Friday, January 04, 2008

Doesn't Anyone Do Research Anymore?

Happened to come across a random interview in The Jewish Press of Rabbi Mayer Schiller, best known around these parts for his tiny hat and performance in the A Life Apart documentary.

The interview is pretty tame. In brief, Schiller is a Skver BT who worked as a Jewish educator in mostly MO circles, in addition to coaching boys' hockey (they show a few scenes of this in the documentary). Schiller is also a political conservative:

You have stated in the past that your growing interest in political conservativism contributed to your turn to Orthodox Judaism.

Yes, I became very taken by the American conservative movement at that time. And as I began to read Russell Kirk and William Buckley and National Review, I realized that political questions in a larger sense are about one’s general philosophy and religious worldview. So it just got me thinking even more about fundamental issues.

It’s interesting that you turned to the Right in the 1960’s while so many others turned to the Left.

Well, I didn’t reject the values I was being given willy nilly in the fifties from public schools and 1950’s television – cowboy heroes and so forth. I felt that in that direction lay truth and meaning, and that if I could get at the core of what motivated those old TV characters Hopalong Cassidy and "The Rifleman" I’d be getting somewhere.

...In 1999 you said that America was the cause of much evil in the world. You identified the "good guys" as the peoples in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Do you still maintain this belief post-9/11?

Yes, well, the world is forever an ambiguous place and things never come quite as black and white as we’d like to have them.

America has come to represent in many parts of the world forces of secularism and hedonism. And when I spoke about Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, my sense was that these people are closer to the natural sacred rhythms of existence than Western Europe and North America.

On the other hand, obviously the danger of any firmly held belief system – be it secular liberalism, Islam, or Judaism – if held without mitigating moral and ethical considerations, can yield horri

fic results. So as [the British rock group] The Kinks sang, “It’s a mixed up muddled up world.”

What do you mean by sacred rhythms of existence?

One of the deadening effects of what used to be called technocracy is that it shuts a person off from a sense that the world is a place of great holiness and that human existence is a place where there can be great sensitivity to that holiness if we just open our souls to it. Industrial liberal capitalist societies often deaden that apprehension which we can all have. People in the third world, I think, have much greater sensitivity to this than we do.

In other words, a pious Mexican farmer might be closer to God and closer to natural morality than a business executive on Wall Street.

The interesting (or just plain odd) thing is that, despite a teaser in the article's introduction about Schiller's views on "primitive peoples," they never actually discuss any such thing (aside from that brief patronizing aside about how poor people are closer to God and the soil), which is bizarre, because nothing's more "unconventional" than a Hasidic rabbi who hangs out with white nationalists.

The program began on the evening of May 28th with remarks by Samuel Taylor, editor of American Renaissance. After welcoming the participants, he described the dire consequences of permitting current trends to continue. Most whites know very well that it would be a catastrophe if non-white immigration and differential birth-rates reduce whites to a minority. However, their resistance is private rather than public, and takes the form of flight to the suburbs and private education for children. Mr. Taylor pointed out that these measures only buy time, and he ended his remarks with a call for public and political recognition of the racial realities by which most whites lead their private lives.

After Mr. Taylor’s remarks were met with a standing ovation — an honor the audience accorded to nearly every speaker — conference participants gathered for a reception. The convivial atmosphere continued afterwards in a hospitality suite reserved by a delegation of Atlanta participants. Discussion lasted late into the evening, beneath the national and battle flags of the Confederate States of America.

The first speaker on May 29th was Prof. Michael Levin of City College of New York. He concisely outlined the evidence for racial differences in such traits as average intelligence, aggressiveness, and the willingness to sacrifice today for benefits tomorrow. He pointed out that recognition of these differences — which have implications for nearly every aspect of our daily lives — is crucial to any attempt to solve America’s most pressing problems. He concluded with a bold survey of the ways in which employment, education, and law enforcement policies should recognize the biology that underlies the divergent ways in the which the races behave.

...Lawrence Auster, author of The Path to National Suicide, spoke eloquently on how massive, non-white immigration has led to an across-the-board assault on the legitimacy of the white, majority culture. Third world immigrants, who leave behind unsatisfactory societies of their own, soon begin to blame white America for the fact that they repeat in their new country the same failures they left behind. Mr. Auster analyzed the liberal psychology that accepts this preposterous misplacement of blame, and set forth a series of principles that would have to be accepted by all races in order to live side by side peacefully. Otherwise, he concluded, different peoples might be obliged to go separate ways.


Following Dr. Lutton’s remarks, Gordon Baum made a brief appeal to the audience to consider joining his organization, the Council of Conservative Citizens. C of CC, with chapters throughout the country, does practical political work for the benefit of the white majority. Conference participants then visited literature tables, where a variety of materials were offered by activist organizations.

