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Alexander Jacob-Eugen Dühring and the Jewish Question

Alexander Jacob-Eugen Dühring and the Jewish Question

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Alexander Jacob-Eugen Dühring and the Jewish Question
Alexander Jacob-Eugen Dühring and the Jewish Question

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WORLD VIEW FOUNDATIONS www.wvfoundations.org 
The prerequisite for action is the will and courage to be truthful.” 
 Eugen Dühring and the Jewish Question
Dr. Alexander Jacob
The radical disturbance of European society through the increasing influence and power of the Jews after their emancipation in Germany in the middle of the nineteenth century is witnessed bythe publication of a spate of books in Germany towards the end of the century discussing the baneful social effects of the free participation of Jews in Europe. These works range from Wilhelm Marr’s
 Der Weg zum Siege des Germanentums über das Judentum
(The way to the victory of Germanicism over Judaism), 1879, to Werner Sombart’s
 Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben
(The Jews and economic life)
 ,
1911. Eugen Dühring’s
 Die  Judenfrage
(The Jewish question), written in 1881, presents the first comprehensive study of the problem of the rising Jewish mastery of European society and politics. His work is especially valuable in its ability to see through the veneer of culture adopted by the educated Jews and to expose their essential moral turpitude, and avarice, as what he called “descendants of traders in old wardrobes, scraps and cattle-bones“.Eugen Dühring was born in Berlin the son of a Prussian bureaucrat and studied law, philosophy and  political economy at the University of Berlin. Although he began practice as a lawyer, he was forced to abandon it at the age of 28 when he was blinded through a congenitaldefect. He then began doctoral studies at the university and took his doctorate in 1861, two years after which he was appointed a lecturer in  philosophy and national economy at the University of Berlin. He published works on national economy influenced bythe doctrines of the German-American economist Friedrich List and the American Charles Carey, who were in favour of organic economics with a strong emphasis on protectionism and national interest. Already the ethical focus of his economic studies is evidenced in his early work,
 Der Wert des  Lebens
(1865). Further publications included his
 Natürliche Dialektik 
(1865),
Cursus der National-und Socialökonomie
(1873), and
Cursus der Philosophie
(1875). Dühring adopted a critical attitude to the university and its institutions from the start and was soon removed from his teaching post. He attributed this dismissal to the machination of the Jewish elements in the university as well as their influential agents in the  press. His later publications as a private scholar included a work on
 Die Überschätzung Lessings und seine  Anwaltschaft für die Juden
(The overvaluation of Lessing and his advocacy of the Jews) (1881) and
 Die  Judenfrage
(1881). His last works,
Waffen, Capital und Arbeit 
(1906) and
Soziale Rettung
(1907), were consolidations of his views on social and political economy. Unlike other philosophical anti-Semites such as Fichte and Schopenhauer, Dühring was a realist and not an idealist. Indeed, he was against man-made religious institutions on account of what he considered their superstitiousness. However, he never lost sight of the imperative of morality in all his discussions of social and economic philosophy. Dühring’s social ideal was based on a moral cultivation of the individual spirit which would liberate the personality from all external and internal hindrances and allow it to form a vital culture. Of the external hindrances, he considered the exploitative tendencies of social groups such as the Jews to be the most dangerous. The Jewish question, according to Dühring, is indeed not so much a religious one as an anthropological, focussed on the inherent and unchangeable character of the Jewish
 
