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Sunday, August 28, 2005


OK, I'm back in London now, so more new content should be coming soon. Santorini was lovely, and my cousin Carmel's wedding was wonderful. I'm never dealing with Olympic Airlines again though (long story).

In the meantime, though, as follow-up to my post on what the west is, regular readers might be interested in the way that the discussion has developed elsewhere. Those in search of something more, er, controversial might find Kevin McDonald's essay on the subject interesting. I've mostly skipped through it, but from what I've seen, I think the points on 'simple families' in relation to individualism and the effects of the sexual altruism of the Medieval Church are quite interesting, but I am less sure about all the Jewish stuff, particularly the table of contrasts between European gentiles and Jews - I just don't see much evidence in terms of modern Jewish life and thought to support many of the contentions made (perhaps in the case of some of the more extreme Jewish 'community leaders', but not so in your garden variety everyday Jew). And his characteristics of (Christian) European cultural origins are pretty charitable; not 100% wrong, for sure, but an exaggeratedly good representation when set against an exaggeratedly bad representation of Jewish culture. I mean, European marriage patterns are exogamous and monogomous while Jewish marriages are endogamous, polygynous, and consanguineous? Perhaps once (although I am not really sure when polygamy was common among Jews, perhaps someone more knowledgeable on the subject can say), but now? When Jewish outmarriage rates in the United States (home to the biggest single Jewish community in the world) are, if I recall correctly, between 40 and 50%? I am just not convinced, at all. Neither am I by the dichotomy McDonald draws between Jewish and European ethnocentrisms. In the American context, certainly, I think it is hard to argue that today the public discussion of issues in terms of the narrow ethnic interests of European-American Christians is frowned upon; this doesn't mean that people don't think it. And it is particularly weird to paint this as some kind of evolutionary artifact, when it is quite clearly behavior that has been learned in the post-WWII period (and even then the question remains as to how deeply it has taken, and how much of it is just social pressure); even the most cursory pondering of the last five hundred years of European interactions with non-Europeans should be sufficient to puncture the idea that Europeans are by tradition low on the ethnic chauvinism scale.

Anyways, everyone knows McDonald has Jews on the brain, but I think the first maybe two-thirds of the essay are quite thought-provoking before it descends into his usual schtick of 'nefarious Jews turning White Christians against each other!'

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