November 23, 2008

Israel's evolution

Takuan Seiyo has an interesting article in VDARE.com on Israel's cultural evolution due to lower birthrates among Ashkenazi Jews compared to Oriental Jews. Israel, which was long a major force in classical music (which is perhaps the most straightforward measure of civilizational level), is slowly becoming another Middle Eastern country culturally.

You can see something similar happening in Beverly Hills, where the population remains heavily Jewish, but is changing from Ashkenazi to Persian and other Oriental Jews: clever, energetic people, but not terribly interested in European high culture.

I'll probably miss Eli Broad when he's gone.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always thought the bigger time bomb was the ultraorthodox/extremist popping out kids like mad, and the more open jews leaving (tons of young israelies in New York) .. the ones that do stay have one or two or no kids...

respighi said...

I've noticed a similar sort of thing, to the phenomenon that Steve Sailer reports, happening in Australia over recent years. In the 1970s and 1980s, orchestral concerts, chamber-music concerts, and Lieder recitals used to have audiences that consisted of - at the very least - a substantial Central European Jewish minority. Central European Jews mightn't always have been able to earn a living in music (university faculties and orchestras operated an unofficial Australian numerus clausus against them, I'll swear, though nobody will admit to this) but they certainly encouraged classical music in vast numbers. Not any more.

Perhaps most of the original Central European Jewish refugees have simply died off. Certainly the cultural vacuum resulting from their apparent departure is not being filled by Hassidic Jews (Melbourne is one of the leading cities for Hassidic Jewry in the world, and has been for about a decade).

Even that quintessentially Jewish musical archetype, the male violinist, isn't nearly as common in Australia - or elsewhere, I suspect - as he used to be. One wonders what would happen to a latter-day Jascha Heifetz or Yehudi Menuhin if he were growing up among Jews today.

Stopped Clock said...

In my experience, the OJ's have a tremendous turnover rate, so the children of OJ's aren't necessarily OJ's.

I've never really thought about it from an IQ perspective though. I suppose it's possible that Orthodox Jews have low IQ's, and that Jews therefore are going through an IQ decline even faster than the rest of us.

Stopped Clock said...

Sorry. My attempt to use my favorite clever acronym leads to ambiguity here: My OJ was "Orthodox Jews", not "Oriental Jews", the two not being necessarily equal.

anony-mouse said...

Er... those ultra-Orthodox Jews who are having the 10+ children/family are overwhelmingly Ashkenazi. Just check the names, Schneerson, etc.

In any event, the future classical violinists are going to be owvewhelmingly yo-yo's from the Orient alright.

And most Vienna-style pastries these days are made in factories with immigrant labor. And I'm sure that includes in Vienna.

Anonymous said...

Something left out of the analysis: the ethnic lines have blurred because the newest generation is highly mixed (I get the sense the majority of Israeli Jews under 25 are mixed).

J said...

Who is lamenting the cultural demise of Eastern European Jewry? Not the Zionist movement, whose goal is to build a Jewish country in Israel. We are in the Middle East, we speak a Semitic language and strive to be accepted and live in peace with our neighbors. Who (unfortunately) are not Viennese.

Anonymous said...

I read this post in Westwood while watching “Don't Mess with the Zohan”. No doubt the tackiness of Iranian-Jewish culture (and – surprisingly – the somewhat less tacky culture of Persian-Americans) is an interesting phenomenon. South Part episode about Persians is mainly about Iranian Jews, those are the guys who like gold and Mercedes Benzes. Nothing subtle there.

But I am not sure interest in European classical music is an unbiased estimator here. The aggregate productivity of your culture determines the quality of high-brow culture (so European culture has great music). But people have some preference for their own culture, even if the other culture is objectively better. So they listen to high-brow Iranian music, which is of objectively lower quality than the European kind, but doesn’t really reflect on the listeners.
We “gold-chain hair of chest” people will lower the demand for high quality western culture temporarily, but are too few to matter much. But I am not sure the production side will suffer, a few of the talented ones might even add to Western music. The best Classical music was done a long time ago.

