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Review: The Perversion of Normality
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“This Jewish factor is significant and has been commented on by Jewish scholars. Yet when a Gentile scholar, Dr. Kevin MacDonald, an extensively experienced psychologist from California State University (Long Beach), examined Jewish involvement in Critical Theory and other subversive movements as a survival mechanism, he was vilified as an ‘anti-Semite’ and his conclusions and sources were brought into question with the standard ad hominem and straw man arguments.”

Kerry Bolton
The Perversion of Normality: From the Marquis de Sade to Cyborgs
Arktos, 2021.

Since at least the 1960s, a war of increasingly global significance has been waged against human ‘primary ties’: the traditional family bond, faith, homeland, culture, and ethnicity. This aggression has been waged by a confluence of hostile groups including oligarchs and financiers, dysfunctional types who both promote and excel in filth and decay, and ethnic cliques motivated by extreme racial enmity. Connecting these various groups are a host of security agencies, NGOs, and technocrats, resulting in a bewildering swirl of attack points and subterfuge. If the Western peoples and their culture are locked in conflict, we are witnessing not a straightforward duel but a hyena attack. Faced with a large opponent, these hostile groups move simultaneously to both run the West to exhaustion and to tear chunks from its vital blood vessels. It is difficult indeed to find clarity in the middle of such a storm, which features degenerate perverts like the Marquis de Sade, the Rockefeller Foundation, Jewish intellectuals, the CIA, transgenderism, George Soros, and, most recently, the ‘transhumanists.’ Drawing on classics like Spengler’s Decline of the West (recently republished by Arktos in two impressive hardback volumes), Kerry Bolton, perhaps the most prolific and controversial writer ever produced by New Zealand, has produced an admirable and exhaustive study on the perversion of normality in Western culture and society that offers some of the clearest analysis yet produced on how we came to arrive at this point of peak degeneracy. In the following review essay, I want to provide a summary of Bolton’s findings, as well as some commentary on the content, purpose, and significance of the text.

One can perhaps sum up The Perversion of Normality best by describing it as a very lengthy (over 500 pages) and comprehensive exploration of the trajectory of Cultural Marxism in the West, complete with a preamble on degenerate Leftism and Freudianism, and without some of the usual apologetics for capitalism. The tone is scholarly, and the book is extremely well-referenced. The range of historical and contemporary material under discussion is very broad, indicating a life spent in deep research. Particularly impressive is the balance struck by the author. When embracing the topics under discussion, it’s all too easy to lay undue emphasis on one factor over another, or to present a picture that isn’t entirely convincing. In recent years, for example, I’ve noticed a tendency among some within White advocacy to argue that our problems are fundamentally caused by capitalist oligarchs, or by tendencies in liberalism, or by perverted leftists, and perhaps not so much by any ethnic agenda that may underpin any of these spheres. As indicated by the quote opening this essay, the narrative tapestry woven by Bolton has a strong ring of truth, and certain facts about the situation in which we currently find ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable or controversial, are addressed here in an unflinching manner. In Bolton’s words,

The Perversion of Normality examines an array of individuals, doctrines, and movements, most claiming to serve behind the banners of science, progress, and humanity. What seem to be divergent converge by what Dr Richard Spence, a genuine scholar, calls ‘connecting the dots.’ What emerges is a movement over the course of several hundred years, pushing forward an artificial construct in the name of ‘humanity,’ but for the benefit of a self-anointed elite of oligarchs and technocrats. In hellish pandemonium normality is toppled on its head, in the name of ‘normality,’ and the absurd, sick, and destructive become the new normal.

Godfathers of Perversion


Bolton opens by taking aim at de Sade and Freud, identifying the latter as “one of the primary influences of the modern epoch. … Freudianism, combined with Marxism and heavily revised, has been a lethal formula for deconstructing the primary customs, ethos, traditions and faith of the West.” In fact, “the Freudo-Marxian world revolution has been more enduring and encompassing than Bolshevism, while ‘conservatives’ were worried about a ‘Moscow plot.’” In Bolton’s view, the clique responsible for bringing Freudo-Marxian thought to America is the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research. This will be old news, of course, to many of our readers, and especially those familiar with the work of Kevin MacDonald, but Bolton presents an array of mainstream historical sources which freshen up what remains a very radical and momentous discovery—that a very Jewish cast of characters were responsible for developing, spreading, and implementing many of the most destructive ideas of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At the heart of these ideas is the desire to fracture the host society/mass culture. Bolton:

The focus of this Neo-Freudianism is on the individual detached from society. It is therefore a means of deconstructing and fracturing the social organism, which is why the Marxian theorists who created the Frankfurt Institute in 1923 found Freudianism to be such a useful ingredient in creating a new revolutionary synthesis. The organic bonds of family, state, faith, and ethos, disparaged as ‘primary ties’ in need of cutting, were portrayed as injurious to the individual well-being and as repressing the individual’s path to self-actualisation.

