The Image of Karl Marx towers so high above all other socialist thinkers that it has encouraged iconolatry. In no other area is this more prevalent than in considering the problem of Marx and the Jews. This is hardly conducive to advancing “scientific method” in the study of history.
Many socialists and Marxists, understandably, have evaded or rationalized the anti-Semitic strand in the work of Marx. Before me lies the 1903 edition of Frederick [Friedrich] Engels’s Feuerbash: The Roots of Socialist Philosophy, translated and edited by Austin Lewis, published by Charles H. Kerr & Co. The appendix contains Marx’s “Theses” on Feuerbach. How valuable these theses were to young socialists seeking both theoretical understanding and practical activity for the liberation of the working class! The American socialists of that day must have been aware of how many Jewish adherents there were in the socialist movement. In any case, being both Jewish and a youngster of fifteen when I first read the “Theses” in the Kerr edition, I was impressed by Marx’s criticism of Feuerbach, reading here that he considered “only theoretical activity as generally human, while `praxis’ is conceived and fixed only in its disgusting form.” I did not know then that the editors were being sensitive to wha...
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