Stephan Kinsella Lies To Defend Bigot Hoppe

So far, Stephan Kinsella has accused me of outrageous libel, hurling false charges, making incorrect and woefully mistaken assumptions, being uncivilized and incivil. All this while refusing to discourse with me. A shame he won’t enlighten curious readers who want to know exactly what is incorrect about my statements. Putting one’s hands about one’s ears and yelling “you’re wrong, neener neener, I can’t hear you!” is an interesting argumentative strategy, especially when one doesn’t have an argument. It’s hard to defend obvious bigotry, isn’t it?

Of course Hoppe is not a bigot or homophobe, and nor is this implied by what Ghertner quoted. This is silly. Some libertarians might buy into, and even use, the state’s contorted, PC definitions of “racism,” but sane people do not.

Does Kinsella deny that Hoppe wants homosexuals physically removed from society? Does Kinsella deny that Hoppe believes homosexuals must be physically removed from society if one is to maintain a libertarian order?

Need I remind Kinsella that in Hoppe’s own words:

They-the advocates of alternative, non-family-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism-will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.

Does Kinsella really want to deny that Hoppe is a bigot and a homophobe, with the evidence staring him directly in the face?

I happen not to favor the INS or state restrictions on immigration. Nor does Hoppe–he’s an anarchist, for God’s sake.

Another obvious lie. Kinsella knows very well what Hoppe’s position on immigration is. Let’s take a look at Hoppe’s own words, again:

What should one hope for and advocate as the relatively correct immigration policy, however, as long as the democratic central state is still in place and successfully arrogates the power to determine a uniform national immigration policy? The best one may hope for, even if it goes against the “nature” of a democracy and thus is not very likely to happen, is that the democratic rulers act as if they were the personal owners of the country and as if they had to decide who to include and who to exclude from their own personal property (into their very own houses). This means following a policy of utmost discrimination: of strict discrimination in favor of the human qualities of skill, character, and cultural compatibility.

More specifically, it means distinguishing strictly between “citizens” (naturalized immigrants) and “resident aliens” and excluding the latter from all welfare entitlements. It means requiring as necessary, for resident alien status as well as for citizenship, the personal sponsorship by a resident citizen and his assumption of liability for all property damage caused by the immigrant. It implies requiring an existing employment contract with a resident citizen; moreover, for both categories but especially that of citizenship, it implies that all immigrants must demonstrate through tests not only (English) language proficiency, but all-around superior (above-average) intellectual performance and character structure as well as a compatible system of values – with the predictable result of a systematic pro-European immigration bias.

Not only does Hoppe dislike homosexuals, but apparently can’t stand non-Europeans, either - a codeword among white supremacists for nonwhites. Elsewhere in that same article, Hoppe laments the US immigration laws of 1965 because they “eliminated all formerly existing ‘quality’ concerns and the explicit preference for European immigrants and replaced it with a policy of almost complete non-discrimination (multi-culturalism).”

Apparently non-European immigrants are of lower “quality” than European immigrants, more likely to consist of “bums and inferior people”, unlike the “geniuses and superior people” of European racial stock.

Again, I am not making this up. This is all right there in plain English - a language, incidentally, that must be protected by the government, according to the anarchist theorist Hans Hermann Hoppe.

[Full disclosure: Kinsella and I have some "history". He got me disinvited to speak on a panel at the Mises Institute a few years ago for making essentially the same claims I made in this post on another blog. So word to the wise: anyone who wants to remain on good terms with the Mises Institute, don't be too vocal about pointing out Hans Hermann Hoppe's more bigoted writings. Speaking truth to power will get you squelched.]

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Not only does Hoppe dislike

Not only does Hoppe dislike homosexuals, but apparently can’t stand non-Europeans, either

This isn't an accurate characterization of the quoted excerpt. What Hoppe is saying is that screening applicants for immigration on the basis of cognitive ability and liberal western values will tend to lead to an overrepresentation of Europeans (and most likely East Asians, too) among successful applicants. I can't speak for him, but I doubt very much that Hoppe would have any objection to immigration by intelligent Latinos, Africans, or Asians with liberal western values.

What he appears to object to is affirmative action in immigration policy—a deliberate policy of seeking diversity in immigrants at the expense of quality. And I can't say I disagree on this point. If we're going to limit the number of immigrants, we should select those whom we expect to make the greatest net contribution—i.e., those who are intelligent and educated and, so far as we can determine, have liberal western values*. If that means Europeans and East Asians will be overrepresented—and it does—then so be it.

