Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Slavoj Žižek: Philosophaster and Plagiarist. — Under the man’s name, clarity has appeared at last, owed albeit not to some unfogging of mind, but to plain old stealing. It was just this clarity that struck Steve Sailer as odd: “a reader inclined toward deconstructionism might note that Žižek summarizes [Kevin] MacDonald’s controversial argument [in The Culture of Critique] quite lucidly. In fact, the superstar professor achieves a higher degree of clarity while expounding MacDonald’s message than in any other passage I’ve read by Žižek”.1 The reason for the cat’s barking, the dog’s meowing, or rather, this obscurant’s lucidity, is simple: it is someone else’s summary, namely, Stanley Hornbeck’s, from a review that appeared in American Renaissance over seven years beforehand.
  Much of the plagiarism is word-for-word. Some passages are lightly rephrased. Below I give a side-by-side comparison. The passages from Žižek come from one continuous paragraph, which I have broken up into sections so that Hornbeck’s original might run parallel to it, making the comparison easier. To the same end, I have re-paragraphed some parts of Hornbeck’s original and removed Žižek’s page-citations.

Slavoj ŽižekStanley Hornbeck
The main academic proponent of this new barbarism is Kevin MacDonald, who, in The Culture of Critique, argues that certain twentieth-century intellectual movements led by Jews have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man; these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.
In The Culture of Critique, Kevin MacDonald advances a carefully researched but extremely controversial thesis: that certain 20th century intellectual movements – largely established and led by Jews – have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man. He claims that these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.
One of the most consistent ways in which Jews have advanced their interests has been to promote pluralism and diversity—but only for others. Ever since the nineteenth century, they have led movements that tried to discredit the traditional foundations of gentile society: patriotism, racial loyalty, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint.
Prof. MacDonald claims that one of the most consistent ways in which Jews have advanced their interests has been to promote pluralism and diversity – but only for others. Ever since the 19th century, they have led movements that tried to discredit the traditional foundations of gentile society: patriotism, racial loyalty, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint.
MacDonald devotes many pages to The Authoritarian Personality (1950), a collective project coordinated by Adorno, the purpose of which was, for MacDonald, to make every group affiliation sound as if it were a sign of mental disorder; everything, from patriotism to religion to family—and race—loyalty, is disqualified as a sign of a dangerous and defective ‘authoritarian personality’. Because drawing distinctions between different groups is illegitimate, all group loyalties—even close family ties—are ‘prejudice’.
Prof. MacDonald devotes many pages to an analysis of The Authoritarian Personality, which was written by Adorno and appeared in 1950. [. . .] The book’s purpose is to make every group affiliation sound as if it were a sign of mental disorder. Everything from patriotism to religion to family – and race – loyalty are signs of a dangerous and defective ‘authoritarian personality’. Because drawing distinctions between different groups is illegitimate, all group loyalties – even close family ties! – are ‘prejudice’.
MacDonald quotes here approvingly Christopher Lasch’s remark that The Authoritarian Personality leads to the conclusion that prejudice ‘could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy—by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.’
As Christopher Lasch has written, the book leads to the conclusion that prejudice ‘could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy – by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.’
However, it is precisely the kind of group loyalty, respect for tradition, and consciousness of differences central to Jewish identity that, according to MacDonald, Horkheimer and Adorno described as mental illness in gentiles. These writers adopted what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: anyone whose political views were different from theirs was insane.
But according to Prof. MacDonald it is precisely the kind of group loyalty, respect for tradition, and consciousness of differences central to Jewish identity that Horkheimer and Adorno described as mental illness in gentiles. These writers adopted what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: Anyone whose political views were different from theirs was insane.
For these Jewish intellectuals, anti-Semitism was also a sign of mental illness: Christian self-denial and especially sexual repression caused hatred of Jews. The Frankfurt school was enthusiastic about psychoanalysis, according to which ‘oedipal ambivalence toward the father and anal-sadistic relations in early childhood are the anti-Semite’s irrevocable inheritance.’
For these Jewish intellectuals, anti-Semitism was also a sign of mental illness: They concluded that Christian self-denial and especially sexual repression caused hatred of Jews. The Frankfurt school was enthusiastic about psycho-analysis, according to which ‘Oedipal ambivalence toward the father and anal-sadistic relations in early childhood are the anti-Semite's irrevocable inheritance.’
In addition to ridiculing patriotism and racial identity, the Frankfurt school glorified promiscuity and bohemian poverty [quotes MacDonald]: ‘Certainly many of the central attitudes of the largely successful 1960s countercultural revolution find expression in The Authoritarian Personality, including idealizing rebellion against parents, low-investment sexual relationships, and scorn for upward social mobility, social status, family pride, the Christian religion, and patriotism.’
In addition to ridiculing patriotism and racial identity, the Frankfurt school glorified promiscuity and Bohemian poverty. Prof. MacDonald sees the school as a seminal influence: ‘Certainly many of the central attitudes of the largely successful 1960s countercultural revolution find expression in The Authoritarian Personality, including idealizing rebellion against parents, low-investment sexual relationships, and scorn for upward social mobility, social status, family pride, the Christian religion, and patriotism.’
Although he came later, the French-Jewish ‘deconstructionist’ Jacques Derrida was in the same tradition when he wrote: ‘The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue . . . The idea is to disarm the bombs . . . of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants . . . .’ As Prof. MacDonald puts it, ‘Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology’. Needless to say, this project has been successful; anyone opposed to the displacement of whites is routinely treated as a mentally unhinged ‘hate-monger’, and whenever whites defend their group interests they are described as psychologically inadequate. The irony has not escaped Prof. MacDonald: ‘The ideology that ethnocentrism was a form of psychopathology was promulgated by a group that over its long history had arguably been the most ethnocentric group among all the cultures of the world.’
Although he came later, Derrida followed the same tradition when he wrote: ‘The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue. . . . The idea is to disarm the bombs . . . of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants’. As MacDonald puts it, ‘Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology’. This project has been successful; anyone opposed to the displacement of whites is routinely treated as a mentally unhinged hatemonger, and whenever whites defend their group interests they are described as psychologically inadequate—with, of course, the silent exception of the Jews themselves [quotes MacDonald]: ‘the ideology that ethno-centrism was a form of psychopathology was promulgated by a group that over its long history had arguably been the most ethnocentric group among all the cultures of the world.’
Source: Slavoj Žižek, “A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)”, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Winter 2006). 2

