What The Reactionary Anti-Semitism Gets Right

 

flag-408317_1920Growing up, my South African father used to remind us American kids that “There are only two types of people in the world: Jews and anti-semites.” This used to upset us terribly. It’s patently false, we would think. Our experience shows our society to be tolerant and kind. Where in the United States is friendlier and more welcoming than suburban Atlanta? Of course, the specter of Leo Frank’s lynching always hung like a shadow in the backs of our minds. But that was a long time ago. Surely, that old hatred is dead.

But it’s starting to look like dad was right after all. From Islamists, to progressive Europe, to the dregs of the Alt-Right on Twitter, we Jews are surrounded by a resurgent tide of anti-Semitism.Which leads to the question my progressive neighbor likes to constantly ask: “Why do they hate us?”

When it comes to explaining Jew hatred, the safest course of action is probably to declare it an uncaused historical constant. After all, what can be the reason for a hatred that has spanned millenia, civilizations, classes, religions, and practically every other boundary that divides man from man?

This is not to say, of course, that all men or even all societies hate Jews. Rather, anti-semitism remains latent until there arrives an excuse to hate someone. It could be that your country is impoverished after a disastrous treaty at Versailles, or that you are terrified of counterrevolutionary activity, or that jihad must be waged somewhere.

But what, one wonders, is the underlying structure of the emergent American anti-Semitism that Claire Berlinski wrote about on Friday? Every politically-involved Jew has noticed it by now: the absolute, almost flippant hatred of Jews that so pervades Twitter users with certain red caps in their profile pictures. We have watched Milo Yiannopoulos explain away their behavior as kids trolling. We have read the invitation for Ben Shapiro’s newborn son to join his entire family in the gas chambers. Why?

However, this new anti-Semitism among Republican voters is not as sudden or mysterious as it appears to be. It can be easily understood if we take into account the political climate, the nature of the “Trump Revolution,” and the prevailing conception of tolerance that has supposedly been the Western bulwark against anti-semitism since WWII.

Here’s the first hint: In between the holocaust memes and the talk of shekels on Twitter, there is usually an accusation that runs along the lines of “putting Israel/Zionism before the United States.” Now, accusations of Jews having split allegiances are as old as Jews are; they are even in the Bible. But these claims tie into a central principle of the Trump campaign that has so vivified all these anti-semites: The idea that until now, under the progressive regime, America has always been a secondary concern of our ruling class. For the Left, leftism always comes first, and the country comes second. Trump, however, promises to Make America Great Again.

It happens to be that this claim is true.

Leftism is a universalist philosophy. In pursuit of government-mandated utopia, the needs of any individual nation come second. The Left thinks that the natural state of the human being is one of harmony with others, and that only our societal and cultural failings stand in the way of peace and love between all men. The country is essentially a construct (like gender) that stands between all of us uniting in harmony. This is why President Obama constantly apologizes to the entire world; after all, shouldn’t our shared humanity transcend tribal needs?

All it takes is one savvy businessman to realize just how grating, unnatural, and suicidal universalism is. And then there is the reaction: 2016.

So,this is the first piece of the reactionary anti-semitic puzzle. Trump’s followers are nationalists who want to put to bed the universalist notion of being a human being first — and an American, or a man, or a family member — second. At a deep level, they feel that the differences that divide us are real and can be ignored only at our own peril. But what does all of this have to do with anti-semitism?

The second piece of the puzzle has to do with the way Jews have dealt with the Holocaust. As Daniel Greenfield writes, there were two Jewish responses to the modern Jewish calamity: “Never Again,” and “Teach Tolerance.” The former was nationalist, the latter, universalist. Some Jews after the Holocaust said, “We are not the same as everyone else, and our experience has shown us we cannot trust the world to accept us. We will form our own country, where there will never be a Holocaust.” Other Jews said, “We are human beings like all others, and the only way to prevent another Holocaust is to educate people to be tolerant of other human beings.”

The first group said that the crime of Hitler was Jew hatred and Jew genocide; the second group said that Hitler’s main crime was being a nationalist, of putting German identity before his humanity. While the “never again” group sought peace through strength, the “teach tolerance” crowd asserted that strength and tribalism only further perpetuated the false notion of divisions between people.

