Nightmare Numbers

A poll conducted Dec 13-14 among 2000 registered voters included the question:

Do you think that Jews as a class are oppressors and should be treated as oppressors or is that a false ideology?

Among respondents aged 18-24, 67% believed that Jews as a class’ are oppressors.  Note well: the questions was not about ‘Israel’ or ‘Israelis’ or ‘Zionists’, it was about Jews, plain and simple.

Michelle Tandler responded: “This is extraordinary. How did Gen Z come to believe that Jews are oppressors? Is that being taught somewhere..?”

What is being taught, pretty clearly, is that people are primarily defined by their ethnic and gender identity…there are no individuals, there are only ‘communities’ defined by these demographic categories. The more successful groups are defined as oppressors of the less-successful groups. Even the behavioral attributes required for success are viewed pejoratively; see for example  the Smithsonian on ‘whiteness’.  If values such as ‘hard work’, ‘rational thinking’, and ‘future orientation’ are considered as ‘whiteness’, then Jews ‘as a class’ certainly exemplify that attribute, regardless of the shade of any particular individual’s skin.  And if whites as a class are oppressors, then Jews as a class must be meta-oppressors.

This kind of thing clearly had its origins in academia.  As John Ellis notes at the WSJ:  “Campus antisemitism grew out of ideologies like “anticolonialism,” “anticapitalism” and “intersectionality.”..The radical left is the cause, most obviously through the one-party campuses having graduated an entire generation of young Americans indoctrinated with their ideas.”

Academia, and the K-12 schools which are repeaters of its ideologies, are of course not the only factors in this shocking rise in anti-Semitism. The rise of TikTok, with its emphasis on pre-literate modes of communication and the behavior of its algorithms–are they purposely malign toward American interests?–is surely a factor. See this comparison of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views among TikTok users and users of other platforms…see also this WSJ study of what actually shows up in the TikTok feeds of people registered as 13-year-olds.

Also–given that there are many nations–and not only Muslim ones–where anti-Semitism has been more pervasive and accepted than in the US, it is likely that the presence of large numbers of immigrants and foreign students has played a role in moving the Overton Window to a worse place: ‘Personnel is Policy.’

And, historically, societies in which people lose a sense of hope for the future, that they feel that they are facing pervasive decline, have been especially likely to be prone to anti-Semitism.  There are a lot of people in the US today who are not optimistic about either our national future or their personal futures.

While there are all these factors–and doubtless many more–behind the upsurge in anti-Semitism and the support for extreme groups such as Hamas, I believe that the ideology of Indentity Politics is the primary factor.  The prominent lawyer Alan Dershowitz went so far as to say DEI is the incubator of anti-Semitism.

While it’s not the only factor, as discussed about, I believe it’s the main factor giving new energy to this ancient hate, which had, until recently, long been on the decline in America–whereas traditional anti-Semitism was largely driven by the feeling that Jews were too different from the larger society, this new version is driven by the feeling that Jews exemplify the things that these individuals dislike about their own society–the attributes mentioned in the linked Smithsonian piece, for example.  I also think it’s important to note that some of the most visible anti-Israel and pro-Hamas people seem to be practically unhinged; see the videos of those enraged individuals tearing down posters of the hostages, snarling at and sometimes openly threatening anyone who dares disagree with them.  See this disturbing post from Katya Sedgwick.  I think that there is a parallel with Communist revolutionaries described in Doctor Zhivago and Weimar-era Germans described in Sebastian Haffner’s memoir who could get a sense of meaning in their lives–“all the raw material for their deeper emotions”, as Haffner put it…only via political activism.  See The Mentality of the Totalitarian Revolutionary, also Conformity, Cruelty, and Political Activism.

Some additional observations on the poll results, some of which seem inconsistent with one another:

73% of the 18-24 group agreed that the attack on Israel was a terrorist attack

67% thought that the attack was genocidal in nature…yet 60% thought it was justified by the grievance of Palestinians

69% say that identity politics based on race has come to dominate our elite universities

When asked whether the ideology that “white people are oppressors and nonwhite people and people of certain groups have been oppressed and as a result should be favored today at universities and for employment”, 79% of the 18-24s said they that they supported that ideology. For comparison, 39% of 35-44s and 26% of 55-64s were in support.

