Lawrence Auster writes in Responding to criticisms of VFR and myself:
Among the reality-turned-on-its head lies that are repeatedly told about me are the charges that I only allow people who agree with me to post comments at VFR; that I am unable to reply to criticisms and refuse to do so; and that I exclude commenters who question me and my ideas.
My criticism is that Auster filters the comments he posts at VFR and sometimes distorts the arguments of those he argues with. His ability to distort is greatly aided by his willingness to filter.
Among the 20-odd links he provides as examples of his forthrightness in facing critics is a response to one of my criticisms of him that I was not previously aware of:
Does the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations apply to the Jews? [The anti-Semite Tanstaafl (before I realized how serious an anti-Semite he was), asked me at another blog why I don’t apply the First Law to the Jews, and I reply.]
This item is a good example of Auster’s willingness to filter and distort. His example does not quote the criticism it answers and does not link the discussion which spawned it.
Unfortunately for him about a month after he wrote this I described the same argument as part of a more general critique titled Auster and Anti-Anti-Semitism. It contained Auster’s original explanation of why his “First Law” (of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society, AKA MMRILS) does not apply to jews. The differences are highlighted below:
I just came upon this exchange and want to reply to the points made by Tanstaafl (which frankly sounds like a neo-Nazi moniker, but which, I’m informed, is an acronym for the libertarian slogan “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”).
Tanstaafl is just wrong to say that the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society is about Jews and that I’m covering that up. The First Law is about conspicuously different minorities who are perceived as minorities, and who are perceived as dysfunctional, unassimilable, alien or hostile. Since Jews are not generally seen these ways, except by anti-Semites, the First Law does not apply to Jews, though some aspects of it may apply some of the time.
When I say this, I am not
covering updenying the fact that there is a Jewish problem because, since that is something I often talk about. But I believe in the need to talk about it rationally. The Jewish problem—not the Jewish problem of the Jew haters, but the real Jewish problem—consists in the fact that Jews are a distinct people who because of their energy and talents tend to become dominant in culturally influential areas of society. This leads to the problem that a small minority group begins to become the definer of cultural standards for the majority. For the most part, this is not due to any Jewish racial agenda or conspiracy, as Kevin McDonaldMacDonald would have it, rather it is just built into the fact of Jewish distinctiveness combined with Jewish talents. But even though the situation is not anyone’s fault, it is not a healthy situation. The way the problem can be resolved, as I’ve said many times, is by the majority recovering and maintaining its majority identity, functions, and authority, and thus requiring minorities to conform to the majority’s standards.
It used to be this way in America. A classic example is the Golden Age of Hollywood. The movie industry was largely a Jewish creation, yet the Jews of Hollywood loved the majority culture and elevated its ideals. For example, the beautiful MGM movies of the late ’30 and early ’40s that were set in England and were imbued with an English atmosphere (so that it’s hard to believe the movies were made in Los Angeles), were the brain child of Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM. Contrast that with today, when many of the Jews of Hollywood, such as Steven Spielberg, are self-consciously alienated from the majority culture and seek to tear it down. An example is “Saving Private Ryan,” in which the elderly Ryan, re-visiting Normandy in his old age, is bizarrely portrayed as a broken down figure overwhelmed with guilt. That’s the way alienated leftist Jews want to portray the Christian majority.
What is the solution? There is no quick solution, but there is a solution. The majority needs to rediscover itself and start acting like the majority again and start setting the standards for America. Once a new elite was in place setting different and better standards
than whatfrom those we have now, the viciously anti-American movies that are now standard fare in Hollywood would cease being made. Jews who persisted in alienation toward or simply a lack of identification with the majority culture would still be able to express themselves in a minority cultural setting, but their minority views would not be considered legitimate or authoritative for the society as a whole. The basic principle is that people who do not identity with a society do not have the right to speak for that society. I am not talking about legal restrictions, but about the restrictions that a healthy majority culture would naturally impose.
In short, the Jewish problem can be solved, and Jews can function, as they have in the past, as a minority that has a certain distinctiveness and yet conforms itself to the standards and allegiances of the majority culture.
It is not the same with, say, Muslims. Muslims cannot be conformed to our culture. The relationship between Muslims and our culture is of an entirely different order from the relationship between Jews and our culture. Jews are assimilable. Muslims are not only not assimilable, but are commanded by their god to subject our society to Islamic law. The fact that
thata major non-Western group is unassimilableintrinsically incompatable with and dangerous to our culture is not acceptable tocannot be acknowledged by the liberal consciousness, which must cover it up. And thus we arrive at the First Lawbecause it would disprove the liberal belief in the equality and fundamental sameness of all human beings. Therefore the liberals must conceal the truth about Islam–the more unassimilable and hostile Muslims are, the more they must be praised and celebrated. We saw this happen immediately after the 9/11 attack, when, even as Muslims all over the world were cheering the wound inflicted by devout Muslim jihadists on our country, Muslims began to receive vastly more bouquets from our government than they ever had before. It was a perfect example of the First Law in action. The First Law applies to dysfunctional and unassimilable groups, it does not apply to functional and assimilable groups.
