Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Slavoj Žižek: Philosophaster and Plagiarist. — Under the man’s name, clarity has appeared at last, owed albeit not to some unfogging of mind, but to plain old stealing. It was just this clarity that struck Steve Sailer as odd: “a reader inclined toward deconstructionism might note that Žižek summarizes [Kevin] MacDonald’s controversial argument [in The Culture of Critique] quite lucidly. In fact, the superstar professor achieves a higher degree of clarity while expounding MacDonald’s message than in any other passage I’ve read by Žižek”.1 The reason for the cat’s barking, the dog’s meowing, or rather, this obscurant’s lucidity, is simple: it is someone else’s summary, namely, Stanley Hornbeck’s, from a review that appeared in American Renaissance over seven years beforehand.
  Much of the plagiarism is word-for-word. Some passages are lightly rephrased. Below I give a side-by-side comparison. The passages from Žižek come from one continuous paragraph, which I have broken up into sections so that Hornbeck’s original might run parallel to it, making the comparison easier. To the same end, I have re-paragraphed some parts of Hornbeck’s original and removed Žižek’s page-citations.

Slavoj ŽižekStanley Hornbeck
The main academic proponent of this new barbarism is Kevin MacDonald, who, in The Culture of Critique, argues that certain twentieth-century intellectual movements led by Jews have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man; these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.
In The Culture of Critique, Kevin MacDonald advances a carefully researched but extremely controversial thesis: that certain 20th century intellectual movements – largely established and led by Jews – have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man. He claims that these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.
One of the most consistent ways in which Jews have advanced their interests has been to promote pluralism and diversity—but only for others. Ever since the nineteenth century, they have led movements that tried to discredit the traditional foundations of gentile society: patriotism, racial loyalty, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint.
Prof. MacDonald claims that one of the most consistent ways in which Jews have advanced their interests has been to promote pluralism and diversity – but only for others. Ever since the 19th century, they have led movements that tried to discredit the traditional foundations of gentile society: patriotism, racial loyalty, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint.
MacDonald devotes many pages to The Authoritarian Personality (1950), a collective project coordinated by Adorno, the purpose of which was, for MacDonald, to make every group affiliation sound as if it were a sign of mental disorder; everything, from patriotism to religion to family—and race—loyalty, is disqualified as a sign of a dangerous and defective ‘authoritarian personality’. Because drawing distinctions between different groups is illegitimate, all group loyalties—even close family ties—are ‘prejudice’.
Prof. MacDonald devotes many pages to an analysis of The Authoritarian Personality, which was written by Adorno and appeared in 1950. [. . .] The book’s purpose is to make every group affiliation sound as if it were a sign of mental disorder. Everything from patriotism to religion to family – and race – loyalty are signs of a dangerous and defective ‘authoritarian personality’. Because drawing distinctions between different groups is illegitimate, all group loyalties – even close family ties! – are ‘prejudice’.
MacDonald quotes here approvingly Christopher Lasch’s remark that The Authoritarian Personality leads to the conclusion that prejudice ‘could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy—by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.’
As Christopher Lasch has written, the book leads to the conclusion that prejudice ‘could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy – by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.’
However, it is precisely the kind of group loyalty, respect for tradition, and consciousness of differences central to Jewish identity that, according to MacDonald, Horkheimer and Adorno described as mental illness in gentiles. These writers adopted what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: anyone whose political views were different from theirs was insane.
But according to Prof. MacDonald it is precisely the kind of group loyalty, respect for tradition, and consciousness of differences central to Jewish identity that Horkheimer and Adorno described as mental illness in gentiles. These writers adopted what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: Anyone whose political views were different from theirs was insane.
For these Jewish intellectuals, anti-Semitism was also a sign of mental illness: Christian self-denial and especially sexual repression caused hatred of Jews. The Frankfurt school was enthusiastic about psychoanalysis, according to which ‘oedipal ambivalence toward the father and anal-sadistic relations in early childhood are the anti-Semite’s irrevocable inheritance.’
For these Jewish intellectuals, anti-Semitism was also a sign of mental illness: They concluded that Christian self-denial and especially sexual repression caused hatred of Jews. The Frankfurt school was enthusiastic about psycho-analysis, according to which ‘Oedipal ambivalence toward the father and anal-sadistic relations in early childhood are the anti-Semite's irrevocable inheritance.’
In addition to ridiculing patriotism and racial identity, the Frankfurt school glorified promiscuity and bohemian poverty [quotes MacDonald]: ‘Certainly many of the central attitudes of the largely successful 1960s countercultural revolution find expression in The Authoritarian Personality, including idealizing rebellion against parents, low-investment sexual relationships, and scorn for upward social mobility, social status, family pride, the Christian religion, and patriotism.’
In addition to ridiculing patriotism and racial identity, the Frankfurt school glorified promiscuity and Bohemian poverty. Prof. MacDonald sees the school as a seminal influence: ‘Certainly many of the central attitudes of the largely successful 1960s countercultural revolution find expression in The Authoritarian Personality, including idealizing rebellion against parents, low-investment sexual relationships, and scorn for upward social mobility, social status, family pride, the Christian religion, and patriotism.’
Although he came later, the French-Jewish ‘deconstructionist’ Jacques Derrida was in the same tradition when he wrote: ‘The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue . . . The idea is to disarm the bombs . . . of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants . . . .’ As Prof. MacDonald puts it, ‘Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology’. Needless to say, this project has been successful; anyone opposed to the displacement of whites is routinely treated as a mentally unhinged ‘hate-monger’, and whenever whites defend their group interests they are described as psychologically inadequate. The irony has not escaped Prof. MacDonald: ‘The ideology that ethnocentrism was a form of psychopathology was promulgated by a group that over its long history had arguably been the most ethnocentric group among all the cultures of the world.’
Although he came later, Derrida followed the same tradition when he wrote: ‘The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue. . . . The idea is to disarm the bombs . . . of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants’. As MacDonald puts it, ‘Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology’. This project has been successful; anyone opposed to the displacement of whites is routinely treated as a mentally unhinged hatemonger, and whenever whites defend their group interests they are described as psychologically inadequate—with, of course, the silent exception of the Jews themselves [quotes MacDonald]: ‘the ideology that ethno-centrism was a form of psychopathology was promulgated by a group that over its long history had arguably been the most ethnocentric group among all the cultures of the world.’
Source: Slavoj Žižek, “A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)”, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Winter 2006). 2

Source: Stanley Hornbeck, “Cherchez le Juif”: Review of Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique, in American Renaissance, Vol.10, No.3, March 1999. 3
 

. . .
1. Steve Sailer, “Slavoj Žižek on Kevin MacDonald’s ‘Culture of Critique’”, iSteve Blog: Unz Review, 8th July 2014. (The first commenter, “IHTG”, at Sailer’s blog also noticed something untoward.)
2. For those who have access, Žižek’s original paper can be found at JSTOR. A somewhat altered version can be found at Lacan.com.
3. The words that Hornbeck, and hence Žižek, attributes to Derrida are in fact those of John D. Caputo.

(Likely Žižek’s defence would be: plagiarism is a bourgeois-romantic concept. More from the Žižek-files: here, here, and here.)

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