Monday, May 06, 2013

The Oppressor Class

Phoebe Maltz nails it, discussing the creation of a late 19th century German colony established, in part, to keep good Aryans away from those meddlesome Jews:
Anti-Semites weren't - aren't - just people who think they're better than Jews. They're people who think they're being oppressed by Jews.
This is part of the reason why anti-Semitism so easily finds footing among certain branches of the far-left. To be sure, it's also why anti-Semitism finds footing among the far-right -- the right certainly has no trouble imagining untrustworthy aliens who threaten Our Way of Life. But the left's rhetoric of opposing "oppression" and "hierarchy" can easily incorporate anti-Semitic prejudices insofar as they buy into popular narratives of Jews and the quintessential oppressing class.

This also relates to some popular prescriptions of how Jews can end anti-Semitism (much like ending rape or ending racism, this is of course typically presented as the obligation of the victim rather than the perpetrator). Jews will cease being hated when they cease possessing power, whether it be social (control of Hollywood), political ("the Jewish lobby"), national (Israel), or what have you. See, for example, this piece of work (proof that finding yourself on a Google Book Search isn't always a happy day). A Jew who has the temerity to succeed (and in particular, succeed at persuading others) is a Jew who is playing to stereotype. A polity where Jews are successfully convincing non-Jews to adopt policies Jews find amenable is a polity that clearly, clearly, has been damaged or diseased in some way. How else could Jews possibly win but by dirty pool?

The corollary is that Jews have a normative obligation to be weak, to be at the sufferance of others. It is wrong for Jews to win, and it is extra wrong for Jews to win based on their own decisions and determinations (as opposed to being gifted a privilege by the benevolent majority). Jewish power is always taken to be Jewish oppression; hence, the bare fact that Jews sometimes are in a position where they don't have to answer to the Gentile world is itself an outrage. This is why so much of the "critical" (so to speak) assault on Jewish institutions focuses not on what they do, but the fact of their continued existence. That Jews have institutions which can make decisions which impact the world without -- gasp -- gentile permission; this is the anathema. The problem is when Jews are subjects -- actors who have the ability to influence the world around them. The solution is to make them subjects -- subjugated and controlled by others who know best.

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