Among American Jews, “teach tolerance” prevailed. The Jews became, after the war and long before the civil rights movement, the very first modern beneficiaries of leftist tolerance. We made sure the Holocaust got put in all the school books and that anti-semitism slowly became verboten in American life, not because Jews were different than everyone else and respected, but because we were the same as everyone else. Support of Israel was possible only through cognitive dissonance, viewing the country as a sort of humanitarian project that embodied all the “good” parts of the United States and acted as a de facto extension of US leftism in the middle east.

Not long afterward, African Americans joined us in the fight to make sure everyone else declared us the same as everyone else. Soon after came homosexuals, illegal immigrants, the mentally handicapped, transexuals, etc. You know how this story goes.

Throughout this process, there have always been nationalist or tribal voices. Malcolm X is an obvious one. Rabbi Meir Kahane is another. These men endeavored to bring the American public around to the idea that, in fact, Jews are not African Americans, Whites are not Jews, and that there is more to being a Zionist than believing in democracy. They thought that our tribal and national identities are undeniable fact and must be dealt with as such. But since that upset the fundamental principle of leftism, that we are all human beings first, they were always viewed as radicals by the majority of Americans.

Until, perhaps, now.

On both the Left (Black Lives Matter) and the Right (the “white genocide” crowd) we have seen a sudden uptick in nationalistic, tribal rhetoric. It is almost as if a large swath of America woke up one morning and realized that love is not, in fact, all you need. To whit: many African Americans have been the beneficiaries of leftist “tolerance” for decades, and their culture has been left in ruin and their people impoverished. They decided, quite logically, that their own interests should come before the universal leftist interests. Almost simultaneously, some number of white people realized that, for decades, they have been told they are the oppressor and made to scrape and bow in the name of the same universalist goal (only through reparations will the societal rift be mended), and if the nominal beneficiaries of those efforts reject its benefits, why should they continue to pay in? They, too, begin to play the game of racial tribalism. The actual liberal (if any remain) is aghast at such roadblocks to universalist utopia, but everyone else is so busy suddenly rediscovering their own identity that they haven’t noticed.

Thus, we see the two pieces of the reactionary anti-semitism joined. The Trump movement — or, at least parts of it — has inspired others to abandon universalism in the name of nationalism (so they suddenly see the United States and Israel as separate entities), while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism (so Jews are suddenly unmasked as not being true Germans Americans).

The anti-semites on Twitter are equal-opportunity tribalists. They ask, “Why is the special dispensation for Jews any different than the politically correct forced tolerance of other minorities that have been forced down our throats for years?”

And the answer is, it’s not.

You see, the conservative answer to this anti-semitism should be to encourage it. You’re right, Twitter anti-semites. You have been educated in a false paradigm. People are not, in fact, all the same. The United States should come first. Your cultural identity should be your primary concern, before the financial or emotional needs of other groups’ members. But this does not need to result in racism or anti-semitism. You see, back before the liberal regime and the inception of the universalist lie, there were actually groups of people who were different from one another, yet lived side-by-side in peace. Once upon a time, humanity was focused not on the ridiculous utopian ideal of homogeneity, but the idea of true tolerance, of being able to respect someone different than you without feeling the need to destroy them.

You, Twitter anti-semite, don’t know any of that. You think that with the fall of liberal universalist tolerance, all must revert back to hatred and violence and vying for power. Decades of liberal thought have taught you that it is either universalism or chaos.

It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

There are 129 comments.

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  1. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    To clarify: Yes, this means that pure tribalism and nationalism are false. Tribalism and nationalism conjoined with a law-based morality is best.

    • #31
  2. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    RyanM: o, to that, I say that Jews are not in any more danger in the United States than literally any other group of people (there are places in Washington State where I would not want to walk alone), but the threat to Israel in the middle east is very real. I one time wrote a post about John Podhretz, encouraging him to stop being the boy who cries wolf in a world where actual threats exist… that post wasn’t particularly well received, if I recall.

    I don’t think you can dissociate a phenomenon from history and pretend it just exists in the moment. If Jews were hated yesterday by communists, and the day before nationalists, and the day before that by religious christians, forgive them if today, when they’re hated by Muslims, they’re also concerned about comers from all sides. By the way, all you’re saying is that the actual anti-semites in the United States have been unable to express their hatred as Islamists have. But this does not mean that they do not hate Jews, which means that calling them anti-semites is not crying wolf. It is trite to repeat it, but: Everything is only just words and rhetoric, until it’s not.