Even among the 18-24 group, 69% supported Israel’s right to exist.  It was 85% among 35-44s and 87% among 55-64s, close to 100% among those over 65.

80% of those in the 18-24 group supported Israel’s right to defend itself with air strikes.  At the same time, 67% of the 18-24s favor an unconditional ceasefire.

Some of these results seem confusingly contradictory; here’s a critique of the poll methodology.

But even if there are some problems with the numbers from this poll, there is plenty of evidence that there is a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism among younger Americans, along with increased support for anti-American ideologies–even in their extreme forms–and lowered identification with this country, its history, and its values.

Your thoughts?




36 thoughts on “Nightmare Numbers”

  1. Nuance is difficult. American Jews are predominantly white and therefore have no distinction from whiteness when it comes to what Americans think. Being white, the Jews have all the privilege that whiteness grants, while also sharing a diasporaic lineage that includes the history of the Holocaust.the fact that those who were polled told the truth while holding contrariam views. Maybe South Park should be taken off air…

  2. Golem-building.

    It’s enfuriating that the builders like Dershowitz: the NGO & bureaucratic parasites; the Academy & Hollywood villains; will skate. But some little guy who runs a prosperous local farm and is a good neighbor will get the pitchforks and fire.

    It’s rare for people to get their hands on a Ceausescu. Mostly they just scapegoat the nearest target.

    Ah well. Pray for miracles

  3. There are a few different angles to look at this:

    I was just reading a condensed excerpt from Haidt and Lukianoff’s “Coddling of the American Mind” which looks at the issue from a psychological standpoint of creating oppressors/. There is also Desmet’s “Psychology of Totalitarianism” which, as the title implies, also takes a psychological view but also focuses on the underlying philosophical decay of the West that has produced a form of emotional and psychological dislocation in society that seeks release.

    I tend to see this as a long-running, two track phenomena that has its roots 120+ years ago. I have been re-reading Marini’s “Unmasking the Administrative State” and he does an excellent job of mapping out the long-tern Progressive project of undermining the basis of the American nation and constitutional order. We tend to think of “anti-Americanism” as something that emerged since the 1960s and maybe before then in the form of fringe Nazi and Communist movements. However we see that contempt in our present day with “mainstream” criticism of various constitutional rights, contempt for “minority rule” in favor of untrammeled democracy, and the abandonment of natural rights in favor of the “Philosophy of History” which promises Utopian dreams.

    This contempt, accentuated in the 1960s and then sent on its Long march through the institutions has laid the basis for the problems you documented in the polling. Our educational institutions, indeed elite culture as a whole, with its resistance weakened by the Progressive contempt for the American system and has proven ripe for takeover by the postmodern Left which is now dominant. In other words, the Progressives plowed the ground and allowed the weed seed of the radical postmodernists to take root and flourish. What Dershowitz and others miss is that they see DEI, antisemitism as separate phenomena with a certain cause-and-effect when in reality they are part of a much larger philosophical and civilizational problem that cannot be solved with simply firing a college president or eliminating DEI offices

    So now we have an entire generation of students who have spent their entire academic lives marinated in the nihilism of postmodernism, who have no core of values except to seek their own “truth” and to see the world as oppressors and oppressed. For many the Hamas War is their coming-out party, but in reality that was just the trigger of convenience; if it wasn’t for the War it would have happened next year during the Election.

    The whole era of the Progressives preparing the ground for the rise of the Postmodernists can be seen through the era of Obama. He came to the public mind from his 2004 Democratic Convention speech and was promoted by traditional Progressives as their technocratic moderate. In reality, as David Garrow has written, what Obama presented to the world as his biography was a work of historical fiction. Deep down he is as radical as they come, he just knows how to hack the system

    One other thought, I find the polling you cite interesting but as with all such endeavors flawed,. Social science research can never really explain, it just opens up avenues of inquiry. Behind the raw numbers, I am more interested in what certain subgroups of the 18-24s think. Unlike Somin I see certain groups at the college and college-bound level, in other words the leaders of tomorrow, with whom the terms “oppressors” and “oppressed” have a certain resonance and those are the people I am interested in. One of the things I think few of us have considered is what the numbers in the polling really mean in terms of societal impact. Unlike Somin I don’t care if the ideologically committed are not representative, because the problem we have today is that our elites have views and policies that aren’t representative and that’s why we have the problems we do today.

