A synthesis between cosmopolitanism and nationalism

As many of you know my reading habits are quite catholic. Many years ago I read a quite idiosyncratic book, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church. The author, H. W. Crocker III, does not try and present an even-handed narrative. If you want to read nasty snide barbs toward Martin Luther, this book for is for you!

That being said, Triumph opens up a window on a different vision of the world and how it should be organized than you would usually see. One of the Crocker’s contentions is that the Reformation destroyed the cosmopolitan commonwealth of late medieval Western Christianity. The author of Triumph is an arch-reactionary, but he is also a skeptic of the Protestant-inflected Westphalian system that emerged in the 17th-century. Nationalism. Crocker bemoans the transformation of Christendom, a set of interlocking polities and principalities united by the superstructure of the Church and the broad ethos of Western Christianity, into the West, a more rationalized system which stitched together Western Christian nation-states separated by confessional conflict.

Diarmad McCullough’s The Reformation still records that the shadow of the old unitary Christendom actually persisted pretty deep into the post-Reformation period. Some of this was due to the prestige of Latin, which was widely understood and used as a lingua franca. So Protestant Hungarians from Transylvania were known to travel to England, and study at Oxford, and lack all knowledge of English. But they could communicate in Latin.

There are vigorous debates as to the role of religion in the emergence of national identity in the wake of Reformation. I think it is hard to deny that widespread distribution of Bibles in a local dialect, which might set the standard for the national language as a whole, aided the association between nationality and language that came to be normative in later centuries. Luther and his fellow travelers occasionally made appeals to the honor of the “German nation,” as opposed to the cosmopolitan forces which marched under the Habsburg banners. In contrast, Roman Catholic preachers exhorted Catholic German peasants to show more solidarity with the Spanish soldiers of the Emperor than the Protestant German knights. Religion before nation.

These arguments persisted deep into the modern period. The institutional Roman Catholic Church was suspicious of the ideology of nationalism and the creation of nations from small polities, even if Catholicism became instrumental in the formation of the French, Polish, or Spanish, national identities. This was most strongly illustrated in Italy, whose unifiers had an ultimately hostile relationship with the Pope in Rome.

So all this has to be understood in the context of the fact that Senator Joshua Hawley has been accused of being anti-Semitic because of his reference to “cosmopolitans” in a recent speech on nationalism. To be frank, I think he has a different experience in the use of words than his critics and doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning. Or at least that his critics would take them in that manner (the conference was organized by an American Israeli Jew, and many Jewish people attended).

The association between the usage of the word cosmopolitan and Jews has a strong resonance due to our history with the two major totalitarian ideologies of the 20th-century. But, one of my major points on this weblog that I repeat over and over is that the long 20th-century is coming to an end. In the early 21st-century, 45% of the world’s Jews live in Israel, a very nationalistic, and rooted (sorry Arabs), people. Because of Israel’s high total fertility rate, the proportion of Jews in the world who live in Israel will likely go above 50% in the next few decades.

Historically the image of the cosmopolitan Jew is strong, but in the present day, that is becoming far and far less accurate. Additionally, even that stereotype is historically ephemeral. The Jews who were so threatening to the Nazis and Communists were the Jews who took advantage of the Enlightenment and the Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment) to become full-fledged members of Western civilization and society without assimilating (necessarily) into Christian culture in totality. They shed their shtetl garments, but they did not quite become just like their neighbors.

Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer

That is not the case today. Though places like England have huge numbers of haredi Jews due to their high fertility rates, the traditional Jewish community of Britain is in demographic decline. Part of this is due to low fertility rates, but a great part of it is due to full assimilation through intermarriage. They are becoming just like their neighbors. The fixation of the modern Left with Israel and Zionism is at least future-oriented. That is the future of the Jewry, along with people of some Jewish heritage. Like Armie Hammer, who identifies as half-Jewish (his great-grandfather was Armand Hammer).

Isaac Bashevis Singer’s world, for good or ill, is fading even in places like New York City. A world at a dynamic interface between the haredi and the gentile. Secular in religion, but unmistakably Jewish in ethnicity, and outward-facing and integrating with non-Jews.

But the emergence of a cosmopolitan class is not purely a feature of Jewish assimilation into European societies in the 19th-century. The great families of Europe which came to dominate the polities of the continent after the fall of the Roman Empire were not tied to one particular national identity or ethnicity. The Anglo-Norman kings famously spoke French, and many of them lacked facility with English. Meanwhile, the mother of the king of France was from Kiev. And half Russian and half Swedish to boot. Queen Elizabeth’s family consciously shed their German affinities in the early 20th-century, while her husband’s family had the throne of Greece for several decades, though apparently, he considers himself “more Danish” than anything else.

In the Islamic world for centuries Egypt was ruled by a separate caste of Turks and Circassians, the Mamelukes, even after the Ottoman conquest. The famous Safavid dynasty, which converted Iran to Shia Islam in the 16th-century, was Azeri Turk in language, but their ancestry seems to have been a recent mix of Kurd, Turk, and Pontic Greek. And let’s not forget India, where Turkic and Afghan Muslims ruled vast swaths of the subcontinent for centuries.

