Reprinted below is the complete transcript of Professor Kevin MacDonald's acceptance speech, "Can the Jewish Model Help the West Survive?," upon receiving the first Jack London Literary Prize, awarded October 31, 2004, during a reception in Washington, DC. The Jack London Literary Prize, an award of up to $10,000, is conferred on TOQ authors whose work reflects the expansive, fearless spirit of Jack London and is intended to promote the timeless values of Western civilization.
First I want to thank everyone involved in the award. It means a lot to me. I do think it’s important to discuss Jewish issues as openly and honestly as one can and with as much intellectual rigor as one can muster. As a great American, Joe Sobran, once wrote:
The full story of [Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential] campaign is impossible to tell as long as it’s taboo to discuss Jewish interests as freely as we discuss those of the Christian Right. . . . Not that the Jews are all-powerful, let alone all bad. But they are successful, and therefore powerful enough: and their power is unique in being off-limits to normal criticism even when it’s highly visible. They themselves behave as if their success were a guilty secret, and they panic, and resort to accusations, as soon as the subject is raised. Jewish control of the major media in the media age makes the enforced silence both paradoxical and paralyzing. Survival in public life requires that you know all about it, but never refer to it. A hypocritical etiquette forces us to pretend that the Jews are powerless victims; and if you don’t respect their victimhood, they’ll destroy you. It’s a phenomenal display not of wickedness, really, but of fierce ethnocentrism, a sort of furtive racial superpatriotism.1
I agree entirely with this. And this last part of Sobran’s comments bears directly on the topic of my talk: Is Judaism an appropriate model for survival of the West?—by which I mean not only culturally but ethnically as well. I have at times been accused of being an anti-Semite. But the reality is that I greatly admire Jews as a group that has pursued its interests over thousands of years, while retaining its ethnic coherence and intensity of group commitment. There have been ups and downs in Jewish fortunes, to be sure; but their persistence, at times in the face of long odds, and their spectacular success at the present time are surely worthy of emulation.
Taking seriously the idea of Judaism as a model for ethnic activism is a tall order indeed. What would we have to do that we are not doing now?
First, we would have to develop a strong sense of ourselves as a people with interests—interests that often conflict with the interests of others. The fact is, of course, that any mention of the ethnic interests of European-Americans or even Europeans in Europe or anywhere else is certain to be greeted with scorn and accusations of “racism” and moral depravity. These accusations are effective because if there is one area where the intellectual left has won a complete and decisive victory, it is in pathologizing the ethnic interests of the European majority of the United States. By “pathologizing” I mean not only that people have been taught to believe with utter certainty that there is no biological reality to race or ethnicity, but that the slightest assertion of ethnic self-interest by the European majority of the United States is the sign of a grave moral defect. Indeed, it is a moral defect so grave that it is really more a matter of psychiatric concern than anything else.
Of course, this stance requires a great deal of hypocrisy, because assertions of ethnic interests by Europeans are stigmatized at the same time that assertions of ethnic interest by other groups are utterly commonplace and respectable. As Virginia Abernethy recently wrote:
The goals of the multicultural game are ethnic separatism, ethnic privilege, and ethnic power. I began to realize not too long ago that I have to play the multicultural game, at least defensively, or I and my family and kin will lose out. It is what every ethnic group except, in the main, European-Americans, does these days.2
Indeed, Mexican activists loudly advertise their goal of reconquering the Southwestern United States via immigration from Mexico—an event that would be rather obviously in the ethnic interests of Mexicans but undoubtedly would compromise the interests of European-Americans. Jewish organizations, which were in the forefront leading the intellectual and political battles to pathologize the ethnic interests of European Americans, have also been deeply involved in organizing coalitions of minority ethnic groups to assert their political interests in Congress and in the workplace. The elaborate Jewish effort on behalf of their ethnic brethren in Israel is legendary and can only be described as awesome in its effectiveness.
