Tribes and the Nation State

I’m listening to the Tom Clancy thriller “Locked On.” There’s a character in it who seems Jewish to me but is never identified as such: “high-profile Czech billionaire Paul Laska (formerly Pavel Laska), having watched the debate on television, has finally lost patience supporting Kealty; Laska has been a liberal kingmaker for him for years, and is thus truly responsible for all of the success Kealty has enjoyed throughout his career. Laska’s back story establishes he is a devout enemy of Ryan (despite never personally meeting or confronting him) as he stands for everything Laska fights and campaigns against. Deciding then and there to cut all funding and support to Kealty, Laska, instead, decides to divert all of his resources, funds and power into one thing – the destruction of Jack Ryan and his administration.”

This billionaire sounds like George Soros.

A third of the way into the book, Laska is said to have “been an enemy of every state he has ever lived in.”

Coming in the wake of my Kevin MacDonald interview, this shakes me up. Very few Jews are traitors to their nation state, but many of the most famous traitors to America (Jonathan Pollard, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, etc) have been Jewish.

I have this sudden flash that Jews and other members of tribes often have a different relationship to their host nation than do WASPs.

Jews take great care with potential converts and continue to scrutinize them after conversion. According to Jewish law, a convert cannot take many positions of leadership in Jewish life. It might make sense for a nation state to limit its leaders similarly and to take greater care clearing members of tribes for access to state power and secrets.

Prior to becoming Jewish, my primary national identity was American. After becoming Jewish, my primary national identity was at first evenly split between being American and Jewish. I still loved America, but now I also loved Israel and I felt a particularly intense connection to other Jews. At the time, I felt no tension between these loyalties but I noticed some things shifting in me regarding America that I didn’t want to articulate.

As soon as I started converting to Judaism, I began worrying about what if there was a holocaust in America. I had never had this worry before. I became suspicious of America, an attitude entirely new to me.

As I journeyed into Jewish life, I noticed that many Jews had dual citizenship (in America and Australia or England or Israel). They were comfortable with the trans-national way of life while never forgetting their loyalty to the Jewish people. It’s easy to go from being Jewish in Australia to being Jewish in America to being Jewish in England because wherever you land, most of your social life will be with Jews. The goyim are necessary for business but Jews are for real friendship and community.

I’ve lived in and around Pico-Robertson 90035 for 20 years and I know that during the Vietnam war, many yeshivas sprang up so Jews could avoid military service. Have Jews served at a proportionate rank to their rate in the general population (they more than did this in Germany and were exterminated anyway)? I suspect that the rate has declined over the decades.

Looking back now, I feel that when I became Jewish, my allegiance to America shifted. I was now part of a universal and particular people with a 4000-year history. America was a little over 200 years old. It was a kid by comparison. I felt the difference in my bones. I knew that if America ceased to survive, the Jews would go on. We were an eternal people. We were God’s Chosen People. We received the Torah from God and so we got our laws from God. Sure, we had to go along with the laws of the goyim to get along, but our ultimate laws came from God, not from America.

Contrary to the Jewish rhetoric I heard that dual allegiances to Israel and to America are just like loving your mother and your father, I noticed these dual allegiances conflicting on occasion and I saw that conflict in Jewish life. To be blunt, Jews tend to be scared of non-Jewish forms of nationalism. After all, Jews have no allegiance to the non-Jewish religions of their host nation and these religions shape their nations. Most American Jews are loyal citizens of America, almost all Jews I know well love America, but I suspect their nationalism, overall, is less intense than that of the average WASP American citizen because Jews and members of other tribes (Chinese, Nigerians, blacks, Latinos, etc) usually have additional national loyalties (that are occasionally in conflict with their host nation).

