Most knowledgeable observers, you see --- especially economists --- thought that the crisis reflected major deficiencies in the financial institutions and political corrupt of Asian capitalism, plus problems of hot-footed portfolio investment money in the world, hundreds of billions of dollars worth. But no again. It was all the fault of the Jews. The same is true of democracy, the notion of universal human rights, socialism, globalization, and modernity . . . all big threats to the rule of Platonic thugs like Mahathir. Believe it or not, according to Mahathir in the same crackpot racist drivel that he delivered to the admiring Muslim audience of notables, these ideals and trends are all clever intellectual schemes invented by none other than Jews, and for a clear reason that bold truth-tellers can immediately grasp: to bemuse and bewilder decent but slower-witted people like Mahathir and his despotic chums from 56 other Muslim nations in order to fend off assaults by the Jews' enraged neighbors.
" Mahathir's Judeophobia is an old story. More than 30 years ago he wrote: ''The Jews . . . are not merely hook-nosed but understand money instinctively.'' He has blasted Jews as ''monsters''; in 1994 his government banned the movie ''Schindler's List'' for being too pro-Jewish. When the Malaysian currency collapsed in 1997, Mahathir blamed it on George Soros, an American investor. ''We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews,'' he thundered at a rally, ''but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge -- and coincidentally Soros is a Jew.'' See Jeff Jacoby.
The Predictable French Response: Mahathir Grateful
And where does France, with the largest Muslim population in the EU --- and out to become the Western leader of the Arab world for 4 decades now, part of its grand strategy for leveraging its power and prestige in the world --- stand on Mathahir's obscenely racist babble . . . which, particularly relevant to French history in WWII, could have been taken from almost any of Hitler's rambling pathological ruminations of the Nazi era?
Well, where you might think. Where else? Mathahir no sooner finished his racist rant last week than he was rebuked by almost all the EU governments, plus the US and Australia. A few days later, Bush personally met with him at an APEC conference in Thailand and rebuked him for his bigotry --- but not by the French government. Not, at any rate, the way almost all the other EU governments wanted to at a EU summit being held the same time when Mahathir was mouthing his racist conspiratorial stuff. Specifically, President Jacques Chirac blocked a scathing EU statement that deplored Mathahir's rabid anti-Semitism. It wasn't, according to the news reports
in Malaysia and elsewhere, the polite thing for the EU to express itself so explicitly and harshly. Mathahir, according to the same Malaysian newspapers, expressed his "gratitude" for Chirac's "understanding."
No doubt, French diplomatic stock rose in some of the same conspiratorial-minded circles in the Middle East as well.
PART II: How Anti-Semitism and Anti-Americanism and Anti-Globalizing Protests Often Go Hand-in-Hand, Including In West Europe
1) The Arab World and Nazism
Here, for those who have read the first two articles in this mini-series, are some further reflections worth pondering: in particular, how anti-Semitic filth and anti-Americanism go together in mosques run by fundamentalists, in fundamentalist movements, and freely on sale in bookstores and for that matter --- including Nazi propaganda like Mein Kamp
and the Tsarist Russian forgery Elders of the Zion
, blood-libel literature, Holocaust denial, jubilant eulogies of Hitler and the Nazis, and laments that they didn't kill off all the Jews of the world --- in book and magazine shops in tony international hotels and in airports.
Peoples and countries under strain like to look for scapegoats to explain their troubles. That was true of the Germans in the interwar period; it's also true of the Arab peoples today. And similarly, as we'll see here, anti-semitism is spreading rapidly again in West Europe, along with bursting anti-American hostility, and for that matter among the anti-globalizing forces that are especially strong on that Continent --- whether on the extreme left or, like Le Pen's National Front, on the extreme right.
[For a recent article praising Nazi efforts by Arab visitors to a former death-camp, now a museum in Slovakia, see this article. Among the lovely things said by the Arabs who signed the guest-book was this filth:
1. This exhibit testifies to the quality of organization and handling [of
the mission. From a historical perspective, what Hitler did to the Jews is
exactly what they deserve. Still, we would have wished that he could have
finished incinerating all the Jews in the world, but time ran out on him and
therefore Allah's curse be on him and on them.
(-) Khaled al-Zahraya from Saudi Arabia, 07.09.03
2. This is a museum showing a restaurant [specializing in] Jewish meat,
which is what they deserve. Sons of apes and pigs.
The day after the attempt to murder Ahmad Yasin.
'Umar al-Da'm, Yemen 07.09.03
3. Ibrahim al-'Arimi, Sultanate of Oman
The most beautiful sights of Jews.
(-) 07. 09.03
4. I say what they all say, and will just add that they [Jews] are cursed in
this world and the next. Madih, Yemen.] 07.09.2003
How widespread is the admiration for Nazism and the genocide, despite its failures to exterminate all of the world's Jews, in the Arab world?
No hard survey data exist. No one has taken such a poll, and it's doubtful any of the secret-police ruled Arab states would permit it. We do have the lavish documentation, some already mentioned, of how the Egyptian, Saudi, and Syrian media propagate the most vicious sort of Nazi filth on television, including lengthy mini-series about Jews running the world. Blood-libel rumors are also rife in the media in much of the Arab world too. Mein Kamp
and Elders of the Zion
and other Nazi propaganda are on sale at international airports all over the Arab world and in the bookstores of big hotels. They're all part of the larger fantasized conspiratorial dementia that appeal to unhinged masses full of illiteracy or semi-literate education, encouraged for their own ends by the despotic regimes . . . only too happy to shift frustrations and hyped-up resentment outward onto foreign devils.
For a graphic view of the new Arab anti-Semitism, see this link
which was sent to me by a professor in California.
