As a Jewish nationalist, I have an inherent sympathy for all nationalisms. It would be wrong to want something for my people that I would not simultaneously wish for all people. At the same time, I recognize that Gentile nationalisms are usually bad for Jews.
If Jews have a strong sense of their group interest while they live in an individualist Gentile country, Jews are going to have a big advantage in the struggle for scarce resources.
White Protestant countries have been the most hospitable places for Jews because Protestantism (particularly white Protestantism) is individualistic. It’s all about individual salvation and the individual’s relationship with God. Jews are more collective (Jewish prayers are all in the plural, we pray for the well-being of our people) and so they can out-compete individualist strategies for power.
As a product of white Australia with sturdy Anglo-Saxon genes who nonetheless converted to Orthodox Judaism in California, I find myself fascinated by P.R. Stephensen’s following essay from 1940.
To the extent that Australia and other countries restricted during immigration during the 1930s, that many more Jews would die in the Holocaust.
So do his arguments have any merit? Do white interests contradict Jewish interests? Do Australian interests contradict Jewish interests?
There’s nothing here about Jews being inherently bad or inferior. It’s just a fair dinkum laying out of inherent group conflicts between Jews and Gentiles.
I’m struck by the fair-minded tone of Stephensen’s arguments. They can hardly be called irrational or bigoted. They seem commonsensical. They don’t read like the product of unhinged hatred. That’s what makes them so uncomfortable for me. I don’t have any good argument against them.
P.R. Stephensen wrote:
It is often arbitrarily assumed, by persons who are themselves irrationally prejudiced in favor of Semitism, that Antisemitism is based on irrational prejudices. Probably very few political students appreciate the fact that Politics is an art rather than a science, and that prejudice enters into political judgments, just as it enters into aesthetic judgments. When I say that I like Gruner’s paintings, and that I do not like Epstein’s sculptures, I give verbal expression to value-judgments which cannot be proved wrong, by any process of logic. Such value-judgments are peculiar to individuals, and their validity is conditioned by that fact. If your opinions differ from mine, we may avoid further disputation by seeking solace in ancient saws, such as quot homines, tot sententiae, or even de gustibus non disputandum—thereby proving incidentally that the matter of prejudice-judgments has been reflected upon by human beings prior to our present epoch.
When Politics is regarded as an art rather than as a science, its value-judgments also become recognized as prejudices, rather than as irrefutable axioms bearing “objective” validity. The greatest confusion in the modern world has arisen from the attempts of Hegel, Karl Marx, and their successors to rationalize human history too rigidly in terms of an abstraction named “Man,” without making sufficient allowances for the undescribable factor which differentiates man from man, and men from men. This is the factor which emerges suddenly—and, to the Marxians, disconcertingly—as it did in Italy, for example, with Mussolini’s counter to the Communist émeute. Similarly, in Germany, the emergence of consciously-stated “blood and race” doctrines, among Gentiles, was something quite unprovided-for in the Marxian schematic. These modern instances should suffice to warn those who would approach Politics as an abstract science of idealization that there is, in human behavior, an unpredictable factor—of instinct, emotion, or prejudice—which is likely to operate, in times of crisis, in disregard of the hypothesizing usual in academic text-books. Any one in Australia to-day who, being a student of politics, refuses to take cognizance of the fact that there is a rising feeling of Antisemitism, of comparatively recent origin and growth, in our community, is overlooking one of the signs of that “unknown factor x” which so often brings academically-reasoned politics to futility. It is not a question whether Antisemitism should, or should not, exist. The fact is that it does exist; and it exists, precisely, as a prejudice, or a set of prejudices, against Jews. In approaching the subject, we must bear in mind that prejudices—even when recognized as such, are irrational, and therefore irrefutable. The value-judgment, “I like Jews,” is merely antithetic to its opposite value-judgment, “I don’t like Jews”; and disputation almost necessarily ends on “an agreement to differ”—or, in extreme cases, in an appeal ad baculam, the age-old recourse of irreconcilables. The middle way of thought, “I don’t like Jews, but I tolerate them,” is a hazy compromise which, though common enough among non-Jews, merely shirks the issue, or leaves it in abeyance.
