On The Left and the Myth of the ‘Jewish Proletariat’

Andrew Joyce, Ph.D.

‘The weight of the Jews’ exploitation is great and their harmfulness unlimited. … If we find it possible to preach revolution, and only revolution against the nobles, how can we defend the Jews?’
Ukrainian Communist Revolutionary, 1876.[1]

In the months immediately before his coronation in 1189, Richard the Lionheart became aware of rising anti-Jewish sentiment among the people of England. This ill-feeling was the result of decades of rampant usury, property seizures, social disparities, and what historian Robert Chazan described as the “effective royal protection” of Henry II.[2] Eager to ally himself with the mood of the nation, particularly in the tenuous early days of his reign, Richard appealed to the sentiments of the masses by banning Jews from attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. News of the ban was welcomed by the people, but the move was deeply unsettling to England’s Jews. The prohibition was nervously perceived by the nation’s Hebrews as a weakening of the vital Jewish relationship with the elite. This relationship, particularly the protection it provided to Jewish loan merchants, had been absolutely essential to the untroubled continuation of the Jews’ highly antagonistic financial practices among the lower orders. Without this protection, the position of the Jews in England would no longer be viable. Therefore, in a desperate attempt to resist a decline in Jewish influence, on the day of the coronation a party of senior Jews arrived at the doors of Westminster Abbey bearing lavish gifts and sycophantic tongues. The effort was in vain.

The Jewish party were refused entry by nobles and officials, and the group was then stripped and flogged for their flagrant defiance of royal orders. Since this punishment was a public display, a story soon circulated among the peasantry that the new king consented to general action against the Jews, and that the royal elite was now siding with the people. In the ensuing days, luxurious Jewish homes were burned, and castles containing Jewish debt rolls were stormed and their contents destroyed. These actions, however, were built on an assumption of elite backing that was in reality non-existent. The expectations of the masses were soon rudely crushed. The Lionheart’s banning of the Jews had been a mere measure of propaganda intended to endear him to his subjects, and the flogging of the intruding party was carried out without his consent. In truth, the King remained as beholden to the sway of mammon as his predecessors. When push came to shove, the peasantry, unlike ‘his’ Jews, were expendable. Richard wasted little time in rounding up and executing the ringleaders of the anti-Jewish action, even including those who had damaged Jewish property by accident. He then issued orders to “the sheriffs of England to prevent all such incidents in the future.”[3] In the aftermath of this crushing of the people, the Jews of England would once again remain under high levels of royal protection until ‘the Lionheart’ left the country for the Third Crusade — a venture, ironically, to relieve people in foreign nations of the tyranny of ‘infidels.’ The entire affair remains a perfect illustration of the centuries-old symbiotic relationship between Jews and our native elites, and the thread of parasitic capitalism that binds them.

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Here we are in 2016, and so little has changed. More than that, we find that another Lionheart is making the news in Britain in relation to protected Jews and a suffering peasantry. In one of the more perverse insults to follow notorious financial parasite Philip Green’s frenzied feeding on the British Home Stores (BHS) pension fund, it has emerged that the Jewish billionaire recently purchased his third luxury yacht, aptly named Lionheart. While Green and the $120 million Lionheart float serenely on the Mediterranean, more than 20,000 former BHS workers struggle through the day, wondering if they will ever receive the pensions they spent their working lives contributing to. Elite responses to this tragic and incendiary grand larceny have been anodyne and, much like Richard the Lionheart’s early gesture, limited to tokens of mere propaganda. Green’s activities have recently been described by a British Parliamentary committee as the “systematic plunder” of a formerly thriving business, with the committee’s host of banalities concluding that the Green saga was the epitome of “the unacceptable face of capitalism.” In one of the blandest possible statements on the egregious crimes of this apex predator, the politicians chirped that there was “little to support the reputation for retail business acumen for which he received his knighthood.” These insipid chastisements have been followed by Prime Minister Theresa May’s clownish and empty proclamation that she wants to “reform capitalism.”

