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Thread: labour + antisemitism

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    Actually it was globalised finance capitalism they were against. they were fine with aryan industrial capitalism, and fine with enslaving slavs as an exploitable population.
    I'm talking about their rhetoric more than their actual policies. And there was a 'left wing' of the party that was anti-capitalist in the broad sense until it was purged in 1934.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 01-03-2018 at 09:12 PM.
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  2. #17
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    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2...mitism-claims/

    Smeeth has been one of the key figures in Labour arguing that under Jeremy Corbyn the party has faced a supposed “anti-semitism” crisis – and she has claimed to be one of the prime victims of anti-Jewish abuse inside Labour. She alleged in the British media that she had personally received some 25,000 abusive messages online, most of them via Twitter, in a few days in June 2016, during a spat over the Chakrabarti inquiry’s findings on anti-semitism and the Labour party.

    There’s just one problem with her claim. There is no easy way to see how it could possibly be true – not by a very long shot indeed. A new study by the Community Security Trust identified only 15,000 anti-semitic tweets for the whole of the UK in a 12-month period that included June 2016. Either the study was grossly flawed, or Smeeth – how can I put this? – has an extremely poor grasp of maths.

  3. #18
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    Well it probably depends on how you search for evidence of anti-Semitism, doesn't it? "Shame Hitler didn't finish the job" or "Jews control the government" is pretty unambiguous, but most anti-Semites these days are a bit subtler than that and tend to use dog-whistle references to 'Zionists', 'Rothschilds' and so on rather than explicitly mentioning Jews as such.

    Edit: in fact the report explicitly recognises this, I see.

    Moreover, it just emphasises the point I've made before that anti-Semitism is the only kind of racial or cultural prejudice whereby many white leftists are instinctively suspicious of those making accusations of prejudice, rather than uncritically sympathetic. I'm trying to imagine how you'd respond if I were to post an article (by a white man, indeed!) purporting to debunk claims of racism made by, say, Sadiq Khan or Diane Abbott.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 13-03-2018 at 03:59 PM.
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    Ross Wolfe has some good stuff on the relationship between radicalism and anti-semitism:

    Pierre Leroux, a rogue Saint-Simonian, authored an article in 1846 entitled “Jews, the Kings of the Epoch,” in which he espoused his antisemitic creed. “It is quite evident,” he wrote, “that when we speak of Jews we mean the Jewish spirit, the spirit of profit, of lucre, gain, the spirit of commerce, speculation — in a word, the banker spirit.” Leroux then dredged up the perennial charge of deicide, holding all Jews past and present collectively responsible for the murder of Christ. “Whence comes this frenzied attachment to earthly goods in the Jew, an attachment which has made his name a synonym for greed and avarice?” he asked. “Shall we say with the theologians that by a terrible predestination, the Jew has deserved to fail to recognize its Savior and Messiah, the Savior of all men, since it failed indeed to recognize Him and stupidly put Him to death? No doubt.” Eugen Dühring, the titular object of Engels’ ire in Anti-Dühring, was another famous socialist who was an avowed antisemite.

    It is therefore unsurprising that the eminent Marxist August Bebel would quip, in the 1880s, that “antisemitism is the socialism of fools” [der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle].

    Yesterday I published a translation of Il Lato Cattivo’s “Letter on Antisemitism,” from 2014, which covers much of this same ground. Along with this text, I included a few excerpts by the Duponts taken from the Insipidities blog. One line in particular captures the dynamic discussed here. “Within the arrangement of leftist awareness there exists a preconscious responsiveness to the subjective agency of Jews, which corresponds to the tendency to anthropomorphize institutional power as the outcome of the conspiracy of the powerful,” one states. “That is to say, even though individuals on the Left are personally opposed to antisemitism, their argumentation — the procedures, propositions, inferences, deductions — is structured to find archetypal personifications at the heart of what it opposes. One of these figures, perhaps the most discernible and significant, is the Jew.” Precisely this propensity to anthropomorphize a misanthropic system of domination leads to popular outcry against the “banksters,” those in charge of the Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG) or New World Order (NWO).
    https://thecharnelhouse.org/2016/05/...-antisemitism/

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  6. #20
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    Thanks Vim, the socialism of fools indeed.

    I have a great affection for Monsieur Dupont and his tendency to irritate anarchists. His "Nihilist Communism" is a classic of anti-activism.

  7. #21
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    I take it some of you are aware of this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...facebook-group
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 13-03-2018 at 10:34 AM.
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Ross Wolfe has some good stuff on the relationship between radicalism and anti-semitism:



    https://thecharnelhouse.org/2016/05/...-antisemitism/
    This is very good thanks, although surely needs to be generalised - most ideologies are "structured to find archetypal personifications at the heart of what (they oppose)" - the problem is of adhering to any ideology too rigidly without thought. Surely progressivism is about being constantly self-reflective so that one always interrogates what is true and what is just lazy, stereotyped thinking, rather than following a prescribed ideology.

