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Tucker.Political emancipation. The essay is seldomtranslatedor even separatelypublishedin the original Marxistsabove the absoluteminimum.MARX AND JEWISH EMANCIPATION BY SHLOMO AVINERI is today considered a comantisemite That Karl Marx was an inveterate monplace which is hardly ever questioned. of the Master fromtheiredition."Die Fahigkeit (Braunschweig.nor is it quoted by orthodox of They. 1962). as well as non-Marxists. accordingto Marx.334. 213. thesameauthor. tween the political and the human emancipation. 110-13.and hencehis attitude is in thesecond of Marx'sargument abouttheJews part But thebrunt of sellingand he identifies withthe practice Judaism of his essay. and Winterthur. whichmeans accordingto Marx political formalequality. 119-27. in European socialism. Marx'sessayat all.g. Marxists feel rather uneasy about it and try to evade the issue by pushing his essay Zur Judenfrage wishfully hopingthat it will be ultimatelyforgotten. G. society buying. Herweg(Zurich of Bauer'sas wellas Marx's study 1963)."Einundzwanzig und Christen Juden heutigen The Re1843). Cornu. can be achieved whichsignifies tranwithinbourgeoissociety. in Karl Marx (Cambridge.it is a fierceinvectiveagainst what Marx conceivesto be the spiritand essenceof Judaismas a historicalphenomenon.only atteststo the burdenMarx left as a legacy to his disciples in this as in many otherrespects.N. Bauer.. No. zur Judenfrage Sozialisten 3-52.K. freizu sein.FromHegelto Marx (NewYork.II. treatedaccordingto the generalformalprinciplesof equality underlying 8 seemsto giveweight Braun.Die Judenfrage der 1843).fora detailed curring Pattern(London. 324. views. C.whereashumanemancipation. Judaica.where as themanifestation oftheJewish and seesbourgeois spirit.369. Historia "Was Marx an anti-Semite?. Marx's essay is an answerto Bruno Bauer's two treatiseson the Jews.1936). Bogenaus derSchweiz. according to Marx.3e. into the background. 20 to Die Neue Zeit. 1929)..1914) doesnotmention (Supplement XI (1949). B. (Berlin. Bauer. necessarily presupposes the destructionof bourgeois society as the sphereof men's egotisticinterestscontrastedwith universal human attributes. Bauer. 445 is mistaken. II. Rotenstreich. A. Hook. in denying beis mistakenin failingto distinguish the Jews political and civic rights. scending alienation. Gesamtausgabe 4 B.' 'BaronItzig.Secondly. German. Abt.56-71. R. Bauermisses this.1958). is theemancipation oftheJew endsby saying that"thesocialemancipation . remark carefullydeleted every anti-Jewish Marx-Engels correspondence." 2E. Karl Marx and Myth Philosophy Engels(Paris. Kautsky.are usually perplexedby the enormity 1 others see in it one more evidence of an Marx's anti-Jewish outbursts. 254-71. et Friedrich in hisRasse und Judentum 1961). 3 Marx-Engels III. (Berlin. The fact that Bebel and Bernstein.''Jiudel -S.2That Marx's essay was antisemiticundercurrent remarks about Lassalle as later accompanied by such uncomplimentary as first editorsof the to this contention.'or 'Ephraim Gescheit. wholly within bourgeois society and should hence be it. Silberner. The problemposed by Jewishemancipationoccurs.100-3.Cf. in confrontation with the Young Hegelian tradition own social philosophy in general and with Bauer's 'critical school' in particular. E. ed.4 has It it is Marx's earliest attemptto formhis mainly two aspects: first.