The period between 1815 and the present is unique in the supremacy of a particular national idea. It also coincides with the high tide of European dominance in the world. The world is going through economic and cultural rebalancing, but we don’t have the language or the expectations to understand this. The current age is one of globalization, though not necessarily any greater than the decades around 1900. But that was a more limited, European world, with the emergence of a trans-Atlantic elite (remember Winston Churchill’s mother was American).  Today we have an international class of people with passports from specific nations, but global affinities. I do have friends who express more fellow-feeling and comfort with upper-middle-class elements in Dubai, London, and Singapore, than with their own fellow citizens in the hinterlands.  This is partly a function of the importance of travel to the new sub-elite. And yet in the United States, 64 percent of people do not have a valid passport.

The reality is that people with passports are not going away. And the people without passports are not going away. Both of these groups have to accommodate the contingent historical reality that Westphalian nation-states exist, and we aren’t going to instantaneously create a new political arrangement which can conveniently integrate both groups. The problem with the nature of elite media, academia, and cultural and economic productivity producers is that passport holders dominate these sectors. In the 1990s this led to a delusion that the nation-state would dissolve in substance, if not de jure, just like the state boundaries in the USA are basically administrative realities.

That’s not happening. And the non-passport holding class has been negatively affected in various ways by the efficiencies of globalization, in some ways in absolute terms, but definitely in positional terms. Mainstream parties of the Left and Right, being of the passport holding class, hoped that these consequences would not be extreme. But they have been extreme. And the late 2000s financial crisis undermined what credibility the elite among the passport holding class did have.

At some point, the passport holders need to put neoclassical economic textbooks to the side and accept that there are non-economic variables which generate social cohesion and positive externalities, which allow for prosperity. And the acidic impact of globalization is eroding those factors across the developed world, resulting in the rise of populism. Culture exists atop homo economicus.

But just as the medieval Catholic commonwealth is not coming back, the national systems of 1950 are not coming back. The current wave of populists is in denial, and refuses to engage with the global oligarchy’s existence, along with the much larger sub-elite of the new class global upper-middle-class. At some point, a reckoning will occur because the passport holders pay a disproportionate amount of the taxes.

What we need to see in the next few decades is a dialogue, and synthesis, between global cosmopolitanism and regional nationalism. The very forces of global efficiency have now shown us that the gains to trade and integration are not equally distributed, and the non-passport holding class, the populist voter, will never join the universal global class. But neither is the second era of globalization going to end as the first did. We are simply too integrated, and travel and communication are too easy.

We need to come to a new equilibrium. But first, we need to move beyond being haunted by the shadows of the 20th-century.

60 thoughts on “A synthesis between cosmopolitanism and nationalism

  1. Part of this is due to low fertility rates, but a great part of it is due to full assimilation through intermarriage.

    Yes & no. I married a shiksa, but because 90%-95% of her HS was Jewish, most of the boys she ever dated were Jews, including not only me but also her first husband. Our children have both married Jews, giving our grandchildren more Ashkenazi ancestry than they themselves have (though no more East European ancestry). So the “assimilation through intermarriage” proceeds in fits and starts. Counting each child as a separate anecdote, this then is data.

    They are becoming just like their neighbors.

    Again yes & no. I believe that American Jews, perhaps esp. assimilated ones, remain distinctive in terms of education, economic status and voting behavior. Before the events in the last year in Pittsburgh and southern CA, I would have written socio-economic status. The increasing questioning of our whiteness suggests that it is appropriate to drop the prefix, which in turn suggests that the slow regression to the mean in these traits may not continue.

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  2. In both Israel and the US it is the Orthodox Jews whose population is growing, and it is the Reform and Conservative branches that are shrinking. The Orthodox not only have larger families, but they are politically as well as socially conservative. This will lead to a Jewish political realignment at some point.

    As to Jewish whiteness, people of color categorize all Jews as white. Some Jews reject being classified as white, and some whites also reject them.

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  3. In both Israel and the US it is the Orthodox Jews whose population is growing, and it is the Reform and Conservative branches that are shrinking.

    this misunderstands israel. there basically are no reform or conservative jews (the movements are tiny). there are haredi, religious nationalist (modern orthodox-like), religiousish and secular.

    in israel even secular jews have above replacement fertility.

    As to Jewish whiteness, people of color categorize all Jews as white.

    jews as nonwhite is a frog-nazi thing. it’s pretty marginal.

    (israel, unlike the USA, has a reasonable number of brownish [some yemeni jews] and black [beta israel] jews tho).

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  4. @Razib

    I’m curious as to why England is singled out as an example of a place where the “traditional” Jewish community is being lost to assimilation. As far as I can tell, the intermarriage rate in the USA is far higher (about double the rate in the Canada, the UK, and Australia).