    • #32
  3. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    It is hard to see how the Nietzschean concept of the power-struggle can even be spun as remotely conservative, honestly.

    • #33
  4. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    To put my main point in other words: This that Jews have accepted upon themselves that anti-semitism is the same type of thing as, e.g., calling a transgendered woman “sir” is why anti-semitism is in vogue under our new Trumpian overlords.

    • #34
  5. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    America is the most Jewish-friendly Christian nation the world has ever known (I’d give Britain a close second), which should be a matter of pride, and for most of us, is. The two sources for antisemitism today are malcontents in the black ghetto and white rural areas, two opposite extremes notable for lack of Jews, making it far easier to assign them every ugly, bad characteristic. I had a college roommate who regularly brought in breathless “revelations” about Jews that he eagerly picked up on trips home down south.

    Why he chose to go to the NYU film school in Greenwich Village is still a mystery to me.

    But one creepy–eerie–unintentionally funny thing: he prized a photo of Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi leader, getting a standing ovation from an assembly of Malcolm X’s followers. After all, they both blame the Jews for everything.

    • #35
  6. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    Oh, I should have made it absolutely clear — I think it is incontestable that the United States has been the best non-Jewish country for Jews in all of history, and we owe this country a debt it is hard if not impossible to repay.

    Nevertheless, we need to discuss why it has been the best country for Jews, which is really the question at the end of this post.

    • #36
  7. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Tzvi Kilov: Nevertheless, we need to discuss why it has been the best country for Jews, which is really the question at the end of this post.

    It used to be that, mostly, Americans didn’t care who you were and what you did as long as you did it over there.

    Since the new motto of the federal government seems to be “You will be made to care.” it’s going to get ugly.

    • #37
  8. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Gary McVey: The two sources for antisemitism today are malcontents in the black ghetto and white rural areas…

    …and maybe the State Department?

    • #38
  9. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Austin Murrey:

    Tzvi Kilov: Nevertheless, we need to discuss why it has been the best country for Jews, which is really the question at the end of this post.

    It used to be that, mostly, Americans didn’t care who you were and what you did as long as you did it over there.

    Since the new motto of the federal government seems to be “You will be made to care.” it’s going to get ugly.

    Or, put another way: What goes on behind closed doors is none of my business, but please, for the love of all that’s decent, keep your dang doors closed!

    • #39
  10. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    Tzvi Kilov:

    I don’t think you can dissociate a phenomenon from history and pretend it just exists in the moment. If Jews were hated yesterday by communists … they’re also concerned about comers from all sides. By the way, all you’re saying is that the actual anti-semites in the United States have been unable to express their hatred as Islamists have. But this does not mean that they do not hate Jews, which means that calling them anti-semites is not crying wolf. It is trite to repeat it, but: Everything is only just words and rhetoric, until it’s not.

    Sure… but early Christians were burned at the stake and eaten by lions, then killed by Muslims, etc…  gypsies (and other close-knit groups) in Europe were pretty poorly treated; I think that when you’re an easily identifiable group, there will always be some people who will hate you.  Both Jews and Christians are persecuted in certain parts of the world right now; my only point is that I don’t think those historical (incidents, for lack of a better word) necessarily justify equivocation when someone is rude on twitter or on the youtube comments feed.  If you’re Jewish and you speak out against Donald Trump, you’ll get “anti-semitic” tweets, guaranteed.  I don’t think those people are even necessarily anti-semitic, they hate you because you’re anti-Trump.

    • #40
  11. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    RyanM: If you’re Jewish and you speak out against Donald Trump, you’ll get “anti-semitic” tweets, guaranteed. I don’t think those people are even necessarily anti-semitic, they hate you because you’re anti-Trump.

    Watch this video (as much as you can stand) and take a look at the comments below it on youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV2GhOkQ1yY

    • #41
  12. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    Man With the Axe:

    RyanM: If you’re Jewish and you speak out against Donald Trump, you’ll get “anti-semitic” tweets, guaranteed. I don’t think those people are even necessarily anti-semitic, they hate you because you’re anti-Trump.

    Watch this video (as much as you can stand) and take a look at the comments below it on youtube.

    … David Duke referencing Jesus Christ, huh?  No wonder people hate him, it’s ’cause he’s such a “strong Christian.”

    • #42
  13. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I think it’s fair to acknowledge that there are types and degrees of antisemitism, like anything else.