So the very first thing that any ethnic group must do is to assert its ethnic interests openly and honestly. Until recently, ethnic interests were understood intuitively by everyone, but not formally analyzed. And of course there has been a major effort by the intellectual left to convince everyone that their commonsense perceptions of race and ethnicity are an illusion. As Frank Salter, Henry Harpending, and William Hamilton have shown, people have an interest in their ethnic group in exactly the same way that parents have a genetic interest in raising their children.3 When world populations are sampled, genetic differences between groups are significant—on average, they are about the same as the kinship between a grandparent and a grandchild. In other words, on average, people are as closely related to other members of their ethnic group versus the rest of the world as they are related to their grandchildren versus the rest of their ethnic group.
What this means is that it is very rational to make extreme sacrifices for our ethnic group. And I would like to underline that. Because of the large number of ethnic brethren, counted in the hundreds of millions, we are actually far better off from an evolutionary point of view if we have a positive influence on the future of our ethnic group than when we successfully rear our own children. Extreme self-sacrifice is entirely warranted and rational if it has a positive effect on our ethnic survival. I think we should all keep this in mind when planning our future life course.
The best way to defend ethnic interests is to defend a territory against immigration from other ethnic groups. The big story of immigration since World War II is of course that wealthy Western societies with economic opportunities and a high level of public goods, such as medical care and education, are magnets for immigration from around the world. We should never forget and should be immensely proud of the fact that Western societies act as magnets precisely because of the spectacular success of the peoples of European descent in creating the science and technology that is the basis for the incredible explosion of wealth and the breakthroughs in medicine and public health. And it goes without saying that we should also be immensely proud of the extraordinary flowering of European high culture that has repeatedly produced geniuses like Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and Shakespeare. Jewish pride in their own culture is of course a very important part of the Jewish tradition, and it certainly bears emulation. Sadly, a primary effect of the culture of critique has been to produce immense guilt among so many Europeans about their own culture, their own history, and their own people.
However, because Western societies act as very powerful magnets for immigration and because we have not acted to defend ourselves against this onslaught, the result will be displacement of the founding populations, not only in the United States, but also in Australia, Canada, and throughout the European Union. If present trends in the United States continue, the founding European-derived population is set to become a minority by the middle of this century; in the British Isles the submergence date is just two generations later.
In mobilizing a sense of ethnic interest, Europeans are at a very serious disadvantage compared to Jews. A very striking feature of Jewish groups is their intense ethnocentrism—what I call hyper-ethnocentrism.4 I have provided a great many examples of this in my writing. Jewish ethnocentrism is a critical component of their success because it is of fundamental importance for their ability to construct highly focused ethnic networks in politics, the arts, the media, and the social sciences—all the critical centers of power in the modern world. Perhaps the main focus of my writing has been simply to describe how these networks operate and the extraordinary effects that they have achieved, from creating the culture of critique and, more recently, the culture of the Holocaust, to the present effort of the United States to transform the politics of the Middle East in the interests of Israel.
We should not forget that the great wellspring of modern Jewish populations was the religious fundamentalist Jewish populations of Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century. These fundamentalists passionately rejected all the assimilatory pressures coming from surrounding governments. Well into the twentieth century the vast majority of Eastern European Jews could not speak the languages of the non-Jews living around them.5 Corresponding to this intense in-group feeling were attitudes that non-Jews were less than human. “As one famous rabbi put it, ‘A Gentile does not have a heart, although he has an organ that resembles a heart.’ ”6
This hotbed of intense ethnocentrism was the origin of all the important modern Jewish movements, including political radicalism and Zionism. Many of the early Zionists had clearly articulated racialist views in which Jews were a unique and superior race. A good example is Vladimir Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky was an important early Zionist and he is the spiritual guide of the Likud party in Israel and its leaders—people like Sharon, Begin, and Shamir. He is also a hero to many American neoconservatives. I just recently learned that the neocon patriarch Leo Strauss was a follower of Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky was deeply ethnocentric, believing that Jews were shaped by their long history as a desert people and that the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state would allow the natural genius of the Jewish race to flourish, stating, for example: “These natural and fundamental distinctions embedded in the race are impossible to eradicate, and are continually being nurtured by the differences in soil and climate.”7 What is striking is that virtually the entire organized Jewish community in the United States is allied to the Likud party and the settler movement in Israel, whose leaders openly idolize Jabotinsky.