    @Bob Skyes

    The Reform and Conservative “movements” are tiny in Israel and I don’t think those terms are useful as labels in that context. You are correct that Orthodox Jews in Israel have larger families than non-Orthodox Jews do, but even then, it is not uncommon to find secular or minimally observant families with 3-4 kids.

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  5. @Razib (looks like we simulposted):

    The white vs. non-white label for Jews is tough to pin down, and probably ultimately meaningless. Many Jews consider themselves to be non-white; for others it’s more of an “it depends” thing (I would put myself in this category).

    I’m “white” in the sense that I’m not black, East or South Asian, etc., and I’m not discriminated against on the basis of my appearance (I don’t get stopped by the cops, harassed when I travel, etc.). I’m “non-white” in the sense that I have a set of cultural-religious practices that the white majority does not share, I celebrate holidays that they don’t (and they celebrate holidays that I don’t). I often feel that many of my visible-minority friends are more “white” than I am.

    Of course, I’m Canadian, and probably missing some of the nuance of what the “whiteness” discussion means in the American context.

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  6. Jews and Whiteness.

    I think that this analysis reflects North-American and, perhaps, Western Euro tribalism.

    I grew up in Soviet Ukraine and the tribes were divided differently.

    – Jews were a “nationality” and marked as such in our internal passports.
    – While Ashkenazim are pale compared to global standards, our features (darker hair, Mediterranean nose, etc) distinguished us from the local Slavs.
    – “Black” had other meanings — specifically dark featured Caucasians (yes, the irony of it all)

    So to the extent that today “white” means European, I do not perceive myself as European / White (not that there is anything wrong with that). I know that this is different for American born Ashkenazim, but I simply can’t fathom the concept.

    I also grew up in working class Brooklyn, and my recollection is that among Jewish and Italian kids the concept of “white” meant WASPy (or at least not us).

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  7. joe, ashkenazi and most sephardic and mizrahi jews are ‘white-presenting.’ whatever my cultural practices and self-conception, my ass is brown.

    i used england as an example because it seems further down the line than the USA with large fecund haredi minority and declining non-haredi group. kauffmann reports a few years back the majority of jews in the UK under 5 are already haredi!

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  8. “Historically the image of the cosmopolitan Jew is strong, but in the present day, that is becoming far and far less accurate. Additionally, even that stereotype is historically ephemeral. The Jews who were so threatening to the Nazis and Communists were the Jews who took advantage of the Enlightenment and the Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment) to become full-fledged members of Western civilization and society without assimilating (necessarily) into Christian culture in totality. They shed their shtetl garments, but they did not quite become just like their neighbors.”

    I would argue that German Jews in the early twentieth century were at least as nationalistic as American Jews are today. Probably even more so.

    They avidly fought in Germany’s wars; many converted to Christianity; and perhaps most remarkably, when you consider the time, they intermarried with their German goy brethren at rates that America would not see until the 1970s.

    One of the books you cite goes into this in some detail. I found this passage astonishing when I first read it:

    If the position of Germany’s Jews was not perfect, it was certainly bearable—at least for the well-to-do—and even quite hopeful in the eyes of the intelligentsia. Intermarriage became common, increasing from 8.4 percent in 1901 to 29.86 percent in 1915. Felix Theilhaber, a Zionist doctor in Munich, hysterically warned in 1911 that intermarriage and sinking birthrates—the result of modern women’s uppityness, he lamented—would bring about the complete disappearance of German Jewry by 1950. According to Theilhaber, marriage among Jews had in the past been a “national-religious” institution, designed to “serve the preservation of the family and the nation”; now, however, it was increasingly “based purely on erotic attraction,” as among Gentiles. Theilhaber decried the recent decline of what he called “racial consciousness” among Jews. Philosophies could be abjured at will, he announced. “Blood” was more permanent.

    …remarkable was the lack of response to Theilhaber’s tirades. Intermarriage continued to flourish. In Breslau, a less “multicultural” city than Berlin, intermarriage rose from 11 percent in 1890 to 52 percent during the First World War, suggesting that integration was even more advanced in the provinces than was commonly thought.

    Elon, Amos. The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933 (p. 225). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

    I had no idea that intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews was so common in early 20th-century Germany.

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  9. @bob sykes, @razib: I’ve never been in a situation in the US where I thought anyone saw me as non-white. OTOH, It may be a marginal, frog-nazi sort of thing, but it seems that this marginal group is well-armed and willing to use their arms.

    I am as secular as they come (my son is the 3rd generation of male in my family who has not been brissed or bar-mitzvahed), and I think the last time I was in a synagogue was for a friend’s daughter’s bat-mitzvah over 15 years ago. However, although I’ve always known I am a Jew, it is only recently that I have recognized that if I am in the wrong place & time in my own country, I could be killed for that. That is not something that has ever previously been true SFAIK.

    I remember talking to an African-American friend after the success of Gingrich’s contract with America, asking if he and his would be willing to take in me and mine as non-white when the time came. That time is not here yet, but, 25 years later, it is looking much closer than it ever has, and the progression toward it is likely to put a stop to becoming just like their neighbors.