  4. Most of us “have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head.” Unless some circumstance demands that two conflicting ideas be applied simultaneously, a student can go through years alternately denouncing Jews and defending them, even within the same conversation. Encouraging people to think things through seems to be a bruising exercise in futility.

    The danger seems to come when circumstances are adjusted to encourage the small participations (signing petitions, joining a peaceful march) that slowly commit you. (“Wear the shawl”, “This is more important than going to class”, “March in an action protest”, “Don’t worry, their windows are insured. Here, you do one too.”)

  5. Richard Kemp, a retired Colonel in the British Army, writes:

    “Hamas is by far the most successful antisemitic entity in the world today.

    Beyond all competition, it has mobilized Jew-hatred around the world, using the State of Israel both as its target and its primary weapon. By waging war against Israel over many years, Hamas has inspired and energized international organizations such as the UN and the EU; governments and parliaments; the Western media; university authorities, professors, and students; human rights groups; businesses; and large sectors of the general population.

    All dance to its pernicious tune: some out of malevolence, some out of ignorance, and others blindly jumping on the virtue-signaling woke bandwagon.

    Consequently, the global scope and scale of Hamas’s antisemitic influence dramatically exceeds even the Nazis from whom it takes much of its own inspiration.”

  6. To JTK’s point about participation…

    From a philosophical standpoint, dealing with antisemitism will take a very long time, decades, because the rot is deep. From dealing with the current outbreaks of it, it can be handled in much shorter period of time.

    The first principle of action is nothing “just” happens, somebody needs to make it happen. Marx thought the victory of the proletariat would just happen, Lenin understood that it took a revolutionary vanguard to make it happen. Even a flash mob that loots the local 7-11 needs a self-starter, a leadership class as it were, to take the initiative to decide where and when. Same with this antisemetic stuff, you have a few agitators and leaders influencing a much larger group of swishy followers.

    Want to deal with antisemitic events in campus? Take a page from how the Left dealt with the Jan. 6 protests. First decapitate the other side’s leadership by discrediting it through infiltration and then throwing them into prison for lengthy periods of time on “sedition” and other enhancements. Then take the followers, the ones who tagged along, who just walked through the velvet ropes and ruin their lives through felony convictions, prison sentences, and huge legal bills. The Left didn’t eliminate MAGA anymore than we can eliminate the root causes of antisemitism in the short term, but by identifying and crushing the leaders and some salutary prison sentences (or maybe just expulsions) for the followers you’re going to make anybody outside of a few hardened radicals think twice about signing on. FAFO… a short-term solution yes and needs to be repeated (we call it “mowing the lawn); it buys time for longer-term solutions to take root

    Btw… it’s not our job to root out the crap in university faculty. That Sisyphean job belongs to the university administrators who we recruit for the job as proxies by standing athwart their fiscal windpipe. True who ever replace Claudine Gay might come from the same postmodern culture, but they are going to be dancing a somewhat different tune.

  7. Funny how the first two comments are from “new” commenters between 2 and 3 AM in a language that only resembles English.

  8. That Sisyphean job…

    No. I presume everyone likely to read this is familiar with the story of how Alexander unraveled the Gordion Knot.

    I have a simpler idea. Stop giving these vile parasites money, period. No careful selection of university administrators who may or may not eventually do something about the deranged insanity American children are taught, no hoping and praying that appointees will actually do what they claimed they would do when questioned before Congress, no worries that some obscure provision in a thousand-page omnibus bill will eventually lead to some idiot at a college exclaiming that xir task is to scrub the hated white devils off of “Turtle Island.” Simply refuse to carry over whatever provisions in the federal budget that send money to the various anti-American institutions that infect the land, in any way.

    Easy for me to write that, isn’t it?

