Two branches of the same impulse
Over at Harry’s Place, there is an interesting post about the anti-semitism of Karl Marx, the founder of Marxist Socialist/Communism (but not the first to theorize about it), and whether or not he was just reflecting the thinking of his time, or was indeed truly an anti-semite. I believe that guest writer, Michael Ezra, clearly states the case that Marx truly deemed the Jews as being the root of all evil:
What truth is there in this argument? Marx’s essay, On the Jewish Question, originally published in 1844 contains the following:What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.…. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.
I remember reading the prolific book by George Watson, The Lost Literature of Socialism in which Adolf Hitler was quoted as saying that “How can one be a socialist and not be an anti-semite?” Hitler was of course drawing his conclusions from Marx’s earlier writings on socialist theory which contained overt anti-semitic motifs and stereotypes of Jews. But his writings (Marx’s as well as Engels) also included the idea that it was necessary to remove huge swaths of people from society that would be a hindrance to the building of the nascent Communist state.
The notion of genocide as means to re-engineer society is a Marxist Communist notion that predates Adolf Hitler’s implementation of it against the Jews during the 40’s. None of the socialists of the era, especially in the Communist axis would not have viewed Hitler’s quest for the mass murder of undesirables as being anything unrelated to Marxist-Socialist thought, for socialism was pregnant with the very idea of mass murder from its early beginnings.
It’s always of interest to see how people either skip over or completely reject the notion of a connection between the mass murders of Cossacks and the Russian bourgeoisie by Lenin, the mass murder of the tens of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest massacre by Stalin and the millions that perished in his death camps, with Adolf Hitler’s mass murdering juggernaut of the Jews and other undesirables during the 30’s and 40’s.
All drew their nihilistic ideas for ridding humanity of the unwanted from Marxist theory, and it’s incorrect to view National Socialism (Nazism) as being something completely unrelated to the socialism of Karl Marx. Adolf Hitler admitted he had a great debt to Marxist theory, and that his ideological system of National Socialism was indeed built upon it. Hitler’s distaste for Communism was due to it’s focus on internationalism which he thought as folly, and he was right.
Class warfare was indeed a myth. A butcher in Kiev had more in common with the banker whose son played on the same football team with his own son, than with a butcher in Argentina. Hitler was the first socialist political leader of his time to understand that truth, which gave him an impetus to discover another way, that being national socialism, an ideology bold enough to compete with international socialism on the same playing field, and win.
Many discount the notion of the two ideologies being related to each other, due to Hitler’s abject hatred for his Communist counterpart, but one must remember that some of the fiercest rivalries happens between siblings, and that was exactly the case between Russian Communism and German National Socialism. It was the case of a heretic faith competing with the mother religion, this time it wan’t a German Monk carrying out a war of words with the mother church in Rome, but a German ex-corporal waging total war on mother Russia, the vangaurd of Socialist orthodoxy. KGS