According to Trawny, Heidegger’s Black Notebooks show that he turned away from any National Socialism in 1938 and that his thinking could be “contaminated” by National Socialism and anti-Semitism only between 1931 and 1944/1945. However, in this paper it is argued that already in Being and Time Heidegger had made a case for National Socialism; that he discovered in 1938 the “true” National Socialism, and that Trawny’s main criterion regarding Heidegger’s anti-Semitism is false. Heidegger’s case is (...) compared with Max Scheler, who, because of Hitler, turned from the right to the centre. In addition, alternatives to Trawny’s detailed interpretations of three of Heidegger’s anti-Semitic remarks are offered, it is shown that Trawny misconstrues Heidegger’s anti-Semitism, and the anti-Semitic aspects of Heidegger’s history of Being are presented. (shrink)
Written by a non-Jewish analytic philosopher, this book addresses the issue of whether, and to what extent, current opposition to Israel on the liberal-left embodies anti-Semitic stances. It argues that the dominant climate of liberal opinion disseminates, however inadvertently, a range of anti-Semitic assertions and motifs of the most traditional kind. It advocates a return to an unrestricted anti-racism which would allow liberals to defend Palestinian interests without demonizing Jews.
How did the levels of anti-Semitism in the 1930s compare to those of earlier decades? Did anti-Semitism vary in content and intensity across societies? In other words, were Germans more anti-Semitic than their European neighbors, and, if so, why? How does anti-Semitism differ from other forms of religious, racial, and ethnic prejudice? In this 2003 book, William I. Brustein offersa truly systematic comparative and empirical examination of anti-Semitism within Europe before the (...) Holocaust. Brustein proposes that European anti-Semitism flowed from religious, racial, economic, and political roots, which became enflamed by economic distress, rising Jewish immigration, and socialist success. To support his arguments, Brustein draws upon a careful and extensive examination of the annual volumes of the American Jewish Year Books and more than 40 years of newspaper reportage from Europe's major dailies. The findings of this informative book offer a fresh perspective on the roots of society's longest hatred. (shrink)
Nevertheless, Marx's essay ["On the Jewish Question"] has a profound bearing upon The Jew of Malta; their conjunction enriches our understanding of the authors; relation to ideology and, more generally, raises fruitful questions about a Marxist reading of literature. The fact that both works use the figure of the perfidious Jew provides a powerful link between Renaissance and modern thought, for despite the great differences to which I have just pointed, this shared reference is not an accident or a mirage. (...) "On the Jewish Question" represents the nineteenth-century development of a late sixteenth-century idea or, more accurately, a late sixteenth-century trope. Marlowe and Marx seize upon the Jew as a kind of powerful rhetorical device, a way of marshalling deep popular hatred and clarifying its object. The Jew is charged not with racial deviance or religious impiety but with economic and social crime, crime that is committed not only against the dominant Christian society but, in less "pure" form, by that society. Both writers hope to focus attention upon activity that is seen as at once alien and yet central to the life of the community and to direct against that activity the anti-Semitic feeling of the audience. The Jews themselves in their real historical situation are finally incidental in these works, Marx's as well as Marlowe's, except insofar as they excite the fear and loathing of the great mass of Christians. It is this privileged access to mass psychology by means of a semimythical figure linked in the popular imagination with usury, sharp dealing, and ruthless cunning that attracts both the sixteenth-century playwright and the nineteenth-century polemicist.1 · 1. Anti-Semitism, it should be emphasized, is never merely a trope to be adopted or discarded by an author as he might choose to employ zeugma or eschew personification. It is charged from the start with irrationality and bad faith and only partly rationalized as a rhetorical strategy. Marlowe depicts his Jew with the compulsive cruelty that characterizes virtually all his work, while Marx's essay obviously has elements of a sharp, even hysterical, denial of his religious background. It is particularly tempting to reduce the latter work to a dark chapter in its author's personal history. The links I am attempting to establish with Marlowe or the more direct link with Feuerbach, however, locate the essay in a far wider context. Still, the extreme violence of the latter half of Marx's work and his utter separation of himself from the people he excoriates undoubtedly owe much to his personal situation. It is interesting that the tone of the attack on the Jews rises to an almost ecstatic disgust at the moment when Marx seems to be locating the Jews most clearly as a product of bourgeois culture; it is as if Marx were eager to prove that he is in no way excusing or forgiving the Jews. Stephen J. Greenblatt is the Class of 1932 Professor of English Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Sir Walter Raleigh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World, and the editor of a collection of essays, New World Encounters. (shrink)
