J. L. Talmon, Israel Among The Nations, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1970.

Peter Myers, August 23, 2001; update April 9, 2010. My comments are shown {thus}.

Write to me at contact.html.

You are at http://mailstar.net/talmon.html.

Talmon was Professor of Modern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; his best-known book is The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy.

The word "Goyim" means Non-Jews, Gentiles, Pagans; but it is also translated "Nations".

Israel Among the Nations, then, is about Israel's mission to bring Light to the Pagans, and overcome their resistance - which is called Anti-Semitism.

As one who grew up Catholic, thinking of others (including Protestants) as "Pagans", it is stunning to find oneself considered "Pagan" by fundamentalist Christians; and equally stunning to find all Christians considered "Pagan" by fundamentalist Jews. Once one sees this, further recognitions follow: that Zoroastrianism, 2500 years ago in the First Persian Empire, was branding others "Pagan" in the same way. Islam, of course, does it too.

This is how J. L. Talmon is described in Who's Who in World Jewry, Pitman Publishing Co., New York 1972:

"TALMON, Jacob L, Isr, educator; b. Rypin. Pol, June 14, 1916; s. Abraham and Zipora (Lichtenstein); MA, Heb U, 1939, att Sorbonne, 1939 PhD, LSE, 1943; m. Irena Bugajer, Nov 23, 1961. Prof modern hist, Heb U; visiting f: St Catherine's Coll, Oxford; Inst for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1967-68, visiting prof, MIT, 1968-69, secy, Pal comm, asst secy fgn affairs comm, Bd of Dep of Brit Jews, 1944-47. Mem, The Isr Academy of Scis and Humanities. Author: The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, 1952; The Nature of Jewish History-Its Universal Significance, 1957; Political Messianism - The Romantic Phase, 1960; The Unique and The Universal, 1965; Romanticism and Revolt, 1967; Israel among the Nations, 1968. Recipient: Israel prize; grant, Rockefeller Found. Home: 41 Ramban St, Jerusalem, Isr. Office: Heb U, Jerusalem, Isr."

... the highest accolades. Now the quotes from Talmon's Israel Among the Nations:

{p. 1} It has for a long time been almost an axiom that The Revolution was the ally, some were even wont to say saviour of the Jews, and that the Jews were the natural standard-bearers of the revolution. Just now, however, only a quarter of a century after the apocalyptic confrontation between revolution and counter-revolution, in the course of which a third of the Jewish people were put to death by the latter as part of its crusade against the former, various upholders of revolution are adopting anti-Jewish attitudes {ed. - a reference to Stalin & his successors refusing to accept the Jewish domination characteristic of the early USSR}, and yet Jews continue to be taking an active and often leading part in the revolutionary wave of today; although also their social-economic situation should on the face of it be drawing them away from revolution rather than driving them to it. These developments are a sufficient justification for attempting another look at the now nearly two centuries old association between Jews and revolution, or on a wider canvas - at the problem of Jews between revolution and counter-revolution. This is not a subject that can easily be treated with lofty detachment. It is indeed like a foundling, a waif, an abandoned child. No one is willing to claim it for its own sake. Those who should be most interested, revolutionaries of Jewish extraction, or revolutionaries in general, tend to deny the very legitimacy of the juxtaposition, 'Jews and revolution'. It is, they argue, men, classes, peoples who rise in revolt against oppression, that many revolutionaries have

{p. 2} been of Jewish ancestry is quite irrelevant and the very desire to see it as relevant arises out of a sinister intention to discredit the cause of revolution itself

Then there are those Jews who are unable to ignore the intimate relation between Jews and revolution, but wish they had never heard of it. They too sense mischievous designs in the raising of the issue, and they respond by nervously disclaiming any connection with their distant kinsmen gone astray.

There are Jews, nationalists, usually, who like to dwell on the subject, but only as a cautionary tale. How fatuous, vain and perilous it is to wander into alien vineyards: 'Back to your tents, oh children of Jacob.' This has become also the attitude of the survivors of those groups in Jewry which in the past desired to combine revolutionary commitment with a sustained endeavour to assert some form of national Jewish identity. They feel now utterly rejected, almost a reproach unto themselves. It is indeed a charged, infinitely sensitive, not to say explosive subject, while being at the same time maddeningly vague and elusive, with no definite structure.

{p. 3} By revolution, I mean the process of change which has been in permanent motion first in the Western world, and now throughout the whole planet, since the French and the Industrial revolutions converged two centuries ago. ...

The bourgeoisie - we read in The Communist Manifesto - cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them all the relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted distrubance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones.

{so class war, rather than an essential feature of civilized society as Marx claimed, is specifically a feature of the capitalist i.e. Free Trade economy which Marx himself promoted as a means to achieve Communist Revolution: classwar.html}

{p. 9} But as the nineteenth century moved to a close, the varying sentiments of resistance to revolutionary universalism began to show signs of developing into an ideology. Gradually the forces involved coalesced into a confraternity of the counter-revolution, acquiring in the process a new dynamism and a mass following. In this encounter between revolution and counter-revolution the Jewish factor played an incalculable part. The role of Jews as agent, irritant, actor, test case and victim of that mighty clash is the subject of these reflections.

No other group betokened more strikingly the fact of change. With the exception of the ultra-orthodox, desperately fearful of change of any kind, Jews everywhere looked upon the French Revolution as a date comparable to the exodus from Egypt, and to the issuing of the Law from Mount Sinai, this time not to the Jews alone, but to all the nations. France of the Revolution became to them a second country, to more exalted believers in the superiority of the spirit over matter, their sole spiritual fatherland, just as the Soviet Union was to millions of Communists throughout the world just a short while ago. Indeed, as late as 1939, and only one year before the anti-Jewish laws were issued by the Vichy Government, the Chief Rabbi of France celebrated the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of that great deliverance in precisely such dithyrambic language.

The revolution brought the Jews out of the ghetto into the forum. They had never been seen there before. It was not

{p. 10} unnatural for the casualties of the revolution to view the Jews as among its main beneficiaries, profiting from the misfortunes of the losers. In the deliberations in the French National Assembly on Jewish emancipation in I789, some clerical right-wingers from Alsace raised the spectre of an imminent Jewish take-over of all Christian property in that most Jewish province of France: 'Within one month they will own half of the land of the province; within six years all of it.' In 1790 Edmund Burke called the Jews birds of prey hovering over the spoils of Church property nationalised by the revolution in France. From seeing the Jew as the beneficiary the counter-revolutionary losers soon moved to ascribe to him the authorship of the undesirable things. At the turn of the century German Romantics and reactionaries would dub the theories of natural law, human rights and popular sovereignty as a Jewish import from France. At the end of the nineteenth century Charles Maurras proclaimed the same teachings a Jewish import from Germany. In both cases the accusation was that these doctrines were part of a plot to break the natural resistance ofthe body politic to the Jewish invasion of the national culture and society, and of a godless resolve to destroy the Christian State.

From Burke and Bonald onward, spokesmen of the counter-revolution kept saying that they knew Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, for that matter a member of a dass, group or locality, but had never met a man. No wonder that abstract international finance, commodity economy, mass production, standardised procedures, free trade, liberal values, not to speak of Socialist internationalism - all a-national or even anti-national - appeared in the eyes of the counter-revolution to be 'Jewish phenomena'. ...

There were hardly any Jews among the first great inventors and the early captains of industry on the Continent. But

{p. 11} there were the Rothschilds, spread across Europe, in Frankfurt, London, Paris, Vienna and Naples. They captured the imagination of Europe, to the point of putting all Gentile banking houses of Europe into the shade, while making the Jewish bankers everywhere appear as Rothschild agencies. And they specialised in as it were invisible, yet immensely powerful things, and no government could carry on, it was believed, without loans from them. ... it was the Jewish Saint-Simonists who were among the most fervent apostles of railway building, as incidentally also a means of uniting Europe and in due course the world, for that peaceful industrial endeavour which was sure to exorcise the spectre of war from our planet for ever. It was no accident that Jews were the founders of the first international telegraphic news agencies and very prominent in building up the European press. In brief, they conformed beautifully to the classical image of the hinges and pegs in the European economy and polity. ... And, as said, credence was added to this image by the conspicuousness of

{p. 12} the Jews in the central arteries of the body politic and the most sensitive foci of the economy.

On the identification of capitalism with Jews there was the curious, and prima facie paradoxical agreement between counter-revolutionary writers who hated capitalism as a materialist solvent of old traditions and national peculiarity on the one hand, and Socialist revolutionaries who condemned it as a system of social oppression and human alienation on the other.

Tocqueville expresses in an elegant way the same idea which Marx was hammering out in a ponderously Hegelian and arrestingly aphoristic language: the bourgeois-liberal state had abolished all privileges and all inequalities of birth, race and creed, but failed to touch property, proclaiming economic inequality irrelevant from the legal and political points of view. It had thereby given property free rein and in fact turned it into the dominant factor. In an unrecognised, almost illegal manner, money was made into the sole and supreme privilege in a society where birth, religion, tradition had become entirely subordinated to the supremely real cash nexus. But whereas Tocqueville was not concerned with the Jews at all, partly because of his utter abhorrence of racism, as illustrated in his correspondence with Count Gobineau, Marx spells out the anti-Semitism argument fully. 'What is the secular basis of Judaism?', asks Marx. 'Practical need, self-interest. What is the wordly cult of the Jew? Bargaining ... Money has become a world power, and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit ofthe Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves in so far as the Christians have become Jews.' Judaism has attained 'universal dominion' by connecting 'externalised man and nature into alienable and saleable objects subservient to egoistic need, dependent on bargaining'.

The very fact that the Jews had not yet gained equal rights underscored and indeed epitomised the great lie at the bottom of the liberal-bourgeois regime: the credibility gap between the official, seemingly popularly elected political rulers and the hidden holders of real power. Alluding to the Rothschilds, Bruno Bauer says: 'The Jew who is only tolerated in Vienna, for example,

{p. 13} determines the fate of the whole Empire through his financial power. The Jew who may be without rights in the smallest German state decides the destiny of Europe. While corporations and guilds exclude the Jew or are unfavourable to him, audacity in industry mocks the obstinacy of these medieval institutions.' It was a favourite argument with the early Socialists that capitalism had in fact re-established a kind of neo-feudalism, while it took great pride in having abolished its venerable predecessor. Inherited privilege and all special legal status had been abolished, but surely capitalism was bound to perpetuate the distinction between the haves and have-nots. Inherited wealth will face inherited poverty, for as the former will become more consolidated, it will become much more diffilcult for those plunged in the latter to come out of their penury. And so the Jews were destined to become the feudal lords of the modern world - Toussenel's 'industrial-financial feudalism' .

We are thus faced with a sriking paradox: to the conservatives the Jews are the symbol, beneficiary, finally the maker of the capitalist revolution which was in their eyes a kind of preparation for the Socialist revolution; to the Socialists - the embodiment and pillar of that capitalism, which the revolution was rising to destroy.

