Kevin B. MacDonald

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Kevin B. MacDonald, (born January 24, 1944) is a professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach, best known for using ideas from the discipline of evolutionary psychology to inform his study of Judaism. Most controversial is his assertion that Jewish ethnocentricism enhances the ability of Jews to out-compete non-Jews for resources while undermining the power and self-confidence of the white majority in Europe and America.


Early years

Kevin MacDonald was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His father was a policeman, his mother a secretary. He went to Roman Catholic schools and played basketball in high school. He entered the University of Wisconsin and became a radical activist in the anti-war movement from about 1965 to 1975. During this period, he perceived the East Coast Jewish origins of the majority of the movement there (C of C, p 104), which served to spark an interest in Jewish intellectual movements in his later years as a professor of psychology.

He became a philosophy major, lost his religion, and became very sympathetic to psychoanalysis. He embarked on a career as a Jazz pianist, but by the late 1970s realized that it was not going to happen. He has two adult children from his first marriage.

Professional background

MacDonald is the author of seven books on evolutionary psychology and child development and is the author or editor of over thirty academic articles in refereed journals. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin 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 with Professor Benson E. Ginsburg, one of the founders and leaders of modern behavior genetics, as his advisor. His thesis was on the behavioral development of wolves and resulted in two publications: MacDonald, K. B., and Ginsburg, B. E. (1981). Induction of normal behavior in wolves with restricted rearing. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 33, 133-162; MacDonald, K. B. (1983). Development and stability of personality characteristics in prepubertal wolves. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 97, 99-106, 1983.

He completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Ross Parke at the psychology department of the University of Illinois in 1983. His work there concerned rough and tumble play in children (he had two small boys at home at the time as well) and resulted in three publications: MacDonald, K. B., & Parke, R. D. (1984). Bridging the gap: Parent-child play interactions and peer interactive competence. Child Development, 55, 1265-1277; MacDonald, K. B., & Parke, R. D. (1986). Parent-child physical play: The effects of sex and age of children and parents. Sex Roles, 15, 367-378, 1986; MacDonald, K. B. (1987). Parent-child physical play with rejected, neglected and popular boys. Developmental Psychology, 23, 705-711.

He served as Secretary-Archivist of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society and was a member of the executive board from 1995 to 2001. He was an editor of Population and Environment and is an associate editor of the journal Sexuality & Culture. He serves on the Advisory Board of The Occidental Quarterly and makes occasional contributions to, an immigration reductionist weblog.

He has been with the Department of Psychology at California State University--Long Beach since 1985 and a full professor since 1995.

Academic works addressing Judaism as a Collective Evolutionary Strategy

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For the main article, see The Culture of Critique series.

MacDonald is best known for his trilogy analyzing Judaism and Jewish culture from the perspective of Evolutionary Psychology, comprising A People That Shall Dwell Alone (1994), Separation and Its Discontents (1998), and The Culture of Critique (1998). He proposes that Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy to enhance the ability of Jews to out-compete non-Jews for resources. Using the term Jewish ethnocentrism, he argues that Judaism fosters in Jews a series of marked genetic traits, including above-average verbal intelligence and a strong tendency toward collectivist behavior.

Jewish role in facilitating mass immigration

Extreme right-wing groups, including those in the immigration reductionism movement, have long argued that there has been a significant or central Jewish role in facilitating mass immigration into the United States and other western nations. Recently their claims have been supported by MacDonald's scholarship. MacDonald argues that "the organized Jewish community" has been the single most important and powerful voice arguing over the past century in favor of unrestricted immigration to the United States, and that the community has been acting in its "own perceived collective interests", regardless of whether these are in conflict with the interests of other Americans.[1] (

Mac Donald's main thesis centers around the period preceding the all-important 1965 Immigration Act when strict, country-of-origin based quotas existed, mostly favoring immigration from Europe. According to Mac Donald, while most of the ethnic communities in that period were somewhat active in trying to affect the increase of immigration quotas from their own countries of origin (i.e. the Irish for immigration from Ireland, Greeks for immigration from Greece etc.), only the Jewish community activists were requesting (and ultimately obtained in 1965) the dismantling of country-of-origin quotas and an increase in immigration across the board. This policy shift benefitted primarily non-European immigration and had a profound impact on the US demographics in the following decades. He also contrasts U.S. immigration policy with the more restrictive immigration policies of Israel. [2] (

