On Antisemitism, Critical Thinking, And Conspiracy Theories

in #news3 years ago

Today a gunman attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while shouting the words "All Jews must die". The suspect, Robert Bowers, reportedly had a history of making antisemitic posts on social media, and was taken into custody alive with multiple gunshot wounds. As of this writing, eleven people were killed in the attack.

I don't have anything interesting or insightful to say about America's mass shootings, other than to repeat the point I always make that the effects of modern war propaganda on American psychology are wildly under-appreciated and ignored by scientific research. I believe the subject of US gun control is a bit outside my sovereign boundaries as an Australian writer as it only affects Americans, so I don't really have anything to contribute in the primary debate surrounding the attack. It's a debate for Americans to have with one another, so I tend to avoid it.

What I do have to offer is a brief description of my experience with conspiracy theories about Judaism and Jewish people as a fringe blogger who writes a lot about conspiracies, and the impression those encounters have left me with.

To be clear, when I talk about antisemites I mean the actual bigots who promote hatred of Jewish people, paranoia about Jewishness, or any type of violence against or mistreatment of Jews as a race. I do not mean people who voice legitimate criticisms of Israel and its government, I do not mean people who criticize the way Zionism is used as a tool of manipulation to advance geopolitical agendas, I do not mean people who question the justification for the creation of Israel in the first place, I do not mean people who defend Palestinians, and I do not mean people who voice valid, factual criticisms of George Soros or any other billionaire who happens to be Jewish.

I make this distinction because when I try to talk about antisemitism publicly I get critics of Israel confusing the two groups, saying they only ever encounter people who absurdly call you an antisemite for condemning the slaughter of unarmed Palestinians by sniper fire, not people who actually promote the hatred of Jews. And that may indeed be true for them in their case, but as someone who writes a lot about oligarchy, the media, and war in the Middle East I most definitely find myself brushing up against the pernicious mind virus of antisemitism on a regular basis.

It typically happens one of two ways:

  1. I'll be there minding my own business happily attacking CNN or decrying war propaganda against Syria or whatever, and then BAM! Some random asshole splats one of those Jewish caricature memes on the lovely post I spent lots of time and energy creating. It's always jarring and feels creepy and invasive in the same way as receiving an unsolicited dick pic.

  2. They sort of sidle up alongside me on social media, making vague, side-mouthed insinuations which become increasingly specific over time, and before I know it they're telling me I need to "name the Jew" and talk about "the JQ".

I fucking hate antisemites. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Not only are they vile racists whose particular brand of hatred should be easily recognized as uniquely toxic by anyone who's ever skimmed a history book, but they heap other layers of personal obnoxiousness on top of that as well. They'll accuse you of being a "coward" if you reject their pet medieval superstitions, but they themselves speak only in coded language and oblique, side-mouthed innuendo because they are too cowardly to come right out and state their points in plain language. They're arrogant, they're condescending, and they're impervious to reason, and they always expect you to treat their vapid, slug-brained perspectives with the same respect you'd treat someone who is making real arguments using actual facts.

More annoyingly, they derail some of the most important conversations that critical thinkers and skeptics of establishment narratives need to be having in the new media environment. The foundations of oligarchy and imperialism have nothing whatsoever to do with Jews or Jewishness but with the way the dynamics of money and power interact with human behavioral tendencies, which I discuss at length in the article hyperlinked here. One need only to look at the way Jeff Bezos, who is not Jewish, rose to the top of the plutocratic class and began instantly buying up media and forming alliances with intelligence and defense agencies to see how the dynamics of oligarchy play out with no difficulty when Jewishness is completely removed from the equation. One need only look at the prominence and influence of bloodthirsty psychopath John Bolton, who is not Jewish, to see the how dynamics of neoconservative warmongering play out with no difficulty when Jewishness is completely removed from the equation.

Conspiracies happen all the time in the upper echelons of power, and it's important to examine and talk about the aspects of this reality that are visible to the general public. But the fact that there's a group of idiots moving throughout conspiracy circles who insist those conspiracies have something to do with Jewish people having some sort of predisposition toward nefarious behavior or global domination gums up the gears of that dialogue, and is used to discredit perfectly legitimate skepticism toward establishment-endorsed narratives about the world and how it works.

