Confessions of a Jihad Advocate


man is clown to man

Lenin once said that capitalists would sell the rope that would be used to hang them. In this analogy, the capitalists are progressives seeking to usher in a utopian Gomorrah, and the rope is Islam. Yet this is where the conservatives and even most nativists fail to comprehend Islamic terrorism as a backlash against the nihilist decadence of the first world, which indiscriminately imposes itself on traditional civilizations by ruthless military and financial force. This whole vacuous left-right discourse about white supremacist violence and whether it is worse or less bad than Islamic violence entirely misses the point, which is that evil will always exist, and periodic horrific violence is the norm for our species. Personally, I prefer the neo-Nazis and the radical Muslims who understand this over the oligarchs, the politicians, and their expert mandarins who want to suck all the danger and enchantment out of the world and replace it with data.


Just the Tip

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college is the scam

Whenever the media shines a light on a relatively anomalous illegality, you can bet that it’s a normalizing tactic for some corollary, legalized corruption. So what’s surprising about the college admissions scandal is that these rich parents felt they needed to do anything illegal in the first place – which is an outrage in itself, when you consider what it implies about the power of colleges. Simply put, college is the absolute most cynical scam in a civilization that at this late date runs almost entirely on swindling. A whole generation is essentially priced out of home ownership, expected to subsidize entitlements out of stagnant wages, and living under a storm cloud of debt that college full-profs and admins and their private sector accomplices are literally feasting out of. At least a landlord has some legal liability. At least most employers have to use their own budget to pay workers. At least when the Pentagon pays a contractor $37 per 8 oz. chocolate milk, it gets the fucking milk. Meanwhile, aside from a thin proportion of STEM researchers, academia provides nothing but moral arrogance in exchange for its massive subsidization. The ROI from cow farts is ginormous by comparison, at least you get a steak. The self-importance and con-artistry of college officials make the big banks and the drug cartels look like mere beasts of the field by comparison.

Make Judaism Great Again, Pt. V

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My soul is prepared

(Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here)

Were it not for Hitler’s anti-Semitism, we would not oppose his ideology. Hitler saved Germany.”      —Zvi Eliyahu Cohen, 1932

I was waiting on the perfect prompt for the concluding post in this series, and Ilhan Omar’s detractors have provided a pretty clean one. Omar is the shmata-clad Somali-American congresswoman from Minneapolis who is being called an anti-semite by some of Israel’s more prominent American supporters, whom she publicly alleged are putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s, and using dirty money to do it.

As somewhat of a revisionist Zionist myself, I have no problem with Omar’s remarks. In fact, the backlash against them is totally inimical to Zionism. At this point, even “Zionism” is inimical to Zionism.

Zionism calls for Jewish political and military control over part of the Levant. It does not call for Jewish influence over public discourse in the United States. On the contrary, it is intended to offset any need we might have to concern ourselves with the public discourse in any country but our own. Needless to say, today’s Zionism has become a completely different animal.


hard canarding

Now, just like the idea of eradicating provincial, tribal and chauvinistic ideologies of any kind is inherently progressive, so is the idea of combating a prejudice like anti-semitism. So it is strange to see the American supporters of Zionism, which is basically a tribal and chauvinistic movement, denouncing Ilhan Omar for progressive anti-semitism.

Zionism is emphatically not a progressive, internationalist or social justice movement. Those tendencies were and always are baked into Zionism—there are many reasons for this—but Zionism’s fundamental premises are inimical or at least unrelated to the assumptions that progressivism makes about the nature of man, society, and the universe. Jews who want to have their cake and eat it, too, are serving two masters and will eventually have to choose one.

But beyond left and right, we have to ask ourselves fundamental questions of right and wrong. Of course the Arabs view Zionism as evil, and they have every reason to. But they view it as evil in effect, not in essence, because its essence is assabiyah, a concept they know all about. Thus, the question that needs asking is not whether Zionism is good or bad by universal standards, but whether Zionism and, in a deeper sense, Jewish identity itself, are good for us, as men, for our souls—which is the ultimate universal standard, because it requires us to be honest with ourselves. What does it really mean to be a Hebrew? And when we consider ourselves Jews, or Zionists, are we being true to our inmost selves? Are we living up to something, or are we giving ourselves a pass?

An historical example may serve to illustrate this largely unaddressed dilemma. Who was the first casualty of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid empire in 166 BC?

From 1 Maccabees 2:

Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice,

‘Though all the nations that are under the king’s dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments:

Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand, or the left.’

Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modi’in, according to the king’s commandment.

Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar.

A Muslim sermon I recently heard on YouTube channel The Vigilant One put it aptly: in every religion there is the party of God, and the party of Satan. Because, from a social standpoint, a decent religion is primarily a defense against external bad influences, it can only be destroyed from within. The party of Satan within each religion is the real force that threatens its destruction.

So if the Jews really believe in God, there is no outside force that can destroy them. But if the Jews do not believe in God, or believe in evil ideas that they mistake for God, then no iron wall, no iron dome, no defensive shield or preemptive strike or increased birthrate can possibly save them in the long run.

Now, say whatever else you will about the Jews, but the story of the establishment of the State of Israel is an epic scarcely paralleled in modern times. It belongs in the same category as the wars of the Old Testament, the Iliad, the Islamic Golden Age and the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The summoning of repressed strength it represents stands in defiant contrast to the dissolution so characteristic of the 20th century.

Or does it?

When we talk about dissolution, we mean the alienation of man from his own soul. I believe that there is a soul to Hebrew religion, that it is best expressed in the Hebrew Bible, and that it is rooted in the following tenets: (1) the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God as author and overseer of all things, who is loving and just, and with whom man must abide in truth; (2) that to abide with God in truth means to eschew the worship of intermediary objects, to orient ourselves to what is sacred and segregate the sacred from the profane; (3) that faith in God, defined as fear and love of Him, is the prerequisite and starting point of abiding with God in truth.

In contrast with Judaism, Zionism is merely a vehicle, a means to an end, and when applying means, we should have some cognizance of ends. Is Zionism directed toward a transcendent purpose that expresses the soul of the Hebrew people, namely, its unique faith? On the contrary. Like fascism, Zionist assabiyah is ultimately liberal-democratic in that it is devoted to the mass-managerial preservation of a certain type of citizen as a numeric unit in a collective hive. Because his racial and religious heritage is taken heed of by the government, and because military service is mandatory for Jews and a small number of amicable minorities, the Israeli citizen is admittedly not quite as formless or duty-less as the consumer/employee of modern France, America or the UK. But ultimately, the Israeli state exists only to secure the egocentric “rights” of a superficially defined type to exist, to keep eating, and to imagine himself in a certain way. The ongoing tensions with the Muslims only add some maudlin zeal to this basically blasé pursuit, and the diminishing returns on that investment can be seen in the way that the Holy Land went from the center of the world stage circa 2002-2006 to a set of stale clichés ten years later about “Jewish influence” and “anti-semitism” after the umpteenth inconclusive Gaza campaign.