As a European in a society that is rapidly becoming non-European, I can sympathize with Jabotinsky’s envy of the native Slavic peoples he observed in the early twentieth century. He wrote:
I look at them with envy. I have never known, and probably never will know, this completely organic feeling: so united and singular [is this] sense of a homeland, in which everything flows together, the past and the present, the legend and the hopes, the individual and the historical.8
Every nation, civilized or primitive, sees its land as its national home, where it wants to stay as the sole landlord forever. Such a nation will never willingly consent to new landlords or even to partnership.9
It is the memory of this rapidly disappearing sense of historical rootedness, combined with a sense of impending dispossession, which is at the root of the malaise experienced by many Europeans, not only in the United States but elsewhere. The triumph of Zionism took a mere fifty years from Herzl’s inspiration to the founding of the state of Israel. There is a tendency to overlook or ignore the powerful ethnocentrism at the heart of Zionism that motivated people like Jabotinsky, and especially the American Jewish community, which has been dedicated throughout the twentieth century to pathologizing and criminalizing the fragile vestiges of ethnocentrism among Europeans.
But the bottom line is that the Zionists were successful. Israel would not have become a state without a great many deeply ethnocentric Jews willing to engage in any means necessary to bring about their dream: a state that would be a vehicle for their ethnic interests. It would not have come about without the most radical among them—people like Jabotinsky, Begin, Shamir, Netanyahu, Sharon, and their supporters—a group which now includes the entire organized American Jewish community. The impending dispossession of Europeans will only be avoided if people like them can be found among the political class of Europeans.
European populations that are allowing themselves to be displaced are playing a very dangerous game—dangerous because the long history of ethnic strife provides them no guarantees about the future. Throughout history there has been a tendency for majority ethnic groups to oppress minorities. A glance at Jewish history is sufficient to make one realize the dangers faced by an ethnic group not having a state and political apparatus to protect its interests. The organized Jewish community in the United States is well aware of this and has adopted a two-pronged strategy: territorial defense and expansion of Israel as an ethnic homeland, and promoting the displacement and disempowerment of European populations in the Western world. Both of these projects have had a considerable degree of success.
It does not take an overactive imagination to see that coalitions of minority groups could compromise the interests of formerly dominant European groups. We already see numerous examples in which coalitions of minority groups attempt to influence public policy, including immigration policy, against the interests of the European majority. And we must realize that placing ourselves in a position of vulnerability would be extremely risky, given the deep sense of historical grievance harbored by many ethnic activists toward Europeans.
This is especially the case with Jews, and of course Jews have shown a tendency to become part of the elite in Western societies. We have recently seen reports in the press of religious Jews spitting on Christian symbols in Israel, thereby resurrecting an age-old Jewish practice.10 Indeed, hatred toward all things European is normative among a great many strongly identified Jews.11 I recently came across the following statement by Dov Fischer, vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America, in the Forward, a very prestigious Jewish publication, in 2002:
Although we appreciate a half-century of West European democracy more than we appreciated the prior millennia of European brutality, we recognize who they are, what they have done—and what’s what. We know, if they don’t, that they need Arab oil more than they need Jewish philosophy and creativity. We remember that the food they eat is grown from soil fertilized by 2,000 years of Jewish blood they have sprinkled onto it. Atavistic Jew-hatred lingers in the air into which the ashes rose from the crematoria.12
Besides coalitions of ethnic minorities, the main danger facing Europeans is that wealthy, powerful European elites are often unaware of or do not value their own ethnic interests. Wealthy and powerful people have much more potential to advance or hinder ethnic interests. In the Western world since 1965, many elite politicians and business interests have acted to subvert the ethnic interests of their own people by allowing and even advocating the mass immigration of non-European peoples. One reason may be that these elite Westerners would be the last to suffer personally from ethnic replacement because they are able to live in gated communities insulated from the rest of the world. Many others have made personal and political alliances with non-European elites that have advanced their interests at the cost of completely ignoring their enormous family of ethnic kin. This extreme individualism of Western elites is a tragic mistake for all ethnic Europeans, including the elites themselves, who are losing untold millions of ethnic kin by promoting mass immigration of non-Europeans.