At times, a tribe’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state may exceed that of the majority population because they feel the need to prove themselves or because their proclivities make them a particularly good fit with the ruling regime. That was the case in 19th Century Austria, where the Catholic ruler Franz Joseph “looked upon his Jewish subjects with benevolence, which most of them understood and appreciated. He made a firm decision to promote modernization, and Austria’s Jews, or an important minority of them, proved useful in that regard. He considered them ‘state preserving’; Jews were a people who helped keep the empire together by their devotion to the emperor and by the vital role they played in the economic development of the empire in its struggle to survive… Franz Joseph often expressed his appreciation for the loyalty of ‘his Jews,’ as he put it, a loyalty that was often less conspicuous or consistent among his other subjects…” (Esau’s Tears, pg. 187)

Novelist Maurice Barres (1862-1923) had many anti-Jewish views but concluded “witnessing the patriotism of French Jews during World War I that the Jews could be considered part of the legitimate French family.” (Esau’s Tears, pg. 222)

“The number of British Jews who served in the armed forces [in WWI] was 41,500, about 14% of the total Jewish population, compared with a participation rate among the general population of 11.5%.” (Esau’s Tears, Pg. 395)

A friend observes that, statistically speaking, immigrants who came to America on boats (and their descendants) have much more loyalty to America than those immigrants who came here on planes or walked here. It’s not uncommon, for instance, to find immigrants of the past 50 years who feel no loyalty to America.

Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, Jews in America had a largely undivided loyalty to America. They were descendants of Europeans and they had no reason to go back to Europe. After 1933, the Jewish Germans and Jewish Austrians had no reason to have any loyalty to their home countries. They wanted to assimilate to America, and for the most part, they did.

What do I mean by loyalty to America? Participating in its rituals of the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, taking an interest in its history, venerating its founders, knowing its constitution, paying taxes honestly and treating your fellow citizens as you would like to be treated, obeying the law, public service (including in the military), volunteering to help your fellow citizens, abstaining from promoting products bad for America (such as rap, porn, destructive movies), not selling America’s state secrets, etc.

I wonder if Jews celebrate Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July and wave American flags at a lower rate than WASPs do (and perhaps white Catholics) but at a higher rate than do Chinese-Americans, Black-Americans and Latino-Americans.

The core of American loyalty, the practice of American rituals, and the willingness to die in service of the country lies historically and dominantly with WASPs.

It seems to me that American Jews of German origin and influence are much more patriotic to their host country than Jews of East European origin. Overall, American Jews today seem less patriotic than Jews 50 years ago when America was less tribal.

Think about the people who poured out into the street to celebrate the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The crowd, as I remember it, was more than 90% white. Tribal America, including Jews, I suspect, did not publicly celebrate the killing of Bin Laden nearly as much as did Middle America (aka white non-Jewish America). I can’t picture Jews pouring out on to the streets to celebrate the death of Bin Laden. It just does not seem to me to be a Jewish thing to do (though I’m sure the neo-cons would disagree with me). Yet if Israel were saved from a great disaster, I suspect identifying Jews would pour on to the streets to celebrate. Jews have no problem rejoicing on Purim, which celebrates the massacre of their enemies.

In my first couple of years as a Jew, I did some slippery things when asked to do them by my new Jewish friends (such as to assist them in slipping into a lecture without paying). They wanted my assistance in ways that were not right and I gave in to the peer pressure. I told myself that nobody’s getting hurt, and so I went along with my new crowd.

Eventually, I converted to Orthodox Judaism, and then my national identity became Jewish first. My primary concern became the welfare of Orthodox Jews.

When I became Jewish, I noticed that some Jews I encountered, perhaps five percent, felt no loyalty to America. They boasted about cheating on their taxes, cheating the phone company, and cheating non-Jews in business. They felt no shame in this. They felt no obligation to the wider society. If they produced a product that was toxic to the wider society but put their kids through Jewish school such as rap or porn, they were fine with that. I had not encountered this before as a pattern in non-Jewish society, but now I was encountering a definite pattern in what seemed to me the lowest, least ethical, least enlightened Jews I knew.

According to what I have seen of tribal life (Jewish, black, Chinese, Latino, etc), there’s rarely dishonor in putting the tribe’s interests ahead of the host nation. In the American-Jewish life I have known, you don’t get demerits for putting Israel’s interests or Jewish interests first. Belonging to a tribe, by definition, means you put your tribe first. A tribe is an extended family, partly-inbred (to use Steve Sailer’s definition of race).

I feel queasy echoing Haman’s critique of the Jews: “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people.”