*Though I'm not sure I'd trust the government to decide what values to screen for, so maybe it would be better to leave that last part out and rely on more objective measures.

What Hoppe is saying is that

What Hoppe is saying is that screening applicants for immigration on the basis of cognitive ability and liberal western values will tend to lead to an overrepresentation of Europeans (and most likely East Asians, too) among successful applicants.

Why bother mentioning this, other than the obvious reason of appealing to white nationalists? If screening for cognitive ability leads to overrepresentation of group X and underrepresentation of group Y, then so be it. Of course, cognitive ability isn't Hoppe's only concern, or he wouldn't have also lamented in that same article (as I quoted) the US immigration laws of 1965 on the grounds that they “eliminated all formerly existing ‘quality’ concerns and the explicit preference for European immigrants and replaced it with a policy of almost complete non-discrimination (multi-culturalism).” What a shame - lower "quality" human trash and non-Europeans to boot!

If we're going to limit the number of immigrants, we should select those whom we expect to make the greatest net contribution

Greatest net contribution? To whom? If you include the benefit to the immigrants themselves, as every decent economist should, then it is pretty clear that immigration should be extended to those who would benefit from it the most - poor, low skilled laborers. Don Boudreaux makes the same point:

Second, and much more importantly, by lamenting the fact that many immigrants are low-skilled, Hoppe seems to be ignorant of the principle of comparative advantage. When a low-skilled immigrant works, he produces net value – the economy becomes more productive. His employer is better off, he is better off, and consumers are better off. Nothing whatsoever in economic theory suggests that only “well-heeled, highly value-productive immigrants” enhance economic progress.

If you include the benefit

If you include the benefit to the immigrants themselves, as every decent economist should

Economists can calculate, or try to, the benefits and costs of immigration to different parties: high skilled immigrants, low-skilled natives, etc. We cannot, and should not, tell you how to value them.

Are you familiar with the

Are you familiar with the history behind the term used to describe economics, "the Dismal Science"?

Everyone knows that economics is the dismal science. And almost everyone knows that it was given this description by Thomas Carlyle, who was inspired to coin the phrase by T. R. Malthus's gloomy prediction that population would always grow faster than food, dooming mankind to unending poverty and hardship.

While this story is well-known, it is also wrong, so wrong that it is hard to imagine a story that is farther from the truth. At the most trivial level, Carlyle's target was not Malthus, but economists such as John Stuart Mill, who argued that it was institutions, not race, that explained why some nations were rich and others poor. Carlyle attacked Mill, not for supporting Malthus's predictions about the dire consequences of population growth, but for supporting the emancipation of slaves. It was this fact—that economics assumed that people were basically all the same, and thus all entitled to liberty—that led Carlyle to label economics "the dismal science."

Carlyle was not alone in denouncing economics for making its radical claims about the equality of all men. Others who joined him included Charles Dickens and John Ruskin. The connection was so well known throughout the 19th century, that even cartoonists could refer to it, knowing that their audience would get the reference.

I side with Mill and the classical economists - good economics starts from the foundation of fundamental human equality, ignoring irrelevant characteristics such as race and nationality, when determining the value we should give to people.

Shorter Micha-Curunir Disagreement

Curunir: Economics should be descriptive only.

Micha: No, economics should be normative, too.

I'd sign on to that summary.

I'd sign on to that summary.

Note that Micha does not

Note that Micha does not provide a framework in which economic choices are defined to be moral or not, while "treating every human being equally" (whatever that means).

I have no idea what you mean

I have no idea what you mean by this. All I'm saying in this part of the thread is that it's bad economics to ignore the benefit to the immigrants themselves when calculating the costs and benefits of immigration, as if the only people that matter are people born in the US. Do you disagree?

Yes, I disagree with the

Yes, I disagree with the concept of cost / benefit analysis over a population.

Same here

I'm with you on this. (So far, anyway.)

Changing the subject

You are changing the subject. Go back and read my initial objection to Brandon and the subsequent objection to Curunir. Both already conceded the legitimacy of interpersonal comparisons. That is not what is at issue here. What is at issue here is, once we have already granted the legitimacy of these comparisons, is it legitimate to simply ignore the benefit of immigration to the immigrants themselves. I say it isn't legitimate.

Economics as critique

I'm not a purist but I tend to lean toward economics as descriptive.