The author does an exceptional job of clarifying and explaining how the methodologies of those harboring ethnic grievances overlapped in utility with other interested parties. Bolton points out that Neo-Freudian interpretations of Man, particularly in relation to desire and gratification, were eagerly supported and adopted by capitalist elements. Bolton writes that

the social sciences provided a doctrine for the rationalisation of instant ‘ego gratification’ that is the premise for expanding consumerism, and the fad of the new. Traditional—medieval—Western societies, with their religious foundation and repudiation of avarice as sinful, prohibited mercantile competition, advertising and marketing, without which modern capitalism could not function .

Bolton’s content on these various strands of aggressors, all of whom wish to cut the “primary ties” of the Western peoples, is exceptional, and does a great deal to demonstrate how something like CIA involvement with the Frankfurt School, and therefore the involvement and funding of non-Jews, doesn’t preclude a Jewish group evolutionary strategy. The simple fact is that, by the 1950s, many interested parties were interested in destroying much of Western society, as well as engaging in social engineering and control. Even among Whites, there has clearly been a strain of nihilistic and destructive perversion, the spiritual godfather of which is surely the Marquis de Sade. De Sade’s shadow is significant in Bolton’s treatment, reminding me of a similar place afforded to de Sade in the works of E. Michael Jones. Given de Sade’s writings on homosexuality and abortion, presented verbatim by Bolton and causing my blood to boil, it’s difficult to argue against the fact this monstrous pervert is one of the founders of our current age. For Bolton he represents a kind of demonic aberration of the Western soul, anticipating the dialectical materialism of Marx, the psychoanalysis of Freud, the sexology of Alfred Kinsey, the feminist birth control and abortion of Margaret Sanger, and the Critical Theory of Marcuse, Fromm, Adorno et al.

Following this introductory look at two of the central ghouls of the epoch, there are 27 chapters concerning aspects of the origins, history, funding, and implementation of Cultural Marxism, from the time of the Frankfurt School to the present day. These 27 chapters are then followed by further sections on population control, the United Nations, George Soros, “social deconstruction through ethnic diversity,” behavior modification, transhumanism, and posthumanism.

The bulk of the book concerns Cultural Marxism and, at over 350 pages, this section almost certainly guarantees new material for even the most serious student of the subject. Bolton defines Cultural Marxism as

the ideological buttressing of anything that subverts traditional values and cultures, such as globalism; open borders; transgenderism; formlessness in arts; music; architecture; a hellish formlessness in general. The purpose is to deconstruct any vestiges of tradition in the name of ‘progress,’ the goal is to establish a nebulous mass humanity devoid of identity in regard to ethnos, land, and even gender, ironically called ‘identity politics.’ Dialectically, this push toward universal homogenisation is promoted in the name of being ‘different.’ … The Left and its globalist sponsors deconstruct in order to reconstruct.

Like Spengler, Bolton views capitalism and the Left as possessing the same essential outlook, since both see themselves as “part of the same historic process of internationalism.” In Bolton’s words,

detachment and rootlessness allow for the unhampered movement of labour, so that people become economic units, as part of a global production process. This is why the Left are useless as opponents of globalisation: when the Left attack any restrictions on immigration as ‘racism,’ ‘xenophobia,’ and ‘Fascism,’ they are following the party-line of international capitalism. … As the philosopher-historian Oswald Spengler observed nearly a century ago, leftist movements operate in the interests of money (plutocracy); so-called ‘people’s revolts’ have served oligarchic interests since the Gracchus revolt in Rome. Bolshevism was funded by oligarchs. The situation remains.