Notably absent among these and similar complaints about ‘corporate largesse’ and ‘the failings of capitalism’ has been any real interest in the Green case from the Far Left. There are distractions of course, and these arise chiefly from the current predominance of cultural Marxism in the Leftist mind rather than its economic counterpart. Western socialists are now incessantly, and from an economic standpoint counter-productively, engaged in assisting government efforts to flood our nations with cheap exotic labor. The modern Left thus plays a crucial role in depressing the salaries, living conditions, and public services of the working class they claim to speak for. Other recent moral-ideological Leftist crusades have included agitation for same-sex marriage, the opening of various ‘anti-racism’ ventures, and the creation and expansion of Black Lives Matter militancy — none of which benefit native workers in any form.

In summary, the modern Left appears to have abandoned its empty mantra that a successful ‘class struggle’ would abolish a host of ‘capitalist-inspired prejudices.’ The ‘class struggle’ has thus been made subordinate to the greater task of ‘reforming’ society, an ambition that is demonstrably foreign in origin and will inevitably bring great harm to the White working class.

There is, however, a deeper reason for Leftist neglect of the Green case and many similar to it. Indeed, it can be considered an axiom that when a yarmulke is seen atop “the unacceptable face of capitalism” on too many occasions then our erstwhile class warriors and champions of the peasantry will shuffle their feet nervously and move swiftly along. When the Socialist Worker recently covered the latest revelations from Britain’s Sunday Times Rich List, it carefully omitted that around half of the twenty-five richest ‘Britons’ were in fact Jews, Arabs and Indians. Absent also was any reflection on the astonishing fact that Jews like Philip Green possessed more than 22% of the boasted ‘British’ billions despite being a mere 0.5% of the UK population. Rather than an indictment of ‘British’ capitalism, the Rich List in fact provided valuable insight into the groping tentacles of international finance and the tyranny of unproductive foreign speculators.

Equally notable, yet hitherto unexplored, was the quite evident ethnic networking of the listed Jewish billionaires and their mutual over-representation in the annals of white collar crime. For example, the list-topping Reuben brothers have a long and twisted trading history with other Jewish billionaires on the list, including parasitic oligarchs like Roman Abramovich. This doesn’t even take into account their well-established links to other Jewish crooks like the notorious ‘Americans’ Marc Rich and Pincus Green. Despite struggling to find any other possible links between these ‘Britons,’ ‘Iraqis,’ ‘Russians’ and ‘Americans,’ the only commonalities appear to be their Judaism, white collar crime, worker exploitation, and their extreme aversion to paying taxes. The genuinely British members of the list, meanwhile, showed no evidence of forming a ‘capitalist clique’ of tax-evaders and criminals, and were either aristocratic wealth inheritors like the Duke of Westminster or highly creative meritocrats like the inventor Sir James Dyson.

Marxists would of course jump to defend themselves by claiming that they oppose ‘the bosses’ regardless of nationality and ethnicity. However, just ponder for a moment the conscious intellectual effort it must take to ignore the fact that throughout history Jews have contributed most heavily to the very ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ that non-Jewish socialists claim to oppose. This willful ignorance, and its attending silence, have bred a situation in which so-called champions of the people are in fact the noisy cheerleaders for that people’s economic, spiritual, and physical destruction.

This begs a number of questions.

What do young ‘Red’ radicals actually know about Jewish history? How do they interpret this history? How has this history has been interpreted for them? If one attempts to investigate opinions on, and knowledge of, the Jewish Question held by the average young ‘Red’ radical one is first struck by a paucity of organized discussion forums. The non-Jewish Far Left lacks a depth of conviction and energy, and this is reflected in its lack of a systematic approach to communications. In terms of size, the r/socialism Reddit forum is probably the largest Far Left discussion forum, but its numbers pale next to those of its nationalist equivalents. The RevLeft.com discussion forum (at one time billed as the ‘Red Stormfront’) and the r/communism Reddit forum are both around ten times smaller than their White Nationalist equivalents in terms of registered members, and around twenty times smaller in terms of visitors. Numbers aside, the level of participant commitment also appears weak, a point perhaps illustrated most clearly in the regular struggle of RevLeft.com to meet its monthly operational target of $110 (they are $40 short this month). That raising $110 from a membership of 23,000 is such a trial is an instructive irony for a group of individuals boasting the rallying cry ‘share the wealth.’ Indeed, several RevLeft members have written public posts indicating their disbelief that Stormfront’s ‘agents of capitalism’ were raising sixty times the RevLeft monthly target with apparent ease.

