As Deutscher wrote, Marx was indeed the prototype of the radical “non-Jewish Jew,” much as my parents and I were, as we marched down Eighth Avenue in that May Day parade when I was nine. We were Jews who had turned our backs on Judaism, but who belonged to no other real community or place. We were in America, but not of it. We had embraced a cause that set us against it. We had puffed ourselves up into thinking we were saviors of humanity, but we did not really identify ourselves with any particular part of the humanity we intended to save. If we had the courage to be truthful, in fact, we would have admitted that, in our own eyes — like Shabbtai Zvi — we were really nothing at all. We had taken up a messianic cause in behalf of all humanity, especially black and poor humanity, and the third world’s oppressed. But we had no cause that was our own. Those we championed hated us as Jews, as middle class people who had made a modest success, and as Americans too.
The international socialist creed that Marx invented is a creed of hate and self-hate. The solution that Marxism proposes to the Jewish “problem” is to eliminate the system that “creates” the Jew. Jews are only symptoms of a more extensive evil that must be eradicated: capitalism. Jews are only symbols of a more pervasive enemy that must be destroyed: capitalists. In the politics of the Left, racist hatred is directed not only against Jewish capitalists but against all capitalists; not only against capitalists, but against anyone who is not poor, and who is white; and ultimately against western civilization itself. The socialist revolution is anti-Semitism elevated to a global principle. From darkness, light.
A former radical, a heretic and stranger — what I have learned through my own exile is this: respect for the boundaries between the profane and the holy, between man and God; distrust of the false prophets of a tikkun olam. Marxism and liberation theology are satanic creeds. There can be no return from our exile by any path other than the moral law; no redemption that takes us beyond the boundaries of who and what we are.
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