And yet it would be a great mistake to tar all the Socialists with the same brush and proclaim tham all anti-Semites. While Fourier, Toussenel, Proudhon, Pierre Leroux and Bakunin loathed the Jews, Saint-Simon and his disciples were emphatically philo-Semitic, whereas Marxism was in spite of Marx's spleen against his own race fundamentally not anti-Semitic. The line of demarcation in this was the approval or disapproval of change, indeed one may say of the modern world, and also the presence or absence of direct Jewish inspiration, which in most cases meant the same.

While the Saint-Simonists, and in a somewhat ambivalent

{p. 14} form Marx himself, saw in capitalism, notwithstanding its evils, a necessary prelude to socialism, a station on the winding way to a Messianic denouement, a moment in the dialectic of history, the anti-Semitic Socialists regarded the emergence of industrial capitalism as an event comparable to the original Fall of Man. Whereas the former wanted to hasten the process of industrialisation, the latter would have liked to dismantle industrial society altogether. The former take a universal view of change, thrill at innovation and love bigness. The latter feel their integrity and identity threatened. It is no accident that Jews and Jewish inspiration were so prominent in Saint-Simonism and Marxism, and that the opponent of these two movements came to be motivated by such fierce hatred of the Jews.

Under the influence of his Jewish disciples, the wealthy Rodriguez brothers and their cousins, the Pereira brothers, who took care of him in his old age, and in fact played an apostolic role in his movement - that first Socialist movement in Europe - Saint-Simon quite explicitly links his vision of the future to the Messianic hopes of Judaism.

{quote} The people of God - writes St Simon - that people which received revelations before the coming of Christ, that people which is the most universally spread over the surface of the earth, has always perceived that the Christian doctrine founded by the Fathers of the Church was incomplete. It has always proclaimed that a grand epoch will come, which has been given the name of Messiah's Kingdom; an epoch in which religious doctrine shall be presented in all the generality of which it is susceptible, and shall regulate alike the action of the temporal and of the spiritual power. All the human race will then have but one religion and one organisation: the Golden Age was not behind us, it was before us! {endquote}

In the vindication of capitalism as a necessary and beneficial phase in history, the Saint-Simonists went so far as to glorify the role of bankers as unwitting planners of the national economy through granting or withholding credit. Indeed Jewish usury, the butt of infinite contempt and moral indignation, was rehabilitated by them in a rather quaint manner. By lending money to the idle parasitic feudals, and by squeezing them dry, the Jewish usurers

{p. 15} were instrumental in passing on unproductive money, which would otherwise have been squandered by spendthrifts, into the hands of the productive elements, bourgeois entrepreneurs, and in hastening thus the capitalist development which was the necessary prelude to Socialism. And we have read Marx's hymns on the glorious achievements of capitalism on the way to Socialism.

The anti-Semitic Socialist theoreticians and prophets were united in a basic disapproval and fear of a world tossed about by incessant change and moving constantly in the direction of abstract universalism. Fourier, Proudhon, and Bakunin stand in horror before the anonymity of industrial society and the centralisation it entails. They look back, as said before, to the lost innocence of pre-capitalist society or to some pristine state of nature. They extol the virtues of independent craftsmen and peasants and glorify the instinctive nobility of the unsophisticated, primitive rebel. They dream of small communities, anarchistic groups held together by mutual aid. They look forward to a utopian world of 'pure justice', to the abolition of all authority and to the release of the passions. They loathe credit, exchange, the market mechanism, modern communications, the international press: all embodied for them in the Jew, the ghostly hand which holds the disparate parts together, and manipulates the figures on the chess-board. Thus Toussenel:

{quote} The Jew is by temperament an anti-producer, neither a farmer, nor an industrialist, not even a true merchant. He is an intermediary, always fraudulent and parasitic, who operates in trade as in philosophy, by means of falsification, counterfeiting [and] horse-trading. He knows but the rise and fall of prices, the risks of transportation, the incertitudes of crops, the hazards of demand and supply. His policy in economics has always been entirely negative, entirely usurious. It is the evil principle, Satan, Ahriman incarnated in the race of Shem, which has already been twice exterminated by the Greeks and by the Romans, the first time at Tyre, the second time at Carthage; the cosmopolitan Jew ... Europe is entailed to the domination of Israel. This universal domination, of which so many conquerors have dreamed, the Jews have in their hands. {endquote}

{p. 16} At another point it is Proudhon and Bakunin who meet and sharply diverge from Saint-Simonism and Marxism. The two latter philosophies shared with the former the vision of a reborn man with a new morality, but their postulate was grounded upon faith in the power of social conditions, educational influences, and reason to engender that change. The man of the future was man per se, neither Jew, nor Greek, nor Gentile {an allusion to Paul's Epistle to the Galations, 3:28: neither.html}, nor was he envisaged as being in any way helped or hampered by his ancestry, blood, race or nationality. Not so with Proudhon, who was enamoured of the peasants and artisans of France and who loathed all foreigners; not so with Bakunin, to whom the authentic revolutionary was not a man who reasoned and planned, but a creature of instinct and of an existential situation: so he successively looked for salvation to the unspoilt spontaneous Slavs, the rebellious Russian peasants of Pugatchev and Stienka Razin, the primitive bandits, finally the declasse outcasts of all kinds, including criminals whose passion for destruction - the necessary condition for total reconstruction - was not hampered by any possessions or vested interests. For both Proudhon and Bakunin it was a short step from populism to racism, to the hatred of whole racial or national groups in defiance of the universality of the Socialist ideal. Bakunin could thus describe the Jews as 'an exploiting sect, a blood-sucking people, a unique, devouring parasite tightly and intimately organised ... cutting across all the differences in political opinion'. But no one could have gone further in this than Proudhon:

{quote} Jews - Write an article against this race which poisons everything, by meddling everywhere without ever joining itself to another people. - Demand their expulsion from France, with the exception of individuals married to Frenchwomen - Abolish the synagogues; don't

{p. 17} admit them to any kind of employment, pursue finally the abolition of this cult. It is not for nothing that the Christians called them deicides. The Jew is the enemy of the human race. {endquote}

This leads us to try to elicit the Jewish ingredient of the religion of revolution in contrast to the anti-Semitic strand in it, or at least as distinct from the non-Jewish elements in the revolutionary movement.

{p. 17} Is it possible to detect significantly distinct, or at least especially accentuated characteristics in the Jewish revolutionaries in the early pre-1848 days of capitalism (and Socialism)? I believe that there is reason to speak of a certain common denominator linking the Jewish Saint-Simonists - among the first Socialists in France, Moses Hess - the first Communist (at a later date Zionist) in Germany, the two leading Socialists of Europe, Karl Marx and Ferdinand Lassalle, and many lesser Jewish figures in the camp of revolution.

To be sure, it was not the Jews who created that particular climate of Messianic revolutionary expectation and preparation which it takes today some effort of imagination to conjure up. Babeuf, Buonarotti, Blanqui, Barbes, Mazzini, Harney, Mieroslavski - none of them and hardly any of their immediate followers were Jews. But it was the Jews who experienced and articulated that state of mind with peculiar intensity and their restless zeal spilled over into effective organisational activity.

No other group, not even the uprooted villagers who flocked into the rapidly growing industrial centres, underwent a more

{p. 18} thorough break with their former mode of existence than Jews, almost suddenly cut off from their ancestral faith, unique style of life, communal cohesion and isolation, and pariah status. Nothing existing could any longer be taken for granted. Everything seemed provisional, a preparation for the real thing to come. Ready as it were to absorb all these complex feelings of malaise, expectation, hope and zeal was the ancient Messianic disposition.

Having abandoned their own extremely compact tradition, but not really or fully admitted to any other living tradition, and indeed unable to respond to the myths and symbols of the surrounding nation or to share fully the life of the working classes, it was only to be expected that those alienated Jews who could not bring themselves to submit to Baptism would seek an anchor in the dream of a mankind one and undivided, in Marx's human essence, where there would be no distinction between Jews, Greek and Gentile {another allusion to Paul's Epistle to the Galations, 3:28: neither.html}, eventually not even between worker and intellectual, where all things were made for all men, and where only the personal qualities of mind and heart and individual merit mattered.

{quote} All life, - writes young Hess - every aspiration is bound to end in frustration, so long as the aristocratic poison flows through all the arteries of society. I do not mean only the aristocracy of blood, nor solely the aristocracy of money. I mean every type of rule which is not based upon personal merit, but derives from blind chance, privilege of birth. In brief, I mean every so-called historic right. {endquote}

The early Jewish revolutionaries dream of a new religion, a religion of mankind the essence of which would be a new social gospel. It is curious to see them, all the same, employing Christian imagery and ideas to express their universalist longings, and dwelling on the superiority of the universal message of Christ over the tribal exclusiveness of Judaism. Otherwise they dream of a new Christianity without dogmas. 'So long as it [Christianity]' writes young Hess - 'has not yet become the truly universal religion ... true entirely and solely to its Founder, striving for the salvation of man in the fullest and most human sense, will the Jew be unable to espouse it'. Eugene Rodriguez, who died at the age

{p. 19} of twenty-three, consumed by a Messianic fervour which his ailing body could not contain, translated Lessing's 'Letters on the Enlightenment of Humanity' into French, and prefaced them with a lengthy statement in which he pleaded in exalted language for a religion of mankind which would synthesize the best contained in all existing religions and turn the progressive endeavour of mankind into an act of religious self-expression. We have the striking confession from his older brother Olinde, the St Paul of Saint-Simon:

{quote} The crisis of reorganisation in politics and morality commences with me, through Saint-Simon, whose heir I am by virtue of function. ... From the day when Saint-Simon met the man who ... understood the sciences, was sensitive to the fine arts and practised industry, the man who carried in him by blood the tradition of Moses, by disinterestedness that of Christ; from the day when that man, who ... had learned from contact with industrialists and scientists the secret of their force and the weakness of their morality; from the day when that man, burning to his innermost with the living flame of Saint-Simon, felt himself penetrated by a new life, and recognised in Saint-Simon ... a new father; from that day was born the association of the universal family; from that day there became possible the reunion of Jews and Christians in the bosom of a new Christianity, a universal religion. {endquote}

One could quote many cases of an ardent young Jew suddenly smitten by a revelation and enabled to make the decisive leap. He feels suddenly reborn; he has discovered the real truth; he has found an anchor, a cause to live for; such was the case of Olinde Rodriguez, Marx himself, of Lassalle, and so many others; often men who had previously thought of dedicating themselves to their own suffering people, half in love for and half in contempt of them.

The most distinct and most effective 'Jewish' feature of the early Messianic Jewish revolutionaries was, however, I think, their inability to comprehend, and consequently their unwillingness to accept the fundamental Christian dogma of original sin - the idea of the eternal and inescapable dichotomy between the knowledge of what was good and the impotence to do it, between what should be and what is, between theory and practice, the world of

{p. 20} pure ideas and defective reality, private and social morality, politics and ethics, faith and works, heaven and earth, spirit and matter - as the essential human condition. No genuine revolutionary experience is in the last analysis possible as long as that fatalistic attitude persists.