    In actual practice the witless minions of the gop have demonstrated no interest in doing anything of the sort, so here we are. That’s a problem. The House of Representatives reportedly has the power of the purse, to use old timey language from the days of yore when the Constitution of 1789 mattered.

    If the GOP-run house can’t even manage to use that fully legal and fully constitutional power to defund the treasonous insanity of the left, then why would I imagine that they would ever match the mob violence and extralegal prosecution the left routinely uses against its opponents?

    I do not so imagine.

    Either the GOP will be replaced by a functioning opposition party- completely willing to use every tool available against the left, including every tool the left has deployed against America- or the country will shortly disintegrate.

    Interesting times, etc.

  9. Either the GOP will be replaced by a functioning opposition party- completely willing to use every tool available against the left, including every tool the left has deployed against America- or the country will shortly disintegrate.

    The TEA Party was the first sign of rebellion of GOP voters to the lies they were told in campaigns. Trump then appeared and was elected. I did not expect anything from Trump and saw my vote as a brick through the window of the uniparty. I was surprised when he made a genuine effort to do what he promised. Especially while having the entire federal bureaucracy opposed to him. He should be able to point to his record and Biden’s failures.

  10. Mike K: “The TEA Party was the first sign of rebellion of GOP voters to the lies they were told in campaigns.”

    Arguably, Ross Perot’s “United We Stand” party in the early 1990s was the first sign of rebellion from GOP voters. And the Institutional GOP conspired with the media to crush that uprising.

    Then there was the somewhat disorganized TEA party movement — also crushed by the Institutional GOP and the media.

    Next was the MAGA movement. How could any citizen of any political proclivities not support a movement to “Make America Great Again”? Yet the Institutional GOP cooperated with the media and the Demonrats to label MAGA as equivalent to the Nazis.

    I have to agree with Xennady — we should not put any hope in the Institutional GOP ever delivering on its promises. It may be that the most useful thing any of us can do is to refuse to vote anymore, and thereby undermine today’s lie of “democracy”.

  11. On my old blog I cited the Langston Hughes poem “Harlem” and George Orwell to explain the emergence of the Tea Party. Recalling the final line of the poem, I asked: “How does a dream explode?” In Animal Farm, that came when Boxer the draft horse collapsed and the regime summoned a glue truck to take him away, telling the rest of the animals it was an ambulance. Benjamin the Donkey could read and thus saw through the ruse, and chased the truck in vain. The real-life Glue Factory Moment came via the TARP bailout and Obama’s godzillion-dollar stimulus package.

    If the glue factory van was a faint blip during the TARP debate, it was coming around the corner now. No way could the American economy survive this kind of fiscal insanity for long. Obama, Reid and Pelosi upped the ante too [fast]. Americans could see Armageddon from their house.

    These Americans did not follow Benjamin’s example. They did not protest for one moment and then fade into the background. They took an option that is missing from Hughes’ poem: they worked proactively to win back the dream.

  12. I was bemused by the House hearings and what the exact purpose of them was. Surely the American and British universities have been very open for quite some years in trying to conduct economic warfare against Israel. The presumed intent was that if Israel was sufficiently handicapped, the “palestinians” would be able to graduate from attacking civilians and the occasional careless soldier to succeeding in their, again openly professed, ambition to push all Israelis into the sea. In this respect, the House hearing takes on the trappings of a classic show trial of the party stalwart that has violated discipline by saying the quiet part out loud.

    In this case that the, heretofore carefully maintained distinction, between Israelis/Zionists and Jews in general is no longer operative. Is it so very surprising that the cohort just leaving the stifling embrace of the educratic establishment has grasped the essence while missing the nuance? I imagine roughly the same proportion has never held a paying job that didn’t require them to ask; “you want fries with that?”.

    Try to count the number of years in the 20th century that didn’t also coincide with one or several episodes of mass killing. I forswear using the term genocide simply because it always devolves into a debate over the finer points of the definition. The victims are just as dead from political/ideological strife as from true genocide and the root causes are rarely different. In that time, not one of these efforts ever failed for lack of willing perpetrators. Only two cases come to my mind where outside forces were brought to bear to end episodes. The first was Vietnam’s intervention against the Khmer Rouge and the last was the intervention in Bosnia. Specifically, throughout the Holocaust, not one action comes to my mind of any action taken by the Allies to stop or even hinder it. In fact, the actions by various, presumably Fascist, Italians probably saved more Jews than the actions of any other group.