Another distinction is between economics as a positive theory and economics as a systematic critique of bad economic theory. People who want to ignore the lessons of economics say things like, "people aren't actually rational as the economists assume they are." And having said this they go off, ignoring economists, and inevitably therefore, reinventing the wheel, because in the end we are all theorists - we are simply most of us most of the time extremely bad theorists. And, equally inevitably, these people who have rejected economics and then recreated it repeat the same old mistakes that economists had corrected hundreds of years ago. People who reject economics think they're rejecting questionable assumptions and everything that follows from those assumptions, but what they are in fact rejecting is hundreds of years of corrections of bad economic theory. They are taking themselves right back into the era of the belief in just prices and the like.

The familiar objection to modern economics that people aren't rational is a fairly effective mental barrier against economics as a positive theory. It's not so effective, however, against economics as a critique of bad economic theory.

The assumption of rationality is not really a serious weakness of economics as a critique of bad ideas. Let's look at an example. Someone with a rudimentary grasp of economic reality might, in fact is likely to believe that price controls will keep prices under control without any other consequences. An economic critique will point out that if people are forced to sell things for less, they are probably going to be less inclined to offer those things for sale in the first place, and meanwhile buyers will line up to buy those things. This critique assumes economic rationality. But in this context, it is obviously a frivolous response to say, "that's an assumption, it's not necessarily true." What's different in this context is that it's not just the economic argument that is on trial, but also the argument that it is attacking. Here the question isn't, is the economic theory absolutely certain, but, which of the two positions is weaker. On the one side we have the very reasonable assumption that if people are forced to sell something for less, they might decide not to sell it at all. On the other side we have the assumption that if people are forced to sell something for less, then like automatons they will go ahead and do just that, without any thought for the price. It is clear here which of the two assumptions is the superior one.

I'm not a purist but I tend

I'm not a purist but I tend to lean toward economics as descriptive.

Great. What is it meant to describe? People? People with unlimited wants operating under conditions of scarcity? Which people is economics concerned with? All people or only some people? Are some people's wants more important that other people's wants? Can we pretend that certain people don't exist, or that their wants aren't important, and still be considered doing economics?

By assuming all wants to be

By assuming all wants to be equal, you are assuming commensurability, that's what I have a beef with.

Where did anyone assume that

Where did anyone assume that all wants are equal? What I said was that we cannot ignore the wants of some people and only focus on the wants of other people. All people deserve equal consideration by economists. That is not the same as saying that all people have equal wants.

What do you mean

What do you mean consideration ? So an economist who specializes in the economy of renaissance Italian cities is immoral because he does not give equal consideration to the economy the people living in medieval England ?

See my response to Constant

See my response to Constant here.

What economics covers

Which people is economics concerned with? All people or only some people?

In a particular application, it depends. Same as with physics. When you apply physics to a particular (say) engineering or prediction problem, you bring as much of the world into your model, in as much detail, as is required for your particular application, but no more. You ignore as much as you can for the sake of your own mental economy, but you try to capture everything that significantly affects the particular question you're trying to answer. Sometimes you can assume a spherical cow. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can ignore the cow altogether.

Are some people's wants more important that other people's wants?

I've just got done pointing out that I try to distinguish between those questions and economics. It's the same as with physics. Physics will help me to predict whether a prototype plane will fly, but it will not tell me whether it's important that the prototype flies.

Can we pretend that certain people don't exist

We can ignore people, if we judge that their activities don't significantly affect the question we're interested in.

or that their wants aren't important,

The importance of their wants (or of our own wants) may not figure in the economic analysis. Suppose that we predict that price controls will cause a shortage. Now suppose this fact is important. Does this change the fact? No. Now suppose the fact is unimportant. Does this change the fact? No. The importance need not figure in to the analysis. There is, of course, a certain area of economics which is much more directly involved with evaluation. When people start weighing a cost to Bill against a benefit to Bob, employing tools such as Kaldor-Hicks efficiency to decide whether Bill or Bob should be fed to the lions, then at this point they aren't making any new predictions but (probably) deciding who to throw from the train - that is, which wants are more important. I try to steer clear of this area of economics.

In a particular application,

In a particular application, it depends.

In this particular application - the question of immigration. Is it legitimate to ignore the benefits to the immigrants themselves?