I don’t agree with Haman’s conclusion: “If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them.” I don’t seek for the United States to destroy all tribes and tribal identities. I do think that common sense suggests that you value your country’s preservation above all other values, and that you relate differently to people who relate differently to you and your country. When members of a tribe put the tribe’s interests before the nation’s interest, that should be a legitimate concern to the majority population and it would be healthy to stigmatize those tribal members (and even their tribes) who do things that hurt the host country.

I don’t believe that Jews are less ethical than non-Jews. I have always known non-Jews who do unethical things, but I was rarely around non-Jews who boasted about ripping off outsiders. I never met non-Jews who had an ethical system whereby ripping off outsiders was OK. Seventh-Day Adventists, for instance, never told me it was fine to cheat on taxes. I’m sure many of them did cheat on taxes, but they didn’t talk about it. They didn’t admit to cheating customs while for some of my new Jewish acquaintances, they were proud of how they cheated on taxes and cheated on customs and the like. I rarely encountered such brazen pride in ripping off the wider society before.

Now I see this tribal thinking as increasingly common in post-WASP America, not just among some Jews but also among other tribes such as the Chinese, Armenians, Russians, etc.

Whenever there’s a high profile Wall Street and financial investigation, it seems that much of the time they arrest Jews. Those Jews who commit these crimes, I suspect, don’t feel much of an obligation to their host nation.

Jews fixed the 1919 World Series, they were not part of the Tea Pot Dome scandal, they were prominent bootleggers. Jewish gangsters founded and developed Las Vegas, Meyer Lansky may have been America’s most powerful gangster ever (his son graduated from West Point), Michael Milken and various Jewish names like Cohen were convicted of insider trading in the 1980s.

Groups have different interests. They can cooperate in some things, but there’s inevitably competition for scarce resources. The interests of American Jews are often in alignment with America’s interests but not always (Jewish and others gangsters got rich by going outside of the law). Israel and America often have similar interests, but frequently these interests diverge. It is a legitimate question to ask of neo-cons whether or not they are putting Israel’s interests before America’s. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was not in America’s interests and may not have been in Israel’s interests, but many neo-cons thought it was in Israel’s interests.

In my view, America has no interest in the Middle East beyond assuring itself of a supply of oil (and this becomes less necessary every day as more reserves are discovered in North America).

If America and Israel’s interests were identical, there would be no need for an Israeli lobby in America. Jews invest heavily in an Israel lobby and recruit non-Jewish support precisely because they believe that a vulnerable tiny nation like Israel needs America to do a lot of things for it that are not, strictly speaking, in America’s interests.

I’ve got a way to limit the damage tribes can do to the nation state. Meet with the leaders of that tribal community and let them know that any member of their community who works against the interests of the US will be deported. Do the same with all tribal groups who’ve committed espionage or terrorism, including Muslims, Chinese etc. Any wayward tribesman should be given a choice of deportation or living inside the equivalent of the Torah Corral in Miami Beach or the Aleutians or Haiti or Guantonomo.

Chaim Amalek says:

Goyim have patriotism. Yidden have Torah. Let the goyim have their ______. Yidden have Torah.

Goyim have the best holidays: The 4th of July, with its celebration of the creation of what used to be the greatest nation on earth or in the history of the world; Thanksgiving, with its celebration of the WASP gaining a toe hold in New World; and of course Christmas, with its wonderful music, color, and feelings of good will even to outlier groups. And best of all, no rabbis around to ruin things by banning the use of electricity on these Yom Tovim. Speaking of which, Jewish holidays can’t hold a candle to the holidays of the goyim.

Get with the program! White Christians make up less than half of the young now. Do you think all those tens of millions of Chinese, other Asiatics, muslims, Mexicans and other Hispanics have their chief loyalty the USA?

It is every man, woman, ethnic group for himself now. Because that is how our elites — including our political elites and especially our corporate elites, most of which are not Jewish, by the way — want it.

In a better world, Germany’s Reich Chancellor in 1933 would have included among his top advisers Walter Rathenau (Jew, assassinated in early Weimer era), Fritz Haber (born Jew, converted to Lutheranism and Nobelist), as well as a kitchen cabinet including Einstein. Then using Putin-like tactics, he’d have regained control over the Sudetenland, established German rule over German Austria, and found a way of reestablishing the pre-war border with “Poland” that did not entail war with Great Britain. Had he done that and left out the crazy stuff, the White Race would not today find itself stripped of the long valued tools needed to save itself from the hordes of Asia.