In thegeneral argument against Bauer.). society "Bauer imagines a peculiar kindof state-a philosophical ideal of a state.6 annihilation Marx'srather unflattering imageof Judaism somehow overshadows the question abouthisactualattitude to thepractical which causedthe question essayto be written. on the secondplane that Marx plunges deeplyintothe withthe polemicalliterature variousissues connected whichsprung up of Jewish at that time.On thefirst levelMarx reiterates his contention thatBauer mixesup human with political and on thiscount Marxdoesnotreally emancipation.a philosophical and a historical one. Bauer. .8 way of response Again.40 (MarxWerke[Berlin. This is doneby Marx a yearor so laterin The Holy Family. 377). T. posing question emancipation the context of existing within whichthe question has arisen.R. 112-25). This imageof Judaism of society is generally from Judaism. 117-21. The significant factis thatMarxcompletely endorses theviewsheldby theJewish writers. At the outsetMarx supports one of Gustav Philippson's arguments Bauer. though wrilyaddingthatin spiteof the factthattheyare farinferior to Baueras polemicists. 91-95.e. Dixon (Moscow. mandarins.Werke.a stateas it has neverexisted and couldneverexist. 127-32.cf. i. 724. add anything to whathad alreadybeensaid by himin his first significant in theDeutsch-Franzosische article Jahrbiucher. theposition of theJewsin Prussia. Bauer'spoint ofdeparture is irreleinstead of the of in Jewish vant. trans. postulating a quasi-Naziviewof advocating a physical of theJews. 8 B. 7K. 1843) and HeftIV (March1844). II. 143-59(Werke.ix. Engels.7 heretakesissuewitha seriesof articles by Bauer which werewritten by to someJewish reactions to his initialessays of 1843. Karl Marx. worduttered by the crowned Pro5K.Early Writings.According against to Philippson.Marx's argument is on two levels. pointofview: thephilosophical with argument Still. 6 D. it has beenverymuchoverlooked thatMarx comesback in a latercontext to thisquestion of Jewish and in thiscase engages in a very emancipation. however. GabrielRiesser. Runes. and recently went to the length of crediting Marx witha racialistantisemitism." in Allgemeine LiteraturHeftI (December Zeitung.It is certainly right to suppose thatthisquestion was a secondary one from Marx's own Bauertookprecedence. and in which all thecitizens.A World Without Jews(New York.99-104. publiclectures from the ChiefMinister downto the lamp cleanerof the Royal Theatertake of every like Chinese notes.The Holy Family. thelatter doesnotgetthebetter ofthem in argument. B.446 SHLOMO AVINERI . 1961]. Marx.Here he takes aroundthe question emancipation sidesin theargument between Bauerand a hostofJewish polemicists (Philippson."NeuesteSchriften iuber die Judenfrage. thatthose sections were written by Marx. Salomon. Marx and F.1959).et al.I." conceived to be Marx'sLast Judgment an American on the Jews. II. SamuelHirsch.1956). a state in whichthe Sovereign gives on logicand metaphysics. trans. D.three sub-sections to Bauer's attitude to theJewish Marx are devoted question. detailed argument abouttheproblem itself. Bottomore (London. It is. Engels. 1963).