When people start weighing a cost to Bill against a benefit to Bob, employing tools such as Kaldor-Hicks efficiency to decide whether Bill or Bob should be fed to the lions, then at this point they aren't making any new predictions but (probably) deciding who to throw from the train - that is, which wants are more important. I try to steer clear of this area of economics.

It's a lot easier to feed Bill to the lions when you pretend he doesn't exist, or isn't a person, and can simply be ignored.

Is it legitimate to ignore

Is it legitimate to ignore the benefits to the immigrants themselves?

Legitimate in what respect? I don't mind you calling it reprehensible to ignore the benefits to the immigrants. But I take issue with statements like:

If you include the benefit to the immigrants themselves, as every decent economist should

I don't think of economics as a question of moral decency, any more than I think of physics as a question of moral decency. That doesn't mean I advocate moral indecency, it just means that I don't think that my decency has to come out of physics - or out of economics. I have my own decency, thanks very much. And I prefer to refrain from cramming my own sense of decency down the throats of others by stuffing my sense of decency into economic theory (or into a particular economic argument). I think that if I did that, then people who happened to have a slightly different sense of decency from myself would reject the decency-stuffed economic theory I was trying stuff down their throats, and they would reject the baby with the bathwater: they would reject both the moral sentiments, and also the positive results which might otherwise have formed a common ground. And I take issue with statements like:

good economics starts from the foundation of fundamental human equality, ignoring irrelevant characteristics such as race and nationality, when determining the value we should give to people.

I don't think economics has to start from any position at all concerning the value of people. Economics may, of course, encourage us to recognize the superficiality of racial and national differences, because economic theory relates superficial consequences (such as prices) to underlying causes. When we see a foreign market through economists' eyes, we see past the seemingly great superficial differences, to the not so dissimilar pulsing heart of foreign markets and societies. A particular application: customary social mores can be seen as adaptations to local conditions - adaptations, that is, of a common animal (humanity). Thus we can see strange foreigners as kin. And since it is incomprehension that (I think) lies at the heart of xenophobia, dawning comprehension can ease the xenophobia, and with xenophobia eased it becomes easier to care. Another example: if you believe that the natives of some place far from our capitals have no concept of property in land because of a fundamental difference in their nature from our nature, then economics can help you to recognize that property in land is unnecessary and even cumbersome in some situations - e.g., for humans who haven't adopted agriculture, and therefore that it does not indicate a different nature, but on the contrary, indicates a common nature, which has tailored customary practices to a different environment.

But if economics starts from such a foundation, then it's not going to convince anybody who doesn't already share it. They'll simply reject economics.

Both you and Arthur are

Both you and Arthur are mixing together two objections to economics together - the interpersonal comparisons of utility arguments and the equal consideration arguments. Both are part of modern welfare economics. Now, you are welcome to take the hard Austrian line against interpersonal comparisons. I'll think you're mistaken, but that's not what I'm interested in arguing about in this thread. But if you do accept the validity of interpersonal comparisons, as the people I was responding to in this thread do, then part of what goes along with that is the consideration of people involved in your comparisons as essentially equal in certain respects.

Again, to summarize, I'm not interested in arguing about the validity of interpersonal comparisons of utility here. I am taking for granted that we are engaging in a welfare economics analysis, and one of the things that goes along with that is the equality assumption.

Though Constant mentioned

Though Constant mentioned skepticism towards utility comparisons up thread, none of the comment of his you responded to seems to have anything to do with that topic.

His focus was on

His focus was on normativity, but some of the assumptions of welfare economics are normative; namely: equal consideration.

I don't think that's

I don't think that's responsive, but I leave it to Constant.

Until the next thread,
Scott

In the scuffle you link to,

In the scuffle you link to, you wrote:

Now, as you noted, there are multiple justifications given for restricting immigration (though I would argue that all of them can be reduced to a form of xenophobia), including both the welfare argument and the Hoppean “government owns the roads” arguments.

This is where I'd agree with Kinsella that you're throwing around charges of racism carelessly.

As for forcefully removing homosexuals from society, I'd say that crosses the line into actual bigotry.

Every anti-immigration

Every anti-immigration argument I've ever encountered involves, at some level, treating American citizens as inherently more deserving, more worthy, entitled to greater concern than non-Americans. ("This is a major weakness in both deontological minarchism and Rawlsian welfare-state liberalism: distinctions between people based on geographical location are unacceptably arbitrary and ethically unjustifiable.")

