The Strange Case of John Derbyshire

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is not a wise rhetorical tactic, especially when practiced by the paleos of convervative or libertarian variety. So I hesitate to praise a surprisingly dead-on piece by John Derbyshire in Pat Buchanan's rag merely because he does such a glorious job of debunking "The Marx of the Anti-Semites," Kevin MacDonald. Despite its occasional glimmer of wisdom, The American Conservative is a bastion of anti-liberalism, and Derbyshire, with his incessant braying about buggery, buggery, buggery, is clearly a homophobe in every sense of the word.

To be fair, I must admit that Derbyshire is also an extremely talented rhetoritician, and even occasionally approaches truth. So it comes as no surprise that his review of MacDonald's The Culture of Critique a book which claims to expose "[T]he rise of Jewish power and the disestablishment of the specifically European nature of the U.S.", is a mixed bag. Despite the review's flaws, it's nice to know that the paleocons are willing to police their own - an irony, Derbyshire points out, in a somewhat obscure introductory reference to Pat Buchanan's and Joe Sobran's purging at the hands of William F. Buckley from the mainstream conservative movement and the pages of the National Review (considered by many to be one and the same). Peruse Buckley's In Search of Anti-Semitism for the extended scoop. I'm not sure whether or it's a good thing or a bad thing that there exist certain views so far to the right that even Pat Buchanan and his fellow travelers are unwilling to entertain them. Good only because it shows the paleos are not completely out there; bad because other groups apparently are. On the other hand, the fact that Sobran remains a member in good standing of the paleo movement despite his willingness to associate with the Holocaust-denying Institute for Hysterical Review does not speak well for any of them.

But back to MacDonald. A tenured professor of psychology at California State University in Long Beach, he is a case study in academic dishonesty. Not the kind that engages in outright forgery or plagiarism, but the kind that uses "scholarship" to paint Jews as the source of all misery and strife in the country, if not the world. When called on political ramifications of his so-called-research, MacDonald conveniently retreats behind the veil of "objective science," claiming that he is merely describing the world as it is,

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