The Left-Capitalist Nexus

The advance of Cultural Marxism is therefore primarily the responsibility of hostile Jewish intellectuals with ethnic grievances against the West and its peoples, of degenerate Whites who actually seek to frolic in a sea of filth, of avaricious capitalists who wish to see the elimination of all barriers to their potential accumulation of unprecedented riches, and of power-hungry governments seeking absolute social control. The primary weapon employed by all factions is the Freudo-Marxism Synthesis, which touted social engineering as a ‘therapy’ but possessed social control as its aim. This synthesis and its early promotion was of course Jewish in origin, and Bolton makes sure to hammer this point home. He repeatedly stresses that many of these figures are Jews, and that the Frankfurt School, its funders, and many other peripheral associations involved in early Cultural Marxism were “largely Jewish.” As such, several of Bolton’s chapters concerning early Cultural Marxism compliment material found in Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique. Referring to the works of Nathan Cofnas and others, Bolton has little patience for those suggesting that Cultural Marxism is little more than an empty ‘conspiracy theory,’ pointing out that while most treatments of Cultural Marxism are well-referenced and academically sound, most denunciations of the concept bear the hallmarks of conspiracy theory themselves, and rely on blunt ad hominem condemnations of opponents as “racists” or “anti-Semites.”

One of the more interesting of Bolton’s 27 chapters on Cultural Marxism is “Funding for Social Sciences,” which documents the role of the Jewish financier Hermann Weil, and later his son Felix, in backing the Institute for Social Research. This Left-capitalist nexus drew a scathing comment from the German playwright Berthold Brecht, which could as easily be applied today to many of the vast, powerful corporations now preaching against homophobia and promoting ethnic dilution: “A rich old man dies, disturbed by the poverty of the world. In his will, he leaves a large sum to set up an institute which will do research on the source of this poverty. Which is of course himself.” The quote very nicely sums up the fact that huge amounts of money are being pumped into causes that are presented as “good” or “just,” but are in fact entirely designed to obscure the sources of exploitation and enhance social control. Even today, among the trustees of the major social science groups, such as the Social Science Research Council and the New School for Social Research, we find large numbers of major figures from international finance, frequently Jews. Bolton writes:

Among the present directors of the Social Science Research Council is Michael Gellert [Jewish], who, as we have seen, is a trustee of the New School. Other interesting associations on the SSRC board include William H. Janeway [married to a Jew], a director of Warburg Pincus international investment firm; Peter Nager [Jewish], Principal of Skyview Ventures, a venture capitalist investment firm, and formerly a partner with the investment banking firm James D. Wolfensohn Inc., and Deutsche Bank; and José Sheinkman [Jewish], vice-president in the Financial Strategies of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

George Soros is perhaps the best example of Jewish international finance at work in contemporary society, and he receives a chapter of his own later in the book.

Bolton spends several chapters examining Cultural Marxist pseudo-scholarship and faux psychiatry. As well as a chapter looking at the concepts of social control and social engineering, there are individual treatments of behaviorism, on pathologizing morality, and the invention of psychiatric disorders to medicalize conservative political opinions or normal family relationships. The range of source material used here is impressive, and includes everything from Plato’s The Republic to actual instances of (almost exclusively Jewish) Freudo-Marxian psychobabble. Several chapters then follow that examine the overlap between the activist social scientists and the CIA, the history of which demonstrates separate streams of agitation, experimentation, and motivations. Bolton explains that “while the social scientists were often unaware of the CIA connections [and presumably the CIA was often unaware of the ethnic component of the activism of the social scientists], the extensive involvement of social scientists with Cold War projects was the result of a convergence of aims and ideologies in regard to the ‘control of human behavior.’”

Pathologizing the Normal, Targeting the Gentile

Much of this control was to be achieved by tackling what Erich Fromm called “the pathology of normalcy.” Bolton writes that the Frankfurt School advanced the idea that

the way to mental health was to cut the individual from the ‘primary ties’ and set him adrift to pursue what in the parlance of the allied field of humanistic psychology becomes self-actualisation, regardless of where that leads, as in the self-actualised examples of the Marquis de Sade, Charles Manson, and Jim Jones; all paragons of liberalism. Should the individual become unhinged, the therapeutic state would be there to offer—or impose—the direction needed to reach the nirvana of ‘freedom’ and ‘happiness.’

