Saturday, November 17, 2007


It is one of the better-established findings in psychological research that the relationship between attitudes and behaviour is not at all straightforward. That is particularly true when it comes to predicting behaviour from a person's racial attitudes and beliefs. For instance, Left-influenced psychologists long thought that a person who was very attached to his own group (race, nation etc.) would thereby automatically be hostile to outgroups (minorities etc.). It is however now well established that there is very little relationship between the two at all. One of my own papers on the subject is here and a review of the academic literature is here.

So you can get "racists" who are hostile to other races and "racists" who are benevolent to other races. Hitler is an obvious real-life example of the former and the 19th century British empire -- with its conception of duty as embodied in Kipling's poem "The white man's burden" -- is a notable example of the latter.

History is generally taught with such a Leftist bias these days however that it takes a lot to undermine the demonized conception of the British empire that people have in their heads. To make it clear how different the Conservative "racists" of the 19th (and earlier) century British empire were from the socialist racists of Nazi Germany, therefore, I often mention the case of Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew who was installed as Prime Minister of Great Britain by the British Conservative party and subsequently by the British voters. He was hugely influential and died among great expressions of national loss in 1881.

British Conservatives who believed that the English were a superior race made a Jew their Prime Minister. German socialists who believed that Germans were a superior race murdered Jews by the millions. Is THAT contrast stark enough? Does THAT show that racism is not monolithic? Racism per se need not be destructive at all. But when it is combined with the hatreds of Leftism, it certainly is.

Leftists however sometimes quibble with my history lesson by saying that Disraeli was not in fact a Jew. They have obviously not read Disraeli. The very name "Disraeli" (d' Israeli, meaning "of Israel") might have alerted them to something but there are none so blind as those who will not see.

The tiny hook upon which Leftists hang their quibble is that British law of the day said that a Jew could not enter parliament. So Disraeli's father wisely had young Benjamin Christened as an Anglican at age 13. Everybody understood this as largely a formality however and Anglicanism then, as now, asked little of its adherents. So how did his "conversion" affect Disraeli? Very little. He in fact often flaunted his Jewishness. He was not so unwise as to speak ill of Anglicanism -- he was a great lover of all things British in fact -- but he often pointed to his Jewish origins and Jewish traditions as major influences on his thinking and on what he was. He was notorious for NOT "fitting in" with English ways of the day, in fact. He would have fried in Nazi Germany.

Perhaps the most telling indication of how Disraeli was perceived at the time can be found in Bismarck's famous admiring comment about Disraeli. Did Bismarck refer to Disraeli as "The old Englishman" or as "the old Anglican"? No. What Bismarck said was: "Der alte Jude, das ist der Mann" (The old Jew. THAT is the man). Everybody knew what Disraeli really was and it was simply not held against him. Though it would blow the mind of any Leftist to think such a thought, racists can in fact be very tolerant.

Footnote: This is strictly irrelevant to what I have written above but the historian in me impels me to note that, given Bismarck's own coruscating political brilliance, his tribute to Dizzy's political brilliance that I have noted above shows just how outstanding Dizzy was. And even though he was not one of them, British Conservatives had the good sense and flexibility to recognize and accept Dizzy for what he was as an individual.


Brookes News Update

The depreciating dollar and the US economy: It was domestic inflation that drove down the dollar. Those who argued that cheap imports kept inflation under control were oblivious to the fact that these imports were the result of the US 'exporting'. So what is really happening to jobs and investment?
Does irrational exuberance drive the stock market?: Contrary to Robert Shiller's thesis a sharp deviation of stock prices from their fundamentals is the result of loose monetary policies of the US central bank and not some mysterious impulse or "animal spirits" gone wild
Immigration, economic growth and jobs: The claim that immigration is generates economic growth is a myth. The anti-immigration assertion that immigration damages the environment, aggravates the housing situation and overburdens the infrastructure is also a myth
'Global warming' as pathological science: The Global Warming campaign is endangering real, honest science. Global Warming superstition has become an international power grab, and good science suffers as a result. When the truth-tellers in society begin to sell out and tell lies for some ideological goal, people end up dying
Giuliani and the right's shifting priorities: Not only does Giuliani lead as the candidate who is the first choice of Republican voters: he also leads as the second choice of Republican voters. This indicates a high level of comfort with Giuliani, even among Republicans who would prefer a more religious candidate



I mentioned recently the strangeness at LGF -- where Charles Johnson seems to be on a jihad against European political parties that oppose Muslim immigration. Johnson is himself critical of Islam but seems to accept what Leftists say about critics of Islam in Europe. All very strange. There are now a couple of detailed critiques of Johnson's dubious reasoning up here and here (second link a bit slow to load but worth the wait).

Our friends, the Saudis: "A court in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishing a female victim of gang rape with 200 lashes and six months in jail. The 19-year-old woman - whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms - was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for "being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,'' the Arab News reported. But in a new verdict issued after Saudi Arabia's Higher Judicial Council ordered a retrial, the court in the eastern town of Al-Qatif more than doubled the number of lashes to 200. A court source told the English-language Arab News that the judges had decided to punish the woman further for "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.''

Iran stops shipping bombs to insurgents: "Iran appears to have stopped shipping the deadliest type of weapons used against U.S. troops in Iraq after a European government confronted Tehran with proof that the weapons came from Iranian factories and Iraqi officials warned their neighbor that instability in Iraq affects the entire region, U.S., Western and Iraqi officials said. A senior U.S. general in Iraq said Thursday that Iran is upholding informal commitments it's made in the last several months and no new weapons caches have been found recently."

A good comment from a Leftist: "Nothing exemplifies the return of old junk more than the `new' anti-Semitism and the bad faith that often finds expression in the statement: "I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic." The fixation on Israel/Palestine within parts of the left, often to the exclusion of all other suffering on the globe, ought to leave any balanced observer wondering: What is going on here?"


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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