Admiration for the Nazis Nothing New
No, not new. It existed during the Nazi period in certain influential quarters. Take the Mufti of Jerusalem, the spiritual head of the Palestinians.
A fervent Nazi believer, he lived in Berlin during WWII, hobnobbing with Hitler and the other Nazi leaders. In Bosnia, he helped organized a notorious mass-murdering SS Hadjar
Division of Bosnian Muslim volunteers; they were responsible for slaughtering at least tens of thousands of Serbs and Jews, and probably more. A long commentary
by the buggy prof on this subject was sent to his gordon-newspost in January 2003.. You can access a good summary of the Mufti's biography and influence . . . including his role in organizing for Hitler a Muslim SS-Division in Bosnia that fought alongside the Nazi Croatian State of the Ustashas . . . responsible for killing almost a million Serbs and almost all the small Jewish population in their parts of Yugoslavia. Note the picture of the Mufti reviewing the SS Bosnian Muslim troops in 1943. Condemned at the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi war criminals after the war, the Mufti fled to Egypt to escape deportation to Yugoslavia for war crimes and genocide:Mufti-Hadjar
(The site is run by a Canadian Christian group.) There, in Egypt, he had a big influence on Yasser Arafat, his pupil. They became so intimately close that the Mufti later claimed, falsely --- words in many Arab circles, it appears, are magical and have no bear on reality --- that Arafat was his nephew.
After his return to the Middle East, the Mufti inspired Yasser Arafat and Gamiel Nasser (the pan-Arabist dictator in Egypt after 1954 who lost the 1956 and 1967 wars to Israel). For a good article, see
" Saddam's Brain: The ideology behind the thuggery" From the November 11, 2002 issue of The Weekly Standard
. It's by David Brooks, now a regular op-ed columnist for the New York Times.
by David Brooks
2) West Europe
The new anti-Semitic racism has also spread to West Europe again. Its rise and spread can be documented in a variety of ways. The rampant growth of Jew-hatred in the Muslim communities around West Europe, not least in France, has also been effectively documented.
Take hard survey data.
Almost two years ago, as anti-Semitic incidents spread in France, an anti-racist movement carried out a poll among young Frenchmen. What it found was that about 22% of Frenchmen expressed serious anti-Semitic views. For those who were practicing Catholics, the figure was halved; among Muslim immigrants or second-generation French Muslims, the figure leapt to 35%. Then, in the summer of 2002, the ADL in this country sponsored two scientifically administered survey in West Europe. Using different criteria, they found that close to 40% of West Europeans voiced clear anti-Semitic views. The actual degree varies across countries, as you might expect: far worse in Germany, France, and Spain than in traditionally tolerant Denmark, Holland, and Italy. See ADL links and studies
. ">these ADL links.
Then, too, there have been thousands of documented attacks as well on Jewish synagogues, cultural centers, elderly Jews out walking, and on rabbis. In France alone in March and April 2002, there were close to a 1000 such incidents (220 alone in the first two weeks of April, according to a deuxieme-chaine media report that the buggy prof watched on TV). And even in traditionally tolerant Sweden and Norway --- with very tiny Jewish populations, hardly 1/20th of 1.0% --- attacks on Jews by Muslim immigrant thugs have repeatedly occurred and spread alarm and fear in the Jewish communities. All this will be documented below. In Sweden
alone last year, according to a recent article by two Swedish journalists, there have been 131 anti-Semitic attacks and crimes against Jews that were reported to the police.
"Nobody knows how many incidents go unreported but the security police expect the number to be large. Jews in Sweden today are living in the shadow of a very concrete anti-Semitism. Jews in Sweden today often feel compelled to hide their religious identity in
public: necklaces with stars of David are carefully hidden under sweaters and orthodox Jewish men change their kippot to more discrete caps or hats when they are outdoors. Jews in Sweden nowadays get secret telephone numbers to avoid harassment. In Sweden. Today."
As we'll see, Sweden is no exception in West Europe.
Anti-Globalizing Protests and Anti-Semitism
As we noted earlier, someone can protest globalizing trends without being either an anti-Semite or anti-American. Ditto when it comes to Anti-American opinions, especially in the EU. What is rare is to find any anti-Semite who isn't simultaneously anti-American and against globalization, the two commingling in the eyes of left-wing and extreme right-wing spokesmen and movements in the EU and above all the Muslim world. For a particularly up-to-date analysis of the anti-Semitism that nonetheless flourishes in the anti-globalizing movements in these regions --- which appeared in an unusual source: Foreign Policy
, an influential quarterly in the US --- see this stimulating analysis: Antiglobalism's Jewish Problem.
As it notes in line with our earlier analysis of how both left-wing and right-wing anti-Semitism aped one another in 19th and early 20th century Europe, it says about anti-globalizing protestors:
" . . . History is repeating itself. As in the 19th century, the far right is plagiarizing left-wing dogma and imbuing it with racist overtones, transforming the campaign against the capitalist "New World Order" into a struggle against the "Jew World Order." The antiglobalization movement is, however, somewhat culpable. It isn't inherently anti-Semitic, yet it helps enable anti-Semitism by peddling conspiracy theories. In its eyes, globalization is less a process than a plot hatched behind closed doors by a handful of unaccountable bureaucrats and corporations. Underlying the movement's humanistic goals of universal social justice is a current of fear mongering—the IMF, the WTO, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) are portrayed not just as exploiters of the developing world, but as supranational instruments to undermine our sovereignty. Pick up a copy of the 1998 book MAI and the Threat to American Freedom (wrapped in a patriotic red, white, and blue cover), written by antiglobalization activists Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, and you'll read how "Over the past twenty-five years, corporations and the state seem to have forged a new political alliance that allows corporations to gain more and more control over governance. This new ‘corporate rule' poses a fundamental threat to the rights and democratic freedoms of all people." At an even more extreme end of the spectrum, the Web site of the Canadian-based Centre for Research on Globalization sells books and videos that "expose" how the September 11 terrorist attacks were "most likely a special covert action" to "further the goals of corporate globalization."