Wealthy and influential Jews have a strong record of attempting to further the interests of their own ethnic group. And Jews are indeed a very elite group. Although Jews make up less than three percent of the population, they constitute more than a quarter of the people on the Forbes list of the richest four hundred Americans. In general, wealthy Jews have a strong record of donating to Jewish causes.13
Jewish organizations are lavishly funded. In 1996, there were approximately three hundred national Jewish organizations in the United States, with a combined budget estimated in the range of $6 billion—a sum greater than the gross national product of half the members of the United Nations.14 The Anti-Defamation League has an annual budget of over $50,000,000. Irving Moskowitz not only funds the settler movement and land purchases in Israel, but he also supports the American Enterprise Institute by funding scholars like David Wurmser, who is a prominent member of the very influential neocon group that has turned U.S. foreign policy basically into an arm of the Israeli right wing. Moskowitz provided the money that enabled the 1996 reopening of a tunnel under the Temple Mount, which resulted in seventy deaths due to rioting, started the intifada, and eventually led to Ariel Sharon’s election as prime minister of Israel. He also funds the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a lobbying organization dedicated to establishing close relations between Israel and American military and defense contracting companies. Edgar Bronfman funds the World Jewish Congress, while Charles Bronfman, Ronald Lauder, and the notorious Marc Rich fund Birthright Israel, a program that aims to increase ethnic consciousness among Jews by bringing 20,000 young Jews to Israel every year.15
So far as I know, there are no major sources of funding aimed at increasing ethnic consciousness among Europeans or at promoting European ethnic interests. Certainly the major sources of conservative funding in the U.S., such as the Bradley and Olin Foundations, are not aimed at this sort of thing. Indeed, these foundations have been a major source of funding for the largely Jewish neoconservative movement and for pro-Israel think tanks such as the Center for Security Policy.
An excellent example of an ethnically conscious wealthy Jew is Haim Saban, who was recently profiled in the New York Times. Mr. Saban controls the largest media company in Germany. Saban has stirred controversy in Britain, where he publicly expressed interest in buying ITV, the country's biggest commercial network, while accusing its competitors, including BBC News, of pro-Arab coverage. He views his acquisition of a dominant position in German media as benefiting Israel in the long run. Obviously he thinks of media ownership as not simply a way of making money, but of influencing content by promoting Jewish causes. The Times describes him as “perhaps the most politically connected mogul in Hollywood”—and that’s saying a lot. He is described as “throwing his weight and money around Washington and, increasingly, the world, trying to influence all things Israeli. ‘I'm a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.’” To that end, he has become one of the largest individual donors to the Democratic Party and its candidates in the country, giving millions over the past decade—$7 million in just one donation to the Democratic National Committee in 2002. He hobnobs with John Kerry and he vacations with Bill Clinton. It is certainly striking that Bill Clinton is on record as expressing very positive attitudes about massive immigration and the impending minority status of his own people, while maintaining a close relationship with a wealthy Jewish ethnic activist intent on advancing the interests of Jews. One could say virtually the same thing about the entire political class in America. This is, I think, a parable of our times.
Saban is far from unique. For example, in Canada,the late Israel Asper, executive chairman of CanWest Global Communications Corp., used his media empire to promote pro-Likud policies and punished journalists for any deviation from its strong pro-Israel editorial policies.16 In my writing I have tried to show that Jewish involvement in the media has influenced content—that the media in the United States have reflected Jewish attitudes on multiculturalism and all things Jewish, especially Israel, and negative attitudes on Christianity, European ethnocentrism, European culture, and especially the culture of the American South and Midwest.17
The point is that Jewish elites have been hugely influential in advancing the interests of their people. This is surely a goal to emulate.