The uncomfortable fact is that Israel’s every impasse, in war and in peace, is an impasse in meaning, and what they reveal to those who can see it is that consanguinity is of mere infinitesimal importance beside a transcendent, metaphysical sense of purpose. In this regard, as we have seen in prior installments, Judaism has become vulgarly political.

The Arabs, in contrast, at least deserve to be commended for viewing our shared political reality in viscerally metaphysical terms. Among Israelis, those sentiments are limited to settler fanatics, whose ultimate aims predicate their religious fervor on profane, superstitious and, ultimately, material factors, e.g., the occupation of certain geographic sites, the collection of archaeological evidence, or the construction of a third Temple on Mt. Moriah. In fact, our national-religious metaphysicians betray a great deal of cupidity and dissociation, and this is obvious to anyone who has ever seen them give interviews on foreign television. When they aggress against defenseless Arabs, they are bold as lions. When they are aggressed against by Arab terrorists, they are meek, uncomprehending lambs. As much as I abhor the concept of land for peace, it must be admitted that there is a pathology among the settlers, and it is deep, and crimson, and repulsive. One should at least be able to expect consistency from a supposed goy kadosh u’mamlekhet kohanim.


the ideology of a cancer cell

But putting aside Zionism alone, does Judaism today in any of its forms teach anything like what I have described in my three-pronged creed, above? In fact, in many ways it teaches quite the opposite:

(1) The lesson of the Holocaust, whether viewed from a Zionist or a progressive perspective, is that the universe is fundamentally incomprehensible, and that man must make his own justice. From an ultra-orthodox perspective the conclusion drawn is hardly better: that the victims had it coming on account of collective guilt. Not even the Christian churches teach this about the Holocaust.

(2) As we have seen, religious Zionism teaches that, rather than something internal to the human soul, the fulfillment of God’s prerogatives for man consist in the attainment of externalized, intermediate objects imbued with talismanic power, e.g., the third Temple, etc. This is pure idolatry.

(3) Orthodox Judaism teaches that the way to God is by rote performance of prescribed mitzvot, which are so onerous and convoluted that most Jews only perform them selectively and infrequently. As for morality, as far as orthodox rabbis are concerned it doesn’t matter if you’re a bookie, a drug smuggler, a pig farmer, or a child rapist, as long as your money’s green and you’ve got a Jewish mother, you’re supposedly helping bring the moshiah one step closer every time you lay phylacteries.

(4) Secular humanism in Judaism and liberal democracy in Zionism are supposed to distinguish Judaism from Christian dogma, and Zionism from Islamic backwardness. But even the Islamic suicide bomber consecrates himself to a higher purpose than mere national or human rights; even the simplest Christian basically comprehends the humility and sacred mission of our father Abraham. Modern humanist Judaism, on the other hand, is an asinine, naval-gazing third-tier publishing industry that helps rationalize a majority of diaspora Jews’ and a plurality of Jewish Israelis’ support for godless practices and ideologies (e.g., abortion, so-called “LGBT” insanity) that are inimical to biblical values.


I could gas this one myself

Now, if you’re Jewish, and you’ve read this far, you probably think I suffer from a horrific lack of ahavas yisroel, like the protagonist in The Believer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Frankly, I’m sick and goddamned tired of the whole cottage industry of finding fault with Jews on the internet. But I’m more concerned with truth than I am with Judaism. So where criticisms are valid, I don’t care where they emanate from and in what spirit—I intend to benefit from them in any case, not with the goal in mind of casting aspersions on my fellow Jews necessarily, but in order to trim away the dead leaves, and (in Marx’s memorable phrasing) “cull the living flower.”

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche said that, “In the Jewish ‘Old Testament,’ the book of divine justice, there are men, things, and speeches of such impressive style that the world of Greek and Indian literature has nothing to place beside them.” Elsewhere he wrote that, in the Hebrew scriptures, “I find great human beings, an heroic landscape, and something that is rarest in the world, the incomparable naïveté of the strong heart. And what is more, I find a people.” (Genealogy of Morals)

I see the same things in the Hebrew Bible. But when I look at the Jewish people today, in contrast, I see decrepitude. I see the misplaced moral arrogance of libertines and wheeler-dealers. I see the conniving of old men who ought to know better. I see Lena Dunham and Chuck Schumer. I see that punk slumlord, Jared Kushner, slithering inexplicably around the White House, and the snide, insufferable self-regard of Jon Stewart or Sacha Baron Cohen, while they disparage and mock average people. I look at what the people of the Bible have become and can no longer say I resent anti-semites for seeing it too, only that I disagree with them on certain particulars. A malign and inordinate Jewish influence on politics is not some stupid meme or clandestine conspiracy theory. It is life imitating farce, and it’s right out in the open. How can that possibly be “good for the Jews,” unless the Jews are a bunch of assholes?

The fact is, there is a party of Satan dominating Israel and Judaism. Jewish billionaires, politicians, loan sharks, shady political operatives and ideological enforcers in the press and academia are rife. As a single example, official Israel and diaspora Jewry (universities, charities, hospitals, NGOs, publications) have shown no compunction about accepting massive donations from the Sackler pharmaceutical family, who are arguably guilty of genocide. Of course, this is all a bit less visible than the effusive pledges of fealty to Israel coming constantly out of official Washington, but if any foreign country were as sacred a cow as Israel apparently is for every US official of any standing whatsoever, it would be equally suspect and galling.

So I’m sorry, but the resurgence in anti-semitism over the last several years is symptomatic of a perfectly valid Jew-fatigue. The alt-right is absolutely correct when it points out that diaspora Jewish support both for Israel’s border security measures and unchecked mass migration into the US and Europe is more than just a matter of personal opinion. It’s bald-faced hypocrisy that has policy consequences. And whether or not she’s right to be reflexively hostile to Israel, Ilhan Omar is right to publicly question why an American congresswoman ought to reflexively support that country. To respond to a demonstrably true statement with name-calling, as Bill Maher and CNN and the ADL (and the entire fucking US Congress) have done, is scurrilous, crocodile victimology that vindicates Ilhan’s assertions. Simply put, official Jewry cannot handle the truth. If the ADL had existed in ancient Israel, the prophet Samuel would probably have been on a hate-speech watch list.