Unfortunately, conspiracy theories must always have a conspirator, and all too often, the conspirators are perceived to be Jews. It takes but a small step to cross the line dividing the two worldviews. "If I told you I thought the world was controlled by a handful of capitalists and corporate bosses, you would say I was a left-winger," an anarchist demonstrator told the online Russian publication Pravda. "But if I told you who I thought the capitalists and corporate bosses were, you'd say I was far right."
The browns and greens are not simply plagiarizing one another's ideas. They're frequently reading from the same page. In Canada, a lecture by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke was advertised in lefty magazines such as Shared Vision and Common Ground. ("Canadians voted down free trade and we got it anyway," said one woman who saw the ads and attended the event. "So there has to be something to that.") Far-right nationalists, such as former skinhead Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz, have infiltrated the Polish branch of the international antiglobalization organization ATTAC. The British Fascist Party includes among its list of recommended readings the works of left-wing antiglobalists George Monbiot and Noam Chomsky. A Web site warning of the dangers of "Jewish Plutocracy, Jewish Power" includes links to antiglobalization NGOs such as Corpwatch and Reclaim Democracy. The Dutch NGO De Fabel van de illegaal withdrew in disgust from the anti-MAI movement when it learned that the campaign's activities were attracting the attention of far-right, anti-Semitic student groups. "By pointing to this so-called globalisation as our main problem, the anti-MAI activists prepare our thinking for the corresponding logical consequence—the struggle for ‘our own' local economy, and as a consequence also for ‘our own' state and culture," the director of De Fabel warned. "Left-wing groups are spreading an ideology that offers the New Right, rather than the left, bright opportunities for future growth."
A Recent and Disturbing EU Public Opinion Survey
In the meantime, observe that the results of an opinion poll
just released by the EU found that tiny Israel was regarded as the greatest threat to world peace by the public across the 15 member-states of the European Union . . . 59% singling it out that way, followed in second place by the US, tied with North Korea and Iran. No surprise. The two ADL surveys had already found last year that about 40% of the EU populations expressed "serious" anti-Semitic viewpoints; and ill-feelings toward the US --- linked closely, as we'll see in a moment, with anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East --- have been stoked for years by the pc-dominated EU media, predating the arrival of George W. Bush in the White House.
Does it help that Silvio Belusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy who holds the rotating presidency of the EU said that he was "surprised and indignant" at the findings? Or that the EU Commission 'said Israel's anger was "legitimate" but refused to get drawn into whether the poll findings were valid?
"I think the (Israeli) reaction was a very legitimate reaction," the spokesman for the EU's executive arm told reporters. But he added: "It is not our task to interpret each and every survey. We don't place excessive emphasis on one poll result."
Or, for that matter, does it help much that the Italian permanent president of the EU executive Commision, Romano Prodi, admitted that there might be anti-Semitic prejudice reflected in the survey results. He "expressed
his concern about the findings, saying that they "point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand" And "To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical," Mr Prodi said in a statement.
The answers to the above trio of related questions: it seems doubtful that they help much. Governments and the EU Commission and presidency are one thing; public opinion in democratic countries is another. And on that level, just as anti-Semitism has been growing in the EU in easily documented ways, so the US and most of West Europe are drifting apart as far as mass attitudes go . . . especially in Europe itself. We've been drifting apart, more to the point, for years now . . . despite the strong support for the US in destroying Saddamite Iraq last spring from the UK, Denmark, Italy, and Holland in the existing EU, and all the prospective member-states joining the EU this year in East Europe and, come to that, from several other states in the region scheduled to join NATO but not the EU. Among other things, what we are witnessing is the growth of conflicts, strains, and growing popular reactions of a nasty sort in the "Old Europe" save in Britain, Denmark, and Holland . . . the countries in the recent EU poll
that were divided about 50-50 in seeing the US war against Saddamite Iraq as justified or unjustified (the Danish population the only EU country where public opinion expressed a clear majority for justified). Together, though, these three countries total about 75 million --- less than a fifth of the overall EU populations right now.
What Future for NATO?
The likely result over time if these popular attitudes persist? In the long-run, as previous buggy articles
have argued, an alliance like NATO will not enjoy a solid military and diplomatic mission --- whether in or out of Europe --- if the EU populations continue to manifest popular hostility to this country. It may continue to exist in an organizational form, like the phantom Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages; but it won't amount to much as an alliance. In the Gulf war of 1991, come to that, NATO could not agree on a common policy: some European members joined the war, others didn't. Over Bosnia, disagreements lasted for almost four years. The disagreements over the nature of security threats and how to treat them have grown more markedly since 9/11 . . . the divisions running through Europe, not between the US and Europe per se.
Something else. The more difficult economic changes are forced upon the EU countries, especially the sluggards like France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy, the more likely globalization will be condemned --- AKA, a synonym in the pc-dominated EU media for American capitalism and, we have to expect at times, even if less frequently, for related anti-Semitic expressions. Agreed: this last point needs to be clarified and backed with evidence. We'll do this in a few moments.
