While certain strains within the Alt Right have explicit pretensions to being an intellectual movement, much of the movement remains mired in paranoid insularity and anti-intellectual purity-spiraling. This paranoia was on full display when I was banned from the reddit subreddit r/altright for posting a critical comment to an upcoming “Ask Me Anything” feature with Dr. Kevin MacDonald. The comment, in its entirety, is the following:
First, I’d like to express my thanks as Jew for your devotion to serious discussion of the Jewish question. Too many of my people would like to pretend that it is not a serious question, but doing so prevents them from understanding themselves and their place in the world. No matter who one is or what one believes, one must admit that your work on Jewish issues has kept the flame of serious investigation of the Jewish question alive.
As I understand, it is your position that, over the course of the diaspora, Jews have developed a set of characteristics that have allowed them to preserve their unique cultural and genetic existence as a population while avoiding persecution from host nations. These characteristics include: high verbal intelligence, strong in-group favoring biases, high endogamy, and a predilection toward manipulating the political, cultural and intellectual apparatuses of their host nation in such a way as to prevent their host nation from organizing against them.
Is this synopsis of your view correct? If so, I have the following questions for you:
1) To what extent, do you think, is the presence of this set of characteristics among Jews determined by their genetic inheritance? In your opinion, do particular genotypes exist in the Jewish population that dispose those who possess them to subversive and critical behavior? If so, what kind of cognitive mechanisms might these genotypes code for, on the implementation level? And how could such sophisticated cognitive mechanisms have evolved in hardly 1000 years? It would seem ridiculous to suggest that Jews evolved a particular cognitive mechanism or set of mechanisms that disposes them to identify non-Jewish political organizations and seek to obtain control of those organizations without appearing to be Jewish. The conceptual sophistication of such a mechanism would surely be far too great for that mechanism to have evolved in such a short time. Or do you think that a set of various more innocuous cognitive traits can do the explanatory work?
2) It would seem to me that there is a wealth of evidence from Jewish demographics and history that disconfirms your view. For example, the existence, success and continued appeal of Zionism, which rejects assimilation and even the continuation of the diaspora, would appear to confute the claim that Jews have evolved an evolutionary strategy that relies on living among host nations. If nearly 50% of the world’s Jews have decided to leave their host nations within the past 120 years, how can it be plausible that Jewish evolutionary strategy is geared toward the creation of favorable conditions for Jews in host nations? For another example, take the present-day rate of intermarriage among American Jews, which is an astounding 58%. How could a population that evolved such strong endogamous and in-group favoring characteristics come to marry out of their tribe at a rate such that within 3 generations, their tribe will practically cease to exist?
I am sure that all these questions would merit a rather lengthy response, so feel free to respond to as many or few as you like.
In part, I re-post the comment here in the hopes that it will find its way to Dr. MacDonald, whose answers I am eager to hear. But I post it also to show how the paranoia and insularity of the Alt Right serve only to hamstring the movement. For while any political movement must take care to defend its figures and ideas against their opponents, it is in the interests of all burgeoning movements to promote serious discussion of their ideas. For critiques of an idea invite interest in the idea from those who had not previously considered it, and give adherents of that idea the opportunity to articulate and defend their positions to the public. In brief: a critique of an idea is a kind of serious discussion of that idea, and after being consigned to the hated and ridiculed fringes of American public discourse for so long, the Alt Right ought to jump at the opportunity to have its views discussed seriously.
The policy of banning skeptical outsiders from the Alt Right amounts to a policy of intellectual self-ghettoization, the end result of which will be a movement like the Flat Earth Society, in which everybody agrees but about which nobody cares. And the Alt Right is too important to go the way of the Flat Earth Society.