Hunter



Hunter
By Andrew Macdonald

XV

“Harry, I’ve been absorbing facts about the Jews for the better part of two weeks: their role in founding and promoting the communist movement in the last century, their shenanigans to bring the United States into the First World War, their control of the news and entertainment media. The more I learn the more I realize I don’t know. But I am learning. One thing that escapes me, however, is what it all means. I’m already convinced that the Jews are active and influential in national and world affairs far beyond their numbers. But is that something we really need to be concerned about? Does that really put us in a lot worse position than if some other group - the Baptists, say - had their power?”

Oscar had kept his appointment with Harry Keller. He also had kept his commitment to buy Adelaide a new pair of skis. After his meeting with Ryan the previous afternoon he had hurried directly to her apartment and hustled the surprised girl off to the ski store half an hour before it closed. Then he had taken her to a nice restaurant for dinner.

He wanted to make up for neglecting her during the past week, but he also was determined to spend every available minute in his continuing effort to learn about the Jews. For the latter purpose he had slipped out of bed at six o’clock this morning without waking her, fixed himself a pot of coffee, and studied his library materials for more than three hours, until she arose and prepared breakfast for them. He had even squeezed in another hour and a half of study after breakfast, while she, careful not to disturb him, had done some badly needed cleaning of his quarters.

Now she was sitting with him in a corner booth of an ice cream store opposite Harry and Colleen Keller. The place was brightly lighted and crowded. It hardly seemed appropriate for a confidential discussion, but there were teenagers in several other booths, and the background chatter provided a reasonable degree of privacy for Oscar’s party.

“Hell, Oscar, I’d be worried if the Baptists were running the country - and I’m sure you would too.”

“Well, I guess that wasn’t a good example. There’d probably be arrest warrants out for all of us for not being in church this morning.” Oscar grinned.

“The point is that any man with his wits about him has to worry when any group but his own wields power which affects his life,” Harry responded. “Every group which seeks power has an agenda. That’s true whether they’re Baptists or bird watchers or Martians - or Jews. And since the agenda of every sensible group is formed in accord with the group’s specific interests, the one which has the power to implement its agenda has a considerable advantage over those which don’t. That’s the way the world works, the way it’s always worked.

“Of course, we hear a lot of patter about ‘pluralistic democracy.’ We’re told that in this country we have a system designed to keep any one group from grabbing power for itself. In other words, there is no agenda - and if one looks at the way our government operates, it’s easy to believe that.” He gave a wry smile. “But the fact is, Nature abhors a vacuum in the realm of human affairs as much as in the physical realm. A society without an agenda is incomplete. Eventually some group will impose its own agenda on the society, although it may choose to conceal that fact from persons outside the group. It may even modify its agenda to avoid conflict with certain other groups in the society: ‘Don’t challenge our rule, and we’ll throw the choicest crumbs to you.’

“In any case, the question of which group’s agenda shall have precedence is a vital one for every person in the society. The natural tendency is for each group to strive to advance its own agenda. We want our group - that is, the group of persons with the same interests, the same agenda, as ours - to prevail. We don’t want some other group to prevail. That’s pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people either haven’t figured it out or who’ll disagree with it. Among the latter are the Christians, who believe it’s better to be shat on than to shit on, and the lunatic-fringe pluralists, who’re opposed to any group prevailing, especially their own.

“To answer your question further, we have to make some assumptions about specific groups’ agendas. I assume you’ll agree that, generally speaking, if our group isn’t on top it does make a difference to us which group is. In other words, we should be concerned about the intentions relative to us of any. other group which exercises any power or influence over our lives. Right?”

“Granted,” Oscar replied. “But I believe we should be careful not to exaggerate the power wielded by any group. I really doubt it would be correct to say that the Jews are running the country, no matter how much influence they may have over certain things, like the mass media.”

“In a sense I agree, Oscar. Certainly no single group exercises total, direct power over every institution in America. For that to be true, all the members of the Congress, all the judges in the Federal courts, the people in the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the masters of the media, the big bankers, and everyone else whose decisions make a substantial difference for the country would have to belong to the same group and be pulling in the same direction.

