This Week’s Guest: Commentator Jonah Goldberg
“Money is the jealous god of Israel, in the face of which no other god may exist.”
So wrote Karl Marx, the intellectual father of Communism, in his “On the Jewish Question.” Though he was a descendant of rabbis on both sides of his family, his father had converted to Lutheranism, and Marx absorbed the classic anti-Semitic tropes slandering the Jews as wicked and usurious. In fact, as Jonah Goldberg has argued in the pages of Commentary, Marx “hated capitalism in no small part because he hated Jews.”
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In this podcast, Jonah Goldberg sits down with Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver to discuss his April 2018 essay, “Karl Marx’s Jew-Hating Conspiracy Theory.” In a conversation that touches on everything from medieval history and political theory to economics and psychology, Goldberg makes the case that Marxism is less a vision of economics than a conspiracy theory according to which a Jewish bourgeoisie exploits global labor to satisfy its own avarice. From here, Goldberg helps us follow the Marxist logic to its conclusion: if Jews are the exploiting, moneyed interest in society, then antipathy toward Jews is redemptive, leading the way to the secular utopia of a world after capitalism. Thus do Marx’s ideas offer a repackaging of classic anti-Semitism, mankind’s oldest bigotry, that endures to this very day.
Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble as well as “Shining Through the Rain” by Big Score Audio.
Every Thursday, the “Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic” will bring to to your car/earbuds/home stereo/Alexa the latest in our efforts to advance Jewish thought. For more on the new podcast, check out our inaugural post here and listen to our background episode here:
A final note: If you would like to share your thoughts on the podcast, ideas for future guests and topics, or any other form of feedback, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re grateful for your support, and we look forward to a new year of great conversations on Jewish essays and ideas.