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How do we explain the rise in racial discrimination towards the end of the nineteenth century?

Social Darwinism Against: However, to the extent that Social Darwinism is not a political stance but the application of the idea of evolution to a higher social type on the basis of social competition between fit and unfit groups and individuals, we can argue that such ideas were prefigured in the first half of the nineteenth century. Clayes contends that Darwin s metaphorical application of the survival of the fittest to society was in fact virtually a commonplace by 1859. Malthusianism and political economy in particular created a world-view in which the first three of these components were prominent mankind being governed by natural laws shared by animals, in a world where scarce resources wre acquired through greater mental and physical effort (or in the case of thrift, from abstinence from present pleasures), and in which the most fit , desirable or valuable members of society, the most useful or productive, survived or ought to survive. Transmuted into the ubiquitous mid-Victorian notions of respectability and character , in which a division between idle and industrious, provident and profligate, was crucial, these ideas became central to the self-identity of the age. Character , in particular, was often the term applied normatively to describe (in Wallace s phrase) the aggregate of mental faculties and emotions which constitute personal or national individuality. Character was to prevent evolutionary degeneration and, in a constant Gibbonian echo, halt the barbarians at the gates of the new Rome. 1Yet Social Darwinism is not entirely a misnomer.... Nationalism How do we explain the rise in racial discrimination towards the end of the nineteenth century? Economic and social factors Opposition to liberalism Nationalism Intellectual factors World jewish conspiracy Conlcusion Reaction to the Dual Revolution. Philip Nord has shown that the impact of the Dreyfus affair depended on the intersection between larger, national ideologies and the local concerns fo the lower middle and working classes. The multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire was the cradle of the most successful modern political movement based on anti-Semitism to emerge anywhere in nineteenth-century Europe.

Claeys p.326

Some of the nationalist anti-Semitism in Central and Eastern Europe was perhaps the result of Jewish patterns of assimilation to the dominant nationality in their environment. In Austria-Hungary, the Jews tended to gravitate naturally towards the historic nations. Germans, Magyars, and Poles seemed to represent greater political security as well as higher standards of culture, education, and commercial life. The prospect of acculturation with predominately peasant peoples like the Slovaks, Serbo-Croats, Ukrainians, or Romanians was scarcely even contemplated. Jewish identification with the de facto master races of the Empire undoubtedly exacerbated the antagonism of the oppressed nationalities. Austrian Jews appeared in their eyes as adversaries in a dual sense. They were assimilators to the ruling nation (German, Hungarian, Polish) and capitalistic allies of the powerful land-owning classes who exploited the Slav peasantry. But the anti Semitism of the dominant historic nations, especially of the Germans and Poles, was potentially far more dangerous. Only in Hungary was this reaction moderated by the tacit alliance between the great Magyar aristocracy, the smaller gentry and the Jewish business classes. Austrian Pan-Germans totally rejected the multinational framework of the Empire. They owed their chief loyalty to the Germanic Volk, not to the Austrian State. It was their call for the dismemberment of the Monarchy which would divide them, not only from moderate German nationalists, but also from the clerical anti-Semites in Austria. Hatred of the supranational Habsburgs was closely linked to the ideological world view of Pan-German anti-Semites. In their eyes the Jews appeared as a statepeople in Austria, as the group whose fortunes were most closely tied to the central power, to the Habsburg Emperor, and to the corrupt liberal system. Precisely because the Jews could be seen as the supra-national people of the multi-national state and therefore as one of the centripetal symbols of the Monarchy, they were almost predestined to become a target for Pan-German secessionists. Once the disintegration of the dynasty became a crucial element in von Schoenerer s political creed, anti-Semitism was its inevitable corollary. It was, moreover, extraordinarily functional, enabling PanGermans to be simultaneously anti-socialist, anticapitalist, anti-Catholic, anti-liberal, and antiHabsburg . The university students were from the beginning the most aggressively racist and anti-Semitic of all the Pan-German supporters. Since 1878, student fraternities in Vienna had begun to exclude Jews from their members. Anti-Semitism in the Austrian student corporations was motivated by mundane fears of Jewish competition no less than by ultranationalist fanaticism. At the University of Vienna in 1889-90, the proportion of Jewish teaching staff in the faculty of medicine reached 58% 2. Racial antiSemitism, by stressing the ineradicably alien character of the Jews, promised to exclude them from the liberal professions where they were becoming serious competitors for the sons of the GermanAustrian Mittelstand. In the closing decades before 1914, the deustchnational students directed their increasingly violent and racist agitation not only against Jews but also against Catholic, socialist, and Italian students in Vienna. Their hatred for the sclerotic Habsburg state and its Catholic supporters were especially