    Anyway, I did not mean to hijack the comments thread with my observation (see the joke at the top of this article); the topic of the blog post is much broader than the half-dozen paragraphs dealing with Jews.

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  10. Hi Razib Khan I really appreciate your blog and the way how you explain very complex genetic results that are written in highly academic language for a layperson.

    It’s offtopic but I hope you answer my question. The 2017 DNA study on 151 ancient Egyptian mummies suggested that ancient Egyptians had 6-15% sub- Saharan African admixture. I quote this study:”Finally, we used two methods to estimate the fractions of sub-Saharan African ancestry in ancient and modern Egyptians. Both qpAdm35 and the f4-ratio test39 reveal that modern Egyptians inherit 8% more ancestry from African ancestors than the three ancient Egyptians do, which is also consistent with the ADMIXTURE results discussed above. Absolute estimates of African ancestry using these two methods in the three ancient individuals range from 6 to 15%, and in the modern samples from 14 to 21% depending on method and choice of reference populations (see Supplementary Note 1, Supplementary Fig. 6, Supplementary Tables 5–8).”

    Yet I have read in a blog from der genetiker that states this:…”At the bottom of this post is a plot for a K = 14 admixture analysis that includes three genomes from ancient Egypt.
    The table above the plot gives some information for these samples.
    The brown and black Negroid components are completely absent in the two Pre-Ptolemaic samples, while the Ptolemaic sample is 1.99% Negroid. This contrasts with the modern Egyptian samples, which are on average 10.93% Negroid.”

    So who is right? Do all 3 autosomal tested mummies have sub-Saharan African admixture or only 1? I’m confused and I hope you can help understand.

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  11. but it seems that this marginal group is well-armed and willing to use their arms.

    the physical violence that’s most salient and common seems to be against visible haredi jews in NYC. i think the media is convincing you of the pervasiveness of broader prejudice against jews as jews for ideological reasons (the president is fostering an environment of antisemitism, even though half his grandchildren are being raised as jews).

    people should prepare for the worst, but in a spenglerian sense the frog-nazi eruption is in part a rxn to the reality of amalgamation which they aren’t able to stop.

    antisemitism on twitter and other web platforms was pervasive for a while. but it just goes to show you twitter is not the world. guys in their basements have a lot of time.

    p.s. jewish intermarriage rate keeps increasing https://washingtonjewishweek.com/46743/five-years-later-building-on-pew/featured-left/

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  12. Thanks for the interesting analysis. The distinction between passport holders and non-passport holders is quite striking – for the U.S. In Europe the distinction makes little sense, because the countries are much smaller and most people travel abroad including those prone to populist voting. But for the US putting the distinction in this way is nice. A related distinction is the divide between rural and urban populations. In countries as diverse as Turkey, Thailand, Poland, Hungary, and the US populists were voted in by rural populations.
    I want to object to your talking of the “global oligarchy” or the elite. That is the way non-passport holders think. By contrast passport holders understand that what and who rules is much more complicated. Western industrial societies are extremely complex and consist of many different “systems” such as the economy, the respective political systems, academia, media, and so on. Each of them consist of many sub-system and sub-sub-systems. They can only function well, if efficient frameworks of rules and laws are in place (where efficiency includes a good balance between rules and absence of rules). In a sense it is these frameworks of rules that have the power. Individuals have little power. Talking of the elite suggests that the people in a system or sub-system interact with each other, share values, and have common interests. That is true to some degree, but it is also strongly counteracted by the fragmentation into sub- and sub-sub-systems and the strong competition among the members of such sub-systems.
    The rules of the frameworks need to be updated constantly. That is the job of the political leaderships and legislatives. Populists are so dangerous, because they threaten this rule based system. They threaten it, because they are not interested in efficient governing, or worse, loathe the elites and “the government” and aim to disrupt it. Trump is an excellent example for this.

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  13. “but it seems that this marginal group is well-armed and willing to use their arms”

    They’re largely a media invention. They find 15 individual internet nutballs and pretend that they’re a cohesive movement. Richard Spencer would still be an unknown in his parents basement if the NYT, CNN and WaPo didn’t need him so badly for their narrative.

    I’m more worried about some confused anti-Israel kids on the left taking things too far.

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  14. I think the communal bonds are somewhat strong between correligionists, more so the ones with universalist goals (catholic, etc), in spite of or because of, being in a globalist present.
    Some years , I was in Chicago attending a Congress. I went to Sunday Mass to church. In the shuttle way to Downtown I met a Konkani catholic guy from Goa. We attend church and share lunch after.
    As we were chating, we both felt as if we where from the same neighborhood or something like that, there was an incredible level of affinity between two people from very diferente places in the world, with very different languages and cultural backgrounds. It was a very interesting and amazing experience.
    Maybe the religious background could still be something bonding even today in the global village.

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  15. pete turchin and others suggest universal religions emerged as ‘meta-ethnic’ identities to bind together imperial orders. so it makes sense. your hypothesis is also consonant with huntington’s ideas.

