“What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in the face of which no other god may exist… The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world.”
Marx’s influence on the socialist movement and its various streams cannot be underestimated, and neither can the extent to which his view of Jews as the embodiment of capitalism became embedded on the left.
In a handful of sentences, Marx depicted Jews as the anti-thesis of Socialism, a theme that he was to repeatedly revisit, and more poisonously in such essays as “The Russian Loan”, where he implicitly suggested that war would continue for as long as the Jews existed.
“Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew… In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets.”
Coded forms of this thinking can still be found among leftists who blame wars on Wall Street and assemble Jewish neo-con war conspiracies. The linkage of capital, war and the Jews made Anti-Semitism a permanent part of Socialist thought. Since the Holocaust its expressions have become more coded, but the essence remains.
While Marx did not invent Socialist Anti-Semitism, he helped grant intellectual legitimacy to left-wing populists who merged worker’s rights rhetoric with bigotry. But Marx’s formulation implicitly set the elimination of the Jews as a necessary step to the end of war and capitalism.
2. H.G. Wells
“And yet between 1940 and 2059, in little more than a century, this antiquated obdurate culture disappeared. It and its Zionist state, its kosher food, the Law and all the rest of its paraphernalia, were completely merged in the human community.”
While H.G. Wells is best remembered today for a handful of futuristic novels, some of his more significant work of the time envisioned the creation of a utopian, yet totalitarian socialist state. And arguably the European left has followed his plan a little too closely.
Wells follows Marx’s linkage between Jews, capital and war. The elimination of the Jews as a separate people is necessary for Wells’ modern world state to come into being. So while in “The Shape of Things To Come”, he disposes of Christianity in a single paragraph, and Islam in another (Wells supposed that Islam would disappear as Arabic fell into disuse), but several paragraphs are devoted to the elimination of the Jews.
The hostility toward Israel is manifestly there. The Jews are described as abandoning the Socialist cause of creating the world state, preoccupied instead with “the dream of a fantastic independent state all of their own”. “Only a psycho-analyst could begin to tell for what they wanted this Zionist state,” Wells sneers.
Wells’ solution to Marx’s Jewish Question was to wipe out the Jews as a distinct people, without engaging in physical extermination. But religion, state and even a distinct ethnic identity had to go.
Even as the Nazi Holocaust had begun, H.G. Wells wrote in The New World Order (1940);
“The hostile reaction to the cult of the Chosen People is spreading about the entire world to-day… there has never been such a world-wide—I will not use the word anti-Semitism because of the Arab—I will say anti-Judaism… it is becoming world-wide and simultaneous… Until they are prepared to assimilate and abandon the Chosen People idea altogether, their troubles are bound to intensify.”
It was a more elegant phrasing of a Julius Streicher quote from that same year, “The time is near when a machine will go into motion which is going to prepare a grave for the world’s criminal – Judah – from which there will be no resurrection.”
Wells had prefigured the left’s fixation on Israel as the cause and justification for the hatred of the Jews. It is very much extant today.
3. Henry Hyndman
“The condition of the people… favours the spread of Socialist doctrines, whilst the attack upon the Jews is a convenient cover for a more direct attack at an early date upon the great landlords and Christian capitalists.”
Hyndman founded England’s first Socialist political party, the Social Democratic Federation. He also went on to found the National Socialist Party, which eventually became part of the Labor Party.
Hyndman and the SDF’s newspaper “Justice” carried on a relentless campaign of attacks against Jews. What is unique about Hyndman is that he employed those attacks only as a cover for a larger anti-war movement.
The high point of Hyndman and the SDF’s Anti-Semitism came during the Boer War. To oppose the war was to be accused of disloyalty. Instead Hyndman recreated the war as a Jewish conspiracy, and campaigned against “Imperialist Judaism in South Africa”, the “Jew War in the Transvaal” fought on behalf of an “Anglo-Hebraic Empire” in Africa.
Socialists had often legitimized Anti-Capitalism by associating it with Anti-Semitism, but Hyndman legitimized an Anti-War position by treating it as not a campaign against England, but against the Jews.
Hyndman did not appear to be any more bigoted than most of his contemporaries, but he was far more cynical. When Hyndman wanted to attack the press, he called it the “Jew-Jingo Press”. When he wanted to attack the government, it was the “Jew clique”. By employing bigotry, Hyndman transformed himself from a traitor to a patriot battling the ‘alien’ subversion of England.
This is the same tack taken by much of the Anti-war movement today, which dodges accusations of disloyalty by claiming to fight against a Likud or Zionist takeover of foreign policy. And today the Hyndman tradition is still strong in the UK with the likes of George Galloway, shouting, “Show us the shekels, Richard.”
4. Pierre Leroux
“When we speak of Jews, we mean the Jewish spirit, the spirit of profit, of lucre, of gain, the spirit of commerce.”
Leroux is credited with coining the term, ‘Socialism’. He also expressed the idea of commerce as an original Jewish sin in the clearest of terms. To Leroux, banking was the original sin of the Jews. And therefore commerce was the Jewish spirit.
Fourier, the co-creator of French Socialism, would take this premise to its more explicit conclusion, writing; “Every government having regard to good morals ought to repress the Jews”.
Unlike Wells or Marx, Fourier and Leroux were not so much aspiring to a new order, as they were to a scientific application of an old order. A return to a pre-commercial civilization based on cooperation, rather than competition. This would be impossible if commerce were a natural human form of resource organization and distribution. So it was necessary to theorize that commerce was something alien. A creation of the Jews.
The appealing idea that commerce is a Jewish entity, or that war is a Jewish entity, or in Hitler’s formulation, conscience is a Jewish entity, means that any part of humanity can be cut out so long as you define it as Jewish.
The error of Leroux, Fourier and so many other Socialists was that they built their entire philosophy on a lie about human nature, and then did their best to plaster over that lie with bigotry. The economics of their program were unworkable, the sociology of it even more so. And so the Jews became the scapegoats of Socialism.
To Wells, Jewish identity was an obstacle to the New World Order, but he was in denial about the fact that every cultural identity was an obstacle. So Wells too repeated the basic Socialist error of taking an unworkable premise, and assuming that it would be workable if only it weren’t for the Jews.
Today, the existence of Israel is treated as an obstacle to world peace. Once again the left is possessed by the idea that if the Jewish question is finally resolved, a modern rational world state can come into being. The flip side of this childish and bigoted belief is genocide. For if the Jews are all that stands in the way of Socialism and World Peace– then the Jews must go.
A remarkable analysis, Mr. Greenfield! I hope everyone who reads will "share" this one!
My way of saying thank you is to play this ancient piece of music - truly beautiful!