Wistrich, p.216

marked, echoing von Schoenerer s vehement denunciations of Rome. The pan-Germans suspected Catholic students of dual loyalty. Medieval superstition and modern social protest fused together in the new movement constantly energised by the resentment of the Spiessburger against Jewish capital and high finance. Racial and religious conflicts generated by the slow industrialization of the Habsburg lands, by the economic crisis of the Viennese petty bourgeoisie, and by the prominent role of Jews in Austrian capitalism fuelled the concrete social demands represented by Lueger s party. But it was the existence of a deeply rooted religious tradition of popular anti-Semitism which virtually ensured that the Jews would become the primary target of the Viennese petty-bourgeois masses. Brunner argued that the Jewish question was not just a religious but also a national question, for the Jews according to their morals, language and customs form a special oriental nation, separate from us, which itself regards us as aliens and explicitly recognises that it does not belong to us... . The conservative Brunner served as the bridge in Austria between traditional Christian anti-Judaism and its modern transformation into an anticapitalist, antiliberal, and racist ideology. As an ordained priest and preacher, he consistently presented the Jews as the symbols par excellence of destructive modernity, inimical not only to the Church but to Austrian society and culture as a whole. Christian Socialism as a quintessentially Viennese movement appealed from the outset to the economic fears of local artisans. One of its prime targets was the post -1859 institutionalisation of the free-trade principle in Austria. Nearly a decade before the creation of the Christian-Social party, artisan anti-Semitism had already emerged in Vienna as a spontaneous response to economic distress. Artisan anti-Semitism enjoyed a particular weigh tin Vienna because of the traditional framework of pre-capitalist organisation which the city had preserved into the second half of the nineteenth century. Vienna remained a residential capital of the Habsburg court, dominated by the aristocracy, officialdom, and a large petty bourgeoisie rooted in small-scale production. The predominance of small producers, shopkeepers, craftsmen, and small tradesmen threatened by the new capitalist techniques of production increased the likelihood of a strong kleinburgerlich movement emerging in Vienna. The economic crisis of the Viennese Kleinburgertum coincided with the dramatic rise in social status after 1867 of immigrant Jews. This coincidence provided a fertile terrain for anti-Semitic agitation. So, too, did the widening franchise in 1882 which effectively ended the conservative-liberal monopoly of Austrian politics. The electoral reform ensured that power in Vienna would in future depend on winning the discontented lower middle class. The newly enfranchised Five-Guilder Men, composed mainly of small proprietors, artisans, petty officials, and shopkeepers, would become a decade later the social base of Lueger s victorious Christian-Social movement. Their enfranchisement strengthened those forces in Vienna who were increasingly embittered by the liberal indifference towards their plight. The anticaptialist mood in the intermediate social strata of the Viennese population opened the way to a political alliance between the clerical Conservatives and the representatives of the little man at the Liberals expense.

In Russia the far right, notably the Black Hundreds, aimed to fight the liberalization of Russia by presenting it as a Jewish plot, and to get Jews massacred to show how real the plot was. They

employed criminals to carry out assassinations and to lead pogroms, and Black Hundred politicians were not received in decent society. However, they still received abundant support from church and state: a bishop was among its leaders and it enjoyed the full approval of the Tsar, who praised it as a shining example of justice and order and was pleased to wear its badge on his uniform. However, the Protocols only had limited success before the war. Zheakhov tells how in 1913 Nius complained to him: I cannot get the public to treat the Protocols seriously, with the attention they deserve. They are read, criticised, often ridiculed, but there are very few who attach importance to them and see in them a real threat to Christianity, a programme for the destruction of the Christian order and for the conquest of the whole world by the Jews. 3 This was the product of the attitudes of the Tsar himself: initially keenly interested in their discovery, when he discovered they were spurious, he stopped their employment as anti-Semitic propaganda: Drop the Protocols. One cannot defend a pure cause by dirty methods.