The next event was the banquet, where the mystery guest was to speak. There had been considerable speculation about his identity, all of it wrong. It would have taken nothing short of clairvoyance to know that he was Mayer Schiller, an orthodox rabbi who teaches Talmudic studies at Yeshiva University High School.

Rabbi Schiller opened his remarks with a moving description of some of the characteristics that in his view make Western Civilization uniquely beautiful: a firm sense of duty, honor, heroism, and fair play; a distinctive conception of romance; and a compassionate sense of the plight of others. This civilization was sure to survive, he maintained, come what may. Even if his preferred solution — racial partition of the United States — did not come about, there would be an in-gathering of the white diaspora to its European home. But even then, even in a white-minority North America, Rabbi Schiller confidently predicted the survival of Western Civilization, a quiet burning of the flame that would emerge again to light the world.

Sounds fun. What else, Mayer?

Ah, this one looks good- why racial separation is not racism:

...there are those who would maintain that the enmity which often goes hand-in-hand with group identification is inevitable and it is best to pursue policies which will inexorably weaken those loyalties.

It is an alluring position and one to which the "respectable" media and politicians of our era are all pledged.It is, an illusory, immoral and unnatural agenda, however. Illusory, for history's testimony is that widely diverse people cannot and will not live peacefully together. Immoral, because its ultimate results will be the end of the truths and virtues of the world's various faiths, races and nations. Unnatural, because group identity is a fundamental need of all men.

The way out of our current impasse on matters of race, ethnicity, etc. would seem not to lie in the direction of totalitarian coercive mixing, but towards voluntary disentanglement by men of good intentions.

All any man really desires is a sense of physical security, some orientation towards a life of meaning, a community whose ways are familiar and pleasant to him and a place to call his (and his peoples') own.

Sadly, today all the above is granted certain groupings but not others. Europeans, White people and those attached to traditional faiths and lifestyles of the West are told by the powers-that-be that they alone among mankind's tribes are forbidden to have or even articulate a collective identity.

Perhaps this is due to their having overstepped the proper boundaries in the past, or alternatively to their own current weakness and gullibility. Whatever the reason none can deny the current threat to Western Man. Other peoples define themselves as groups, only European Man is forbidden to do this.

A solution to our crisis will be found to the degree that all of the world's assorted tribes can say to each other: "You have your way of life and your place to live. We wish you well. Now let each of us live among our own. We bear you no ill will."

It is in the spirit of separation founded on mutual respect that I have attempted on a personal level over the past decade to communicate with nationalists (White and Black), to patriots of many nations and to committed members of many faiths. My goal has been to strip group identity of hatred and the responses I have received have been almost uniformly encouraging. I have found that when you face a man and say; "Your people are a people with a unique identity. They have a right (perhaps an obligation) to survive as a people. Yet you must realize there are other peoples in the world who have similar yearnings. How can we work this out?" - that most men are willing to act in a positive fashion.

Right, because Jim Crow and Apartheid, those were nice and moral. And I like how Mayer tries to take the high ground- HE'S been trying to break down some boundaries by meeting with David Duke's homeboys, what have YOU done to ease racial tension lately?

But don't be fooled: it isn't always just about racial issues. Sometimes it's also about weird pseudo-racial politico-religious divides, like whatever motivates the whack-jobs over at the Ulster Third Way.

DAVID KERR. Would you describe yourself as a cultural conservative?

RABBI MAYER SCHILLER. Well, certainly as far as contemporary terminology goes that’s an accurate description, although what we call ‘conservatism’ today would simply be considered normal life fifty years ago or a hundred years ago. There aren’t two sides on questions of basic decency, respect and modesty. I really think there aren’t two sides to these issues so if conservatism implies acceptance to this other illegitimate side I reject it, but I think that in terms of modern terminology it is a fair description. I would consider myself an ecumenical cultural conservative in that I respect all peoples who have a sense of gratitude to their past and who value their own heritage and faith. Obviously not if they are idol worshippers but if they’re worshipping God, I would say I value people who have gratitude to the past in their own faith in their own communities.

I like how Mayer starts off by talking about how decency, respect and modesty were "normal" 50 or 100 years ago- hilarious, really, when you read this story from 2005 where he defended Monsey rabbis banning women from driving cars- or even sitting in the front seat!!

“It’s considered not tzniusdik [modest] for a woman to be a driver, not in keeping with the out-of-public-view [attitude],” village spokesman Rabbi Mayer Schiller said. “If you can imagine in Europe, would a woman have been a coach driver, a wagon driver? It would’ve been completely inappropriate.”