Iranians and Kurds actually have above average interest in culture. They are just not good at it yet, too focused on our own stuff, but in time the interest will be translated into raising the average. The central arts in Iran are poetry and graphics, where the former is obviously is useless to westerners. The next generation can’t speak Farsi well enough to care about poetry.

Where I would worry long run is the reduced levels of producing social public goods (which Steve has written about), and most importantly the negative effects through politician public goods, taking advantage of capitalism while voting for a welfare state and going for the Democrat anti-white solidarity crap.

(I grew up in a Kurdish home with western influenced parents, listening to lots of classical music and American 60s folk, but have very little interest in either. Absolutely hate the tacky middle-eastern music. So certainly Steve is right, I will personally never patronize western arts, except maybe cinema. Hopefully I won’t add to tacky cultural pollution either).

Steve Sailer said...

Persian high culture down through the millennia has been pretty impressive (e.g., Omar Khayam), although Shi'ite Islam is usually trying to suppress Persian artistry.

Anonymous said...

Beverly Hills? Huh? What the F is that?

Oh yeah. It's another place in America that is falling off the radar screen due to mass invasion by ethnocentric groups that nobody else cares about. Sort of like Los Angeles proper. And Miami. Or Silicon Valley. Or even Bakersfield.

Not too long ago these locations figured prominently in American mainstream culture but now there is little to no cultural input emerging from these cities. It's basically radio silence.

Eventually this trend will turn even places like San Fran, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Nashville into cultural non-participants. Eventually we will have radio silence across the board and be no different from all the other non-participating countries on this planet.

John of London said...

"classical music (which is perhaps the most straightforward measure of civilizational level)"
Surely not. The Germans were probably leaders in western classical music when they gave themselves over to the sub-human barbarism of the Nazi period. Who knows anything about ancient Greek music? The arts which measure civlev have to be verbal.

"Shi'ite Islam is usually trying to suppress Persian artistry"
Probably; but it's not a peculiarly Shia thing. Sufism is a form of Shia Islam which produces the only Pakistani music worth listening to - I suppose it's a sophisticated traditional music rather than classical. The (Sunni) Pakistani establishment doesn't like it much.
IMO, classical Persian culture was carried to a higher level in Mogul India than ever achieved in Persia, at least so far as painting and music are concerned.

Concerned said...

" One wonders what would happen to a latter-day Jascha Heifetz or Yehudi Menuhin if he were growing up among Jews today."

He'd be a violinist.

The second-rank guys who ended up staffing the orchestras might be doing something else for a living.

"We are in the Middle East, we speak a Semitic language and strive to be accepted and live in peace with our neighbors."

Dream on, sweetie.

"But people have some preference for their own culture, even if the other culture is objectively better."

That doesn't explain E. Asian domination of string instruments in Western classical music.

You need a mean IQ of at least 110 to mass produce so many classical musicians.

Average Joe said...

Actually I prefer the Oriental Jews to the Ashkenazi ones. At least the Orientals aren't trying to impose their political values on gentiles.

Anonymous said...

Great comments, Steve. Eric Zemmour, the infamous right-wing French journalist (of Algerian Jewish Berber heritage) says much the same thing in a recent article in the World Jewish Dogest:

'Zemmour is also critical of the French Jewish community, which, he says, is cutting itself off from the rest of French society. "Until the 1967 Six-Day War, the model among French Jews was the Ashkenazim who sang the Marseillaise and blended into society while remaining Jews in their homes and synagogues. But since then, says Zemmour, there has been a complete turnaround with the...Sephardim, who are both stridently Zionist in public and increasingly religious. They certainly don't sing the Marseillaise."'

http://www.worldjewishdigest.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=81E34D0AC90D4601B0A9F31C3F2D3009&nm=More+Articles&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=C78561233C9F4CF8B870577A5E514040

Anonymous said...

vdare is a heterogeneous place. There are sophisticated people such as this guy and others but most writers are hacks who are incredibly lacking in fresh or good material.

