I'm sure your readers would appreciate a discussion of the Jews behindThe email goes on in a similar vein, finishing with a link to a history of abolitionism, which "doesn't mention the Jews." I'll attempt to extract Moldbug's argument. See if you can find any holes in this logic:
(1) There were a handful of radical abolitionists in mid-19th-century America.
(2) They weren't Jewish.
(3) Therefore New England Puritans are responsible for 20th-century leftism, Jews bearing no responsibility whatsoever.
I think your readers would benefit from a discussion of The Culture of Critique. I don't mean a comical, virtually argument-free post like this one. First read CofC. Then explain in detail how your theory better fits the evidence. For example, you assert:
Basically, the Jews (like my ancestors) who came to the US were people who wanted to get ahead - as individuals. They were done with the ghetto and the shtetl. They wanted money and power. Doesn't everyone?You could start by explaining how New England Puritans were able to radicalize Jews such as Moses Hess and Karl Marx -- while said Jews were still in Germany. This is kind of important, since most analysts see Marxism weighing rather more heavily in the pedigree of modern leftism than radical abolitionism.
It was only natural, therefore, that they would be drawn to the social patterns of the most prestigious class in their new country - the mainline "super-Protestants." Like most converts, they adopted the most fashionable views of the Brahmin elite, which was already well down the road toward secularization and Unitarianism in the modern sense of the word.
I'm not going to waste any more time responding to straw men. But I'll gladly take the bait as concerns the role of New England Puritans in abolitionism. As the book you recommend agrees (did you bother to read it?), most New Englanders and most of the New England religious establishment opposed radical abolitionism:
The good people of Boston were now thoroughly aroused. They had from the first frowned on the Abolition movement. Garrison was complaining that in all the city his society could not "hire a hall or a meeting-house." The Abolition idea had been for a time thought chimerical and therefore negligible. Later, civic, business, social, and religious organizations had all of them in their several spheres been earnest and active in their opposition; now it seemed to be time for concerted action.The anti-Garrison speakers mentioned were of New England stock. William Lloyd Garrison himself -- who Herbert points to as the founder of "New Abolitionism" -- however, was the child of immigrants from New Brunswick. Only one of Garrison's grandparents was of New England ancestry, the others having been born in England and Ireland. Garrison's immediate predecessor and inspiration was Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker who was born in New Jersey and who operated an abolitionist newspaper out of Baltimore, Maryland. Garrison was a Baptist. The pattern of transmission I'm seeing is Quaker -> Baptist -> Unitarian, not Unitarian -> everyone else:
In Garrison's "Garrison" (vol. I, p. 495), we read that "the social, political, religious and intellectual elite of Boston filled Faneuil Hall on the afternoon of Friday, August 3, 1835, to frame an indictment against their fellow-citizens." [. . .]
In speaking to these resolutions, Harrison Gray Otis, a great conservative leader, denounced the Abolition agitators, accusing them of "wishing to 'scatter among our Southern brethren firebrands, arrows, and death,' and of attempting to force Abolition by appeals to the terror of the masters and the passions of the slaves," and decrying their "measures, the natural and direct tendency of which is to excite the slaves of the South to revolt," etc.
Another of the speakers, ex-Senator Peleg Sprague, said (p. 496, Garrison's "Garrison") that "if their sentiments prevailed it would be all over with the Union, which would give place to two hostile confederacies, with forts and standing armies." [. . .]
That Boston meeting pronounced the deliberate judgment of the most intelligent men of Boston on the situation, as they knew it to be that day; it was in their midst that The Liberator was being published; there the new sect had its head-quarters, and there it was doing its work. [. . .]
That great Faneuil Hall meeting of August 31, 1835, was followed some weeks later by a lamentable anti-Garrison mob, which did not stand alone. In the years 1835, 1836, and 1837 a great wave of anti-Abolition excitement swept over the North. In New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Alton (Illinois), and many other places, there were anti-Abolition riots, sometimes resulting in arson and bloodshed.
[Hilary Abner Herbert. The abolition crusade and its consequences: four periods of American history.]
