Are Jews Russian?

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Sep 24 19:07:58 MDT 1996

Speaking of Russian and British anti-Semitism, in a disgraceful act of
self-promotion, I quote this paragraph from my book Wall Street (Verso,
April 1997), on John Maynard Keynes' attitudes towards Marxism:

Marxism as a political philosophy was a "delusion" (CW XVII, p. 268), an
"obsolete" and "erroneous...creed which, preferring the mud to the fish,
exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeois and the intelligentsia
who, with whatever faults, are the quality in life and surely carry the
seeds of all human advancement." The hated doctrine could do nothing to
"alter..human nature," to make "Jews less avaricious or Russians less
extravagant than they were before"  (CW IX, pp. 258-259). Workers he found
"boorish," though he generously conceded that they were "not as ugly as
they might be" (quoted in Pereleman 1989, p.7). Civilization is not the
product of vast numbers of humans living and working together, but "a thin
and precarious crust erected by the personality and the will of a very few,
and only maintained by rules and conventions skilfully put across and
guilefully preserved" (CW X, p. 447). "The class war," he concluded
charmingly, "will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie" (CW IX,
p. 297).



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
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