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
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“.
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“.
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
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
Kritische Geschichte der Nationaloekonomie und des Sozialismus
Cursus der Philosophie