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  • The Continuing Mystery of Jewish Leftism

    Posted by Jonathan on November 14th, 2014 (All posts by )

    Many of the comments on this post by Glenn Reynolds are quite good. Worth a read.

     

    17 Responses to “The Continuing Mystery of Jewish Leftism”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      1. Most of the Jewish immigrants of the pre WWII era were from the Russian and Hapsburg Empires. They became socialists because the socialists opposed the regimes which were very anti-Semitic. The really conservative religious Jews of those areas were told by their Rabbis not to emigrate to what the Rabbis regarded as a non-religious land (and, of course to continue to stay in their shtetles and support their local rabbis).

      2. In Europe, Jews were not agriculturalists as they were not allowed to own land. When they got to the US they settled in the big cities where they were recruited to the Democrat party machines of those cities. They were not accepted by the Republican WASP upper class who then dominated the country’s political system.

      3. The second generation of Jews, either born in the US or brought here as very young children, grew up in socialist households as Democrats. The Democrat party of the big cities was far more accepting of Jews than the Republicans as then constituted. Roosevelt was a hero to many Jews. Truman earned their gratitude by recognizing Israel over the objections of the State department. Eisenhower alienated many Jews by opposing the Anglo-French plan to retrieve the Suez canal with the help of Israel, and what was perceived as holding Israel at arm’s length.

      4. During the 1930s the New Deal offered many Jews paths of advancement in American society as bureaucrats. They also flocked to teaching at both K12 and college levels. The industries, such as the garment trade in New York, that Jews worked in were unionized by leftist CIO unions.

      5. Even today, there are very few Jews outside of the Northeastern megalopolis, the south-eastern Florida Gold Coast (which is culturally a suburb of the northeast), LA, and some of the big rust-belt cities (e.g. Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago). Within those contexts, which are dominated by the Democrat party, the Jews have done very well. Jews have flocked to jobs in education, health care, finance, and the media. Those industries are dominated by government regulation, and even ownership. They are natural nests of liberalism.

      6. Jews are a tiny minority of the US, less than 2%. Even in the areas listed above where they gather, they are a minority. American politics, like all politics everywhere, still has an element of tribalism. To Jews, just as to African Americans, the Democrat party is the party of their tribe.

      7. There are countervailing pressures. A couple of Jewish sub-groups*, particularly, the Ultra-Orthodox, and emigres from the pieces of the collapsed Soviet Union are not wired into the Democrat Party. The latter, of course, have learned the bitter truth about socialism. The former grew out of post-WWII refugees from the Holocaust. They don’t mix much with the rest of the Jewish community, they have stayed in fairly cohesive communities, and they are reproducing at very high growth rates.

      * Jews have always been contentious. In the Pentateuch, Moses complains to God about the difficulties caused by this trait.

      8. Lastly, the Democrat party has come to be dominated by hard core leftists. As we all know, the leftist hive mind now hates Israel and has adopted Hamas as one of their own. Leftism has come to be anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. Recall the 2006 purge of Joe Lieberman from the Democrat party, and the fuss at the 2012 Democrat convention about a motion to support Israel. Leftists succeeded in driving Catholics out of the Democrat Party. Their next target may well be Jews.

    2. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Leftists succeeded in driving Catholics out of the Democrat Party.

      A more accurate characterization would be that leftists drove Catholicism out of the Democrat party forcing Catholics to make a decision as to whether they were more loyal to Catholicism or socialism. Most were more loyal to Catholicism. When forced to make the comparable decision, most Jews seem to be willing to choose socialism.

    3. Grurray Says:

      Rauner did well with the Jewish vote in Illinois. He’s from the North Shore, with its large Jewish population, and his wife is Jewish.

    4. David Foster Says:

      My post The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America is relevant to this topic.

    5. Mike K Says:

      David, I was amused to see my comment to your post. My leftist son now has two daughters and they are visiting my other son who lives about 4 blocks me from but they have not called. There have been discussion in the family and the conclusion seems to be that they are deeply into a leftist Catholic community and are even more judgmental than the usual leftist.

      I personally think that Republicans will make better inroads with the black population via vouchers. The middle class blacks are likely to be federal employees and there is a barrier.

      The comments about Jews tending to be urban in this country is interesting because I have read that a major push for kibbutzes in Israel was a determination to show that Jews could farm. Historically, the barriers to land ownership were a major factor in Europe. Not so much in this country but the Jews who knew about agriculture may have been disproportionately victims of the Holocaust.

    6. Robert Schwartz Says:

      “When forced to make the comparable decision, most Jews seem to be willing to choose socialism.”

      The hammer has not really come down yet. The choice has not been forced. Most of the folks I see at AIPAC meetings that I attend (I am fully paid up member), do not yet really understand what is going to come down, they are still birthright Democrats. They cannot grasp how much of an anti-Semite Hussein is. Ever time he lets it loose, they send out tools like Debbie Wassermann Schultz and Chucky Schumer to mend fences.

      Further, the habits of a lifetime are hard to break. The non-orthodox Jewish community skews quite old, their habits, even voting habits, are very hard to change.

      MikeK: good point about the kibbutniks. No, they knew nothing about farming when they started. The Holocaust didn’t affect Jewish knowledge about agriculture because the people the Nazis murdered, like their relations who had emigrated to the USA in the early part of the 19th Century, were not agriculturalists. They were towns people who may have followed rural trades, like Tevye the Milkman, but they could not have cultivated land. My mother’s family came from a small town in Ukraine 160 versts SSW of Kiev. Her grandparents were a baker and a railroad station agent.