It is not my intention here to malign Jews, and still less to appeal for their “persecution.” My concern is solely to exhibit the phenomenon of Antisemitism, considering this as a socio-political tendency which actually exists in many countries, including Australia. I seek not to justify it, so much as to explain it; and the most I shall claim for it is that it has a conditional validity, considered as a form of political activity. Semitism and Antisemitism, as counteracting forces within the body politic, are like toxin and antitoxin: their presence is abnormal, and indicates a pathological condition. To put this in another way, the twin topics of Semitism and Antisemitism are political aberrations: they cannot be made to conform to the ordinary rules of political discourse. Essentially, Jews are a minority, self-differentiated as such, a Race Apart not only from the rest of mankind, speaking generally, but also from any particular community in the midst of which they may reside. This fact makes the usual postulates of political discussion—namely, universal humanitarianism, or, alternately, the welfare of a National Unit, considered as a Whole—inapplicable to the Jewish Question. It is absurd for Jews to preach (as many of them do) that men are all of one Kind, while this preachment is belied by the fact that the Jews themselves, by their own Choice, remain a different Kind from all other kinds of men. Similarly it would be absurd for Jews to preach the welfare and advancement of any one nation as a paramount political consideration, while holding themselves racially apart from the majority in that nation. It can never be true that “all men are brothers,” either within one nation or in the world at large, while Jews continue to practice an extreme form of biological differentiation through rigid selective breeding.
Jews cannot “have it both ways.” They cannot expect to be listened-to with respect when they preach to Gentiles the Universal Oneness of Mankind, while at the same time they, as Jews, remain a Race Apart. It is when this discrepancy between their words and their actions is recognized, that Jews become disliked by non-Jews. Nobody likes to be humbugged, either by financial confidence-tricks, or by metaphysical and political verbal play. In brief, if Jews are going to persist in keeping themselves racially apart from the rest of mankind or from a particular nation, then they should also keep themselves politically apart. The Antisemite brings this point of view to the fore. He starts from the same premise as the Jews themselves—namely that the Jews, by their deliberate practice of Racialism, are differentiated from non-Jews. But, as soon as this differentiation is accepted as an unalterable fact, and is brought to the full consciousness of non-Jews, a prejudice is created against Jews, in the minds of non-Jews, which makes a further dispassionate or detached discussion of the entire topic virtually impossible. The implication of the Jewish practice of Racialism is unmistakably Themselves First—Themselves versus the Rest. Once understood, that constitutes a challenge to the Rest of Us which cannot conscientiously be disregarded.
The discussion, then, comes down to prejudice versus prejudice, the result of a clash of interests which cannot be resolved by any form of words. Carried further, this means propaganda versus propaganda—a process termed, by both sides, “enlightenment.” The most honest thing to do is to avow the prejudice, and stand on it. As a non-Jew, I avow that my prejudices are non-Jewish; and this means that, in any conflict of interests between Jews, on the one hand, and non-Jews on the other, my instincts place me naturally in the non-Jewish camp. When I see an organized minority of Jews, actuated by their self-interest, engaging in operations for their own sectional self-aggrandizement as against the interests of the community-as-a-whole or of the non-Jewish majority in it, then, as a non-Jew, I claim the same right to organize non-Jews as the Jews have claimed and obtained to organize themselves. The political validity of Antisemitism is thus on a plane no higher, or no lower, than that of Antisemitism; for, if there were no Semitism, there would be no need of Antisemitism to counteract it. While organized Semitism operates as a political activity in Australia, there can surely be no logical objection, among “Liberal” political thinkers, to the existence of the counteracting, or counter-balancing, activity of Antisemitism—provided always that the antidote is merely of sufficient strength to neutralize the irritant, and does not in itself become toxic.
