit true. I'm not nearly so convinced as MacDonald, but I'm willing to column it on the whiteboard with an asterisk. Trouble is, Jews are just plain smart. And smart explains a lot. Smart people helm movements and influence cultures. Yes, it seems possible — even likely — that psychoanalysis and Marcusian social diagnostics may have been enculturated with the spirit of deeper religious and intellectual traditions, as MacDonald would at least nearly insist. And the same subtextual currents might have informed the trajectory and texture of the arduous dialectical logomachies that once got a few bookish Trotskyists closer to laid.
You imagine the proud difficulty that comes of slogging through Talmudic hermeneutics, redirected from the backbrain where the lessons of a rejected father-figure yet simmer. Or you imagine a revolutionist's screed coming to nest at strangely familiar metes and bounds. Communism as a squeaky-clean new god, who might have succeeded. Or who still favors the chosen. You imagine certain prescripted minds flipping through channels, selling goods.
Or. Conversely. You can imagine Rudolf the red-nosed goy, left with everything to prove. Alienated. And tempted by Jewish pussy.
You can take the boy out of the schettle, but selfish genes are cursed in wile. Is the game thus rigged? I doubt it, but I don't give a fuck if it is.
Even if MacDonald's suspicions could somehow be tested and proven, the prescription he favors would be dubious by any account, and would be of no interest ever — ever — to me.
Let's flay it to the marrow. In the sad slophut of human nature, there probably is an instinct toward ethnic preservation — a kin-selective peacock effect that may be reinforced by a culture here, subverted by a counterculture there. But assuming this much to be true, so what? By what reason should any normative conclusions follow? MacDonald and his fans seek hope in the recrudescence of ango-white racial consciousness, which inevitably means a fight (or a "cultural insurrection" to use MacDonald's titular phrase). It also means more Bob Hope, and Bob Evans. I have no use for either.
A closer look will reveal a call to action dressed in tried rhetorical phrases that latch to abstractions that reduce to the seductive romance of another dumb naturalistic fallacy. Where everything presupposed is just as confidently rejected. You love your daddy and I hate mine. Pessimism and nihilism are separated, as ever, by a pluckable cunthair. The Hog wields a rusty tweeze engraved with the words, "no one should ever have children."
Google the phrase "suicide of the west" and you'll soon be kneedeep in the mire of rightist slogan-shouting sludge. But viewed against the certainty of real death and real suffering, the heroically sung preference for dynastic survival will always read as hollow arrogance, as clumsily hoped quasi-spiritual, empty meta-ethical cant. Not for a moment do I doubt that the specter of ethnic "suicide" thrums against atavistic chords in minds far keener than mine. Yet it was only ever a metaphor, children — a metaphor that cannot but obscure the welcome reality that fewer people will be born to face the blight of any struggle from without.
If that's the way you imagine it, why, precisely, would you enlist future generations in the praxis? If you think the ship is sinking, if you have nightmares about Norman Lear and Judd Hirsch, here is my suggestion: don't have kids. Demography isn't destiny in any sense that matters. Death is destiny. And genes are not reasons. All life begets death. Racial struggle is a sad distraction for restive souls. Touch the third rail and hope vanishes, as well it should.
If the "suicide of the west" is imminent, my only regret is that it might not be contagious. Is David Benatar a Jew? I fucking hope so.