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Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Is the Most Plausible Hypothesis: a Response to Nathan Cofnas’ Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth Century Ideological Movements

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Abstract

Kevin MacDonald (1998) has argued that a series of twentieth century ideologies which have challenged European traditions should be understood as part of a Jewish evolutionary strategy to promote Jewish interests in the West, as evidenced by Jewish leadership of and disproportionate involvement in these movements. Cofnas Human Nature 29, 134–156 (Cofnas 2018a) has critiqued this model and countered that the evidence can be more parsimoniously explained by the high average intelligence and urban location of Jews in Western countries. This, he avers, should be the ‘default hypothesis.’ In this response, I argue that it is MacDonald’s model that is the more plausible hypothesis due to evidence that people tend to act in their ethnic group interest and that group selectedness among Jews is particularly strong, meaning that they are particularly likely to do so.
THEORETICAL ARTICLE
Edward Dutton
1
Published online: 9 June 2018
#Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
Abstract
Kevin MacDonald (1998) has argued that a series of twentieth century ideologies which have challenged European traditions
should be understood as part of a Jewish evolutionary strategy to promote Jewish interests in the West, as evidenced by Jewish
leadership of and disproportionate involvement in these movements. Cofnas Human Nature 29,134156 (Cofnas 2018a)has
critiqued this model and countered that the evidence can be more parsimoniously explained by the high average intelligence and
urban location of Jews in Western countries. This, he avers, should be the default hypothesis.In this response, I argue that it is
MacDonalds model that is the more plausible hypothesis due to evidence that people tend to act in their ethnic group interest and
that group selectedness among Jews is particularly strong, meaning that they are particularly likely to do so.
Keywords MacDonald .Cofnas .Jewish .Evolution .Multi-level selection
Introduction
Philosopher Nathan Cofnas (Cofnas 2018a) has recently writ-
ten a thoughtful, importantand, above all, brave critique of the
argument proposed by psychologist Kevin MacDonald in his
book The Culture of Critique (MacDonald 1998).As Cofnas
explains, MacDonald theorises that Judaism should be under-
stood as a group evolutionary strategywhich has led to the
development of a group which is highly intelligent, extremely
conscientious and high in positive and negative ethnocen-
trism. Most contentiously, MacDonald further argues that a
number of significant intellectual and political movements
such as Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis and
Multiculturalismwere, either consciously or unconsciously,
developed by Jews in order to aid Jewish group interests,
undermine the cohesion of gentile host populations and weak-
en gentile resistance to Jewish dominance (via pathologising
anti-Semitism), thereby improving the group competitive
advantage of Jews. Moreover, MacDonald claims that Jews
played what Cofnas summarises to be a necessary role in the
ascendancy of liberalism and multiculturalism in the West.
The word necessary,it should be noted, is MacDonalds.
Cofnas criticises MacDonalds thesis in a number of ways.
But perhaps his most fundamental criticism is that the evi-
dence which MacDonald presents can be more parsimonious-
ly explained by what Cofnas terms the default hypothesis.
This is that Jews, specifically Ashkenazi Jews in the USA,
have an average IQ of 112 points (117 points on language),
which is almost a standard deviation above that of European
Americans (see Lynn 2015). In addition to that, Jews in
Western countries have tended to be heavily concentrated in
urban areas. For these two reasons, Cofnas argues that we
would expect Jews to be heavily over-represented in all intel-
lectual and political movements that were not overtly anti-
Semitic. Consistent with this model, Cofnas observes that
Jews are also heavily over-represented in (non-anti-Semitic)
conservative intellectual and political movements of the kind
which, following MacDonalds thesis, would actually damage
their group interests. In exploring this, Cofnas also highlights
the way in which MacDonalds thesis seems to be un-falsifi-
able. For example, rather than accept that a Jewish scholar,
such as Richard Herrnsteins, involvement in research which
*Edward Dutton
ecdutton@hotmail.com
1
Ulster Institute for Social Research, London, UK
Evolutionary Psychological Science (2019) 5:136142
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40806-018-0158-4
Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Is the Most Plausible Hypothesis:
a Response to Nathan CofnasCritical Analysis of Kevin MacDonalds
Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth Century
Ideological Movements
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... The fact that my hypothesis is more parsimonious than MacDonald's is a matter of logic. Both MacDonald and Dutton (2018) agree that Jews are overrepresented in cognitively demanding activities-including some intellectual and political movements-that have no relevance for Jewish group interests. They explain Jewish overrepresentation in these activities as being primarily a consequence of high intelligence. ...