A couple years ago I went to a “conservative” shul for Yom Kippur, only to discover that the “rabbi” was a lesbian, and the cantor was a transgender “man.” A choir of yentas performed kol nidre to the tune of a ginormous circus organ. This is what has become of the people whose forefathers invented jihad.

Yet the modern state of Israel only expresses a different form of the same basic misanthropy, playing a zero-sum game according to which the Jews simply have no choice but to occupy an outsized and domineering role in world affairs. Jews operate at the highest levels of the neoliberal world order and its cybernetic tech-surveillance panopticon. They are taking advanced measures to stifle the most basic civil liberties around the world. Where the Jewish zealots of yore defended their religion at the cost of their lives, Zionism today is determined to preserve the Jews’ lives at any cost, no matter how sordid. As I have tried to show, this tendency did not arise yesterday. The defiant panache and vigorous faith of the scriptures that so impressed Nietzsche gave way centuries before his time to a petrified tangle of narcissism, victimology, and inferiority complex. 

So what am I driving at? I’m afraid I don’t have a conclusion I can neatly wrap this up with. All I know is that the truth shall set you free.

Zionist Occupied Israel

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and now we see

“Open borders for Israel.”

For those unfamiliar, this is an alt-right refrain, intended to highlight the hypocrisy of the many diaspora Jews who support Israel’s Iron Wall at the same time they push for liberal immigration policies in the West.

Well, the alt-right got what it wanted:


The only problem is, they got it straight from the mouth of ZOG. Ain’t that some shit?

And the Israeli people will have no say in the matter. What can possibly explain this? I’m flipping frantically through my Culture of Critique trilogy, but it’s no help at all.

Without ignoring the fact that (1) the global oligarchy is disproportionately Jewish, (2) the Jews are disproportionately pozzed, and (3) Judaism today is largely a pathological victimology, I’ve argued numerous times in these pages that political anti-Semitism is both a distraction, and a fundamental misapprehension.

And here we have the proof.

What? You didn’t think the Devil would get around to screwing-over the Jews? Well, one thing you’ve got to give the Devil is that he’s fairly predictable: he thrives on the consent of the governed. So those Jews who are not Jews are not not Jews because they’re not Christians (or because they’re white, or are Khazars, or whatever). They’re not Jews because they’re actual Satanists.

And in case you think I’m a one-issue voter, I’ve been black-pilled on Trump since before the 2016 election.

Nigger Winning

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the tragedy of the commons

Although his wording seems a tad inexact, if you’ve been to college you know exactly who Sam Hyde is referring to by “these people.” I, for one, agree wholeheartedly with his tweet. Or, I would, except for one thing:

Who is this “we” ?

In the case of France’s giles jaunes, there is likewise a great deal of confusion about identification. Copycat protests outside of France have been comparatively tepid so far. Progressives are waiting things out; tax revolts aren’t their thing. Tankies can’t support anything so reminiscent of 1956. The whole scene’s too down-home for Antifa and all such faux-syndicalist hipsters, who in their heart-of-hearts always loathe the proletariat. The stateside mainstream right is feeling smug, but only tentatively—perhaps they smell trade unionism in the smoldering tires. The movement alt-right is disappointed by the lack of overt racism, although the broader dissident right is cheering, because immigration expenditures are tangentially implicated in the protests. Certainly the vrai francaises comprise the bulk of the movement. There were even early reports in the mainstream press that the whole thing was cooked up by Marine Le Pen, but that appears unlikely. In the end, protesters, like armies, march on their stomachs. This is why the giles jaunes are so sympathetic: they’re truly non-aligned.

Still, I cannot sympathize with them entirely. I’ve never liked crowds. I loathe nightclubs, concerts, sporting events, cheap motels, public restrooms, amusement parks, and twenty-minute wait times at sit-down restaurants. I despise louts, revelers, and revolutionaries. Perhaps you, too, are in debt, will never own anything, are fed up with anarcho-tyranny, and see no prospect of a better life for your children. So what? Join the club. Neither you nor I are in danger of starving anytime soon (thanks MasterCard), but if one of us were, the other would be unlikely to help. I’d like to see Macron defenestrated as much as they all would, but what the giles jaunes are demanding, in the end, is a gloved hand. After all, they cannot run the republic.

Mind you, I wouldn’t dare to suggest that the lumpen Frenchman is not squeezed to death. But is he preferable to Macron? On the surface, sans doute. But if I have to get somewhere, and you’re blocking traffic, I don’t really care what your problem is. As far as I’m concerned you can render unto Caesar and quit fucking up my day. Self-righteousness is never entirely excusable, and ideologies are inherently degrading: the Moloch of abstraction can only devour my babies if I give it permission, and it seems, despite a distinct lack of experience living in France, that the Arabs have no trouble whatsoever evading their taxes.

So….. Join hands to make the world a better place? No thanks. The crowd is inherently foreboding; it represents the transcendent unity of death. And just who is this “we,” anyway? Nobody I’ve got time for. Obviously I’m no kind of leftist, but the red pill is just one eye in the land of the blind, and contra 99.98% of sperg WN e-celebs, I’ve got kids who aren’t theoretical, and a blond/blue Aryan wife who veritably chirps the praises of my circumcised slab—whereas the pallid, grasping souls who buy into the slave morality on Chateau Heartiste (or Saul Alinsky or Dale Carnegie or The 48 Laws of Power—it’s all the same) aspire to be the conniving pecker in someone else’s mind’s vagina because they cannot make do with sincerity, and don’t know what it means to be the measure of oneself. When Socrates, the Prophet Isaiah and St. Paul performed their transvaluations, they undermined virile norms, and rulers who were truly terrifying. Whereas, in Sam Hyde’s woke transvaluationthe master is genderqueer, has club foot and daddy issues. When Nietzsche spoke of “no shepherd, and one herd,” he was the talking about a smartphone. The red pill merely enables a few sheep to bleat smugly and impotently about conspiracy and think they’ve opened up a vista. In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is still missing a whole fucking eye.

Ask yourself, what character is missing from the following illustration?