Money rewards the sociopath's ability to step on anyone and do whatever it takes to get ahead, and large amounts of money can be used to buy up political influence. In a dynamic wherein money both rewards sociopathy and translates directly to political power, we naturally wind up ruled by sociopaths who have no problem keeping everyone poor to ensure the dominance of the plutocratic class and creating chaos throughout the world for power and profit. One of the many reasons antisemitic conspiracy theories gain traction is because those who are devout acolytes of the cult of capitalism will often be resistant to the idea that it is in this way responsible for the worst problems on earth, so to avoid cognitive dissonance they cook up theories about a greedy race of subhumans who suck up power and money because they are intrinsically evil. It allows them to blame Jews for the problems of money and power dynamics. Because Jews as a culture have tended to be generally decent at finance (a trend that probably emerged exactly because of their persecution), they make convenient scapegoats.

In the same way, patriots and nationalists who like to think of their country as sovereign and independent will be resistant to the idea that the lines between nations are increasingly irrelevant at the highest levels of power. The notion that their country is just one branch of a giant, globe-spanning empire of which Israel is also another branch will be far too challenging for their worldview, so they cook up theories about their nation being ruled by a Jewish state via lobbying, media influence and conspiracies. In reality, the globe-spanning empire which includes Israel and the US is not ultimately controlled by any nation or government, but by a class of nationless corporate and financial powers with no loyalty to anyone but themselves. Functionally Israel is nothing more than the Middle Eastern military branch of the empire, and it is so deeply involved in military conflicts because the Middle East is such a strategically crucial region to control. Zionism is just one of the propaganda narratives used to help manufacture support for that branch, and lobbying and media psyops are just the glue which holds the empire together.

There are many other reasons that make it cognitively and egoically comfortable to blame the world's problems on a historically persecuted minority. All of them are toxic, and, as we were once again reminded today, all of them are dangerous. Hatred of Jews is the result of bad thinking, bad research, emotional stupidity and lazy inner work, and it should be condemned on all fronts. As long as important conversations about conspiracies are being bogged down by these dopey narratives, our hive mind's ability to shine the light of truth on the world together will be experiencing that much inertia. Let's get smarter and reject this ignorant nonsense.

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal,buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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condemning the slaughter of unarmed Palestinians by sniper fire

You deserve the Islamic invasion, because for your braze to soldiers whom try to stop a violent rabid mass, which is what army and weapons are for.
I hope you and your likes will someday be in a place, where a violent rabid mass tries to kill you, and your army and police will defend you more humanely.

Your sick and twisted hope hopefully won't come to visit you.

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What are you suffering from that hinders both your comprehension and comprehensibility?
You need my comments explained and I need your comments explained.

I only wish that those words are all you have when you say "You deserve ..." and "I hope ..." and you're not actually harboring such a hate and hope for inside you and that you consider what you wish for others and how harsh you judge them because by the golden rule that's what you wish for yourself from others and how harsh you are of yourself and expect others to be of you.

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Your "golden rule" is a part of what I judge these people by.
No wrong in harboring hate.
Such people are responsible for a genocide against their own race.

If there's no wrong in harboring such a hate then what is right about it?

Instead of speaking directly about grave accusations of simply incredulous crimes you say "such people", who are you actually talking about, Caitlin is herself guilty of genocide?

You seem to have no end to accusation and insinuations.

As you judge others so do you expect others to judge you or at the very least dependent on what your integrity and lack of hypocrisy say about that based on how you respond to such a harsh and misplaced judgment of you, judgement which consequently you've no wish to consider or least reflect on as I wouldn't expect anyone I consider their Snark and Vitriol as anything but Snark and Vitriol or expect them to consider the same from me because those things I've no wish to receive and they remain as hate and detest inside with whoever will try to give them to me, returning them from where they came exactly like I would an unwanted or undeserved gift.

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By such people I referred to people whom hate Israel for the wrong reasons and to "leftists".
People whom expect an armed army to not use weapons when under threat are responsible for why these so called protests are so violent, because they are provocations to draw "leftists" and "human rights activists" and their likes to call Israel or its army a war criminal.
Are the soldiers supposed to slug it with the "protesters" one on hundreds?
What do these "alternative media" aficionados expect?