I am very careful in my charges of racism. For example, I will note here that xenophobia is not the same as racism, nor is it the same as homophobia, though all are forms of bigotry. If you are going to accuse me of throwing around charges carelessly, I'd recommend you be a bit more careful in crafting your own accusation.

This is not merely name calling. Equality is central to my political philosophy, and underpins a major justification of anarchy and a significant critique of deontological minarchy, as well as Rawlsian welfare statism.

A fair point on racism v.

A fair point on racism v. xenophobia. My bad. I should have said bigotry instead of racism. I shall be more careful in the future. Do you subscribe to the multicultural notion that all cultures are of equal value?

Do you subscribe to the

Do you subscribe to the multicultural notion that all cultures are of equal value?

Of course not. I subscribe to the individualist notion that all people are of equal value.

Do you think open borders,

Do you think open borders, combined with our current system of government, would result in greater statism? It's what I'd predict. I have trouble weighting that against the individualist notion we share.

No, just the opposite in

No, just the opposite in fact. David Friedman explains:

The existence of a welfare state may indeed make open immigration less attractive. But the existence of open immigration also makes a welfare state less attractive—which, for those who disapprove of a welfare state, is an additional argument in favor of open immigration.

Consider the analogous argument applied intrastate. Supporters of higher levels of welfare generally want them to be provided at the federal level—for a good reason. If welfare is provided and paid for by the states, high levels of income redistribution tend to pull poor people into, and drive taxpayers out of, states that provide them. That provides a potent political incentive to hold down redistribution. This is one example of a more general principle: The more mobile taxpayers are, the more governments, like businesses in a competitive market, have to provide them value for their money, and thus the less able they are to tax A in order to buy the votes of B.

The same argument applies across national borders.

In further support of

In further support of Micha's position is this paper, arguing that racial heterogeneity makes people less likely to vote for redistribution.

Overall, the cross-country evidence, the cross-state evidence (of Alesina, Baqir and
Easterly, 1999, 2000, and the work presented here) and the survey evidence given here (and of Luttmer, 2001 and in Alesina and LaFerrara, 2001) all suggest that hostility between the races limits support for welfare. It is clear that racial heterogeneity within the US is one of the most important reasons why the welfare state in America is small.

I'm an open borders skeptic (not opponent per se) because I'm skeptical of virtually any large scale, rapid change in society. But my understanding of the empirical evidence is that there is a negative relationship between immigration and the size of the welfare state, though I'm open to persuasion otherwise.

If people are of equal

If people are of equal value, what can possibly be wrong with Hoppe?

Sigh.

Of course Hoppe is not a homophobe nor bigot; Ghertner has obviously appointed himself high PC commissar and is looking to root out deviations from his state-fostered PC faith. First: in the quote Ghertner uses, Hoppe is talking about "the advocates of alternative, non-family-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism"--not homosexuals, but "advocates" thereof. Second, this is arguably a prediction, not a policy Hoppe necessarily personally favors. Third, he's speaking in stark language here but is obviously talking about tendencies, not ironclad 100% laws--he's predicting that free societies would tend to shun those who advocate mores and practices that undercut the socio-cultural underpinnings of society. Fourth, the "physically removed from society" part does not imply aggression--a charitable reader would realize this probably only means physical separation--i.e., that societies would tend to shun enemies of society and to segregate with those of their own kind--fellow inhabitants of "society" who appreciate the cultural underpinnings necessary for it. This in no way implies that aggression is permissible, nor that living among homosexuals is problematic. But Ghertner is not a charitable reader. He's a punk with a mission.

This all feels very

This all feels very familiar.

A Punk With A Mission

A punk with a mission - I like that. Here is what I posted in response to Kinsella's obvious obfuscation in the other thread:

Up is down. Left is right. “X and not X–you can have it all!

Hoppe doesn’t have any beef with hedonists, parasites, nature-environment worshipers, homosexuals, or communists - Absurd! Preposterous! Uncharitable! - but only those who advocate hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism. Big difference! As long as you deny who you are, hate yourself, and keep your true identity a secret from Hoppe’s morality police, everything is kosher. Once he discovers you, though, you will be physically removed from society, magically, through “shunning and voluntary segregation,” which somehow equates to active physical removal in the bizarro world of Kinsella-speak.

Do you actually believe your own bullshit, Kinsella? I think you have a wonderful career ahead of you working for Karl Rove.

xenophobia

BTW, not that I have any attachment to the idea, but what is unlibertarian or even immoral about xenophobia? Isn't it rather natural?

