SCHOPENHAUER

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Arthur Schopenhauer On Jews:

Moreover it asserts its nationality with unprecedented obstinacy and, mindful of Abraham who dwelt in Canaan as a stranger but who gradually became master of the whole land, as his God had promised him (Genesis 17:8),

it would like to set foot somewhere and take root in order to arrive once more at a country, without which, of course, a people is like a ball floating in air. Till then, it lives parasitically on other nations and their soil; but yet it is inspired with the liveliest patriotism for its own nation. This is seen in the very firm way in which Jews stick together on the principle of each for all and all for each, so that this patriotism sine patria inspires greater enthusiasm than does any other. The rest of the Jews are the fatherland of the Jew; and so he fights for them as he would pro ara et focis [for hearth and home], and no community on earth sticks so firmly together as does this.

It follows from this that it is absurd to want to concede to them a share in the government or administration of any country. Originally amalgamated and one with their state, their religion is by no means the main issue here, but rather merely the bond that holds them together, the point de ralliement [rallying-point], and the banner whereby they recognize one another. This is also seen in the fact that even the converted Jew who has been baptized does not by any means bring upon himself the hatred and loathing of all the rest [of the Jews], as do all other apostates. On the contrary, he continues as a rule to be their friend and companion and to regard them as his true countrymen, naturally with a few orthodox exceptions. … Accordingly, it is an extremely superficial and false view to regard the Jews merely as a religious sect. But if, in order to countenance this error, Judaism is described by an expression borrowed from the Christian Church as “Jewish Confession,” then this is a fundamentally false expression which is deliberately calculated to mislead and should not be allowed at all. On the contrary, “Jewish Nation” is the correct expression. The Jews have absolutely no confession; monotheism is part of their nationality and political constitution and is with them a matter of course.

They are and remain a foreign oriental race, and so must be regarded merely as domiciled foreigners. When some twenty-five years ago the emancipation of the Jews was debated in the English Parliament, a speaker put forward the following hypothetical case. An English Jew comes to Lisbon where he meets two men in extreme want and distress; yet it is only in his power to save one of them. Personally to him they are both strangers. Yet if one of them is an Englishman but a Christian, and the other a Portuguese but a Jew, whom will he save? I do not think that any sensible Christian and any sincere Jew would be in doubt as to the answer. But it gives us some indication of the rights to be conceded to the Jews.

While all other religions endeavor to explain to the people by symbols the metaphysical significance of life, the religion of the Jews is entirely immanent and furnishes nothing but a mere war-cry in the struggle with other nations.

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