*The Socialism of Fools*

There are two new and interesting books with that same title.  The first is by William I. Brustein and Louisa Roberts, and it has the subtitle Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism.  Think of it as a short overview of what the subtitle promises, with chapters on the Enlightenment, France, Germany, and Great Britain.  The second, by Michele Battini, has the subtitle Capitalism and Modern Anti-Semitism, and is longer and perhaps more exotic.  Here is one summary sentence: “My hypothesis is that this anti-Semitic anticapitalist literature arose in the context of the intransigent Catholic reaction against the revolution in political rights, the free market, and secularization.  Both are of interest.  Both main titles of course come from the classic quotation by August Bebel: “Antisemitism is the socialism of fools.”


Does (((Brustein))) make the case that the Jewish dominance of commerce in the 17th and 18th centuries was used to create so-called "anti-semitic" propaganda? If so, it is not very original, and also understates the extent to which (((Brustein)))'s ancestors were the original crony capitalists, using their higher IQ/specialized minds to exploit the political mechanism to benefit the tribe. See: MacDonald, Kevin.

Jews dominated finance because they weren't allowed to own land, and the Bible kept most of non-Jews from moneylending. Also they are filthy vermin exploitative crony capitalists as you point out.

The Bible also says that Jews can charge interest to gentiles, but not to fellow Jews.

Yeah, the Bible is a pretty stupid book when it comes to finance

Matthew 25:18 seems pretty on point re negative interest rates

Yes, but there is more. The inability to own land made Jews urbanites, which turned out to have some advantages.

Also worth noting is that in the Middle Ages at least, while Jews were certainly moneylenders, they were often used as pawns of the king in competition with the Church. The Church had its own methods of moneylending, with lease buybacks and so on to sort of conceal what was going on. Some kings, at least, authorized Jews to engage in profitable moneylending, but then imposed heavy taxes on them, in effect grabbing much of the gain themselves.

Though European Jewish groups had to be much more than just a clearinghouse for lending by kings who seized all the profit. You don't go from a population size of 300 to millions in a crowded landscape with scarce and relatively expensive food without making and keeping pretty huge profits off your high interest lending...

Well, that was not universal, though it was not uncommon.

And they didn't go from 300 to millions, though there was something of a population explosion among Ashkenazi Jews. And of course not all Jews, by any means, were moneylenders. They were merchants, professionals (where that was allowed), artisans, etc.

Population geneticists (or at least one who's studied the issue in depth) seem pretty confident that it literally was hundreds followed by an expansion to millions "Reconstruction of recent AJ history from such segments confirms a recent bottleneck of merely ≈350 individuals."


Comparison is the Flemish population who have grown much more slowly.

The population size is *tiny* by comparison to even quite isolated groups (like the Kalash tribe from Pakistan), and the degree of expansion had to be quite enormous to get from that population size to the fairly large present day size.

Now, possibly it could've been an order of magnitude higher, in actual population, but we're still talking about a huge increase, much larger than among contemporaries.

Is that from moneylending alone? You definitely wouldn't think that there was enough business there to sustain the increasingly large Jewish population, so they had to have gone into many others business over time, but equally there had to be enough to make a lot large part of that rise in population possible.

An inevitable question is, I guess was that lending "nice"? Well, how "nice" is high interest money lending in a Malthusian society under the personal authority of Medieval European monarchs and with those kings' personal and violent backing arrayed against debtors? But personally, it just was what it was and that's sort of besides my point, which is only whether there was likely to be enough profit left over for the Jewish communities, and it's hard to imagine that there really wasn't at the same time as there was an almost unprecedented population explosion. That's against a narrative where the Jewish population was just exploited by the kings without gaining any material benefits, as these sort of reluctant stooges and scapegoats.

That's how I make my living, but I converted to Catholicism.

Do the Elders still let you see the notes from the meetings, though?

No, but I still possess the genetically encoded secrets.

Fortunately the new meme of bracketing Jewish-seeming names will help us identify and eliminate them.

Certainly, Jewish participation in 17th century capitalism only served to harvest the productive output of the real economy. Their persistent exploitation severely retarded any significant economic development.

Which is why Holland failed to become anything other than an persistently impoverished undeveloped economic backwater. Even today, the Netherlands remains one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in Europe. Spain and Portugal (who got rid of all those Jews that Amsterdam received), are now global financial powerhouses and shining examples of effective capitalism.

That's why Poland and Ukraine were so economically dominant.

TIL 17th century Poland and Ukraine had capitalist economies.