In other words, Antisemitism claims validity as a measure of defense, among non-Jews, against a Jewish aggression. To examine the matter concretely: it is estimated that there are 35,000 Jews at most in Australia, comprising approximately one-half of one percent of the community. Normally, it could not seriously be suggested that one-half of one percent of a population could menace the remaining 99½ percent; but present-day circumstances are peculiar. Hitler’s boast that “if the Jews succeed in creating a European War against Germany, then the sequel will be the removal of the Jewish Race from Europe” contains at least an implied threat to Australians that some of the Jews removed from Europe will be sent, or will come, here, if Hitler’s prognostication proves correct. Moreover, they would be welcomed here, if we are to judge by resolutions passed at meetings of influential public bodies, including Churches and Labor Organizations, and by continuous propaganda in the press, reminding us of our falling birthrate, our vast open spaces, and the necessity for the immigration of cultured Jews—who, we are told, would make excellent farm-laborers. The exodus from Europe, towards Australia as a promised land, has indeed already commenced, and shows no sign of diminishing. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the percentage of Jews in the Australian community will very soon be considerably increased. Even so, they would not be likely to swamp us by weight of numbers—but the problem they present is not solely statistical and quantitative. The Jews themselves have a legend of David and Goliath which illustrates the fact that the small may bring down the great by using suitable weapons. The overwhelming preponderance of non-Jews, as compared with Jews, in Australia, as everywhere else, is an indication of the fact that the Jewish Question, or Jewish Problem, as it is called, is not one of numbers, but of something else. Why is there a Jewish Problem? For whom is it a Problem—Jews or Gentiles? Are Jews a Problem to themselves, or only to non-Jews?
To state it succinctly: Antisemitism arises in any community when the influence of the Jewish minority becomes so grossly disproportionate to the percentage of Jews in that community as to give rise to an anomaly. Being an organized minority, the Jews in all countries exercise an influence disproportionate to their numbers, as compared with the (in some vital respects) unorganized majority of non-Jews. It is a commonplace of political experience that a minority which knows what it wants, and can organize to get it, has an immense advantage over a purposeless, lulled, or apathetic mob. This is the technique, thoroughly learned by experience, which has enabled the Jewish Race to maintain itself, and to flourish, as an alien minority in the midst and at the expense of many non-Jewish communities, in many lands, for many centuries. Like Gypsies and other nomadic peoples, they have acquired an instinct as a minority which guarantees their survival and prosperity wherever they go, among settled peoples. Incidentally, the Jewish minority technique has undoubtedly supplied the inspiration and the model for Communist Party organization, in all countries, including Russia and Australia. We are all familiar with Communist “cells,” in Trade Unions, in political and cultural associations, and even in religious organizations, who get grandiose “Resolutions” passed in support of this or that strategy of Communism for the time being, while the inert majority of the membership concerned have only the haziest idea of what these “Resolutions” mean. That is by the way, but it is a parallel to the technique of the Jews, who, in every community where they are established, wield an influence disproportionate to their numbers, precisely because they know how to act as a cohesive minority. The trouble comes for them, as, analogously, for the Communists, when the inert majority, whose name has been taken in vain, suddenly “wakes up” to what has been going on, and finds itself committed, by minority maneuver, to doing something which it never wanted to do, and never had any intention of doing. Then comes the shock for the minority manuverers, and things cease going accordingly to the text-book plan! It is only while the influence of the Jews in any community remains relatively unobtrusive that the non-Jews tend to ignore it, or tolerate it—and consequently the phenomenon of Antisemitism does not acutely arise; but when the Jews (obtaining usually also the aid of “philanthropic” or sentimental Gentiles) raise the Jewish Question in an acute or exaggerated or disproportionate way, then Antisemitism automatically arises, to redress the balance, and restore the right proportion.
In Australia, prior to, say, 1937, there was very little Antisemitism, for the sufficient reason that there was very little Semitism propagated or practiced here. The Jewish community, small in numbers, had been rooted in Australia for more than a hundred years, under conditions of complete toleration. That community, seemingly law-abiding, and, in its way, industrious, did not unduly assert itself, and so was quite “taken for granted.” In the pre-War years, however—say, from 1933 to 1939—as the resentment of Jews throughout the world against Hitler’s attitude towards their co-racialists in Germany came to a climax, Australia, like other non-German countries, was flooded with Prosemitic propaganda, amounting in essence to a loud appeal for help, couched in urgent and dramatic terms—with exaggerated vilification of Hitler and equally-exaggerated eulogy of Jewry. A propaganda of this character necessarily became tendentious. The issue in Germany was between Germans and Jews—not between Vice and Virtue, as the propagandists had a tendency absurdly to present it. Nor was the Jewish Question the most urgent in European politics. That position was occupied by the German Question, an infinitely more important one. Yet, so dramatic was the Prosemitic propaganda, and so exaggerated was its emphasis, that many Australians did not realize until after the War actually started that Britain had to fight Germany for a British reason, rather than for a “Czechoslovak,” or Polish, or Jewish reason. The zealotic Prosemitic propaganda, which deluged Australia from 1933 to 1939, came not only from Central Europe, but also from the United States of America. Its impact upon Australia raised the Jewish Question here quite gratuitously, and as a thoroughly false issue, confusing the minds of Australians not only as to the real issues of European politics, but also as to the real issues in Australian politics.