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  16. “At some point, a reckoning will occur because the passport holders pay a disproportionate amount of the taxes.”

    Yes, but. The non-passport holders (as someone labeled them the somewheres) own a disproportionate number of guns.

    The passport holders (the anywheres) decided that they would not study war anymore, and that the military was too confining for their free spirits and too full of disgusting somewheres.

    The result is that the anywheres must depend on the somewheres in the military and the constabulary to keep public order. Will they turn their guns on their brothers and cousins when push comes to shove?

    The second interlocking problem is that the anywheres have built of financial system that is made out of blue smoke and unicorn kisses.

    They may pay all of the taxes and the somewheres may depend on them for their social security and medicare for all. But, if the pull thread gets snagged and the whole thing comes apart it will get ugly. And they may not be able cash that check with the military and the constabulary.

    My advice to the anywheres is to back off and learn some humility. Stop using social issues like gender theory to humiliate the somewheres. Model yourself after Augustus. Preserve the the traditional institutions even as you consolidate your power.

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  17. Cosmopolitan as an anti-Semitic term. The only use I can think of is during Stalin’s last years:

    “Rootless cosmopolitan was a pejorative Soviet euphemism widely used during Soviet anti-Semitic campaign of 1948–1953, which culminated in the “exposure” of the non-existent Doctors’ plot. The term “rootless cosmopolitan” referred mostly to Jewish intellectuals, as an accusation of their lack of patriotism, i.e., lack of full allegiance to the Soviet Union. The campaign against “rootless cosmopolitans” began in 1946, when Joseph Stalin in his speech in Moscow attacked writers who were ethnic Jews.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootless_cosmopolitan

    I really don’t think that tidbit of Soviet History has much resonance in the US 70 years later. No one listening to Josh Hawley is going to nod his head and say: “see, Comrade Stalin was right”.

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  18. I had no idea that intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews was so common in early 20th-century Germany.

    it’s well known that german jews were disappearing. in fact, the ‘german jews’ of the 20th-century were mostly descended from ‘ost-juden’ that appeared more recently and not the early 19th-century jewish community, which had mostly become christian.

    that being said, jews were highly overrepresented in the ‘confessionless’ (without confession) intelligentsia.

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  19. I imagine the Israeli-American was Yoram Hazony who published a book “The Virtue of Nationalism” that is making some waves in conservative circles.
    Indeed as anyone who knows Israel and as a 2016 Pew study showed, Israel is red country and US Jews are blue country. Israel is a conservative (but not in the American meaning) relatively religious (but not in the Christian meaning) and nationalist country, and also a very open, innovative and tolerant country, succeeding in mixing tradition and modernity pretty well (of course with many problems and tensions). The fact that even the secular not only have an above replacement level fecundity but that it has been increasing is unique for a developed country and has not been quite fully explained.

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  20. I understand the rhetorical nature of “passport holders,” but it might be worthwhile to look at the actual data. My suspicion is that blacks and Hispanics in America have disproportionately lower rates of having passports (since there are very high correlations among income, education, and passports) and they are very reliable voters for the “cosmopolitan” team.

    Both teams cosmopolitan and nationalist have their respective lower educated underclass while the leadership elements of both are passport holders.

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  21. it’s well known that german jews were disappearing.

    It might be that the very fact of increasing Jewish intermarriages in Germany actually fueled Nazi hatred (and certainly propaganda) against them – there were posters, films, etc. that warned non-Jewish Germans of Jewish sexual seduction, corruption, and violation.

    Historically, the most dangerous and resentment-provoking time for successful minorities is when they have become prominent and assimilative, but haven’t yet assimilated fully.

    As for Jewish assimilation in America, it is true that their intermarriage rate is enormously high, but it appears to me that the intermarriage dynamics work a bit differently for Jews because of their prestige and, frankly, economic and cultural dominance.

    East Asians, when married to whites, are generally subsumed into the culture of the latter. Their mixed progeny tend to identify as white, if not explicitly racially, then certainly culturally. Mixed Jews, however, tend to identify as Jews, if not explicitly religiously, then at least culturally or in terms of lineage (if you look up bios of actors, fo example, they often identify their Jewish ancestry, no matter how obscure).

    The classic case of both examples in one are the offspring of the Tiger Mom, Amy Chua (married to Jed Rubenfeld) – her Tiger Cubs admitted in an interview that they were Jewish in everything except in “food and stuff” and it was Chua who pushed for them to partake in bat mitzvah and other aspects of Jewish cultural affiliation.

    In other words, having Jewish ancestry in America is now a marker of elite status and, at the same time, a useful escape hatch from “white privilege” (“I am not white – I’m Jewish, the biggest victims of racism in history, the Holocaust, you know”).

    So I’m not sure that Jews are disappearing into “generic” whites in America – it might be more the case that they are absorbing wannabe elite non-Jews. I think my local gun range has many more Asian members than Jewish ones. 🙂

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  22. while the leadership elements of both are passport holders.