There were other disparities. Comparing my investigation of Far Left discussion groups with the findings of Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s ‘The Data of Hate,’ it was clear from the quality and subject matter of written posts that while the age profile of these Leftist groups and Stormfront were roughly similar, the latter had a markedly higher educational profile. The former groups also had a limited and repetitive repertoire of discussion threads that indicated that its members were not, in the words used by Stephens-Davidowitz to describe Stormfront members, “news and political junkies.” That is to say, young Leftists do not appear to be as well-read or as concerned with current affairs. The Leftist forums also demonstrated a significantly weaker grasp of the mechanics of modern politics. The aggregate significance of these findings ensured that, methodologically speaking, the fare for my investigation would be lean.

Discussions of Jews and anti-Semitism, either in theory or history, are limited to a handful at the r/communism Reddit forum. This surprised me given that it is commonly accepted in mainstream historiography that Jews featured to an extraordinary degree among the nineteenth-century devisers of revolutionary socialism.[4] Historian of the Jews, Paul Johnson, writes that Communism itself sprang from the “extraordinary capacity for hatred” in Karl Marx, that Marx’s methodology was “wholly rabbinical,” and that his entire doctrine was “deeply rooted in Jewish apocalyptic and messianism.”[5] Since critiques of revolutionary socialism have invariably highlighted these Jewish roots for well over a century, including critiques from within Communism itself, it is quite remarkable that the subject is not engaged with to a greater degree by contemporary Red radicals.

To the extent that anti-Semitism is discussed at r/communism, these discussions take place on a very superficial level. Some of the superficiality of these discussions appears intentional, in the sense that there is a palpable resistance to meaningful inquiry into the subject. For example, when one forum participant asked why it was so necessary for the USSR to punish anti-Semitism with the death penalty they were met with dismissive responses ranging from carbon copy mantras on the origins of racism in the class system to the even lazier “Death to all Anti-Jews.” The overall tone of the discussion indicates that this was an unwelcome question.

In another discussion thread, the persistence of anti-Semitism in the USSR despite the advent of Communism and the abolition of class-based prejudices, along with Stalin’s own later suspicions of Jews, are weakly attributed to a vague ‘crypto-conservatism’ in Soviet society.

Finally, a thread calling for Leftists to provide information and facts intended to “tackle and debunk anti-Semitism with ferocity” elicited a mere eighteen replies, none of which challenge a single claim of ‘anti-Semites.’ This despite the encouragement of one discussion participant who wrote: “As a Jewish communist I really appreciate this comrade.” Not one work of Jewish history, mainstream or otherwise, is referenced at r/communism.[6]

Discussions of Jews and anti-Semitism are considerably more abundant at RevLeft. While also slightly more sophisticated, these discussions are replete with inaccurate perceptions of history, and arguments that are flatly contradicted by the historical record. One example worth focusing on is from a thread intended to “debunk the Jewish-Bolshevik theory.” Here the argument is made that the theory arises “because of the odd historical accident that Jews have been overrepresented both as finance capitalists and as especially oppressed workers and peasants.” Ignoring for a second the habit of Red radicals and Jewish apologists to rely on “odd historical accidents” as a serious intellectual argument, to what extent is it even possible to describe Jews in Tsarist Eastern Europe as “especially oppressed workers and peasants”?

Modern historiography has in fact entirely debunked the theory of a Jewish proletariat in nineteenth-century Russia, Poland and Lithuania. We now know that this myth of a Jewish proletariat had been popularized and disseminated since the dawn of the Soviet Union where, as one historian puts it “it was not easy to write about the key role played by Jews” in the exploitation of the peasantry.[7] This was essentially a Bolshevik taboo imposed, both culturally and politically, in order to rewrite history and present the fiction of Jews and workers as joint victims of the Tsar and the nobles.