Reality check: plenty of women, including Jewish women, including ORTHODOX Jewish women, were driving cars in the 1950s. And people that weren't driving them probably were doing so for economic and cultural issues as much as "modesty" ones. So much for fundamentalist modesty being "normal," much less having that much to do with respect or decency (we can put the issue of whether driving- or sitting in the front- of your own private vehicle is equivalent to a woman being the village cabbie circa 1800s).

The good news is that Mayer is ecumenical about his bullshit:

So that would be not just Orthodox Judaism but Protestantism, traditional Catholicism and Islam. That sort of thing?

I think that all these people are very dear to God and are fulfilling His will on earth and will be rewarded in Heaven.

How does this conservative view work itself out in practical terms? Do you find yourself in ‘strange company’?

Well, I don’t think the company’s so strange. There is a natural allegiance between all men who value their Faith and their cultures and its just, I think, a short-sightedness and links to painful pasts that sometimes doesn’t allow us to realise that commonality. So, I don’t think it’s strange that I feel a sense of affinity to traditionalist Catholics, or Afrikaner South Africans and American traditionalists.

In my experience travelling in very traditional what would be called ‘right wing’ circles in America, Europe and South Africa, I have almost never met any one who, once they realised what my position is, is not willing to accept me. This is despite the fact that there has been animosity between Jews and so-called ‘right wing’ types. I’ve found, by and large, once they have realised that this commonality exists that any animosity disappears.

...This football hooliganism bill he’s rushing through parliament will take passports off people who have the ‘wrong tattoos’ or people who have no criminal convictions but whom they suspect might possibly perhaps in certain circumstances do something criminal. All due process has gone. All this Magna Carta stuff that has built up over centuries that you don’t deprive anyone of their rights unless they have committed a crime and been convicted of that offence by due process of law has gone out the window.

It’s been replaced by, ‘We think that you might do something wrong. We don’t like the look of you, so we’re taking away your right to travel.’

I don’t mean in any way to condone violence for the sake of violence but I think that in the extreme loyalty of many football supporters there is that sense of memory, of loyalty to one’s parents and grandparents – to one’s place. In the soul of that – and it is very often distorted in bad ways – but in the soul of that, lies something which Blair can’t tolerate. So he’s got to stop that. We’ve got to be without any sense of loyalty to anything except this New World Order.

I don’t want to use this in the sense of a conspiracy, but there is a philosophy of destroying all local faith and allegiances.

...I was thinking when I was watching some of the Twelfth of July parades that a lot of the young people have to be very confused. On the one hand they are inheriting this deeply traditional culture with all its symbols and rituals and its deeply traditional Faith from parents and grandparents. On the other hand television and maybe the schools bombard them with a whole different worldview. It’s got to be very confusing to kids caught in this tremendous battle for their souls, especially here in Ulster where the culture has its eye towards the past.

Got that? Football hooliganism is the modern-day equivalent of fighting for your roots. If you're anti-parochial hooliganism, you're basically a neo-Commie Internationalist Cosmopolitan tool of the New World Order. (I'd like to see him try to peddle this line among some of his haredi cohorts who are still fighting turf wars over nonexistent shtetls, much less the ongoing bickering between Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and the eight-and-counting-kinds of Ethiopians.) Another take-home lesson: Mayer likes hobnobbing with Afrikaners.

I would like to move on to address matters in the United States. A lot of Ulsterfolk identify with America, particularly with the Southern parts, which are areas which were settled by Ulster-Scots or ‘Scotch-Irish’ as they’re called over there. Places like the Carolinas and Virginia. There has been a certain affinity with the South. One of the South’s politicians, who is reputedly friendly with Dr Ian Paisley is Strom Thurmond.

Some time ago you reviewed a book on him in Third Way magazine. In 1948, he warned that the resulting civil strife in the event of forced racial integration of all facilities “may be horrible beyond imagination. Chaos will prevail. Our streets will be unsafe and there will be the greatest breakdown of law enforcement in the history of the nation.” For me, as an interested outsider looking in now over fifty years later, I would say that this man was a prophet. He had it spot on.

So what happened to Strom Thurmond? This man who foretold all this also said that there were not enough troops in the US army to force Southerners to accept racial integration. Then I find out that this same man sponsored a Bill to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a public holiday. He must be well into his nineties, but he’s still around. However, instead of saying, “Wow! I was a prophet. What did I tell you? It’s all come true.” He seems to have gone into an 180 degree turn away from all of this. What happened to Strom Thurmond and is it symptomatic of a lot of people in the South?