but it is not only a religiousquestion. . 228f.. Die Judenfrage 10The HolyFamily. 11Ibid. . von Bruno Bauer (Dessau.Marx says that Bauer's attitudeis characteristicand typical of the Christian-Prussian attitude.pose the questionin a wrongway: "It thus distorted politithe Jewishquestionin such a way that it did not need to investigate of Jewishrelical emancipation. Bauer political sphere."9 Marx remarks withwhat was written the rights the state withhumanity. Bauer and his school.151(Werke. 118). would like to go back in history the element the neutralization of in with this religious do away political Jewish as one. tually became a memberof the 1848 FrankfortConstituentAssembly).he ." 15 Marx Gabriel Riesser (who eventhen goes on to supportanotherJewishwriter. 118 (Werke.and he goes to some lengthto show that Bauer hypostasizeshis idea of a Christianstate 14 on that forBauer the Prussian absolutistLandeskirche.II. 14 Ibid. II.Marx jokinglyremarks "'his faith in Jehovahis changedinto faithin the Prussian State.even a liberal like Macaulay could not help making clear his aversionto both Jewishreligionand economicactivityin his essay advocatingtheirenfranchisement. 118)..makingreligionirrelevant and and his colleagues.so as to make sure that every executiveact will be in accordance that downin theirschool notebook.12 The religiousproblemof Judaismcannot. by creatingthe the religiousdissentfrom modernbourgeoisworld.and these-like Jewishreligionitself-are being constantlyrecreatedand preservedby bourgeoissociety. and political emancipation which combinehis Christianvaluation of Bauer's theologicalpremises.Marx remarks.MARX AND JEWISH EMANCIPATION 447 fessor.succeededin neutralizing in the realm of the state.13 This is in directopposito political freedom. .Marx asserts.The would denythat. be solved manifestation of human withinexisting society (as it is just one phenomenal the political and civil rightsof the Jews alienation in general). 95). II. 15 Ibid." 11 of the Christian-German gion and a description Marx points out that XVIIIth-centuryEnlightenment. but could be satisfiedwith a criticism state. 150(Werke. 10 with human emancipation. expressesthe meaningof the Jews' against Bauer: "Herr Riesser correctly 9 G. Philippson.Marx reiterateshere attitudeto religion. . 1951). emancipation.his basic attitudeand its practical consequencesdo not differ fromthose generallyheld by people who supported fundamentally Jewishemancipation.are the Judaism with his attitude to Jewishcontemporary focal point of Marx's attack on the second. as Bauer "confuses thisis valid criticism. therefore. of the Jews"(1831). B. rootsof the religiousproblemare deeply imbeddedin the actual livingconditions of the Jews.historicallevel.and thoughhe does his Feuerbachian.anthropological Judaismwith not budge an inch fromhis earlier approach whichidentified the bourgeoisworld. 92). sets no condition and nevertheless Marx points out.accordingto Marx. II." contrary tion to Bauer who made it a condition for emancipationthat the Jews should renouncetheirreligion. 1843).121 (Werke.5. cannot be decided upon in a religiouscontext: "If a Jew demands freedom will not renouncehis religion. ical Essays (London.on the otherhand. 13 TheHolyFamily. no one a religious Bauer sees the question modernworld." of man withman. Macaulay. Critical and Histor"CivilDisabilities 12T. II. .
based as it is on subjective feeling and consciousness und Gewissen') ('Gemiit throws thedoorwideopento a hostof considerations which in deciding are by definition inadequate and irrelevant questions ofrights. as the Jewshave been to the Christian world." Jewish SocialStudies. (Hamburg. Hoffmeister des Rechts.18 Bauer'stheological approach also causeshimto viewJudaism as outside thepale of historical the realmof process and theJewsas existing outside history. travel. one'sliving. I. The Jewhas all the more as the 'freecivil society' right to the recognition of his 'freehumanity' is thoroughly commercial and Jewish linkin it.an approach like thatof Bauer.Marx is in fullagreement withHegelin thatbothdetest Judaism. II.24. religion' is 'destestable' (widerlich) he willsupport the so as to bring petition morerationality intothe existing 'Christian state' (Letter to Ruge.'9 Of course. though fordifferent yetbothgo out oftheir wayto pointout thatJewish emancireasons. Hegel.? 209. sojourn. society.'7 That thoseprinciples are but a milestone on theroad to ultimate is besidethe pointwhenconsidered in this salvation context.270. 1/2. J. which 16lbid. Hirsch. 1943). 130 (Werke."16 and theJewis a necessary of bourgeois Marx's criticism and of the role the Jewsplay in it.MEGA. society according to his view.448 SHLOMO AVINERI free when he denmands. is a necessary of theuniversal ofmodern pation norms corollary Cf. XXV (April1963).as wellas my"A Noteon Hegel's Viewson Jewish Emancipation. Here Marx relates howas editor of the Rheinische he was approached Zeitung by theleaderoftheJewish in Cologne community in connection a Jewish with petition on emancipation to be presented to the Rhenish Diet. Bauer deniesRabbi SamuelHirsch'scontention thatthe Jewsplayedany part in history.Grundlinien der Philosophie ed. II. butthen"an eyesore is something too-does it meanit conMarx seemsto have put some of the tributes to developmy eyesight?" ancestral vehemence into his rejoinder in defending rabbinical the rabbi againstthe critical theologian: "Something whichhas been an eyesore to me sincemy birth.145-51. 