  13. “How is refusing to vote helpful?”

    It sends a message to the Uniparty that “We Are Not Fooled”.

    My plan from this point on is to go to the polling place and spoil my vote. If enough people do this, it will become impossible for the Political Class and their media running dogs to ignore. Already, in most elections, the number of people not voting exceeds the number voting for the “winning” candidate. And this is “democracy”? In the absence of real democracy, not voting or spoiling one’s vote is the only practical option.

    Of course, this will not change the coming inevitable economic collapse of our society and all the unpleasantness that will follow. But it might give future generations pause for thought as they try to rebuild a new society on the wreckage of this one.

  14. Going back to the original post and what Mike K. wrote regarding the Tea Party… you know who is conspicuous by his absence on all of this? Trump. Trump’s special genius is not only to frame an issue in a way that shifts the debate, but to give voice to issues that have been “canceled”by others. Mike K’s comment reminded me that before Trump came along, the Tea Party and its positions were considered radioactive; he, at least in regard to immigration, brought them to life. Why hasn’t Trump said anything about antisemitism and the universities yet? Probably because he is laying low until the nomination is in hand. We’ll see come Spring.

    2023 was the annus horribilis for universities (though hopefully it will turn out to be an average year, worse than last year, better than next) Their racism got exposed in the Supreme Court, the way they prey on student borrowing got exposed by Biden’s debt program, and the recent displays of antisemitism on campuses combined with the disastrous Congressional testimony by those university presidents have showed them to be debt-financed hate factories. To top it, the Queen Bee, the President of Harvard has been exposed as serial plagiarizer and an DEI trust baby. Think of the fun Trump can have with that.

    The Right does not know how to use power. The Left would (and have) taken advantage of less vulnerabilities than the universities present and made serious hay out of it. Remember the whole 2020 BLM and DEI and all of that came from a short video clip of career criminal about to die from fentanyl poisoning being restrained by a cop. They took advantage of the COVID hysteria to rewrite the voting laws allowing them not to only win 2020 but also future elections. Never let a crisis go to waste, but the Right does that all the time. Witness Audrey Hale, the New Mexico suspension of gun rights, etc… The crisis in the universities come not have come at a better time, with an election approaching and Trump being on the ballot; this moment is made for him and MAGA

    As far as doom and gloomers, that the political process is broken and nothing can be done under current circumstances …. well that might be true, but so what? What are you going to do today that might be effective? That might have a chance at working? If another governor decides (and it will happen) to suspend 2nd Amendment rights you cannot blame the political system if you don’t show up to protest. You don’t need to wait on Congress to make a difference in education, your state and local governments spend billions on education already and they are both closer to where you live and easier to influence. Most states have their legislative sessions starting up in a few weeks, sounds like an opportunity. In Arizona, we converted a temporary control of the political branches into passing what amounts to a voucher bill that will pay dividends for years to come

    If you want to hunker down and wait, well that’s not much of plan and hey I got my own prepper hideaway just in case but in the meantime I also like winning and good for future generations, but I live in the here and now. Organization and execution, strategic planning to identify the general approach and identify weak spots and proper tactics to exploit those weak spots, but never do what the other side wants you to do which is hunker down in isolation and engage in futile gestures.

  15. “You don’t need to wait on Congress to make a difference in education, your state and local governments spend billions on education already and they are both closer to where you live and easier to influence.”

    A lot of people…maybe most people…have considered national & international politics as the major-league game and local politics as fairly uninteresting. Someone recently suggested that this will change given high mortgage rates and the consequent difficulties in moving to someplace new…if you’re going to be somewhere for the next 15 years, local issues become a lot more important to you.

    The mortgage-rate effect is partly overcome by the remote-work effect, though.