Far from being dysfunctional outsiders whose failures must be covered up, Jews are successful insiders. However, as indicated above, this does not mean that the Jews, with their distinctiveness, their activism, and their frequent leftism, do not represent a challenge to our culture. They do. And it goes without saying that this fact is denied by the liberal culture, since liberalism must deny any group differences that matter (not to mention that there is a particular need to defend the Jews from anti-Semitism). So there is inevitably some overlap here with the First Law. But because the Jews are highly successful and productive insiders rather than obviously incompetent or incompatible outsiders, the socialistic dynamic conveyed by the First Law–the more alien a group is, the more it is celebrated, the more undeserving a group is, the more it is given–does not apply to them.
ToThus to try to make the First Law be about the Jews—and especially, in Tanstaafl’s treatment, beprimarily about the Jews—would hopelessly confuses the issue and ruin the First Law as an analytical tool. It is but another illustration of how anti-Semites, because they see all issues through the filter of the Jewish issue, cannot see any issue truly. Their lunatic obsesssionobsession with Jews as the source of all evil makes them intellectual cripples who are incapable of defending the civilization they supposedly want to defend.
The red and overstruck text was included in what Auster originally posted at John Savage’s blog (which is no longer available). The green text was added in the “revised and expanded version” Auster posted to his own blog on the same day.
For an intellectual who so often picks apart the arguments of others Auster exhibits a curious inability to squarely face my argument here. Contrast either version of what he wrote above with the text below that he was responding to. Savage’s post was an attempt to collect Auster’s various slightly different statements of MMRILS. Auster wrote (his emphasis):
As I look over your collection, it’s clear to me that there is but one Law, and it’s simply this: that the more difficult or dangerous a minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated. This increasingly undeserved favorable treatment of an increasingly troublesome or misbehaving minority or non-Western group can take numerous forms, including celebrating the group, giving the group greater rights and privileges, covering up the group’s crimes and dysfunctions, attacking the group’s critics as racists, and blaming the group’s bad behavior on white racism.
To which I first responded:
And the corollary: Jews are the most favorably treated minority of all, therefore they are the most difficult and dangerous.
Or shall we just label such an observation anti-semitic and discard it?
After that John Savage disagreed that jews are most favored, and I provided some arguments to support my claim. I think it’s fair to say that weeks later when Auster finally offered the dual-response above both versions were dishonest. Allow me now to summarize his rambling non-answer and editorialize with some helpful remarks.
Auster’s not covering anything up (especially not that I never claimed he was). MMRILS does not apply to jews because only anti-semites would say it does (however it does apply to all other unassimilable, alien, hostile minorities). There is sorta kinda a jewish problem but it’s not what irrational jew haters think it is (remember, this is not a cover up). It’s just that jews are really energetic and talented and they just tend to dominate the culture (ie. the most favored minority thing just happened). If only “the majority” would regrow their backbone jews would stop dominating (and would stop prosecuting jew haters). Jewish movie moguls used to love “the majority” but nowadays they don’t (sounds hostile to me, and what about the jewish media influence beyond Hollywood?). Muslims are different (for example they don’t control the West’s media). They are protected because liberals like to cover things up (unlike Auster). The First Law is about overtly aggressive groups like muslims, it is not about covertly aggressive groups like jews (and remember, we’re not covering anything up). To make this argument that my First Law applies to jews you must be a lunatic intellectual cripple (and probably not a jew).
Almost a month after he wrote this drivel I came upon it at Savage’s and wrote Auster and Anti-Anti-Semitism, to document and continue the debate.
Shortly afterward Auster responded with I am attacked for not being an anti-Semite. He does not link back to Does the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations apply to the Jews? though he does mention how and why he answered:
The question Tanstaafl had posed to me about the First Law was a serious and legitimate one, and when I came upon the discussion at Savage’s site, I answered it seriously. At the same time, I saw that Tanstaafl was an anti-Semite, and I indicated as such. Not that it took any great insight. Someone who calls Jews “the most dangerous” minority has already made himself pretty clear.
Auster isn’t being clear at all. Is the question a serious and legitimate one, or is it not worth answering because he perceives some moral failing in the asker?