The Jewish disciples of Saint-Simon, the Rodriguez brothers and the Pereira brothers, as well as the convert Gustav d'Eichthal, voice the sense of their ancestral prophetic mission to dedicate themselves to the work of bridging the gap between theory and practice. Their rational society was to be based upon the precise determinations of modern technology, and guided by technocrats filled with overflowing love and prophetic premonitions. The Gentile Saint-Simonists have visions of the Jewess from the East announcing the Messianic tidings by undoing the evil deed of Eve, and cancelling the effects of the original sin which had made man, devoured by concupiscence, impotent to secure his own salvation, and ensnared him in that terrible contradiction of 'I know the good, and cannot help doing evil', and then erected barriers of hatred between men, classes, religions and nations.

'Because I not only know' - writes Hess in a letter to Herzen 'what I want, but also want what I know - I am more of an apostle than of a philosopher' - 'the social revolution is my religion'. Without a philosophy, man - says Hess in another place often comes to doubt the supreme truth, God, virtue, morality and liberty. But knowledge alone is not enough to give one bliss. Only the identity of thought and action can give it. {This is the Marxist concept of Praxis} It was from Hess and the Pole Cieszkowski that Marx drew the inspiration for his famous device that it was not enough to understand and criticise reality, it was imperative - and possible - to change it. There was no ideal history beyond concrete history, and no transcendental meaning above the concrete logic of social development. But Marx escapes the danger of relativism - one phase as necessary as the other, one ruling class as justified in its own day as its successor next day - by the vision of the proletariat carrying the burdens, afflicted with the evils of all classes - dialectically evolving into free and pure humanity, acting as the heart of philosophy.

The relentlessly universal nature of the Messianic vision and the

{p. 21} strenuous conviction of the inevitability of its fulfilment are at the bottom of Marx's fierce condemnation of and indeed denial of any raison d'etre to the pastoral, pig-raising and pig-headed little tribal Slav nations, and for that matter Denmark in 1848. Through their particularistic aspirations and alliance with feudal reaction they were impeding the march of world revolution which was carried by the great and advanced nations, like the Germans. This basic attitude will, at a later date, cause Marx to approve and extol the work of British imperialism in fighting superstition and fatalistic lethargy in India, forcing upon it industrialisation and thus bringing the great continent nearer to revolution. ...

The great wave of revolutions in 1848, spreading with lightning speed from capital to capital, almost from town to town across Europe, was greeted by very many Jews as proof that all nations were about to enter into a revolutionary world association. {i.e. World Government, i.e. the messianic age}

Not only the democratic and Socialist aspirations, but even the national liberation movements bore at least in the early phase a distinctly universalist character. So great was the enthusiasm of the Jews that they were prepared to overlook the anti-Jewish excesses or gloss them over as tokens of too great an exuberance, misguided expressions of social resentment, marginal episodes, unavoidable accidents or counter-revolutionary provocations, or 'birth pangs, which bring redemption to our world'; and even to proclaim that the victory of universal brotherhood had put 'an end to any distinct Jewish history', 'for liberty, like love, is cosmopolitan, wandering from people to people'.

There was hardly a revolution - that year of revolutions - in which Jews were not prominent or at least very active.

{p. 22} In France, where there was no Jewish proletariat and where Jews except for the Jewish Saint-Simonists, were generally no further to the Left than bourgeois republicanism, Adolphe Cremieux and Goudchaux joined the government of the Republic as mild liberal Republicans. In Germany, where the Jews were more numerous, of a lesser social status, and less a part of the general society than across the Rhine, we find a much greater proportion of Jews in the Radical Left. Karl Marx is the editor of the extreme Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Jacoby is the spokesman of radical democracy, who will dare to castigate Friedrich Wilhelm IV to his face for refusing to listen to the truth, Stephen Born emerges as the first organiser of trade-unionism in Germany, Gottschalk heads the Communist demonstrations in the Rhineland. Dr Fischhof is the leader of the Vienna students who raise the standard of revolt in the Danubian capital. Daniel Manin plays an immortal role in the defence of revolutionary Venice against the Austrians.

Although it would be a wild exaggeration to depict the wave of revolutions as led by Jews or as a result of a Jewish plot, it was possible for King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia to charge 'the circumcised' for having brought 'that shame upon Germany', and for a Catholic journal in Vienna to speak of the 'most intense pain experienced by those who saw ... the Jew Fischhof marching as head of the Committee of Public Safety just behind the canopy under which the Crucifix was carried, holding a candle, like formerly His Imperial Majesty the Apostolic King, and to ask 'was it an accident or was there in it a symbol pregnant with significance?' Affirmative answers to this question were given by some contemporary Jews.

We have two astonishingly similar comments on the role of the Jews in the revolution from two eminent Jews standing at opposite poles of the political spectrum. One comes from Benjamin Disraeli in his Life of Lord George Bentinck, published in 1852, and the other from the German-Jewish Socialist J. L. Bernays in the

{p. 23} New York German-Jewish journal Israels Herold in 1849. Disraeli had set out to prove the superiority of the Jewish race. 'The degradation of the Jewish race is alone a striking evidence of its excellence, for none but one of the great races could have survived the trials which it has endured.' There was indeed no other race 'that so much delights, and fascinates, and elevates, and ennobles Europe, as the Jewish ... the most admirable artists of the drama ... the most entrancing singers, graceful dancers, and exquisite musicians [including incidentally Mozart - J.L.T.] are sons and daughters of Israel' ...

{p. 24} {quote} Had it not been for the Jews ... imbecile as were the governments, the uncalled-for outbreak would not have ravaged Europe. But the fiery energy and the teeming resources of the Children of Israel maintained for a long time the unnecessary and useless struggle ... everywhere the Jewish element. ... And all this because they wish to destroy that ungrateful Christendom which owes to them even its name, and whose tyranny they can no longer endure. {endquote}

By contrast, 'the great transatlantic republic is intensely semitic and has prospered accordingly' - Disraeli seems to re-echo an observation of Marx, but one made in an entirely different spirit.

Bernays gives a similar evaluation of 'the Jewish element in the latest European movement', but in a spirit that he himself recognises 'will be considered by a large part of the readers as highly dangerous', namely that of joyous triumph, instead of the anxious regret of Disraeli. Bernays is soaked in young Hegelian modes of thought, and often employs the same terms as Marx, only to reach the opposite conclusion. Both were agreed that the surest way of destroying political and social oppression was through the destruction of the faith in and respect for God and all religious authority - the fountain-head of all systems of oppression and alienation which the Gentile leftist Hegelians like Feuerbach, Fr. D. Strauss, Rugge, and Bauer brothers actually set out to do. The Jews - Bernays claims - have succeeded in 'galvanising the raw mob' against Pope, bishops, kings and princes, feudal potentates and plutocrats. They 'laid bare the human essence buried under the thick crust of intolerance', and 'in the face of human worth, ... there comes an end to priest and Rabbi'. In order to obtain their emancipation, the Jews had first to destroy the Christian essence of the state, the 'Christian State'. 'They criticised Christianity with great dialectical skill and with no pity', and by becoming 'in the process atheists, radicals, they became truly free men, with no prejudices'. And once they had shown that the Christian religion was nothing but a myth, 'the work was accomplished'.

More than that, the Jews 'have rescued men from the narrow idea of an exclusive fatherland, from patriotism. ... The Jew is not only an atheist, but a cosmopolitan, and he has turned men into

{p. 25} atheists and cosmopolitans; he has made man only a free citizen of the world.' Almost consciously contradicting Marx's famous dictum on the emancipation of mankind through its emancipation from Judaism, and of the Jews from Judaism, Bernays triumphantly proclaims: 'In their struggle for emancipation the Jews have emancipated the European States from Christianity'. In other words it is not the Christians who gave emancipation to the Jews, the Jews enabled the Christians to obtain their own emancipation. 'The Jews took their revenge upon the hostile world in an entirely new manner ... by liberating men from all religion, from all patriotic sentiment ... from everything that reminded them of race, place of origin, dogma and faith. Men emancipated themselves that way, and the Jew emancipated them, and the Jew became free with them ... They achieved the incredible, and historians of the people will in the future recognise their merit willingly and justly.' It was not their religion or racial qualities that enabled theJ ews to accomplish all this. It was their existential situation, their fate: 'Only as the result of a general emancipatory effort could they become free themselves.' The Jews succeeded in forging for themselves some mighty levers of power to help them in their work: 'the power of mobile property represented by the Rothschilds'; the psychological, spiritually therapeutic influence of Jewish doctors whose very existence and sought-after activity defied religious taboos and differences of religion, race and tradition; and above all the press, 'which fell everywhere in Europe into Jewish hands'. And when the revolution broke out, the Jews were everywhere in the forefront. After all, Christendom had now become atheistic and cosmopolitan, the Jews might as well leave the stage as a separate people. Their mission had been fulfilled. In a Hegelian manner the highest assertion of their particularity marks their disappearance within universality.

Bernays concludes with a prophecy, which he finds himself 'unable to suppress'. There will be more waves of anti-Jewish persecution. Attacks on the Jewish religion and the Jewish nationality will be turned into an assault upon radicalism and free thought. 'Stand firm, Jews, bear that blow too, because it will be the last ! He who will dare to attack the man in the Jew, will

{p. 26} bring upon himself all mankind; and that this should not take its terrible revengc one day, of such a thing there is no example in history.'

Bernays and the Jews in general, so eager in that year of universal brotherhood to renounce their corporate identity, in some cases even their religious separateness, entirely misread the real significance of the revolutionary upheaval. The victor in that revolution proved to be not universalism, but nationalism of the exclusive type {symbolised by Emperor Napoleon III, target of Maurice Joly's Dialogues}; not abstract idealism, but historic continuity; not rationalism, but the powers of instinct; not the idea of concord, but the fact of force. The Jews became the test case and whipping-block, when the victory of these counter-revolutionary forces had time to work itself out.

In the meantime, some fifteen years after the debacle of the revolutionary hopes in 1848, two Jews emerged as the acknowledged leaders of the revolution. German workers made their appeal to the Jewish litterateur Lassalle to become their chief and in response the young dictatorial leader launched his terrific campaign, which was cut short by his death in an absurd duel, and Karl Marx became the head of the First International.

