The Essential Anti-Semitism of the Socialist

In matters pertaining to all aspects of society, socialists like to present themselves as righteous priests of the moral high ground. The record of socialism in practice, however, has shown it has rarely matched the rhetoric of its followers.

Despite claims to promote peace, equality and liberty, socialists have been in the vanguard of violent demonstrations, demonising anyone who disagrees with them and, wherever possible, suppressing human rights. Far from being the advocates of social reform and advanced thinking, socialist governments invariably embrace a conservative statism in which individuals have neither freedom nor peace.

This essay appears in the latest Quadrant.
Click here to subscribe

The equality “enjoyed” by them results from having had their moral and material standards reduced to that of the lowest common social denominator. Socialists invariably confuse equality with sameness.

They also believe the socialist movement sprang from the Enlightenment. This is true, but not in the way they like to imagine. Socialism was a reaction to the Enlightenment, a counter-movement, based on an ideology that scorns rational thinking.

Nevertheless, the Left cling to the term “scientific socialism”, believing it gives a veneer of rationalism to their ideology. It is actually an oxymoron.

The phrase “scientific socialism” was coined in 1840 by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first self-proclaimed anarchist, in his dissertation “Property is Theft”, and was used later by Karl Marx in Das Kapital.

Underlying a socialist veneer of rational thought is a set of prefabricated rules and directives in which science, reason and empirical evidence play no part. It is a pseudoscience that led Karl Popper, the philosopher of science, to write, “Thus scientific socialism is not a social technology, it does not teach the ways and means of constructing social institutions.” (Popper, K. The Open Society and its Enemies, Vol Two: Hegel and Marx. Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.  2002, 95)

In the practice of socialism, history and truth are mangled in any way that fits a Marxist mould. Failure to do this would reveal that Marx’s analysis of history and predictions, in respect of the future course of capitalism, were sloppy and selective.

In addition, socialism is riddled with contradictions. One in particular has been its attitude to Jews. On the one hand it recognised them as a down-trodden minority—the type of group that feeds the Left’s predilection for victims; at the same time, it condemned Jews as capitalists who are responsible for creating an impoverished under-class—the all-but vanished proletariat.

Nineteenth-century France was the cradle of socialism. It was there that Pierre Leroux, who coined the term “socialism”, was the first person to describe Jews as “Christ-killers”. He wrote of the Jewish spirit as “the spirit of profit, of lucre, of gain, the spirit of commerce, of speculation, in a word, the bankers’ spirit” (Quoted in Edmund Silberner.  ‘Pierre Leroux’s Ideas on the Jewish People.’ Jewish Social Studies Vol. 12, No. 4 (Oct. 1950).  Indiana University Press, 367-384).

In his book Les juifs, roi de l’époque: histoire de la feodalite financiere (1845) the left-wing anti-Semite Alphonse Tousenel claimed that the rotten system of capitalism “is personified in the cosmopolitan Jew”. This was a theme Marx had taken up in his 1843 essay “On the Jewish Question” (The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert Tucker, New York: Norton & Company, 1978. p. 26-46) when he wrote, “An organisation of society that would eliminate the pre-conditions of commercialism, would make also the existence of the Jew impossible.”

In a 1947 paper titled “The Jewish Saint-Simonians and Socialist Anti-Semitism in France” (Jewish Social Studies, January 1947), Zosa Szajkowski said that after extensive searching he had been unable to find a single kind word spoken of Jews in the whole of French socialist literature between 1820 and 1920. In the period 1878 to 1885, Germany’s Christian Socialist Party attacked Jews as part of the liberal plague, while in Austria Georg Ritter von Schonerer, whom Hitler admired, led a left-wing movement that attacked Jewish merchants in general and the Rothschilds in particular.

Together with these anti-Semites should be added other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century left-wing intellectuals such as Voltaire, d’Holbach, Diderot, Fichte and Fourier, who comprised a pantheon of socialist Jew haters. If, as claimed by the nineteenth-century German Social Democrat August Bebel, “anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools”, then “socialism became the anti-Semitism of intellectuals” (Johnson, P. History of the Jews. Harper & Row, Publishers. New York. 1988, 353).