He cites Leonard S. Glickman of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, who stated to an on-line Jewish journal that "The more diverse American society is the safer [Jews] are."[3] ([4] ( MacDonald expresses his opinions on immigration on the VDARE website:

Why members of the Jewish community, which over so many centuries demonstrated such determination to preserve its distinctiveness, should have been so demonstrably active in preventing the preservation of the nation in which they find themselves, is an interesting question... Much of the effort was done more or less surreptitiously so as not to fan the flames of anti-Jewish sentiment.[5] (

MacDonald also points out that even the Jewish activist Stephen Steinlight, who argues against mass immigration, does so on explicitly ethnocentric grounds: "Our present privilege, success, and power do not inure us from the effect of historical processes, and history has not come to an end, even in America."[6] (

Race, culture, and intelligence

Like his fellow contributors to Vdare, MacDonald questions claims that racial differences are unimportant or illusory and that racial and cultural assimilation will be an easy process. He points to the phenomenon of leading scientists such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Leon Kamin, Steven Rose, and Jared Diamond, who were all born to Jewish parents, and who have been leading proponents of the scientific view which asserts that there are no essential differences between races, and which attributes alleged racial differences in intelligence and psychology to such factors as environment rather than heredity.

See also: Race and intelligence.

Relations with other academics and the public

Accusations of anti-Semitism

MacDonald has been accused of anti-Semitism by other scholars and has developed a following among white supremacists and neo-Nazis. He himself denies he has any affiliation or contact with these groups and no evidence has been produced to the contrary. Academic Jaff Schatzhas accused MacDonald of misrepresenting and misusing his work [7] ( David Lieberman, who has a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University, has published a paper alleging that MacDonald has distorted evidence and chosen evidence selectively for rhetorical purposes [8] (

MacDonald has also made other controversial statements; for example, he has written that "[f]undamentally, the Inquisition should be seen as a defensive reaction to the economic and political domination of these “New Christians.”(i.e. Jews)" [9] (

MacDonald and David Irving

MacDonald testified on behalf of the historian David Irving in the unsuccessful lawsuit he brought against Deborah Lipstadt over her description of him as a Holocaust denier. The testimony drew on MacDonald's theories of inter-group conflict and questioned whether Irving's book should have been dropped by St. Martin's Press. MacDonald alleged Irving's book on Goebbels was rescinded by St. Martin's Press not because of its scientific merit but because of pressure from "certain Jewish ethnic activist organizations," "newspaper columnists," and "people like Deborah Lipstadt." MacDonald has defended himself against criticism of his action by arguing that he acted from a concern for academic freedom and that he would willingly testify on behalf of any Jewish scholar subject to similar pressures for his views.

Discussion of the Irving case at MacDonald's website (

Southern Poverty Law Center

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an institute that monitors neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, has said of MacDonald that "he put the anti-Semitism under the guise of scholarly work... Kevin MacDonald’s work is nothing but gussied-up anti-Semitism. At base it says that Jews are out to get us through their agenda ... His work is bandied about by just about every neo-Nazi group in America.” [10] (

Books and monographs

Main article: The Culture of Critique series

  • MacDonald, K. B. Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism, with an Introduction by Samuel Francis, (The Occidental Quarterly November, 2004) ISBN 1-59368-017-1Online version (
  • Burgess, R. L. & MacDonald, K. B. (Eds.) Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development, 2nd ed., (Sage 2004) ISBN 0761927905
  • MacDonald, K. B. The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Praeger 1998) ISBN 0275961133 (Preface online (
  • MacDonald, K. B. Separation and Its Discontents Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, (Praeger 1998) ISBN 0275948706
  • MacDonald, K. B. A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism As a Group Evolutionary Strategy, With Diaspora Peoples, (Praeger 1994) ISBN 0595228380
  • MacDonald, K. B. (Ed.), Parent-child Play: Descriptions and Implications,. (State University of New York Press 1993)
  • MacDonald, K. B. (Ed.) Sociobiological Perspectives on Human Development, (Springer-Verlag 1988)
  • MacDonald, K. B. Social and Personality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis (Plenum 1988)

External links

MacDonald's website

Criticisms of MacDonald's work

Libel case


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