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Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Is the Most Plausible Hypothesis: a Response to Nathan Cofnas’ Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth Century Ideological Movements


Kevin MacDonald (1998) has argued that a series of twentieth century ideologies which have challenged European traditions should be understood as part of a Jewish evolutionary strategy to promote Jewish interests in the West, as evidenced by Jewish leadership of and disproportionate involvement in these movements. Cofnas Human Nature 29, 134–156 (Cofnas 2018a) has critiqued this model and countered that the evidence can be more parsimoniously explained by the high average intelligence and urban location of Jews in Western countries. This, he avers, should be the ‘default hypothesis.’ In this response, I argue that it is MacDonald’s model that is the more plausible hypothesis due to evidence that people tend to act in their ethnic group interest and that group selectedness among Jews is particularly strong, meaning that they are particularly likely to do so.

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  1. This idea is being developed by Herr Emil Kirkegaard and it was he who suggested it to me.

  2. It should also be noted there is on-going, non-peer-reviewed correspondence between MacDonald and Cofnas. Engaging with this in detail would be a substantial aside to the thrust of this article and the authors seem to go back and forth regarding specific narrow points rather than address what I would submit is the fundamental issue of what should be the default hypothesis and why. For example, MacDonald (2018a, b, c) argues that his model cannot be falsified by individual counter-examples, because the central issue relates to overall patterns of Jewish behaviour. He also stresses that there will be inter-generation variation in the patterns of behaviour which are in Jewish group interests. Cofnas (2018b) argues that MacDonald has effectively watered-down his theory in response to Cofnas’ critique and done so without making any new predictions. See also Cofnas (2018c, d).


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I would like to acknowledge the useful feedback given to me by Mr. Nathan Cofnas on earlier drafts of this article.

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Correspondence to Edward Dutton.

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Dutton, E. Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Is the Most Plausible Hypothesis: a Response to Nathan Cofnas’ Critical Analysis of Kevin MacDonald’s Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth Century Ideological Movements. Evolutionary Psychological Science 5, 136–142 (2019).

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  • MacDonald
  • Cofnas
  • Jewish
  • Evolution
  • Multi-level selection