In truth, the Jewish economic profile was always radically different from the peasants and the workers. Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor, and Life in the Kingdom of Poland is one of the more interesting texts on Jewish history to emerge from Oxford University Press in recent years. In the course of the book, historian Glenn Dynner explains that Jews dominated urban and semi-urban life in Eastern Europe for around three centuries, often running taverns which sold alcohol on credit as well as issuing cash loans. In a pattern that we know extended over regions and time, including the England of Richard the Lionheart, Dynner explains that the local nobles operated monopolies but enabled “the Jew…to benefit from unique opportunities to serve the nobleman, most importantly by leasing and operating his taverns and distilleries. This scenario prevailed throughout all the tsar’s formerly Polish and Lithuanian lands.”[8] Jews were invited by nobles to act as predators upon the peasantry, and in return were offered “privileges, economic opportunities, and protection.”[9] The peasant meanwhile “remained a serf.”[10]

In reality, there was no common ground between the workers of the field and the Jews. Dynner cites the Yiddish writer S.Y. Abramovitsch (1835–1917) as writing “the markets and the shops, the merchants and middlemen, the taverns and inns, were all Jewish.”[11] The peasants worked the surrounding fields, and were often compelled to spend their meager allowance in the Jewish taverns, where their drunkenness and induced debt would ruin their lives to the benefit the Jews and the selfish elites. Eastern Europe was built on what Dynner describes as “an interethnic mercantile system” that “involved a symbiosis between the landowning nobility and Jewish merchants.”[12] As well as the production and wholesale of liquor, which in the form of wine had also long attracted the Jews of France,[13] the Eastern European arenda system permitted “an even stronger noble-Jewish symbiosis.” Within this system “noble landowners leased their mills, tolls and taverns almost exclusively to Jews.”[14] Samples from contemporary records show figures of around 94% of Eastern European taverns in identifiably Jewish hands.[15] Many Jews became “extraordinarily wealthy” by exploiting the peasantry, and a large number channeled their wealth into the Hasidim.[16] Money was thus taken from the gentile workers, and provided for a Jewish community built on the total rejection of occupational employment.

As the century progressed, reformist state officials began pondering the emancipation of the peasants and the extension of their economic rights. This was directly in conflict with what Dynner calls “the lord-Jew alliance,” prompting the noble to “intervene with officials on behalf of ‘his’ Jew.”[17] Rather than improving the lot of the peasantry, the nobles and the Jews were keen to wring every cent from them. In many areas it was made illegal to purchase liquor anywhere else or to make one’s own, and in some areas the purchase of liquor from Jews was made compulsory by the noble. This practice enabled the lord to siphon off any surplus money the peasants had managed to obtain, and in this practice Dynner explains the Jews “were fully complicit.”[18] Jews also benefited by offering credit — at interest. Via peasant debt, Jews were able to obtain vast amounts of the worker’s petty property, enabling their sons to go into the second-hand furniture and pawn businesses with ease. It was remarked in those days that the Jews knew every possession a peasant had, “every sheaf in the field, every head of cattle in the herd.” A popular saying was “the peasant drinks at the inn and the Jew does him in.”[19] An 1844 Prussian report on newly acquired Polish lands stated that “the Jews’ economic and occupational habits, especially those created by petty trading and the sale of alcohol, are still damaging the lower classes of the people.”[20]

Not all members of the elite acted as traitors to their people however. In 1802 King Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia wrote to a Polish noble expressing his discontent that he would abuse his peasantry with Jewish lessees in his taverns.[21] In 1821 the Ukrainian military governor Prince Nicholas Repnin expelled the Jews from Chernigov and Poltava, explaining that “some landowners, tempted by the money they received from Jews, thoughtlessly protected them…Being indifferent to the welfare of the peasants who belong to them, for their own selfish temporary advantage they want to have Jews present in the country in order to make money through them.”[22] Meanwhile benevolent state officials were working hard to emancipate the serfs at last.