  16. The so called leadership of Harvard is 100% aligned with probably 70-80% of the faculty and a similar proportion of the students. They sound antisemitic because they are, period. And just where have the DOD, DOJ, CIA, FBI etc. been recruiting the junior gestapos and now not so junior ones that have spent the last 20 years leaving their excrement stained boot prints all over the Constitution, not to mention the Judges that have become deaf, dumb and blind.

    Just what other possible aim of the BDS movement than the destruction of Israel is there? The only thing remotely surprising is that anyone with an IQ above room temperature in Celsius can claim to be surprised with a straight face. People have been complaining about lack of freedom of speech at Harvard and all the other institutions of higher propaganda, well, now we have an outstanding example of it. Was Gay supposed to squelch this free speech? Presumably they’re bright enough to get the message, and in future will avoid troubling future employers by such forthright expression, not that their attitude will change, they’ll practice discretion who they share it with. That was the intent of the House farce. Fair warning to the sane among us, remember these folks, they won’t be so unguarded in the future.

  17. One of the problems with the Right and local/state governments is that those politicians who start at the level are like Napoleon’s “Every soldier carries a Marshal’s baton in their knapsack” in that they all dream of moving on to better elected offices. We see ones like Michael Madigan who stayed in the Illinois House for 40 years because of his corruption, but we don’t see many like Tom Hayden or Scott Wiener who made careers in Sacramento pushing radical legislation.

    One of the reasons state-level politics is important is because each state is potentially a policy-laboratory that offers if not a “proof of concept” at least model legislation that like-minded politicians in other states can point to. California has been doing this for decades with various policies ranging from K-12 gender transitions to gas-powered leaf blower bans. We would not have seen the mass breakout of mail-in balloting in 2020 if states such as Oregon and California hadn’t taken the lead in prior years

    The Left understands how these things spread which is why they came down so hard on Georgia’s 2021 voting reforms (“Jim Crow II) and Florida’s 2022 law regulating sexual content in K-3 education (“Don’t Say Gay”) They weren’t trying to overturn those laws so much as to prevent their breakout into other states.

    I mentioned how several states, including Arizona, have passed voucher systems that can be used to support home schooling but the Left is taking a similar approach to limit their spread. I expect a ballot initiative in Arizona for 2024 to overturn the law, but we see the groundwork already being laid to discredit the homeschooling movement. The Washington Post has run seven major stories over the past two months depicting it as a pathway to child abuse to unaccountable educational outcomes to basically a breakout of a fringe movement. Expect many more stories in the coming months because the Left understands the stakes involved if they lose control over kids’ education.

    I know there are many here that this is just small ball stuff that’s going to prove irrelevant with the impending national crises and civilizational collapse; kind of like reforming the Roads Department on the day before we know the Sweet Meteor of Death hits. However it’s by ignoring this which have huge impacts and where it’s easy to make a difference, that we end of up with things… antisemitism in education. Got to start someplace and besides what else are you going to do while waiting for the end?

  18. I come from a generation which saw anti-semitism ever-receding, becoming unfashionable and then anathema in sector after sector of American society. It simmered on the far left among the more-oppressed-than-thou groups, which were always competing to be (or find) the most deserving of pity, and thus the most excusing of whatever personal anger they felt at their own personal and group failures. Secular Jews had moved far into the territory of “The rest of the antisemitism will just go away if we disassociate ourselves from Israel. There are too many right-wingers in Israel anyway.” I have known very decent people who believed that this was the final cause of prejudice, and the Promised Land was now in sight, if only, if only…

    But “independence” from Israel was ultimately mostly just code for “liberalism is our real religion, and we think that is more Jewish than the religious versions.” Radical politics catered with bagels and a schmear. That’s the real Judaism, because Anti-Rightist. “Never Again” invisibly but very early on became “never again will we support anyone on the right, because they are just fascists at heart.” Not that they had supported anything on the right to begin with, so the Holocaust memory was co-opted by communists. All this was written about by many conservative Jews, in National Review and even at book length, but it never dented that Upper Manhattan consciousness that much. Twenty years ago it was “almost banal” to write about liberal Jewish disillusionment with Israel. (Yale Review) They quite honestly thought it was the final nail in the coffin of antisemitism. That’s what lack of insight int0o your own motives does – it prevents you from seeing the obvious.