Until Russia - a country with very few Jews, country that kept them out using the "pale of settlement" laws - assumed control over Ukraine and Poland, they were developing pretty rapidly. Obviously, like in every place that in the process of economic development, huge social, ethnic, religious and economic conflicts, failure to harmoniusly adjust to the shifts in demand, peasants hated the "traders", "managers" and "bankers" etc But being loved by the peasants (or anyone else ) is not a sine qua non for playing useful economic and technological role

Spain expelled its Jews, not Portugal. Spain's domestic product per capita is about 1/3 lower than the norm of the occident (but higher than Portugal's).. It's a trifle contrived to attribute that to the expulsion of a small minority more than 500 years ago.

Spain forced conversion of quite a few. For me it took only a hot blonde woman.

Wrong, portugal expelled them a few years later but within the same decade.

If I convert to Judaism will anyone show me where the secret Jewish clubs are where Jews get together to plot their economic dominance? Or does converting to Judaism merely mark one as a particularly gullible goyim?

It usually marks you as someone who married an observant Jew.

Lesson 1, Hazel:

"goyim" is plural. One goy. Two goyim.

The "im" ending is the masculine plural, as in cherubim and seraphim.

I learned something today.

So was Goya a Jewish woman?

Everyone knows that

I think a part of me has always known that, but I was in the Nile, swimming.

You can have my former seat on the council.

Would you like to exchange it for seat on the secret Brazilian council?

My wife won't let me go to Brazil. It's a kind of jealousy I've never seen in her before. :)

You can be a corresponding member ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Corresponding+member+of+a+society ) of the council. You know how it is, Brazil is a cosmopolitan country, the hoi polloi is here, the elite is in Miami and the money is in Panama.
Anyway it is sad your wife won't let you come to Brazil. Besides beautiful women, there are many great things in Brazil I am totally not making up, but, as Fermat would say, this margin is too narrow to contain.

Why do people consistently jest and bring up secret handshakes, secret meetings, etc., when talking about the success of the Jews yet no one does this when the topic is "white privilege" or the general success of the West or Northern/Western European peoples?

Presumably the cause of both people's success is their relative high IQ's (Jews being higher), + markets + good governance, yet we can only acknowledge this in a high-minded, the-theory-of exploitation-is-so-silly-I-will-now-explicitly-mock-it, with respect to Jewish success?

And what is socialism exactly? The ideology of intelligent people? Bebel's quote never made much sense because it assumes that there is an intelligent version of socialism. It's like saying "flaying is the torture method of brutes".


I was going to say the same thing, but with less style

UC Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine's prize-winning 2004 book "The Jewish Century" is organized around the theme that Marxism was the pro-Semitism of intellectuals. Marxism appealed to secular Jews who felt they were being discriminated against because of religion, nationality, and because Jews were so good at capitalism. So, Jewish Marxists, such as Marx, looked forward to a world where religion, nationality, and capitalism had been eradicated so nobody would have any reason to discriminate against Jews.


At the other hand, if I remember it right, he also found that Stalinism was the Anti-Semitism of the New Class. Every time Stalin purged a urban, tech-savy Jew from the State Institutes, a new one took his place (if not them who, Russian peasants, cossacks? Adam Ulam pointed out that Lenin himself used to say that all bright Russians were part Jews), and it was drivi g him crazy (ier).

Interestingly, Professor Slezkine (whose mother's side of the family were Soviet Jews), says that the first 20 years of the Bolshevik regime were aggressively anti-anti-Semitic.That faded to equality during WWII. Stalinist anti-Semitism only got started in the late 1940s when Golda Meir paid a visit and Stalin noticed how many of his Jewish henchmen were ardent for Israel.

Anyway, I'd strongly recommend "The Jewish Century" from Princeton U. Press as eye-opening. Here are some awards it won:

- Winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award, Ronald S. Lauder Award in Eastern European Studies, Jewish Book Council
- Winner of the 2005 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
- Winner of the 2004 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Religion, Association of American Publishers

"in the late 1940s when Golda Meir paid a visit and Stalin noticed how many of his Jewish henchmen were ardent for Israel."
Polina Molotova, Molotov's wife for example, was sent to a camp because she got along too well with Golda Meir (but he, a non-Jew, kept his job). It was by this time that he crushed the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, that had been instrumental in Soviet international campaign to awake the Western good will after the Nazis attacked, and the political leadership of the Jewish Home he had created in the Soviet Far East. However, I think the 1930's purgues may have been a turning point as well. After Trotsky, Kamenev, Yagoda and the others were gone, I think the only Jew left at the highest places was Lazar Kaganovich.

Jews were roughly equally represented among killers and victims during the Great Purge of the later 1930s, and some like Yagoda were both. But Jews had been over-represented among the Bolsheviks, so all the internecine bloodletting tended to lower their representation.

