Thoughts On America`s Jewish Ruling Class And Noblesse Oblige


last week profiling historian

Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison
was inspired by David
Brooks` column,

The Power Elite
February 18, 2010]. Brooks outlined some of the problems
caused by the replacement of Morison`s old Protestant
Establishment by what Brooks calls a
“meritocratic elite”—actually,
as I

pointed out
, substantially Jewish—more interested in

short-term profit-making
in than long-term caretaking of
the country.

commenter on Brooks` column,

, filled in some missing background on the
once-popular notion of
noblesse oblige

too long ago elites lived the ethos that with great wealth
and power came great responsibility. The ruthless climbers
of the 19th and 20th centuries secured that wealth and/or
power then spawned succeeding generations (Republican and
Democrat alike) in which public service meant something:




Hugo Pirovano
, made Brooks` point far more explicitly:


WASPS dominated
, their best and brightest performed
selflessly and honestly because they felt that in working
for their country they were working for themselves. They
were not ashamed to want America to win. They were advancing
their patrimony."

Admiral Morison`s Oxford History of the American People, for
example, is quite explicit about the dubious way the United
States acquired California—but, he points out, it


"Nowadays the best and brightest, are quite

their feelings for their country.
The burden of
past faults and sins
weighs heavily on them. Their
sympathies go well beyond America`s borders."

The most central aspect of this process
was well described by David Samuels in

Assimilation and Its Discontents
New York Magazine
(September 28, 2008):

“Future historians
will record that the Jews replaced the old Protestant elite,
who had run the city [
New York] off and on since the eighteenth century until their power was finally
shattered by the cultural metamorphosis of



"It takes a certain
amount of effort to remember that it was not surprising even
into the late sixties for Jews to be excluded from top-tier
jobs at the commercial banks, ad agencies, and insurance
companies that formed the elite of the city`s business class
… The Jews of New York City had their own banks, their own
law firms, their own social clubs, and their own charities,
which enabled them to function as a kind of parallel elite

Since then, there has been a huge
diffusion of the talents and values of Jews

throughout the financial industry

Yet, as the
New York Times`
Brooks asked, “would
we say that banks are performing more ably than they were a
half-century ago?”

they have certainly acquired an ever-larger share of the

The theory behind the dusty old concept of
noblesse oblige is
that a powerful class that thinks of itself as being in the
game for the very long run will tend to behave in a more
responsible fashion than one that doesn`t. As they say,
nobody ever washed a rental car.

In the early 20th Century, for example,
leadership caste WASPs played a major role in setting aside

National Parks
and in

limiting immigration

more fundamentally, they tolerated criticism of themselves
by others. Criticism encourages you to behave better.

course, the moribund WASP Establishment`s increasing
fair-mindedness had its downsides. One problem with letting
other people have their say about you is that they may
undermine your power. Samuels writes of

own personal sorrow about the fate of the Harvard-educated

I admired in my youth, who cherished their
belief in liberal openness while licking at the bleached
bones of their family romances. Their mansions are
threadbare and drafty, and stickers on their salt-eaten
Volvos advertise the cause of zero population growth. It`s
hard to imagine that their ancestors sailed clipper ships to
China and wrote
great books
and built great companies and ran spies

behind enemy lines in Europe
(VDARE.COM links added).

shouldn`t new elites be held to the same standards of
criticism that helped them displace the old elites? Why is
it considered admirable for the new establishment to try to
destroy the careers of their critics?

noblesse oblige
to work, privileged and influential
groups have to be publicly acknowledged to be privileged and
influential. If, on the other hand, their main sense of
collective identity is that of marginal members of society
endangered by the might of the current majority, then the
system doesn`t operate.

In 2006,
blogger Noah Millman was surprised by a rabbi`s Purim
sermon. Not by the message—Write
your Congressman about Darfur!
—but by the unusual
explanation the rabbi offered:
noblesse oblige

compared the position of the Jewish community in America
today with Queen Esther`s position in King Ahashuerus`s [Xerxes`s]
Persia: that is to say, a position of power or, more
precisely, profound influence on those who wield power. And,
he said, that power implies responsibility."


"But you (or at
least I) rarely hear a Jewish leader saying, in so many
words, that Jews must act to prevent this or that injustice
because we are powerful, and power implies responsibility."

, March 13, 2006

Jewish leaders typically exhort Jews with one of three
arguments, all based around feelings of communal self-pity.
Millman enumerates them:

(1) “We Jews have
suffered, so we should be acutely sensitive to others`
suffering …;”

“As God
liberated the Jews from captivity in Egypt
… we have a
religious obligation as Jews to help the oppressed”;

(3) “Jews should be
aware of our collective vulnerability, historical and
continuing, and therefore for our own good always take the
other side of the kinds of groups, movements and individuals
who have victimized us in the past, and who could threaten
us again in the future.”