The myth of the Jewish world conspiracy represents a modern adaptation of an ancient demonological tradition. According to this myth there exists a secret Jewish government which, through a world-wide network of camouflaged agencies and organisations, controls political parties and governments, the press and public opinion, banks and economic developments. The secret government is supposed to be doing this in pursuance of an age-old plan and with the single aim of achieveing Jewish domination over the whole world. ; and it is also supposed to be perilously near to achieving this aim. The myth of the Jewish world conspiracy is a degraded expression of the new social tensions which arose when, with the French Revolution and the coming of the nineteenth century, Europe entered on a period of exceptionally rapid and deep-going change. It was a period when traditional social relationships were shaken, hereditary priviliges ceased to be sacrosanct, age-old values and beliefs were called into question. The slow-moving, conservative life of the countryside was increasingly challenged by an urban civilisation which was dynamic, restless, given to innovation. Industrialisation brought to the fore a bourgeoisie intent on increasing its wealth and extending its rights; and gradually a new class, the industrial proletariat, began to exert pressure on its own account. Democracy, liberalism, secularism, by hte mid-century even socialism, were forces to be reckone with. But all over COntiental Europe wthere were larege numbers of people who abominated all of these things. A long, bitter struggle between those who accepted the new, mobile society and the opportunities it offered, and those who hoped to retain or restore the vanishing traditional order. These changes, which affeceted European society as a whole, brought both new opportunities and new perils to Europe s Jews. In politics Jews naturally tended to side with the liberal and democratic forces which alone could guarantee and increase their liberties. Being still denied access to many traditional occupations, they were encouraged to pioneer new ways of making a living; and in doing so, a few became extremely rich. And in general it can be said that a feeling of suddenly liberated energies made many Jews exceptionally enterprising, exceptionally given to experiment and innovation. In industry and commerce, politics and journalism, Jews became identified with everything that was most

Cohn, p.114

wholeheartedly modern. As a result, by about 1870 it was possible to see in the Jews the supreme incarnation of modernity, even while continuing to see them as uncanny, semi-demonic beings. Left-wing anti-semitism compounded contempt for Jewish religion which was blamed for Christianity with resentment at the power of jewish bankers, notably the Rothschilds: the socialist movements of France and Germany were full of this anti-Semitism. Political stuggle economic expression

Pulzer argues that anti-Semitism, far from being the last convulsions of an ancient prejudice , was in fact brought about by conditions which had not existed before the last third of the nineteenth century. Anti-semitism was primarily a reaction against Liberalism, which had never really caught on in either Germany or Austria. Although to be anti-liberal was not necessarily to be anti-Semitic, many antiLiberal elements were. Liberal society was characterised by a high degree of social mobility. Since capitalism was one of the causes of this, anti-Semitism was also anti-capitalist. Seeds of discontent were sown: All of those who had an assured place in an ordered hierarchy, even if it was a comparatively lowly one, looked with distaste on an order which allowed others to rise of eminence and influence by means which were not always admirable and certainly harmful to traditional classes as artisans, peasants and landowners. 4 These anti-Liberals found an outlet in anti-Semitism which was a revolt, not of the sentimental idealist or the hard-headed reformer, but of the dionysiac element in man, a hunger for precivilised standards of conduct. 5 Pulzer claims that political anti-Semitism was also the product of nostalgic primitivism a rejection of the elaborate, sophisticated, intellectual and legalistic urban concepts produced by and characteristic of nineteenth century civilisation. Many ordinary people were not impressed by a system of government by the clever that had brought them no benefits: The people, the Volk, the narod, meant those untouched by the modern Babylons in which Jewish stockbrokers, Jewish editors, Jewish lawyers, and Jewish deputies had usurped power; and in this democracy of the lowest common denominator and the most mediocre achievements the mass appeal of radical, racial anti-Semitism found an echo. 6 Political anti-semitism is a veritable melange of rivalling movements. Anti-Semitism rose in the last decades of the nineteenth century, but then appeared to decline after 1900. Pulzer sees anti-Semitism based upon both the rejection of liberalism and the frustrations of the petite bourgeoisie. This negative analysis seems to minimize anti-Semitism as part of a real revolutionary impetus. The primary concentratiuon upon it as a political movement raises some problems. Anti-Semitism was a cultural as well as a political movement, and its greatest impact was in a realm that rejected the traditional definition of politics. Even when political failure overcame the
4 5