Notwithstanding socialism’s anti-Semitic history, in the past two centuries many European Jews who lived under abysmal conditions, lacking the most basic human rights, believed socialism offered a panacea. This was especially the case in Russia. Deluded by the socialist lies about pursuing peace, liberty and equality, many Jews flocked to the leftist cause. Their desire to believe these false claims blinded their judgment. Some Jews are still blinded by it. Writing in the Jerusalem Post (20/11/12) Tibor Krausz wrote:

Jews gravitated towards the nascent socialist movement right from the start, seeing in the liberation struggle of the proletariat a long-awaited cure-all for the ills of the world. For many of them, revolutionary socialism provided a temporal blueprint for “repairing the world” in the rabbinic tradition of tikkun olam.

(“Tikkun olam” literally means “healing the world”.)

Many intellectuals joined Lenin’s Bolshevik party, attracted by its promise of utopia. Nevertheless, leading Bolsheviks like Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Kaganovich deserve no sympathy for being Jewish.

In socialist ideology Jews, having been identified as capitalists, were, according to Marx, the primary enemies of the proletariat. Therefore, the need for them to be removed from society was the obvious next step. This is not speculation. It should be borne in mind that not only did Stalin organise purges of Jews in the Soviet Union and was about to begin another when he died, but his German doppelganger and erstwhile partner in crime, Adolf Hitler, was merely putting into practice what socialists, especially National Socialists, had long proposed. Stalin’s organised pogroms of Jews and Hitler’s Final Solution were not historical aberrations; they were socialist ideology in practice.

At first glance, Stalin’s support for the partition of Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state in 1948 might seem an absurd inconsistency, particularly in the light of the Soviet Union’s long-standing opposition to Zionism. In fact, it was an example of Stalin’s Machiavellianism. The aim of the Soviet Union’s political and military support of Israel in its War of Independence, in which Czechoslovakia supplied Israel with arms, was predicated on the twin beliefs that Arabs were untrustworthy, and a victorious Israel would help eject British influence from the region. Stalin calculated that the new state would not only fill a vacuum created by the British withdrawal, it would be a bulwark against US interest in the region, and eventually become a Soviet puppet state.

Not for the first time, Stalin’s judgement was faulty. After its victory over Arab invaders in 1948, Israel established close ties wih America, set up a pluralist democracy and developed a market capitalist system. Any hope that it would become a vassal state under Moscow control quickly faded. The new nation-state of Israel confirmed Stalin’s worst fears. Jews were not only capitalists, they preferred democracy. His long-held suspicion in the perfidiousness of Jews proved they were no friend of socialism.

Nevertheless, the re-establishment of the Jewish national homeland has been a gift to socialists that could not have been foreseen. In the post-Second World War period, when it was still not quite nice to be openly anti-Semitic, socialists turned Israel into the proxy target for their hatred of Jews. Every calumny has been levelled at Israel and Zionism, without Jews being mentioned.

Nowhere have socialists been more successful in spreading their anti-Israel message than at the United Nations. In an ABC interview (9 May, 2007) a leading scholar of anti-Semitism, Walter Laqueur, pointed out that while most member states of the United Nations have been guilty of misdeeds, the reason for Israel being singled out is some form of anti-Semitism. Not long ago at a meeting of the UN General Assembly one hour was spent discussing the 40,000 dead in the Syrian civil war. There were few speakers and little interest. But the next five hours were devoted to demonising Israel.

At those many American, European and Australian universities that have been infiltrated by left-wing academics, Israel is constantly singled out for special negative treatment. However, injustices against women and minorities in other parts of the world are rarely mentioned because they add nothing to socialist anti-Jewishness. University intellectuals’ condemnation of Israel as an apartheid state, despite the fact that it is the only country in the region to accept Palestinians as citizens, is as fatuous as socialism itself.

Calls for a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel is a regurgitation of the Nazi campaign to prevent Germans from patronising Jewish shops and businesses. Not surprisingly, it is supported by Green leftists, whose politics grew out of German romanticism (see ‘The Roots of Green Politics in German Romanticism’. Quadrant July-August 2012, 46-49).

The failure of the Left to condemn Islamic terrorism aimed at Israel and at Jewish cultural and religious centres throughout the world, and its portrayal of Palestinians as victims of Israel, exemplify the Jew-hatred of socialists. The reality that Palestinians are victims of their own corrupt leaders is never mentioned.

If the Palestinian terrorist aim of destroying Israel becomes reality, another Holocaust will follow, and socialists will applaud from the sidelines. Referring to terrorist attacks on Israel, William Shawcross wrote (Washington Examiner, 7 June 2010) that if their enemies succeed, the Jews “will be on their way back to Auschwitz”.