    7. Mike K Says:

      “they could not have cultivated land.”

      OK. I have gotten the impression that there were entire villages of Jews. Probably from Herman Wouk’s books and from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

    8. Gringo Says:

      Mike K
      comments about Jews tending to be urban in this country is interesting because I have read that a major push for kibbutzes in Israel was a determination to show that Jews could farm. Historically, the barriers to land ownership were a major factor in Europe. Not so much in this country but the Jews who knew about agriculture may have been disproportionately victims of the Holocaust.

      Leon Trotsky’s father was a well-off farmer in Ukraine.
      How ya’ gonna keep them down on the farm, down on the farm…..

    9. Robert Schwartz Says:

      OK. I have gotten the impression that there were entire villages of Jews. Probably from Herman Wouk’s books and from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

      That is true, and they made their living providing urban services to the surrounding Slavic agricultural communities. Selling vodka was a big one.

    10. Veryretired Says:

      It’s not only Jews. Many mainstream Christian denominations also bought into the Faustian bargain with the progressive movement in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and supported their claim that the state could better manage and provide resources to the unfortunate than private efforts.

      At the dawn of the enlarged programs included in “The Great Society”, LBJ’s attempt to emulate and outdo his hero FDR, Sen. Moynihan warned that the system would create destructive dependencies, but those invested in the ideology of state welfarism rejected the caution and charged ahead.

      Decades later, it has become painfully clear how disastrous these entitlements have been, not only to the individuals and families they have enervated, but also to the cities and states whose political and economic cultures have been corrupted and undermined by the gushing of money from the public’s purse.

      As I have mentioned in other contexts, if these programs had been designed by the KKK for the specific purpose of destroying minority communities, they couldn’t have been more poisonous.

      The entrenched corrupt political machines that have developed to funnel, and steal, the funds supposedly dedicated to alleviating poverty have destroyed whole sections of the country, and threaten to bankrupt the nation as the balance sheet of the state’s obligations slides ever deeper into a river of red ink.

      Jewish theorists and loyal voters for progressive policies may have had some influence in these matters, but the statist enablers in a great many pulpits and social groups bear the greater burden of responsibility.

      Lord Acton warned that power tends to corrupt, and the best of intentions cannot vaccinate against that pervasive moral sickness. Giving political types expanded powers and resources is no different than providing an addict with a generous supply of heroin, and is every bit as deadly.

      Collectivism is a false messiah, for Jews and anyone else searching for an utopia here on Earth. The state can only crucify, never redeem.

    11. ErisGuy Says:

      “ Many mainstream Christian denominations also bought into the Faustian bargain with the progressive movement in the late 19th and 20th centuries”

      So what is the relation of state and church in Christianity. I sortta know it from one side, but is there any prohibition on the church taking over the state? (That is what Leftist Christians argue: that Progressivism is simply Christian governance.) I would think not, because: Papal States.

      The separation of church and state is an American invention, not a Christian one (except for the obvious, of course.) These days, of course, it’s not honored at all: once the state can compel the church, all cries of separation of church and state are forgotten by Progressives.

      If Progressives are allowed to continue with the argument than communism (note the small c) is equivalent to Christianity; that is, if history decides that the two are the same, then good-bye Christianity. If Jews make the same bargain: that communism is Judaism….

      I haven’t seen a Christian church that opposes the Democrat Party in a long time. A few weeks ago my pastor held up a bundle of sticks and tie, and proclaimed we should be bound together to become strong. (Yes, he did this without irony*.) And oft argued in his sermons that Christian compassion requires the Democrat Party platform (without actually saying those words, of course).

      *but with much truth, as I agree with him (not publicly) that the Democrat Party and Fascism are barely distinguishable in their worship of the state.

    12. Mike K Says:

      I agree that most priests and pastors have adopted the Democrats’ ideology which I consider fascist. The sticks and line symbol is astounding. I wonder if the pastor knows the history of the symbol ?

      For example: According to Livy, the lictors were likely an Etruscan tradition, adopted by Rome.[5] The highest magistrate, the dictator, was entitled to twenty-four lictors and fasces, the consul to twelve, the proconsul eleven, the praetor six (two within the pomerium), the propraetor five, and the curule aediles two.

      Onward Christian soldiers !

    13. ErisGuy Says:

      ” I wonder if the pastor knows the history of the symbol ?”

      Wishing to retain everyone’s friendship, I didn’t dare ask. Also, the symbolism of the bound sticks antedates Mussolini. Just because Mussolini claimed it, doesn’t mean it can’t be washed, rinsed and used again for other purposes. That some symbol is frozen for all time and means exactly what someone says it means and not other thing is something Leftists often claim.

    14. Robert Schwartz Says:

      ErisGuy: Buy your pastor a copy of “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg. It explains the whole thing.

    15. Death 6 Says:

      “Collectivism is a false messiah, for Jews and anyone else searching for an utopia here on Earth. The state can only crucify, never redeem.”

      Well summed up.

      Mike

    16. Mike K Says:

      But, but Communism has never really been tried !

      I wonder what secular Jews will do if Iran attacks Israel with an atomic bomb ?

    17. Will Says:

      Don’t laugh Mike, a university professor told me the very same thing…with a straight face, no less, when I inquired about Eastern Europe and Cuba’s myriad problems. I don’t know what they will do if bombed, if surviving such a thing will be possible.