The collapse of the Southern resistance has always been a fascinating topic to me. Here were people who in the mid-fifties were saying that they would never abandon their way of life. Ten years later it was all over.

The Supreme Court decision was in 1954 and by 1967 or so they had lost every battle. There is integration of public accommodation, schooling, everything. Now you don’t hear any of their previous ideas mentioned by the same politicians by and large. There was a lot of bluff and bluster, a lot of angry rhetoric and when push came to shove there was surrender and a complete turning of their collective backs on their own people and their own traditions. It was similar, I think, with the National Party in South Africa, which was founded to protect the Afrikaner and which became the vehicle for the destruction of Afrikanerdom.

There seems to be a dangerous tendency to confuse romantic rhetoric, imagery of verbal firmness with the reality of clear strategy and tactics. When you think that in the fifties they had all these rallies and they played Dixie, they waved thousands of Confederate flags and the politicians would say, ‘Never, never, never!’ and ten years later there were no more flags, no more Dixie, no more rallies. It was the substitution of a kind of psychological soothing ritual of defiance for the reality of how one could actually accomplish something.

Yeah, isn't it lame that the CCC and the Klan, like, totally sold out and actually let blacks into their schools? Thurmond in 08!

In another of your Third Way articles, you mentioned that nationalists of European descent tend to be, “united by just a sense of impending doom.” What did you mean by that?

Well, we are all playing for a football team losing 3-0 or 4-0 with three minutes to go in the game. Over the past two hundred or so years of history, and especially since World War II, there has been a slow erosion of faith and identity in Europe. There is a sense of desperation that if something is not done that we won’t be able to reverse things.

There are two things that threaten the West. One is liberalism, which is the destruction of faith and values and culture. The other is multiracialism or multiculturalism which is essentially a peaceful invasion and take-over of these countries. Both of these things are hard to turn back the clock on once they have been done.

Take America, for example. It’s almost impossible to envision how we can possibly turn back the clock in America on the multiracial thing. In terms of religion and culture the problem is again that once education is in the hands of liberal-leftists so future generations are all ruined. I think that’s where the desperation comes from. People don’t see an easy way to score these four goals in three minutes.

...Today many people think, “We know this is true, but you just can’t say it.”

Yes. “Oh really? Oh, you thought that too?” Everybody knows what a disaster multiracialism has been in New York City but nobody will say it. Everybody knows it. Everybody thinks it. If we just tell people, “You know, you really have to say what you think”, a lot of people just might say it. And going to religious issues, everybody feels that traditional families with religious values who go to church or synagogue live much more balanced fulfilled lives than what happens to families today.

Everybody knows this. Everybody realises it but no-one wants to say it. I think that if somehow you can break through this it might become an avalanche. Unlike the truths in the American Declaration of Independence, these truths really are self-evident.

...Over these past few days you have been visiting Ulster. I know it’s your first time here and you came at quite an ‘interesting time’ as the Chinese would say. There have been street demonstrations and unrest in the past few days. The Orange Institution in particular has had a bad press owing to loyalist paramilitary show of strength surrounding some protests and people’s cars getting hijacked at some other protests. You’ve bee walking around that and then seeing the actual parades on the Twelfth and the Black demonstration in Scarva. So, what are your impressions?

My first general impression is that it’s just a wonderful thing that I’ve witnessed these past two days. To see these parades with all generations linked, the old people, the young people, grandfathers linked in a sense of gratitude to their own ancestors, their culture and their faith. They’re celebrating it with a firmness and a tenacity I found to be inspiring and I’ll take it back to America that it’s going to be a source of strength to me. It’s a wonderful thing that I saw.

The first time I saw it when they were just forming up, they were actually coming down the street in front of the hotel. I was almost moved to tears the first time that I saw it. Back home in America, there’s nothing quite like it and I’m sure it’s very infrequent in the rest of Europe as well.

In many ways, this is a little bastion of man in the way that God wanted him to be. It’s just a wonderful thing. The first thing I’m going to tell my friends is, “you’ve got to get over here next year.” I intend to speak and write as much as I can about this and to spread the word that there is this little corner of Europe that is still sane and still alive.

Yup, if there's a Heaven on Earth, it's clearly Belfast. I mean, obviously. And Mayer's got it right; God loves it when races keep themselves pure. I think that's definitely the message the Bible sends. Keep those family ties nice and close.

Memo to the Jewish Press: Next time you want to write about someone "unconventional," try digging a little deeper than how well their hockey team is doing.


Tzipporah said...

Whoa. Freaky freaks, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Schiller has something of a deal with YU not to publicly discuss his views on race and racial separatism. That is probably why The Jewish Press did not ask him about it.