Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

04 August 2008

The Left, Anti-Semitism & Capitalism

The Merchant of Venice
The roots of anti-Semitism are nearly as old and deep as the tree of humanity itself.  From Biblical times through the blood libel of the Middle Ages through "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" through Nazi Germany and right through today, anti-Semitism has been a malignancy that has eaten at the very souls of humanity.

"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?  And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that."
- The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1, 58-68

Revisionist historians say that "Anti-Semitism is a product of the right-wing and Naziism," as if to say that there has never been anti-Semitism on the Left.  Ignoring the fact that Fascism has much more in common with Socialism than many would like to admit and both certainly are totalitarian in nature, word, and deed and the opposite of Classical Liberalism; it is simply untrue that anti-Semitism has not been a part of leftist ideology.  First of all, Karl Marx, himself, was anti-Semitic.  A few examples:  "The Jews of Poland are the smeariest of all races." (Neue Rheinische Zeitung, April 29, 1849); he called Ferdinand Lassalle, "Judel Itzig – Jewish Nigger." (Der J├╝dische Nigger, MEKOR III, 82, July 30, 1862), and "Ramsgate is full of Jews and fleas." (MEKOR IV, 490, August 25, 1879).

"The struggle which is now beginning between the Zionist and Bolshevik Jews is little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.”  
- Winston Churchill

In "On the Jewish Question," Karl Marx wrote "Money is the zealous one God of Israel, beside which no other God may stand. Money degrades all the gods of mankind and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal and self-constituted value set upon all things. It has therefore robbed the whole world, of both nature and man, of its original value. Money is the essence of man's life and work, which have become alienated from him: this alien monster rules him and he worships it...The God of the Jews has become secularised and is now a worldly God. The bill of exchange is the Jew's real God. His God is the illusory bill of exchange...What is the foundation of the Jew in our world? Practical necessity, private advantage...What is the object of the Jew's worship in this world? Usury. What is his worldly God? Money...Very well then: emancipation from usury and money, that is, from practical, real Judaism, would constitute the emancipation of our time."

“If we are socialists, then we must definitely be anti-Semites.  How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?”
- Adolf Hitler, Munich, August 1920

While Jews had been in Europe for a very long time, it wasn't until the 11th century and the disintegration of feudalism that they began to be prohibited from certain occupations and sequestered in "quarters" or "ghettos."  These laws were the seeds that allowed Jews to become the successful in the areas of finance, banking, commercial operations, merchantilism, trade, specialised craftsmanship, etc.  Whereas, European Christians were more apt to farm the land, European Jews flourished in the cities.  

 The Death of Venice

Because of the Church, Christians were not allowed to lend money and charge interest.  In the late 14th century, Christians finally got into the banking business when Cosimo de'Medici created the Medici Bank in the late 14th century and, even then, it took very creative accounting to get around religious and municipal laws.  Nevertheless, the small Jewish community in Europe had a strong foundation with the wealth, education, and culture upon which to thrive.