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Despite his stated hatred for Joseph de Maistre, who advocated papal supremacy both to settle political differences and to avoid European revolutionary disorder, Jonah Goldberg has been gradually claiming his own equivalent of infallible authority. In this respect he has followed the venerable lead not only of political theorists, but also, more directly, of that once-feisty conservative icon W. F. Buckley.

It was, after all, Goldberg’s benefactor at the former National Reviewwho began the practice of hurling into outer darkness “conservatives” who failed to toe his party line. What Buckley did as an exercise in self-importance, against militancy and later, against critics of his fawning on neocon overlords, Goldberg is now repeating, as the imposer of a new creed for reconstructed conservatives.

Thus, amazingly, he recently condemned the Westminster Dog Show because of the racist, eugenicist subtext that he sniffed out in concerns about canine anatomy. To Goldberg, it was scandalous that – “after the Nazis” – such acts of political insensitivity go on.

He also fumes that not all “conservatives” accept his preferred sets of abstract universals, a k a “human rights,” as the foundation of their politics. He decries the insidious inroads of those who think of human beings in terms of specific historical, ethnic characteristics and emphasizes the incompatibility between this pernicious idea and authentic “conservatism.”

Least of all are conservatives, according to Goldberg’s authorized version, permitted to advocate or practice identitarian politics – at least, not the goyim. Jewish ethnic politics are another matter, since whatever the nationalist Right in Israel does or does not do is by definition both “democratic” and “conservative.”

In his commentary on the heresiarchs Sam Francis, Pat Buchanan, and Peter Brimelow, published on February 24 in the Los Angeles Times, Goldberg carried his duties as a propagator of dogmatic theology one step further. He pronounces that conservatives who question his selective notion of global identity are to be driven out of the conservative communion. Such deviationists, he asserted, take their bearings from Oswald Spengler, the German historian who in Decline of the West foreshadowed the new axis of identitarian evil by creating anxiety about a vanishing Western population.

Goldberg seems to have learned about Spengler exactly where he picked up his knowledge about Maistre, in the “Five Minute University” featured on “Saturday Night Live.” Buchanan, we are told, “warns hysterically that the white race is an “endangered species about to be swallowed up by the duskier Third World.” Also indicted – for what Goldberg’s colleague at the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru apparently called an “identity politics for white people” — are Brimelow, whose website features “a Chinese menu of white-pride dishes,” and the irascible Sam Francis, who “is widely considered Buchanan’s personal ideologist of choice.”

All of these comments are clearly open to challenge. Buchanan’s newest book contains only two references to Dr. Francis (and one to me – though, as a minor heretic, I may not deserve any more). By contrast, there are at least a dozen references to Lincoln and about the same number to Martin Luther King, many of them strikingly favorable. As I observed in Insight, The Death of the West bears no resemblance to the hate-literature being stridently attacked in the neocon-liberal national press. It is full of praise for the “Christian patriots” who launched the civil rights movement, and if it does defend the right of Southerners to admire Robert E. Lee, it compares such veneration to what blacks might rightly feel for King.

Buchanan also sounds like David Horowitz when he talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing it was sound legislation subsequently derailed by liberal leadership, both black and white. Although Goldberg’s and Ponnuru’s gray eminence, Buckley, held far more conservative opinions on such matters before his late-life conversion to neoconservatism, Buchanan’s views on American race issues, in The Death of the West, are by contrast strikingly mainstream. Except for his commendable unwillingness to trash Southern symbols, Buchanan takes the civil rights position found in the now reconstructed National Review.

As for Buchanan’s remarks about Western core populations, is there anything wrong with noting the obvious? The Euro-German population in Germany will likely fall by thirty million in the next fifty years, as Buchanan rightly points out. Even more ominous, according to demographer Herwig Birg at the University of Bielefeld, the same population base, which now shows a l:2 per couple birthrate, may plunge, barring dramatic reversal, from 83 to 30 million within a space of one-hundred years.

By referring to ethnic groups that choose to disappear – whether out of guilt, misguided idealism, or yuppie selfishness – as “dying,” are we, as Goldberg tells us, inciting “identity politics for whites”? And if that were the case, for which I see no other evidence in Buchanan’s book than his recitation of transparently true statistics, why is that intrinsically wrong?

Are we required not to divulge such facts, lest we hurt someone’s feelings? Should we, for example, be forbidden to mention the 3 to 1 disparity in violent crimes between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, lest we offend our Latino citizens – an indiscretion Goldberg would have us avoid at all costs?

Curiously, Ponnuru, David Brooks, Goldberg, and the other prelates of the neocon church universal find nothing wrong about an Israeli state that practices (well!) identitarian politics. There is no other fitting description for a political society in which non-Jews have never held national offices or command positions in the military and one in which it is legally impossible for Jews and non-Jews to intermarry. I believe that Jews have a moral right to live in such a tightly national state without being forced to invite in unskilled Hispanics or to marry Africans. But shouldn’t Euro-Americans be given the same right?

One should be grateful to politically incorrect websites that raise such questions. The fact is that the multicultural Left, including its bogus “conservative” representatives, would never allow such an unsettling conversation to take place anywhere in its multibillion-dollar media empire.


I believe that Brimelow may have understated the centrality of the young Jonah as a voice of “conservative” orthodoxy. It is niggardly to celebrate Jonah merely as the moving spirit of the publication that used to be National Review but has since gone on to bigger things as the “Goldberg Review.”

Even more significantly, Goldberg has raised his pontifical voice as a formulator of revealed truths. Although these truths happen to be the standard leftist opinions of my youth, they are now being reclaimed as a compassionate “conservatism” at war with extremism. Moreover, the convoluted phrases Goldberg employs about how the immigration “debate has marginalized Buchanan and those in his orbit, ” by marginalizing the entire debate about immigration at the exact moment that the issue needs all the intelligent discussion it can get,” has a very simple moral meaning – one worthy of a papal sovereign.

Goldberg means that Buchanan and his friends will have hell to pay for raising the immigration issue – contrary to the expressed wishes of those on the neocon-liberal Left that the issue, like the European population, fade away. Thus speaks the leader of the Goldberg movement, as he flits between TV interviews and TV commentaries and renders his sprawling judgments in the national press.

The old pope should be happy with such a socially-acceptable successor.

Paul Gottfried is Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College, PA. He is the author of After Liberalism and Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Jonah Goldberg 
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