Kevin MacDonald, Ph.D.

CSULB, Department of Psychology


TheSlate Debates
Culturebox
Fray

Comment by John Hartung

Ms. Shulevitz's "Evolutionary Psychology's Anti-Semite" [posted Jan. 24, 2000] is a knee-jerk caricature of Professor MacDonald's work, my review of one of his books, and even David Irving's libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt. Her day-later defense, "On Fighting Bad Ideas," ends by suggesting that the entire controversy has become too tedious to follow: "Note for all of you who have stuck with this endless New York Review of Books-style refutation and have yet to flee screaming: Culturebox will be responding to MacDonald's post in the Fray'in the Fray. She hereby promises to keep Culturebox itself MacDonald-free'at least for the time being" 'a common ruse. Common in both senses of the word.

Irving's case against Lipstadt is over her charge that he is not an historian. That is, she claimed that Irving does not utilize the methods of historians at a professional level -- i.e., primarily, does not base his accounts on competent examination of original documents. It is true that Irving does not have a Ph.D. in history. In consequence, however, as far as I can see, he has overcompensated by going further in his training than most historians would be willing to go, and by being compulsive about documenting sources -- a degree of compulsion that would be admired by most historians who have abundant formal training. For example, Irving (a Brit) learned German by getting a job in a German factory for several years. That he speaks and reads German at an expert level will be undeniable in court. His copious documentation and German-to-English translation of hundreds of original documents for his recent book, "Goebbels," will also be a powerful defense in court. Schulevitz's chatter aside, Irving's "Goebbels" is a profound condemnation of both Joseph Goebbels and his effect on history.

My view of genocide, including the Holocaust and contrary to Schulevitz characterization, is that it is always an unjustified evil. Whether genocide occurs as a spontaneous reaction of an oppressed majority against an oppressive minority, as recently occurred in Rwanda, or an act conceptualized as an order from God, as in ... In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).

They should be utterly destroyed and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses ... Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling (Joshua 11:20 ... First Samuel 15:3).

You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath; and fire will consume them. You will destroy their offspring from the earth, and their children from among the sons of men (Psalms 21:9-10; for additional examples of the commandment to kill non-co-religionists and boasts of having done so, see: Numbers 21:2-3; 21:34-35; 24:8; 24:19-20; Deuteronomy 2:34; 3:2-6; 3:21; 7:1-2; 7:16; 7:23-24; 9:3; 11:24-25; 31:3-5; 33:27; Joshua 2:10; 6:21; 8:2; 8:24-26; 10:1; 10:28; 10:35;10:37; 10:39-40; 11:11-14; 11:21; Judges 1:17; 3:29; First Samuel 15:8; 15:15; 15:18; 15:20; First Chronicles 4:41) ... or something in between, genocide is always wrong-put-forth-as-right by the people who commit it 'and so it is always evil.

It is important to examine original documents before forming an opinion about an opinion -- especially when the opinion in question calls individuals anti-Semites or racists. Readers who are willing to consider my work relevant to issues raised by Schulevitz are welcome to visit my site at: http://hometown.aol.com/toexist/index.html. A reprint of my review of MacDonald's A People That Shall Dwell Alone is available on request -- please send your snail-mail address to hartung@post.harvard.edu, or mail an address label to

JOHN HARTUNG
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT BROOKLYN
DEPARTMENT OF ANESTHESIOLOGY, BOX 6
450 CLARKSON AVENUE
BROOKLYN, NY 11203-2098