YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

February 24, 2012

Malkin, Dolan, and the Empire State Building

Jewification as seen by Nazis

Once we go statist, there is an ever finer line between Marxists, social democrats, progressives, and other corporatist liberals. Many continue to conflate these ideologies (sometimes adding fascism to the mix, see https://clarespark.com/2010/03/10/jonah-goldbergs-liberal-fascism-part-one/). In my view, such conflations are a mistake, one that blurs distinctions between mystics and materialists, the enlightened and the enemies to the Enlightenment.

In this blog I respond to a Facebook friend who implied in a comment that rich Jews like Anthony Malkin (see https://malkinsecurities.com/about-us/bios/anthony-e-malkin)were not only anti-Catholic (the refusal to honor Cardinal Timothy Dolan by lighting the Empire State Building, ostensibly owned by Malkin, to honor Dolan’s elevation to the College of Cardinals on February 23, 2012), but that Jews should not be Marxists, by which I assume he meant that Jews, of whatever degree of assimilation, were stubbornly atheistic, antagonistic to Christianity as a group, and of course ferociously anti-Right wing.

Although he denies it, he has confused progressives (often Reform Jews) with Marxists. He wrote, “I don’t confuse “progressives with Marxists”… I can see who is driving the “progressive” movement and they ARE Marxists. They change their names over the years from Labor to Social Democrats to Liberal to whatever… every time one label gets too smelly they change it again, but the agenda is the same, top down direction of EVERYTHING by intellectuals for the better administration of “social justice” for the masses too ignorant to know their own best interest. I can understand why this is going on and why it is most unpleasant for some people to admit it, and even more unpleasant when they have done everything they can to resist it.”

My response followed (slightly expanded here): “The Progressive movement was always statist,  anti-capitalist and Christian in spirit, following both Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum and social democracy as it evolved in 19th century Protestant Europe. These adjustments were not “Marxist” in any way, but rather movements of the moderate men—the conservative reformers such as FDR. Progressivism became more intense from JFK onward, as the New Left hooked up with the church-based civil rights movement, only to be partially co-opted by older liberals associated with the most prestigious universities and foundations. Before that, the progressives were largely (subtly and not-subtly) racist and Protestant, though they had their token good Jews of German descent, such as Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Bernard Baruch, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Walter Lippmann, to name just a few. As for the Eastern European Jews who came here after 1881 (called “Zelig(s)” by my friend, they were often penniless, became working class, were sometimes exploited by German Jews, and were hence active in organizing the labor movement and hostile to wealthy, super-assimilated Jews. If any of them became communists, and many did, they relinquished the Jewish religion along with all religions, as directed by the Soviet Union. What is it that you expect assimilated Jews to do? To revert to Orthodox Jewish observance, which they reject as lower class? Will these be your “good Jews?” Or would you be satisfied with support of Israel? I ask this in good faith.”

His answer: “And yes… Israel is the acid test. If they don’t support Israel,that is the fatal delimiter.”

Illustrated: A Nazi caricature of Franklin Delano Roosevelt surrounded by Jews, and circulated by a jihadist website..

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6 Comments »

  1. I didn’t mean to address populist antisemitism. And, of course, populism and Progressivism were allied from time to time, especially in the South (think of Tom Watson or Theodore Bilbo) and the Midwest (think of Bryan and the funny Progressivism of the upper Midwest in Wisconsin and Minnesota). But, I think the impulse of populist hatred of bankers and cities predated any significant Jewish or even Catholic population in the US (outside of the Jewish and Catholic groups who had been here since the Colonial period) and hence was primarily an economic and cultural grievance not directly related to religion per se. It typically saw 19th century Protestantism in the East as at least as threatening as Catholics and Jews — hence the fact that in the South and the West, populism was often intertwined with the growth of what became “Fundamentalism” in opposition to the increasing liberalization of the mainline Protestant churches. The populist antisemite was probably as profoundly anti-Catholic as antisemitic – the Ku Klux Klan focused far more on the perils of Rome (and damnyankees and freedmen) than it did on Jews. Hence, I would argue the populists were antisemitic, but their antisemitism was a subset of their more generalized cultural and economic and religious xenophobia rather than a hatred directed primarily at the Jews. I don’t mean to make light of it, but I think it needs to be understood in context.

    Comment by CatoRenasci — February 26, 2012 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  2. […] Malkin, Dolan, and the Empire State Building (clarespark.com) […]

    Pingback by Das HISTORISCHE Juden-Alphabet – Buchstabe R | Seit über 10.000 Jahren Erfahrung in Versklavung — February 26, 2012 @ 8:22 am | Reply

  3. I think you are right that Progressivism was primarily Protestant, entwined with the Social Gospel movement. Although it is also true that the Roman Catholic Church’s social teachings have always been anti-capitalist – no more implacable foe of economic and individual liberty than Pio Nono (Pius IX) – it was only with Leo XIII that it took on an explicitly Christian socialist/progressive character.

    Progressive antisemitism has always struck me as more related to the xenophobia that also had Progressives discriminatory towards Southern and Eastern European immigrants generally than to antisemitism per se. German Jews were assimilated culturally and often were as aghast at the influx of of mostly poor Eastern European Jews. German Jewish discrimination against Eastern European Jews continued well into the third quarter of the 20th century – it took the ‘Our Crowd’ Jewish partners of a major New York law firm almost 20 years to secure the admission of a very eminent partner in the firm to the Harmonie Club because he was a Russian Jew.

    Comment by CatoRenasci — February 25, 2012 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

    • I wouldn’t leave out the antisemitism that was in the populist movement, directed at both bankers and at cities in general. The Progressives co-opted populist demands. The most interesting development was the attempt to attach Hamiltonian big government measures to what were Jeffersonian agrarian impulses, but this happened gradually. Jeffersonian writers (Pound and William Carlos Williams) in the 1920s-30s were capable of referring to Hamilton as a Jew. (See Stephen F. Knott’s book.)

      Comment by clarespark — February 25, 2012 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

    • German Jewish discrimination against Eastern European immigrants never stopped. A couple of decades ago, a German Jewish professor at Columbia (an immigrant himself) was ranting on a PBS program against them, Yiddish and everything else what wasn’t echte Deutsche (I didn’t see the program, but a non-Jewish Protestant friend, a historian, saw and was appalled). I can understand to a degree pre-Holocaust excesses of assimilation (“they are bad, unlike us who read Goethe, listen to Wagner and speak high Deutsche), but how one can be so low … after the Holocaust is beyond me. Apparently, being so low has been easy for those who contributed to the Holocaust, left Germany with or without their Meissen and mahogany furniture (2/3 of German Jews emigrated, some with “Lift”), unlike millions of decent, pious Eastern European Jews who didn’t have a chance. Some institutions, such as Leo Baeck Institute in New York, are notorious for discrimination against Eastern European immigrants, for blatant demonstrative contempt for “those people” and for worshiping of everything Deutsche.

      Comment by anna — March 8, 2012 @ 6:26 am | Reply


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