At that very time the problem of Jews and revolution began to assume truly vital significance in the Empire of the Tsars. All comprehensive bondage on the one hand and the Messianic disposition of the Russian people on the other fed here the vision of total redemption through total revolution; that yearning could not but affect most deeply young Jewish men and women, straining to enter the great strcam of humanity, but hemmed in on all sides by sustained and deliberately humiliating oppression. We know of at least one Jew, actually a convert by the name of Peretz, who was involved with the gentry and officers who led the Decembrist rebellion of 1825. We then hear of a Jewish revolutionary by the name of Dr Robert Feinberg who was deported back into Russia from Prussia for his participation in the

{p. 27} events in Bcrlin to be sent to Siberia and die there insane in 1860, after having been exempted from amnesty. In the fifties we hear of two doctors, Benjamin Portugalov and Lev Zelensky, who, especially the former, became popular figures as 'physicians humanists' and defenders of Jewish honour, though adversaries of traditional religion. It was only in the eighteen-sixties or rather seventies that the Tsarist authorities woke up to the fact of Jewish prominence in the revolutionary underground. There occurs then a striking shift in the anti-Jewish argumentation - the charge of clannish self-centredness and superstitious backwardness gives way to the accusation of rebelliousness and nihilism. The change reflects far-reaching transformations in Jewish life in Russia. In the earlier decades the few Jews who made good by amassing vast fortunes or - less often - entering the ranks of the professions, professed deep loyalty to the state as their benefactor. Not unlike the Sephardi notables in the early French Revolution, they drew a line between themselves, enlightened and fully mature for emancipation, and their unfortunate brethren, steeped still in the dark Talmudic past. There was a kind of war between the Jewish 'progressives' and the Jewish masses which refused to be 'reeducated'. The pro-Government official leadership often stooped to collaborating with the police in rounding up poor Jewish boys in their early teens for forced military service, while in their despair the orthodox elements did not shrink from acts of rebellion. The liberal reforms in the early reign of Alexander II opened the gates of secondary schools and the universities to thousands of the Jewish youth, among them sons and daughters of poor parents of the Pale, and also enabled students of the Rabbinical seminars to obtain a university education. And so, by way of polarisation there emerges a whole class of immensely rich and influential Jewish entrepreneurs and bankers, to whom we should perhaps also add those converts who reached the highest positions in government service and in the academic world, but retained close ties with the Jewish community, on the one side, and revolutionary extremists, especially among the Jewish students, on the other. But it would be a mistake to lump all the latter together into the one category of frustrated educated plebians. Besides the wretchedly

{p. 28} poor Paul Axelrod, who was later to make his living in Switzerland as a milkman, we have Michail Gotz, a member of the multi-millionaire tea magnates family Wysotzki, besides the cobbler Hirsch Leckert, the famous assassin of the Governor of Vilna, there is the grand bourgeois Marc Natanson, and while Trotsky came from a farmer family with not much education, Jewish or general, Ossip Minor, the SR leader, was the son of the distinguished Chief Rabbi of Moscow (deported for 'arrogantly' trying to build an elegant synagogue in a posh Moscow district), and the Menshevik leader, Martov, the grandson of the leading Jewish publicist Zederbaum.

Jewish participation in the revolutionary movement in the seventies was the excuse for both the 1881 pogroms and the new draconian repressive legislation against the Jews, which only served to drive many more Jews into revolutionary activity - another case of the vicious circle, so permanent a feature of Jewish existence.

A secret police survey for the years 1873-7 speaks of 67 Jews out of the 1054 defendants tried in courts for revolutionary activity, which means 6 per cent, and another report of 103 Jews tried for political offences in the Vilna district alone in the years 1875-90. Among those sentenced for taking part in the famous demonstration on the Kazan Square in January 1877 there were 5 or 6 Jews out of 21 detained and tried. The proportion of Jews among the Narodnaya Volia defendants in the years 1880-90 rose to 17 per cent, and of the 54 prominent terrorists sentenced in that period 22 were Jews. In the years 1884-90, out of 4307 serving prison sentences for political offences 579 were Jews. In his famous interview with the Tsarist Minister Witte, Herzl was faced with the question why the Jews who constituted only 3 per cent of the population of Russia supplied 50 per cent of its revolutionaries. In an ill-tempered note jotted down at the time of the famous Second Congress of the Social-Democratic Party in Brussels and London, which saw the split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, Lenin refers to the fact that a third of all the delegates were Jews.

But absolute figures do not tell the whole story. The qualitative aspects were more significant. Through their concentration in the

{p. 29} two capitals of Russia, in the other large cities, and in the more advanced Western provinces, likew Vilna, Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, not to speak of Warsaw and other purely Polish cities, the Jews were able to play a role out of all proportion to their numbers. And if for reasons to be soon adduced there were no Jews among the leading theoreticians and terrorists in the Narodnaya Volia phase of the Russian revolutionary movement, they were extremely important and fulfilled the role of pioneering leadership as far as organisation is concerned; in setting up organised groups, in obtaining the finances, in the creation of printing shops and the distribution of illegal literature, in smuggling men, arms and literature through the borders, in initiating periodic publications, and above all in maintaining contacts between the centre and the periphery within and outside Russia.

Mark Natanson was the real founder and Semion Klatchko, Tchudnovski and Axelrod were the leaders in Moscow, Odessa and Kiev of the Czaikovski circle. Four of the twenty-five members of the Grand Council of 'Zemlya i Volia' were Jews and upon the famous 'Ispolinitelin' Committee of the Narodnaya Volia in 1879 there were three Jews out of twenty-eight: the famous Aron Zundelewich, Grigori Goldenberg, Saveli Zlotopolsky. The first two took part in the consultation (of six) which authorised the famous (abortive) attempt of Soloviev on Alexander II, and Goldenberg had a month earlier shot the Governor-General of Kharkov. Jews were prominent among the leading Bakuninists in Russia itself, notwithstanding the leader's bitter anti-Semitism; it is enough to mention the first Jewish woman revolutionary, Anna Rosenstein-Makarewitch, Moisei Rabinowitch and Lev Deich, who was destined to become a legendary figure, the elusive and ubiquitous Flying Dutchman of the Russian revolutionary underground.

The first Jew to be hanged for terrorist activity was the shoemaker, later railway worker, finally mechanic, Aharon Gobet, the son of a poor artisan, who at the age of eleven was forcibly drafted into the Tsarist Army and served in it for thirteen ycars, coming out of it a non-commissioned officer, hard as steel, with intimate knowledge of Russian life, looking also a typical Russian ...

{p. 50} Georges Sorel says somewhere that the eighteenth century came to an end only in 1848. The first half of the nineteenth century continued to believe in the goodness of man, indulged in spinning utopias to secure the happiness of mankind.

{p. 51} The man who epitomised this change more than any other person was Richard Wagner ... Wagner fought in 1848 on the barricades of Dresden alongside the knight errant of world revolution, Michael Bakunin.

{p. 54} For decades the petite bourgeoisie had been told that its demise was near. In comparison with the proletariat, which had developed a sense of purpose, indeed a buoyant conviction that the earth belonged to it, as well as strong organisational cohesion, the lower middle class lacked a sense of mission. Despised both by the upper and educated classes and by the workers, it responded with its own version of nationalism - the claim that it was the real nation as against the selfishly privileged upper classes and the Socialist workers with their internationalist ideals.

In this assertion by the lower middle class of its identity, anti-Semitism played an indispensable part. Identity is always brought into relief by contrast, cohesion requires enmity, solidarity implies strangers. In countries like France and Germany the position of the Jews as a well-to-do and educated minority which was at the same time a pariah community, made them a perfect target for those who were neither rich nor educated ...

{p. 55} Early enough the economic crisis and parliamentary corruption were laid at the doorstep of the Jews. Some French historians claim that modern anti-Semitism as a mass movement, emerged upon the collapse of the Union Generalebanking concern, which was a Catholic enterprise catering for the lower-middle-class interests, as a result allegedly of the machinations of the House of Rothschild. It was in those days that the distinction between productive industrial capitalism, practised by high class Gentiles, often noble or ennobled, or married into nobility, and parasitic predatory speculative finance capitalism, entirely Jewish by definition, won much currency. It is also only too true that among the master minds and the go-betweens in the Panama scandal, the chief hero of which was the venerable Ferdinand Lesseps of Suez Canal fame, were many Jews, indeed foreign Jews, the German baron Reinach, the American Jew Cornelius Hertz, and Artom from Italy. The image of Judas Iscariot and

{p. 56} Shylock fitted them beautifully. No wonder the wire-pullers and corrupters were immediately identified as an international Jewish conspiracy. It did not escape the notice of contemporaries that in the financial negotiations following the 1870-71 War, Rothschild represented France and Bleichroder, Bismarck's private banker and financial adviser, Germany.

{p. 57} To the fearful traditionalists, however, the alienated Jew appeared as the solvent of established orders and organic cohesion; a nihilist rejoicing at the sight of disintegration and confusion; the rootless, botched and resentful outsider, who could never feel at home and at ease, and who therefore turned his impotent and envious rage against ancient loyalties, sacred myths and hallowed symbols: the Jew, in brief, was cosmopolitan radicalism incarnate. His tremendous curiosity and receptiveness betokened the lack of inner core. His mental agility was nothing but glibness or the sterile erudition of Alexandrian grammarians. His penchant for abstract generalised thinking was the sign of an inability to come to grips with the concrete realities, the deep facts of life. His worldly successes were gained by trickery and unscrupulousness.

{p. 58} Here again the Jew emerged as the gravest danger. He was an outsider and insider at the same time.

{p. 61} The Jews as an ethnic group were deeply anxious to maintain the supra-national Habsburg Empire, and Jews were also prominent in the leadership of the Liberal as well as Socialist parties, and they were the spearhead of universalist culture. ...

The Jews appeared to their racist enemies in two forms, as a universal solvent and a ghostly anti-race on the one hand, and as a most cohesive and tenacious racial group determined to establish its rule over the whole world on the other. The Jews preached brotherhood of men, the superiority of universal values, the irrelevance of blood, race, nationality, history. Jewish capitalism destroyed national cohesion through materialist individualism, Jewish socialism with the help of class war. But the Jews themselves, in spite oftheir dispersion, retained their clannishness, remaing a nation apart, linked together by unbreakable ties. The preaching of the Jew was subtly intended to drug and weaken

{p. 62} the nations of Europe, while Judah, congregated in metropolitan centres, master of the mass media, close to the most sensitive arteries of power, bent upon experiment and adventure in every new field, spread his dominion over them all. Erikson suggests that the anti-Semites were filled not only with fear, but also envy of what to them seemed the Jew's supreme instinctive self-assurance and single-minded purposefulness, the very things they lacked and craved for. Hence the fear of being submerged and swamped by Jewish world mastery. Well before the Protocols of Zion had started upon their career, with their lurid descriptions of secret conclaves of the sinister sages formulating precise blueprints for debauching and dominating the Gentile world, of the worship of Satan and anti-Christ upon deserted cemeteries and under a pale moon, culminating in a dance around the golden calf, men of exceptional erudition and acumen were writing seriously about the danger of Jewish world domination.

{p. 65} An in ideologieal shift takes place: chauvinist passion is fused with anti-capitalist slogans. From now on, however, the capitalist is the Jewish capitalist. It is no exaggeration to say - and this indeed was the view of contemporaries, of anti-Semites and Marxists alike - that anti-Semitism becomes elevated into an alternative and rival creed to Socialism.

{p. 69} Three years later the Tsar and all his family were helpless prisoners guarded by a Jew and a few Latvian assistants. 'There was grim although probably quite accidental retribution' - says W. H. Chamberlain in his monumental Russian Revolution - 'in the fact that the chief executioner of Tsar Nicholas II and his family in the Ekaterinburg cellar was a Jew', Jacob Yurovsky ... As if to heighten the symbolism of that dreadful end of one of the most powerful Royal dynasties in history at

{p. 70} the hands of an obscure Jew, soldiers of the counter-revolutionary army seized Ekaterinburg a short time after, and found in the murdered Tsarina's room a copy of the Protocols of Zion with drawings of the Swastika. {ed. - if the Protocols were a forgery produced by the Tsar's own secret police, why would the Tsarina have kept a personal copy in her own room?} There is little doubt that the latter had no political significance and was only a superstitious emblem to the poor, hysterical and half-crazy woman. Still, here was an Aryan royal martyr at hand for future use.

