[Marxism] Gerhard Hanloser Critique of Moishe Postone on Antisemitism

Angelus Novus fuerdenkommunismus at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 18 12:10:51 MDT 2011

A recent heated debate with a friend of mine about the recent social movements in Greece prompted me to translate this article.  I argued that the attacks upon financial institutions and "foreign powers" do not constitute Antisemitism, as Antisemitism necessarily entails some targeting of Jews.  Furthermore, unlike Antisemitism, the Greek protestors are not delusional: part of the current misery in Greece is **indeed** the result of international financial institutions and foreign powers (namely Brussels and Berlin).

Anyway, I think this is a valuable corrective to the hasty accusation of Antisemitism whenever the role of international finance is brought up:


ATTAC, the Critique of Globalization, and “Structural Antisemitism”

By Gerhard Hanloser

(Translator’s note: this article originally appeared in German in the Spring 2005 issue of the journal Grundrisse.)

At the end of the 1990s, there emerged a new movement that aimed its crosshairs at “capitalist globalization” and sought out and blockaded the meeting places of the world’s powerful (G7, World Economic Forum, WTO, etc.). This movement was colorful, diverse, and difficult to tie down to a political program. From Christian associations to ecologists to traditional Communist parties to militant anarchist groups, the most diverse opponents of capitalist globalization came together. The group ATTAC, founded in France, was the most organized and high-profile formation and attempted to give the movement a program: contemporary capitalism was understood as the unleashed dictatorship of the financial markets, which had to be tamed by means of taxes upon financial transactions. In the German-speaking countries, this critique of finance capital was swiftly attested a proximity to Antisemitism by critics from the “value-critique” spectrum (for example, the
 journal Krisis), from the rather broad and influential media spectrum of the “Anti-Germans”, and by Neo-liberals. The Nazis, so the allegation went, also raised the program of breaking the rule of “interest slavery”, and Antisemitism supposedly expressed a “truncated anti-capitalism” focused upon finance capital, money, and the “intangible”. Every critique of financial capital thus amounted to a “Structural Antisemitism”, and there was supposedly a “structural similarity between truncated critiques of capitalism and Antisemitism.” (Schmidinger, 2001)

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