    One reason America has been better for Jews is we don’t have Europe’s ancient throne-and-altar conservatism, which led to the worst hatred and blood-drinking-type lies and superstitions. Even today’s Moslems don’t hate Judaism, they hate Israel; our medieval ancestors don’t even have that excuse. The weirdo anti-Jewish theories that crawl out from under rocks are the only trace of this in North America.

    Then, there’s what I call situational antisemitism. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Walt Disney were all, to some degree, antisemites, but they weren’t that way out of some dark conviction that Jews were evil; they were semi-educated inventors and tinkerers from the middle of the country who never encountered a Jew in their lives until they had to take their companies public, or get loans from Wall Street. That’s where they got their prejudices “confirmed”. The fact that Wall Street then and now is largely run by gentiles didn’t seem to affect their reasoning.

    Then there are dinner party antisemites. There are probably a lot fewer of those then there were 50-100 years ago. I doubt people in Westport, Connecticut sit around anymore griping about who let Goldman into the country club.  These people do less damage than Categories 1 and 2, but there were a lot more of them, and it’s hard to have much sympathy for them. Nor should we.

    Then there are black antisemites, angry at the one identifiable group of white people who gave them a break when few others would. Needless to say, I have contempt for this group.

    Ryan has a point, but I don’t entirely buy it. For example, I’m sure if I’d been Mel Gibson’s arresting officer, sure, he would have called me an Irish pig. But then, I didn’t make a controversial, much resented movie about the crucifixion and get most of Hollywood’s conservatives to go out on a limb to defend him against being an anti-Jewish bigot, before exposing us as credulous fools.

    Jeez, thanks, Mel. Sometimes a bigot is real.

    • #43
  14. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The problem is that the right has done for anti-semite what the left has done for racist.  Which is turning the terms into drinking game buzzwords.

    • #44
  15. MoltoVivace Inactive
    MoltoVivace
    @MoltoVivace

    Solid post.

    • #45
  16. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    I’ve been Ricochet-light the past few days, so I don’t know if someone else has already provided a link to David P. Goldman’s essay that touches, in part, on the affinity between Americans and Jews wherever they might be?

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/202040/americans-the-almost-chosen-people

    • #46
  17. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    What do you mean by “leftism is a universalist philosophy”? The very foundation of American conservatism, is our belief in, and defense of our God given natural rights, and their universal scope. It’s based on the objective reality of the human spirit and conditions of humanity, and a belief that all of humanity no matter what tribe or culture they come from has these rights.

    Not to mention that the very idea of Catholicism is it’s universalism, so much so that it’s in the very name of the church. The whole of Christandom, despite the divided sects, is the belief in universal truth and the universal scope of the word of God.

    Going back to the roots of American conservatism, philosophically we are not nationalist, nor are we tribalist. In fact these collectivist ideals go against the very philosophy of our movement. When it comes to politics, conservatives are individualist by nature. The only reason for the existence of the state is to defend individual’s rights. In the political sphere in other words we exalt freedom, without freedom there is no chance for virtue.

    As such we do not identify with tribes, nor the nation state when it comes to politics. Anti-Semites are following the same identity  politics that the left promotes, just on the opposite side. These anti-individualist ideals are why we do not support them. It’s not about picking a tribe, it’s about rejecting political collectivism.

    • #47
  18. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Leftism in the modern age is based on a collectivist ideology, that is based on rational steps built on a irrational foundation. In other words it is based on the refusal to believe in object universal truth. Which is why the left is so relativistic.

    Leftism is a rejection of universal reality, based on ideological grounds that grow out it irrational views. It is not universalist, it’s always been relativistic. Often relying on the spirit of a few years to dictate how they shale react to political issues.

    • #48
  19. The Dowager Jojo Inactive
    The Dowager Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    Zafar:

    RyanM:

    People throw around “Jew” in much the same way… mostly because it’s obvious. If you’re overweight, it would probably be “fat Jew,” and that doesn’t mean they hate fat people. It’s just the obvious stuff.

    So how come nobody gets called a skinny white Christian as an insult?

    That’s enough out of you, you Bible-thumping pencil-necked honky.

    • #49
  20. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Tyler Boliver:What do you mean by “leftism is a universalist philosophy”?

    Here is my view, as a Christian.