There could be no serious suggestion that Australia is in any way responsible for the age-old Sorrows of Israel, as recrudescent in the modern epoch. Let the blame rest where it belongs! Those who say now that the emergence of Antisemitism in Australia raises a false issue should have raised their voices in the first place against the protracted propaganda of Prosemitism during the past six years, for it was at least equally a false issue, and dangerously so. It tended to place the inevitable armed conflict between Britain and Germany, for the mastery of Europe, on a thoroughly false and unrealistic ideological basis: and that false approach was damaging, in the ultimate, to Britain’s cause, and to Britain’s efficiency. There can be no real enthusiasm, among Britons, for a Jewish cause, or for any other cause alien to British self-interest. The entire propaganda-approach to the war was too much in Jewish, and not sufficiently in British, hands. To present the War as one of ideological “isms,” including altruism, instead of as a vital and direct clash of candidly-avowed national interests, was to put Britons on the wrong track, or at best on a side track. I suggest that Jewish Metaphysics was at the bottom of it. The Jews made their age-old mistake of thinking too abstractly about concrete political affairs. Perhaps they evolved this technique of abstract idealism in the Ghettos of the centuries long gone by, when they were denied an active share in the management of Gentile States. Be that as it may, the entire abstract approach to political problems remains idealistic, or ideologic, and hence unrealistic in the sphere of practical politics.
The too-zealous propagandists of the Jewish Cause, in recent times, and specifically in Australia, will be found in the long run to have done themselves and their Cause no good service by drawing attention to the fact that there is a Jewish Problem; for that Problem is created by the Jews themselves, and there is no solution of it while Jews remain Jews. The arguments in support of Semitism, when candidly presented to non-Jews, must necessarily be unconvincing; for there is no form of words by which a non-Jew could become a Jew. Wise Jews are they who never raise the Jewish Question for disputation—who let it slumber, as it has slumbered in Australia for a century. Foolish Jews, over-eager or over-reaching Jews, are they who raise that Question, naively disregarding the warning of history that by raising it they are provoking the age-old Answer of non-Jewish nations to it, whenever it has been raised too aggressively or obtrusively. That Answer is militant Antisemitism, the only possible answer to Semitism militant.
It comes, then, to this; that the Jewish Question has been raised in Australia, in the first instance, not by Antisemitic agitators, but by over-zealous Prosemitic agitators; and it has been raised, not because of any Australian condition, but because of something which has happened in Europe. The falsity of the issue itself, and the exaggerated manner of its presentation, has caused the propaganda of Prosemitism to be regarded by many Australians as repugnant to common sense; and from this aversion, a tendency to Antisemitism has developed here. The fact that 15,000 or more Jewish “refugees,” from Germany and other European countries, have been admitted in a sudden flood, has given an additional impetus to the sentiment of repugnance aroused by the tendentious propaganda which preceded their arrival. Wherever Jews wander, and for whatever immediate causes, they take not only Semitism, but also Antisemitism with them. This must necessarily be so. As has been said elsewhere, “they chose to be Chosen, and must take the consequences.”
Many “Liberal” thinkers profess to be horrified at the thought of organised Antisemitism, because they profess to believe that this must lead to massacres of Jews, or other ill-treatment of them, as so often previously in human history. What, then! Are we to assume that the Jewish Problem is insoluble in any other way than by force? To claim that a mere discussion of Semitism might lead to pogroms, and therefore to taboo such a discussion, is surely tantamount to an admission that Semitism has a case that is logically weak, when presented for approval to non-Semites. The taboo, to be fully effective, should be applied also to arguments in favor of Semitism. Do “Liberals” also advocate this?
