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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

and antiHabsburg . Racial antiSemitism. the smaller gentry and the Jewish business classes. moreover. Austrian Pan-Germans totally rejected the multinational framework of the Empire. Anti-Semitism in the Austrian student corporations was motivated by mundane fears of Jewish competition no less than by ultranationalist fanaticism. In their eyes the Jews appeared as a statepeople in Austria. Once the disintegration of the dynasty became a crucial element in von Schoenerer s political creed. Germans. by stressing the ineradicably alien character of the Jews. and Italian students in Vienna. extraordinarily functional. Magyars. Hungarian. Only in Hungary was this reaction moderated by the tacit alliance between the great Magyar aristocracy. Ukrainians. 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. to the Habsburg Emperor. socialist. student fraternities in Vienna had begun to exclude Jews from their members. The university students were from the beginning the most aggressively racist and anti-Semitic of all the Pan-German supporters. not to the Austrian State. Polish) and capitalistic allies of the powerful land-owning classes who exploited the Slav peasantry. Hatred of the supranational Habsburgs was closely linked to the ideological world view of Pan-German anti-Semites. or Romanians was scarcely even contemplated. was potentially far more dangerous. promised to exclude them from the liberal professions where they were becoming serious competitors for the sons of the GermanAustrian Mittelstand. the deustchnational students directed their increasingly violent and racist agitation not only against Jews but also against Catholic. Jewish identification with the de facto master races of the Empire undoubtedly exacerbated the antagonism of the oppressed nationalities. Since 1878. the proportion of Jewish teaching staff in the faculty of medicine reached 58% 2. But the anti Semitism of the dominant historic nations. anti-Semitism was its inevitable corollary. and commercial life. and to the corrupt liberal system.216 . but also from the clerical anti-Semites in Austria. as the group whose fortunes were most closely tied to the central power.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. They owed their chief loyalty to the Germanic Volk. they were almost predestined to become a target for Pan-German secessionists. In Austria-Hungary. anti-Catholic. It was their call for the dismemberment of the Monarchy which would divide them. anticapitalist. anti-liberal. Serbo-Croats. especially of the Germans and Poles. p. enabling PanGermans to be simultaneously anti-socialist. The prospect of acculturation with predominately peasant peoples like the Slovaks. They were assimilators to the ruling nation (German. education. the Jews tended to gravitate naturally towards the historic nations. not only from moderate German nationalists. and Poles seemed to represent greater political security as well as higher standards of culture. It was. In the closing decades before 1914. Their hatred for the sclerotic Habsburg state and its Catholic supporters were especially 2 Wistrich. Austrian Jews appeared in their eyes as adversaries in a dual sense. At the University of Vienna in 1889-90.

and racist ideology. Vienna remained a residential capital of the Habsburg court. Christian Socialism as a quintessentially Viennese movement appealed from the outset to the economic fears of local artisans. he consistently presented the Jews as the symbols par excellence of destructive modernity. and small tradesmen threatened by the new capitalist techniques of production increased the likelihood of a strong kleinburgerlich movement emerging in Vienna. and shopkeepers. As an ordained priest and preacher. Their enfranchisement strengthened those forces in Vienna who were increasingly embittered by the liberal indifference towards their plight. They . Racial and religious conflicts generated by the slow industrialization of the Habsburg lands. 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. This coincidence provided a fertile terrain for anti-Semitic agitation. Brunner argued that the Jewish question was not just a religious but also a national question. and by the prominent role of Jews in Austrian capitalism fuelled the concrete social demands represented by Lueger s party. shopkeepers. The predominance of small producers. for the Jews according to their morals. The pan-Germans suspected Catholic students of dual loyalty. aimed to fight the liberalization of Russia by presenting it as a Jewish plot. officialdom. The electoral reform ensured that power in Vienna would in future depend on winning the discontented lower middle class. and a large petty bourgeoisie rooted in small-scale production. composed mainly of small proprietors. 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. and to get Jews massacred to show how real the plot was. artisan anti-Semitism had already emerged in Vienna as a spontaneous response to economic distress. did the widening franchise in 1882 which effectively ended the conservative-liberal monopoly of Austrian politics. One of its prime targets was the post -1859 institutionalisation of the free-trade principle in Austria. by the economic crisis of the Viennese petty bourgeoisie. too. In Russia the far right. language and customs form a special oriental nation. Nearly a decade before the creation of the Christian-Social party.. So. echoing von Schoenerer s vehement denunciations of Rome. which itself regards us as aliens and explicitly recognises that it does not belong to us. The economic crisis of the Viennese Kleinburgertum coincided with the dramatic rise in social status after 1867 of immigrant Jews. 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. separate from us. craftsmen. .marked. inimical not only to the Church but to Austrian society and culture as a whole. artisans. The newly enfranchised Five-Guilder Men. The conservative Brunner served as the bridge in Austria between traditional Christian anti-Judaism and its modern transformation into an anticapitalist. 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. would become a decade later the social base of Lueger s victorious Christian-Social movement.. petty officials. notably the Black Hundreds. antiliberal. dominated by the aristocracy.