Pulzer1, p.44 Pulzer1, p.60 6 Pulzer1, p.65

various groups, anti-Semitism managed to penetrate important social and cultural institutions, above all, the educational establishment Institutionalisation was more important than political failure. The German-speaking countries produced an anti-Semitism which had political platforms, social respectability and intellectual support. As such, it was a movement more pointed and pronounced than in other countries. However, it was no towering structure of doctrinal thought: they were men of murky ideas, clumsy in speech and ineffective in action. It is difficult to imagine they would have been successful as a product of their own volition: they must be seen in a larger framework and wider context and the political arena in which they functioned with so little consequence. Anti-Semitism cannot be discussed without insights into social psychology and even philosophy (see Satre s Portrait of the anti-Semite ) Pulzer claims anti-Semitism resulted from the failure of nineteenth-century liberalism to offer satisfaction to a large number of people whose livelihoods and social stability were placed in jeopardy by the industrialisation of Central Europe late in the nineteenth century. After 1900, liberal parties sometimes joined conservative parties in a mild anti-Semitism that was the best indication of the declining virulence of anti-Semitism in national politics but also a sign of the decline of liberalism itself. According to Pulzer, modern political anti-Semitism was different from any earlier, sporadic outbreaks of Jew-baiting since it derived from circumstances unique to late nineteenth-century Europe. Industrialisation, a drive for German unity, and the vogue of the new social sciences provided a backdrop for the synthetic triumph of national liberalism and the nationalisation of conservatism. Liberals copied conservatives to defend themselves against their protagonists and to provide a common front against Social Democracy and political Catholicism, both of which were considered unreliable on patriotic issues . What constitutes anti-Semitism?
Sartre first explains that the anti-Semite character represents the most reactionary tendencies of a French cultural nationalist. He hates modernity and sees the Jew as the representative of all that is new and mysterious within society. In this way, the antiSemite creates for himself a Jew that is representative of all that he loathes. In turn, the presence of the Jew, the object of his hatred, forms the anti-Semite and gives him his very reason for being. In perhaps the most famous passage of the work, Sartre declares that even if the Jew did not exist, the anti-Semite would create him. Anti-Semite and Jew is an extraordinarily important and ambitious work in Sartres oeuvre. It represents an attempt to incorporate existentialist psychoanalysis into the discussion of what had traditionally been viewed as a social, cultural problem. Anti-Semite and Jew is also significant to Sartres body of existentialist work for its determination to explore the idea of individual freedom in a social context that is undeniably deterministic. Sartre believed that man is inherently and totally free and that we are nothing less than the sum of the choices we make. However, social circumstance at least partially facilitates the decision-making process of the individual. Anti-Semite and Jew is one of the first instances in Sartres oeuvre in which Sartre places his philosophy of freedom and ontology within the framework of contemporary social, political, and economic realities. Beller claims that Jews were overrepresented in the universities, in the professions, and in certain commercial occupations, and this emphasis naturally led Jews to contribute over and above their numbers to Viennese culture.

Beller views anti-Semitism a tool to unite and link the polyglot population of Vienna. When immigrants came to Vienna, they could hide behind the picture of the Hew as an outsider and thus see themselves as on the inside. 7 Cohn claims that unsupported by beliefs, organized mass persecutions could not happen and therefore emphasizes the role of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The emotional need for a scapegoat called for some kind of mass-rationalization, and this was provided by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The protocols were first published in Russia, where the supporters of the imperial government were anxious to convince the world, and no doubt themselves, that opponents of the regime were not real Russians, but wicked foreign liberals inspired by world-Jewry. Bismarck deliberately encouraged anti-Semitism While the presence of an expanding immigrant population created new social issues, various ideological currents in the period following 1880 generated different visions of the national community which raised the general question of Jewish integration once again. For example, both Liberal ideas about the obligations of citizenship and Conservative visions of empire drew attention to the Jewish minority and the issue of its status within English society. Challenging the prevalent interpretation of emancipation as a product of the twin influences of capitalism and liberalism, he contends that the dialogue over Jewish rights was part of a larger political argument. That argument reflected the contending visions of the nation held by those who remained committed to the idea of a Christian England and those who sought to reform or dismantle the confessional state.

Beller, p.193