I mean take a look at this article from Brenda Walker: "Dogs, Frogs and Dalits: The Indian Model Minority Has A Dark Side" http://www.vdare.com/walker/070404_india.htm

Aren't you embarrassed Steve to be associated with these guys?

The International Jew said...

Thank you for caring, Steve.

For what it's worth:

My 3/4 Mizrahi kids are (bli 'ayin ha ra') doing just fine as far standard deviations go, thanks.

The ethnic spread at the high tech/high IQ firm for which I work seems to be split 50/50 Ashkenazim and Mizrahim (lots of Iraqis, specifically).

That being said, it's been said that the smart ones went to America, and the good-looking ones came here.

However, one of the more annoying aspects of Israeli life is that every 105 here fronts like he's packing 140, an affliction sometimes known as "Jewish Geniusitis."

Average Joe said...

vdare is a heterogeneous place. There are sophisticated people such as this guy and others but most writers are hacks who are incredibly lacking in fresh or good material. I mean take a look at this article from Brenda Walker: "Dogs, Frogs and Dalits: The Indian Model Minority Has A Dark Side" http://www.vdare.com/walker/070404_india.htm

Aren't you embarrassed Steve to be associated with these guys?


Why should Steve be embarrassed for associating with people who report the truth regardless of how politically incorrect it is?

Lucius Vorenus said...

John of London: Who knows anything about ancient Greek music?

Actually, there is just a tantalizing little bit of information about ancient Greek music:

Ancient Greek Music

[Click on "The Melodies" in the left pane - note that you'll need a sound card & speakers.]

Also, there was a scene in [I believe] Season Two of HBO's Rome, where a slave girl sang a little "Roman" ditty, and it did not sound at all like the diatonic music to which we are accustomed.

I don't know if the research team for "Rome" actually knew what they were doing, or if they just invented the melody out of thin air.

[There used to be a guy at Free Republic who actually knew the fellow who wrote the music for "Rome"].

Anonymous said...

"The ethnic spread at the high tech/high IQ firm for which I work seems to be split 50/50 Ashkenazim and Mizrahim (lots of Iraqis, specifically)."

Isn't there still a huge gap in educational attainment between Ashkenazim and everybody else?


Also, notice this topic doesn't even have 20 comments. isteve doesn't have too many Jewish readers.

John of London said...

Was Israeli culture ever that great, actually? Is there any field of endeavour except warfare in which any of the top 10 Jewish achievers of the last 60 years are Israeli (more precisely, were Israeli when doing their main achieving, as opposed to going to Israel later to rest on their laurels)?
I don't think it was ever the idea to transfer Viennese culture to Palestine (not that V cult was that great, as it turned out). Arthur Koestler, a mitteleuropean Jewish intellectual, was a supporter of Zionism, but nonetheless found actual Jewish settlers in Palestine repulsive mentally and physically, lumpish and uncultured.(AK didn't like anyone much). From the other side, there was a strand of Zionism that agreed with anti-semites that European Jews were rather disgusting, but maintained they'd be fine if they could be got back to the land in Palestine.

Is this a good place to question the Stevist assumption that Ashkenazi Jews are smarter than Sephardim? Here in Britain the really posh Jews are Sephardic, descendents of the Jews who came to England from the Turkish Empire during the Commonwealth in the mid-17th century. A typical English Sephardi name is Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of Young Stalin which tells you about the Caucasus. Another is D'Avigdor-Goldsmid. I can't imagine any of these people submitting to an IQ test. The Jewish culture that flourished in Andalucia before the Spanish conquest (and subsequently in Constantinople) was entirely Sephardic; most of the Ashkenazim were stuck in the mudlands of Eastern Europe at that time.