when he discovered they were spurious. The myth of the Jewish world conspiracy represents a modern adaptation of an ancient demonological tradition. However. According to this myth there exists a secret Jewish government which. In industry and commerce. and it is also supposed to be perilously near to achieving this aim. controls political parties and governments. These changes. Zheakhov tells how in 1913 Nius complained to him: I cannot get the public to treat the Protocols seriously. but there are very few who attach importance to them and see in them a real threat to Christianity. the industrial proletariat. and those who hoped to retain or restore the vanishing traditional order. were forces to be reckone with. mobile society and the opportunities it offered. he stopped their employment as anti-Semitic propaganda: Drop the Protocols. 3 This was the product of the attitudes of the Tsar himself: initially keenly interested in their discovery. and Black Hundred politicians were not received in decent society. One cannot defend a pure cause by dirty methods. However. hereditary priviliges ceased to be sacrosanct. Jews became identified with everything that was most 3 Cohn. began to exert pressure on its own account. But all over COntiental Europe wthere were larege numbers of people who abominated all of these things. with the attention they deserve. and in doing so. Industrialisation brought to the fore a bourgeoisie intent on increasing its wealth and extending its rights. It was a period when traditional social relationships were shaken. through a world-wide network of camouflaged agencies and organisations. with the French Revolution and the coming of the nineteenth century. which affeceted European society as a whole. given to innovation. age-old values and beliefs were called into question. conservative life of the countryside was increasingly challenged by an urban civilisation which was dynamic. And in general it can be said that a feeling of suddenly liberated energies made many Jews exceptionally enterprising. politics and journalism. . bitter struggle between those who accepted the new. a few became extremely rich. the Protocols only had limited success before the war.114 . the press and public opinion. liberalism. they still received abundant support from church and state: a bishop was among its leaders and it enjoyed the full approval of the Tsar. and gradually a new class. criticised. p. often ridiculed. In politics Jews naturally tended to side with the liberal and democratic forces which alone could guarantee and increase their liberties.employed criminals to carry out assassinations and to lead pogroms. they were encouraged to pioneer new ways of making a living. restless. exceptionally given to experiment and innovation. The myth of the Jewish world conspiracy is a degraded expression of the new social tensions which arose when. a programme for the destruction of the Christian order and for the conquest of the whole world by the Jews. 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. Being still denied access to many traditional occupations. A long. Europe entered on a period of exceptionally rapid and deep-going change. banks and economic developments. They are read. secularism. Democracy. who praised it as a shining example of justice and order and was pleased to wear its badge on his uniform. The slow-moving. by hte mid-century even socialism. brought both new opportunities and new perils to Europe s Jews.