The point is that she's not to blame for anything, she isn't the reason why protests are violent. You revert to asking me another loaded question at the end.


Also, she never said she hates Israel.

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I agree with you regarding mass shootings. It seems obvious that in a country so eager to go to war that the populous will find it acceptable to pick up arms against each other. Having very easily accessible weapons only adds to the problem.

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What do you agree with her about? O yeah, mass shootings.

Did you notice she reserved herself from speaking on the need for gun control in the States?

I also don't know what information you're absorbing that makes you think the populous finds mass shootings acceptable or where you get the idea that they are eager to go to war. 95% were against intervening in ww2, the same for ww1, the same for Korea, Vietnam, the first Iraq invasion.

As for mass shootings, you think removing the access to guns will stop someone from building gas bombs, or making use of a car, or simply taking a hatchet to people, yet are you aware of the numerous instances where a gun was pivotal in defending others?

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Hey caitlin, do you know about whaleshares.io, you should start punlishing there as well!

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Did you see stellabelle's avatar?
Do you know what it means?
Do you know about trybe.one?

Why are you asking these things?

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Stellabelle is currently a big shill for whaleshares.io.
It is a warning sign for me.
Should I also explain why I asked you about trybe.one?
I am trying to be nice, but instead of answering genuine questions, you replied with less genuine questions.

Your first loaded yes or no question wasn't respectful in the least, and to wit what the article said, you speak in insinuation and out the side of your mouth.
The next question was also indicative of your lack of directness.
In the end, your insinuating questions were challenged on their premise by my direct question which had nothing to insinuate consequently.

You aren't being nice, you're speaking out the side of your mouth in accusations and insinuative questions.


  1. The Complex Question: The contemporary fallacy of demanding a direct answer to a question that cannot be answered without first analyzing or challenging the basis of the question itself. E.g., "Just answer me 'yes' or 'no': Did you think you could get away with plagiarism and not suffer the consequences?" Or, "Why did you rob that bank?" Also applies to situations where one is forced to either accept or reject complex standpoints or propositions containing both acceptable and unacceptable parts. A corruption of the argument from logos. A counterpart of Either/Or Reasoning.

Why is my question less genuine?

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So you were not aware of Stellabelle shilling for whaleshares?
Are you aware of it now?
My fault is that I credited you with the assumption of knowing what I knew about whaleshares, and my reason for it was due to your mention of it.
What are your answers now, or do my questions still lack background information for you?

So now the question becomes slightly more pointed but still very much accusatory and insinuative. Why are you concerned with what Stella does or doesn't do and how does that concern you?

It's not the background that your questions lack but dignity. It wasn't backgrounded that I asked for but the reason for your questions, questions insinuating that I should "know" about "her shilling", speaking out of the side of the mouth instead of coming straight and accusing Stella of shilling.

Your questions now only indicate that that was all you had to say, is insinuating inquiry out the corner of your mouth because you followed them up with the more insinuative inquiry.

You give yourself little fault as you try to say once again that your fault is in assuming what I knew, which matters not at all if I knew or not, what matters then is why you're asking about something that you thought I already knew about if it's not to insinuate and accuse or pass some kind of blame as why should someone not talk a lot about something without being a shill? That isn't a yes or no inquiry, that requires something other than total agreement or disagreement with the premise of accusation and insinuative blame, my question requires you justify the accusations and lack of directedness and all insinuative blame, not only narrate a story.

I think only the indignant would dignify your questions with an answer were they to agree with your accusation. You tried to strike a conversation with the accusatory inquiry on someone else and called it is nice, expecting that I respond with yes and no, either dismissing the premise of your question or agreeing with it even though you were asking about things that you assumed I knew implying you only meant to smear someone and subsequently smear what I said by that and you call it Trying To Be Nice.

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Wow. You're so smart that I can't believe you actually wrote the following: "Functionally Israel is nothing more than the Middle Eastern military branch of the empire." Do you really not recognize the aspirations of the Zionists as something separate---and indeed a reaction against--empire? The goals of empire and the goals of the Zionists may overlap at the moment, just as the interests of the Saudis and Israelis may overlap temporarily, but they are not the same thing.