Ziege’s book focuses primarily on the two main empirical studies carried out by Max Horkheimer’s Institute of Social Research during its exile in the United States in the 1940s: a relatively unknown and never-published study of anti-Semitism among American workers and the much better known, five-volume Studies in Prejudice. Ziege poses and successfully answers the question of why the Institute began to focus more on empirical studies and anti-Semitism in the 1940s. Her thorough archival research illuminates (...) as never before the Institute’s relations to the main organizations that funded its ambitious empirical projects during this time: the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Labor Committee. She also provides the richest existing account of how the experience of American exile affected the Institute’s theoretical premises and empirical work. By distinguishing between the Institute’s ‘esoteric’ theoretical assumptions, which maintained a large degree of continuity with its earlier work, and a willingness to work at the ‘exoteric’ level with many scholars who didn’t share these assumptions, Ziege explains how the Institute made certain concessions to mainstream American academic culture without ever abandoning the radical intentions of Critical Theory. (shrink)
During my preparations for this lecture, I realized that the German Coordinating Group had already sponsored a lecture with the title “On the struggle against Anti-Semitism today” in 1962.1 At that time they invited a more prominent speaker—a person whom I esteem and admire, Theodor W. Adorno. Adorno's suggestions for combating anti-Semitism remain relevant today, a point to which I will return later. Anti-Semitism itself, however, which at that time Adorno attributed to an “excessive (...) nationalism,” has changed its form of appearance. First of all, hostility against Jews today is directed less against the Jewish minority in Europe and more…. (shrink)
This book articulates a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of Jew hatred as a metaphysical aspect of the human soul. Proceeding from the Jewish thinking that the anti-Semites oppose, David Patterson argues that anti-Semitism arises from the most ancient of temptations, the temptation to be as God, and thus to flee from an absolute accountability to and for the other human being.
This book investigates the anti-Semitic foundations of Nazi curricula for elementary schools, with a focus on the subjects of biology, history, and literature. Gregory Paul Wegner argues that any study of Nazi society and its values must probe the education provided by the regime. Schools, according to Wegner, play a major role in advancing ideological justifications for mass murder, and in legitimizing a culture of ethnic and racial hatred. Using a variety of primary sources, Wegner provides a vivid account (...) of the development of Nazi education. (shrink)
ExcerptThe debate about persecutory Fascist legislation, in its anti-Jewish and racial-colonial1 articulation, has represented one of the most innovative branches of historical research in Italy in the last twenty years.2 In 1988, the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of anti-Jewish legislation marked the symbolic beginning of fruitful studies on the racial character of Fascism. It allowed the integration, development, and refinement of the research carried out for a long time only by Renzo De Felice and (...) Meir Michaelis.3The actual enforcement of persecutory legislation, especially against the Italian Jewish minority, has been an object of detailed study…. (shrink)
Given that charges of anti-Semitism, racism, and the like continue to be potent weapons of moral and intellectual critique in our culture, it is important that we work toward a clear understanding about just what sorts of conduct and circumstances constitute these moral offenses. In particular, can criticism of a state (such as Israel), or other social or political institution or organization (such as the NAACP), ever amount to anti-Semitism, racism, or other bigotry against the people (...) represented by or associated with it, even if no explicit denigration of them occurs? That a renowned scholar of rhetoric and philosophy takes up the challenge of answering such a question would seem to be cause for optimism, but the recent attempt by Judith Butler turns out to be subverted by faulty logic and blatant misreading. As a result, it obfuscates the issue, and wrongly suggests that expressive acts cannot be blameworthy on grounds of bigotry if they are not intentionally designed to serve such purposes. (shrink)