... They say that the default hypothesis should be supplemented with a much more complicated theory about how Jews are genetically and culturally adapted to benefit themselves by undermining gentile society. Dutton (2018), however, contends that MacDonald's theory should be the Bdefault.^He expounds: ...
... It seems a much stronger argument than Dutton provides is needed to establish the principle that Bpeople tend to act in their ethnic interests.^A re Jews High in Ethnocentrism? Dutton (2018) cites two sources of evidence that Jews are highly ethnocentric. First, MacDonald's Bhistorical and anecdotal evidence.^Second, ...
Article
Full-text available
In a trilogy of books, Kevin MacDonald argues that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy.” According to his theory, Jews are genetically and culturally adapted to advance their own group interests at the expense of gentiles. Several influential twentieth-century liberal intellectual and political movements were designed by Jews to promote separatism and group continuity among themselves while undermining gentile society. According to Cofnas [Human Nature, 29, 134–156, 2018], MacDonald’s argument is based on “misrepresented sources and cherry-picked facts.” Cofnas proposed the “default hypothesis” to explain Jewish overrepresentation among the leaders of liberal intellectual and political movements: Because of their relatively high IQ and concentration in influential urban areas, Jews are overrepresented in all (non-overtly anti-Semitic) cognitively demanding activities. Dutton [Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2018] objects to Cofnas, claiming that, “from the perspective of evolutionary psychology,” MacDonald’s theory is more “plausible” than the default hypothesis because “people tend to act in their ethnic interests” and Jews are particularly high in ethnocentrism. Contra Dutton, it is argued here that there is no evidence to support the general notion that people tend to act in their ethnic interests. The evidence suggests, if anything, that Jews are not particularly ethnocentric. There are no theoretical principles or established empirical findings of evolutionary psychology that make MacDonald’s theory “plausible.”
... The publication of Cofnas' criticism of MacDonald's theory of Jewish group evolutionary strategy set in motion a flurry of further criticism and countercriticism between the two academics and those allied with each position (e.g., Cofnas, 2018b;Dutton, 2019;MacDonald, 2018). While both Cofnas and MacDonald agree that high Jewish intelligence is one reason for Jewish overrepresentation in left-wing social movements, particularly in leadership roles, they part ways with regards to the potential role played by a second factor. ...
Article
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MacDonald argues that a suite of genetic and cultural adaptations among Jews constitutes a “group evolutionary strategy.” Their supposed genetic adaptations include, most notably, high intelligence, conscientiousness, and ethnocentrism. According to this thesis, several major intellectual and political movements, such as Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, and multiculturalism, were consciously or unconsciously designed by Jews to (a) promote collectivism and group continuity among themselves in Israel and the diaspora and (b) undermine the cohesion of gentile populations, thus increasing the competitive advantage of Jews and weakening organized gentile resistance (i.e., anti-Semitism). By developing and promoting these movements, Jews supposedly played a necessary role in the ascendancy of liberalism and multiculturalism in the West. While not achieving widespread acceptance among evolutionary scientists, this theory has been enormously influential in the burgeoning political movement known as the “alt-right.” Examination of MacDonald’s argument suggests that he relies on systematically misrepresented sources and cherry-picked facts. It is argued here that the evidence favors what is termed the “default hypothesis”: Because of their above-average intelligence and concentration in influential urban areas, Jews in recent history have been overrepresented in all major intellectual and political movements, including conservative movements, that were not overtly anti-Semitic.
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