For the time being, shift attention and focus on a related issue that doesn't bode well for the EU populations, especially as the social strains of inevitably painful economic changes are bound to swell in the near future:
Dangers of Backlash Racism Against the EU's Islamic Communities
What is particularly ironic about the spread of Jew-hating racism in the Arab world --- now spreading rapidly to West Europe in the large Muslim immigrant populations there --- is that the dangers of racist backlashes to those European Muslims.
The more fundamentalism and its ideological justification of alienation and hostility to secular European life spreads in those immigrant and second-generation Muslim populations, the more predictable is the reaction of increasing numbers of native Europeans: a growing demand to crack down on Muslim crime, a related demand to beat back and repress Muslim challenges to their own secular cultures, and growing support for populist right-wing parties. Some of these parties --- Le Pen's National Front in France (he won almost 20% of the vote in the last presidential election there in 2002), Haider's Freedom Party in Austria (almost 30% of the parliamentary vote four years ago), the Vlaams Blok in Belgium (11% of the parliamentary vote), and possibly one or two right-wing parties in the Berlusconi conservative coalition government are extremist and race-baiting by almost any definition. Some of the conservative populist breakthroughs elsewhere --- Holland and Denmark for instance --- are less extreme and avoid outright racism, but clearly have drawn large support because of the growing social and cultural conflicts with radical Islamist elements, further fueled by a perception (sound in this case) that more and more of the violent crime shaking their societies is committed by angry, alienated, and hostile Muslim young men.
The failures of moderate conservative and left-wing parties in the EU to deal honestly with the growing frictions between these Muslim communities, swept by fundamentalism the last decade, and the wider secular and Christian national communities have in effect created the wedge for this populist upsurge, extremist or less so. And it's not hard to see what the growing anti-Semitism is doing to the relations between the wider national communities and the Muslim minorities, even if, at the same time, anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise in West Europe as well. As Haider, a whacko demagogue of neo-Nazi sentiments put it not long ago, the Arab and Muslim dangers to Austria are much greater than the Jewish threat. He went further. In his demented way, he claimed that the only salvation of Austria to keep it from mediocrity --- economic, intellectual, and cultural --- is to bring in more Jews. Le Pen has even outdone Haider. Even as the National Front continues to purvey anti-Jewish filth, it is trying to improve its respectability, and Le Pen has openly praised the Israeli defiance of Arab terrorism and its stand against hostile Arab countries.
3a) Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism Go Hand-in-Hand in Much of the Middle East And West Europe
Though the buggy professor has written on these this link in anti-Semitic circles before, there's no better analysis of it than a recent dazzling essay has dealt with it in the current November issue of Commentary Magazine
. Written by Nathan Sharanksy, one of the handful of most prominent dissident opponents of the Soviet regime in the 1970s and 1980s --- imprisoned for his opposition --- he is currently a minister in the Israeli government, the article is entitled On Hating the Jews
. It was originally prepared for an international conference of specialists on anti-Semitism held recently in Paris.
Sharanaksy's Argument about the Links
At one point, Sharansky notes:
"Insofar as the clash is between the United States and Europe--there is a large "European" body of opinion within the United States as well--it has been well diagnosed by Robert Kagan in his best-selling book, Of Paradise and Power. For our purposes, it is sufficient to remark on how quickly the initial "why-do-they-hate-us" debate in the wake of September 11, focusing on anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, came to be overtaken by a "why-do-they-hate-us" debate centered on anti-American sentiment in "Old Europe." Generally, the two hatreds have been seen to emanate from divergent impulses, in the one case a perception of the threat posed by Western freedoms to Islamic civilization, in the other a perception of the threat posed by a self-confident and powerful America to the postmodern European idea of a world regulated not by force but by reason, compromise, and nonjudgmentalism. In today's Europe--professedly pacifist, post-nationalist, anti-hegemonic--an expression like "axis of evil" wins few friends, and the idea of actually confronting the axis of evil still fewer.
"Despite the differences between them, however, anti-Americanism in the Islamic world and anti-Americanism in Europe are in fact linked, and both bear an uncanny resemblance to anti-Semitism. It is, after all, with some reason that the United States is loathed and feared by the despots and fundamentalists of the Islamic world as well as by many Europeans. Like Israel, but in a much more powerful way, America embodies a different--a nonconforming--idea of the good, and refuses to abandon its moral clarity about the objective worth of that idea or of the free habits and institutions to which it has given birth. To the contrary, in undertaking their war against the evil of terrorism, the American people have demonstrated their determination not only to fight to preserve the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity, but to carry them to regions of the world that have proved most resistant to their benign influence."
For the buggy professor's earlier articles about the links between anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, see, as just one specimen, this analysis.
Another Argument About the Links, Especially in the Middle East
The close linkage between the new raging conpiratorial Jew-hatred in the Arab world, on one side --- part of daily life now in the 21 Arab countries besides Iraq, embedded in popular culture, in all the state-controlled media censored by the secret-police everywhere, and in sermons delivered in mosques --- and, on the other side, fear and vitriol expressed toward the US and American influence has been repeatedly noted and backed with evidence in the three articles in this mini-series. By now, the pivotal part of the linkage is easy enough to understand: conspiratorial paranoia
, the rock-bottom belief pervasive on the Arab street and elsewhere that Jews are not just evil and full of designing schemes to destroy or enslave the Muslim world, but are an extra-potent menace and even all-powerful . . . and precisely because they allegedly dominate all critical areas of American life: from the CIA, the Pentagon and military to Wall Street, the major financial and business corporations, and the media, to universities and most of political life in Washington D.C. through financial controls and contributions.
