Forwarded from Nestor (reply to Mine)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Tue Apr 17 13:26:31 MDT 2001


Mine asks:

"why are you reading my posts selectively Nestor?"

Well, to begin with, because it is too dull to answer by saying "I agree"
to most of what you write. So I focus on what may imply a further analysis
of a complex issue.

But I suppose the question was rethoric. What really matters, and what I am
trying to establish in my postings, is that while it is true that many Jews
have become noteworthy due to their commitment to Justice, Truth and even
Equality, this does not make Jews any better than others. Even that
commitment has a concrete material origin, this is _my_ point. Put a Jew
under different circumstances, then the Jew becomes a different kind of Jew.

Of course, the same can be said of Black people, of Asian people, of any
people in the world. Adam Lowenstein made a joke on this almost common
sense notion, a notion that I find sometimes missing in those who tackle
the Jewish issue, but this joke contained a good deal of truth. Blood on
the doors of the _slaves_ ("Avadim hainu...", that is "we were slaves" is a
song of Jewish Passover too) to establish the class distinction is a
definite class issue.

When people who call themselves children of those slaves make slaves of
others, or give sound advice to slaveowners, they don´t cease to be Jews
because of that. I think that when Lou spoke of "a real Jew" he did not
speak of "a real ordinary Jew", that is those Jews who constitute the mass
of Jewish people in the United States today, but of "a real Jew who is
faithful to the best traditions of a people with a long record in
oppression, who does not jump to the side of the oppressors even when she
or he, at last, gets free from that oppresison".

Unfortunately, many Jews and non-Jews tend to believe in an uniqueness of
Jews, an uniqueness that crosses over class issues (I am not blaming Mine
for this, of course), and I believe that whenever these points are broached
the lack of serious ground for such a distinction must be stressed. So,
though Mine is right in that

"in very nation a ruling class who exploits other nations as well as its
own people",

I still believe that it is much on the point to stress that

"that Jews provided the Finance Minister of Confederacy",

since there is a trend, particularly among Leftists, to somehow reverse the
"bad" image of the Jew by imagining some ideal, excellent, Jew, which is
somehow a Weberian (would it be too outrageous to say "Buberian") high
standard of personal integrity and commitment, and to consider that this _is_

"unique to Jews", which is also an "overall generalization about Jews".

Then, you further insist:

 "While ruling class Jews were slavery apologists who deserve condemnation
from us, some (belonging to ruling or non-ruling classes) fought against it
and deserve praising. That was my point, briefly!"

We could not agree more. But I would like for everyone on the list to be
equally convinced that this does not imply that Jews, just because they are
Jews, are a particularly good kind of people who have some few aberrant
exponents who defend slavery. In the end, I was not answering Mine, I was
just jumping from the high point that she had reached in the hope to climb
still higher.

In the end, the whole things revolves around the convenience to defend Jews
(such as yours truly, by the way) only when they actually are an oppressed
fraction of humankind, not when they pretend to be but in fact are just the
middlemen between the oppressor and the slave. The second situation is also
a weak position, but does not make an oppressed person of the middleman.
The whole thing, also, has to do with the problem of the middle classes in
general.

Lic. Néstor M. Gorojovsky


Louis Proyect
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