In the course of 20th-century European history Jews and Arabs, as well as Jews and Muslims, were put in the position of a ‘civilizational’ conflict that is not only political but also quasi-metaphysical. This article examines an impact of the conflict on the attitudes towards anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and considers Islamophobic implications of the ‘new anti-Semitism’ discourse. A thesis of the text is that both the struggle against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and the one against (...) the mechanism creating, in certain circumstances, a kind of negative feedback loop between them requires not only opposing the anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim prejudices, but also a deep, critical reconsideration of the concepts of Europeanness that lie at their foundation. The author suggests that a good starting point for this reconsideration might be the postcolonial reading of the Jewish intellectual tradition, especially the one focusing on the figure of the Mizrahi Jew. (shrink)
In German Idealism and the Jew , Michael Mack uncovers the deep roots of anti-Semitism in the German philosophical tradition. While many have read German anti-Semitism as a reaction against Enlightenment philosophy, Mack instead contends that the redefinition of the Jews as irrational, oriental Others forms the very cornerstone of German idealism, including Kant's conception of universal reason. Offering the first analytical account of the connection between anti-Semitism and philosophy, Mack begins his exploration by (...) showing how the fundamental thinkers in the German idealist tradition--Kant, Hegel, and, through them, Feuerbach and Wagner--argued that the human world should perform and enact the promises held out by a conception of an otherworldly heaven. But their respective philosophies all ran aground on the belief that the worldly proved incapable of transforming itself into this otherworldly ideal. To reconcile this incommensurability, Mack argues, philosophers created a construction of Jews as symbolic of the "worldliness" that hindered the development of a body politic and that served as a foil to Kantian autonomy and rationality. In the second part, Mack examines how Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Franz Rosenzweig, and Freud, among others, grappled with being both German and Jewish. Each thinker accepted the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, in varying degrees, while simultaneously critiquing anti-Semitism in order to develop the modern Jewish notion of what it meant to be enlightened--a concept that differed substantially from that of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Wagner. By speaking the unspoken in German philosophy, this book profoundly reshapes our understanding of it. (shrink)
This is a critical review of David Patterson's book Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins (2015). In this review, I present the author's new explanation of the roots of anti-Semitism, which he finds in the anti-Semite's desire to become like God himself. Patterson's explanation makes an anti-Semite of all those who partake in the "Western rationalist project," especially philosophers (including Jewish philosophers such as Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, and Marx), but also Islamists and anti-Zionist Jews. (...) I criticize Patterson on two fronts: First, his "metaphysical" explanation relies on a petitio principii. Second, he should have argued his stance against that of Zeev Sternhell's thesis, according to which Western anti-Semitism is rooted, not in Western rationalism, but rather in the Western anti-rationalist (anti-Enlightenment) movement. (shrink)
This review essay expands on two excellent collections dealing with Nietzsche and Wagner and is drawn from the proceedings of conferences in the bicentennial year of Wagner’s birth. It points to four areas underplayed in the contributions. The first involves Nietzsche’s adoption of Wagnerian ideology, especially anti-Judaism, in the late 1860s and early 1870s. The second deals with Nietzsche’s actual activities and sentiments regarding the inaugural Bayreuth festival in 1876 and his later reports of these activities and sentiments. A (...) third topic concerns the break from Wagner, its likely causes, and its stylization in Nietzsche’s recollections from the 1880s. And lastly the essay examines the ambivalence toward Wagner in Nietzsche’s writings from 1888 as part of an autobiographical imperative. In general, the collections reviewed place too much trust in Nietzsche’s own accounts of the relationship with Wagner and fail to recognize that, especially in the 1880s, the philosopher is engaged in a process of self-fashioning to bring his current views into harmony with a history embellished and manipulated to give the appearance of linear development and consistent beliefs. (shrink)
