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On the Jewish Question

[1]1,592 words

Editor’s Note:

The following text is excerpted from the forthcoming Counter-Currents publication of Anthony M. Ludovici, Confessions of an Anti-Feminist: The Autobiography of Anthony M. Ludovici, ed. John V. Day, ch. 8, “My Life Work.” The title is Editorial. The notes by John V. Day are marked “Ed.”

In forming a judgement on the Jewish question, an objective observer of mankind cannot lightly dismiss the matter with a summary nod of approval or disapproval. For essentially it is the problem of aristocracy over again, and he who once maintained that in Western civilisation the Jews composed an ‘aristocracy of brains’ was on the track of the truth. Not that it would ever be desirable or prudent to create an aristocracy of brains, because good rulership is as much a matter of character and psychophysical constitution as it is of intellect. But if we are at all justified in attributing to the Jews of the last 150 years increasing and very far-reaching political and social power, it is clear that they owed this ruling position to the fabulous riches they had contrived to acquire, and that we are entitled to describe their dominion as that of an ‘aristocracy of wealth.’

This being so, Western Jews must be susceptible to the same kind of criticism to which all other aristocracies have been subjected, and one is entitled to ask the same questions about them as were asked about the old aristocracies of history.

What sort of tone did they spread in the communities over which their power extended? How, as leaders, did they discharge their func­tion of establishing notions of becoming behaviour, good taste and decency? What standards of honour, civility and worthiness has their influence popularised and exalted?

For, as Aristotle aptly observed over two thousand years ago, ‘What those who have the chief power regard as honourable will necessarily be the object the citizens in general will aim at.’[1] [2]

If, therefore, the influence of the Jews in our Western world, at least during the last century and a half, can be shown to have been at all deleterious, they are as much open to censure as were other ruling minorities of the past who proved similarly defective.

And it is here, I suggest, that a man like myself [. . .] runs the risk of passing as an anti-Semite. For if, whilst remaining a champion of aristocracy, I have never refrained from dwelling on the manifold sins of which successive generations of aristocrats have been guilty, I could hardly be expected to assume a different attitude towards the aristocracy of wealth gradually estab­lished through the financial power of the Jews from the end of the seventeenth century to the present day.

Critics may question the justice of identifying the increasing social and political power wielded by the Jews with the power once wielded by the old aristocracies. But if the justice of the identification is conceded, it is clear that I had no choice but to put the same questions concerning the effects of Jewish power, as I had put about the effect of other forms of power, and that I could do this without any more incur­ring the charge of anti-Semitism than I incurred that of anti-aristocrat­ism when I attacked the aristocratic rulers of Europe in the various political treatises I published from 1915 onwards.

When, therefore, we consider the increasing domination of our soci­ety by the Jews during the last century and a half at least—a domina­tion they achieved by their control of most channels of publicity and propaganda; when, moreover, we bear in mind that as ostentatious and conspicuous spenders of wealth they set an example to the masses, high and low, of what should, in the words of Aristotle, be regarded as ‘honourable,’ we may, I suggest, with complete justice measure their rulership according to the same rigid standards as those applied to the rule of former aristocracies.

Nor is this alleged domination of the Jews a mere myth, for as early as 1888 we find the Jewish writer Simon Wolf saying of his coreli­gionists: ‘We all know that the first bankers of the world—Roths­childs—are Jews; we know they control not only the money market, but also the political destiny of the European world. The press of Europe is mostly controlled by Jews; the leading editors are Jews.’[2] [3]

Moreover, no-one aware of what has happened since the day in 1888 when Simon Wolf made this revelatory statement would for a moment doubt that the control of which he speaks has immensely increased. And if we wish to sum up in one sentence what has been the essential nature of this control, and what sort of influence it has exer­cised over the masses of the West, we cannot do better than quote the testimony of another prominent Jew, the Right Honourable Sir Henry Slesser, PC, who, writing in 1944, said: ‘It is true to say that they [the Jews] stimulated the worship of money.’[3] [4]

This exaltation of affluence to the highest ideal of Western civilisa­tion has had many deplorable consequences, none of which has more seriously vulgarised and debauched the popular taste than the desire publicly and unremittingly to display the power of lavish expenditure. And this has so steadily invaded all classes of society that what the French call ‘paraître,’ and what we may conveniently translate as ‘keeping up with the Jones’s,’ has become the ruling passion through­out all Western peoples.