What is it about the WASPS that they refused to pass along their culture to future generations by making WASP babies? Is there even a word for this failure to act?

National Socialism gave nationalism a bad name.

A friend says: “Hitler did more than anyone who ever lived to confuse and weaken the white race’s sense of self. Even fascism, Mussolini-style, would probably have been fine.”

Another friend emails:

“So do Jews feel more loyalty to Israel than to America?”

I think in the loyalty they feel toward Israel and America is different, rather than more/less. America was the Promised Land for most Jews who came here, Israel was not. And tons of Israelis can go on and on about how visiting American Jews are obnoxious in their conviction that Americans are superior to Israelis.

But Jews love America as this marvelous goliath, an idealized nation of immigrants that should adhere to the dopiest universalist principles. They don’t feel that way about Israel at all. Israel is still seen in pre-1967 terms as a besieged underdog Jewish nation-state, and because of that it’s role is to behave like a self-interested nation-state and do whatever it has to do to survive and achieve it’s own interests.

So rather than a more/less thing, it’s more of a dual loyalty with each loyalty expressing itself in a different way. I’m speaking in generalities, obviously, and there are of course Jews who would be happy to see America burn for Israel’s benefit, and vice versa.

Rabbi Mayer Schiller said in a 1990 interview: “The approach that we’ve seen throughout the Eastern European experience was largely one of isolation both imposed by the gentile society and also self‑imposed. That approach has been, by and large, continued in western societies by significant numbers of Orthodox Jews. They view gentile society simply as the arena in which they can pursue their own Jewish agenda, and they have very little interest in that society except insofar as it can help them pursue that agenda in indirect ways.”

That’s how tribes work, not just the Jewish tribe.

“I’m talking essentially about an approach that would have Jews weigh all societal questions on one scale of ‘How will this effect Jews?’ and should have very little, or a vastly secondary, concern for the wider society in and of itself. This parochial view is found in both religious and secular Jews, but it originally stems from the notion that the gentile is himself secondary in the eyes of the creator.”

“If Christianity is, as many maintain, Avodah Zorah, does this mean that the millions and millions of Catholics and Protestants who have lived for the past 2000 years have no share in haolam haba (the world to come)? Is that what we’re saying about these millions of sincere, pious people? In reality we often don’t assess the status of the gentile as if he himself had any intrinsic value. We always seem to be applying to him criteria that are relevant to us, but do not define either his objective or subjective status.”

“Can we live ethically in societies while not caring about them? What are the implications for anti‑semitism? If we hold to the notion that the gentile is secondary for God are we not in fact embracing a philosophy that is the fulfillment of every accusation that the anti‑semites have made about us?”

“Now, take the question of military service: should a Jew serve in the armies of the gentile nations he is living in? Should he try to get out of such service? try to get into it? If the answer is that he should try to get out of it or refuse to serve or lie his way out of it, then is the Jew a citizen? Should the gentile view him as a citizen. Should the Jew be granted equal rights if he is unwilling to make equal sacrifices? So I think you can’t escape the practical implications of these questions.”

Kahane has asked a very simple question. He asks: if we believe in absolute truth how can we believe in majority rule? He’s also asked another question, and that is whether a society which has a vision for itself (and in this particular case a religious vision, but I think this also applies to ethnic and cultural visions as well) allow for what I call ‘1789’ or French revolutionary political rights? This is a very big problem and I don’t think that Jews have (confronted) or answered it honestly. On the one hand, for the past three or four hundred years of world history we have been in the forefront of those movements that have championed majority rule, pluralism, and ‘bill of rights’ type, 1789 rights. Yet when we get to Eretz Yisrael and we have our own country we’re all of a sudden saying ‘No, we don’t believe in simple majority rule. We believe that a nation has the right to preserve its own identity.’ Now, would we extend that right to Englishmen, to Frenchmen, to Germans, to Americans? I think Kahane is asking great questions. His answer is (and I’m just quoting him here from memory) that there are no nationalisms except Jewish nationalism. Now that might be an answer, and if you follow the really hard line traditionalist approach the answer would be that there really are no other nationalisms in God’s sight. All other nationalisms are a sham. So, when we’re Jews in Western Europe and America we try to be liberal, pluralist and tolerant in order to protect ourselves, but not because we think societies ought to be that way in order to be healthy societies. We think healthy societies are non‑pluralistic, but when you’re living amongst those ‘crazy goyim’ who can kill you at every turn you advocate political rights and pluralism.”