Nonetheless I was surprised to learn from both Slezkine and Sebag Montefiore's "Court of the Red Tsar" just how anti-anti-Semitic the Soviet Union was up until 1947-48 when the founding of Israel triggered Stalin's animus against dual loyalty.

Is there nothing those Bolsheviks can't fuck up? Can't even be the right amount of pro-anti-semitism

The Soviet Union was pro-Semitic from 1917 until 1937 and anti-Semitic from 1947 onward. The decade in between is more open to interpretation.

Oh, I see, thank you.

Thank goodness they got it rght after 1947

Don't you know that the only defect of socialism is that it lacks implementation by the right people?

'Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism'

Well, I'm sure we are all on board with the idea that the Okhrana were radical leftists, right? 'Other controversial activities included alleged fabrication of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (many historians such as the German historian Konrad Heiden[6] and Russian historian Mikhail Lepekhine[7] maintain that Matvei Golovinski, a writer and Okhrana agent, compiled the first edition) and fabrication of the antisemitic Beilis trial.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okhrana

Leading to this - 'If the placement of the forgery in 1902–1903 Russia is correct, then it was written at the beginning of the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire, in which thousands of Jews died or fled the country. Many of the people whom De Michelis suspects of involvement in the forgery were directly responsible for inciting the pogroms.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion

And in the U.S., this radical leftist spent a lot of time and effort on his anti-semitism - '... Henry Ford sponsored the printing of 500,000 copies, and, from 1920 to 1922, published a series of antisemitic articles titled "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem", in The Dearborn Independent, a newspaper he owned. In 1921, Ford cited evidence of a Jewish threat: "The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on. They are 16 years old, and they have fitted the world situation up to this time."'

Ford indeed. And don't the long list of french liberals who lined up against Alfred Dreyfus.

* don't forget*

I think the subtitle is deceptive. It seems to suggest that anti-Semitism is largely a left-wing phenomenon. In fact, the blurb at Amazon seems only to say that there are left-wing, as well as right-wing aspects of that history.

Not so outrageous an idea.

I found this interesting observation on the development of anti-semetic views in a book on the history of popular lawmaking (statutes) in England and America published in 1910. This discussion arises from the 13th century Statute of Merton:

"I should perhaps add another reason why interest was so disliked in early England: There was very little money in early England; and it mostly belonged to the Jews. It was a good deal as it is in Russia to-day; the Jews were persecuted in Russia as in early England, because, in the country districts of Russia, the Jews have all the money, and money-lenders are always unpopular. So in early England. The great barons had their land and their cattle and crops, but they had little money. When they wanted money they got the value of it out of their tenants. Nobody carried large sums of money around with him then, any more than a woman does to-day --she relies on her husband or father; they went to the nearest Jew. When the king wanted cash, he also extorted it from the Jews. One of the early Henrys said seriously, that he regarded the Jews as a very convenient sponge. That is, they sucked all the money in the kingdom and got it into a place whence he could easily get it out. But it made the Jews very unpopular with the masses of the people and with the Parliament; hence, their great dislike of usury. I doubt very much if they would have cared much about usury if one gentleman had been in the habit of loaning money to another; but all the money came from the Jews, who were very unpopular; and the statutes against usury were really made against them, and that is why it was so easy to pass them -- they based it, doubtless, on the references to usury in the Bible. Thus they got the notion that it was wrong to charge interest, or at least extortionate interest; more than a certain definite per cent; and this is the origin of all our interest and usury statutes to-day. Although most economists will tell you that it is ridiculous to have any limit on the rate of interest, that the loan of money may well be worth only four per cent, to one man and twenty-five to another, and that the best way for everybody would be to leave it alone; nevertheless, nearly all our States have usury laws. We shall discuss that later; but here is the first statute on the subject, and it really arose because of the feeling against the Jews. "
--Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute, p 40
by Frederic Jesup Stimson (1910)

JK Brown,

Thanks for this quote. It fits quite well with the point I made above, 8/8 at 5:05.