Again, there are many who shrink from discussion of the subject because it has a “religious” flavor. It is objected that Semitism (or, more properly, Judaism, since Arabs and Syrians are also “Semitic”) is not a proselytizing religion; and that therefore there is no need for a counteracting propaganda to it. This is a nice point; but the real opposition to Judaic-Semitism, by the most convinced Antisemites, is not on religious, but on socio-political grounds, and on those grounds only. Admittedly there is a religious obfuscation in the claim, made by Jews themselves, to be the “God-Chosen Race”; but into the validity or otherwise of that claim there is no need for the secular-political thinker to enquire. Beyond noting it as an extraordinary manifestation of Jewish Exclusiveness, as claimed by Jews for themselves, we need not attempt either to refute or endorse it. In the present argument, the entire theological approach is eschewed, and the religious claims of Jewry are considered as of concern only to the Jews themselves. The fact that Jews do not proselytise their religion rules it out as a valid subject of discussion, except among themselves.
From the secular-political point of view of a non-Jew, the Jewish religion appears as the most obvious method by which the Jewish Race has preserved its identity. The synagogue is not only a meeting-place for Jews; it is the focal-point of their Racial preservation. Their marriage-laws, which make it a religious offense for a Jew to marry a non-Jew, have, in practice, preserved the Jewish Race as a distinct Race throughout the centuries; and it is upon this aspect of their organization, considered secularly and socio-politically, that Australian attention will necessarily become focused, as more and more Jewish immigrants enter our territories. While there is a natural reluctance to discuss religion, when religion is solely a matter of individual conscience, it is only fair to point out that no other church in Australia, and possibly in the world, makes Racial origin a condition of membership. Even this would not matter, if it had no socio-political repercussions.
The basic bio-political principle of Australian national organization is enshrined in our Immigration Acts, and made effective by the famous Dictation Test. It is clear that the intention of our Legislative Forefathers was to base Australian life on what may be described as Fused-European Homogeneity. In effect, those laws claimed Australia for the “European” (or “white”) races exclusively—the term “Aryan” not being as frequently used fifty years ago as it is now. Pursuing that basic policy, we have not only excluded—and deported—Asiatics and Kanakas, but we have extended the principle to the indigenous Natives of the country, segregating them in Concentration Camps (otherwise known as “Aboriginal Reserves”) with the effect, if not the avowed intention, of reducing their numbers by gentle extermination. The unmistakable implication of our national policy is that Australia’s future citizens will be bred from a free intermixing of the various imported European strains—avoiding in particular the social problems which would result from Eurasian miscegenation, or alternatively from segregation of alien racial minorities within the general community. Australia was thus the first nation in the modern world to “go nap” on Racialism. Within our definition of the term, we antedated Hitler’s “Racial Theories” by fifty years. When Jews come to Australia, therefore, they should remember that they are coming to a country which has already made up its mind to be a Homogeneity, not a hodge-podge: a country which is acutely race-conscious and intolerant of any tendency to form separate communities within the larger entity.
In Australia, as in all other countries, the segregation which the Jews practice in order to preserve their racial purity from an admixture with non-Jews, is entirely voluntary on their part. For note: if Jews freely intermarried with non-Jews, then the Jewish Race, as such, would cease to exist; and, with its disappearance, the Jewish Problem would disappear. It is solely because the Jews insist on preserving their racial identity—refuse to become absorbed into, or assimilated with, the “Gentiles”—that they are a Problem in every country in which they settle.
Here, then, we are faced with a defiance, by Jews, of the fundamental biological principle of Fused-European Homogeneity which it is the basic aim of Australian national policy to establish and maintain. They claim the right, not only to settle here, but to maintain themselves, in perpetuity, as a self-segregated minority, of different and distinct racial stock from the rest of the Australian community. Their exclusiveness gives them many advantages. Being all of one Tribe (or, in a large sense, of one “family”), they are naturally disposed to help one another, and to further the interests of their own limited community—even at the expense of the general Community, in the midst of which they live, but from which they deliberately hold themselves, in perpetuity, apart. That this self-segregation is advantageous to Jews is obvious from the fact that, by practicing it, their Race has survived—and flourished—for thousands of years, though scattered among many communities and nations larger than their own. Yet their exclusiveness, with all its advantages, also has disadvantages, as is only right and proper, under the inexorable law of compensation.