The emancipation of the serfs is generally regarded by historians as detrimental to the Jews, a telling indication of their disparity of interests. The full picture is rather complex. Jewish historians have been at pains to suggest that the emancipation of the serfs pushed the entire lower classes (magically including Jews) out of the fields and into the factories. However, new data suggests that while the number of Jews becoming artisans modestly increased in the 1850s, a significantly larger number merely moved into different areas of trade. Petty trade alone (small loans, pawn, second hand goods) accounted for just under 40% of the Jewish population of the Russian Empire in 1897.[23] Nobles who had earlier been in alliance with the Jews now no longer had free labor in their fields and thus began a slow decline. Their loyalty to their Jews wasn’t reciprocated. In a scenario that was perversely just, Dynner explains that many nobles now became indebted to Jews, often losing swathes of land to them in default. The Jewish timber trade began to boom in the wake of the bankruptcies of the lords. One Yiddish writer wrote that “the dense forests of Poland moaned, thinned, and fell into Jewish hands. The logs were bound into rafts. And during the summer season the Jews sent the logs floating down the Vistula and the Zholdevka to Germany.”[24] During a period in which Jewish apologetics and Communist historians would have us believe the Jews were toiling in the factories, Dynner explains that: “the question of whether Polish-Jewish moneylending — so downplayed by early modern historians — increased in the wake of peasant emancipation cannot be answered definitively at this point for lack of data, but the impression is that it grew explosively.”[25] In short, emancipation pushed Jews out of the taverns and into a more diverse array of exploitative practices.

Jews did not join the proletariat, but instead continued to embody “the unacceptable face of capitalism” as they had so frequently done for centuries. For this very reason the period 1880–1945 witnessed an almost constant series of conflicts and flashpoints between Jews and gentiles in Eastern Europe. It was one of the great deceptions of Bolshevism to mask and distort this history, and it remains a great deception among young Red radicals. Through clever propaganda, and in some cases Judeo-Bolshevik butchery of opposition, the constant and eternal enemy of the workers emerged as their champion. While the worker continues to be bled dry, Jews continue to steer and manipulate left-leaning non-Jews away from the clearer vision of true socialists like Wilhelm Marr, Adolf Stocker, Georg Ritter von Schonerer, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Alphonse Toussenel. It is no “odd historical accident” that Antifascist Action (AFA), the most militant wing of the modern hard Left, was born in London in 1985 out of the Jewish Socialist’s Group and its associates. We can be sure that the ‘worker’s paradise’ promised by these Asiatic barbarians would differ little from the bloodbaths of Béla Kohn, or the Ukrainian Terror Famine that sacrificed twelve million gentile souls on the altar of Marx’s “wholly rabbinical” doctrine.

Some of our young people may well be earnest in their desire to “fight the system.” However, they must see that this ‘system’ has always involved a vile symbiotic relationship between treasonous elites and a foreign people. They cannot claim to attack one head of Orthrus while feeding and stroking the other. They cannot claim to ‘fight the man’ while serving his interests. History, facts and science contradict their poisonous doctrine; a doctrine designed to blind, divide, mislead, and ultimately return them to the serfdom their ancestors suffered under. It is a doctrine designed to replace the exploitative symbiotic relationship we now experience with a purer tyranny. Our elites are only ever expediencies, and they too will eventually give way, as they have in the past, to the “Jewish proletariat.” I can think of no better way to close than with a quote from the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

It does not take long to prove how excessively, and above all how over-zealously, Jews took part in the abuse of the half-dead Russia by the Bolsheviks. … The Russian people have never before experienced Jews in power. Now, however, one experiences them at every step and turn, and their power is brutal and unlimited.

 [1] S. Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, The Jews and Israel (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), p.187.

[2] R. Chazan, The Jews of Medieval Christendom: 1000-1500 (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p.160.

[3] R.V. Turner & R. Heiser, The Reign of Richard Lionheart: Ruler of The Angevin Empire, 1189-1199 (Routledge, 2013), p.92.

[4] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London, 1987), 346.

[5] Ibid, 347.

[6] This is apparently part of a wider hostility towards the scholarly process, science and empiricism at the forum. In one thread a poster makes it plain that “natural (psuedo)science is used to justify racism, sexism, and capitalism, and remains widespread.” Like any cult, the only objective ‘proof’ accepted by those posting to the forum threads is that they cite their revered doctrine.

[7] G. Dynner, Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor and Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Oxford University Press, 2014), p.9.

[8]Ibid, pp.2-3.

[9] Ibid, p.4

[10][10] Ibid, p.3

[11] Ibid, p.6.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid, p.20

[14] Ibid, p.6

[15] Ibid, p.16.

[16] Ibid, p.7.

[17] Ibid, p.17.

[18] Ibid, p.26.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid, p.55.

[21] Ibid, p.54.

[22] Ibid, p.79.

[23] Ibid, p.136.

[24] Ibid, p.138.

[25] Ibid, p.142.

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