{As at p. 188 below, with regard to Stalin, Talmon seems to be following Norman Cohn's book Warrant For Genocide. Cohn writes, "Some months before her murder at Yekaterinberg the deposed Empress had received from a friend, Zinaida Sergeyevna Tolstaya, a copy of Nilus' book containing the Protocols. ... the Empress took Nilus's book with her to her last home ...A week after the murder of the imperial family ... the remains of the Tsar, the Tsarina, and their children, dismembered and incinerated, were discovered at the bottom of a disused mine-shaft ... ... the examining magistrate found three books belonging to the Empress: the first volume of War and Peace, the Bible in Russian, and The Great in the Small by Nilus" (Penguin edition, 1970, p. 126-7)}

The role of the Jews in the Bolshevik revolution and in the establishment of the Soviet system is a daunting subject which still awaits its historian.

{p. 71} It is by far not enough to limit the consideration of the part of Jews in the Bolshevik revolution to the role of Jews in the

{p. 72} top layer of leadership. Not less vital was the role of Jews in the cadres, in the machine, the bureaucracy, administration, party organisation, the economy, technical services, in a situation in which the civil servants of the former regime as well as the professional intelligentsia refused to collaborate or could not be trusted. In all this the contribution of the Jews to keeping the system going in a country shattered by external and civil war afflicted by famine, was of the utmost importance. Many Jews gave their services not because of any Bolshevik conviction, but because they were left with no choice; the counter-revolutionary forces in the Civil War had embarked upon a campaign of pogroms.

The most distinct feature of the Jewish revolutionaries in 1917 and after was certainly their internationalism. Lenin himself professed more than once that he would hardly have embarked upon his course, had he not believed that a revolution in the West, above all Germany, was imminent. If the Gentile Bolsheviks thought the revolution in the West a guarantee of success of the revolution in Russia, the Jews, like Trotsky, Radek, Zinoviev and others, felt most intensely that the Russian revolution was only a local version of the world revolution. It is no accident, and not only a matter of linguistic proficiency, that Jews, and such non-Russian Jews as Radek and Larissa Reisner, were so active in the Comintern and at international Communist Congresses such as the famous Baku Congress of the Asiatic and African Communist parties. Radek kept shuttling backwards and forwards between Russia and Germany, and while in a German prison negotiating with the leaders of the German Reichswehr and political leaders, Borodin went East - to China.

The fact that apart from the inevitable and largely decorative woman-worker and bearded peasant practically all the Soviet negotiators at Brest Litovsk were Jews, was sure not to escape the notice of the opposite side, for instance, General Hoffinan, who was to crush the Jewish-led Communist regime in Bavaria less than two years later.

One may say that once the momentous struggle between Trotsky and Lenin was decided in favour of socialism in one country, {ed. - note that he says "between Trotsky and Lenin", not "between Trotsky and Stalin"}

{p. 73} Russia had taken the first step towards that development, which was to lead to a revival of Jew consciousness in the masses and a renewal of the special status of the Jews. {ed. - another reference to Stalin.} But before these things had time to work themselves out, the world, or at least that part of it which was disposed that way, had imprinted upon its consciousness the image of a sinister Judeo-Bolshevik world conspiracy.

... Nothing could have played more into the hands of the anti-Semitic, racist counter-revolution and serve better as a corroboration of the Jewish stab-in-the-back legend than Kurt Eisner's revolutionary seizure of power at that time in conservative, royalist and Catholic Bavaria, and then the prominence of Jews like Jogiches, Levine, Levinas, Georg Landauer and Joffe in the short-lived Communist government after Eisner's assassination and

{p. 74} in the Spartakist and Marxist parties in general. To a Germany exasperated by defeat, inflation, unemployment and hunger, moreover, the central role of Jews in the Weimar Republic lent further credence to the legend. The Jew Hugo Preuss was the author of the Weimar Constitution; Walter Rathenau was the first German Foreign Sccretary to make an agreement with Bolshevik Russia; and Kurt Eisner published classified Foreign Office documents to show German guilt for the outbreak of the war, in the hope of showing to the West Germany's repentance and thereby obtaining better terms. The somewhat too zealous and aggressive interrogation of Field-Marshal Hindenburg by Cohn, the Counsel of the Reichstag Committee set up to investigate the military conduct of the war gave rise to a most effective slogan, 'Cohn versus Hindenburg'. It was no use arguing that in the war the Jews had been as overwhelmingly patriotic as everyone else. {ed. - Talmon says nothing of the Balfour Declaration, the deal between Britain and World Jewry; how could such a noted intellectual leave out this most important factor in German grievance? See Behind the Balfour Declaration}. They were 'anti-national', and by the time Hitler came along hardly a German could be found to speak out in their defence.

The struggle between nationalism and revolutionary universalism achieved still greater poignancy in Eastern Europe. The most important and most striking example was Poland, but the same drama was to be played out in the other countries as well. It had been a cardinal point with the European camp of revolution, and very much so with Marx and Engels, that Poland must be resurrected. The Poles were the oldest freedom fighters on all the barricades and battlefields of Europe, and the restoration of Poland was sure to deal a mortal blow to the Tsarist regime. Rosa Luxemburg, however, as leader of the internationalist Polish Socialist party, never tired of reiterating the conviction that with the emergence of a vast revolutionary movement in Russia, it was the sacred duty of the Polish workers to join hands with their Russian comrades and not squander their energies on a nationalist deviation which was sure to help to bring about a bourgeois capitalist Poland. In brief, there was no such thing as a Polish national interest, there were only class interests, and Poland as a political entity was altogether an abstraction. It is easy to imagine

{p. 75} the fury and the rage this caused among the majority of Polish Socialists - among them incidentally, many Jews - to whom the resurrection of Poland was a supreme goal, a glorious vision.

The group headed by Rosa, and containing a very high proportion of Jews in its leadership as well as in the rank and file, became the nucleus of the Polish Communist party after 1918, while some of the leaders made their way to Moscow. Soviet Russia disclaimed any imperialist designs. She proclaimed herself at the same time duty bound to help to make the revolution victorious everywhere. To the small and weak nation states which had just regained, or indeed for the first time won their independance from Russia and her former allies, a revolutionary Russia was in a sense a greater danger and a more insidious menace to their national uniqueness and integrity than Tsarist Russia. After World War One, the Jews overnight found themselves no longer citizens of vast multi-racial empires and participants in great cultures like the German and the Russian, but minorities subject to Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Slovaks, Rumanians and Hungarians, whose social and cultural development had been arrested centuries before, whose languages they often did not know and did not care to learn, and whose anxious, jealous nationalism was as intense as their resources were scarce. Treated as aliens, undesirables, an obstacle to national self-expression, many of the best of the Jewish youth responded with a thrill to the message of universal revolution. When the test came, twenty years later, the Rumanians, Slovaks and Hungarians let their differences sink, and became the willing allies of the great standard-bearer of antiSemitism and anti-Bolshevism; Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and White Russian thugs were employed by the Nazis for the dirtiest jobs in the liquidation of the Jewish ghettoes in Poland and the despatch of their inmates to the death camps.

The Bolshevik revolution was seized upon by Hitler as final proof of the revolutionary role of the Jewish ingredient in the drama of history from the beginning to the end of time. Ernst Nolte has recently drawn our attention to a forgotten pamphlet published in

{p. 80} The story seems to have come full circle. Preachers of revolutionary universalism {ed. - this is a reference to Soviet resistance to the earlier Jewish domination} and of the subordination of national sovereignty to the interests of the whole Socialist conmunity, place racial uniqueness above revolutionary universalism - where the Jews are concerned. It is they, and not the nationalist-racists of old, who are putting an irreversible and irrevocable end to a thousand years of Jewish history. One is reminded of another momentous development many centuries eadier. No sooner had the pagan nations joined the Jewish sect than they turned in fury against the begetters of their religion. {ed.- this is a reference to the Soviets' refusal to be dominated by the Jews among them}.

A little while ago it scemed as if the book 'Jews and Revolution' had been closed. But it appears now that new pages are to be added to it, in the turbulent universities of America and Europe and in the tumultuous conclaves of riotous demonstrators. This time it is not oppression or humiliation that egg on the young Jews, children of comfortable homes and young men to whom the whole world seems to be open, to rebel and often to lead the rioters: the Pavel Litvinovs and Ginsburgs in Russia, the Ginsbergs and Rudds in the US, the Cohn-Bendits in Europe, not to speak of such veterans, loaded with memories of some three scores of years of turmoil and disaster, as Herbert Marcuse. They seem to be driven by the kind of guilty conscience that plagued the Russian intelligentsia in the nineteenth century. The descendants of countless generations of victims of injustice, and the heirs to a most ancient tradition of revolt against it, they feel uncomfortable, unhappy and guilty for being comfortable, while there is so much evil and falsehood around; 'a little more so' {30 times more so - Peter M.} than their Gentile comrades, because of the great intensity peculiar to their race, and the unquenchable spirit of non-conformism and restless quest which partly at least stems from the lack of a firm Jewish commitment and an anchorage in a vital collective experience. The latter makes the Jewish rebels turn with obvious self-hatred against their own race. Having absorbed the criteria of the detractors of Judaism and never having quite come to terms with their Jewishness - in a positive or negative way - they are

{p. 81} unable to take Judaism as it is for granted. They are defying it with standards which can never be met, and attack Israel with ferocious glee for its 'crimes'. {Talmon himself seems to absolve Israel of any guilt - Peter M.} Ultra-internationalists, they become racists where Jews are concerned. They are incidentally taking in that way their revenge upon parents who themselves preached 'revolutionary' values, but then settled down very comfortably to enjoy all the good things provided by our rotten society. All the same, the European observer, with the European experience in his mind, cannot but wonder in a deja vu mood, whither things are moving. There is to him something ominously familiar in such terms as the 'system' as something all embracing and indivisible and more real than individual men with their conscious ideas and free choices. Similarly sinister sounds the apotheosis of the existential situation, which makes those within it appear right and innocent whatever they do, and altogether dooms those outside. The devil is lying in wait for protagonists of such views, and behind him the mass murderer.

{p. 98} humanitarians, the Jewish reformers were emasculating and falsifying a concrete, historical, living and authentic substance in favour of a pale lifeless abstraction: universalist deism and humanitarian benevolence. But the historic, genuine personality of the Jews had found its articulation in historic memories, beliefs, customs, rites. In this respect it was impossible to dissect and sever an organic whole into a pretended rational essence and supposedly historic accidents, external excrescences. The life and antecedents of the individual were rooted in a social-historical texture, for no one was able to live alone and by himself, and we received more than we gave, inherited more than we created. In other words, the most real thing in history was the life of the nation, the race, in comparison with which the individual was a mere abstraction, in isolation a shrivelled leaf. But abstract universalism could not of course exist without isolationist individualism. In brief, all that frantic anxiety of Jewish reformers to divest the Jewish religion of all that was specific to it, historical memories, national pride, reminiscences of and hopes for Zion, not to speak of those who were trying to run amok away from the Jewish fold, showed only pitiful characterlessness, indeed lack of self-respect and even honesty, and not a striving for light. Far from a way to equality and happiness, it betokened irretrievable inner misery. Hess states emphatically that if he had the choice before him of either equality at the price of assimilation or the maintenance of Jewish identity in a ghetto existence, he would unhesitatingly choose the latter. If he were convinced that sacrificial offerings were an essential part of the Jewish religion, he would insist on their restoration in the future Temple.

