November 16, 2008
UPDATE: Download the audio archive here.
VoR radio host Peter Schaenk returns Wednesday, November 19, 2008 with an interview with a special guest: psychology professor and author Kevin MacDonald.
Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University-Long Beach, best known for his use of evolutionary psychology to inform his study of Judaism as a “group evolutionary strategy”. MacDonald’s most controversial claim is his assertion that a suite of traits that he attributes to Jews, including higher-than-average intelligence and ethnocentricism, have been eugenically derived throughout history to enhance the ability of Jews to out-compete non-Jews for resources while undermining the power and self-confidence of the white majorities in Europe and America.
MacDonald was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and raised in a traditional Roman Catholic family. He entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison and became an activist in the anti-war movement from about 1965 to 1975. It was during this period that he came into contact with the East Coast Jewish background of the radical leftist movement then shaking the Establishment of America. Much later, during the 1990s, when he was formulating his idea of ethnic groups sustaining themselves with group evolutionary strategies, he began to reflect on his experiences during those days as an activist in “the movement”, in which he was in regular contact with an ethnic group that had relatively little history in the upper Midwest America of which he was a part. These reflections sparked his interest in Jewish intellectual and political movements.
MacDonald became a philosophy major and lost his radicalism. He embarked on a career as a Jazz pianist, but by the late 1970s had abandoned it in favor of academia. While in graduate school, he became attracted to E.O. Wilson’s theory of sociobiology.
MacDonald is also the author of seven books on evolutionary psychology and child development. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966, and M.S. in biology from the University of Connecticut in 1976. He earned a Ph.D. in 1981 (Biobehavioral Sciences) from the University of Connecticut.
Since assuming his position at Cal State–Long Beach, his research has focused on developing evolutionary perspectives in developmental psychology and personality theory, the origins and maintenance of monogamous marriage in Western Europe, and ethnic relations (human group evolutionary strategies). He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews.
The books MacDonald is most known for are his trilogy on Judaism: A People That Shall Dwell Alone, Separation and Its Discontents, and, his most popular and most controversial, The Culture of Critique. A collection of MacDonald’s essays in book form, Cultural Insurrections, has been published by The Occidental Press. I have posted the links to all of these books below.
Some articles by Kevin MacDonald:
American Transcendentalism: An indigenous culture of critique [a very interesting article on the Puritan heritage in shaping the American Transcendentalist activist movement and American life in general]
The Neoconservative Mind. A review of the book They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, by Jacob Heilbrunn
Sites and info:
Personal site: kevinmacdonald.net
Blog: Kevin MacDonald Blog