While Bolton doesn’t make it clear in his book, presumably because it’s been so intensively covered by Kevin MacDonald, there was an obvious double-standard at play in the studies of “authoritarianism” conducted by the Frankfurt School which casts doubt on the idea that the cutting of all individuals from their ‘primary ties’ was the overarching goal of their work. In fact, it’s absolutely essential that such a claim be qualified with the fact that the only “primary ties” attacked by the Frankfurt School were those of White gentiles. Kevin MacDonald explains in The Culture of Critique:

From the standpoint of the authors of The Authoritarian Personality, group consciousness in the majority is viewed as pathological because it tends necessarily to be opposed to Jews as a cohesive, unassimilated, and unassimilable minority group. Viewed from this perspective, the central agenda of The Authoritarian Personality is to pathologize gentile group strategies while nevertheless leaving open the possibility of Judaism as a minority group strategy. … Again, there is an implicit double standard: the complete abandonment of all in-group designations is the epitome of mental health for gentiles, whereas Jews are implicitly allowed to continue with a strong sense of in-group identity.

It goes without saying that one of the major strategies for selling this new interpretation of “mental health” among gentiles was the promotion of a hedonistic consumer society in which moral structures and inhibitions, particularly in the realm of sex, are removed. While marketed as involving unprecedented freedom and unlimited choice, what we have in fact witnessed is the emergence and expansion of what I’ve previously termed the “Culture of Sterility” in which permanence is scorned, real relationship bonds disintegrate, birth rates plummet, sex roles and identities dissolve, and in which people commodify each other as objects to be consumed and discarded in the same manner as any other contemporary product. Non-reproductive sexual behaviors, especially those of the homosexuals and gender benders, have been lauded by a corporate world only too eager to tap into their greater disposable incomes (lacking the “drain” of children) and lack of emotional attachment.

In The Perversion of Normality, Bolton points to the resurrection of de Sade by Wilhelm Reich, who added a “sexual reductionist” element to Freudo-Marxism. There are several chapters tracing the path of Reich’s ideas through to the present day, outlining in stark detail the devastating attack on the family witnessed in the West over the last 60 years. Bolton stresses at the outset of his chapter on “Deconstructing the Primary Ties” that we again see a “convergence of aims between the Left and oligarchy” which both work for the “deconstruction of race, family, and gender, all of which must become ‘fluid’ ‘social constructs’ to expand globalisation.” Much of the material will be familiar to those well-versed in the work of Kevin MacDonald (editor’s insertion: and Andrew Joyce and other writers at TOO), and Bolton gives MacDonald due credit in a section titled “Jewish Factor” found within a chapter on “Dialectics of Critical Theory.”

The Birth of “Woke”

About halfway through the book, however, beginning with a chapter on the origins of the New Left, The Perversion of Normality moves into territory that will be more novel even for seasoned students of the subject matter. The tone of the book also gains somewhat in intensity, as it leaves more historical material and nears the critical juncture of our current situation. Opening this part of the book, Bolton takes aim at Magnus Hirschfeld (who I’ve discussed on a number of occasions), sexology (the Jewish origins of which I’ve covered here), and the work of Alfred Kinsey, a latter-day godfather of perversion who worked in tandem with Reich’s “Sex-Pol” in order to satisfy his own sick proclivities. Bolton then moves onto a sequence of critical events in the deconstruction of social and moral standards in the West, beginning with the removal of homosexuality from the category of aberrancy by the American Psychiatric Association (with the board of the APA later saying they made the decision based on the testimony of the Jewish psychiatrist Robert Spitzer). Bolton points out that “the Left took a long time to find that it had a ‘gay’ agenda,” and provides some correspondence between Marx and Engels in which both parties express their disgust at homosexuals, make fun of them, and ponder the prospect that certain elements would like to normalize such behavior by converting “this smut into theory.” Bolton points out that Marx would not have been amused by transgenderism, or any other deformations of original Marxist theory, and adds that by the early 1960s, the raison d’être of Critical Theory had become “the revision of Marxism and its synthesis with a revision of Freudianism to arrive at a new revolutionary theory.”