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Why, the artist, of course. His work veritably screams self-objectification and fear. No one who truly comprehends the nature of power and the power of nature would allow himself in this manner to be baited by, and become the predictable moral foil for the postmodern degenerates in this illustration. Despite what its activists believe about themselves, like all other ideologues, the alt-right has no real goal but activity for its own sake. Revealed preference is a bitch:

Slave trade, indeed! What is being defined here as “intellectual awakening”? Arrival at the ossified certitude that true evil is embodied solely in 0.2% of the human race—everyone else are just marionettes. For the alt-right, this is the key to accurately comprehending reality. According to these people, nothing, really nothing but this has real explanatory power, which is the surest possible sign that what it represents is not a red pill or a rabbit hole, but anesthetic—the kind of revelation you trade one eye for. No “journey of intellectual discovery” can possibly come of it.

There’s a name for this kind of narrative frame: it’s called a morality tale. To be movement alt-right is to be a reflexive limbic system in a cybernetic forest of thumbs, same as any NPC. If you’re doing this with an IQ >120, you’re feeding kale to a stage 4 tumor. In the immortal words of Céline, “When men can hate without risk, their stupidity is easily convinced, the motives supply themselves.” Thus, according to the alt-right, there is no appreciable difference, morally, ideologically, or evolutionarily, between Rachel Maddow (above) and this woman:

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trad life, sans hashtag

If the alt-right had just one woman like her, there’d be Nazi colonies on distant star systems. Actually, no, scratch that—there wouldn’t be, because the whole alt-right phenomenon since Hailgate and Charlottesville is about commiseration, about ecstatic, co-dependent renunciation of responsibility not just for the composition of one’s own environment, but for the composition of one’s own feelings, which is the exact opposite of the attitude expressed by the woman in the Times of Israel article in the screenshot.

Notice how Sam Hyde never even raises the possibility of how best to avoid becoming “broke, dead, your kids raped and brainwashed”? How he never even raises the question of how “we” are going to “win”? That’s because Sam already won the e-celeb game, cigars and car payments, his smugness is its own reward, and a photo negative of Rachel Maddow’s (at least Ty Lopez and Joel Osteen are promising you money.) What does Sam need “we” for, other than views, clicks, likes, and donations, coin of the realm of narcissism that the alt-right unwittingly (one eye) helps metastasize?

While you mull it over, allow me to provide you the free service Sam won’t. Don’t worry, there’s no Patreon button here, and none of your compadres are around to see you taking advice (about ideas, not just events) from a half-breed Hebrew. Just how are “we” going to win? Well, by avoiding Twitter like ass cancer, for starters.

An Introduction to Hermeticism

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Okay: I’m going to reveal something crazy deep that sounds counter-intuitive. Stay with me. Are you ready? Here goes:

Hermeticism is bullshit; elaborate riddles and intimations of great profundity masking empty smugness and rapacity. It’s a cool-kids’ circle jerk, and the cool-kids are all Dorian Gray with one fuckin’ mirror in front and another behind:

“There is a substance that comes from your…..” wherever, the obvious implication (because Christianity “has been altered”) being that, once revealed, the esoteric is the only real insight in scripture. Of course, a narcissistic minion like Jim Carey is not the finest exponent of this thinking, but he’s the perfect product of it.

Keep in mind that I’m not denying that the Bible is full of pre-Abrahamic wisdom and imagery. I’m not saying you’re going to burn in hell if you don’t hew only to the exoteric and take it all literally. But the esoteric, astrologic and pre-Abrahamic stuff is embedded in scripture because it’s being made subordinate to the moral order of the Supreme Being. It’s not saying “do what thou wilt” between the lines.

This solipsistic pop-exegesis and schlock number magick is utterly literalistic and narrow, amounting to what is referred to in Judaism as making use of the Crown (as in Pirke Avot, “He who makes use of the Crown shall perish.”) Whatever stultifying nonsense made its way into the Talmud, Hadith, the Pauline epistles, etc., whatever may or may not be encoded in scripture from the Egyptians or the Babylonians or the Pythagorean Hermaphrodites, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the simplicity of faith. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” As above, so below is the credo of Babel. All you need to know about the occult is its emphasis on secrecy, on personal attainment, and on refashioning the world as if God’s creation is deficient. May I humbly suggest the following sources instead?:

“There is no enchantment against Jacob; no divination against Israel.” (Numbers 23:23)

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15)

“Do not be sure of yourself until the day of your death.” ―Pirke Avot

“Understand that for every rule which I have mentioned from the Quran, the Devil has one to match it, which he puts beside the proper rule to cause error.” ―Al-Ghazali

The Two-Pronged Thesis, Illustrated

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more than demographic replacement

As iterated in the previous post:

(1) Capitalism (the pretense of endless technological and economic development) is a natural complement to progressivism (the pretense of endless moral advancement); and

(2) the cultural assault on whiteness is a natural complement to the destruction of the middle class.

As an example (a perfect example) of how this works, consider, if you will, the following 21st-century reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms:

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Freedom of Speech

(1) Freedom of Speech: In the original, two white-collared gents are craning their necks to hear a blue-collar Joe speak his mind, because social status is not the whole measure of human worth. In the revision, two men who apparently sell burner phones in a mall are craning their necks toward a moon-faced woman in a plunging blouse, whose practical utility in the community is as unclear as a LinkedIn profile with a description that reads “Seeking opportunities.” Superficial characteristics such as the subjects’ ethnicity, gender and/or style are the sole and total measures of their intrinsic worth.

Incidentally, in order to emphasize the white male (presumably a bartender or used car salesman) listening to the lady-POC, the artists not only cast him as the best-dressed (i.e., the richest) person in the room, they intuit, in spite of their ideological conditioning, that in order to be the kind of white male who cares what she has to say, he would need to have a rapey neck tattoo. Just as it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism, the browning of America is easier to imagine as a temp-to-hire gig economy than as a workforce with bargaining power. Fulmination over the signifiers of identity serves instead to distract from wage stagnation and insoluble debt.

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Freedom of Worship

(2) Freedom of Worship: In the original, you have a Jew (foreground, right), Protestants (the elderly couple with clasped hands), a Catholic (the blond in the middle with the Rosary), a skeptic or agnostic (the pensive-looking, dark-haired man behind her with one hand tugging on his chin) and a black woman, presumably Southern Baptist, in the back (in the original you can see more of her; part of the frame is cut out here).