And yet that plain fact is that in modern
America, Jews are the biggest winner among ethnic groups.
Although only two percent of the American population, Jews
make up about

35 percent
of the
Forbes 400
wealthiest individuals. (That percentage is
from after the financial bubble burst in 2007-2008, so it likely reflects
a long-run baseline.)

By way of comparison, consider
Italian-Americans, who arrived in America at roughly the
same time as Jewish-Americans and tend to live in similar
parts of the country. Today, Italians are fairly well
represented in most aspects of American life:
movie stars,

Democratic Speaker of the House
, two

Republican Supreme Court Justices
, and so forth. Indeed,
Italians make up 5.4 percent of the gentile members of the
Forbes 400 and

5.7 percent
of the gentile population. For
Italian-Americans, on average, life isn`t bad.

Italians are only 1/30th as likely per capita as Jews to be

to one is a big difference.

This ratio isn`t proof of conspiracy or
even simple discrimination. It is merely proof of Disparate
Impact. Federal law makes a very big deal out of Disparate
Impact when it involves
ethnicity. If ethnic Hispanics are less than

as successful as white non-Hispanics, a
puts the burden of disproving discrimination
on employers.

One-thirtieth is a lot smaller

than four-fifths.
Yet the law doesn`t mention any other
kind of ethnicity than Hispanic.

really can`t understand modern America without thinking
about these sorts of numbers. But, do Americans really want
to understand America?

On the
rare occasions when the topic of Jewish influence surfaces
in the Main Stream Media, attempts to confuse are trotted
out over and over—such as theological hair-splitting over
Who Is a Jew? and reminders that

Not All Jews Agree.

Of course, the exact same points could
have been made about the

old Protestant elites
. Indeed, their disagreements are
the stuff of American history, for example
Civil War
. For that matter, Henry Ford and
George S.
believed in

, but nobody claims they therefore weren`t
ethnically Protestant.

Just as it was worth understanding the
Protestant Establishment, its strengths and weaknesses, it
is now worth
understanding the Jewish elite.

Yet in the Main Stream Media, mentioning
the kind of numbers I just cited is mostly
just not done

One possible reason: roughly 50 percent of

Atlantic 50
list of the most important pundits are

Similarly, with the

Oscars just selected,
it`s worth recalling

Abe Foxman
of the


in 2008 that
"all eight major film
studios are

run by men who happen to be Jewish

Samuels contends
“New York Jews circa 2008 are wealthy white people whose protestations
of outsiderness inspire blank stares or impatient eye

But is
that really true? Or has the public increasingly
internalized Politically Correct ignorance?

The ADL has

Americans four times on whether or not they agree
with the proposition
“The movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews”.
In 1964, 47 percent agreed versus 21 percent who disagreed.
By 2008, amazingly, only 22 percent of the public agreed and
63 percent disagreed.


Joel Stein
“Actually, it just
shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run

In contrast to the Main Stream Media, the
Jewish press, such as
and the

Jewish Telegraph Agency
(which first compiled an
estimate of the Jewishness of the 2009
Forbes 400), is
usually much more informative on the subject of Jewish

Conclusion: American Jews should start
thinking of themselves

less as oppressed outcasts
who need to go for whatever
they can get while the getting is good, and start more
accurately thinking of themselves as belonging to the
best-connected inner circle of the contemporary American

Thus, American Jews should realize that,
like the Protestant elite of yore, their privileged position
as a de facto leadership caste bestows upon themselves
corresponding duties to conserve the long-term well-being of
the United States—rather than to indulge in
and ethnic profit and

power maximization.

that`s unlikely to happen until the Jewish elite to begin to
tolerate non-Jewish criticism, rather than to continue to
try to
destroy the careers of critics
—or even just

honest observers
—in what seems to be an instinctive
reaction intended
to encourage
the others

A group self-image of victimization,
combined with a penchant for ideological intensity and
powerful ethnocentric lobbies, can lead to bizarre political
manifestations—such as the dominant Jewish assumption that
proper veneration of their
Island ancestors

to patriotic immigration reform today.

In contrast, Italian-Americans, who lack
institutions such as the ADL, appear to

feel themselves freer to make up their own minds
what immigration policy will be best for their American

Comedians have been snickering for generations about the
pretensions of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

It`s time for snickering whenever the

Sons of Ellis Island
start to declaim about immigration
based on ancestor worship.

[Steve Sailer (email
him) is

movie critic

The American Conservative

His website

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