phthisis (phthisis) wrote,

On Leftist Antisemitism - One of a Few Working Drafts

Part I

I hardly fly [the swastika/Star-of-David] flag, but now I know how you found this journal. My point in that instance was that the Likud ideology differs in no meaningful fashion from Nazism and that the abyss has clearly gazed back into them.

This mercuric slide into Nazi metaphor is crushingly predictable, and adds nothing that might alter my detection of Leftist antisemitism in you. We will take up the moral and historical blindness that produced it momentarily.

Actually, I'm a card-carrying Communist.

Of course, but saying this in reference to being called a socialist is like saying, "I have melanoma, not cancer."

There are two media through which the Leftist shapeshifts his ideology to fit the rhetorical needs of the moment. First, there is an obliviousness, all too common among socialists of all stripes, that allows for an ignorance of influence (to tweak Harold Bloom). This enables him to distance himself from the socialist tradition when doctrinal or empirical potholes crop up.

Second, there is the "my socialism is the real socialism" gambit. Sometimes purposeful, most often just uninformed, this allows acolytes to wriggle around the discursive sandbox until things feel right. Also, it enables one Third World socialist dictator to distance himself from another, Communists to distance themselves from fascists (yes, fascists), and Social Democrats to distance themselves from everyone else -- "the collectivists, the fascists, the Luddites, the whole cotillion of idiotarians" [James Lileks]. Intramurally, it allows Communists to claim that [Stalin|Pol Pot|Mao]'s Communism isn't the real Communism. It's my [Trotsy|Plekhanov|Autonomist|Glue-Sniffing Toilet-Reading Pucker-Whacking] variant that's The One!

More than just interesting exposition, the above should serve as a useful framework for considering the following.

Part II

I have nothing against Judaism that I don't similarly hold against every other religion. I do object to Zionism on the grounds that a.) while it may be perfectly fine to believe that one is a member of a people set apart by a mystical being from beyond space and time who entered a compact granting a certain plot of land to you in perpetuity, it is not acceptible to pander to such nonsense by actually aiding those lunatics in ousting the current residents of that land and forming a religious state where they await the next stage of their prophecies.

This oddly and offensively collapses Israel into one minority segment of its population: orthodox and ultra-orthodox Zionist expansionists. Doing so is not dissonant with some ego-defensive Leftist polemics that seek to separate Israel from the construct of a normative world Jewry. The latter is posited to meliorate the obviously genocidal implications of the Leftist desire to destroy Israel. Most Jews live elsewhere, and not all Jews are Zionists, you know... The ones who are in Israel are just religious nut-jobs!

The offensive becomes outrageous when you consider the fact that Israel was largely born not out of some fantastic religious Nazism on the part of Herzl, but rather the very real Nazism of Hitler. (The pre-Holocaust Jewish influx was due to Herzl's prescience of the latter.) Do you really think the tattered masses of Jews fleeing Europe in the wake of their near annihilation were thinking about religious conquest?

This microcephalous nonsense could only be born of a mind that thinks an ideology that ranges in venality from stone soup in Cuba, to tens of millions of murders worldwide, is a good idea, in spite of the lack of a single economic accomplishment in nearly a century. And indeed, now we come to:

b.) the "everybody gets a homeland set apart" idea is a leftover of the same religious bigotry and fascist pseudo-science that persecuted the Jews in the first place and aiding such separatism only serves the forces of cultural balkanization.

a perfect parrot of Marx's teachings about Jewish culture.

In "On the Jewish Question", Marx writes:

"The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism."
This is a striking statement. Why is Marx calling for the elimination of Judaism from "society"? Move up a couple of lines in his essay, and you see:

"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.

Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.
Eek. Seems like the roots of progressive politics weren't so progressive after all, but let's put general observations aside.