Meanwhile, in the revision, there’s no discernible religious or even ethnic diversity, unless the arresting prettiness of the girl in the star-spangled hijab is intended to imply that she’s a convert, or a fair-skinned Bosnian or Levantine, i.e., (in either case) that whiteness, being intrinsically more beautiful than the alternatives, is something to which Muslims, too, can aspire. The mixing here of genders at a Muslim prayer service is likewise illusory, a multi-culti fantasy, total bullshit. Though there is a man with a hand on his chin, this is probably just unthoughtful mimicry of the original, because overt skepticism is so unlikely in a Muslim prayer quorum. But supposing he’s a skeptic, in the future this painting imagines, there’s only one religion to be skeptical of. That’s what is meant here by diversity. Wild, huh?

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Freedom from Want

(3) Freedom from Want: There’s a discernible reduction here (on the left) in freedom from want, with a loaf of bread replacing the turkey. Also, no grandma—perhaps the reduction in living standards that always accompanies these kinds of progress leaves no possibility of sustaining the elderly. Again, the sole measures of human worth in the revision are superficial: ethnicity, gender, style. On the other hand, the subjects in the original seem only to need each other’s presence, regardless of those qualifications. As proof of this key difference, notice that no one in the revision, other than the woman with the baby, is gazing directly at anyone else—and in that case, the baby looks apprehensive as fuck, as though he’s just been passed to a stranger. The woman looks equally unfamiliar with him. Perhaps he was only just recently harvested from her Nepalese surrogate.

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Freedom from Fear

(4) Freedom from Fear: I’ve read somewhere that nearly fifty percent of gay men report having been molested as children—if true, this certainly comports with what I know from gay friends and acquaintances. In any case, the kids on the left have intentionally been deprived of their mother (which is still a requirement of being born), so theirs is a qualitatively worse situation than that of the children on the right. The original was entitled “Freedom from Fear.” Ask yourself whether kids in 2018 are more likely than their 1943 counterparts to be free to play outside unsupervised without fear of ending up molested (in both the classic and the contemporary senses of that word) and you’ll immediately understand the delusional ridiculousness of any suggestion (like the one in the painting) that things have either improved or not deteriorated utterly in terms of children’s freedom from fear. Only sodomites with inexplicable notions of purchasing children have less to fear in 2018 than they did in 1943.

There’s a movie about precisely the transition this Rockwell-redux is proposing/imagining/documenting. It’s called Idiocracy.

The overarching take-away of this reimagined Four Freedoms is that the proponents of multiculturalism can conceive of no alternative to the standards set by white, heteronormative Christians. They cannot match Rockwell, so they usurp him, hounding the descendants of his subjects because they cannot stand the thought that those who traditionally had no regard for them should enjoy happiness. They are the sad loaf of bread to the juicy roast turkey, the swivel-eyed jazz-hound to the loving matriarch, the cryogenically fertile poofter imitators to the biologically complimentary genuine article. Diversity is a “strength” only because (in the words of Tucker Carlson) our elites are “dividing in order to rule.”

In the current year of its intellectual impoverishment the alt-right is predictably kvetching about this transvaluation of values strictly in terms of “demographic replacement,” which is certainly a thematic element of these paintings and a dire enough concern in realtime and meatspace. But what is demographic replacement? Do we still have the freedoms that Rockwell’s painting suggested we had and needed to fight for? Can we look forward to the spiritual and psychosocial (much less the material) quality of life that Americans enjoyed in 1943? The original Four Freedoms would have been inconceivable, or nonsensical, if those freedoms had not actually existed in America then, the way Rockwell portrayed them. Obviously, the original Four Freedoms was regime propaganda, but if you juxtapose it with, say, Soviet social realism you’ll see that it’s far more subtle and resonant in its modesty. Yes, my left-leaning friends, although I disagree that exclusion and persecution are one-and-the-same, I realize that not everyone in 1943 America enjoyed these four freedoms to the same degree. But after so much “progress,” is that more, or less true today? What I mean to suggest this Rockwell-redux should be prompting us to ask, is: does the 21st-century version bear the same degree of symmetry with reality as the original did?

Well, in one way, yes, it does: we do have all the diversity it portrays, and then some. And, in another way, it doesn’t, because we don’t any longer have anywhere near the same degree of any of those four freedoms.

If you don’t understand the connection by now, you probably never will.

Sodom Janitorial

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toxoplasmosis imitating art

If God exists, it’d probably be best to worship him. But the Devil, if he exists, seems to have managed just fine all these years without a fan club. Worshipping him is not only optional, but superfluous.

This is why I can’t stand Luciferians. For one thing, they’re only considering one side of the story—which ought to be their foremost grievance against the competition. For another, in terms of what he has to offer, a disaffected lieutenant can only contrast poorly with the boss. Worst of all, Luciferians either worship Satan, in which case they’ve altered none of what they object to about religiosity, or else they’re frivolous, i.e., they don’t really believe in the Dark One, but conceptualize him instead as just an elaborate metaphor for humanism. Well, the Devil may get along fine without a following, but (to channel my inner Mark Twain) I don’t see why he ought to be insulted this way.

In The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov’s rollicking satire of 1930s Soviet life, Satan comes to Moscow with his retinue, and gets up to all kinds of mischief. Ironically, the only Muscovites Bulgakov’s Satan entraps are those who’ve asked for it somehow with their behaviors and attitudes. In the end, before destroying Moscow, he rescues a blacklisted novelist and his mistress, who has literally sold her soul in order to rescue her love and his condemned manuscript from the authorities. In the end, even Bulgakov’s Jesus looks kindly on this ultimate sacrifice, and intercedes with Satan to spare her from eternal torment.

Why would Satan do God’s work for him? And why would God allow Satan to get up to any kind of mischief at all? It isn’t only in Bulgakov. It’s in Genesis, and Job, the Islamic Story of the Cranes, and the betrayal of Christ in the Gospels. We might surmise that it gives the universe a certain balance, but perhaps there’s another explanation.

Bear with me.

What separates man from beast? Language? Other apes can be taught sign language. Even robots can talk nowadays. Bipedalism? Opposable thumbs? Here I can even refer you to monkeys. But according to all three Abrahamic faiths, only free will—reason—distinguishes man.

Does God give us free will in order to amuse himself? This is what Nietzsche said about the Olympians in Homer. But supposing you were Richie Rich, and could never know who your true friends are. Wouldn’t that suck? I imagine that is why God gives man free will.

Hasidic Rabbi Manis Friedman, in a click-baity YouTube video entitled “Only Judaism Will Tell You This,” makes the similar suggestion that man’s relationship with God is a two-way street—that God needs us as much as we need him, because just as God is infinitely powerful, he is also infinitely vulnerable. The only problem I can see with this supposition is that Judaism is certainly not the only religion that will tell you this. After all, don’t the Christians believe God came to earth in mortal form only to live as a despised itinerant preacher and be executed excruciatingly?