Source: Stanley Hornbeck, “Cherchez le Juif”: Review of Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique, in American Renaissance, Vol.10, No.3, March 1999. 3
 

. . .
1. Steve Sailer, “Slavoj Žižek on Kevin MacDonald’s ‘Culture of Critique’”, iSteve Blog: Unz Review, 8th July 2014. (The first commenter, “IHTG”, at Sailer’s blog also noticed something untoward.)
2. For those who have access, Žižek’s original paper can be found at JSTOR. A somewhat altered version can be found at Lacan.com.
3. The words that Hornbeck, and hence Žižek, attributes to Derrida are in fact those of John D. Caputo.

(Likely Žižek’s defence would be: plagiarism is a bourgeois-romantic concept. More from the Žižek-files: here, here, and here.)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Being thought stupid and being thought clever have both served me in life, the latter more to my stupid gratification, the former, more to my clever advantage.
What people take to be implications can become implications by their taking them as such. Consider Darwinism (or mere evolutionism): people have taken its implications to be irreligion and atheism, hence its implications have been irreligion and atheism. But it must be borne in mind that we are dealing here with two kinds of implication: logical and factual-effective. Darwinism does not logically imply irreligion or atheism, but people have taken it to do so, hence it has factually-effectively implied it. So to rephrase the opening sentence: what people take to be logical implications can become factual-effective implications by their taking them as such. The converse of course does not hold good.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Hyper-Stupidity through Ideology. — It is almost incredible that we have got to the stage at which a man can believe that he is more closely related to a stranger than to his own daughter: 
“There are no races. All men are more closely related to each other than they are to their mothers, sisters and daughters. I am more closely related to Obama than to my daughter and Obama is more closely related to me than he is to his daughters.” 1 
What is interesting about this is not the ignorance and low intelligence of the author. (He is, after all, just another buffoon on the internet.) What is interesting is that ignorance and low intelligence, albeit at a level at which one can still function as a human being, cannot on their own lead a man this far. It takes ideology to drive a man into such depths of garbled, reality-defying stupidity. If the author had relied on his native wit, little though it is, and not given himself over to some ideologically-inspired falsehood which he does not even half-understand2 yet by which he reckons himself rational and intelligent, he would have thought more rationally and intelligently. That is what is interesting — and unsettling because of its commonness. 
. . .
1. DocMartyn, in the comments to Sarah AB, “The Far-Right in Europe: a Roundup”, Harry’s Place (weblog), 15th December 2012; re-paragraphed.
2. He unwittingly manages to compose a crude parody of already so crude a thing as Lewontin’s Fallacy.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Part-Triumph of a Figment. — The mass-man is the closest approximation in reality to the individualist’s mental abstraction of the individual.
Self-Assured Slump. — Feeling is the pathway to the spirit, says the man sinking into the mire of the body.
Out of Self-Control and into Outer Control. — Self-control is the control and rightful-ordering of desires and passions by the rational self. Liberation, as promoted by liberals, socialists, and other libertarians, is the setting-free of desires and passions from the command of the rational self, the thraldom of the latter to the former, and the manipulation and control of the desires and passions by outer forces over the vanquished self. This is the “free man” which the libertarians promote: the man without self-control, not a master of his passions, but their thrall in “free expression” — and a thrall also to those who know how to manipulate and control the passions of others.
The Marcher-Lords of Mediocrity. — Mediocrity bestows the title of excellence upon those who secure its far-flung borders.
A Deadly Curse. — O, let our enemies grow strong in the habits of safety!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Sub Specie Modernitatis. — All that which our forebears thought to note as degeneracy: well, they must have been mistaken, for it led to us.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Pretty Dichotomy and True. — “Equality is a pretty lie because it pretends to assert commensurability with respect to incommensurable things. When we give up on the idea of equality though it is tempting to replace it with the idea of inequality. This is a mistake. Like its yin equality, the yang inequality carries with it a connotation of commensurability: two things which are unequal are quantitatively comparable along some axis, and one is greater than the other along that axis. So to conclude that (in a comparison of incommensurables) inequality is the case from the fact that equality is false is to make the same mistake that got us here in the first place.” 1