He also isn’t fair. “Dangerous” is his own word, and it comes from applying his own Law. Neither one of his non-answers to that point are serious. They amount to deflection. He transforms a point about his own logic using his own words into insinuations about me personally. Auster’s first non-answer certainly sounded like he agreed jews were a minority hostile to the majority before his non-sequitur that this is invalid because it is anti-semitism. Auster’s second non-answer left out the majority-minority relations entirely. In both cases the focus ended up solely on the person questioning him. It included the application of delightful names like “neo-nazi”, “jew hater”, “intellectual cripple”, “lower lifeform”. And of course any objection to such empty ad hominem could only be considered “whining”.
Perhaps Auster didn’t provide a link to his first non-answer because he didn’t want to call attention to his own confused rationale, or for anyone to notice its subtle differences from the one I quoted. Or maybe he’s just forgetful.
It appeared to me from the first that Auster’s fixation on my pseudonym was odd. It seemed he was trying to avoid discussing the corollary I proposed to his First Law. That was before I even knew he had discussed it. Now in retrospect I can see Auster was either pretending he didn’t know what TANSTAAFL stood for when he wrote his second non-answer, or he went to the trouble to go back and modify his first non-answer so he wouldn’t look too paranoid.
– – –
John Savage and I disagreed again more recently about the most favored status of jews. I wrote about it in Who’s on Top? I always knew the ADL considered such talk, true or not, to be a sure sign of irrational jew hatred – now I also understand that even “radical” “anti-liberal” “traditionalists” like Auster feel the same way.
Here are some previous criticisms of Auster that may interest visitors:
What We Cannot Do. Wherein Auster tells the anti-jihadis at Gates of Vienna what not to say, who not to associate with, etc.
Irony Thy Name is Auster. Luke O’Farrell is in jail for his anti-jewish opinions. This is certainly not evidence of any privileged jewish status. Hollywood will make a movie about Sheppard and Whittle just as soon as “the majority” convinces the media to conform to Western standards and report the story. Auster will discuss it some day too. The world is just so full of Austerian irony he can’t possibly comment on all of it.
UPDATE 4 Aug 2008: The example cited above of how Auster responds to criticism by smearing his critic goes a bit deeper than I realized. It contains a link to a restatement of his First Law from 2002 where he provides his own corollary:
That last point leads us to the first corrolary of Auster’s First Law of Majority/Minority Relations in Liberal Society: The more egregiously any non-Western or non-white group behaves, the more evil whites are made to appear for noticing and drawing rational conclusions about that group’s bad behavior.
Auster has not only provided a Law that serves as a useful tool for analyzing liberalism. By going beyond a rational argument or even flat denial that jews are a hostile minority and claiming instead that the person who poses such a thesis is evil Auster has done quite the opposite of hopelessly confusing the issue or ruining his tool’s value. He has demonstrated its power. Thank you Mr. Auster.
This portion with specific examples is worth reiterating here:
Auster is an anti-anti-semite, someone whose pro-jewish bias goes beyond mere philo-semitism to aggressive bigotry. I hesitated to claim so, even after I first recognized something was not right, because I had not connected enough dots. I have since. Consider the following points:
He smears Ron Paul (who opposes the Israel Lobby and neocons) as “anti-American”, supposedly for criticizing US foreign policy and associating with the wrong people.
He smears Kevin MacDonald (who opposes the Israel Lobby and neocons) claiming he “hates Israel and sees it as the source of all problems in the world, along with Jewry generally” (a telltale exaggeration made by anti-anti-semites) ostensibly because MacDonald reasons about “jews qua jews”.
He smears Pat Buchanan (who opposes the Israel Lobby and neocons) as an anti-semite, ironically for “protesting too much” the smears of anti-anti-semites.
He notes approvingly the recommendation to “vote for the crook” rather than the pro-White pro-Christian David Duke (who opposes the Israel Lobby and neocons) “because it’s important”. Important why exactly? Oh right, because Duke criticizes jewish supremacism, though Auster is not forthright enough to mention that.
Meanwhile when Auster criticizes anti-White anti-Christian jews he euphemizes them as “liberals” and their policies as “liberalism”. Rarely does he note they are jews and he never dehumanizes them or calls for them to be ostracized as he regularly does with anyone he labels anti-semitic.
The man is driven by “what’s good for jews”. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is the fact that he is dishonest about it. He denies it, disguises it, and overtly bases his arguments on “what’s good for Christians” or “what’s good for the majority”. What is clear on scrutiny is that the former priority always trumps either of the latter. I am sensitive to this and resent it not because I am anti-jew, but because I am pro-White.