 people. One important feature of Dühring’s anti-Semitism is his clear distinction between the Jews and other Semites, and his consideration of the former as „the most vicious minting of the entire Semitic race“. Heconsidered the Jews to be characterised primarily by self-interest and this self-interest has coloured all of the commercial dealings of the times with its „glorification of cheating, and, in general, the entire celebration of the handsome strategem of cunning exploitation“.
1
Their socio-political strategy has always been a despotical one and even their god was a god of „transcendental terrorism“. The Jewish theocratic ideas of society are based on the enslavement of the Jewish people to their Lord God but they, in turn, must enslave the rest of mankind to please this sole, jealous monarch of the world: „To be a slave or to make slaves –that is the alternative of the peoples disposed to a lack of freedom“. The Jewish religion has thus no truly religious character but, instead, a markedly economic-political one. The Jewish god Jehovah is himself nothing but an embodiment of the Jewish self-interest and represents the opposite of the Indo-European natural pantheon. The Germanic mythology is ruled by concepts of fidelity and nature-bound spirituality which have unfortunately been obscured by the overlaying of the original German moral character by Christianity, a religion which Dühring believed to be unfortunately closely related to the Jewish racial culture in which it arose as a reaction to the evils of the Jewish nature.
2
Given the Jews‘ natural proclivity for profit-making, it is not surprising that they have, in their extensive wanderings away from their homeland, curried favour with power-holders in all ages through their financial loans. The dangers of moral corruption in society have increased after the emancipation of the Jewry in the sixties and seventies of the nineteenth century through the greater admixture of Jews into European families. The influence of the Jews on society is more evident in the upper and middle classes than in the lower since the former are more exposed to the thoroughly Judaised press and literature of modern times. The unfortunate admittance of Jews into influential positions in European society and politics has allowed them to exploit their own host nations and others through the championing of all sorts of so-called socialist movements that enable them to extract advantages for themselves from disturbed social and economic conditions.Their aim in the realm of economics has always been, whether it be through Marx or through Ferdinand Lasalle, to foster economic dissatisfaction through terms such as „class-warfare“ in order ultimately to achieve a „merging of all nations into a Jewish kingdom“. But the German state was originally founded on the moral quality of „loyalty“, which was the basis of the feudal system in the Middle Ages. Loyalty should therefore be the source of future German politics as well. This alone will counter the Jewish  politics based on „betrayal“ –of Europeans as well as, occasionally, of Jews too by themselves. The Jewish infiltration into the legislative activities of the German state after their emancipation has enabled them to herd the German people under the thrall of individualistic „freedom“ into the exploitative hands of the Jews. In this they have been abetted by the university professors and intelligentsia, since the latter depend for the most part on the Jewish press for their reputation. The advancement of the Jews from their original pariah status to the leading political positions in the European nations is exemplified by the rise of Gambettain France and of Disraeli in England. Gambetta indeed rose to power on the basis of a political fiasco – involving Daniel Wilson, the son-in-law of the then president, Jules Grevy -for which his own people were responsible, while Disraeli’s opportunism is manifest in his use of the stock-businesses to acquire foreign lands. The very appointment of a Jew like Disraeli as the head of the English parliament is a sad sign of the degeneration of the English aristocracy in recent times.Dühring was firmly against the Marxist doctrine of class-warfare since he considered this to be a subversive strategy that based itself on the opposition between the powerful warrior nobilities of the past and  powerless social groups for the advantage of the Jews themselves, whofor long constituted an outcast group in European society. I may point out that the significance of this original opposition between the ancient European nobilityand the Jewswas repeated by Nietzsche in his thesis in
The Genealogy of Morality
(1881) that the aristocratic morality of the warrior nobility had been inverted by the Jewish “slave revolt in morality“ which appeared in the West under the direction of the Christian clergy. But more accurately than  Nietzsche who blamed Christianity as much as Judaism for this subversion, Dühring focussed on the Jewish economic models that have transvalued economics through the subordination of the higher to the lower
1
 All translations from Dühring‘s
 Die Judenfrage
are from my edition,
 Eugen Dühring on the Jews
, Brighton: 1994 Press, 1997.
2
In his intellectual autobiography,
Sache, Leben und Feinde
, Dühring points out, for example, that “The belief which Christ demanded was the belief in his person, the blind subjection to the word of the master and prophet, but not the naturally grown fidelity such as lies in the nature of the better peoples and characters” (p.288).
 