This new revolutionary theory can be found everywhere today in the form of ubiquitous “woke” politics, all of which results in the creation of isolated White consumers without tradition, without significant or meaningful social bonds, without group influence, and without any means of countering state or corporate power. The epitome of woke ideology is found in the now-celebrated and ubiquitous transsexual, who encapsulates the idea that

You can be precisely what you want to be at any given time, or more probably what you are told you want to be by human relations ‘mediators’ and ‘facilitators,’ psychiatrists, counsellors; media, advertising, and entertainment industries. There can be no sense of permanence and duration, but rather a perpetual state of fluidity. In the name of ‘identity,’ any type of organic identity is destroyed until everyone becomes as nebulous as to slot into an amorphous mass ‘humanity’ according to the requirements of social engineering and social control.

Bolton moves on to a very interesting, and horrifying, discussion of the way in which some of Magnus Hirschfeld’s early propaganda techniques are now being used to indoctrinate children in contemporary New Zealand—through “Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE).” The details mirror similar moves in other Western countries. Bolton:

The reason why children are targeted so early is because that is when attitudes can be conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs, with rewards and punishments, at an age range that lacks developed critical faculties. Yet the RSE ‘guide’ states that children will be taught to exercise critical judgment. Nonsense. They will be told how to think. Children will not be able to critically judge the supposed ‘new evidence’ that is presented to them by RSE. … And how can the ‘evidence’ be weighed up anyway, if contrary studies are not included? Children are led along a course that conforms to liberal-globalist doctrines emanating from the UN and elsewhere, so that they are moulded into ‘world-citizens’ of the type required by globalisation.

Another useful contribution from Bolton is found in his chapter “Progressive Regression,” in which he examines the emasculation of the Western male and the role of feminism in contemporary culture and society. Bolton points out that the APA has now pathologized “traditional masculine ideology,” helping to create a general atmosphere of gender confusion that it then responds to by offering transgenderism as a supposedly healthy option to resolve. In Bolton’s words, the answer of the APA to mental health problems is “to accentuate the mobility of multiple identities, rather than encouraging a sense of permanence and rootedness in belonging to something tangible. All is in flux.”

The fifth and final section of the book is devoted to the issues of demographics and population control, and opens with a chapter on “The Myth of White Privilege.” It’s a very interesting chapter that highlights the fact that the common man of most Western nations benefitted little from Victorian colonialism or any other form of Western imperialism now trotted out by the “woke” as justification for demonizing the White race. Bolton stresses

Under capitalism there is no common bond between the White industrialists/financiers and White proletarians: there was no kinship of race or even nationality, other than when the White proletariat was needed as cannon fodder for opening up overseas industrial expansion and markets; then a common ‘patriotism’ was invoked. Yet in the fantasy of the [woke activists], Whites ‘operate as a group to maintain certain advantages and to exclude other groups.’”

The book then moves to a section on “Social Deconstruction Through Ethnic Diversity,” which is complimented with a chapter devoted to the activities of George Soros. The text then comes to a close with a brief discussion of the efforts of several tech oligarchs to develop implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) that, in Bolton’s view, will “enable instant mind-control, without long processes of indoctrination or brainwashing.” This opens us to “a world that no longer acknowledges humans as organic beings, so bereft of organic consciousness that children can be laboratory-manufactured, and raised without the need for the ‘restrictions’ of the parental bond.”

Concluding Remarks


Kerry Bolton’s The Perversion of Normality is a comprehensive, well-written, and well-referenced exploration of the concerted and multifaceted attack on Western social, moral, and cultural mores. In terms of breath of subject matter discussed, I can think of no significant rival text, with my only proviso being that the book represents a kind of introductory guidebook for many of the topics and will therefore require supplementary reading (e.g., the writers at TOO) for a deep grasp of any of the matters under discussion. Some of the chapters were extremely short, which increased the pace of the book and reminded me more than a little of the style and structure of Alain de Benoist’s View from the Right. That being said, this is an extremely detailed book that will hold novel revelations for everyone, and its references and bibliography are a treasure trove in their own right.

My biggest compliment for the book is simply that I admire its approach and, as someone who laments the passing or warping of such terms as “normal,” Bolton’s text is a welcome catalogue of the ideas, personalities, movements, and systems that have conspired to drag Western society into the dirt. Being a kind of narrative history, there are no solutions to our crisis offered here. It is descriptive rather than prescriptive. Bolton’s approach, in common with that of many of us, is to document what has happened as clearly and professionally as possible in the hope that this knowledge alone will inspire future generations to crack the puzzle of how to reverse the pattern of decline. In my opinion, Bolton accomplishes his documentary task with great success and I warmly congratulate him on this work.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)
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