Friday, February 13, 2009

The So-Called "New" Antisemitism: How New? What's New?

See Patterns of Prejudice for an interesting analysis of the topic by Jonathan Judaken.


StGuyFawkes said...

Dr. Lipstadt,

How fascinating that Sartre has come back into the discussion.

J-P Sartre's thesis was that for the Right's political theory (Maurass, Chesterton, Belloc) the Jew represents an annoying example of a "universal" human who botches their dream of a particularistic civilization based on time, tradition, and the charming details of locatlity. The code words are "cosmopolitan, rootless, or internationalist".

The political theory of the left (Marx) is equally annoyed by jewish existence. The left has a universal, general theory of the homogenous brotherhood of all men where in the utopian state all differences of class and type would vanish.

Unfortunately, in the Left's theory, the Jew becomes an instant misfit for sticking to his particular religion, traditions and history.

The odd conclusion follows:

In Western political theory there is no place for Jews because the left finds them too particular or individual, and the right finds them too "cosmopolitan" and stateless.

The ultimate culprit is the limits of Western philosophy which has been hung up on problems of teh "Universal and Particular" since Plato's presented his theory fo Forms.

Sartre has a nice take on the problem. He feels the Jew by being a human being suspended in that flux which pulses between the universal and concrete is a model of existential humanity.

The point is that all people are both Universal and Particular, Tew is just a more obvious example of the human condition.

Hannah Arendt takes this to a new level by situating the problem of anti-Semitism in Hegel's problem of the "alienation of state and society". This is the same universal and particular problem at a higher level.

What all this argues for ultimately is the absolute theoretitcal necessity of Zionism. Zionism is definded a state where a man can be both everyman and one particular man.

In other words a Jew, or as Sartre would put it a human being.

Diogo said...


A message of hope from a jew