For an effectively documented analysis of this pivotal linkage in Arab discourse and the media --- including an important government official in the Islamo-fascist state of Syria, now chairing the UN Security Council --- even as Libya, a brutally nasty state run by a certifiable madman, the terrorist-support Colonel Khadiffi, chairs the UN Human Rights Commission (just as Saddamite Iraq was scheduled this spring to chair the UN's Disarmament Commission) --- see an article by Marten Barck
that appeared not long agp. Among other things, it contains these pithy observations, including a long quote of a distinguished Iraqi exile in the US, Kanan Mikaya:
" . . . On the other hand, quite a few commentators have pointed out the pathological dimension of anti-American sentiments in the Muslim world. Viewed from this perspective the hatred is so irrational it cannot be explained in rational political terms, but must rather be seen as a religious-ideological "myth". Kanan Mikaya summed up this position in The Observer [a British liberal-labor weekly]:
"Arabs and Muslims need today to face up to the fact that their resentment at America has long since become unmoored from any rational underpinnings it might once have had; like the anti-Semitism of the interwar years, it is today steeped in deeply embedded conspiratorial patterns of thought rooted in profound ignorance of how a society and a polity like the United States, much less Israel, functions. ... Today, it has become a murderous brew of passions fuelled by paranoia and frustration. ... To argue, as many Arabs and Muslims are doing today (and not a few liberal Western voices), that 'Americans should ask themselves why they are so hated in the world' is to make such a concession; it is to provide a justification, however unwittingly, for this kind of warped mindset."
However, there's one aspect of this form of anti-Americanism which often is overlooked and deserves to be pointed out, as it is essential for an understanding of the virulent nature of the hatred and how it came to be a rationalization for massmurder. To grasp the depth of this anti-Americanism we must see it at least in part as an extension of the pathological anti-Semitism prevalent in the Arab world and more specifically as compatible with the myth of a Jewish world-conspiracy. In this essay I will concentrate on this belief as expressed in Arab media and other articles."
Barck's entire argument is well worth reading in full.
PART III. Another Way of Viewing the Links Between Anti-Semitism, Anti-Americanism, and Anti-Globalization: David Brooks on the Bourgeois-Phobes
In many ways, an even more astute, wide-ranging analysis of the links between anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Globalizing Protest Movements was set out in April 2002 in the Weekly Standard
by one of the most prominent authors and journalists of moderate conservative viewpoints --- David Brooks, now a permanent op-ed contributor in the New York Times
in the aftermath of the Jayson Blair affair, his dismissal from the newspaper for lies and fabrication, and the rebellion of the Times
hundreds of permanent journalist against the tyrannical reign of the chief editor who had helped undermine the eminent newspaper's reputation for journalistic excellence and impartiality. The article is entitled Among the Bourgeoisophobes: Why the Europeans and Arabs, each in their own way, hate America and Israel. "
Note right off, by way of a caveat. Obviously, not all anti-globalizing protestors in Europe, the US, or elsewhere are anti-Semitic. That should be clear enough. Similarly, not all anti-American sentiments of a systematic sort that pervade the French media and much of its political discourse --- or echoes of the same stuff in the pc-dominated EU media and intellectual life elsewhere in the EU --- reflect any anti-Semitism either, far from it. But note another thing. It will be rare in the Middle East, the Muslim world more generally, or in the EU to find a serious anti-Semite who simultaneously is not full of animosity toward the US and portrays globalizing trends in the darkest, diabolical ways.
(i.) The Historical Links
Essentially, as Brooks' argument unfolds, it brings a fresh, intellectually compelling perspective on the close links that historically prevailed in Europe after 1800 --- and then the Arab and Muslim worlds far more recently --- between viciously racist Jew-hatred and anti-capitalism on both the radical left and the radical right, whose publicists and political agitators and leadership repeated expressed hot-wire fears of modernity, capitalism, industrialization, and what we now call globalizing forces. They still do. Nothing much has changed.
In 19th and early 20th century Europe, to put this in concrete language, the extremist and frightened defenders of the status-quo on the right or, even more tellingly those who wanted to reverse all the changes unleashed by the liberal-nationalist, democratic, and industrial revolutions from roughly 1776 on, hated and scapegoated the alleged nefarious hook-ups between Jews and menacing Capitalism and Enlightenment Universality . . . the same sort of conspiratorial yak-yak that Mahathir Mohamed voiced to such acclamation at the Islamic Summit Conference not long ago. Eventually, from the late 19th century on, pseudo-Darwinian racism became a mass intellectual rage, fusing with extremist nationalism and pan-Germanism and pan-Slavic movements on the right. No longer were Jews just Christ-killers, condemned for religious reasons. Under the spell of new racist blood-line views, rippling claims about evil Jews emerged all over Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe (save Italy) as irretrievably malevolent and menacing for reasons of race and genetic heritage. By the 1930s and early 1940s, the Nazis took this alleged racist theory to its ultimate conclusion: anti-capitalist and full of raging Jew-hatred, only extermination of the genetic threats could salvage a pure Aryan Germany and allow it to expand and rule over the other inferior races in Europe as its destiny required.
(ii.) Anti-Semitism existed on the radical left in Europe from the 1800's on too.
Despite a different rhetoric and less venom originally --- as well as resistance to outright pseudo-Darwinian racism --- hostility to Jews as linked irretrievably to capitalism in both its national and cosmopolitan forms flourished in both the revolutionary socialist and later communist movements in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe . . . though markedly less so in Scandinavia, Holland, Britain, and France. A clarifying point or two rear up immediately here. Specifically, to look at Russia and the Bolshevik revolution, keep in mind that . . .
