Themes of Anti-Semitism

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Patriotism may be interpreted as one brand of human altruism. Contemporary evolutionary theory suggests that the roots of human altruism lie in kin selection. However, patriots in contemporary large-scale societies make their patriotic sacrifices on behalf of groups that are composed predominantly of non-kin. This fact appears to call into question the view that human altruism is founded on kin selection. This article attempts to resolve the problem by linking kin recognition cues to the socialization process. The result is a theory which integrates kin selection and socialization as foundations of human altruism. Since patriotism is a noteworthy example of human altruism, and one especially relevant for political science, the theory is applied to patriotism in order to generate hypotheses about the process of patriotic socialization.
The issue of whether the current state of American Jewry offers grounds for predicting an optimistic or pessimistic future has been argued for many decades. In this volume of the American Jewish Year Book, the debate is presented as formulated by two well-known scholars more than three decades ago: Steven M. Cohen and Charles Liebman.
Antisemitism is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted of all forms of inter-group hatred. Prejudice and bigotry against Jews have many aspects, combining religious intolerance, economic stereotypes, suspicions of disloyalty, and other factors. But while antisemitism is a persistent and enduring societal blight, it is not static and immutable. Antisemitic beliefs do change over time and the level and nature of prejudicial attitudes and anti-Jewish behaviors do wax and wane. As a complex and dynamic societal feature, the state of antisemitism needs to be closely examined and its contemporary manifestations carefully investigated and assessed.
Countering the powerful myth that the civil war in Russia was largely between the "Whites" and the "Reds," Vladimir Brovkin views the struggle as a multifaceted social and political process. Brovkin focuses not so much on armies and governments as on the interaction of state institutions, political parties, and social movements on both Red and White territories. In the process, he exposes the weaknesses of the various warring factions in a Russia plagued by strikes, mutinies, desertion, and rebellions. The Whites benefited from popular resistance to the Reds, and the Reds, from resistance to the Whites. In Brovkin's view, neither regime enjoyed popular support. Pacification campaigns, mass shooting, deportations, artillery shelling of villages, and terror were the essence of the conflict, and when the Whites were defeated, the war against the Greens, the peasant rebels, went on. Drawing on a remarkable array of previously untapped sources, Brovkin convicts the early Bolsheviks of crimes similar to those later committed by Stalin. What emerges "behind the front lines" is a picture of how diverse forces-Cossacks, Ukrainians, Greens, Mensheviks, and SRs, as well as Whites and Bolsheviks-created the tragic victory of a party that had no majority support. This book has important contemporary implications as the world again asks an old question: Can Russian statehood prevail over local, regional, and national identities?
Political leaders of all persuasions are known to make public statements of affiliative allegiance with more form than substance, and to disavow political motivations obvious to the public. Such "ritual deceptions" are better understood in the same light as social etiquette - as partly deceptive behaviors that help to bond individuals with conflicting interests. Those who are more open and honest are often punished, more for breaking unspoken rules and taboos than for the actual content revealed. The functions of ritual deception are explicated by sociobiological theory, and the process, by understanding hypnotic transactions. Political deceptions require the active collaboration of subjects, achieved through the same skills used by experienced hypnotists. Deceptive transactions are more likely to occur in internally traumatized societies, and occur along a continuum from ritual deception to overt disinformation. Examples are taken from recent American history. That the content of ritual deception is so close to full awareness suggests its value as a focal point, both for studying the hidden determinants within human politics, and for policy intervention when appropriate.