CST Blog

Is Gilad Atzmon a fascist?

8 November 2017

Gilad Atzmon has published a new book and, like his last one, it is a profoundly antisemitic work; and it also carries heavy hints that Atzmon is more sympathetic to fascism than his fans on the radical left might appreciate.

Called Being In Time: A Post-Political Manifesto, Atzmon’s new book claims to be a “courageous” investigation of the “post-political universe”, shaped by Brexit and Trump, in which “Left and Right have become indistinguishable and meaningless.” In fact, it is just a jumble of amateur philosophy, conspiracy theory and prejudice.

It contains all the antisemitic soundbites you would expect from Atzmon: “Jewish power is the most effective and forceful power in America and beyond.” “Jews have become a dominant element in Western society.” “Jewish power prevents us from both assessing Jewish power and, more importantly, from discussing its impact.” The American social order has undergone “Jewification”. Identity politics and cultural Marxism “are largely Jewish political schools of thought” and cultural Marxism “is a Jewish problem.” Identity politics is used by Jews “to weaken national cohesiveness”, while Jews promote mass immigration because it “diverts attention from the Jews and also weakens the cohesiveness of ‘White’ working people.” “Cultural manipulation is the way forward as long as the Goyim don’t notice.” And so on.

Atzmon is shameless in his promotion of antisemitism, while claiming that he is not motivated by prejudice. In one astonishing section, Atzmon recommends The International Jew by Henry Ford as the best explanation of “the dark forces within the capitalist apparatus.” The International Jew is a notorious part of the antisemitic canon that was inspired by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is a book that is only read by antisemites, neo-Nazis and conspiracy cranks. But why, Atzmon asks, “did America remain unaffected by this visionary capitalist and his writings?” Ford was a “shunned prophet” in the Old Testament tradition, apparently.

Atzmon fails to tell us what he thinks of the chapter in The International Jew titled “Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music”. “Jazz is a Jewish creation”, according to Henry Ford. “The mush, the slush, the sly suggestion” – Ford’s description of “Jewish Jazz” could just as easily apply to Atzmon’s politics.

Atzmon will doubtless deny that this is an antisemitic book. He will probably claim that he writes only about “Jewishness” and Jewish identity and culture, but not about Jews. This is completely untrue, as even a cursory reading of the book shows. For example: Trump’s ex-pat voters in Israel “are Jews and they think like Jews”. “It is not the Jew that is formed by the Judaic text, it is the Judaic text that is formed by the Jew.” “The Jew believes in ‘The Jews’ and the Jews believe in ‘The Jew’”. Jews, Jews, Jews: Atzmon is obsessed.

The book is underpinned by a fundamentally antisemitic analysis of global politics and modern society. There is no difference between Left and Right today, he claims, because Jews have used their intellect and their money to co-opt, adapt and subvert “almost every ideology or thought”. Whenever Jews are found on opposing sides of an argument, this is not because Jews genuinely have different views and political allegiances: it is because they are following their collective “tribal” interests by controlling the limits of acceptable political debate. “Creating and maintaining dissent in order to control opposition”, he writes, “is deeply embedded in modern, Jewish, secular politics.”

Judaism, for Atzmon, “is just one Jewish religion”: the others include atheism, the Holocaust, the free market, Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, political correctness, identity politics, human rights, Zionism and anti-Zionism, support for immigration and opposition to it… you get the picture. Each of these is a “Jewish religion” because they are “in opposition to something… it is a blueprint for relentless paranoia and never ending conflict.” What appear to be seismic struggles between Left and Right are, in reality, “a relatively minor feud between a few bankers and some cultural Marxists”, all of whom are part of what Atzmon calls the “Jewish cognitive elite.”

Even comedians and film directors are in on the act. Jewish comedians (he names Woody Allen, Larry David, Mel Brooks and Sarah Silverman) “disarm any opposition or criticism of Jewish dominance and political power” and use their humour “to dismantle the dissent to the Jew.” Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is “the ultimate, sanitized historical epic”, a “cocktail of pseudo-historic/factual mishmash” based on “cherry-picked” facts that presents a “safe” understanding of the Holocaust. Atzmon much prefers Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino’s fantasy Holocaust film which climaxes (spoiler alert) with the mass immolation of Hitler and other leading Nazis at the hands of a young Jewish woman and her black lover, because it “portrays Jewish and Israeli Goy-hatred better than any academic study could ever do… [and] Throws light on the devastating contemporary reality of the Jewish lobbies’ relentless push for more and more global conflicts”.

If this all sounds like the kind of antisemitic conspiracy theories peddled by far right groups, that may not be a coincidence. There is a striking contrast between the contempt Atzmon shows for left wing politics and the sympathy, even admiration, he shows for fascism. Left wing politics is “largely a Jewish intellectual domain” and is incapable of facing reality, which “interferes with the fantasy, that empty talk about progressive and liberal values.” Progressive politics “is a secular manifestation of ‘chosenness’.”  The Right, meanwhile, is “just as dead” as the Left.

Instead, Atzmon tells his readers that “Fascism, I believe, more than any other ideology, deserves our attention, as it was an attempt to integrate Left and Right: the dream and the concrete into a unified political system.” It was “overwhelmingly popular and productive for a while because it managed to bridge the abyss between the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘actual.’” And it is to our detriment that, in the “post-WWII ‘liberal’ intellectual climate, it is politically impossible to examine fascism and ‘National Socialism’ from an impartial theoretical or philosophical perspective… stifling honest examination of National Socialism has left open the question of whether the problems of global capitalism may be alleviated by combining socialism with nationalism.”

There are other clues that Atzmon leans far to the right in his political sympathies. He quotes American paleo-conservative Pat Buchanan. Donald Trump’s alt-right supporters are guilty only of “nostalgia”. Nazi antisemitism is reduced to “German fascists who rejected the Jewish, revolutionary progressive ideologists.” He cites work of Kevin MacDonald, whose theories about Jewish power and evolution led him to give evidence in support of Holocaust denier David Irving during his failed libel action against Deborah Lipstadt in 2000. And the title of the book itself is an homage to Being and Time by German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who was a member of the Nazi party from 1933 until the end of the war.

Atzmon places great weight on biological differences between groups. The Left’s problem, according to Atzmon, is that it cannot “deal with biology. For biology does not sit well with the ideas of equality, social change, the dream of what ought to be.” He spends several pages expounding his theory that Jews have bred themselves into a position of dominance in Western societies. He admires The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, a book that has been widely criticised for its claims that black people have a lower IQ than white people (Atzmon claims that he cannot personally be racist as he admires so many African-American jazz musicians).

This book includes a foreword by American politician Cynthia McKinney and is published by Palestinian writer Karl Sabbagh. It bears endorsements from Professors Francis Boyle and James Petras, and there are many more such approbations for Atzmon on his website. This alone makes it important. Yet anyone who endorses Atzmon or promotes his work should not regard themselves as either anti-racist or left wing. The reality is that this is an antisemitic book written by a fascist sympathiser: anyone who endorses it is either a fellow traveller with antisemitism, or an antisemite themselves.

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