Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, builds upon MacDonald’s previous work, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (MacDonald 1994/2002; hereafter PTSDA). While PTSDA focused on developing a theory of Judaism within an evolutionary framework, the present volume focuses on the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. Judaism and anti-Semitism fairly cry out for an evolutionary interpretation. Anti-Semitism has been a very robust tendency over a very long period of human history and in a wide range of societies with different forms of government, different economic systems, and different dominant religious ideologies. Many anti-Semitic episodes, such as the Iberian inquisitions and the Nazi holocaust, have been characterized by extraordinary intra-societal violence. Moreover, anti-Semitism has sometimes been characterized by a very overt, self-conscious racialism…a phenomenon that immediately suggests the relevance of evolutionary theory.
The basic thesis of this book can be summarized by the proposition that Judaism must be conceptualized as a group strategy characterized by cultural and genetic segregation from gentile societies combined with resource competition and conflicts of interest with segments of gentile societies. This cultural and genetic separatism combined with resource competition and other conflicts of interest tend to result in division and hatred within the society.
Nevertheless, as Leslie White (1966, 3) wrote many years ago in his discussion of the Boasian school of anthropology as a politically inspired cult, “One who follows procedures such as these incurs the risk of being accused of indulging in non-scholarly, personal attacks upon whom he discusses. Such a charge is, in fact, expectable and completely in keeping with the thesis of this essay. We wish to state that no personal attacks are intended.”
No personal or ethnic attacks are intended here, either. Nevertheless, the charge that this is an anti-Semitic book is, to use White’s phrase, expectable and completely in keeping with the thesis of this essay. A major theme of this volume, found especially in Chapters 6 and 7, is that intellectual defenses of Judaism and of Jewish theories of anti-Semitism have throughout its history played a critical role in maintaining Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. Parts of the book read as a sort of extended discourse on the role of Jewish self-interest, deception, and self-deception in the areas of Jewish historiography, Jewish personal identity, and Jewish conceptualizations of their ingroup and its relations with outgroups. This is therefore first and foremost a book that confidently predicts its own irrelevance to those about whom it is written.
Hear an interview with the author here.
When one looks at the group behaviors of Jews, you can start to see why Jews would take issue. Whether in the atomized, hyperindividualistic outlook of the libertarian, or in the hypercollectivized “anti-racist” perspective of the communist, any effort to analyze world events through the racial lense meets horrified outcry, though never any meaningful refutation. The moment one attempts to even understand patterns of ethnic or racial group behavior, they are condemned as a thought criminal, a Nazi, a fascist, an ignorant racist, a deranged and sick individual. Without ever having a fact corrected or argument refuted, they are written out of polite society by groups who see no conflict between their openly ethnocentric nature, and their utter contempt for all other ethnocentric groups.
It should come as no surprise then, that Kevin MacDonald has been called the “neo-Nazi movement’s favorite academic” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was denounced by many of his colleagues, and had his teaching duties reduced before retiring from his position as a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach. All without being refuted or corrected in any meaningful way, of course.
Refuting Dr. MacDonald might prove difficult. He has a Masters degree in evolutionary biology, and a Ph. D. in Biobehavioral Sciences, both from the University of Connecticut. His research has focused on developing evolutionary perspectives on culture, developmental psychology and personality theory, the origins and maintenance of monogamous marriage in Western Europe, and ethnic relations (group evolutionary strategies). He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, and he is the author of Social and Personality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis (1988), A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). He is also the editor of the Occidental Observer. The “backward, ignorant, racist” trope is not going to work on this guy.
His literary talent combined with in depth explanations of the subject matter, serves to thoroughly inform the reader on very a very complex topic without becoming a a tedious read. Indeed I had trouble putting these books down.
Simultaneously, one can understand why, though Dr. MacDonald shows no hostility to anyone in his work, Jewish groups consider the material “hate speech” and thought crime. The gentile reader is almost compelled to see Jews as a threat to his way of life, and the continued survival and well being of his people. Indeed, Dr. MacDonald posits that anti-Semitism, far from being some sort of mental illness as moral crusaders would have us believe, is a survival mechanism developed by non-Jews throughout the world and throughout history to ward off the negative consequences that come with Jewish presence in gentile societies.
It is unfortunate in the extreme that Jewish groups see no reason to refute anything Dr. MacDonald has to say. One would far rather not view the world in this fashion, but when the only response to scientific research is cries of heresy and smear campaigns, the honest observer is compelled to see that only one side of this conflict is making any effort to understand the realities of our world, while the other side is interested only in subterfuge. Calling someone an anti-Semite and a Nazi is not an argument, and indeed these perpetual cries of persecution are exactly the type of behavior topping the list of complaints anti-Semites have with the people who are vastly overrepresented in every measure of success our society has to offer.