UPDATE 11 August 2008: What do liberals want? provides an excellent example of Auster’s treatment of Ken Hechtman, an anti-White anti-Christian his own readers presume is a jew:
You’re beyond the left. You’re off in some fantasy land of your own.
his agenda is not to preserve our existing society, but to advance Muslim power and influence in Canada and America as step toward building One World
It may seem, as I said earlier, that Ken Hechtman’s views are so extreme that they cannot be seen as representative of even the usual (i.e. the radical) pro-large-scale immigration, pro-open-borders position, such as that of the people who supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
You want to destroy Canada, the U.S. and Europe. You want to destroy everything the West and the Western peoples have been.
KH’s ideas are simply a formula to destroy everything that we are, and should be identified as such.
These leftists live in an unreal world and are hyper-alienated from anyone who doesn’t share their unreality.
Auster does not call Hechtman evil, accuse him of being driven by hatred, or claim he is insane. He does not smear him and does not recommend he be shunned or silenced. Instead he says:
I hope Mr. Hechtman doesn’t feel he’s being ganged up on here
Perhaps this is because Auster and Hechtman agree on what’s most important: anti-semitism. See In which circle of hell do the anti-Semites reside? from December 2007 where Auster claims anti-semites say “Jews are indeed the source of all evil and must be destroyed” and have “given over their whole being to the idee fixe that the Jews are the source of all evil” to which “Ken H.” (Hechtman?) responds by comparing anti-semites to Christians and other “true believers”. Auster is disturbed because this seems “an attempt by you to relativize anti-Semitism”. Once satisfied they are in agreement about “the monomania of the anti-semites” Auster never questions “Ken H.”‘s distain for Christians.
Auster describes anti-semites as
obsessively telling everyone they encounter that one small population group of human beings is the source of all evil in the world and must be eliminated
The ironic thing about this statement is how perfectly it describes himself and his anti-anti-semitic obsession with “anti-semites”. He meets no other enemy with as much fury, disgust, strident language, and moral indignation.
UPDATE 16 August 2008: Auster’s exchange with Hechtman continues on 13 August with Auster identifying the core crime:
What Mr. Hechtman seeks is to exclude from the political universe the very possibility of a country controlling it borders. He said that it is “no business” of the government of a country to say who enters that country. Meaning that in his view one of the very powers that defines a country as a country does not exist. That is not just a particular policy or law he is proposing. It is an all-controlling meta-principle. It is, in effect, a global constitution, which he, as global legislator, would impose on humanity if he could.
The all-controlling meta-principle Mr. Auster would impose on humanity if he could is to exclude from the political universe the very possibility of Whites pursuing their own interests independent of the interests of jews. He conflates these interests and attacks anyone who suggests they are distinct.
In addition to the several examples cited in the 9 August update above Auster has just provided another. In The bad demographic news–and an unrelated discussion of Steve Sailer he attacks Sailer for the sin of insufficient love of israel:
Sailer is not merely indifferent to Israel, and therefore indifferent to the possibility of its destruction. His professed indifference to Israel’s destruction is the way he expresses his profound hostility to Israel.
Read Sailer’s The Iranian War Machine first so you can truely appreciate Auster’s profoundly hostile (and paranoid) interpretation.
Sailer’s supposed indifference to israel’s destruction turns out to be criticism of “the apparent run-up to a war with Iran” in which “foreign policy commentary appears to be largely the obsession of men with the irrational team-loving emotional instincts of baseball fans”. In fleshing out this analogy he says the media’s “Iranian fear-mongering” is “as if bored New York sportswriters, following, say, a collapse by the large market Boston Red Sox, got into a frenzy over the long term threat to Yankee dominance posed by the small-market Kansas City Royals”, and makes the point that “it wouldn’t happen on the sports pages, because baseball fans know the numbers and the pundits would get laughed at by their own readers”.
Auster thinks countries should be able to control their own borders, but not their foreign policy. His all-controlling meta-principle drives him to condemn any discussion which does not give priority above all else to whatever he imagines the interests of israel to be. Not even liberal open borders fanatics, who according to Auster “want to destroy everything the West and the Western peoples have been”, are treated to the kind of personal invective he aims at Sailer. He believes Sailer is “a bigot against Israel” and thus it follows naturally from Auster’s own pro-israel bigotry that Sailer is “a human being devoid of moral sense, devoid of soul”.
In contrast Auster is very concerned to express that his much milder treatment of jewish liberal Hechtman is not in any way intended to be dehumanizing. That is clearly something he reserves for those who may otherwise consider themselves political or philosophical allies but who fail his pro-jewish litmus test.
UPDATE 19 August 2008: Continued at Criticized by Auster.