    I think both are universalist.  The American conservative believes in divinely granted equal human dignity of all men, as you said.  The historicist descendants of Hegel and Nietzsche believe that one class (the CCP, Kim Jung Un himself,  the Aryans, the Alinskyite community organizers, or whoever) are divine because of their superior level of evolution, and have the moral rights and responsibilities of ownership over all members of all inferior classes, like the rights of an experimental farmer over his livestock.

    Not only this universalism, but everything about true religion–love of others, love of law, the promise of joy, respect for life, love of beauty, love of truth, love of justice, the words of Scripture–is mimicked in counterfeit religion, which has its source in vanity.

    • #50
  21. Robert Zubrin Inactive
    Robert Zubrin
    @RobertZubrin

    Tzvi Kilov:

    Misthiocracy:

    …while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism…

    Minor quibble: Tolerance and tribalism are not mutually-exclusive concepts. True tolerance is about recognizing the right of the “other” to exist, not about denying the existence of differences between groups, nor about forbidding debate about the relative value of those differences.

    One can be a tolerant nationalist and/or a tolerant tribalist. IMHO.

    Absolutely agree.

    Absolutely false. The essence of tribalism is that it defines the tribe, or Volk, as being the only  people worthy of consideration as humans. The Jews were not members of the Volk. Therefore they could be slaughtered without remorse, and in fact had to be, as their persistence among the Volk was subversive to its collective solidarity. Which brings us to the second point; tribalism is a form of collectivism – in fact its oldest and most potent and lethal form, because it is based on instinct, rather than being a mere intellectual construct. It is thus incompatible with individual liberty. Tribal collectivism is the original form of national socialism.

    • #51
  22. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    Tyler Boliver:What do you mean by “leftism is a universalist philosophy”? The very foundation of American conservatism, is our belief in, and defense of our God given natural rights, and their universal scope. It’s based on the objective reality of the human spirit and conditions of humanity, and a belief that all of humanity no matter what tribe or culture they come from has these rights.

    As such we do not identify with tribes, nor the nation state when it comes to politics. Anti-Semites are following the same identity politics that the left promotes, just on the opposite side. These anti-individualist ideals are why we do not support them. It’s not about picking a tribe, it’s about rejecting political collectivism.

    I’m afraid that I think conservatism is collectivist. But that is not the same as universalism. I highly recommend reading the Daniel Greenfield piece I linked to, from which I’m borrowing my terminology.

    • #52
  23. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov
    @TzviKilov

    Robert Zubrin:

    Tzvi Kilov:

    Misthiocracy:

    …while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism…

    Minor quibble: Tolerance and tribalism are not mutually-exclusive concepts. True tolerance is about recognizing the right of the “other” to exist, not about denying the existence of differences between groups, nor about forbidding debate about the relative value of those differences.

    One can be a tolerant nationalist and/or a tolerant tribalist. IMHO.

    Absolutely agree.

    Absolutely false. The essence of tribalism is that it defines the tribe, or Volk, as being the only people worthy of consideration as humans. The Jews were not members of the Volk. Therefore they could be slaughtered without remorse, and in fact had to be, as their persistence among the Volk was subversive to its collective solidarity. Which brings us to the second point; tribalism is a form of collectivism – in fact its oldest and most potent and lethal form, because it is based on instinct, rather than being a mere intellectual construct. It is thus incompatible with individual liberty. Tribal collectivism is the original form of national socialism.

    Christians are not the same as Jews, who are not the same as Muslims. This is fine. <– A tribal statement.

    • #53
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Robert Zubrin: Absolutely false. The essence of tribalism is that it defines the tribe, or Volk, as being the only people worthy of consideration as humans. The Jews were not members of the Volk.

    It’s interesting that Native Americans are thought to be tribal (though whether that term is accurate is another matter) and generally did not think that only the people of their “tribe” were worthy of consideration as humans.

    What they usually did, though, was adopt others into the community in order to do business with them.

    They captured white and black Americans, brought them into their families, and sometimes these captives even rose to positions of leadership.  There might be a few who would be suspicious of their loyalty, and sometimes those suspicions were justified, but Indians were quite open to outsiders in this way.

    In order to establish trading relations with outsiders, they would sometimes establish a “fictive kinship” with persons they trusted.  But outsiders often found it better yet to marry into the tribe in order to be successful.  Again, Indians were quite open to these sorts of relationships.  They did not think in racial terms or biological relationships the way European-Americans increasingly did during the 19th century.

    The notion of looking into a person’s family history for traces of non-Indian blood would have been completely alien to them.

