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Thursday, January 14th, 2021
|Otto Weininger The Anti-Semite
Following his own paradigm, Weininger argues: ‘People love in others the
qualities they would like to have but do not actually have in any great de-
gree. So we only hate in others what we do not wish to be and what,
notwithstanding, we are partly. We hate only qualities to which we approx-
imate, but which we realise first in other persons … Thus the fact is ex-
plained that the bitterest anti-Semites are to be found amongst the Jews
According to Weininger, some Jews oppose in others that which they
despise in themselves. This tendency is called anti-Semitism, but Jews are
not alone. Some non-Jews find Jewish tendencies within themselves as
well. Weininger elaborates: ‘Even Richard Wagner, the bitterest anti-Semite,
cannot be held free of accretion of Jewish-ness, even in his art.’⁵⁹ I would
argue that, for Weininger, Jewish-ness isn’t at all a racial category, but a
mindset that some of us possess and a very few of us try to oppose.
Isn’t that merely to repeat Marx’s treatment of Jewish identity, explored
in his famous essay ‘On The Jewish Question’? Marx equates Jews with
capitalism, self-interest and money-grubbing. For him, capitalism is Ju-
daism, and Judaism is capitalism. The Jews have liberated themselves to
the point where Christians have become Jews. He concludes ferociously:
‘The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from
Judaism.’⁶⁰ Judging Marx’s ideas in the Weiningerian frame of reference
may suggest that Marx’s analysis is the outcome of Marx being Jewish him-
self. In other words, Marxism is the outcome of Marx’s capacity to oppose
the Jew within.
As we can see, Weininger has provided us with a pretty useful analytical
tool. He is granting us insight into the subject of hatred and self-hatred,
going as far as arguing: ‘The Aryan has to thank the Jew that through him,
he knows to guard against Judaism as a possibility within himself.’⁶¹ In
other words, antagonism towards others can be grasped as a manifestation
of self-contempt. Thus the Nazi hatred toward anything even remotely Jew-
ish could also be explained as a form of hostility towards the Jew within.
But if hatred is, at least partly, a form of self-negation, I have to admit
that my own personal war against Zionism and Jewish identity politics
could be seen as a war I have declared against myself. Taking it a step fur-
ther, we may all have to admit that fighting racism for real primarily entails
opposing the racist within.
Otto Weininger was just twenty-three when he committed suicide. One
may wonder how he knew so much about women. Why did he hate them
so? How did he know so much about Jews, and why did he hate them so?
The answer can be elicited from Weininger’s thoughts, though not from his
own words. He hated women and Jews because he was a woman and a Jew.
He adored Aryan masculinity because he probably lacked that quality in any
significant amount in his own being. This revelation probably led Weininger
to kill himself, just a month after the publication of his book. Very likely, he
had managed to understand what his book was all about.
Это я недавно откинувшегося узника совести почитать
решил. Current Mood: sleepy