Sailer catches the PTT bug

His recent couple of posts could have come straight out of our playbook.

For newcomers, let us recapitulate the PTT theses on this topic:

  1. The Jews are not a monolithic group. For political analysis, they can be divided into two rough categories: (A) those seriously committed to Jewish continuity and (B) those indifferent or downright hostile to the concept. The former are Zionist and tend to be Torah-observant (never mind the crazies — every religion’s got them). The secular Israeli Jews tend to be more knowledgeable in Judaism and (de facto) observant than American Reform Jews, so are not a huge exception to the rule. A secular Diaspora Jew who’s betting on Jewish grandchildren is playing against long odds.
  2. These two groups have diametrically opposed interests, occasionally to the point of bloodshed. This is something that people like Kevin MacDonald miss entirely. Any talk of a Jewish “group evolutionary strategy” must take into account the very sizeable faction actively undermining any such strategy. Even the far more insightful and subtle Zman manages to bungle the distinction between politically conservative Jews (who tend to be Orthodox) and religiously Conservative Jews (who are indistinguishable from Reform for all intents and purposes).
  3. Almost tautologically, any future the Jewish people have as a coherent religo-ethnicity lies with group (A) and not with group (B). The Jews indifferent or hostile to Jewish continuity are an aberration, transient noise, a self-correcting error.
  4. Whatever legitimate grievances the alt-right has toward the Jews as a group applies only to group (B). Group (A), on the other hand, are natural allies on key existential questions: borders, nationalism, and the Islamic threat. (Where to place Goldberg, Kristol and Podhoretz? Well, they’re secular, Diaspora Jews [er, except Goldberg] — so see above.)

26 thoughts on “Sailer catches the PTT bug

  1. Something about the tone of this post leaves me uneasy. Explaining to the mythical Alt Right that there are good Jews and bad Jews, and telling them to direct their dislike at the latter and spare the former sounds plaintive and is futile. Those who do not see the spectrum of attitudes blame the Jews because they want to. When it comes from the belly, reasoning with it does not help.

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  2. That wasn’t the intent at all. Rather, the message was: don’t bother with those Jews, because (a) they’re the least “Jewey” of the Jews and (b) they’re on their way to ethno-cultural extinction anyway. To the extent that you engage Jews seriously, engage those who’re in it for the long haul. And needless to say, legitimate grievances or not, most right-wing Jews (this one included) would defend to the death any Jew from group (B) in bodily danger from *that* sector of the alt-right.

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  3. You know what they say, the Trotskys make the revolutions, the Bronsteins pay the price. The Type A’s make the revolutions, the Type B’s pay the price.

    I am not really either type. I am an atheist Type A American Jew.

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      1. Sorry I got it backwards. The Type B’s make the revolutions, the Type A’s pay the price. I’m atheist, but Type A. Trotsky = Type B, Bronstein = Type A. The original quote is “the Trotskys make the revolutions, the Bronsteins pay the price”.

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  4. It’s really easy to make a typo and transpose A and B in one location as I did in the original post. Anyway, I think there are a lot of us non Torah observant Type A’s, and a lot of Type A’s who vote Democrat, like Scott Aaaronson. I think it’s more than you think. Most American Jews are Type A including a lot of secular Democrat-voters again like Scott Aaronson, Type B’s are a loud minority. If you look at Sanders most American Jews didn’t like him and thought he was too far left on Israel and on the economy, including again secular Democrats like Scott Aaronson. The dividing line isn’t Torah or even the D/R divide, it’s woke ideology.

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    1. I tried to be very careful in my formulation: (A) those seriously committed to Jewish continuity and (B) those indifferent or downright hostile to the concept. Torah-observance and living in Israel are strongly correlated with A but are neither necessary nor sufficient. I’d say SA is type A. That said, a secular diaspora-dwelling type A has the odds stacked against his goals and values.

      There is a structural, fundamental asymmetry in the A/B relations. The B’s will often think nothing of denouncing, handing over, and downright killing the A’s. The A’s, on the other hand, will often risk life and limb to save the B’s. Such is life.

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      1. As I said, the Trotskys make the revolutions, the Bronsteins pay the price. Yes people like me, Scott Aaronson, Bari Weiss, are Type A even though we are fairly secular diaspora people. I think that among the seculars though Type A’s have more kids than Type B which is good.

        How would you classify Steven Pinker? Scott Alexander? Peter Singer?

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      2. I would say Pinker is type B (through apathy and inaction). Peter Singer would definitely be type B. His philosophy rejects all nationalism. It even rejects my natural instinct to care more for my child than for a stranger.

        Scott Alexander — I don’t know. I don’t think he’s ever written much about specifically Jewish stuff. It is also my understanding that he’s chosen to remain single (or maybe in some polyamorous arrangement?) and childless. That would default him to type B.

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  5. Bari is Type A though right? Even though she doesn’t plan to have kids. She got Nellie to convert and clearly she cares a ton about Jewish continuity. 2020-07-14, the Trotskys make the revolutions, the Bronsteins pay the price.

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    1. I think she does enough to promote Jewish causes to qualify for type A. Look, I’m not the final arbiter of this Platonic notion 🙂

      I just claim that the general clustering is clear enough to be meaningful, predictive, and unambiguously cover some perhaps 80-90% of the population. The edge cases will always be difficult, will require a judgment call, and ultimately not all the interesting or meaningful.

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