With due respect for the author, I must nonetheless disagree. No connotation of commensurability or quantifiability is carried within the concept of inequality per se. Whether or not two things are commensurable, they are unequal by dint of being in fact two things and not one and the same thing. (Incommensurability means we cannot tell of two things which is the better, the greater, etc, not that we do not know that they are unequal in some way.) “Incommensurable” is not a third option between “equal” and “unequal”. There is no third option. Either A or not-A, equal or unequal. Hence, giving up on the idea of the equality of things — i.e., regaining humble sanity — just means accepting their inequality, commensurable or not.  
. . .
1. Zippy Catholic, “All men are not created unequal”, Zippy Catholic (weblog), 14th November 2012.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Gripes and Bad Faith. — It is anti-democratic to complain about the result of a democratic election. Yet, weirdly, the democratic participant is wont to believe that only he is permitted to complain about it. Lending words to his incoherence, he tells the non-voter, who, unlike him, has not endorsed the election by his participation, that he, the non-voter, must not complain about it. Weird, yes, but not out of keeping with the democrat’s ever-present urge to invade the non-democrat’s territory and claim it as its own.
He who does not vote in an election has no right to complain about its result.
Naturally we dutiful non-voters strongly deny the truth of this and are not wholly disinclined from telling the little blighters who claim it to buzz off and die. But we may also say to them:
I. If you vote in an election, then you must endorse the legitimacy of the process including its result, or else be guilty of bad faith. (You agree in participation of the process to be bound by the rules thereof, which include the acceptance of the legitimacy of the result.) 
II. You voted in the election. 
Therefore,
III. You must endorse the legitimacy of the result, or else be guilty of bad faith. 
But (you complain): 
IV. The result is a disaster. 
Therefore,
V. You must endorse the legitimacy of a disaster about which you complain, or else be guilty of bad faith.
To that, we may kindly add: Can I get you another drink? You look as though you need one.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Apropos of the Social Body. — It is not the surgeon we should fear; it is the anaesthetist.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Food for Unthought. — Appeal to reason through rational argumentation does not work well today because the mindset of secular leftism is irrationalistic. That mindset is also disjointed, incoherent, and given to distraction. Hence, one moment a man is claiming that rational argumentation is “mere word-games”, “fiddling with language”, etc, and the next, he is claiming something on its basis.
  The secular leftist accepts no greater authority than his own desires. Reason cannot lead him. (Nevertheless, to a promissory idol of those desires, he may give the honourable name of reason.) As long as rational argumentation remains the slave of those desires, he can praise it, but otherwise he scorns it as unconnected with reality, which for him is merely the occasion for his desires. (His inheritance from romanticism.)
  Since he will go only where his desires lead him, regardless of whether those desires are rationally ordered, rational argumentation has little force against him. Indeed, he even draws strength from the rational argumentation made against him. For argumentation suggests to him a matter open to question, and anything that is open to question, but which is not in accord with his desires, he finds easy to dismiss.
  Secular leftism, like all evil, is parasitic upon good. Rational argumentation is food for secular leftism as blood is food for leeches.
. . .
Adapted from a comment made to Bruce G. Charlton, “The Counter-Productiveness of Arguments for the Reactionary”, Bruce Charlton's Miscellany (weblog), 24th October 2012.
Mass-Media in a Nutshell. — “Typical of adolescents the mass media display impulsivity and unstable moods; alternation between hedonism and blaming; between aggression and cowardice; sarcasm and sentimentality; impossible idealism and indignant charges of hypocrisy; wild recklessness and paralyzing guilt; snide arrogance and hero-worship is obsessed with novelties, fashion and peer approval; is extravert (needing continual external stimulation); and is emotionally cold, selfish and manipulative while burning with resentments, bursting with personal entitlements, prone to self-pity, and zealous for abstract ‘justice’ which other people fail to live up to.”

Bruce G. Charlton, “The Adolescent Society – Uganda to the UK”, Bruce Charlton's Miscellany (weblog), 10th October 2012.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fine Persecution. — Every society has before it an ideal of the kind of society it ought to be, and every society, in order to uphold that ideal, needs to persecute those within it who are at odds with that ideal. Once again, however, the deep mendacity of liberalistic society manifests itself in that it denies the persecution which it carries out against its hated enemies, namely, those at odds with its ideal. This denial of the persecuted status of its enemies — along with the ridicule of them when they claim it — are additional elements for the intensifying of their persecution.