Many of my Jewish friends are freaked out by the Alt-Right and by the antics above. They see this behavior as evil.
I think that’s a normal and healthy reaction. These Alt-Righers are proving their anti-social and self-destructive character.
So should the Alt Right disavow the Nazi salute? Only if they want to thrive. If they are bent on self-destruction, they should keep flipping Romans.
Meaning is always determined by context. Every act takes place at a certain time and place. By flipping a Nazi salute in America in 2016, you are deliberately burning your bridges with your society. Which animals are more vulnerable? Those inside the herd or those outside the herd? Few people thrive when they burn their bridges with society.
On an abstract level, you can argue that you should not allow outsiders to determine what rituals you perform, but the wise man takes everything into account, including the views of outsiders. If the opposition is sufficiently intense, you don’t invite it unnecessarily. These salutes at NPI were self-destruction. More profoundly, they reflected a self-destruction that dominated prior to the acts.
On an abstract level, you can argue that if you are Jewish, and you can get away with it, you don’t let outsiders determine what you say and do and which rituals you perform. Similarly, if you are authentic to being Alt-Right, you don’t let outsiders determine what you say and do, and that includes the Roman salute.
From an outside perspective, many of Jewish rituals, prayers, teachings, and laws are horrifying. From a Jewish perspective, the Nazi salute is horrifying. But if you are strong in your in-group identity, be it Jewish or Alt-Right, you don’t bow to the preferences of outsiders. You might even get energy from defying outsiders. That’s how social identity works on one level. On another level, if you are doing things that the people around you find abhorrent, your life becomes ten times harder. Why inflict that on yourself when there are wiser choices?
If you believe in your religion, other religions, at best, will seem wacky and weird. Most likely, they will appear evil. If you are white or asian or black or Mexican, you most likely will feel most comfortable with your own kind and you will likely feel some discomfort around other races.
For people who believe that they view the world through a moral lens, such as the Anglo countries of America, Canada, England and Australia, anything associated with Nazism is evil, but for most of the world, Hitler is simply a guy who lost a war.
The Nazi “Heil Hitler” salute isn’t really a Nazi salute. It is a Roman salute that has been around for about 2,000 years.
People flipping “Heil Hitlers” sometimes want to commit genocide, just as some people who say “Shmai Yisrael” or “Jesus saves” or “Allahu Akhbar” want to wipe out their enemies.
Most people in America who identify as Alt-Right or neo-Nazi have no hatred for pygmies because pygmies don’t live among them. Pygmies do them no harm. Pygmies live somewhere else.
When you have diverse peoples living in the same place, that sometimes leads to thriving and at other times, it leads to conflict, hatred and often tragedy.
What would lead to the mass slaughter of Jews is when non-Jews see it as in their self-interest to be rid of Jews. For instance, many Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East see it as in their self-interest to end the Jewish state.
Hatred of Jews like hatred of Muslims and hatred of Christians and hatred of blacks and hatred of every group stems from conflicts of interest. For instance, the more Christian America gets, the more vulnerable Jews and other non-Christians living in America become. The more Jewish Israel gets, the more vulnerable and the more marginalized non-Jews living in Israel become. The Japanese Japan becomes, the more vulnerable non-Japanese living in Japan become. There are no good guys and bad guys (except when looking through the eyes of faith). There are only conflicts of interest and inevitable results of social identity theory (the more you identify with your in-group, the more likely you are to despite out-groups). The stronger a white man’s white identity, the more likely he is to have negative views of non-whites. The stronger a Jew’s Jewish identity, the more likely he is to have negative views of non-Jews. The stronger a Christian’s Christian identity, the more likely he is to feel negatively towards non-Christians. I grew up a strong Christian and I was socialized to believe that non-Christians were bad, sad, and lost. I grew up in Australia and was socialized to believe that if you weren’t Australian, you were bad, sad and lost. To have some feelings of fear and hate for anyone who is not a part of your group is a universal inclination.
For Jews, for Anglos, for people outraged by the Nazis, the Roman salute is a celebration of evil. For most of the world, it’s just a salute. The Nazis are just a group that lost a war.
Looking at the world where there are good guys and bad guys requires a leap of faith. All objective morality requires a leap of faith. Without this leap of faith, there are no good guys and no bad guys in the world. There are just different forms of life struggling for survival and competing over scarce resources. That is the only objective way at looking at the world.
Are Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and the Alt-Right a bunch of Nazis? No. Only Germans can be Nazis. Are these folks nationalists? Yes. They want their form of life to survive and to prosper and to control lots of important resources.
The Alt-Right is a gateway drug to white nationalism, which by definition is racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic. This does not have to be scary for Jews and non-whites. It simply means that whites are asserting their self-interest.
In certain contexts, all groups should be xenophobic, and in other contexts, they should be more inviting. If a Jew does not have some negative sentiments towards Christianity and Islam, in some contexts, he’s an unhealthy Jew. If a Christian does not have some negative sentiments towards other religions, in some contexts, he’s not a healthy Christian. If a white man does not have some negative feelings about other races, in some contexts, he’s not healthy. If a black man does not have some negative feelings about other races, in some contexts, he’s not healthy.
Ari: And what group do you consider yourself a part of?
Luke: We are all parts of many different groups. I consider myself Orthodox Jewish, genetically Anglo-Saxon, American, Australian, a man, a Californian, etc.
Ari: “For the people that count – normal Christian Whites – it’s a creepy, at best awkward anachronism.”
Luke: I agree. But this is primarily a PR question, right? Making it primarily a moral question is arguing about faith, which is silly.
Ari: “Well, it’s a PR problem inasmuch as most people – including those the Alt Right is trying to reach – view it as a moral problem. And it’s a moral problem inasmuch as the Alt Right is morally right, and mistakes when moral stakes are high are condemnable.”
“IMO, objective facts about morality are facts about whether or not rational individuals are behaving in an evolutionarily fit way.”
I first ask, “What’s good for the Jews?” It would be weird and unhealthy if goyim didn’t first ask — what’s good for goyim?
The world is neither with us nor against us. It is just raw material in our hands.
All faith is by definition subjective. Objective analysis requires the absence of faith.
Ari: “Objectively, Kaepernick is a good person – he’s advocating for his race, which is fit. But I’m also right to view him as my enemy.”
Luke: “Totally! Much better to have friend/enemy distinction a la Carl Schmitt when it comes to politics, not good/evil. The distinction between good and evil depends upon faith in a transcendent source of morality a la religion.”
Ari: “On my view, competing programs can both be right. Take the Israel issue. Both Jews and Arabs would be *wrong* to give up the land.”
Luke: “Yes! A healthy Arab/Muslim should want to destroy the Jewish state, just as a healthy Jew will do whatever is needed to live.”
Most Israelis want all their enemies to disappear, most Arabs and Muslims want the same. It is a universal human instinct and it leads to genocide.
Ari: “One wonders about a geir constantly reminding the goyim of their reasons to be antisemitic.”
Luke: The Jewish Establishment in the diaspora is on a suicidal path and I am screaming, “Stop the Multiculti! It’s not Torah. It’s not Judaism. It’s not in the interests of Jews or of goyim.” We need to reduce our conflicts with the West, particularly the Anglo nations that have been so good for us. Jews have never had it so good as we have had it in America, England, Australia, and Canada.