Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Judaism, Karl Marx and Early Socialism by Israel Zangwill 1895

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The Jews and Early Socialism, from Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People By Israel Zangwill 1895

Singly we are sand-grains, together we are the simoom. Our great teacher, Moses, was the first Socialist. The legislation of the Old Testament — the land laws, the jubilee regulations, the tender care for the poor, the subordination of the rights of property to the interests of the working-men — all this is pure Socialism!...Socialism mean(s) shorter hours and higher wages and was obtainable by marching with banners and brass bands — what need to inquire further?

In short, Socialism is Judaism and Judaism is Socialism, and Karl Marx and Lassalle, the founders of Socialism, were Jews. Judaism does not bother with the next world. It says, 'Eat, drink and be satisfied and thank the Lord, thy God, who brought thee out of Egypt from the land of bondage.' But we have nothing to eat, we have nothing to drink, we have nothing to be satisfied with, we are still in the land of bondage. My brothers, how can we keep Judaism in a land where there is no Socialism? We must become better Jews, we must bring on Socialism, for the period of Socialism on earth and of peace and plenty and brotherly love is what all our prophets and great teachers meant by Messiah-times.

When Hillel the Great summed up the law to the would-be proselyte while standing on one leg, how did he express it? 'Do not unto others what you would not have others do unto you.' This is Socialism in a nut-shell. Do not keep your riches for yourself, spread them abroad. Do not fatten on the labor of the poor, but share it. Do not eat the food others have earned, but earn your own. Yes, brothers, the only true Jews in England are the Socialists. Phylacteries, praying-shawls— all nonsense. Work for Socialism — that pleases the Almighty. The Messiah will be a Socialist. ~ Israel Zangwill

From The American Jewish Chronicle, May 10 1918

What remains today of Karl Marx is not his Philosophy of History, not his sociology and not his economic theories but a great wonderful personality of an apostle and tribune, of a prophet and teacher. As such he will continue to be admired and honored for many generations. What has remained of Marx is his powerful personality, his motives of thought, his virile and gigantic mentality and his puritan earnestness which is so typically Jewish that even those who do not believe in racial theories find it hard to overlook the Jew in him. Even his appearance reminds us of the figure of a medieval rabbi—-earnest, patriarchal, dignified. Just as his outer appearance was typical, so is the motive of his thought and his entire disposition of mind typically Jewish. What he has in common with the Jewish race most is his boundless optimism and belief in a better future for humanity; the bells of a happy future were constantly ringing in his ears. It was this indestructible belief in a better future for humanity that became the basis of all his philosophies and theories. As a philosopher and a theoretician he was inspired by Gentiles—-by English and French economists and by German philosophers, notably Hegel, whose philosophy of history he materialized. But his personality, his mind and soul and his ethical makeup are gifts of our race. What his mind borrowed from Gentile minds has been destroyed by time. The philosophic inspirations he drew from Gentiles have proven of short duration. Men and time have helped destroy it and did destroy it, but what he has received from our race—-his personality—-is indestructible. None will destroy it, none will attempt to destroy it, because it is as strong as concrete and granite.

From The American Jewish Chronicle Vol 3 No 1-26, 1917

Herrmann Cohen, the founder of neo-Kantianism, who is at the same time a learned and serious-minded Jew, knows what he is talking about when he sings the praise of Marx in such a manner. Karl Marx was not only the Abgesandter der Geschichte, but a great Jew; he personified the renaissance of classic Jewish sociological thought. He did not know Judaism and therefore shared the opinion of his contemporaries with regard to Judaism; but his intellect was cut from the granite of ancient Jewish genius. In him lived the fire of the prophetic soul; he was the great reminder of prophetic thought in the nineteenth century. Paul was the real anti-Jew. Marx, however, was not an anti—Jew in substance, though he was in form; as a matter of fact he was the greatest Jew the Jewish people has ever produced during its Diaspora life. He was by far greater than Spinoza.

From A History of the Jews in Modern Times By Max Raisin 1919

Socialism itself was largely a product of the Jewish mind. In theory and scientific analysis it was the work of Karl Marx, while as a political factor in the empire it claims another Jew, Ferdinand Lassalle, as its organizing genius.

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