17This cleardistinction between his attitude toward Judaism and the political ofJewish question is manifested emancipation to Arnold by Marx in a letter Ruge. 18 TheHolyFamily. this ultimate nay more. . Marx informs Ruge that though the'Israelite to him. earning of 'free are explicitly as suchin Thesemanifestations humanity' recognized the French Declaration of the Rightsof Man. 102).butbecausethoserights are in accordance withthepremises of bourgeois society itself. G. Das Judentum.. Riesser also on another occasion bymaintainingthattheonlylegitimate attitude to theJewish claimsis to gaugethem of the objective by the criteria juridicalnormsof bourgeois society. theybecomea necessary stage towards Marxsupports emancipation. oftheir desire for other recognition humanity among of movement. W. the freedom etc.13 March1843. 308). things. 'something' Bauer asserts. F.153 (Werke. It is noteworthy thatthiswasalsothe anglefrom which Hegelviewed thecriteria by which Jewish be emancipation should judged. 19S. derchristliche Staat unddiemoderne Kritik:Briefe zur Beleuchtung derJudenfrage vonBrunoBauer (Leipzig. 120).notbecauseJewish political rights emancipation signifies the journey's end. 1955). the Jewscontributed to history. havingno historical justification for theircontinuing existence.doesnotprevent himfrom fullciviland demanding fortheJews.
a genuinethough critical theologianor theological 22 criticcould not get beyondthe religiouscontradiction.i. are fullypolitically emancipatedin various states. 23Ibid.MARX AND JEWISH EMANCIPATION 449 one. the criticismquoted of Jewryin 'the above revealed to Herr Bruno [Bauer] the significance 20 makingof moderntimes. "political" emancipation). Herr Bauer. However. Both Jews and Christians are far frombeing humanly emancipated.132 (Werke.have firstof all to be achieved in To quote Marx: "The Jews (like the Christians) orderto be transcended. I. 116).Marx's answer to this is significant threecounts: (a) in regardto any notionshe may have had about the future withthe develexistenceof the Jews as an ethnicgroup. . (b) in connection opmentof his thoughton the general problemof nationalism. difference be cal emancipation.. Marx points out that Bauer is thus merely giving vent to his theological prejudices. growsand develops withme.but as ceived the of Bauer. II. 21 Ibid.e. Hence there must be a The essenceof politibetweenpolitical and humanemancipation.' ism exists withinand throughthe historicalprocess. possibleto gauge the degreeof modernity to closely will not be surprised Anyonewho has followedMarx's argument find that Marx takes the degree to which Jews enjoy political and civil of any particularstate. of the developed." theirreligionafter One of Bauer's arguments against the Jewspreserving being emancipatedwas that nationalismis dying out anyway.it can be understood and "the emancipationof the Jewsto make human beings only historically is therefore not to be conof them. .148 (Werke. 104). Judaphilosophicalgarmentthe 'old theologicalsuperstition. and (c) reMarx says gardinghis attitudeto the question of historicalpredictability. in manner Herr as of the Jews. clothingin new 21 To Marx. theologyback into the picical prophecyis dangerously near to bringing In his firstessay on the Jews in the Deutsch-FranzosischeJahrbiucher the modernstate as being characterized Marx defined by the separationof religionfromthe state. modern state. 350-56.e. . 147 (Werke. 360.24Now in The Holy Family Marx goes one step in tryingto find a formalcriterion further by means of which it will be any particularstate has achieved. further. II.'22 Marx comes back to this aspect of the place of Judaismin the historical and thoughthe tone is less incisiveit is not less processin anothercontext. Marx points out again that the Christiantheologian element determined. must therefore 20 TheHolyFamily. 22Ibid. to the contention that the different in fact that thereis no proofwhatsoever any attemptat histornationalitiesare doomed to disappearance.23 .or the human emancipationof Jewry.. 24 Werke. 93). makes him suppose that Judaismactually lost its place in Bauer's thought in Universal History at the comingof Christ. ture. so there is no special need to preserveone specificnationalismwhile the world is developingtowardsa supra-nationalcosmopolis.. The Rights for themodernity rightsas the criterion of Man (i.the Jewshave to mergetheir on individualityin this universalism. is not an ordinarysore.. 11516) 119 (Werke. the special task which is Jewishto the the generalpractical task of the whole worldtoday. core. II.. but a wonderful to a highly one that really belongs to my eye and must even contribute original developmentof my eyesight. II. .