    A cynical person might think that the real conflict is among elites that are having trouble deciding how best to manipulate and use the “lower classes” for their own benefit. Hey! Didn’t I read about this in a history book?

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  23. Sure, elites aren’t going to self-immolate, but to the extent that they have different slices of the demographics as footsoldiers, their policies will differ.

    For example, I don’t doubt Steve Bannon wants to benefit himself, but I also think that his views regarding civic nationalism and benefitting middle America are sincere.

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  24. but to the extent that they have different slices of the demographics as footsoldiers, their policies will differ.

    Sure, but there is a cline, from the pure opportunist who sets his policy to appeal to a certain slice, to the ascetic who challenges, disciplines and leads his slice toward a higher goal.

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  25. Twinkie,

    It might be that the very fact of increasing Jewish intermarriages in Germany actually fueled Nazi hatred (and certainly propaganda) against them – there were posters, films, etc. that warned non-Jewish Germans of Jewish sexual seduction, corruption, and violation.

    I think a lot of that had to do with the Ostjuden (which Razib mentioned earlier), who were what we would today term refugees. The first generations of these newly-arrived Jews were almost always poor and some of them tended to fill criminal niches (including prostitution) after first arriving in Germany and Austria. But these Jews don’t fit in the Cosmopolitan category very well, any more than we would today term Mexican migrant labor in the U.S. to be cosmopolitan. (Yes, the Ostjuden caught up much quicker to their neighbors than Mexican-Americans ever do, but in that first generation they probably appeared every bit as alien to most Germans.)

    The actual German-Jews were pretty well-assimilated and anti-Semitism in pre-Nazi Germany wasn’t particularly strong compared to other places on the continent of Europe, including places where the Jews were more socially excluded from gentiles by both law and custom than they were in Germany. So mixing with gentiles doesn’t seem to me to be an adequate explanation for a rise in anti-Semitism.

    In fact, I don’t think the Holocaust was predictable from social developments in pre-Nazi Germany. It took a loss in war, economic instability (first hyperinflation and then the Great Depression), and the lack of a strong democracy to allow the Nazis to get into power. Compared to those items, I don’t think increasing intermarriage played much of a role.

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  26. if u mention jews all conversations lead to jews i guess…. 😉

    anyway, it is known that german was the most PHILO-semitic of the continental large european nation-states before the 1930s. so it was totally unexpected.

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  27. if u mention jews all conversations lead to jews i guess….

    But it is an important population genetics issue after all. The genesis of the German Jewish population and the founder effects. It’s common to assume that the Jews of Germany were “Western Ashkenazi”, and that the bottlenecks in their population history correspond to historically attested massacres, from the Crusades to the Black Death libel.

    But a very large fraction of the Jewish population of Germany were Eastern, and historically they weren’t refugees from the East but rather full-fledged subjects of Prussia, a product of the Prussian land grab of Polish territories in the 1700s. They started identifying with the German culture and moving into the more Westerly German lands early on, and the process dramatically accelerated at the end of WWI when newly independent Poland was rife with anti-German and anti-Jewish sentiment. So much so that in the inter-war Poland, the Jewish institutions of the former Prussian partition lands floundered for lack of citizenry.

    While culturally Germanophile, they were genetically Eastern and experienced the bottlenecks of founder migration and explosive population growth afterwards, with a strong imprint on DNA. In contrast, the massacres out West didn’t rise to a severe bottleneck effects, and the population growth was quite stagnant too, so the Western population experienced slow and sustained drift which can no longer be reliably documented today, in the aftermath of the expansion of the founder DNAs from the East – not just born by the refugees but more so, by the mainstream German citizens of Polish partition origins.

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  28. “I think a lot of that had to do with the Ostjuden … who were what we would today term refugees.”

    Not really. In the 18th Century Prussia, Russia, and Austria carved up Poland which had a large Jewish population, mostly in small towns. Those parts of Poland Remained under German control until WWI save a short interlude when Napoleon ran central Europe and set up the Duchy of Warsaw.

    The industrialization and urbanization of the 19th Century was particularly swift and dramatic in Germany and huge portions of the population including Jews moved into German cities. That was my father’s family.

    At the same time the same dynamic also occurred in Austria (the Austro-Hungarian Empire). My wife’s family lived in Central Bohemia (modern Czech Republic) and in the late 19th Century moved to Vienna. Before the 1860s Jews were not permitted to live in Vienna.

    “But a very large fraction of the Jewish population of Germany were Eastern, and historically they weren’t refugees from the East but rather full-fledged subjects of Prussia, a product of the Prussian land grab of Polish territories in the 1700s.”

    The Jews in Poland and other places in the East did suffer from a bottle neck in the early middle ages when the founder population was driven out of the Rhineland.