For Marx, the Jew is the apotheosis of what socialism is fighting against: materialism. This of course easily flows from the antique antisemitic hatreds of Europe, and consequently many socialists aver that Marx's Jew-hatred was simply a vestigial echo of time-worn prejudice. But while that may be the primal, emotional muse for Marx, his writings on the "Jewish Question" were directly sourced from socialist critique. Think about it. Against the backdrop of persistent antisemitism, how can socialism locate the Jews anywhere but in the realm of anathema when it embraces the following?

1. The reified notion of a parasitic bourgeosie that eats the wealth of the vast majority
2. A call for international proletarian solidarity that must transcend nationalism (especially any borne out of a "nation within a nation"!)
3. The harmfulness of religion (palpably expressed in your own comments)
As such, it is clear that Jew-hatred cannot be separated from the provenance of the doctrine of socialism itself.

Part III

We've established that deeply ingrained Jew-phobia is inherent to the Marxist worldview:

"The capitalist knows that all commodities, however scurvy they may look, or however badly they may smell, are in faith and in truth money, inwardly circumcised Jews, and what is more, a wonderful means whereby out of money to make more money." -- Das Kapital
And it is clear that your blame-Israel-first attitude and blinkered ideological reading of the Arab-Israeli conflict is informed by it. But here's where it gets really weird. In his essay on that subject, Marx was also addressing another side of the "Jewish Question": namely, how do the Jews overcome antisemitism in the Diaspora?

The Jews are an infection that must be eradicated, he says, but this socialist dictum is also the most humane remedy available to the Jews! It is a typical Marxian sophistry, cerebral and cyclical. I paraphrase it here using your words: in order for the Jews to save themselves, they must put aside the "religious bigotry... that persecuted the Jews in the first place..." which "... only serves [sic] the forces of cultural balkanization." In other words, they must abnegate their Jewish identity. In so doing, society is emancipated from the depradations of capital.

Your earlier reduction of Israel into an ultra-orthodox caricature is the emolient that smooths this process. Marxists merely dismiss Judaism -- multifariously problematic in all its racial, cultural, economic and para-national substance -- as a set of superstitions that modern men should do without. Besides helping the Leftist digest his genocidal policy prescriptions, this process of self-effacement is what facilitates the paradox of so many Jews embracing socialism.

For the Leftist, Palestinian irredentism and Islamofascism are each a wonderful fusion of two of his obsessions: Jew-hatred and anti-imperialism. Furthermore, they allow for the present-day articulation of a fourth bullet in my list of socialist tenets in Part II. It was an anachronism viz a vis Jews during Marx's time, so I refrained from mentioning it earlier, but it is very much a part of the socialist moral cosmos:

4. The embrace of conflict ideology; dogmatic underdoggism that endlessly grants a moral pass to those perceived to be "oppressed"
Therefore socialists, when confronted with a non-shtetl Jewry, especially one empowered to the extent Israel is, twist themselves into pretzels exonerating the putatively non-socialist excesses of any "revolutionary" group bent on destroying the Jewish state. These include murder, terrorism, fundamentalism, and the oppression of women and gays.

Nowadays, Leftists including Communists tend to favor any nationalist liberation movement, even -- especially -- the rag-tag and corrupt flailings of Third World death cults like the PLO and Al Qaeda. What doesn't fly is any Jewish national liberation movement. Unwavering opposition to Zionism has been a facet of Leftist politics since Marx's Faustian solution to the Jewish Question was put forth to compete with Herzl's vision.

Congratulations. You trace the sordid, anti-Jewish arc spanning from Marx to the modern day, where we see kiddies running around downtown San Francisco with hook-nosed effigies of Ariel Sharon and brandishing your favorite flag: the swastika superimposed on the Star of David. This ideological excess is borne partly out of the far Left's disenfranchisement by its Chomsky-channeled support of Saddam. But it is much moreso the legacy of historical Marxist positioning on Zionism.

Of all the things that enrage me about bias against Israel, there is one that stands out. There is nothing worse than watching oozingly pompous asses like you equate Israel, the result of the enduring persecution of Jews, with Hitler, the very avatar of that hatred.
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