Nearly six decades after Bulgakov completed his masterwork, and nearly six years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, one Yevgeny Rodionov, a Russian soldier and Orthodox Christian, was captured by Chechen insurgents and executed after refusing his captors’ offer to spare his life in exchange for converting to Islam. Supposing (just supposing) that Rodionov was mistaken, and that Islam is the one true religion. Even so, given the limitations of what he knew, it can hardly be the case that his refusal to compromise was wrong. Faith is something indelible, not interchangeable. Refusal to compromise—to the point of martyrdom—deserves the utmost respect. One could even imagine Mohammed interceding with Satan to spare the young soldier hellfire.

According to Sheikh Imran Hosein, when the Dajjal (“deceiver,” i.e., the Antichrist) emerges, he will have the word kafr (unbeliever) written on his forehead; the mu’amin (believer) will be able to read this, and therefore identify the Dajjal, even if he is illiterate; but the kafr will not be able to read it, even if he knows how. For Hosein, the mu’amin can of course only be Muslim. The only caveat he proffers that would disqualify a nominal Muslim is that the belief must be complete and heartfelt. Obviously, this wouldn’t include believers of other faiths. Still, there is something to this idea about the ability to discern evil being dependent on a fixed inner guidance that resides in the heart.

Maimonides teaches that emunah tmima, i.e., innocent (or simple) faith—as opposed to a faith that depends on great learning—is the truest and strongest form of faith. The New Testament says something very similar. Let me tell you how I got mine.

My great-grandfather came to the United States from Moldova in 1908. He was offered work with his brothers-in-law at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana, but turned it down when he was informed he couldn’t have a Saturday sabbath. Though not haredi (ultra-orthodox), he was a masorti (traditional) Jew. Instead of settling for a Sunday sabbath, he went out and bought a few heads of lettuce, then sold them on the street for a meager profit. Eventually he became a green grocer with his own shop. His refusal to compromise his faith is a simulacrum of Daniel’s refusal to bow before Nebuchadnezzar.

My grandfather was the only one of his siblings born in America, in 1911. He sat me down, starting at the age of four, and taught me Hebrew liturgy, scripture and midrash. I remember the lessons only vaguely, a few aphorisms at most, but they imbued me with an abiding faith in the Almighty, and this is the heartfelt simplicity that Maimonides calls the truest form of faith, and the foundation which eventually enabled me, after many trials, to discern wickedness, just like Imran Hosein’s mu’amin, who can read the writing on the forehead of the Dajjal, even if he is illiterate.

At the age of 19, I moved to Israel. Nobody leaves an affluent country for Israel unless they’re in search of some sense of purpose in life—some inner guidance—that they feel devoid of, that they believe the holy land can give them. I’ll spare you the details, but at the time, this described me perfectly.

At one point shortly after I arrived, I took a bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and walked to the Old City. At the Kotel, there are haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews) who stand around waiting for tourists to come. They ask if you’re Jewish, and if you reply that you are, they either invite you to a sabbath dinner, or to lay phylacteries and pray with them. They believe that prescribed prayer hastens the coming of the messiah, and that the more Jews they can get to perform it, the faster the messiah will come.

Well, rather than lay phylacteries with the haredim, I prayed on my own at the wall. According to rabbinic law, the son of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother is not Jewish, and I didn’t want to disrespect the beliefs of the haredim by partaking in their rituals without full disclosure. However, as I was leaving the Kotel plaza, a white-haired and frock-coated old haredi with a Brooklyn accent approached and asked if I would like to stay for free in a Jewish youth hostel. I said that I would, and he led me through the winding alleys of the Jewish Quarter, peppering me with questions about my upbringing and knowledge of Judaism. His name was Rabbi Meir Schuster, and he explained that he ran a Jewish outreach program for diaspora youth in Israel. When we arrived at his youth hostel, the place was empty except for a few rucksacks on the beds. He showed me to a bunk, but as I laid down my pack, he suddenly remembered to ask whether both my parents are Jewish. (I suppose I don’t quite resemble a Ferengi as nearly as a good Jewish boy ought to.) I answered honestly. He became irate and told me to get lost.

Rav Schuster was right: rules are rules, and he didn’t make ’em. The Hebrew liturgy is hauntingly beautiful to me, the Hebrew language has a deep spiritual resonance, and as I said, my grandfather’s emuna tmima is the foundation of my strength and discernment in God. But in sum total, none of this amounts to Judaism in any official sense. Besides, if the Jewish people are in error, should I compromise my ethnic affinity, or my faith? For instance, according to poll data, 76% of American Jews are pro-choice. This is nothing but Moloch-worship. If these are my coreligionists, then religion has no meaning.

Secondary to ethical and theologic precepts, my grandfather also taught me to despise Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Islam. (Rav Schuster would’ve surely approved.) I used to think this was part and parcel of the faith he imbued me with. But when I eventually married a Christian, I agreed to her desire to baptize our sons. As distasteful as the prospect was for me, given my upbringing, I realized that denying a sacrament to a believer would contravene the ethics my grandfather taught me. This cognitive dissonance gave rise to an open-minded exploration of Christianity and Islam that I never would have undertaken before. The blinders fell off, and I finally acknowledged the salience of the many aspects of Judaism I object to, rather than feeling the need to minimize or rationalize them, or serve in the Israeli army to prove Rabbi Schuster wrong (which I actually did, from 2006-2008.)

In essence, what I had to acknowledge was the fact that since 70 AD, Judaism has been a defeated and subterranean culture. Rabbinic Judaism took all the virility and jihad out of the old Hebrew faith, replacing them to a large degree with vindictiveness and snide intellectual superiority. This is why so many modern Jews are left-liberal. In the world of democratic values, the modus operandi of repulsive, manipulative weaklings is to constantly demand deference from others to their own sense of insecurity, which they lack the self-awareness to ascribe in any proportion to their own failings, or to circumstances beyond what can readily be blamed on others.