    So I don’t buy this idea of the essence of tribalism.

    • #54
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Tzvi Kilov:

    Robert Zubrin:

    Tribal collectivism is the original form of national socialism.

    Christians are not the same as Jews, who are not the same as Muslims. This is fine. <– A tribal statement.

    It’s a slippery slope from that to Christians have different political rights and duties to Jews who have different political rights and duties to Muslims who have different political rights and duties to….

    If we are essentially the same, we should all obviously have the same political rights and duties.

    If we are essentially different, it’s arguable that we should all have different political rights and duties.

    • #55
  26. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Reticulator:

    Robert Zubrin: Absolutely false. The essence of tribalism is that it defines the tribe, or Volk, as being the only people worthy of consideration as humans. The Jews were not members of the Volk.

    It’s interesting that Native Americans are thought to be tribal (though whether that term is accurate is another matter) and generally did not think that only the people of their “tribe” were worthy of consideration as humans.

    What they usually did, though, was adopt others into the community in order to do business with them.

    They captured white and black Americans, brought them into their families, and sometimes these captives even rose to positions of leadership. There might be a few who would be suspicious of their loyalty, and sometimes those suspicions were justified, but Indians were quite open to outsiders in this way.

    In order to establish trading relations with outsiders, they would sometimes establish a “fictive kinship” with persons they trusted. But outsiders often found it better yet to marry into the tribe in order to be successful. .

    Weren’t they just defining the boundaries of the tribe differently?

    iow why was it not okay to trade with someone without a fictive relationship?

    Indians were quite open to these sorts of relationships. They did not think in racial terms or biological relationships the way European-Americans increasingly did during the 19th century.

    Do we try to do something similar these days with citizenship as the tribal marker?

    • #56
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Zafar:Weren’t they just defining the boundaries of the tribe differently?

    In part, but the important thing is that boundaries were never defined in terms of DNA, and biological birth origin was less important.

    iow why was it not okay to trade with someone without a fictive relationship?

    Because to them trade was not a matter of market exchange.  It was something you do in a relationship.   That doesn’t mean market prices weren’t important, or that in the 18th century the better prices of British goods could not strain relationships with the French.  But trade was a matter of relationship with them just as in some cultures, sex is a matter of relationship rather than market exchange. (I think Karl Marx pointed out some other changes from relationship to market exchange that were happening as part of industrialization.)

    • #57
  28. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Reticulator:

    Zafar:Weren’t they just defining the boundaries of the tribe differently?

    In part, but the important thing is that boundaries were never defined in terms of DNA, and biological birth origin was less important.

    Honestly, that sounds extremely civilised.  If we must have a tribe (and it seems like something that’s a really basic tendency for human beings) let it be one such as this.

    • #58
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Zafar:

    The Reticulator:

    Zafar:Weren’t they just defining the boundaries of the tribe differently?

    In part, but the important thing is that boundaries were never defined in terms of DNA, and biological birth origin was less important.

    Honestly, that sounds extremely civilised. If we must have a tribe (and it seems like something that’s a really basic tendency for human beings) let it be one such as this.

    European civilization used to be more like that, and because less so in the 19th century.  But it’s not as though racism started in the 19th century.  There were anti-Jewish pogroms long before that.

    As for the Native Americans, their acceptance of outsiders often worked against them.  The outsiders that they took in were often the ones best positioned to mediate relations with the U.S. government, and they sometimes sold out their people in exchange for special treatment for their own families.  But there was a certain amount of ambiguity in what happened, and it didn’t mean these people were then evicted from their relationships with the tribe.  It probably did contribute to some of the factionalism that we still see in tribal affairs, though.

    • #59
  30. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    Susan Quinn:What’s being left out of the discussion is the very long history of scapegoating the Jews in particular. As I mentioned in Claire’s post, people in this country are really angry–at inept government, the poor economy, Obama specifically, our soldiers still dying, people dropping out of the workforce and just plain giving up. The myth of Jews controlling the world economy will be next. It is (unfortunately) human nature to blame others, and when things get worse, to find more people and forces to blame. With the Jews, it’s a tradition.

    Yes and Jewish culture has a way of much more easily allowing Jews to succeed and rise to the top. So you have a extremely  successful minority that almost regardless of the nation always appears to be over represented at the uppers levels of society so.  So people see that and it is easy to jump on the band wagon when you get envious.  Not that this is the only reason.

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