A stupid Kraut

Prof. Dr. Gert Weisskirchen is a stupid Kraut and I want to tell you why. For a start, Kraut is the German word for cabbage and -- perhaps due to their liking for Sauerkraut (sour cabbage) -- it has become a contemptuous term for Germans generally. It was a term much used in two world wars during which Germans killed a lot of people.

In this month's British report on antisemitism, Prof Weisskirchen describes the causes of antisemitism as follows:

"Nationalistic or right-wing populist movements are trying to gain a foothold to varying degrees in all European States. Apart from bringing chauvinistic longings up to date, the common elements in their rationale are the emphasis on authoritarian thinking, the stirring up of resentment towards established parties and the mobilization of right-wing extremist attitudes in the form of xenophobia or even open racism and antisemitism.

A wealth of studies, beginning with the sociological writings of Theodor W. Adorno more than 60 years ago, demonstrate that xenophobia and modern versions of ethnic and racist sentiments with antisemitic prejudices are the most significant features of right-wing extremism and populism. Although they sometimes do without the key trappings of classic Fascism and Nazism, they still make use of its arsenal of discriminatory and denigrating contemptuous prejudices. In accordance with the classic scapegoat mechanism, foreigners are held responsible for whatever social problems exist, such as unemployment and failing social systems, and are disparaged as social parasites who dispute the right of the native population to the country's wealth. As a group they are ostracized as "disruptive factors" who need to be removed. Behind the "new" forms of antisemitism the old core still remains. If preventive measures are not taken to combat antisemitism at its source it will turn into a "social disease" that infests society, gradually eating it up from within and finally destroying it.

So "nationalistic or right-wing populist movements" are the prime source of antisemitism. There is absolutely no mention of Islam or Leftist "antizionism", which are by far the main forms of antisemitism today. Could the fact that the professor is also a socialist member of the German parliament have something to do with that? In his other writings he does occasionally mention Islam and European antizionism but he never mentions that antizionism is mainly Leftist nor does he discuss causes of any form of antisemitism other than "rightist" antisemitism. Apparently the causes of Leftist and Islamic antisemitism either do not exist or must not be examined.

And the amusing thing is that the alleged origins of rightist antisemitism that he mentions derive from one of the most discredited pieces of work in the whole of the social sciences -- the claims about psychological "authoritarianism" by Marxist theoretician Theodor Wiesengrund (aka Adorno). If Prof. Weisskirchen were a chemist, he would still be talking about "phlogiston".

Below are some of the books (not to mention hundreds of academic journal articles -- e.g here) that demolish in various ways the Adorno psychological theories that Prof. Weisskirchen believes in.

Altemeyer, R. (1981). Right-wing authoritarianism. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

Christie, R. & Jahoda, M. (1954) Studies in the scope and method of "The authoritarian personality". Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.

McKinney, D.W. (1973) The authoritarian personality studies. The Hague: Mouton.

Kirscht, J.P. & Dillehay, R.C. (1967) "Dimensions of authoritarianism: A review of research and theory. Lexington: Univ. Kentucky Press

The Altemeyer book is particularly interesting. Altemeyer rather likes the Adorno theory but he devotes the first half of his book to a comprehensive literature review (up to about 1973) of all the vast body of research on the theory -- and finds that none of all that evidence actually supports the theory!

How stupid do you have to be still to accept such a theory?


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