Hess almost justifies anti-Semitism if it takes the form of a defensive reaction of Gentiles rooted in their nation and past to Jewish over-eager and gate-crashing attempts to prove themselves as good and even better Germans or Frenchmen than themselves. Hess recalls the wounding incident of twenty years earlier. At the time of the Franco-German tension around 1840, the patriotic German poet Nicolas Becker wrote the famous poem They will not have it, the German Rhine. Hess got so excited by that Marseillaise that he sent the author a musical composition for his

{p. 99} hymn. Becker wrote back a frigid letter of acknowledgement and then scribbled on the cover as if from a foreign hand 'You are a Jew'. Remembering the incident Hess feels less disgusted or hurt by the rudeness of the poet, than ashamed of himself. Following in the footsteps of Herder and the other philosophers, Hess seems to deny reality to any abstract dogmatic religious doctrine. There are ultimately no universal religions, there are national cults. It was not the Jewish religion that shaped the Jewish nation: the Jewish genius engendered that type of religion (future Ahad Ha'am?), just as medieval Christianity was more an expression of the Germanic spirit than the pure Christian message. Hess is too much of a Hegelian and indeed too much of a Marxist to admit the distinction between pure spirituality and concrete external phenomena, spirit and matter, theory and practice. This enables him to elevate the Jewish phenomenon into a decisive force in the history of mankind. The two most remarkable religions of antiquity were national religions, the Greek and the Jewish. The Greek was that of nature, the Jewish of history, that is to say grounded upon historic events, Abraham, the exodus etc., {largely mythic - Peter M.} but also upon a messianic vision of the purposeful unity of history in the hands of Providence. It was a national religion also in the sense that its concern was not the individual, but the nation and its fate, {was Nazism so different?} not his personal salvation or immortality, but social justice. The Jewish religion made in that respect no distinction between private ethics and the general interest, individual conscience and the laws of the land. Stern and exacting, it left the individual no easy escape into a private realm of human frailty and self-indulgence. It was the decay of national sentiment at the end of the ancient era that turned Christianity into an abstract universal religion, and at the same time into the faith of the individual {ed. - yet Talmon quotes Herzl's self-proclaimed concern for the Arabs, and the universal messianic age; is Zionism so different from Christian Europe in its tension between a universalist ideal and a nationalist reality?}. Owing to that gap between its Judaic provenance and the concrete personalities of the barbarian races {i.e., the Jews regarded their hosts as barbarians} in Europe, Christianity was forced to become that exclusively spiritual religion which severs theory from practice, the individual from the collectives, by making original sin the basis for the perpetuation of this dualism. Weak, sinful men will never be able to realise perfect justice, to live by the light of the

{p. 100} pure truth. They will never be able to redeem themselves by their own exertions. Only grace from above embodied in a church of superior priests, could save them. This led to self-contempt, resignation. It encouraged the self-willed to oppress the lowly, and deprived the exploited of any pride and strength necessary to resist and fight for their rights.

When the Reformation and Descartes brought the Christian dualism to culmination, the Jewish spirit, working through Spinoza, came astir, as it had fifteen hundred years earlier, to reassert the divine unity of life, nature and history. And then came the French Revolution and gave a most powerful impulse to the Judaisation of the modern world.

{despite this stunning admission, Talmon avoided any mention of a Jewish connection in his book on the French Revolution, The Origin of Totalitarian Democracy (1952). The paperback edition (Sphere Books, 1970) does not list 'Jews' or 'Judaism' in its index}

It broke the trauma of original sin-ridden society. Men felt free to shape their own lives, and confident that a just and perfect society would in every case be a national society, based upon the national characteristics, the history, the unique destiny of each nation, free and able to realise at last that positive freedom which comes from free self-expression. In this respect every nation will like the Jews evolve a national religion. As a society of free and equal men the nation of the future will be a true confraternity. The life of the nation will be a true partnership of all in all, things unlike the aggregate of classes hostile to one another, which the nations had been in the past. There will then be no distinction between the private and the general good. And since there will be no room for different standards, clash of interests, for that discrepancy between different imperatives, between theory and practice, every nation will become a real nation of priests, a holy nation, like the Jews. To Marx the expression of utter selfishness, Judaism is to Hess the very embodiment of the spirit of solidarity.

The final defeat of the Papacy at the hand of Italian nationalism marked the ultimate victory of that uprising against the forces of old, of which the French Revolution was the first act. The rise of the Italian nation precisely upon the ruins of Papal Rome betokened the triumph of the principle of nationalities, the national cults. To this authentically Mazzinian prophecy Hess adds his gloss: the liberation of Rome presages the imminent liberation ofJerusalem to crown the process.

{p. 101} For the final revindication of universal justice and the reassertion of meaning in history, it was absolutely imperative, nay inevitable, that the people, whose earliest destiny was to foreshadow this late Messianic fruition, should be restored as of old. And all the nations will come to bow before the Lord, on Mount Moriah, and the Great Sabbath, the pre-ordained goal of all history, will come about.

There were other signs of that Second Coming. The idea of the restoration of the Jews to Palestine was steadily gaining momentum among Jews and Gentiles. France, the leader of nations, the standard-bearer of their liberation, was now directing her efforts towards the Middle East. The Suez canal had been dug. The Orient was awakening from its centuries-long slumbers. A French official close to Napoleon III, Laharanne, was crusading for a return of the Jews to Palestine as a spearhead in the effort of reviving the East with the help of Western dynamism. The nations of the West were ostensibly looking for a road to India. One such quest, centuries earlier, led to the discovery of America. Man proposes, God disposes. The present search was destined to engender another unexpected and momentous result: the restoration of Israel in his Land.

The revival of the Jewish national consciousness through Jewish learning, above all the national conception of Jewish history represented by Graetz, the vitality of hassidism - the religion of the heart - the multiplication of Zionist programmes in various parts of the world, were all tokens of the ripening of the Jewish national resolve.

Hess reveals an ambiguity of the most far-reaching significance. The dilemma and the solution proposed by Hess remind one irresistibly of the French prophet-historian Michelet, whom the author of Rome and Jerusalem of course knew. Largely influenced by his interest in the sciences on the one hand, and by Ernest Renan on the other, Hess came to regard race as a primary datum, and a present-day reader is made to feel somewhat uncomfortable by his hymns to the purity and tenacity of the Jewish race. Without, of course, the latter-day implications, Hess accepts the fundamental division into Semitic and Aryan races. The unique and

{p. 102} integral character of the Jewish heritage was to him, as already hinted, the result of race. At the same time Hess's fondest dream, in fact the sole way of vindicating meaning and purpose in history, was the future universal harmony of free nations. With the aid of quite fanciful and abstruse speculations, Hess tries to prove that the cosmic evolutionary process was about to be accomplished in the 'historic Sabbath': social harmony within each national society and international concord, both represented by Judaism and post-revolutionary France, were about to be enthroned, bringing thus to final consummation the evolutionary cosmic process which had already resulted in the wonderful harmony in nature. This consummation demonstrates to Hess as to Michelet the victory of the spirit over matter, of free reason over blood and soil determinism, of history over geography, of willed unity over irrational multiplicity.

The gravamen of Hess's argument against the Germans is that, unlike the French and the Western nations, the Germans had remained steeped in exclusive, instinctive racialism {ed. like the Jews?}, and of course anti-Semitism, so that even their pretended philosophical universalism was in fact a rationalisation of racial pride {ed. - surely this is true of Zionism too?}, and their irrational aversion to men of other races, especially Jews, was never far below the surface. It is difficult to make out whether Hess expected that German disposition to change. At all events, no true unification of Germany seemed to Hess possible so long as that racial exclusiveness remained a force, because it was indissolubly connected with the deep class divisions in German society - the consequence of the fateful fact that the German social revolution had been arrested in the sixteenth century with the bloody suppression of the peasant revolt. And Hess could not envisage a national rebirth which was not at the same time a social-democratic transformation. Little did Hess, Mazzini, Mickiewicz and their like know that in endowing nationalism with the dimension of a salvationist religion, and in transferring to it so much of the Socialist appeal, they were unwittingly offering a rationale to that type of racial, exclusive nationalism, which Hess so abhorred among the

{p. 1O3} Germans, and indeed to anti-Semitism, in both its racial and social versions. 'Nationalism that is Socialism reduced to one country' - were the Fascists to say in the next century.

... From the Jewish point of view this was the decade that saw Disraeli effectively in power, Lassalle creating the German labour movement, Fould administering the finances of France, the Rothschilds and Pereiras building up her credit system and carrying out her industrial revolution, a galaxy of able and influential Jewish parliamentarians playing a very considerable part in the Prussian Landtag, and Karl Marx presiding over the First International. {ed. - note that Talmon depicts Marx & the Rothschilds as collaborative, despite their differences.} Soon after 1870 clouds began to gather over a fair sky, and by 1890 the sky looked dark and menacing to Jews. {ed. - one might expect that so great an intellectual as Talmon might have been able to free himself from Jewish perspectivism, and consider the Gentile perspective occasionally.}

{p. 104} In 1896 Herzl speaks a different language from Lassalle in the 1840's, and Hess in the 1860's. This difference is accounted for not only by personal differences, but by a change of historical context. On reading Herzl's Judenstaat with a detached mind and against the background we have been trying to trace, the historian cannot but be struck by the fact that whereas Lassalle seems not to give a thought to anti-Semitism, and Hess only refers to it almost casually when speaking of the Germans, it is to Herzl a reality which is overshadowing everything else. The same is true of Pinsker, some fifteen years earlier. That flaming manifesto by a man who, unlike Herzl, lived within the rich texture of the Eastern European Jewish civilisation, was also born from a sense of injured pride, and not from a positive consciousness of a distinct national identity. The mood of Herzl and Pinsker seems so remote from the conquering, brash self-confidence of thc young Lassalle with his unquenchablc faith in the imminent world revolution, an arrogance, incidentally, still alien to a Jew of an earlier generation, with his feet still in the ghetto. It is worth quoting a description of young Lassalle by Heine in 1846:

. . . a young man of the most distinguished mental gifts, the widest learning, the most thorough scholarship and the greatest penetration I have ever met. He combines the most extraordinary power of penetration with a vitality in knowledge and a skill in action which amaze me . . . Lassalle is emphatically a son of the new age and will have nothing to do with that renunciation and humility with which we in our time more or less hypocritically bunglcd our way and drivelled our way through life. This new generation is determined to enjoy itself and make itself felt in the visible world; we older ones, bowing down humbly before the invisible world, chased after shadow kisses and the scent of blue flowers, renouncing and sniveling, and yet perhaps we were happier than those tough gladiators who go forth so proudly to death in battle.

{p. 105} In the case of both Pinsker and Herzl it is not the pressure of some inner light seeking expression, as with Hess, but the fact of rejection by others that throws the authors, and the Jews, back upon themselves. They do not want us, so we shall be oursclves, for indeed we are different and we have a past and dignity, a character and values of our own. Are we worse or less significant than the Serbs, the Rumanians and Bulgarians, who have just obtained or been granted national freedom? Who had ever heard of them in the West? Earlier as well as later national movements have shown the same dialectic in their historical development: we are not they - the majority or ruling nation; we are different; we have to show what our distinctness consists of - the Czechs, Rumanians, Pakistanis, etc.