    Now that is changed, and the evil that simmered on the fringes of both left and right has boiled over. Again. There are those who teach that the constant return to dangerous antisemitism after periods of happiness and acceptance (which have also occurred for centuries) is proof they are the Chose People. That could be. It is certainly suggestive that something darkly spiritual is in play among their enemies.

  19. I know there are many here that this is just small ball stuff that’s going to prove irrelevant with the impending national crises and civilizational collapse; kind of like reforming the Roads Department on the day before we know the Sweet Meteor of Death hits. However it’s by ignoring this which have huge impacts and where it’s easy to make a difference, that we end of up with things… antisemitism in education.,,

    The devil is in the details and the Left is good at details. Government and control are what they do for a living. They have worked assiduously to take control of institutions, especially in education, while conservatives and other normal people complacently assumed that the people educating their children had values that aligned with their own.

    But it’s never over and even now there are many more normal people than there are leftists. Let’s hope the normals take back control of the institutions. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight.

  20. The political pathologies of secular American Jews are a cause of chronic disappointment for American conservatives of a certain age. However, it seems likely that Jewish-American politics will shift rightward in the coming years as religious Jews out-reproduce secular Jews.

  21. Jonathon: “Let’s hope the normals take back control of the institutions. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight.”

    Let’s hope so. But let’s also be realistic — today’s “normals” are not the normals who fought in the War of Independence, the Civil War (both sides), or even WWII.

    Today’s normals are less religious and more litigious; they generally have no problems with homosexuals & lesbians, although they are not so supportive of them flaunting their proclivities in public; lots of them are not too concerned about abortion, at least until the baby enters the birth canal; and — very unfortunately — many of today’s normals are dependent to some extent on spending by the Federal Government, which makes them reluctant to support the necessary drastic reduction in government spending.

    The real model for today is the Israelites’ Forty Years in the Wilderness after escaping from slavery in Egypt. Forty years — two generations of hard scrabble — during which all the Israelites whose views had been formed while they were slaves could die off. After two similarly hard generations, perhaps our future new normals will be ready to rebuild a sane society.

    For those of us today, I fear there is no way to avoid Mike’s “Sweet Meteor of Death”.

  22. Through history, antisemitism in the West has been clothed in Christian zealotry, either for complicity in the Crucifixion or simply for not being Christian. All the mainline Christian denominations have now explicitly renounced religious discrimination. In any case, religion has nothing to do with these incidents and I would be infinitely surprised to find out that whatever vestiges of Christian organizations survive in places like Harvard had any involvement.

    Whatever motivated the Holocaust, Christian principals or defense of the faith had no part. In this case, these “academics” feel that the supposed injustice committed against the palestinians has given them license to indulge their free ranging hate on Jews without consequence. Be very sure that they will be just as orgasmically eager to attack the next identified enemy group. There are already whisperings about the evils of capitalism, especially now that some may lose lucrative job offers. Be vary sure there will be other targets. The BLM riots were such fun, everyone’s primed for the next good time.

    We have entrusted education to the “experts, who turn out to be the worst people we could have possibly trusted.

  23. wrt experts:
    Chesterton: “I know that some moderns are asking to have their wives chosen by scientists, and they may soon be asking, for all I know, to have their noses blown by nurses.”

    wrt “normals:”
    Samuel Adams: “[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”

    Benjamin Franklin: “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

  24. Both Adams and Franklin had, shall we say, interesting private lives and complicated intimate relationships. Both would have been incandescently contemptuous of Biden, Inc. but probably ignored Clinton’s and Trump’s various sex scandals. It’s not so much the words have changed meaning as that the world has changed. At that time, for most “men of the world”, all concepts dealing with honesty had glaring blind spots, especially around relations between men and women, in every respect and context, and class. A man would be shunned from polite society for defaulting a gambling debt to another man of consequence while stiffing his tailor was hardly a public affair. Keeping a mistress or even several or whoring and roistering about were only a social liability to the extent that they had married a woman that would raise a fuss.

  25. “A man would be shunned from polite society for defaulting a gambling debt to another man of consequence while stiffing his tailor was hardly a public affair”…true in England, from what I’ve read, but in the US?

