Author

Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried has 8 articles published.

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried is an American political philosopher and intellectual historian, and former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.
Politics

Leftist Attacks

A dispute recently erupted at a conference sponsored by the Mises Institute between right- and left-leaning libertarians, that is, between Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute, and Daniel Horowitz, who is something of a fixture at CATO. Since Tom Woods has provided a spirited defense of Deist’s position, which calls for a combination of liberty with traditional social morality and traditional community identities, I needn’t rush to Jeff’s defense. Although I’ve never (to my knowledge) met the Director of the Mises Institute, I fully share his perspective on the necessary preconditions for living in a free society under a constitutionally limited government. And I find the attacks by Horowitz on Deist and Ron Paul to be over-the-top, particularly the efforts to equate a respect for traditional civic morality with Nazism. I also agree with Shane Trejo, writing here that Horowitz’s rage against communal loyalties among gentile nations rings hollow, given his own intense Jewish nationalism. Let me quote Shane’s brilliant put-down of Horowitz’s name-calling lest my paraphrase fails… Keep Reading

Politics

Why Democrats Are More Unified Than The GOP

Thanks to at least nine opposing Republican senators, Congress left for its July 4 break without passing a replacement bill for Obamacare. The opposition from these Republicans was two-fold: Four conservatives thought the GOP bill on the table went too far in retaining government control over the medical insurance market, while five centrist members complained it doesn’t go far enough in providing federal funding for Medicaid in their states, and would leave 22 million Americans overall without medical insurance. The free-marketers in the party have countered the centrist Republicans by indicating that many of the 22 million who will not be insured under the new system are young people who were forced to buy Obamacare insurance. Why should they continue to be forced to buy what they don’t want and probably don’t need? Moreover, payment for Medicaid expenses will be left to the states, which will be free to deal with this arrangement as they see fit. And within a few years both medical premiums and the taxes currently… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Eastern European Jews And The Case Of The Marginalized Elite

The story of Eastern European Jews who immigrated to America in the beginning of the twentieth century is a story of “self-marginalization.” The more dramatically Eastern European Jews progress socio-economically, the more strenuously they identify with “marginalized groups” and seek to undermine the white Christian majority population. And though he takes care to guard against charges of being Politically Incorrect, David R. Verbeeten’s The Politics of Non-Assimilation: Three Generations of Eastern European Jews in the United States in the Twentieth Century is a goldmine of sociological evidence revealing this critically important phenomenon which so many scholars are happy to ignore. The Dissident Right may find Verbeeten controversial as well. Though Kevin MacDonald argues his theory about Jewish group behavior ably, I believe it is unwarranted to generalize about the social behavior of all Jews simply because of the behavior of Eastern European Jews. Other Jewish immigrants in other times and places have behaved very differently, including backing causes which today would be called reactionary or even “racist.” Keep Reading

Politics

National Review Cuckservative David French Attacks “Left And White”

“But it’s easy to call out the Left. Here’s where things get more uncomfortable. Conservatives still have to face the disgusting fact that Steve Bannon is in the president’s inner circle, and Bannon proudly labeled his website, Breitbart, “the platform for the alt-right.” That “platform” compiled massive page-view numbers while publishing dreck that excused the alt-right as little more than countercultural trolls, while writers and journalists (like me, my wife, and many others) found themselves subjected to vicious campaigns of hate, threats, and abuse when we wrote or spoke critically of Trump,” National Review editor David French wrote in an op-ed last month. With these words, the avid “NeverTrumper” French describes the “radicalization” on the current Right caused by the presidency of Donald Trump. Although French’s tirade tries to look even-handed, it hardly lays a glove on the anti-Trump Left. In a pro forma way, it goes after Maxine Waters, black congresswoman from Los Angeles, who it is suggested may be a bit unsavory, and complains that the Democratic… Keep Reading

Politics

What Do They Want From This Lady?

I just witnessed on TV a crowd of Black-Lives-Matter demonstrators protesting the arrival of our newly confirmed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a predominantly black public school in Southwest Washington. The following questions immediately came to mind as I looked at this scene—in total wonderment. Why would Black Lives Matter zealots be up in arms against Ms. DeVos, who has done absolutely nothing to offend them? Why were, among other sometimes violent demonstrators, blacks screaming “shame!” at this middle-aged lady? If the demonstrators were concerned that policemen are unfairly targeting black youth, then the new Secretary of Education has nothing to do with this practice, assuming that the charge is justified, which statistically it’s not… What the angry blacks seemed to be protesting, however, was DeVos’s policies as an educational reformer. But here my perplexity is even greater. As far as I know, DeVos has been a champion of charter schools, as a vehicle for helping inner city minorities. She was closely identified with this project in Detroit, to… Keep Reading

Politics

Trump’s Problem

Let’s not imagine that Trump can alone pick up his popularity ratings. Several days ago I picked up the Inquirer while in Philadelphia and saw on the front cover, next to a puff piece for Michelle Obama, a headline that Trump’s popularity is now down to 40%. Although I’ve no implicit faith in polls, given the likely politics of the pollsters and given their obvious downplaying of Trump’s support throughout the presidential campaign, from what I’ve seen and heard, it seems that Trump’s approval rating is in fact well below 50%. Despite Obama’s longtime associations with onetime terrorists and raving black nationalists, Mr. “Hope and Change” had an 80% approval rating when he took office; and it remained at about 60% when he flew off on Inauguration Day for a California vacation. And that often tongue-tied establishment Republican George W. Bush enjoyed a 60% approval rating when he entered the Oval Office. Although Trump continues to benefit from an intensely loyal following, it seems hard for him to raise… Keep Reading

Politics

Weeping With Dersh

Lately, I’ve been watching the blossoming lovefest between the conservative-Republican establishment and those on the Left who are raging over the Obama administration’s reaction to the UN resolution against Israel. Arguably, this resolution was an attempt to take away Israel’s bargaining chips in negotiating with the Palestinians. The UN Security Council, which passed the resolution, made unmistakably clear that Israel is illegally occupying both East Jerusalem and the territory on the West Bank that had been taken during the Six Day War. The resolution may also have the effect of justifying terrorist acts designed to dislodge Israelis from areas that they’re no longer supposed to be occupying. Finally, it challenges Israeli claims to East Jerusalem, although there is no chance that the Israeli government will acquiesce in making Jerusalem once again a divided city. Although some of the reactions coming from Republican publicists and politicians have bordered on the hysterical or histrionic, I won’t disagree that the US might have done better by not lobbying for the troublesome resolution,… Keep Reading

Politics/Religion

Real Islam And Democracy

During the last few months I’ve seen on TV and read in Newsmax the views of an earnest American patriot, Zudhi Jasser. A onetime naval officer, distinguished cardiologist and more recently, an inspired leader of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Dr. Yasser has been second to none in denouncing Islamicist terror and in exhorting his fellow-Muslims in the US and throughout the West to turn in suspected terrorists. It pains me to criticize such a decent fellow, but much of what I hear him saying about purifying Islam of Sharia and making Muslims accept “human rights,” “gender equality” and “secular governance” as part of their belief system is arrant nonsense. I make this point not because I wish to savage Islam, in either its Sunni or Shiite form, but because it is hard for me to imagine that anyone who accepts the claims of a traditional religion could in good conscience adopt Yasser’s position. Biblical or Koranic religion antedates by many centuries the modern principles or attitudes around… Keep Reading

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