Of course, though Jews will be Jews, Zionism is quite a different mindset, at least on the ground in Israel. Yet somehow, the Jewish state always finds itself on the side of international liberalism (Davos, Hollywood, the EU, CFR, the World Bank, Silicon Valley, NATO, etc.) But while Israel practices certain liberal restraints in relations with its Arab subjects, this proves Israel’s humaneness no less than it displays the same profound unease of conscience that lies at the heart of all cosmopolitanism and technological progress. Certainly there are socially conservative elements in Israeli society, like Rabbi Schuster (and more secular ones in the quasi-fascist atmosphere of the army) but Jewish solipsism and separatism dictates that they can never consider themselves in terms of the traditional values under assault by the centrifugal tendencies of the wider modern world.

All these criticisms, and more, can be made of Judasim. But there’s a widespread and long-standing tendency to see fault only in the Jews, when the fact is that the Churches have always been worldly, pharisaical, and sycophantic. It’s difficult not to notice the pro-Caesar bent (and the bend-over bent) in parts of the New Testament. And of course, Islam has its own problems, from the marriage of the prophet to a six year old and consequent doctrines allowing sexual exploitation of minors to the outright murder of non-Muslim children with clerical sanction.

Yet for Sheikh Imran Hosein, the Dajjal can only be a Jew. It has likewise been said by certain Christians that Islam is Satanic, or that the Antichrist will be Jewish; and of course, rabbinic authorities have propounded some very ugly doctrines regarding Gentiles, and Christianity. For the simpleton and the demagogue, the Antichrist is always on the other team. For those incapable of introspection, the proverbial beam is always in the eye of the neighbors, and religiosity or its secular simulacra will always be just a blunt device in an arsenal. Belief systems like these require unbelievers, for the negative transference of our own ungodly impulses.

From the Devil’s perspective, what could possibly be better for business?

The Evil of Banality

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“Yeah, if you could picture a boot stamping on a human face, forever—that’d be great.”

Consider the differences between the film Office Space and the TV series The Office (the US version.)

In Office Space, there is a real sense of gall. The protagonist and his accomplices refuse to accept their circumstances as normal. They harbor a sense of higher purpose that’s inimical to their work lives, and in fact, we frequently see them out of work, out of doors, driving around town, in their apartments, and at barbecues. In The Office, meanwhile, there’s a sense of compensatory smugness: rather than underground solidarity, and questioning their circumstances, the characters content themselves with feeling smarter than one another and (especially) the boss, as a salve to their embittered acceptance of dreary mediocrity.

The characters in The Office have no lives outside of work. Throughout the series we rarely see the outside world, and when we do it’s usually either the parking lot, the loading dock, a business trip, or an office party where all are present and thus no kind of subversive plan can be hatched like the one that forms the plot of Office SpaceThe Office is like a claustrophobic horror movie set to hokey folk-brewery muzak. Its whole premise is to normalize the most pernicious ennui and paralysis, in guise of social critique–which is a necessary feature, because it’s the maximum extent of satisfaction anybody (characters and viewers) is intended to get out of it. This is how man-boob IPA and fantasy football are reverse-marketed to urbanites who think they’re better than the rednecks; it’s how work-as-identity is given plausible deniability for failed artists bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s and has-been high school drug dealers working sales at Best Buy. The NPC meme’s unintentional depth (that the alt-right will never fathom) is that it has everything to do with how we live, and nothing to do with how we identify.

Unlike the classic hero quest where evil is ultimately overcome, The Office co-opts the viewer to the flaws of the world the characters inhabit by centralizing the upward trajectory of Jim, the series’s one unironically sympathetic character, and his rivalry with the obtuse and narcissistic boss, Michael Scott. Thus, in the world The Office normalizes, there is no third option, as there is in Office Space: the worker’s choices are the carrot, or the stick. The boss can be hated, but only with resignation, and padded shenanigans form the outer limit of anybody’s volition. Thus, The Office does not critique the peculiar banality of corporate life so much as it drills it into the viewer’s head by co-opting his resistance with passive-aggressive amusement so cheap it scarcely even rises to the level of humor or compelling irony. It is the prescription lithium of art and entertainment, the apex comfortably-numb riposte of Nietzsche’s weaselly Last Man to all the piss and audacity of the past three-hundred years of human striving and carnality. It does not merely summarize or portray but, rather, embodies and frames a kind of neutered Hobbesianism and tech-peonage, and everything that turned so palpably and terrifyingly to Suck over the course of the aughts and early teens of this century. If you liked The Office, you should check the back of your eyelids for a barcode.

Make Judaism Great Again, Pt. IV

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(Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part V here)

“Seen from the outside, Israel still comports itself like an adolescent: consumed by a brittle confidence in its own uniqueness; certain that no one ‘understands’ it and everyone is ‘against’ it; full of wounded self-esteem, quick to take offense and quick to give it. Like many adolescents Israel is convinced – and makes a point of aggressively and repeatedly asserting – that it can do as it wishes, that its actions carry no consequences and that it is immortal.”  —Tony Judt, Ha’aretz (2006)

In order to know whether a given culture or system of thought is good or bad, we must evaluate it critically. However, we cannot critically evaluate any culture or system of thought effectively unless we determine what its fundamentals are, and what we have identified here as the sine qua non of Judaism is the narcissistic conviction that the Jewish people are congenitally more special, intelligent, persevering and misunderstood than all other peoples, with a special destiny to be vindicated before the rest of mankind. If we’ve demonstrated that this is so, we’ve certainly covered the last prong of our thesis, i.e., inferiority complex, and we’ve demonstrated the victimological component of Judaism in our last installment. However, the inductive reasons we’ve given may not be entirely convincing, so let’s test our thesis against some possible alternatives, and see whether we can arrive at deductive reasons instead.

Alternative (1): The essence of Judaism is some kind of religious belief or set of beliefs.

This may be true of Judaism in a strict religious sense, but that is arguable, because religious Judaism really only enjoins its adherents to perform mitzvot, i.e., works, not faith. In any case, what we’ve termed “Judaism” here encompasses the beliefs held in common by the vast majority of Jews, which of course includes liberals, atheists and many others besides orthodox believers.

Alternative (2): The essence of Judaism is the belief that one’s culture and people, i.e., the Jews, are good, and worthy of preservation.

While this is certainly essential to Judaism, it begs the question of what, exactly, is being preserved, apart from the physical existence of the Jews. Indo-European cultures, for example, have typically, historically, valued honor more than life, whereas Judaism obviously prioritizes life, i.e., group survival, above all values. This is the ethos Israeli soldiers die defending, and the Israeli public views their deaths not so much as heroic martyrdom, but more as the premature ripping of unripe fruit from the national tree by an insatiable enemy whom the nation has no control over, not in the near-term, not in the long-run, not ever. Esau soné et Ya’akov. In every generation they rise up to kill usC’est la vie.

