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Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate by Jean-Paul Sartre

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By Jean-Paul Sartre

With a brand new preface by means of Michael Walzer

Jean-Paul Sartre's booklet is a superb portrait of either anti-Semite and Jew, written by means of a non-Jew and from a non-Jewish viewpoint. not anything of the anti-Semite both in his sophisticated shape as a snob, or in his crude shape as a gangster, escapes Sartre's sharp eye, and the full challenge of the Jew's dating to the Gentile is tested in a concrete and residing approach, instead of when it comes to sociological abstractions.

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Additional info for Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate

Sample text

The principal concern of this "white‐ collar proletariat" was to distinguish itself from the real proletariat. Ruined by big industry, bamboozled by the Junkers, it was nonetheless to the Junkers and the great industrialists that its whole heart went out. It went in for anti‐Semitism with the same enthusiasm that it went in for wearing bourgeois dress: because the workers were internationalists, because the Junkers possessed Germany and it wished to possess it also. Anti‐Semitism is not merely the joy of hating; it brings positive pleasures too.

On the other hand, the bourgeois — and the anti‐Semite in particular — have chosen to explain history by the action of individual wills. 3 They behave toward social facts like primitives who endow the wind and the sun with little souls. Intrigues, cabals, the perfidy of one man, the courage and virtue of another — that is what determines the course of their business, that is what determines the course of the world. Anti‐Semitism, a bourgeois phenomenon, appears therefore as a choice made to explain collective events by the initiative of individuals.

There are too many Jewish lawyers, someone says. But is there any complaint that there are too many Norman lawyers? Even if all the Bretons were doctors would we say anything more than that "Brittany provides doctors for the whole of France"? Oh, someone will answer, it is not at all the same thing. No doubt, but that is precisely because we consider Normans as Normans and Jews as Jews. Thus wherever we turn it is the idea of the Jew which seems to be the essential thing. It has become evident that no external factor can induce anti‐Semitism in the anti‐Semite.

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