Depends on your version of

Depends on your version of libertarianism--if you grant Micha his thick libertarianism, it doubtlessly contradicts one of the thick precepts. From a thin viewpoint, xenophobia's neutral, as you say, so long as it doesn't rise to the belief that different people have different sets of rights.

One more reason why thick

One more reason why thick libertarianism sucks. What Micha blames Hoppe about boils down to his own brand of conservative thick libertarianism.

The wrongness of one variant

The wrongness of one variant of a position does not damn the position as a whole.

They say the same for

They say the same for religion. There's no solid ground for defining a set of values conducive to a libertarian society.

They say the same for

They say the same for religion.

Yeah?

There's no solid ground for defining a set of values conducive to a libertarian society.

This seems clearly wrong.

Analyzing the effect of

Analyzing the effect of values on society culture and institutions is amazingly complex. There are some obvious rules of course, respect of property, life, etc, but trying to guess whether bisexual polygamy or strict monogamous heterosexual relationships are most conducive to a libertarian order is astrology.

I disagree

But I don't think there's any more useful to be said.

thick and xenophobia

Well even nasty xenophobia is not unlibertarian per se. But what I mean is, isn't a degree of xenophobia natural and not even immoral at all, and not even violative of "thick" libertarianism? Even if we "ought" to be tolerant and cosmopolitan, does this imply that there ought to be no attachment whatsoever to "one's own kind"? (which of course implies a degree of xenophobia). If xenophobia is wrong, then any preference for any individual based on their group memberships is also wrong. E.g., it would be "immoral" and against "thick" libertarian precepts for a black father to prefer his daughter marry a black man (or even for him to prefer that she be heterosexual); or to attend a black church; or for him to join the NAACP, etc. I don't see that some inter-group preferences are necessarily immoral or illiberal; and they all imply (are correlatives of) a type or degree of xenophobia.

I.e., even if we ought to be "cosmopolitan" and "tolerant" and "individualist," there is a range. I myself fall on the extreme "tolerant/individualist" range, personally, but *as* a genuinely tolerant liberal I have no gripe with those on the more "collectivist" end of the spectrum--so long as they don't fall into irrationality, outright collectivism, real racism, and nastiness, rudeness, and intolerance. The real problem with genuine racism is that it's rude, mean, petty, bad manners, self-destructive and irrational. And this is yet another problem with the princess-and-the-pea silly pinheads like Ghertner--like the boy who cried wolf, they make people skeptical of real claims of bigotry, by promoting the state's irrational and politically-motivated concepts thereof.

Given what Micha's written

Given what Micha's written before in regards to his own Jewishness and his feelings for his family's intragroup preferences, I believe he does indeed believe that that mild xenophobia is indeed immoral.

And while I'm skeptical--my first instinct is that he's right.

As to what you tolerate, we agree, but Micha's belief--which is by no means clearly false--is that such more mild collectivisms foster deeper and more extreme collectivism, which will ultimately interfere with a libertarian order.

The real problem with

The real problem with genuine racism is that it's rude, mean, petty, bad manners, self-destructive and irrational.

Exactly so, and this is a perfect description of Hoppe's M.O.

Were we supposed to know that?

That "Micha" is Jewish? I had no idea--and don't care. The problem with opposing "mild collectivisms" is they permeate human life. As I noted, I am much less into that stuff than most people--especially more than most religious people. Jews engage in a form of "mild collectivism" and xenophobia, no? I had a Jewish friend tell me, point blank, to my face one time, during lunch--an atheist Jew, mind you, who was nonetheless "kosher"--that one reason for advocating Jews to be kosher was to impose a cost on them to associate with goyem--to reduce the chance of intermarriage and loss of culture etc. Now I found that to be offensive and irrational, ... but whatever.

Huh?

I don't particularly care either--I simply mentioned it as the basis for my guess as to Micha's beliefs. That you've chosen to rhapsodize on that immaterial detail and address nothing else doesn't say much about your position.

Jews engage in a form of

Jews engage in a form of "mild collectivism" and xenophobia, no?

Yes, and in precisely the way you described. I find it to be offensive and irrational too. And I have criticized the culture into which I was born for this very reason.

Scott's point, which is correct, is that my family's religious background informs my views, not because I agree with those views, but because I vehemently reject them.

How is it ok to be offended

How is it ok to be offended by the values promoted by the Jewish culture and not by the values promoted by a gay subculture ?