It seems to me both books start much too late in history, here is why -- In feudalisms the government is the household of the king writ large. In the Ottoman Empire the household slaves included the mostly Greek Janissaries who began as elite soldiers but over time became as well among the most important vizers to the Sultans. Traditional history (written largely by royal scribes perhaps) casts the infiltration and taking-over of the Janissaries by the majority ethnicity as a decline, but some disagree with that view (such as Baki Tezcan who suggests it might be be described as a nascent constitutional monarchy before such existed in Europe.) Or perhaps it can be viewed as the transition from a feudalism to a nation state, which subsequently failed when the new version of the Janissaries was eventually crushed by the royalty (and perhaps the real decline of the Ottomans began.) Netanyahu, in his very large book on the subject, traces the origins of anti-semitism to Spain and the clash between highly literate and well-traveled ethnic middlemen brought in by the royalty to run the household of the king (the kingdom) at the expense of the kings kinfolk, the nobility. (There is an old saying in business about avoiding hiring relatives into your company. It usually ends badly.) So then there was the protracted conflict between the forced conversion 'new Christians' and the 'old Christians' that went back and forth over time, and eventually the Spanish Inquisition etc. Spain around this time would have still been largely Moorish (Muslim) Spain, I think. In both cases you have a majority-ethnicity being put at arms-length by the royal households bringing in a literate and well-traveled ethnic-middlemen at their expense and with the consequence of increasingly powerful consolidating governments. And then Prussia welcomes in the highly literature well-traveled people to run the government, and we all know how that ended. The long path through systems of slavery, colonialism, capitalism, and now globalization of capitalism, all aggravate the effects of the initial origins.

Did you forget that the Jews were also expelled from England (1290) then readmitted by Cromwell (1656), http://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/england_articles/1290_to_1656.htm How does that upset your N=2 general narrative?

I've built a whole career on making narratives based on N = 0 sample sizes!

Ray Lopez confuses what is written in the statute book with reality. Jews lived continuously in England from 1290 to 1656; they were simply present illegally or informally. Like the 12 million illegal immigrants in the US today.

The Jews were expelled from England in the 13th century, which laid the groundwork for the cultivation of a domestic middle class that subsequently produced the Industrial Revolution. By contrast, Jews remained prominent in areas like Poland, where they dominated estate management and money lending, and Iberia, where economies tended towards cheap labor and trade and the development of a domestic middle class was inhibited. As Jewish Americans have replaced WASPs as economic elites, the US economy has become more dependent on cheap labor and trade while its middle class has been disappearing.

+1. I might add that the Finanzkapital model of the economy propagated by (((bankers))) was responsible for letting deregulation and speculation happen on the massive scale they did starting in the late 19th century. As you point out, this eventually leads to the decimation of domestic industry and massive immigration to exploit cheap labor. This immigration is made to seem inevitable: the 'Zeroth Amendment' to the Constitution, as Steve Sailer often points out. We are a nation of (((immigrants))) after all, with no defining core values, just loyal to the incessant making of money.

Jews in Poland were managers on behalf of the Catholic Polish aristocracy, they were not making serious policy decisions. I can imagine that you'd want a manager with higher IQ, and so you'd higher a Jew.
I think it's true that Jews were more welcome in the areas that were doing better economically, like Poland was at some point, but then the economy would tank and people would grow resentful. Not much of the causation, mostly correlation.

As to the British middle class, Jews were expelled from many other places, which, unlike England, never re-admitted them. Most of these places have not been shining economically. There sure was some competition, but it's far from obvious that it had significant effect. Would be nice to see some data

I think it is worth noting, with respect to Battini's book, that "anti-capitalism" should not be taken as a leftist position, as we would today. To a large degree it was not socialism but agrarian and religious traditionalism - conservatism of the time. Capitalists were the progressives, the industrialists, the financiers, who were upsetting traditional economic structures; they were the crass nouveau riche whose fortunes came from commerce rather than hereditary landholdings.

We are talking reactionaries, not revolutionaries.

How dare these filthy goys speak out of turn!

Goyim is the plural. Pay attention! There's lernin goin on here.

"Goy" or "goyim" is a Biblical word that means "nation" ("nations") and can be used offensively but has a lot of non-offensive usages.

The word "gentile" on the other hand is actually an offensive diminutive. It was invented and used by the Catholics ( people like Thomas Aquinas in "Summa contra gentiles") to designate unworthy non-Chritistians, heathens.

Contrary to America, that even turned down Jews and sent them back to death in Nazi-controlled Europe, Brazil has no history of Anti-semitism since its independence (the Portuguese conqueror sometimes expelled or tortured the Jews). Religious or racial prejudice is antithetical to Brazilian nature. And maybe Americans should follow Brazilian lead in those matters, drop the hyphen and write it "antissemitism".

Then we'll just argue about what a Semite is.

I don't know what a Semite is, but I know when I see one.

Allowing Brazil to lead anything will lead to the great ship of humanity becoming swamped on a submerged sofa.

It is a lie! We are horn leaders.
We are a master people!

Great post. Looking forward to more like this!


Does anyone know why these two books are so expensive? They're both north of fifty bucks!

Because of Da Jooz of course

"The socialism of fools" presumes that socialism isn't already for fools, morons and associated mental defectives. I contest this presumption.

Comments for this post are closed