--- in the Russian Social Democratic Party, created in Tsarist Russia as an underground political movement at the very end of the 19th century --- until 1906, political parties were all outlawed by the autocratic regime and its secret-police rule --- there were two wings at odds with one another from 1903 on. The Bolshevik wing was led by Lenin and Trotsky, the latter a Jew; most of the Jewish members of the Social Democratic Party, by contrast, were in the minority Menshevik wing, far more moderate and at loggerheads with the Bolsheviks. Their intellectual conflicts between the two wings raged for the next two decades. After the Tsarist regime was toppled in the 1918 February revolution led by moderate conservatives and liberals, Mensheviki participated in the moderate Kerensky Coalition government led by liberals and democratic conservatives that ruled Russia with parliamentary support.
--- The coalition failed to consolidate its power. Not least, it tried mistakenly to continue the war with Germany even as Tsarist enemies plotted to overthrow it from the right and Bolsheviks from the left, particularly by capturing the urban Soviets of workers and intellectuals. Once the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia in the November revolutionary coup --- opposed by the Mensheviks who were still in the Kerensky coalition --- they now called themselves Communists; and in the bloody civil war that followed, the Mensheviks wouldn't join the anti-Communist forces, most of them extremist Tsarist or ultra-nationalists by then. Along with the agrarian Social Revolutionaries, they formed a working partnership with the Communist Party. Both non-Communist groups hoped to have influence over the monopoly party by working from within.
--- They, Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries alike, underestimated the totalitarian instincts of Lenin and his Bolshevik followers. By 1921, the civil war was essentially won. Immediately, the Mensheviks were crushed as an independent movement; and from 1924 on, Stalin --- Lenin's successor --- attacked, purged, forced into exile, or killed off the remaining Mensheviks and moderates on one side and, on the other, Trotsky and his followers on the left. Trotsky, as it happened, was the most famous of the exiles. Later, in Mexico, he was killed by a Stalinist KGB agent. While in exile, he published several tracts and books denouncing Stalin, Stalinism, and the Bolshevik-Communist control of the revolution. Belatedly, too, he recognized that the 1903 embrace by the Bolsheviks of a vanguard view of the revolution --- the Communist Party would be the leading-edge of revolutionary working-class consciousness, even if the workers and peasants of Russia opposed revolution --- would lead inevitably to party dictatorship and Stalinist totalitarianism.
(iii.)The Historical Links Between Die-Hard Extremists and Anti-Capitalism and Jew-Hatred in the Arab world.
More generally as this historical survey reveals, the die-hard defenders of a brittle and challenged status-quo in any traditional community under siege of tumultuous modernizing and globalizing forces --- where not just inherited cultural beliefs and social norms are threatened, but privilege, power, and prestige of the dominant groups as well --- will almost always seek to beat off the menaces by demagogic means, including conspiratorial scapegoating. Capitalism is the main threat; Jews are its puppet-masters; and the two must be destroyed one way or another.
In the Arab world, racist anti-Semitism of the European variety arrived only in the Nazi era and its aftermath. By the 1970s, its spread was rapid. It has been ever since. As in pre-WWII Europe, the same link between the dark evil menaces of capitalist globalizing forces and powerful hidden Jewish forces at work, full of evil, has been forged in radical Islamist extremism. The twist? Jews aren't out to conquer Europe and the Aryan people as in Nazi rhetoric, by polluting their minds with notions of universal human rights, democracy, capitalism, and equality . . . and socialism or communism. Instead, by means of the same intellectual ruses, plus the use of American power to destroy any opponents of globalizing capitalism and democracy of the western sort, they are out to destroy the truths and solidity of Islam and the dignity, future, prosperity, and power of Muslims everywhere. Even Pokeman has a diabolical Jewish design behind it. Do these preposterous themes sound familiar? They should. Aside from the Pokeman conspiracy, a Wahabbi Saudi innovation, these were exactly the themes sounded by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the Islamic Summit Conference two weeks ago.
As in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century when both the extreme right and extreme left were anti-Semitic (including Stalinist Russia), so in the failed countries of the Arab world --- full of illiteracy, dysfunctional education, despotism, crony clientelism, winner-take-all politics, and corruption and nepotism, not to mention economic and technological backwardness --- there has emerged, as the previous buggy article noted, a strange alliance between the despotic and status-quo forces in power on the one side and of radical Islamist fundamentalism on the other. In particular, Islamist world-views, with their longing for a revived, purified Islamic world --- a fantasized image of a past utopia that never existed, save for the greater power and prestige of Islamic and Arab empires from the 7th through the 17th centuries --- are shot through with paranoid conspiratorial understanding of Islam's decline on these scores and the woes and misfortunes of the Arab peoples, threatened not least by American culture. The biggest threats? Democracy, equality, and women's rights. But also individual liberties, equal citizenship, and a strict Constitutional secularism. And increasingly --- through the media --- endlessly intrusive American films, TV, music, satellite news, dress, sports, advertising, and the promising freedom of the Internet and non-controlled expression.
For their own reasons, we now know, the corrupt secret-police despotisms in power throughout the Arab world save in Iraq are letting the same fundamentalist drivel be disseminated in all their state-controlled, thoroughly censored media.
(iv.) The Radical Left in Europe These Days: Raw Frustrated Utopianism
At the polar end of the ideological spectrum, the exponents of some idealized utopian community that can be realized through political struggle and propaganda in the near future soon find their fantasized ideals blocked by the combined resistance of both the die-hard traditionalists on one side and, on the other, the new, far more powerful impact of the three forces of capitalism, modernity, and technology. Over time, with proper institutions and policies --- almost all non-existent in the Arab world --- the Trinity of globalizing forces just mentioned here will radically transform existing agrarian societies, anchored in traditional cultures --- and not just uproot and transform them, but sooner or later dramatically raise the living standards of the masses: steadily, and in ways never imagined in pre-industrial societies. Especially after the initial disruptions and tumult of capitalist industrialization are absorbed by adaptive societies, capitalism and modern life-styles become increasingly popular with the masses. What happens then to the utopian socialist community of the future? It fades as a dream; it becomes more and more difficult to realize. In particular, if there emerges in a rapidly industrializing society a democratic franchise and civil liberties, the last thing the masses want is revolution of any sort.
