Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Commentary: 'An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos' by Graham H. Seibert

I have been an Amazon customer since the inception. I fell in love immediately with the idea. It was so right for the time. I love the convenience, and I especially loved the reviews. 

I met McKay Jenkins twenty years ago on a Habitat for Humanity build in Nicaragua. It turned out he was an author – his first book, "The White Death," was just coming out. I bought it, I loved it, and as a favor to him I wrote my first review. I like to write – others soon followed. I'm up to about 500 now.

I should have bought stock in Amazon then and there. An old-fashioned investor, I was scared of your lack of profitability. How wrong I was! But I was among your greatest fans and boosters. I admire your genius in setting up the system of Amazon reviews. We do it for free, out of love. And I have to say that the Amazon reviewers as a group form the most intelligent group I have encountered on the Internet.

Amazon represented intellectual freedom. It was a place I could buy books that did not appear in the local bookstore. I bragged that I could find Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" only on Amazon.  The book was controversial enough that I had had to read it in a satellite library of Georgetown University on a two hour reserve. But – because you believed in academic freedom (it appeared at the time) – I was able to buy this gem, the magnum opus of the most prominent intelligence researcher of the twentieth century, in a straightforward transaction. I was also able to buy books such as Philippe Rushton's "Race, Evolution and Behavior," and, on the other side of the ledger, Stephen Jay Gould's "The Measure of Man" and "The Bell Curve Wars."

That's how it went on a vast number of controversial topics such as diversity, climate change, feminism, politics, evolutionary psychology, and education. I reviewed books by Elizabeth Warren, Camille Paglia, Estelle Freeman, and a host of others. I was vastly grateful to you, Mr. Bezos, for fulfilling the promise of the Internet – bringing the knowledge of the world within my grasp. The reviews on Amazon helped me decide which books would be most useful, the service you provided brought them to my doorstep, and your willingness to publish my reviews once again encouraged me to discipline myself to write down what I had read and share it with the world.

I have lived abroad without TV since 2007. Going into the 2016 elections I had no idea who Donald Trump was, but thanks to a half dozen books I had bought on Amazon, I was totally aware of how corrupt Hillary Clinton was. I'm grateful to you for the prior knowledge. I was appalled at the extent to which the media were successful at glossing over Hillary's well-documented history as they looked for dirt on Trump.

If I was appalled in 2016, today am speechless. I simply cannot believe the extent of the deplatforming of people who just want to speak the truth as they see it, offering different points of view. You see where this leads. I expected no better of the progressives in leadership positions in this country, but I would have expected better of you. Instead, you have used your monopoly power to silence voices such as Roger Devlin, Julian Langness, and Richard Lynn, among others.

For the most part, they are guilty of no more than offering honest opinions that are at odds with the liberal establishment. Though they are accused of nebulous though heinous crimes such as "hatred," it seems to me that they are much more hated than haters. Just a cursory review of the facts shows that Antifa is much more violent, more frequently and with vastly more impunity than almost any of these.  

That's my appeal to your sense of fair play. Let all sides be heard. Do not be a book burner. Now let me appeal to your financial interests and even your survival instincts.

It should not escape your notice that the more the left tries to shut down voices they detest such as those of Alex Jones, Tommy Robinson, and Nigel Farage, the stronger they get. The more they decry Islamophobia in Europe, the stronger resistance to immigration seems to grow. The more they attempt to shame white people into embracing diversity out of a sense of fair play, the more whites recognize that they have interests just like every other group, and that none of the other groups are remotely interested in being fair to them. Europeans and white Americans have come to the conclusion that they have been played for patsies for half a century and they are not going to take it any more. The liberal powers that be are becoming more and more strident, and they are losing their grip. The most prudent place for you to be would be on the sidelines, as an impartial observer rooting for the best ideas to win out.

I am asking you to buck the groupthink of the tech establishment – the people like Sergei Brin and Mark Zuckerberg. These are not the only bright people around. In fact, ironically, there is more mental horsepower at work on the other side. Simply take a look at the books you are selling on Amazon. You might start by reading my reviews. 

The left constantly attacks the integrity and motives of white people. Look at it from our perspective. How do you conclude that America will be a better place if it is run by a mob of mutually suspicious minorities rather than traditional Americans? Putting it another way, hasn't it been the genius of those of us of Western European descent to have created societies such as that which made you fabulously wealthy, which the whole world has wanted to emulate, and which is now being sought after for looting by those who do not identify with its history? Does that make sense? Is there any historical precedent showing it works?  South Africa? Zimbabwe? The Andean countries?  Will you, per Churchill, keep appeasing the crocodile in the hopes he eats you last?

In the words of our Poet Nobeleate, "'Your old road is rapidly aging.  Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand, For the times they are a-changin'." and "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." For the first time in 50 years, it is blowing from the right, Mr. Bezos.  Cultmarx didn't lead to people having many babies, didn't infuse the kids with faith in any tradition, and left them with little but anger, debts, and vacant promises. There is rebellion afoot.

By all means, continue to do what you do well. Sell us books so we can all be better educated. But don't try to dictate what that education should entail. We are adults – let us decide. Return to the principles that led us to make you wealthy in the first place.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Graham H. Seibert. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right. 

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Two kings. Two princes. One queen. The true story of five aristocrats separated by time, culture, and circumstance -- all of them bound to the United States by accidents of history and left to hope for a tomorrow better than today. Prepare for a vision of the American Dream as few others have ever seen it.