60 6 Pulzer1. sophisticated. peasants and landowners. Liberal society was characterised by a high degree of social mobility. p. which had never really caught on in either Germany or Austria. by about 1870 it was possible to see in the Jews the supreme incarnation of modernity.65 . Jewish editors. This negative analysis seems to minimize anti-Semitism as part of a real revolutionary impetus.44 Pulzer1. the Volk. p. many antiLiberal elements were. Pulzer sees anti-Semitism based upon both the rejection of liberalism and the frustrations of the petite bourgeoisie. Jewish lawyers. and Jewish deputies had usurped power.wholeheartedly modern. Anti-Semitism was a cultural as well as a political movement. racial anti-Semitism found an echo. far from being the last convulsions of an ancient prejudice . 6 Political anti-semitism is a veritable melange of rivalling movements. even while continuing to see them as uncanny. Anti-Semitism rose in the last decades of the nineteenth century. p. The primary concentratiuon upon it as a political movement raises some problems. Seeds of discontent were sown: All of those who had an assured place in an ordered hierarchy. Many ordinary people were not impressed by a system of government by the clever that had brought them no benefits: The people. Even when political failure overcame the 4 5 Pulzer1. was in fact brought about by conditions which had not existed before the last third of the nineteenth century. 4 These anti-Liberals found an outlet in anti-Semitism which was a revolt. meant those untouched by the modern Babylons in which Jewish stockbrokers. 5 Pulzer claims that political anti-Semitism was also the product of nostalgic primitivism a rejection of the elaborate. the narod. even if it was a comparatively lowly one. semi-demonic beings. but of the dionysiac element in man. 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. not of the sentimental idealist or the hard-headed reformer. and in this democracy of the lowest common denominator and the most mediocre achievements the mass appeal of radical. anti-Semitism was also anti-capitalist. but then appeared to decline after 1900. 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. Anti-semitism was primarily a reaction against Liberalism. a hunger for precivilised standards of conduct. As a result. Left-wing anti-semitism compounded contempt for Jewish religion which was blamed for Christianity with resentment at the power of jewish bankers. Although to be anti-liberal was not necessarily to be anti-Semitic. Since capitalism was one of the causes of this. and its greatest impact was in a realm that rejected the traditional definition of politics. intellectual and legalistic urban concepts produced by and characteristic of nineteenth century civilisation.

a drive for German unity. the anti-Semite would create him. and economic realities. social respectability and intellectual support. clumsy in speech and ineffective in action. anti-Semitism managed to penetrate important social and cultural institutions. 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. . the object of his hatred. modern political anti-Semitism was different from any earlier. Sartre believed that man is inherently and totally free and that we are nothing less than the sum of the choices we make. in the professions. both of which were considered unreliable on patriotic issues . it was a movement more pointed and pronounced than in other countries. In perhaps the most famous passage of the work. However. Sartre declares that even if the Jew did not exist. the antiSemite creates for himself a Jew that is representative of all that he loathes. Anti-Semite and Jew is an extraordinarily important and ambitious work in Sartre¶s oeuvre. the presence of the Jew. In turn. and the vogue of the new social sciences provided a backdrop for the synthetic triumph of national liberalism and the nationalisation of conservatism. sporadic outbreaks of Jew-baiting since it derived from circumstances unique to late nineteenth-century Europe. political. Liberals copied conservatives to defend themselves against their protagonists and to provide a common front against Social Democracy and political Catholicism. He hates modernity and sees the Jew as the representative of all that is new and mysterious within society. Industrialisation. However. cultural problem. According to Pulzer. 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. The German-speaking countries produced an anti-Semitism which had political platforms. forms the anti-Semite and gives him his very reason for being. Beller claims that Jews were overrepresented in the universities. it was no towering structure of doctrinal thought: they were men of murky ideas.various groups. What constitutes anti-Semitism? Sartre first explains that the anti-Semite character represents the most reactionary tendencies of a French cultural nationalist. social circumstance at least partially facilitates the decision-making process of the individual. In this way. As such. It represents an attempt to incorporate existentialist psychoanalysis into the discussion of what had traditionally been viewed as a social. 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-Semite and Jew is also significant to Sartre¶s body of existentialist work for its determination to explore the idea of individual freedom in a social context that is undeniably deterministic. the educational establishment Institutionalisation was more important than political failure. and in certain commercial occupations. and this emphasis naturally led Jews to contribute over and above their numbers to Viennese culture. Anti-Semite and Jew is one of the first instances in Sartre¶s oeuvre in which Sartre places his philosophy of freedom and ontology within the framework of contemporary social. above all.

and no doubt themselves. 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. The protocols were first published in Russia. that opponents of the regime were not µreal¶ Russians.Beller views anti-Semitism a tool to unite and link the polyglot population of Vienna. For example. ³When immigrants came to Vienna.´ 7 Cohn claims that unsupported by beliefs. The emotional need for a scapegoat called for some kind of mass-rationalization. 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. where the supporters of the imperial government were anxious to convince the world. p. but wicked foreign liberals inspired by µworld-Jewry¶. Challenging the prevalent interpretation of emancipation as a product of the twin influences of capitalism and liberalism.193 . 7 Beller. and this was provided by the µProtocols of the Elders of Zion¶. Bismarck deliberately encouraged anti-Semitism While the presence of an expanding immigrant population created new social issues. they could hide behind the picture of the Hew as an outsider and thus see themselves as on the inside. he contends that the dialogue over Jewish rights was part of a larger political argument. organized mass persecutions could not happen and therefore emphasizes the role of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. 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.