The best way to preserve ethnic interests is to defend an ethnostate—a nation that is explicitly intended to preserve the ethnic interests of its citizens. From an ethnic point of view, a major problem with massive immigration is that there is likely to be an increase in ethnic competition. Multicultural societies sanction ethnic mobilization because they inevitably become a cauldron of competing ethnic interests.
In this very dangerous game of ethnic competition, some ethnic groups are better prepared than others. Ethnic groups differ in intelligence and the ability to develop and control economic resources. They differ in their degree of ethnocentrism, in the extent to which they are mobilized to achieve group interests, and in how aggressively they behave toward other groups. They differ in their numbers, fertility, and the extent to which they encourage responsible parenting. And they differ in the amount of land and other resources held at any point in time and in their political power.
Given these differences, it’s difficult at best to ensure peaceful relations among ethnic groups. Even maintaining a status quo in territory and resource control is very difficult, as can be seen by the ill-fated attempts of Americans to achieve an ethnic status quo with the 1924 immigration law.18 And accepting a status quo would not be in the interests of groups that have recently lost land or numbers; nor is it likely to be acceptable to groups with relatively low numbers and control of resources; nor would a status quo be likely to be acceptable to groups prone to high fertility. Yet the alternative—that all humans renounce their ethnic group loyalties—seems utopian to say the least.
And given that some ethnic groups—especially ones with high levels of ethnocentrism and mobilization—will undoubtedly continue to function as groups far into the foreseeable future, unilateral renunciation of ethnic loyalties by some groups means only their surrender and defeat—the Darwinian dead end of extinction. The future, then, like the past, will inevitably be a Darwinian competition in which ethnicity plays a very large role.
The alternative faced by Europeans throughout the Western world is to place themselves in a position of enormous vulnerability in which their destinies will be determined by other peoples, many of whom hold deep historically conditioned hatreds toward them. Europeans’ promotion of their own displacement is the ultimate foolishness—an historical mistake of catastrophic proportions.
1. Sobran, J. (1996). The Buchanan frenzy. Sobran’s (March), 3.
2. Abernethy, V. D.(2004). Arizona illegals (letter to the editor), Washington Times (October 1).
3. Salter, F. K. (2004). On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethny, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration. Frankfurt Am Main, Germany: Peter Lang.
4. MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish Activism I: Background Traits for Jewish Activism. The Occidental Quarterly 3(2) (Summer), 6–7.
5. MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish Activism II: Zionism and the Internal Dynamics of Judaism. The Occidental Quarterly 3(3) (Fall), p. 20.
6. Mahler, R. (1985). Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, p. 17.
7. Shavit, Y. (1988). Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement, 1925–1948. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 112.
8. Ibid., p. 116.
9. Wheatcroft, G. (1996). The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, p. 207.
Barkat, Amiram. (2004). Armenian archbishop quizzed over spat with yeshiva
student (Oct. 11),
11. MacDonald, K. B. (1998/2002). The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements. Westport, CT: Praeger; paperback version: Bloomington, IN: 1stbooks Library, 2002; MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish Activism I: Background Traits for Jewish Activism. The Occidental Quarterly 3(2) (Summer), p. 14.
12. Fischer, D. (2002). We’re right, the whole world’s wrong. Forward (April 19).
13. MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish Activism I: Background Traits for Jewish Activism. The Occidental Quarterly 3(2) (Summer), p. 22.
14. Goldberg, J. J. (1996). Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
16. MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish Activism I: Background Traits for Jewish Activism. The Occidental Quarterly 3(2), p. 22.
16. Ibid., p. 24.
17. Sorkin, A. R. (2004). Schlepping to Moguldom. New York Times (Sept. 5).
MacDonald, K. B. (2004). Was the 1924 Immigration Cut-off “Racist”?
VDARE (June 19),