Marx and the Radical Critique of Antisemitism
Department of Sociology University of Warwick Coventry, UK
In the first part of this paper I contest the view that Marx´s response to Bauer´s essays on the Jewish Question was antisemitic or reproductive of anti-Jewish stereotypes. In the second part I reconstruct Marx´s own analysis of antisemitism as an anti-hegemonic form of radicalism hostile to the values of bourgeois society. I argue that Marx, in ways later echoed by Nietzsche, linked antisemitism to a broader nihilistic undercurrent of the modern age that aimed to destroy the duplicity upon which society rested. In the final part of the paper I evaluate Marx´s contribution to the critique of antisemitism and argue that its strengths and weaknesses are not generally well understood within sociology. I look outside sociology, to the work of Hannah Arendt, for a more comprehensive view.