The other difference between Herzl and the earlier Jews is in the fact that Herzl completely eschews any attempt to establish a metaphysical or rather metahistorical connection between the Jewish phenomenon and the course and meaning of world history, or the universal trends of the age. This treatment of the Jewish issue as a case sui generis reflects again general developments. In the second part of the century, people in Europe had lost all taste for those sweeping generalisations and vast systems which the Romantic Age loved so much, and as a reaction a positivist analytical mood won dominance. The idea of mission so dear to the Jewish assimilationists, and in his own way to Hess, was a replica of the Mazzinian idea of Roma Terza, of the Fichtean ideology of Urvolk, the vision of Poland as the Christ of the nations, and the Russian PanSlav claim to some pristine purity and unadulterated excellence, destined to save the rotten West. Only in the case of the Gentiles the mission was a justification for fostering a unique national identity in an independent state, while to the theorists of religious reform and assimilation among Jews it was precisely an argument against political nationalism and statehood, although

{p. 110} so learned a man as Duhring should be capable of such horrifying views on Jews shocked Herzl to his depths. There was no more the consolation, resorted to by Jews in the earlier decades of the century, that Jew-baiting was a medieval relic, a ruse utilised by cunning clericals or feudal reactionaries for their selfish ends, something on the way out as the light advances. Moreover, like so many educated Jews who lack any system of inner defences in the form of positive Jewish experience, and who love and admire Western civilisation with all their hearts, and indeed are completely saturated with its values and modes of thought, Herzl could not help viewing the Jews from outside, with the eyes and the yardstick of the Gentiles. The Jews have to engage in duelling. They should observe the rules of medieval chivalry. In not doing that, they show themselves to be lacking in courage and dignity, not quite up to the requirements of the universal code of honour. More significantly still, Herzl again and again returns to the point that the Jews had a surplus of mediocre intellectuals, as if underscoring the anti-Semitic argument that the Jews were not endowed with creative gifts, but got along with glib and facile improvisation - probably to Herzl a way of self-castigation. Did not the anti-Semites scoff at the feuilleton, of which Herzl became an acknowledged master, as a spurious Jewish kind of art, concoction and not creation?

{compare Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game, Holt Rinehart & Winston, NY 1969: 'The Glass Bead Game contributed largely to the complete defeat of feulletonism and to that newly awakened delight in strict mental exercises to which we owe the origin of a new, monastically austere intellectual discipline.' (p. 33); 'The world had changed. The life of the mind in the Age of the Feuilleton might be compared to a degenerate plant ... ' ( p.33-34). The Glass Bead Game was also published as Magister Ludi.}

We may recall the half-despairing, half-triumphant conclusion of Herzl's play The New Ghetto, and still more to the point is Herzl' s fantastic plan of a deal with the Pope. On a beautiful Sunday morning all Jewish children in holiday attire, with garlands of flowers on their heads, are marched up by their parents to the gates of the cathedrals as the church bells toll. They are then ushered in for baptism, while the elders remain outside, for they themselves would not - on a point of honour - renounce their identity in exchange for full recognition as equal citizens. As soon as the next generation of Jews have gone through the ceremony of baptism, the priests in all the churches read out a solemn condemnation of anti-Semitism by the Pope. And that would put an end to a centuries-old predicament.

Herzl gives the impression of a man suffering from a toothache. He is told he must not touch it, but touch it he must.


{p. 111} manages to live down one anti-Semitic incident, and for a time encountering no similar unpleasantness, he begins to feel that after all one should not lose one's sense of proportion and be unduly weighed down by an occasional rudeness of a drunken bully. Then he suddenly and utterly unexpectedly on walking out of a beer cellar hears the 'Hep, hep!' call, and the shock is still greater than the last, and the malaise deepens. Why and how, and for what reason? And what is to be done so that such an honourable, highly cultivated man as he, who has never done any harm to anyone, should not be subjected to such indignities? We all know the effect of the Dreyfus affair on Herzl. That France - 'the second fatherland', as Moses Hess repeatedly called it in the wake of Jefferson, of every enlightened person in the world, and especially, in view of France's pioneering role in granting emancipation, of every Jew wherever he be, and a country in which Jews formed a tiny minority only and were thoroughly assimilated - should give rein to such a frenzy of anti-Semitism, with the blessing of some of the greatest lights of the Academie, was indeed calculated to become a traumatic event to a man like Herzl.

But the Austro-Hungarian background was in my opinion still more important in gradually preparing that disposition which under the impact of the Paris shock evolved into a farouche obsession. The more democratic that ramshackle, multi-racial Empire grew, the more untenable became the old dynastic structure. Democracy involved not merely universal suffrage, but also national self-determination. The only linchpin of the Empire was the House of Habsburg, and its cement was the mutual hatreds of the races and the impossibility of severing them in a way that would satisfy each one, and also enable it to have a viable existence from the economic and strategic point of view. In an age of democracy and nationalism, it was extremely difficult to work up enthusiastic loyalty for a royal dynasty and an emotional response to its medieval-feudal symbols. The semi-religious humble loyalty of illiterate peasants - to a large extent of Slavonic stock - to the God-anointed apostolic Emperor-King had given way to nationalist zeal. On the other hand, the ethnic group which

{p. 112} had for centuries formed the core and governing elite of the Empire, the Germans, had turned into a dangerous solvent {is there a parallel with American whites today? - Peter M.} in a way that was destined to have the most far-reaching and most disastrous effects on the world in general, and upon the Jews in particular. With the growth of democracy the Austrian Germans began to feel that they were doomed to be swamped by the larger numbers of Slavs, whom they had ruled and despised for so long. The parliamentary system based on the counting of heads and on equal vote to all appeared as a mortal enemy. This gave rise to elitist-racist tendencies and agitation for a union of the Austrian Germans with the German Empire (through a disruption of the Habsburg Empire) into a vast state, powerful enough to crush the Slavs in between and on the periphery. It is one of the great ironies of history that as a reaction the doctrinaire Austro-Marxists were driven to preach the unity of the Habsburg Empire, on the basis of very wide cultural autonomy for each ethnic group upon the model of the Jewish Kehilla. Their reason was that the disruption of the Empire by nationalism would be taken as proof that isolationist nationalism was stronger than international working-class solidarity, and nationalist separatism more real than the idea of a universal proletarian revolution, and politics more potent than economics and class struggle.

The Austrian Jews were in a peculiar position. All their interests and instincts were for the maintenance of the unity of the Empire. The supra-national pluralism of the easy-going and indulgent Empire was infinitely more favourable to them as individuals and as a community than the status of a minority within a homogeneous nationalist state. Jews were extremely prominent in the Socialist as well as the liberal leadership of Austria. It was this orientation as well as their role as competitors in the social-economic sphere that made the Jews the butt of German hatred, and turned the Austrian Germans into bitter anti-Semites, whether of the racialist Schonerer variety or of the Christian-Social brand of Leuger {a century later, the same scenario is playing out in the United States - Peter M.}. Tragically enough, Austria's Jewish intelligentsia, with the exception of that of Galicia, was almost entirely German in lan-

{p. 113} guage and culture, which was not of course calculated to endear it to the other nationalities of Austro-Hungary. A man like Herzl, who grew up in Budapest and was technically, like Max Nordau, a Hungarian, having settled in Vienna only when he was at the threshold of manhood, evinces in his writings neither interest in nor sentiment for the Magyar Kingdom. He is an Austrian tout court. For indeed, the Jews were the only Austrians, or if one likes, Austro-Hungarians, of the Empire. The surrealist realities of Austria, a country whose situation, it was said, was desperate, but never serious, engendered three types of response: Hitler, Freud and Herzl, if one may be forgiven for invoking the three names in the same breath.

Freud, as indeed also pre-Zionist Herzl, may be taken to represent the liberal Jewish frame of mind in Vienna around 1900. Its mouthpiece, the Neue Freie Presse, Herzl's newspaper, owned and run by assimilationist Jews, had won for itself a world-wide reputation for quality. Every issue of the journal was a feast for reflective readers and lovers of exquisite style, wit and elegance. But although it could boast very extensive international news coverage, and informed and penetrating comment on all events, it was not a militant organ at all. It was in fact prouder of its feuilleton than of its leading article. It cared more for opera, theatre, literature - all of universal appeal - than for party struggle. It was fundamentally apolitical, and it had a most curious way of dealing with phenomena and issues which disturbed it: ignore them. We know that the word 'Zionism' was never mentioned in its columns, although one of the paper's leading lights and its literary editor was running himself literally to death as its founder and head. We find a wry comment on this in Herzl's diaries. He was back from one of the Zionist Congresses where he had been worshipped like a king, and under the glance of his editor he sneaked into his room at the editorial office like a furtive little clerk who had overstayed his leave. Ignoring Zionism Die Neue Freie Presse never printed the word social-democracy, its liberal Jewish editor boasted to Herzl. That seems rather odd - reflects Herzl. I have not examined the old files of the great newspaper to find out, but one would in the

{p. 116} reminiscent of American, and as my friend Professor Yehoshua Arieli would have said, American future-minded nationalism: we resolve to be a nation - a model nation, let it be added. Those who must and want to go to their own state, Palestine, if that be the territory, determine to be Jews, although in their country they will like the Swiss continue to speak their former languages (for can you buy a railway ticket or box of matches with prophet Isaiah's Hebrew?). Those who would prefer to stay behind would presumably be opting for total assimilation, although Herzl does not state this in so many words. In brief, nationality is a matter of individual choice and decision. Herzl's rather grudging consent to communal educational activities and Landespolitik in the Diaspora in general was an expression not of his wish to cultivate Jewish identity wherever it be for its own sake, but of a search for means to strengthen Jewish consciousness and organisational cohesion in the struggle for independent statehood.

The lack of full clarity and consistency in Herzl's view of anti-Semitism is very meaningful. The wounded pride is the beginning of everything. But beyond that Herzl does not seem to be sure, no more than Freud in regard to the problem of evil, whether anti-Semitism was a relic, an excrescence that could be removed, only it would take too much time, and the Jews have had more than their fill of humiliation in the West and are driven by pogroms and hunger in the East; or an incurable disease, one of those perversions inseparable from the human condition. At times Herzl seems to reduce it all to a social problem - Jewish competition in the free professions. He appears to believe in the possibility of a kind of deal with the anti-Semites: you say there are too many Jews in your country, and granted the circumstances and your mentality the Jews are too numerous for you to bear them, let us therefore agree: we help you in taking out the superfluous Jews, and you help us to get a place for them, and a state of their own. Alas, time was to show that no bargain was possible with real anti-Semites. But this Theodor Herzl, deeply steeped in European fair-play liberalism, could not even contemplate. As I have said, there are quite a few inconsistencies in Herzl's attitude, but they are easily explicable.