For radical Marxists --- or their anti-globalizing partners or descendants --- nothing could be more traumatic. Democracy is a sop, nothing more. Ditto bourgeois society and prosperity. Both, along with manipulation of the media and education, amount to manipulative ways to engender false consciousness
and lull the dupe working classes into acquiescing to the entrenched capitalist order. Such an outlook is conspiratorial from the start.
(v.) Enter anti-Americanism
Brooks article is especially perceptive on these connections. More and more, those living in failed societies and states like those in the Arab world will see the vastly powerful US as part of the link between their troubles and failures and Jews and capitalist globalizing forces on the other. It's all one conspiracy. The same is true for the resentful anti-globalizing forces on the left and far right in Europe. Yes, vicious anti-Semites like Le Pen and Haider and other radical right-wing populists on the Continent are no less full of fear and loathing of globalizing forces, modern capitalism, and American power and influence than the left-wing protestors, whether just confused average people anxious about their future or violent anarchists and agitators who always show up at the anti-globalizing protests and seek confrontations and street-battles with the police. And anti-Semitic propaganda and even attacks on Jewish protestors are now common in these anti-globalizing movements in Europe, especially when the target is the US --- the case, for instance, in the widespread demonstrations in France against the US-UK war in Iraq last spring, especially in France.
All of Brooks article is available at the Internet link set out earlier. You should read the entire piece. It's perceptive and vigorously argued and very convincing . . . especially if you know much about the resentments, fears, and envies of the old order in Europe and the frustrations and hatred of globalizing capitalism and American life and culture in parts of the Continent and even more in fundamentalist and traditionalist circles in the Arab world and now wider parts of Islam.
(vi.) Anti-Americanism, Jews, and the Arab World Again
There, in increasingly large numbers as Arab and other Islamic populations swell in size --- the 280 million Arabs, half of them under 15, slated to almost double in number within a generation --- psychically dislocated peoples by the tens and hundreds of millions live in societies that have failed to modernize . . . unlike Pacific Asia, much of India, East Europe after the collapse of Communism, and most of Latin America, rapidly industrializing and increasingly democratic. Arab governments are failures, full of tyranny and corruption and cronyism. Their economies stagnate; unemployment for men is between 20 - 30%; social services are meager or non-existent; education is dysfunctional at all levels; illiteracy still grips more than half the populations; and social advancement depends overwhelmingly on family background and clientele-networks.
Nor is that all. There's also the pervasive sense of humiliation and shame that tiny Israel, 6 million as opposed to 280 million Arabs --- some of them living in fabulously oil-rich countries --- has repeatedly defeated the numerous Arab armies, always in coalition, sent against them. These defeats cut to the core of the popular psyche and emotions of the Arab street everwhere. No surprise. As the first buggy article in this mini-series noted, traditionally --- for over a 1000 years --- Arabs were accustomed to seeing the truth of their faith and its spread tied up with military and political triumph and the resulting power and prestige . . . an attitude that goes back to the very origins of Islam and its quick conquest in the 7th and early 8th centuries of the Persian Empire, the Christian Middle East and North Africa, and Spain, Portugal, and southern Italy. Then came the reversals. For centuries now, it's been downhill all the way for Arab power and prestige . . . or for that matter, Islam in general after the Arabs were driven out of Southern Europe, the Tatars out of Russia, the defeat of the Mogul Empire in India by the British, and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and its disappearance by the end of WWI.
The immediate upshot
of all these setbacks, failures, and teeth-clenching sense of shame and resentment?
However they view it, the future for the mentally unhinged Arab masses and especially its unemployed university graduates looks bleak . . . no prospects of fundamental change on the horizon. It will remain bleak, for that matter, as long as despotic, corrupt regimes are in place, ruled by the secret police. The existing rulers and their family-clans and clientele cronies know this. They're hardly fools. Little wonder, with some variation at most, that all the 21 tyrannical Arab regimes have been only too happy to play on anti-Americanism and conspiratorial Jew-hatred for their own purposes, letting radical Islamist mouthpieces and agitators have access to their state-controlled, censored media . . . provided the bewildering frustrations of the masses are directed outward, onto these foreign devils as the cause of their home-grown misery. Otherwise, as we noted in the earlier buggy article, the secret-police and the military will ruthlessly crush any open defiance or criticisms of the existing despotic systems at home, fundamentalist or not --- the fate of fundamentalist terrorists in Algeria and Egypt and Syria who did challenge the existing order and were savagely destroyed in the process.
And the wider upshot
Invariably, in repetitive poll-parrot ways --- in a torrent of agit-prop idiocies on Arab TV and radio, in newspapers, in sermons in mosques, and all other forms of popular culture including gab-fests and rumor-mongering on the Arab street --- the new Trinity of Hatred is invoked in a pan-Arab manner as the causes of these home-grown failures and setback: America, Jews, and Globalization.
Even the Islamist attacks on the US on September 11th, 2001 were a Jewish-Israeli-CIA plot: virtually 2 out of 3 Arabs surveyed in a Gallup Poll months later refused to believe Muslims were at all involved. Four thousand Jews, after all, were warned by Israel not to show up that day at the World Trace Center. Ever since, the conspiratorial mania has grown by leaps and bounds. Even Pokeman
, the kid's game, was banned in Saudi Arabia as a Jewish plot to undermine traditional Wahhabi morality and family solidarity. Is there no end to Jewish sacrilege? Apparently not.