“Instead there are a lot of different groups pulling in different directions: the pluralistic ideal. We could spend the rest of the year discussing the complexities of power in America: who has power over what and how much. But despite the complexities, it still is true that some groups manage to get their way most of the time in the matters which are of greatest concern to us. I think that a reasonable way to approach the question is to look specifically at the power wielded by the Jews as a group and see what effects it has. We can also look at the question of motivation. Since you’ve been studying the subject recently, perhaps you already have some ideas about Jewish power.”

“What I have is a jumble of facts rather than any ideas,” Oscar responded. “I hoped our discussion might lead me to a few ideas which would allow me to organize the facts and draw some conclusions from them. I know, for instance, that Jews have a great deal of influence in the mass media, and the mass media in turn have a decisive role in determining most people’s opinions and attitudes on political and social issues. But are the Jews in the media acting in concert and deliberately pushing public opinion in certain directions in accord with their own group agenda, or are they acting independently and just sniffing out the mood of the public and the general drift of events and then, good businessmen that they are, feeding the public what will sell best? And if it’s the latter, why should we think that any other group of astute businessmen would act more responsibly?”

“All right, Oscar. That’s as good a place as any to start. I believe we should begin by talking about the Jews’ agenda. That’ll allow you to understand the extent to which they work as a group, why they’re so heavily concentrated in the media, and what they intend to do with their media control. I want to show you a couple of things they’ve written in that regard. Why don’t you and Adelaide come home with us?”

“Sure, if it’s no trouble for you.” Oscar looked at Colleen.

“Not at all.”

“Hey, don’t I get to finish my ice cream?” Adelaide protested.

“Take your time,” Harry responded. “Boy, I’m going to enjoy this,” he chuckled, rubbing his hands together. “It seems like every other time I’ve tried to talk about the Jews to someone he’s either been a person who instinctively hates them and is willing to believe anything bad about them without question, or he’s been one of those soulless bastards without a center, one of those... those,” he sputtered for a second, trying to think of the right words. “You know, one of those Mr. Everyman types, who’s never read a book that wasn’t on the New York Times list of best sellers and never had an opinion that wasn’t approved by all three TV networks. I’m sure you’ve met plenty of them yourself there are a hundred million of ‘em out there. They know that people who don’t like Jews are frowned on by all of their favorite talk-show hosts, and so they are absolutely determined not to believe anything bad about Jews. It doesn’t matter how much proof you show them. They’re as impervious to reason as any woman. Uh, no offense intended, girls.

“But you, Oscar, if I’m any judge of character, are a man who is compelled by reason. No matter how much you want to cling to an idea, I can tear it away from you just by showing you facts which contradict it. And no matter how much you are afraid of an idea, no matter how strongly you resist it, I can force you to accept it, simply by reasoning with you. This is going to be fun. You’re going to be my first real convert.” Harry chuckled again.

“We’ll see about that,” Oscar laughed. “I may be susceptible to reason, but it takes me a while to get used to a new idea before I can accept it, reason or no. If I don’t feel comfortable with an explanation for something, if my intuition doesn’t tell me it’s right, then reason may not be enough.”

“Hmm, sounds like a feminine mentality to me,” said Colleen, who had been miffed by her husband’s insinuation that women were not creatures of reason.

“Nothing the matter with intuition, dear, whether it’s masculine or feminine,” Harry tried to placate her. “I’ve never objected to feminine intuition - or to anything else about women, for that matter. I like them just the way they are. But you must admit that women don’t deal with reality in quite the same way that men do. That’s not a disparagement of women. But it is unbecoming of a man not to think like a man should think, which means to believe the evidence before his eyes, instead of what he thinks he’s supposed to believe. We’re living in an age of rigid ideological conformity, in which men submissively accept ‘approved’ ideas instead of having the courage to think for themselves. Submissiveness doesn’t become a man.”

Oscar said nothing, but he marveled to himself that Harry’s words came so close to mirroring his own thoughts on the subject - thoughts which were by no means common these days. Added to his immediate liking for the man was a growing feeling that perhaps in him he would find a worthy ally.