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  29. I think a lot of that had to do with the Ostjuden (which Razib mentioned earlier), who were what we would today term refugees. The first generations of these newly-arrived Jews were almost always poor and some of them tended to fill criminal niches (including prostitution)

    I don’t know about that – there was considerable Nazi propaganda against established German Jews, i.e. a wealthy and influential Jewish villain seducing and violating an innocent Aryan Mädchen. That against Ostjuden tended to portray them as disease-spreading vermin or pests rather than powerful and charming corrupters.

    The infamous Nazi film Jud Süß, for example, features both tropes:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jud_S%C3%BC%C3%9F_(1940_film)#Plot

    Süß shows the emissary jewels and jewelry that are obviously beyond the Duke’s means and then says that it would be his honor to provide the Duke with jewelry at a substantial discount. However, Süß insists on presenting the items to the Duke personally despite a ban against Jews (Judensperre) entering the city that has been in force for over a century. Armed with a pass from the Duke, Süß cuts his hair, shaves his beard, and dons “Christian” clothes so that he can enter Württemberg disguised as a Christian.[16] As his carriage gets into an accident, Süß gets a lift from Dorothea Sturm (Kristina Söderbaum) to the city…

    After some initial resistance, the Duke yields to Süß’s request for the repeal of the law prohibiting Jews from living in Württemberg; a horde of dirty, disreputable Jews are then shown moving into the city. Süß enables them to enrich themselves at the expense of the populace…

    Dorothea goes to Süß to beg for her husband’s release but Süß demands that she have sex with him as the price for her husband’s freedom. Süß rapes Dorothea, who then escapes and drowns herself.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting that higher rates of intermarriage caused the rise of antisemitism and the Holocaust. What I was positing was that there may be a J-curve (or upside down J-curve) to the acceptance of (or resentment toward) a minority group (especially a distinctive and/or highly successful minority) whereby resentment rises as the said minority becomes more influential and visible (and increasingly intermixes more with the majority population, esp. the elite part of the majority) until a critical mass of sorts is reached where they are no longer seen as aliens or minorities. And that this might have occurred in Germany during the interwar years.

    The two phenomena – that of increasing intermarriages (signaling acceptance by a fraction of the population) and increasing resentment (among another fraction of the population) – in that context are not mutually exclusive.

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  30. if u mention jews all conversations lead to jews i guess…

    There are not many places these days where the topic of Jews and their relationships with non-Jews can be discussed in any manner but in positive terms. So when you allow candid conversations, a lot of repressed opinions and analyses, thoughtful or otherwise, will spring forth.

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  31. There are not many places these days where the topic of Jews and their relationships with non-Jews can be discussed in any manner but in positive terms. So when you allow candid conversations, a lot of repressed opinions and analyses, thoughtful or otherwise, will spring forth.

    This. And we also like to talk about ourselves, no?

    I think that this is the most comments I’ve seen on gnxp…

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  32. This. And we also like to talk about ourselves, no?

    There is also the massive commentary on the JQ that is in circulation and shows no sign of waning. AFAIK, there is nothing remotely comparable for any other people.

    I think that this is the most comments I’ve seen on gnxp…

    We have finally worn Razib down. I served up a comment that would have immediately gotten my knuckles rapped in the past.

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  33. AFAIK, there is nothing remotely comparable for any other people

    Take a listen to Razib’s other life on the Brown Pundits podcast. There is a continuous discussion of sub-continental identity at the intersection of religion / language / caste / genetic ancestry and even pigmentation.

    I think I enjoy it so much because it sounds so familiar to my Ashkenazi ears..

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  34. There is a continuous discussion of sub-continental identity at the intersection of religion / language / caste / genetic ancestry and even pigmentation.

    This was not what I was talking about. I was not talking about the process of ethnogenesis and attendant literature.

    Just one site can have more anti-Semitic material that deals in detail with the JQ than anything in total that is comparable elsewhere with regard to a people.

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  35. Walter,

    The Ostjuden who arrived in large numbers in places like Vienna and Berlin in the decades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were 1) poor, and 2) not culturally German. They provoked both fear in gentile Germans of mass immigration and concern in Jewish Germans because of their impact on assimilation. German Jews even set up welfare organizations to help care for their needs, but often with the proviso that they settle somewhere else. Pogroms back in the homelands of the Ostjuden had provided a lot of the push that got them on the move. I think that is pretty close to the term we would today call refugees.

    The culturally German Jews were never very numerous in Germany (around half a percent of the population at the most?) and assimilating. They still stood out because of their talent, and anti-Semitism was still directed toward them, but it was nothing like the virulent anti-Semitism found in other places in continental Europe.

    Twinkie,

    The two phenomena – that of increasing intermarriages (signaling acceptance by a fraction of the population) and increasing resentment (among another fraction of the population) – in that context are not mutually exclusive.

    I don’t doubt that there was some of that. Someone somewhere is always bound to be unhappy about something.

    But the German Jews were assimilating – to the degree, as Razib points out, that they were disappearing into the main body of Germans. For that to happen there had to have been a minimally broad-enough acceptance over a few decades for those Jews to marry gentile Germans, hire gentile Germans, work under gentile Germans, serve in the armed forces with gentile Germans, teach gentile Germans, learn from gentile Germans, etc. Most gentile Germans must not have cared about it that much.