Socialist anti-Jewish policy also permeates the International Criminal Court, which recently accused Israel of war crimes and announced that it considers Palestine a nation-state. That the ICC does not have the authority to do this was ignored. In a dissenting judgment, Judge Peter Kovaks said there “was no legal basis” for the decision. Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed “deep concern” at the ICC decision and, in an interview with Sky News, Senator James Paterson referred to “anti-Semitism masquerading as concern for human rights”.

Much of the world’s media are under the influence of socialist editors and journalists. The New York Times, Washington Post and Guardian are all solidly left-wing. In Australia, the media, with the exception of News Corporation, display an anti-Israel bigotry. Spearheaded by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, this bias is evident in news reports that deliberately omit references to Israel’s contributions to humanity.

These include “Operation Good Neighbour, under which in 2016 the Israel Defence Force established field hospitals on the border with Syria to treat casualties of the civil war. It also sent in supplies to aid the Syrian civilians. For many years Israel has offered relief missions to countries that have experienced disasters, including Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Columbia, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the United States.

Where no incidents that reflect poorly on Israel can be found, leftist journalists concoct stories to make Israel appear lacking in humanity. The most recent claimed that Israeli settlers were receiving the COVID-19 vaccine but not Palestinian Arabs. Similar views were expressed in other Left-controlled organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The truth was very different. All Jews and Palestinians who are Israeli citizens were receiving the vaccination. Under the Oslo Accords (1993, 1995), Palestinians who are not citizens of Israel are the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. The fact that the PA did little to help its own people was blamed on Israel.

Truth has never been a strong point of left-wing journalists when reporting on Israel. Were they to portray the State of Israel favourably, it would cast Jews in a good light. This is anathema to a political movement that uses Jews as the Other, by which it defines itself.

Socialists need scapegoats to unify them. They especially choose people who have risen from adversity and achieved success through hard work and intellect. Hence, they hate the Jewish people, whose success is something socialists can only dream about. Without a mythical enemy on which to vent its pathological hatreds, socialism would collapse.

Online editor’s note: The thumbnail illustration accompanying our homepage blurb for this essay is a detail of a 2014 cartoon by Glen LeLievre that, incredibly, appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and accompanied a Mike Carlton column which became the catalyst for his subsequent departure from the paper. A summary of the affair can be found here, along with the original cartoon and the SMH‘s mealy-mouthed faux apology, not for the cartoon itself, but for “the upset the image had caused”.

Brian Wimborne has been a research editor for the Australian Dictionary of Biography for the last twenty years

12 thoughts on “The Essential Anti-Semitism of the Socialist

  • Harry Lee says:

    Marxist-inspired people -call ’em socialists/whatever- are power-lusting monomaniacs.
    Sure, they portray themselves as Saviours of the Little People -and the Planet.
    Declaration of their Universal Virtue is a necessary weapon in the arsenal of power-lusting marxist Big Statists.
    Very effective weapon, as we see.

  • STD says:

    Great piece Brian.
    It always troubled me why the world hates the Jewish people. Then it dawned , the reason for the hatred of these people is basic human jealousy and resentfulness- the Jewish people are the smartest and most intelligent people on Gods Good earth, Fact. Furthermore they embrace religious observance, for the large part, and their intellectual prowess exudes independence of mind- no collective delusion takes place here. Secondly they can’t be bought by the state of socialism.
    To put it in an Australian context , only fools buy garbage the seller doesn’t want.
    Socialism was conceived by an unenlightened fool, it was put into practice by deluded fools and madmen and is generationally perpetuated by people showing all the signs of a agendered psychosis buried within the unenlightened force of pathological dementia.
    That generation of Australians who gave those poor Jewish souls safe harbour and a place to call home after WW2 can be seen in the following light. Any self respecting Australian knew the Jewish people are brilliant and the Jewish people recognised and know that by in large Australians were a good people.

  • Harry Lee says:

    And so, which political parties insist on bringing into Australia various non-Western groups comprising millions of people whose religious-political ideologies are anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-Westernist? And in doing so declared that this multiculturalism would be wonderfully good -for variety in food, productivity, and civil peace.

