Richard Spencer says the Alt Right’s premiere intellectual is Kevin MacDonald. Spencer has apparently not read the Nathan Cofnas critique of Kevin’s book Culture of Critique but he has praised Kevin’s response to Cofnas.
…MacDonald’s work has been influential—enormously so—in a certain segment of the lay community, namely, among anti-Semites and adherents of the burgeoning movement known as the “alt-right.” It is hard to overstate his influence among this group. Some years ago Derbyshire (2003) called him “the Marx of the anti-Semites,” and with the advent of the alt-right his audience has grown substantially. Richard Spencer, whom the New York Times calls “the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement” (Goldstein 2016), introduced MacDonald at a conference with one sentence: “There is no man on the planet who has done more for the understanding of the pole around which the world revolves than Kevin MacDonald” (Spencer 2016). Andrew Anglin, who runs the most popular alt-right/neo-Nazi website, says in his “Guide to the Alt-Right” that “MacDonald’s work examining the racial nature of Jews is considered crucial to understanding what the Alt-Right is about” (Anglin 2016). The New York Times describes MacDonald’s trilogy as “a touchstone” for the alt-right, a movement encompassing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people (Caldwell 2016). MacDonald is also editor of the Occidental Observer, a fairly popular magazine that is devoted largely to interpreting current events in the light of his theories about Jews. Anglin (2016) lists the Occidental Observer as one of eight “sites and people” playing a key role in the alt-right movement.
The refusal of scholars to engage with MacDonald has had unintended negative consequences. Many of his enthusiasts see him as credible because there has never been a serious academic refutation of his theories. The strategy employed 18 years ago—declaring his work to be anti-Semitic and/or to not reach the threshold to warrant scholarly attention—had the doubly unfortunate effect of intimidating scholars with a legitimate interest in the topic of Jewish evolution and behavior, and creating a perception among some laypeople—even if it was false—that MacDonald was being persecuted by the academic community.
On a recent show with Big Cat Kayla, Greg Johnson said that reading Kevin MacDonald’s book Culture of Critique was the thing that sent him into white nationalism.
Greg: “The most important book that I read early on in that period [of investigating white nationalism] was Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique. That really put together a lot of things for me. I was getting a doctorate in Philosophy and a lot of my reading was in continental philosophy and I was dealing with schools of thought like deconstruction and the Frankfurt School and post-modernism and it didn’t make sense to me. There were certain things about it that struck me as incoherent. And when I read Kevin MacDonald’s approach to treating these Jewish intellectual movements as tools of Jewish dominance and upward mobility and stigmatizing traits of gentile society that they didn’t like, a lot of things fell together and made sense that simply hadn’t made sense before. That was extremely powerful to finally get these things making sense. At that point, I started reconceiving everything. Before that, I was a race realist. I had read The Bell Curve. I had this idea that maybe we could work things out within the framework of conservatism. Then I realized that we can’t be libertarians, we can’t be conservatives, we certainly can’t be neo-cons, we have to reconfigure America along racial nationalist grounds.”
Cofnas tells me: “I had more respect for the alt-right 5 months ago. I thought people believed CofC because they took it as part of the package of politically incorrect truths. But now they refuse to even consider that they were mislead. They are no different from liberals who deny race differences.”