This chapter discusses and revisits the question of anti-Semitism as it emerges especially in the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Dialectic of Enlightenment, then, articulates the history of figuration in which domination takes place, tracing the politicoeconomic forces of fascism and capitalism to a mode of representation that is the condition for their emergence as historical possibilities in the first place. The case of anti-Semitism is exemplary in this history and in the dialectic of individuals and social and (...) cultural forces. As Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno explain, anti-Semitism condemns individuals as Jews, in effect denying them their individuality, and yet condemns Jews because of their individuality or particularity. The potential for freedom from anti-Semitism thus lies in a strategic deployment of the position of this particularity. (shrink)
Emile Durkheim's “Antisémitisme et crise sociale,” written in 1899 during the Dreyfus Affair in France, is introduced. The introduction summarizes the principal contributions that “Antisémitisme et crise sociale” makes to the sociology of anti-Semitism, relates those contributions to Durkheim's broader theoretical assumptions and concerns, situates his analysis of anti-Semitism in its social and historical context, contrasts it to other analyses of anti-Semitism that were prominent in Durkheim's time, indicates some of the revisions and additions (...) that a fuller and more complete Durkheimian theory of anti-Semitism would entail, and highlights the significance of Durkheim's ideas for the contemporary study of ethnic and racial antagonism. While noting the limitations of Durkheim's analysis, the introduction concludes that “Antisémitisme et crise sociale” has sadly regained its relevance in the light of a revival of anti-Semitism at the turn of the millennium. (shrink)
Emile Durkheim's "Antis?mitisme et crise sociale," written in 1899 during the Dreyfus Affair in France, is introduced. The introduction summarizes the principal contributions that "Antis?mitisme et crise sociale" makes to the sociology of anti-Semitism, relates those contributions to Durkheim's broader theoretical assumptions and concerns, situates his analysis of anti-Semitism in its social and historical context, contrasts it to other analyses of anti-Semitism (Marxist and Zionist) that were prominent in Durkheim's time, indicates some of the (...) revisions and additions that a fuller and more complete Durkheimian theory of anti-Semitism would entail, and highlights the significance of Durkheim's ideas for the contemporary study of ethnic and racial antagonism. While noting the limitations of Durkheim's analysis, the introduction concludes that "Antis?mitisme et crise sociale" has sadly regained its relevance in the light of a revival of anti-Semitism at the turn of the millennium. (shrink)
pour l'autre en nous et parmi nousAn apologia seeks to cover up the revolutionary moments in the course of history. The establishment of continuity is dear to its heart. It only gives importance to those elements of a work that have already generated an after-effect. It misses those points at which the transmission breaks down and thus misses those jags and crags that offer a handhold to someone who wishes to move beyond them.I am all the same convinced that these (...) notes [in Culture and Value] can be properly understood and appreciated only against the background of Wittgenstein’ s philosophy and, furthermore, that they make a contribution to our understanding of that philosophy. (shrink)
ExcerptIn 1938, when anti-Jewish Racial Laws were passed in Italy, Pope Pius XI and Mussolini went through a long confrontation on the racial problem: for the Duce of Fascism, anything related to racial policies fell within the competence of the Italian government and had nothing to do with religion, hence the Vatican had no authority to intervene; conversely, for the Pope, racism was a dangerous heresy and, as such, had to be condemned by the Catholic Church. This confrontation was (...) harsh and would continue until the death of Pius XI in February 1939. But did the Italian Church sustain the…. (shrink)
In the second half of 1944, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay entitled ‘Anti-Semite and Jew’. He analyses what might be termed the moral pathology of the anti-Semite. Such a person, Sartre suggests, has chosen to enact a passion, a passion of hatred. The motive is the desire for ‘impenetrability’ – a disavowal of reasoned argument – and a pleasure taken in the assertion and re-assertion of what is known to be false. Sartre’s essay was written hurriedly and looking (...) back over 70 years, we can see its flaws. But I suggest that the kernel of his analysis of the anti-Semite is compelling, especially in the context of the growth of anti-immigrant prejudice in the UK and elsewhere. Using Sartre as a starting point, I discuss the nature of prejudice and suggest that to counter prejudices, a civic education is needed that emphasises a narrative of liberty. (shrink)
In the last five years Europe experienced a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents. Discourse once reputed unacceptable is now routinely voiced in mainstream circles, the press, and the corridors of power. This article sets out to explain the nature of this phenomenon, the reasons for its recurrence, and its severity.