{p. 117} The Jewish predicament revealed to Herzl something of the abyss, of the ultimate intractable unreasonableness and horrible beastlillcss of man, yet in his vision of the solution of the Jewish qucstion there is nothing apocalyptic or catastrophic, no war, no clash of rights, no human sacrifices, no gnashing of teeth, no dreadful break-through. It is a commercial transaction as far as the preparations are concerned. The passage to Palestine is a pleasure trip, without as much as sea-sickness. Settlement in the country is depicted as almost a Fourierist Arcadia, with congenial company of Landsmannschaften, fine airy dwellings, wonderful technology and gadgets and not much physical effort. That killjoy Ahad Ha'am was quick to seize upon the reference in Altneuland to the Jews' experience in their new country as a possible lesson to the American Negroes, once they decide to return to Africa and establish themselves there as an independent nation. The Herzlian recipe was as suited to Jews as it was to Negroes: a wholly abstract utopia, not so much based on principles of morality as upon labour-saving deviccs and enlightened self-interest.

There is the other inconsistency. Herzl never tired of insisting that the misfortunes and humiliations of the Jews were due to their political weakness. Rich and powerful as they were as individuals, they counted for nothing politically, because they were atomised, unorganised and represented no power, and in this world of power politics pleas for justice and appeals to conscience had no effect. We had nothing to offer in return. In all his dealings with monarchs and potentates Herzl was always deeply conscious of the need of a quid pro quo: Jews would offer money, support, services, etc. At the same time, the Jewish state of the future is depicted in Altneuland as a neutral state, hardly a state at all, just 'a Jewish Society', internationally guaranteed like Switzerland, with no army and no foreign policy. And the Arabs, unmentioned in the 'Jewish State', barely noticed in his diaries, appear in Altneuland as willing and eager to join the 'Jewish Society', because of the material benefits accruing to them. And of course the idea of the Charter was based upon the hope of international endorsement by all the Powers. This conscious wish of Herzl's to lift the Jewish state issue out of international politics and the rivalries of the

{p. 118} Powers, baffling as it is, can only be explained as the liberal recoiling from the facts of irreducible conflict and from the spectre of force as the ultimately decisive factor in politics. Have not most of us behaved like this for decades in regard to the Arab issue? {ed. here Talmon hints at the inconsistencies in his own stand.} And surely this is Herzl s version of the Messianic faith in the ultimate and inevitable triumph of good, which had propelled Lassalle and Hess, and indeed all Jewish liberals and Socialists, for so long. At this juncture we may ask how Herzl looks from the vantage point of seventy years after. A utopian? A prophet? A child of his time? People are inclined to dismiss as fantastic the three main points of Herzl's practical programme. He hoped to buy from the Sultan the 'Charter' for Palestine. He believed he could get the rich Jews - then, when he had learned his lesson, Jewish subscribers in general - to foot the bill. He envisaged a mighty Jewish effort to transport within the shortest possible time all the willing immigrants and settle them in Palestine - under the aegis of the two national Jewish organs, the political - the Society of Jews - and the financial or economic - the Company of Jews. On a closer look at the realities of the late nineteenth century, Herzl appears less a utopian in regard to his international orientation than in his evaluation of the Jewish people.

There was nothing fantastic in the idea of obtaining a concession from the autocrat of Turkey, and, as events were to show, from the Powers that were to divide up the dead corpse of the Empire. Turkey had a cord around her neck in the form of her international debt. Her main sources of revenue were not merely pawned, but actually supervised and run by representatives of foreign creditors,{Jewish, by any chance? The very ones who would offer to swap land for debt?} backed by their respective powerful governments. The expression, 'the Public Debt of Turkey', was never absent from the newspaper columns of the day and constituted an international issue for many decades. In a sense, Turkey could call nothing her own. That state

{p. 119} of affairs at the end of a long process of internal decay, utterly cruel harassment by foreign powers, and continuing secession of one Balkan nationality after another at the end of bloody revolt and with the help of European powers, made the corruption at the top utterly hopeless. The North African domains of the Caliph Egypt, Tunis and then Tripoli - were lost in a manner as injurious to Ottoman interests and pride as possible. In each case state bankruptcy invited European loans, and of course interference. Unhonoured promissory notes, impediments placed in the way of the foreign creditors, and finally bloody incidents paved the way for foreign occupation - by the British in Egypt, the French in Tunis, the Italians rather belatedly in Tripoli. The idea of the Jews' offer to redeem Turkey's international debt in exchange for a concession of Palestine, under some form of Turkish suzerainty - provided the money could be raised - was not at all fantastic {see ginsberg.html#OttomanDebt}. No one, least of all Turkey, bothered at that time about the rights of natives to self-detennination in Asia and Africa. Palestine was held by the Turks by the right of conquest. And then, if Turkey had been prepared in the 1830's to cling, as the Sultan put it, to a serpent for fear of being drowned (by Mehmet Ali), and to invite the Russian navy and troops to the Bosphorus, why should she refuse aid from a politically innocuous factor? And if mighty Britain could put a premium upon the good will of world Jewry,{ed. - an oblique reference to the Balfour Declaration} and even Wilhelm II in his letter on Zionism to the Grand Duke of Baden, such sympathy was surely not less important to the tottering Porte. Owing to fair treatment throughout the centuries, Jews were well disposed towards Turkey. At the time of the Bulgarian uprising against the Sultan, British anti-Turks and anti-Semites, like the historian Freeman, publicly accused Disraeli of pro-Turkish sentiments and anti-Russian bias owing to his Jewish prejudices.

Neither were Herzl's ideas on colonisation absurd in the context of colonial history, especially in the age of imperialism. British and Dutch rule in India and in South East Asia began and was carried on well into the nineteenth century by state-supported chartered trade companies, enjoying the widest political, administrative, judicial and fiscal, and indeed military powers.

{p. 122} But there was another rcason for Herzl's refusal to allow for slow infiltration into Palestine without international guarantees and a clear definition of the ultimate goal. ... Herzl was mortally afraid that a defenceless Jewish minority, which had settled there in the teeth of Turkish prohibition, could be wiped out overnight. He may have under-

{p. 123} rated the power of concrete though piecemeal and gradual achievement. In his pride he felt a deep aversion for the old Jewish methods of oiling the palms of officials, arranging things behind the counter, sneaking in when unobserved and bowing the head before or pretending not to perceive brutal insult.

There is an ironical and tragic paradox in the fact that while resolved to treat with the leaders of the world, emperors and kings, princes and ministcrs, on terms of equality and in the light of the day, in his capacity of representative of the Jewish people, Herzl was at bottom compelled to resort to the very, very old Jewish methods of backstairs diplomacy. ... Wherever he went, Herzl had to oil palms.

{p. 188} dictated by the government, they are bound to conclude that through the intermediary of American Jewry Israel is of course an American puppet and agent. There are other considerations behind Russian policy as well. In so far as it has been stirring up Jewish sentiment among the Russian Jews, making this 'indigestible' group still more difficult to digest, Israel is resented by the Soviet government as a nuisance and an irritant. The social achievements of the Israeli Labour movement, far from impressing the Bolsheviks, evoke contemptuous hostility: how dare a tiny country like Israel prcsume to build Socialism better than Russia itself! Similarly the demand to permit emigration from Russia to Israel must appear as an anti-Soviet device, implying as it does a vote of no confidence in the achievements and nature of the regime: one is supposed to be happy in a Socialist regime.

Thus, while not motivated by conventionally anti-Semitic convictions and aims, the Soviet Union is almost objectively, to use its own language, led to adopt policies which, given the murderous hostility of the Arabs and the role of Israel in the post-holocaust period of Jewish history, amount to a definite threat to the survival of the Jewish people.

Particularly horrifying is the Soviet-Arab sponsorship of an updated version of the Protocols of Zion: the Zionist-American-Imperialist world plot, operating not only against Arabs, Asians and Africans, but also against all the Socialist regimes, causing economic difficulties, student unrest, Catholic intransigence.

{Talmon uses "literary licence" here, equating any assertion of Jewish conspiratorial action, with endorsement of The Protocols of Zion. The Soviet Union, it seems, never issued The Protocols of Zion, but Stalin did conclude that there was a Zionist plot for World Domination, and Yuri Ivanov's book Caution: Zionism is an example of material issued by the Soviet Union on that theme.
As at p. 70 above, with regard to the Tsarina, Talmon seems to be following Norman Cohn's book Warrant For Genocide: "Stalin in his last years produced a new version of the conspiracy-myth, in which the Jews figured as agents of an imperialist plot to destroy the Soviet Union and assassinate its leaders ... " (Penguin edition, 1970, p. 15). Stalin was murdered on this account.}

We have travelled a long way from the revolutionary universalism of Marx which recognised neither Jew nor Greek nor Gentile, but only workers and capitalists.

{Yet Marx never wrote that the first Communist state would be a Jewish dictatorship over non-Jews. Was that consistent with his views, or a subversion of them?}

And yet, there is a glimmer of hope that the spectre of China and the inexorable compulsions of modern technology and warfare may still work to bring about a Russo-American agreement to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. As a very great power, Russia finds it extremely difficult to do nothing for the Arabs beyond replacing the arms they have lost, and to take Israeli defiance lying down. At the same time there can be no doubt that the Soviet Union will never risk a nuclear war over the Middle East, any

{p. 189} more than the United States will. This may induce the two Super Powers to search for a face-saving formula for a Middle-Eastern settlement. Understandable as their anxieties are, the Israelis would do well to pause and reflect whether it be in the long-term interest of Israel to be irretrievably tied to America in the way South Vietnam, South Korea or Western Germany are. It is not only a question of the image of Israel in the eyes of the world, especially the Afro-Asian nations, with whom Israel must live and trade in amity. As France has shown, a Great Power finds it easier to change allies or abandon clients than a small isolated state to win new protectors. The Israelis would be well advised not to bank too much on the 'special relationship' between Israel and the US, always liable to yield to isolationist moods. Nothing would be more dangerous for them than to act on the assumption that they have America in their pocket. The Suez War has shown that they did not even have American Jewry in their pocket. The only hope of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East lies in an American-Soviet agreement, however difficult and distant such a prospect continues to look, and not in the preponderance of Israeli armies backed by the Sixth Fleet.

For the Israeli liberal to be able to come out against the rising tide of anxious and militant intransigency and press his case with any effectiveness, the condition sine qua non is that the Arab leaders wish in their hearts to be more gently or more forcefully cajoled. For when all is said and done, Israeli hawkishness is really a function of Arab obduracy and hostile intent. Without some clear and convincing proof that Nasser was prepared to be coaxed - and the latest portents are by no means encouraging - the Israeli liberals would be powerless Don Quixotes. Worse, they would be decried as faint-hearted defeatists, capitulationists, traitors. They would inevitably be reduced to watching fatalistically and impotently the great cruel ironies working themselves out in a seemingly inexorable manner: the heroic exertions and astonishing talents of so hard pressed a nation, with a deep yearning for peace and justice, beating in vain against an unattainable ...

{end of selections}

J. L. Talmon, The Origin of Totalitarian Democracy: correctness.html.

J. L. Talmon's book The Unique and the Universal asks whether any universalism is possible, given national particularisms: talmon2.html.

J. L. Talmon's book Israel Among the Nations is out of print; for a second-hand copy: http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?tn=israel+among+the+nations.

Write to me at contact.html.