Repost from the old site.
Astute commenter James Schipper comments on the Statement on Jews and Antisemitism post:
Another intellectual flaw of anti-Semites is overgeneralization. Jews live in dozens of different countries and Judaism varies from superorthodoxy to reformism, but they see all Jews as the same. That’s only possible if Jews are seen as a race and if their race explains their behavior.I don’t think that Jews created modernity. It is the other way around: modernity created the post-ghetto Jew. Starting with revolutionary France, Jews in Europe were emancipated, that is, their separate legal status was abolished and they became ordinary citizens.
Since they still were outsiders to some extent, most of them were attracted to leftism, which, being the ideology of change, obviously would be preferred by outsiders. Conservativism is the ideology of those who are well-integrated in and happy with the status quo.
The fact that Jews are overrepresented among leftists has nothing to do with Judaism but everything with their minority status and their historical situation as often persecuted outsiders. We need sociological, not theological or biological explanations for Jewish behavior.
Biology explains only Jewish over-representation in intellectually demanding professions because there is every reason to assume that Jews have on average more innate intelligence than Gentiles.
My view is that Jews in Palestine were not smarter than the people around them, but that it was the smartest ones that in Roman times were expelled from or left Palestine in disproportionate numbers. Those that stayed behind were eventually assimilated.
Surely there is nothing in the genes of the Jew that creates “the Jew”. When you delve into anti-Semitism, pretty soon, you find that most rightwing White racialist anti-Semites believe that the evils of the Jew are located in the genes. I consider this to be nonsense, but we shall await the findings of modern genetics. I doubt if anything will turn up.
Hyperethnocentrism along with tendencies towards insularity, clannishness, xenophobia, paranoia and and even racism tend to occur across all types of Jews. I feel this is due to culture. As evidence, I note that many converts to Judaism quickly develop all of these characteristics, often in spades. That seems to seal the case for cultural Jewishness right there.
Schipper neatly sums up why the Jews have been attracted to the Left. In all this time, I have never heard anyone say it quite so succinctly. Outsiders are attracted to the Left, so Blacks and Hispanics in the US vote Democratic. Those satisfied with the status quo are conservative, hence Whites in the US are conservative.
Schipper’s analysis also probably explains the new emergence of a considerable movement in the US of conservative Jews. Antisemitism in the US has been reduced to a shadow of itself, and Jews are more successful than any other ethnic group.
When they were still getting barred from country clubs, and when signs said, “No Jews or dogs allowed,” Jews had a great reason to vote liberal, whatever their economic fortunes. Now that they’ve got life dicked here in the US, a number of them are well-integrated in and happy with the status quo and the phenomenon of the rightwing Jew has appeared.
I doubt if the Jews who left Palestine were any smarter than the ones who stayed, but I don’t have a lot of proof.
I suspect that Talmudic culture, which developed in Europe after 900 with the solidification of the Babylonian Talmud, with its emphasis on learning (Jewish men who could not learn the Talmud left the ghetto and converted to Christianity), along with the smartest Jewish men being seen as the best marriage partners for Jewish women, had a lot to do with selection for intelligence and high Ashkenazi IQ, though I realize that this ought to also predict high IQ in Mizrachi Jews, and their IQ is not notably high.