  26. I have been re-reading Marini’s “Unmasking the Administrative State” and he uses a word that after reading David’s post and MCS’s comment on experts leaps out as especially relevant here… that of prudence.

    A hallmark of prudence in public life is caution in claiming what you know and how far you should go. Rumsfeld was roundly mocked for his comment regarding known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns but the distinctions he made are especially relevant today. Marini uses prudence in a way that I think a religious person, especially a Christian, would understand in that there are things that are beyond the ability of human reason to discern. The Christian “Mystery of Faith” and Faust’s selling his soul to Mephistopheles for knowledge are part of this. However to our modern day cult of expertise, any thing that can be called “unknown” is simply something that hasn’t yet had a research grant attached to it; everything in the world (including morality) can be ordered and explained

    As far as how far you should go, Marini bases his use of prudence on the foundation of natural rights, that there are somethings that are beyond the legitimate reach of men to touch (though often honored in the breach) To an “expert” there are no such “no go” areas, each claim of a person’s place in the world must be justified and rationalized. To take a historic example, say regarding eugenics which gained prominence in the Progressive era, the person who espouses prudence would recoil at treating undesirables as something less than human since it would violate a principle of natural rights while an expert would feel that actions could be rationally justified, if you looked hard enough.

    To David’s post regarding antisemitism, we in retrospect should not be surprised how it exploded on campus because for the past 20+ years the ground had been prepared by our expert class in their depiction of whites as the evil oppressor class. There are not only careers but entire departments and professional classes that are dedicated to the notion that the ills of the world can be traced to a conspiracy of certain group of people defined by race (whites); the parallels to the antisemitism of the past 150 years are unmistakable.

    In a sense the emergence of antisemitism on campus and young people in general was inevitable because our experts, as David stated, had indoctrinated them to look upon the world in terms of oppressor/oppressed. Unfortunately for the universities, especially those 3 university presidents who testified in front of Congress, while whites have seemed content to be a punching bag, there still remains enough collective memory of the Holocaust to make Jew-hatred a no-go area.

    For Claudine Gay and the others in front of Congress, they were caught between their campus culture of experts who could justify antisemitism and a still prudent public who recognized that such things could never be justified. The issue facing us isn’t so much the revival of antisemitism but that we have devolved as a society, despite our levels of education and wealth, to be able to rationalize things that anybody with a lick of common sense and compassion would recoil from.

  27. That people believe whatever junk they’re taught is not an argument for universal public education controlled by D.C.’s Department of Education. Instead of producing public education held to high quality and standards, it centralization produces stupidity and bigotry.

  28. If the current state of anti-Semitism exists because the victims are the Whitest of White [oppressors], then if the appalling, entrenched, poisonous anti-White bigotry is rooted out, the anti-Semitism would be rooted out as well.

    Priorities should be to destroy anti-Christianity, destroy anti-Whiteness, destroy anti-Americanism.

  29. The most absolutely remarkable thing about these types of discussions, wherever they are occuring, is that nobody ever says “maybe these young adults are looking at certain facts without our emotional predispositions and simply coming to different conclusions than we did”.


    Nobody ever says “What have the facts in evidence been for the past 10-20 years that would provide formative experiences for these young adults, and how do those facts contrast with the facts that provided our formative experiences?”


    The core, unalterable, fundamental premise is: “they think differently than us therefore they MUST be wrong and they MUST be forced to change”.

    This will end well.

  30. The most absolutely remarkable thing about these types of discussions, wherever they are occuring, is that nobody ever says “maybe these young adults are looking at certain facts without our emotional predispositions and simply coming to different conclusions than we did”.

    Nobody is saying it, because it’s obviously false. These young adults look at the mass-murder of Jews by people whose stated goal is the mass-murder of Jews, and say that the Jews had it coming. Is this your position too? Don’t be coy.

  31. The enduring mystery of the Middle East is why the Arabs continue to pour money into these open sewers while at the same time, categorically refusing entry of “palestinians” into their countries. Also, notice all the Arab armies that aren’t massing to come to the aid of their coreligionists.

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