“Take, for example, Jewish involvement in the civil rights movements. Ask a Jew why he was in favor of civil rights and very often he’ll come up with something like the following rationale: ‘We could be next!’ In fact recently there was a press report on Le Pen’s movement in France which reported that French Jews are opposing Le Pen because they are afraid that after the Arabs they’ll be next. Now this feeling is often subconscious and I’m not saying that there weren’t also many Jews who were idealistic about their politics, but the question is did the Jew really feel that a white Protestant southerner should have an integrated society? Or did the Jew really feel that for our own political agenda their ought to be an integrated society. Would the Jews have wanted integration with the blacks if the southern whites were Jewish Orthodox?”

“If the Jew understood this contradiction would he then have the chutzpah to continue to do what he does in Western society? Maybe it’s better that he doesn’t grasp it because than he would lose his easy assent to these things and feel less at home in gentile society. If the assumption is correct that these rights are what protect us from the wrath of the goyim then maybe it’s better that we continue to fool ourselves; for to be consciously manipulative (in backing liberal causes for selfish reasons) would be far harder than to be subconsciously manipulative (consciously thinking you are backing these causes from pure motives), which is the way the Jew operates now.”

“Eastern Europeans, and consequently chasidim in America, don’t have some of the restraints that Anglo‑Saxon and Northern European cultures have. They’re not as reserved. They don’t need as much physical space. They push easier.”

Jews in western European countries such as England, France, Holland Germany tended to look up to their surrounding Gentile culture while Jews in eastern Europe and Russia looked down on the surrounded Gentile culture. This produced different degrees of loyalty to their respective Gentile nations. (Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews)

My home country of Australia has been a haven for Jews. They’ve been citizens since the state began but that does not mean Australia was always eager for more Jewish immigrants.

No country in the 1930s wanted to take in large numbers of Jews. Hostility to the Jews was not unique to Hitler and the Nazis. It was widespread in the English-speaking world as well. Perhaps these countries had rational reasons for their reservations about Jews?

UPDATE MARCH 28, 2015: I got a traffic ticket Wednesday for turning right on Roxbury off Pico Blvd beside the Museum of Tolerance. I realized later there are two big posted signs saying you can’t turn right between 3pm and 7pm. Every Jew I tell this to says I should fight the traffic ticket even though I am as guilty as sin. “It’s a game,” says one. “We pay a disproportionate share of tax [at least in theory, because Orthodox Jews send their kids to private Jewish schools while still paying taxes to support public schools], and these tickets are just another form of tax,” says another. Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist, I have the ingrained sensibility that when I do something wrong, I should admit it and pay the price. I’m such a goy.

“It’s a game” is what members of a closely identifying in-group say about competition with out-groups.

Chaim Amalek writes: “What right have the goyim to write you a ticket outside the Museum of Tolerance?”

DAs tell me about racial differences between criminals. When orientals are caught doing something wrong, they typically say, “I want to accept my punishment.” When blacks are caught doing something wrong, they often blame racist cops and claim they’re innocent. Latinos primarily get caught practicing Mexican foreplay aka domestic battery as well as driving while intoxicated and various sex crimes. They’re much more polite, on average, than blacks to the police. Whites tend to be polite towards the police when they’re arrested but not as docile and welcoming of their punishment as orientals, who, on average, are more law abiding than whites.

For WASPs, Japanese, and Germans, when you are guilty of a traffic infraction and you get a ticket, you pay it like a good citizen, you don’t fight it. Other ethnic groups have different approaches to this question.

For WASPs in particular, citizenship is a sacred obligation. You don’t try to get out of your obligations and you don’t fight things you are guilty of. Maybe I am missing something, but I never hear about non-Asian tribes in America regarding their American citizenship as a sacred obligation.

A German-American Jew tells me: “I was taught [American citizenship] was a sacred obligation. You hang out with a Torah crowd.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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