This is a profoundly disempowering worldview. It is the embittered self-importance of constant victimhood.

In any case, while Judaism certainly contains many (sometimes countervailing) ideas about God, man, truth, beauty, ethics, and the nature of the universe, no single idea of this kind represents a coherent, overarching theme in Judaism, even if it once did in ancient times. Rather, the fundamental idea of Judaism is about the role of the Jews relative to “the nations,” whether in mundane secular terms, in metahistoric ones, or in terms of divine providence. We have phrased it as follows: that the narrative frame of Judaism is that the Jews are congenitally more special, intelligent, persevering and misunderstood than all other peoples, with a special destiny to be vindicated before the rest of mankind. Obviously, this sensibility goes quite a ways beyond the garden-variety chauvinism of other nationalities.

If we are to know whether Judaism is good, this is the idea we must test. However, what this destiny is, what it means, and, in particular, why it is necessary, are not perfectly clear from Jewish sources. Is it to promulgate a belief about God, man, truth, beauty, ethics or the nature of the universe? We have seen that Judaism doesn’t necessarily require any such belief from its adherents. Besides, everybody knows that the Jews don’t proselytize.

Is it to promulgate a system of ethics? Probably not. Not only does halakha apply only to Jews, it actually permits certain behavior toward gentiles that it forbids between Jews (the best-known example being usury.) However, in the modern era, flagrant violation of halakha, not only as a matter of personal foibles but as a matter of personal identity, is no bar to a Jewish identity affirmed (or at least not denied) by the broader Jewish culture. For example, comedienne Sarah Silverman, pornographer Al Goldstein, and New York LGBT synagogue Beit Simchat Torah would horrify the rabbis who redacted the Talmud. Yet Goldstein identified strongly as Jewish, as does Silverman, and Beit Simchat Torah is literally a synagogue, with an orthodox rabbi. The demographically beleaguered state of Israel would grant citizenship to every one of its genetically dead-end members, with a three-year tax holiday, free healthcare, and $15K in cash assistance almost immediately upon arrival, regardless of need, simply because they meet its definition of “Jewish” which, incidentally, the Israeli Supreme Court has proven unable or unwilling to articulate, but which (not unlike its US counterpart in regard to pornography) it claims instead to know when it sees it.

So is there an imperative in Judaism to believe or to promulgate or to act upon any idea whatsoever? There is one possibility we haven’t explicitly examined, and that is tikkun olam, the supposed imperative to “heal the world.” While orthodox Judaism indeed views the performance of mitzvot as inherently leading toward a “healed world,” this is more quantitative than qualitative. In any case, for most modern Jews, tikkun olam actually functions as a secular substitute for strict religious observance. In this sense it is really just moral law derived by fiat of Jewish genius as a necessary corrective to the intellectually deficient “nations.”

Contrast this selective sense of obligation to pursue a social or political agenda, or to robotically perform mitzvot, with the Christian belief in Original Sin (which simply holds that we are inherently flawed as creatures and obligated to take prescribed steps to work on ourselves throughout life) and you can easily see how self-serving the former can be (at least in its secular form), and that it is perhaps even blasphemous, as it conceptualizes God’s creation as fundamentally flawed, with the Jews as corrective agents.

We have already examined Leo Strauss’s proposition that the purpose of the Jews is to prove there’s no salvation—Al Goldstein would certainly approve. We also quoted Douglas Rushkoff’s notion that what distinguishes the Jews is our alleged penchant for corroding falsehood wherever it is found. Although we disagreed with these ideas in fact, we found the pathos of the former idea, and the vindictive pomposity of the latter, to be perfectly congruent with our thesis that the fundamental belief of Judaism is that the Jews are congenitally more special, intelligent, persevering and misunderstood than all other peoples, with a special destiny to be vindicated before the rest of mankind.

Again: what is this destiny? What does it mean? What exactly is the good that is being vindicated? Judaism the religion offers entirely vague projections about an eventual messianic age when Gentiles will accept the Jewish God as their own—yet to a significant degree this arguably already happened with the advent and spread of Christianity and Islam, about which Judaism inculcates hostile feelings in its adherents long after Christian persecution of Jews has died out and even in some sense been atoned for, and long after the Jews have turned Islamic dominance back around on itself in the form of Israeli militarism. Meanwhile, Judaism the modern rationalist system offers morally supremacist ideas about the superior role of Jews in history. Jewish nationalism offers bombast and braggadocio under the assumption that the triumph of Israel over its enemies is the key to the vindication of unexplicated good over evil. Liberal Zionism, liberal Judaism and secular anti-Zionism all see that vindication in an eventual peaceful resolution to the mideast conflict as part of the eventual comprehensive triumph of social democracy. But Judaism as a whole, as a culture and system of thought, provides no coherent, overarching answer to these questions.

So it seems that what Judaism comes down to is a fundamental belief, not about God, man, truth, beauty, ethics, or the nature of reality, but about the Jews themselves, with no consistent dependence on any external object or governing principle, other than the conviction that the world will always be against us. It cannot tell us what is really necessary about itself, relative to the nations or the universe. At most, we can say that the experience of transcendent purpose in Judaism derives merely from the sense that Judaism itself is very old, that Jewish identity is rooted in much experience, and that it guarantees unparalleled specialness through lengthy ancestral continuity and present-day moral superiority which cannot be falsified because it conveniently lacks any external guiding principle to test itself against, other than the uncannily consistent ability to locate outside hostility.

Thus, for those of us concerned with teleology, aside from certain agonized feelings of vindictive self-importance, Judaism is nothing but a deeply resonant hollowness, with a great deal of commendable long-term survival to its credit, but no binding principle as to why this is necessary. While brute biological survival is a fine pursuit (to an extent), a people that proposes itself as having world-historic moral importance entitling it to all kinds of global political activity has got to offer some fundamental idea. We’ve got to be given the chance to examine it, to hold it up to the light of reason, and ask ourselves whether we find the idea worthwhile. Yet having held it up to the light of reason, the most we can say about the fundamental idea we’ve identified with Judaism is that it is not worthwhile. It is pernicious.

This leaves us with two questions: (1) Whether our thesis may be falsified, and the fundamental idea vindicated, by some definite evidence about the observable general role of Jews and Judaism in the world; and, if not, then (2) how is a Jew supposed to cultivate a coherent sense of transcendent purpose rooted in externalized, postivistic principles regarding God, man, truth, beauty, ethics, and the nature of the universe?

To be continued….