The latest outrage? The destruction of Saddamite Iraq and its occupation by the American military, the aim not to transform Iraq into a consensual government that respects human rights and ends all the threats to its neighbors, including its WMD programs. Only simpletons and dupes of cunning Jews would believe that. The Arab street and its agitating mouthpieces are too clever to be taken in. The aim is really to seize Iraqi oil, continue the war on terrorism against all of Islam, and make the Middle East and hence the world safe for Israel and world Jewry while continuing to hold back and humiliate the Arab peoples.
(vii.) As Brooks notes in one section,
"BOURGEOISOPHOBIA is really a hatred of success. It is a hatred held by people who feel they are spiritually superior but who find themselves economically, politically, and socially outranked. They conclude that the world is diseased, that it rewards the wrong values, the wrong people, and the wrong abilities. They become cynical if they are soft inside, violent if they are hard. In the bourgeoisophobe's mind, the people and nations that do succeed are not just slightly vulgar, not just over-compensated, not just undeservedly lucky. They are monsters, non-human beasts who, in extreme cases, can be blamelessly killed. This Manichaean divide between the successful, who are hideous, and the bourgeoisophobes, who are spiritually pristine, was established early in the emergence of the creed. The early 19th-century German poet Holderlin couldn't just ignore the merchant bourgeoisie; he had to declare the middle classes "deeply incapable of every divine emotion." In other words, scarcely human.
Holderlin's countryman Werner Sombart later wrote a quintessential bourgeoisophobe text called "Traders and Heroes," in which he argued that there are two basic human types: "The trader approaches life with the question, what can you give me? . . . The hero approaches life with the question what can I give you?" The trader, then, is the selfish capitalist who lives a meager, artificial life amidst "pocket-watches, newspapers, umbrellas, books, sewage disposal, politics." The hero is the total man, who is selfless, vital, spiritual, and free. An honest person might ascribe another's success to a superior work ethic, self-discipline, or luck--just being in the right place at the right time and possessing the right skills. A normal person might look at a rich and powerful country and try to locate the source of its vitality, to measure its human and natural resources, its freedom, its institutions and social norms. But for the bourgeoisophobe, other people's success is never legitimate or deserved. To him, success comes to those who worship the golden calf, the idol, the Satanic corrupter, gold.
When bourgeoisophobes describe their enemies, they almost always portray them as money-mad, as crazed commercialists. And this vulgar materialism, in their view, has not only corrupted the soul of the bourgeoisie, but through them threatens to debase civilization itself and the whole world. It threatens, in the words of the supreme bourgeoisophobe, Karl Marx, to take all that is holy and make it profane.
Some of the more pessimistic bourgeoisophobes come to believe that the worst is already at hand. "Our poor country lies in Roman decadence," the French conservative poet Arthur de Gobineau lamented in 1840. "We are without fiber or moral energy. I no longer believe in anything. . . . MONEY HAS KILLED EVERYTHING." (A great place to read bourgeoisophobe writing is Arthur Herman's "The Idea of Decline in Western History." Bourgeoisophobia is not Herman's theme, but his book does such a magnificent job of surveying two centuries of pessimistic thought that most of the key bourgeoisophobes are quoted.)
And once the bourgeoisophobes had experienced the basic spasm of reaction, they soon settled on the Americans and Jews as two of the chief objects of their ire. Because, as Henry Steele Commager once noted, no country in the world ever succeeded like America, and everybody knew it. And no people in the European experience ever achieved such sustained success as the Jews.
So the Jews were quickly established in the bourgeoisophobe imagination as the ultimate commercial people. They were the bankers, the traders, the soulless and sharp dealmakers who crawled through the cellars of honest and noble cultures and infected them with their habits and practices. The 19th-century Teutonic philosopher Houston Chamberlain said of the Jews that "their existence is a crime against the holy laws of life." The Jewish religion, he said, is "rigid," "scanty," and "sterile."
The American bourgeoisophobe family, the Adamses, contained more than its share of anti-Semites. Brooks Adams lamented that "England is as much governed by the Jews of Berlin, Paris and New York as the native growth." Adams compared the Jews to a vast syndicate and declared simply, "They control the world." Henry Adams protested against the interlocked power of "Wall Street, State Street and Jerusalem." Later, the English historian Arnold Toynbee argued that the Jews, with their "consummate virtuosity in commerce and finance," had infected Western civilization with a crass materialism. Through their arrogance and viciousness, they were responsible for capitalism, godless communism, and the Holocaust, and so had contributed to Europe's decline.
It's actually amazing how early America, too, was stereotyped as a money-grubbing commercial land and Americans a money-grubbing people. Francois La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, who traveled in the United States in the 1790s, declared, "The desire for riches is their ruling passion." In 1805, a British visitor observed, "All men there make [money] their pursuit." "Gain! Gain! Gain! Gain! Gain!" is how the English philosopher Morris Birbeck summarized the American spirit a few years later. In 1823 William Faux wrote that "two selfish gods, pleasure and gain, enslave the Americans." Fourteen years after that, the disillusioned Russian writer Mikhail Pogodin lamented, "America, on which our contemporaries have pinned their hopes for a time, has meanwhile clearly revealed the vices of her illegitimate birth. She is not a state, but rather a trading company."
THE ARGUMENT IS CONTINUED IN THE 4TH AND FINAL ARTICLE OF THIS 4 ARTICLE MINI-SERIES