SUMMARYThis article analyzes Hans Urs von Balthasar's account of the rise of modernism in his Apokalypse der deutschen Seele . Balthasar's narration of the history of eschatology and the rise of the modern age is critical preparation for his rejection of modernism. It is also a forerunner for his definition of German culture through anti-Semitic adversary-markers. According to Balthasar, in the 18th century there was a fall from a romantic age when German culture was Christian. In the 19th and (...) 20th century Balthasar sees a dramatic deterioration of religious and intellectual sensibilities and an alienation from these earlier foundations. Balthasar presents “the Jewish” as an adversary of these foundations. Balthasar's claims are here presented and critiqued.ZUSAMMENFASSUNGDer vorliegende Aufsatz betrachtet die Entstehungsgeschichte der Moderne, wie sie Hans Urs von Balthasar in seiner Apokalypse der deutschen Seele darstellt. Balthasars Verständnis der Geschichte der Eschatologie und der Entstehung des modernen Zeitalters ist kritische Vorarbeit für seine Ablehnung der Moderne. Balthasars Kulturkritik leitet auch zu einer Definition der deutschen Kultur durch antisemitische Feindmarkierung hin. Nach Balthasars Auffassung »entfremdete« sich die deutsche Kultur im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert »immer mehr von ihren Grundlagen« und brach damit mit einem romantischen 18. Jahrhundert, in dem die deutsche Kultur noch christlich war. Balthasar sieht im »Jüdischen« einen Feind der Grundlagen der deutschen Kultur. Balthasars Behauptungen werden im vorliegenden Aufsatz dargestellt und kritisch beurteilt. (shrink)
Ernst Haeckel’s popular book Nat¨urliche Sch¨opfungs- geschichte (Natural history of creation, 1868) represents human species in a hierarchy, from lowest (Papuan and Hottentot) to highest (Caucasian, including the Indo-German and Semitic races). His stem-tree (see Figure 1) of human descent and the racial theories that accompany it have been the focus of several recent books—histories arguing that Haeckel had a unique position in the rise of Nazi biology during the ﬁrst part of the 20th century. In 1971, Daniel Gasman brought (...) the initial bill of particulars; he portrayed Haeckel as having speciﬁc responsibility for Nazi racial programs. He argued that Darwin’s champion had a distinctive authority at the end of the 19th century, throwing into the shadows the myriads of others with similar racial attitudes.1 But it was not simply a general racism that Haeckel expressed; he was, according to Gasman (1971: 157–159), a virulent anti-Semite. Since its original publication, Gasman’s thesis has caught on with a large number of historians, so that in the present period it is usually taken as a truism, an obvious fact of the sordid history of biological thought in the ﬁrst half of the 20th century.2 Perhaps the most prominent scholar—at least among historians of biology—to adopt and advance Gasman’s contention was Stephen Jay Gould. In his ﬁrst book, Ontogeny and Phy- logeny (1977), Gould took as his subject Haeckel’s principle of recapitulation, the proposal that during ontogeny the developing embryo went through the same morphological stages as the phylum passed through in its evolutionary descent. So according to this conception, the human embryo begins as a one-celled creature, then takes on the form of an ancient invertebrate (e.g., a gastraea), then of a primitive vertebrate, then of an early mammal, then of a primate, and ﬁnally of a distinct.. (shrink)