  • STD says:

    Harry, giving fair dinkum people refuge is one thing.
    When Christ was talking about the story of the Good Samaritan , he was all for helping your Christian brother, I could be wrong but I don’t think he was advocating helping conmen who couldn’t give a stuff about others.
    Where was the other chap in the parable going- he probably had his business to tend to.
    Bottom line , most of the invasion occurring these days is from people who couldn’t care less about Australia- there here for the money that can be made and a better life- who could blame them for coming ,the real Australian people, the fair dinkum ones have been cast aside by the poorest of examples of human character , ie ,Politicians.
    The immigration program is a developers and multinational corporation immigration program. It’s actually a loyalty program- where we the Australian people weren’t asked , but told we have to have it.
    By loyalty program I’m mean disloyalty, these people are first and foremost loyal to their country of origin.
    Bottom line ,stop borrowing other people’s money and tell the World bank ,IMF and the UN and global corporates to pull stumps.
    How you ask? As my father said start taxing these Corporates on their turnover( get rid of the fancy footwork) and return business back to Australia and Australian families- make having a family a tax incentive and for that matter make having Australians a proud aspirational goal. We want people who love Australia, not the other way round.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    On a happier note, it was good to see the deeply antisemitic Jeremy Corbyn lose the 2019 UK election with the worst result for the British Labour Party since the 1930s. Seems the leftwing racists aren’t all powerful after all.

  • wdr says:

    A good account. But there is a growing division between the Jews of Israel, with their conservative patriotism and traditional values, and the predominant left-liberalism of most American Jews. The Left in the contemporary world hates all patriotic, particularistic rather than universalistic movements, of which Zionistic Israel is an exemplar. As always, the main aim of the Left is destruction. It is also notable that anti-semitism has virtually vanished from the mainstream right, in large part because of Israel, which is regarded as a prime example of a nation based on tradition and patriotism.

  • STD says:

    Gentlemen on account of your service to honesty, Hear, hear, is definitely in order!

  • Stephen Due says:

    Ultimately the issue is who controls whom. Nobody wants other people to have power over them. Socialists and others with totalitarian tendencies invariably imagine themselves to be ruling benignly over an ignorant but grateful populace (one might call this ‘Canberra Syndrome’).
    An ideology that does not have individual liberty as a core value cannot be trusted. It is not Enlightenment philosophy that provides the historical basis for an ideology of liberty – since the days of Socrates the philosophers have always envisaged themselves as kings – but rather it is Christianity.
    The natural loyalties of mankind are to God and the family. In the Western tradition Christianity, like its parent Judaism, enshrines these loyalties in an unshakeable conviction that is fundamental to human freedom. Socialists oppose both Jews and Christians for this reason.

  • nfw says:

    One must never forget what the Soviet Union did to ensure the lack of peace in the Muddle (sic) East. When the various groups stopped fighting each other and decided to form the State of Israel Stalin rounded up all his western lackeys, eg UK, Canada, Australia to name a few, and told them to vote YES in the UN in support of The State of Israel. Why? Because he wanted what he thought would be a good communist (socialist) client state in the Muddle East to counter British and French power. However the Israelis, many of whom experienced the inherent and historical anti-Semitism of Russians and others in the USSR, wanted to be at least a democratic semi-capitalist socialist state and threw their lot in with the US. Stalin was outraged at this “betrayal”, having expected all those Russian emigres in Israel to fall into line. As a result Stalin supported the Arabs, much to his own distaste, but as he saw it the only way to firstly punish the Israelis and secondly block the US. Typical socialist hypocrisy yet again. Yep, the so-called peace-loving but really sociopath and psychopath socialists/communists are responsible for the mess the Middle East is today, but they constantly use their useful idiots to hide the truth.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Good piece Brian and I agree. Israel and the Jews are the one stand out Nation and people in the Middle East and the only ones we can trust, and as I see it always will be, so long as all the rest remain as they are i.e. locked in to the tenets of Islam.

  • ianl says:


    >” … basic human jealousy …”

    Well, envy actually, but you have the nub of it. I’ve noted this several times now. Asians, especially Chinese/Japanese/Indians, are subject to exactly the same vicious bias – and Caucasians, we see the anti-white hysteria daily.

    Envy is ineradicable for most of the population, although the chosen scapegoat is a moveable feast. Denizens of the MSM are the most ardent practitioners of this choosing.

    I would recommend you read The Bell Curve (Hermstein and Murray, 1996). To avoid harrassment, don’t offer to lend it to your neighbour.

  • Harry Lee says:

    Why would Australia import hundreds of thousands of fast-reproducing persons from anti-Western precincts whose in-bred ideology clearly includes hatred for Jews and Christians and high propensity to parasitism?
    Naive idealism? Plain ignorance/idiocy? Future votes for the ALP?

Leave a Reply