One of the major participants in the antislavery struggle, Bostonian editor William Lloyd Garrison was so greatly influenced by his involvement in the crusade against slavery that his religious beliefs changed significantly over the decades. The indifference and hostility with which a majority of the nation's "orthodox" churchmen met his pleas for immediate and unconditional emancipation caused Garrison to become estranged from the clergy and convinced him that he should turn to more liberal religionists for aid and religious instruction. Separated from his eminently orthodox Baptist roots, he found it increasingly easy to reject those elements of his evangelical heritage which seemed to do little for man and nothing for the suffering slave. [. . .]Incidentally, Massachusetts jailed Kneeland for blasphemy in 1838.
Expecting to find a key supporter for his project in Lyman Beecher, Garrison paid a visit to the evangelical pastor of Hanover Street Church during the fall of 1830. Instead of the desired aid and encouragement, however, he found the minister to be indifferent to his appeal. Beecher was alarmed by the young reformer's demand for immediate and unconditional emancipation. "Your zeal," he said, "is commendable, but you are misguided." Garrison was disappointed and saddened by the minister's attitude. He could not understand how Beecher or any other Christian minister could advocate gradualism as the solution to the problem of slavery - it was as if he favored telling a drunkard, a thief, or a wife beater to refrain from such crimes gradually and aim at some indefinite, far-off reformation of character.
After experiencing this rebuff to his immediatism, Garrison sought the cooperation of Jeremiah Evarts, Secretary of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, but received the same response. Later in the year an old acquaintance, Deacon Moses Grant, even refused to grant him sufficient credit to obtain the ream or two of paper which he needed to produce a specimen number of his journal. Grant did not take this course of action out of any fear that Garrison would fail to make good his debts, but he did so because he was opposed to the issuance of an antislavery paper of the type proposed.4
Garrison's pleas for aid and encouragement were finally answered, not by the members of Boston's orthodox religious establishment, but by Abner Kneeland and his First Society of Free Enquirers. After an unfruitful search for a suitable place to hold a series of antislavery lectures, Garrison had been forced to place an advertisement in the Boston Courier seeking "a Hall or Meetinghouse in which to vindicate the rights of TWO MILLIONS of American citizens who are now groaning in servile chains in this boasted land of liberty." In response to his plea, Kneeland, a former Universalist minister turned rationalist and pantheist, offered him the use of the Society's rooms in Julien Hall. Reluctantly, the young Baptist reformer accepted this kind offer from a man whose "infidelic" views he had been taught to abhor.5
Among those in attendance at Garrison's lecture on October 15 were Samuel Joseph May, a Unitarian minister from Brooklyn, Connecticut; his cousin, Samuel E. Sewall, a fellow Unitarian and a Boston lawyer; and Sewall's brother- in-law, A. Bronson Alcott. At the conclusion of the address, the three men introduced themselves to Garrison, May saying, "Mr. Garrison, I am not sure that I can endorse all you have said this evening. Much of it requires careful consideration. But I am prepared to embrace you, I am sure you are called to a great work, and I mean to help you." After Sewall seconded this pledge, Alcott invited the group to his home where they discussed immediatism far into the night. Before morning Garrison had three new converts. While Alcott eventually lost sight of abolition among his other enthusiasms, May and Sewall became two of Garrison's strongest Boston supporters.
[William L. van Deburg. William Lloyd Garrison and the "Pro-Slavery Priesthood": The Changing Beliefs of An Evangelical Reformer, 1830-1840. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 1975), pp. 224-237.]
That's enough for now. I'll close with some excerpts from the Wikipedia page of one of the "Secret Six":
Theodore Parker (August 24, 1810 – May 10, 1860) was an American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian church. [. . .] Parker specialized in a study of German theology. He was drawn to the ideas of Coleridge, Carlyle and Emerson. [. . .] His belief in God's mercy made him reject Calvinist theology as cruel and unreasonable. [. . .] While he started with a strong faith, with time Parker began to ask questions. He learned of the new field of historical higher criticism of the Bible, then growing in Germany, and he came to deny traditional views. [. . .] Boston's Unitarian leadership opposed Parker to the end