that he is concerned an attitude which would like to deny the Jews equal rightsin a modern society. 25 .?" 26 men? Should not the JewishSabbath have the same right. Revolution. II. timistically did not in 1845. Neue Rheinische 17 Nov.On the otherhand.thoughforMarx the values underlying to Marx's divorce acrimoniousattack on the are never ultimate. 1848.but is out to claim those very rightsforthe Jews himself. It may provide of on the limitations merely as his view in far general on Marx's insight so political emancipationenabled him to perceivea dilemmawhichmany opmindedliberals. but accordingto how could this practiceChristianshave a privilegeover Jews.75). application The Holy Family.e. in the modern. Cf. toricityand relativityof bourgeoissociety and its liberal ethos.in December 1840.that the religionof the majorityof Frenchmen in the opinionof French Jewry. VI. states which cannot yet politically emancipate the Jews must be rated by comparisonwith accomplishedstates and must 25 It seems that Marx makes it quite be consideredas under-developed. This. political liberalismcan solve only the purelypolitical problem. so long as the human emancipation. 155 (Werke. 1848. the Jews will not object to demust be taken into account. The Jewishdeputy Adolphe Cremieux declared.The question how Jewishindividualitycan be maintainedwithin non-Jewish a predominantly societywill always remain problematicalaci.will cordingto Marx. is the intrinsiccontradiction constitutional state. II. Marx sees quite clearlythe limitsof political emancipaas well as acceptingthe histion. That Marx was consciousof the limitationsof this political emancipation in the specificcase of the Jewsis evidentfroman episode cited by him betweenthe merelypolitical and of the generaldichotomy as an illustration the final human emancipation.The case in question concernsthe attitude Sunday as of the French Jews duringthe July Monarchy to introducing comment an interesting the public holiday in state schools. but being consciousof these limitations. tionof resurgent reactionary 29 Nov." of here not only withthe innercontradictions explicit. 149 (Werke.One has his attitudeto the quesfrom role Jewsplayed. when he viewed caseswhere restrictions ofthiscriterion on theJewish in someGerman as a clearindicatowns werere-imposed population trends. 122). accordingto him. and therefore claring Sunday a public holiday in state schools. certainly When it was proposedin the French Chamber.in history tion of Jewishemancipation. Jerusalem.Jewishand Christianalike. have not foreseen.(Werke. some radical deputies objected on the ground that this meant admittingclericalism throughthe back door. forotherwise the Sunday of the Christianshave a place in a law made for all Frenchetc. 25. The Hebrew University. 26 The HolyFamily. Zeitung. does not preventhim fromvoicing the same demands that were expressedby the those demands liberals themselves. however. One can see a practical in Marx'sattitude in 1848.450 SHLOMO AVINERI studied. Marx remarks: "Now accordingto free theoryJews and Christians are equal. that Sunday be the public holiday in state schools. accordingto Marx. not sweep it away. 117). it was on this second plane that he argued forcefully against those who tried to proceed fromtheir feelingsabout the historicalrole of Judaismto argue against the civil rightsof the Jews.