Marx and Freud’s Illusions—and Their Debt to Judeo-Christian Civilization

Reviewing a new biography of Karl Marx and another one of Sigmund Freud, Daniel Johnson reflects on the impact these two larger-than-life figures had on the modern West. He concludes by commenting on their Jewish origins and respective attitudes toward religion:

Though they, like many other intellectuals, were Jewish, they eschewed anything religiously or culturally specific to Jews in favor of their own incorporation into the drama of the German spirit, Geistesgeschichte. Western civilization, flowering in their lifetimes as never since, had created a world stage that offered Freud and Marx more epoch-making roles than had ever been dreamt of in German philosophy—or in their beloved Shakespeare. . . .

But the vision of society that Marx bequeathed was an illusion—one that would prove lethal on an unimaginable scale. Freud was better at learning from his mistakes. Having denounced religion as an infantile neurosis in The Future of an Illusion, he belatedly understood the inability of science, psychoanalysis, or socialism to provide a substitute for God in conferring meaning on life. Unlike Marx, the dying Freud grasped the truth of the biblical injunction that man does not live on bread alone; in his last book, Moses and Monotheism, he returned to his Jewish roots. There is nothing illusory about the fact that the civilization of the West, without which neither Marx nor Freud could have existed, is at heart a Judeo-Christian one.

Read more at Standpoint

More about: German Jewry, History & Ideas, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Western civilization


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security