|Karl Marx, On the Jewish Question:
The Capacity of Present-Day Jews and Christians to Obtain Freedom, 1843
Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew, not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday
Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his
religion in the real Jew.
What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest.
What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.
Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real
Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.
An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and therefore
the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible. His religious consciousness
would be dissipated like a thin haze in the real, vital air of society.
...In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from
Judaism. [Here as elsewhere, Marx uses the words Jude and Judentum in the figurative
sense, i.e., denoting usury, huckstering, trading, etc.]
The Jew has already emancipated himself in a Jewish way.
The Jew, who in Vienna, for example, is only tolerated, determines the fate of the whole
Empire by his financial power. The Jew, who may have no rights in the smallest German
state, decides the fate of Europe. While corporations and guilds refuse to admit Jews, or
have not yet adopted a favourable attitude towards them, the audacity of industry mocks at
the obstinacy of the medieval institutions. (Bruno Bauer, Die Judenfrag.)
This is no isolated fact. The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only
because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from
him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the
practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the
Christians have become Jews.
Captain Hamilton, for example, reports:
The devout and politically free inhabitant of New England is a kind of Laocoön, who makes
not the least effort to escape from the serpents which are crushing him. Mammon is his idol
which he adores not only with his lips but with the whole force of his body and mind. In his
view the world is no more than a Stock Exchange, and he is convinced that he has no other
destiny here below than to become richer than his neighbor. Trade has seized upon all his
thoughts, and he has no other recreation than to exchange objects. When he travels he
carries, so to speak, his goods and counter on his back and talks only of interest and profit. If
he loses sight of his own business for an instant it is only in order to pry into the business of
Indeed, in North America the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has
achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself
and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade, and the bankrupt trader deals in the
Gospel just as the Gospel preacher who has become rich goes in for business deals.
The man who you see at the head of a respectable congregation began as a trader; his
business having failed, he becomes a minister. The other began as a priest but as soon as
he had some money at his disposal he left the pulpit to become a trader. In the eyes of very
many people, the religious ministry is a veritable business career. (Beaumont)
According to Bauer, it is "a fictitious state of affairs when in theory the Jew is deprived of
political rights, whereas in practice he has immense power and exerts his political influence en
gros, although it is curtailed en détail." (Die Judenfrage)
. . . The Jew is perpetually created by civil society from its own entrails. What, in itself, was the
basis of the Jewish religion? Practical need, egoism. The monotheism of the Jew, therefore,
is in reality the polytheism of the many needs, a polytheism which makes even the lavatory an
object of divine law. Practical need, egoism, is the principle of civil society, and as such
appears in a pure form as soon as civil society had fully given birth to the political state. The
god of practical need and self-interest is money.
Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades
all the gods of man -- and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal self-established
value of all things. It has therefore robbed the whole world -- both the world of men and nature
-- of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man's work and man's existence,
and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.
The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The bill of
exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. The view of
nature attained under the dominion of private property and money is a real contempt for and
practical debasement of nature; in the Jewish religion nature exists, it is true, but it exists only
|"The God of the Jews" from, The Poisonous Mushroom, Julius Streicher
Translated from the Third Reich Original, Der Giftpilz. PDF