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  36. OK guys, since this is officially a German Jewish population dynamics thread now 🙂 may I ask for pointers to the sources about immigration into Germany (before and after WWI)?

    Obvious the vast majority of the Russian and Austrian-Galician subjects who went to the American continent (not just the US but the entire continent from Canada to Argentina, and not just Jewish but Ukrainian, Polish, ethnic Russian etc.) transited through Germany. Russian military draft registry regulations made it almost impossible for any male subjects to receive international passports, so departures from the Russian seaports (primarily Libava) remained a trickle.

    To feed millions of customers into its trans-Atlantic travel machine (especially the giant Hamburg-America Line), the German government encouraged orderly transit of passport-less Eastern Europeans, who used their steamer line contracts both in lieu of travel documents and as a proof of transit intent. The care of the transit passengers was entrusted to their religious communities, from sanitary treatment near the border (Germany was obsessed with hyigiene) to transit hostels in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. The legends tell that the local Jews in charge of the transit operations profited quite handsomely from the transportation of their gullible co-religionists. This pipeline moved millions of people.

    But how did some of them end up with German residency? Did they forgo their overseas travel and legalize somehow? Was their some other legal pathway to residency status?

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  37. The interesting thing about the “replenishment” of German Jewry from the East in the late 19th, early 20th c. is that the phenomenon repeated itself in the late 20th, early 21st c. — in the sense that most of the present-day German Jewish community consists of immigrants from the former USSR.

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  38. Joe,

    …in the sense that most of the present-day German Jewish community consists of immigrants from the former USSR.

    The present-day German-Jewish community is so small as to be negligible, not even worth mentioning. Jews represent less than one-fifth of a percent of the German population: 120,000 in a population of more than eighty million.

    To put that number in perspective, the annual number of Middle Eastern refugees into Germany over the last four years has always been higher than 150,000 and once nearly as high as 900,000.

    By comparison, the number of Jews in Germany in 1910 was reportedly just over 600,000 in a German population of 63 million. (That’s higher than I originally thought, but still less than one percent.)

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  39. Most gentile Germans must not have cared about it that much.

    A large fraction probably didn’t, but I am not certain about “most.” There was, it appears, still a strong undercurrent of anti-Jewish sentiment. And the Jews were assimilating, but hadn’t quite become indistinguishable from other Germans. Walther Rathenau, who was reviled by the Nazis, was a case in point: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_Rathenau

    Also, speaking of Jewish seduction, I was always puzzled by the case of Emil Maurice, Hitler intimate, chauffeur, and SS founder and member #2 after Hitler, who appeared to have seduced Hitler’s half-niece and reputed lover Geli Raubal yet somehow survived (the Nazi regime, the war, and de-Nazification) despite being of known Jewish ancestry.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Maurice

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  40. Whats interesting is how resolutely Westphalian the rising Pacific superpower is.. i dont think we are heading for Post-nationalism anytime soon .

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  41. daniel, sort of. one fake aspect of the westphalian system is equality btwn nations even tho it’s honored in the breach. the chinese system is one of the hiearchy of states. i think that that’s what their deploying. they want korea, vietnam, and to some extent japan, to be their ‘near abroad’ satellites as the traditionally were….

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  42. @Pincher Martin:

    “The Ostjuden who arrived in large numbers in places like Vienna and Berlin in the decades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were 1) poor, and 2) not culturally German.”

    I think you missed the point. Berlin and Vienna were the centers of multi-ethnic empires. The German empire ran through what we now call Poland in to Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia. The Austro Hungarian empire included Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia, Romania, and part of Ukraine.

    Both empires had rapid urbanization and industrialization in the late 19th Century. People from all over those empires moved into the big cities. Some of them were Germanic, some were Jewish, and some were whatever else. Every region that has industrialized and urbanized has had very similar demographics.

    As for national cultures, they were being created in that time and at those places by politicians, intellectuals, bureaucrats, and entrepreneurs. Both Vienna and Berlin had Court Cultures established by their respective imperial courts. They were both German speaking, but Vienna was Catholic and Berlin was Lutheran, and those differences were important. They had fought a couple hundred years of bloody wars about that.

    Jews could fit into German cultures because their spoken language Yiddish is a German dialect. The orthography is different but the basic structure of Yiddish is German. Life was tougher for Slavs and Hungarians.

    If you go to those places today, they are very different than they were in the 19th Century. The empires were broken up, and forced migrations removed much ethnic intermingling. E.g. at the end of WWII, everyone who spoke German as his first language was expelled from Czechoslovakia, including Jews who had survived the holocaust.

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  43. but Vienna was Catholic and Berlin was Lutheran

    just a note: the region was lutheran, but there was a storm reformed presence cuz the hohenzollern’s themselves were reformed and brought all the hugenots (the reformed-lutheran distinction faded in 19th-century when the regime forced mergers…one reason some lutherans fled to the USA and forced the missouri-synod).

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