    I would say that it is where a person adopts an ideology in order to structure/shore up/become their identity, that problems begin, and archetypal personifications are indulged. And the left is no different from any other ideology in this regard - which is why I've found myself often (but far from always) dismayed when attending left-wing groups - where ideology is worn as a cloak to prevent thinking, it is always dangerous.

    This is why imo radicalism without psychological shifts is ultimately pointless, and why so often left-wing states have ended in barbarism. Because people too steeped in ideology tend towards seeing people as expendable in the service of an idea, whatever their political persuasion.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 13-03-2018 at 10:10 AM.

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  10. #23
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    The reason I regard it as being particularly dangerous for the Left is precisely because antisemitism has a pseudo-emancipatory dimension that other forms of racism rarely have
    I found that whole line of thought p interesting. one of those things that seems like it should've been obvious once someone else pointed it out.

    it reminded me of this monograph on Jewish economic history by the Belgian Trotkyist Abraham Leon (shortly thereafter murdered in Auschwitz) that I read a few years back. the first/last chapters are p crude 30s Marxist party line whatever but in between a p fascinating analysis of the shifting economic role of Jews in Europe from the birth of the Holy Roman Empire through to the 20th century, and how that tied into modern antisemitism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    I found that whole line of thought p interesting. one of those things that seems like it should've been obvious once someone else pointed it out.

    it reminded me of this monograph on Jewish economic history by the Belgian Trotkyist Abraham Leon (shortly thereafter murdered in Auschwitz) that I read a few years back. the first/last chapters are p crude 30s Marxist party line whatever but in between a p fascinating analysis of the shifting economic role of Jews in Europe from the birth of the Holy Roman Empire through to the 20th century, and how that tied into modern antisemitism.
    Weren't Jews legally banned from owning land in many parts of Europe in the middle ages? Or were simply made semi-nomadic people by default, on account of the number of times they were expelled from an entire country. I think that, plus the fact that they were exempt from laws against lending at interest that applied to Christians (paralleling the rather roundabout way lending is still conducting under Islamic law) meant that they naturally gravitated towards banking as the only realistic way of making a living. (That and being specialized craftsmen working with high-value materials, hence the prevalence of Jewish surnames such as Goldsmith, Rubenstein etc.)

    So in fact the commonplace idea that Jewish domination of banking in Europe led to anti-Semitism has cause and effect the wrong way round - it was anti-Semitism that led to the Jewish domination of banking.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 14-03-2018 at 11:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CORP$EY View Post
    feel free to close the thread

    i was being lazy instead of actually paying attention to the news


    thanks for all your responses though
    What a nice guy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    commonplace idea that Jewish domination of banking in Europe led to anti-Semitism has cause and effect the wrong way round
    basically ya. also, no other group was able to fulfill the necessary role of merchant/financier until the rise of a Christian urban bourgeois. I'm no expert but I do get the impression that Jewish small merchants were supplanted much more thoroughly than the tiny elite of financiers. the Italian banking houses, and later on people like the Fuggers, did cut into that but Jews continued to be + still are obv prominent in finance. how they came to be in the first place tho, that is dead accurate.

    there's also a bunch of stuff about Jews becoming estate managers for Eastern European absentee noble landlords, and thus replacing the nobles as the focal point of Polish etc peasants' visceral hatred, so deeply ingrained into the cultural DNA that it just became a more general virulent enduring antisemitism. paralleling a bit the unfortunate Jewish role as point man for structural racism in New York as slumlord/pawn shop owner - see this typically excellent James Baldwin essay, for example.

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    Something came up on my Facebook feed yesterday that was a big rant about how the Labour anti-Semitism row is a "witch-hunt" organised by the "hard right" in the party, all the usual apologist guff. Anyway, it was on a website called The Electronic Intifada.

    Because, you know, calling your website that definitely makes it sound like a source of balanced, unbiased opinions about anti-Semitism.
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    Me and Jon posted a few links towards the end of the Corbyn thread about Moshe Postone, who is saying exactly the same thing as the Ross Wolfe stuff, just via a heavy Marxist lens. Worth a read.

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    Oh yeah Dan, I read the big interview, excellent stuff. Just thought I'd post this here to revive this thread and leave the other for discussion about aspects of Corbynology not related to anti-Semitism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Something came up on my Facebook feed yesterday that was a big rant about how the Labour anti-Semitism row is a "witch-hunt" organised by the "hard right" in the party, all the usual apologist guff. Anyway, it was on a website called The Electronic Intifada.

    Because, you know, calling your website that definitely makes it sound like a source of balanced, unbiased opinions about anti-Semitism.
    Do you mean that supporters of Palestinians' rights - some of whom, unsurprisingly, are Palestinian themselves - cannot have 'unbiased' opinions about anti-Semitism because they criticise Israeli policy (wonder why they might do that?), and so must be silent on the issue?

    The whole idea of an 'unbiased' opinion about anti-Semitism is itself bizarre - not quite sure what it means or who you take to have these unbiased opinions.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 03-06-2018 at 07:04 PM.

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