aspirations of the people. In this respect, Dühring’s economic views serve as a corrective also tothe latent adulation of Judaism in Max Weber’s influential work
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
(1904/1920) which derived the “religious“ pursuit of economic gain in Western capitalism from Calvinist Protestantism, that is, from Christian ethics. Werner Sombart pointed out in his
 Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben
that Puritanism is indeed closely allied to Judaism. But Weber dismissed the contribution of Jews to European capitalism (which had been highlighted by Werner Sombart in his work) as mere “pariah capitalism”, failing to see that it was indeed this latter variety of capitalism, based on the Jewish  practice of usury vis-à-vis non-Jews as well as on unscrupulous entrepreneurial innovation and speculation, that would eventually replace the work-ethic of Calvinism as the economic foundation of the West.Instead of the Marxist stress on class-warfare, Dühring pointed to the real sympathy that should and could exist between employees and workers as a sound basis for the economic welfareof a country. He  proposed free associations of workers that resemble economic communes and corporations which would ensure the access of all to property according to personal capacity. The precondition of such workers‘ coalitions would be the direction ofall their efforts to the interests of the whole, of the public as a totality, and this can be effected only when
the state
enters as a mediator between the several socio-economic interests of the population, which latter cannot be allowed to be represented by political parties since these are not democratic at all but oligarchic groupings in which „a considerable part of the people has a place only as a ruled and mostly anonymous mass“.
3
Indeed, like the conservatives of the Weimar Republic such as Oswald Spengler and Edgar Julius Jung, Dühring was completely opposed to the system of parliamentarism since, for instance, the English  parties of Tory and Whig were nothing but representatives of belligerent and colonial robbery and capitalistic-commercial rapacity, whereas the French parliament was firmly connected to the financial and stock-exchange interests. Since the egoistic Jewish elements of society had even taken over the so-called Socialist Revolution and represented it in Parliament, Dühring believedthat it is necessary to overturn the  present state of affairs through a transitional dictatorship formed by an intellectually and morally outstanding individual who would seek to establish social justice in the country.If the prime consideration of the state is the totality of the aspirations of the people, its economics should also be nationalistic and employ tariffs to protect its interests. The so-called freedom demanded in modern economics and society is in fact a war-cry mainly of exploitative groups such as the Jews (though Dühring attacked the powerful Junkers, i.e. the lesser nobility, too as exploitative in their rule of the current Prussian society).The worst aspect of the Jews' commercial control of society is that the crass egoism and cruelty of the Jews have seeped into the public through the press and even the legislation. Indeed, „even parts of science which are especially ventured into by the Jews on account of their exclusion from others already reveal in many ways the stamp of the new form of businessdirected to profit“.
4
Essentially the Jews themselves lack all creative power in science as well as in art and merely trade in the ideas of others. The Jewish economist, David Ricardo, for example, derived his famous ground-rent theory fromthe Scot James Anderson, the Jewish mathematician, Carl Gustav Jacobi, his ideas from the Norwegian Niels Abel. Even the sole distinguished philosopher of the Jewish race, Spinoza, has produced a system which is singularly lacking in all ideals above rational calculation. The neglect of compassion in his
 Ethics
as a feeling-based category to be overcome by the understanding points to the real cult of intellectual power which lies at the  base of his system. Similarly, the Jewish talent in literature is always of a hybrid sort displaying even amidst attempts at Germanic sublimity an irresistible proclivity for buffoonery, as in the case of Heine, and to  polemics, as in the case of Boerne. The Jews also lack all heroism of character to produce epic or dramaticliterature and can, at best, attain some weak lyricism as revealed in their ancient Psalms. The general unsuitability of the Jews for artistic enterprise is, in fact, located by Dühring in their lack of “that free and unselfish activity of the mind which alone advances to uninterested truth and beauty“. Indeed, as embodiments of self-interest, the Jews are incapable of being really emancipated in spite of the legal emancipation achieved by them in Germany and other parts of Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. At the time of writing his
Cursus der Philosophie
(1875), Dühring believed that some form of Socialism would be sufficient to counter the egoistic nature of the Jews since socialism is based on the organic sensibility of the local people as opposed to the exploitative activity of the Jews. Moreover, he
3
Kritische Geschichte der Nationaloekonomie und des Sozialismus
, p.486.
4
Cursus der Philosophie
, p.391.

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