The answer to Semitism is Antisemitism; and when Jews gain too many advantages for themselves, by their practice of self-segregation, they invariably find (and surely, should expect to find!) that the majority of non-Jews will resent, and eventually will curb, the privileges which the Jews have won for themselves by concerted sectional action. This is what will inevitably occur in Australia, sooner or later, if a large colony of self-segregating Jews is allowed now to establish itself in our community. Our hearts may be temporarily moved with pity for the plight of people who have been forced to flee from parts of Europe in which they had become disliked and unwanted; but there can be no guarantee that they will not become similarly disliked and unwanted here. They know the remedy; it is simple: let them cease to be Jews, intermarry freely with Gentiles, abandon their claim to be “The Chosen Race,” abandon their exclusiveness, mix with the common stock of the community which gives them refuge! If they did that—if they ceased to be Jews—there would be no Jewish Problem.
But they will not do it. They will not become absorbed into the general stream of Australian life. They will follow their instinct, and remain Apart. They insist that we should accept them on their own terms, not on ours. Our principle is homogeneity; theirs is segregation. Between the two points of view a clash is inevitable—if not in this generation, then in the next, or the next after, when our descendants would have no longer a motive of pity for “refugees,” but would be faced with the fait accompli of an Alien Minority established permanently in their midst.
The request for a Ghetto-State, to be created in the barren northwest of Australia, is merely a shelving of the difficulty. It would amount to geographical as well as ethnographical segregation; but it would amount also, in essence, to a request for cession of some part of our territory to another sovereignty—a successful alien invasion, without a war. Alternately, if the proposed Jewish Colony is to be planted under the Australian Constitution, then its implied basis of Racial Segregation and particular privilege is contrary to the fundamentals of Australian bio-political and socio-political organization; and as such, will never be tolerated by Australians.
So the issue will be joined, and no amount of Prosemitic plausibility will conceal the fact that the fundamental antagonism, between Jews and non-Jews, here as everywhere else, is created by Jewish Exclusiveness—the refusal to be absorbed. This goes to the heart of the matter, and, compared with it, all other trends of Antisemitic argument are merely superficial. It is well-known that there are many Jews who are good citizens, honest and cultured, despite the reputation of the generality of their Kind of being financially “tricky,” unscrupulous, and parasitical. That there are intellectual and sensitive Jews is also as well-known as that there are many “Flash Yids” who degrade and debase public culture. No case can be made against Jews generally, except the one I have outlined, namely that their insistence upon Racial self-segregation is anti-social, considered from the point of view of the community-as-a-whole. We cannot concede to them in Australia a right which, if conceded in perpetuity to other types of immigrants, such as Italians, Germans, Danes, Irish, Scots, would lead to the sectionalizing of the community and its disunification.
Permissive heterogeneity in Australia would lead ultimately to the dissolution of the nation. If every other type of immigrant forgoes the sectional advantages of minority segregation (at least, in practice, after a couple of generations of Caledonianism, Hibernianism, Mafia, and the like), then there can be no valid reason why the Jews should not do the same—and, if they are not prepared to do so, they should not be allowed to land.
While the Jews deliberately, and in perpetuity, set themselves apart from the rest of the citizens in the nation, they cannot expect ever to be cordially welcomed here. Let them take their stand on Racial Purity, and exult in it! But, “they cannot have it both ways.” Life is not like that. The resentment against them may be passive, or merely smoldering, for long periods while the Jews themselves are relatively quiescent; but, when they erupt in an active propaganda of Semitism, as they have done in Australia during the past six years, and when their numbers are suddenly increased by a wave of unassimilable immigration, then they themselves must know that the slumbering spirit of Antisemitism will arise: and they must know that there is only one remedy for it.
That remedy is that the Jewish Race should abolish itself, by becoming absorbed in the common stream of mankind. If this is impracticable—as must seem likely after 5,000 years of their aloofness—then we others, who are so strictly excluded from the Jewish community, have at least a reciprocal right to exclude them from ours.