Almost sixty years ago, Paul Adam pronounced the noble sentiment that ‘l’honneur n’est pas d’être envié mais d’être respecté.’[4] [5]

But no candid chronicler of the period that has elapsed since those words were written could claim that there is now the slightest sign anywhere in our civilisation of honour among ordinary people earned by anything else than the power of exciting envy.

Envy has in fact become the ruling passion of our day, and the means of exciting it are pursued with an ardour that excludes most other interests. It is particularly prominent among the factors account­ing for trade disputes, and one writer to the Times,[5] [6] G. Rossiter, commenting on the repeated demands made by workers for higher pay, said quite truly: ‘All the exhortations of governments, trade unions and economists cannot touch the workers’ minds, because they are blinded by envy of those earning more. Thus the spiral can never be halted.’[6] [7]

As there is some evidence of the existence of this kind of vulgarity, at least in England, long before the Jews acquired enough influence to foster it, it would be inaccurate to ascribe it wholly to their influence during the period of their dominion. Indeed, in my most personal account of my attitude to the Jews, in the symposium, Gentile and Jew,[7] [8] and above all in my Quest of Human Quality,[8] [9] I give many data indicating that, years before the Jews could have acquired any social influence, this trend towards the vulgarisation of honour had already gathered some strength, and by the close of the sixteenth century pecu­niary prestige had become a highly coveted form of distinction.

On the other hand, no-one familiar with the development of national sentiment during the last century and a half could claim that anything was attempted or done by the Jews during the period of their dominion to oppose this vulgarising trend and to spread a nobler attitude throughout the nation. In the total absence of any endeavour on the part of the Gentile leaders of England to arrest the national drift into ever greater and more shameless vulgarity, not once did the Jews in their recently acquired ascendancy initiate any movement to bring the masses, high and low, back to the conditions ‘of the old order,’ in which, to quote Dr J. A. Williamson, ‘Labour did not envy property.’[9] [10] Generous as they were in their charity, they never used their powerful influence to chasten and elevate the taste of the people.

When, therefore, we see, as we do today, the desire to excite envy rather than respect, the mainspring of all individual striving, and when we contemplate the havoc this has wrought in the character and eco­nomic life of the nation; when, moreover, we find the vulgarity that prompts only a means test for estimating the worthiness of our fellows, extending even to popular judgements of scientific competence, so that ‘a medical specialist buys a large car, because a small car might embar­rass the GP who asked him to visit a private patient’[10] [11]—when, I say, we find such indubitable signs of vulgarity in the population, it is impossi­ble wholly to exculpate the Jews, whose uncontested dominion during the relevant period of England’s history is acknowledged even by Jew­ish historians themselves.

If, therefore, the aristocrats of the past are to be condemned for having in most cases failed as tone-setters to the nation, we can hardly absolve the Jews of a precisely similar failing—nay, in view of their much higher average intelligence, the sin of the Jews in this matter is proportionately greater than that of the ancient aristocrats—and if such a judgement constitutes anti-Semitism, then on that ground I am an anti-Semite.


[1] [12] Politics, II, Chapter 11, 1273a–1273b.

[2] [13] The Influence of the Jews on the Progress of the World, Washington, D.C., pp. 37–9.

[3] [14] A History of the Liberal Party, London, 1944, Chapter 8.

[4] [15] La morale de l’amour, 1907, Chapter 18. ‘Honour is not to be envied but to be respected.’—Ed.

[5] [16] 10th February 1962.

[6] [17] See also my article, ‘Work in Western civilisation’ in the Hibbert Journal 55, 1956–7, pp. 30–34.

[7] [18] London, 1945.

[8] [19] Chapter 8.

[9] [20] The Evolution of England, 1951, Chapter 8.

[10] [21] British Medical Journal, 14th March 1959: review of T. H. Pear, Personality, Appearance and Speech, Chapter 1, p. 22.