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    Marxism and the Jewish question

    Ruben, David (1982) Marxism and the Jewish question. The Socialist Register 19 , pp. 205-237.

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    Abstract

    A number of interrelated questions about Jewry, collectively referred to as 'the Jewish question', have been discussed by many Marxists, beginning with Marx himself in his essay, 'On the Jewish Question'. Perhaps the phrase has been forever discredited by those who not long ago offered the world its final solution. Names aside, the substantive issues are still of great importance for historical materialism. For example, we still have no plausible comprehensive account of the causes of anti-Semitism, an account without which we cannot fully understand the nature of the Soviet Union today. In this paper, there are two other questions that 1 wish to discuss. The case of the Jewish people provides an extremely interesting test for the explanatory and political adequacy of historical materialism, and it is in this fact among others that one can find more than a merely parochial interest in the Jewish question. There is at least a prima facie inability to account for the survival of Jewry in terms available to historical materialism, for historical materialists explain in terms of classes and class relations, and Jewry does not appear to constitute a class. So the first of the two questions I shall discuss is this: (1) Can historical materialism show that appearances here, as so often elsewhere, are deceptive, that the Jews do constitute a class, and that it was as such that they were able to survive as a distinct grouping?

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 11:08
    Last Modified: 19 Feb 2018 11:08
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/21272

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