Judaism and political radicalism

The historical contribution of Jews to the political Left. Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Blum, Emma Goldman, and as organized mass labor movements, for example, revolutionary Russia and early-mid twentieth century Warsaw, Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto, New York and London, Jews have been conspicuous for their socialist and communist affiliations.  

Historical analysis of the dynamics of this Jewish / Left alliance, however, has been far less conclusive. Considerable dissonance exists, for example, concerning the factors which attracted Jews to the Left, to the extent to which they were affected. unique Jewish contribution to the international Left. In addition, discussion of these factors has often been inhibited by concerns regarding the use of the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy by the Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups.


According to Paul Johnson, Jewish society in the last 1,500 years has been designed to produce and support intellectuals who have largely focused their talents on rabbinical studies. Johnson asserts that “quite suddenly, around the year 1800, this ancient and highly efficient social machine for the production of intellectuals has begun to shift its output. This article is only available in French. ”  [1]

The French Revolution of 1789 promised equality, freedom, and an end to discrimination for all the Jews. The subsequent political emancipation of the Jews in Western and Central Europe provoked an anti-modern and specifically anti-Jewish backlash from traditional conservative groupings. In response, Jews are moving along with the modern liberalist forces, and played an important role in the 1848 European revolutions which sought to entrench the gains of liberalism. However, the ensuing failure of liberalism to protect the world. The international character of the socialist movement Thus in contrast to most other national groups, Jews had a double reason to join the proletarian revolution. They were discriminated against both the class grounds and the racial grounds.

Not surprisingly, many Jews made a rational decision to join a movement which promised to defend and equalize the rights granted by the French Revolution. The prominence of Jews in the Left can, therefore, be attributed to self-interest as much as to any idealistic motivation. Equally, the subsequent decline of Jewish involvement in the left wing of the United States of America.

20th century

Many young Jews rejected the Orthodoxy of their parents and turned to the great Jewish secular movements of Zionism, socialism, and the Bundism [a Jewish labor movement founded in Eastern Europe in the 19th century]. They viewed their parents in the event of a dangerous message to the Jewish people. They took care of their own hands and created new forms of secular Jewish messianic activity. They have been immersed in the Jewish search for redemption.

Jewish Bolshevism

A persistent theme among critics of Jews-especially those on the pre-World War II right-that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish revolution and that the Soviet Union was dominated by Jews. This theme appears in a wide range of writings, from Henry Ford’s International Jew, to published statements by a long list of British, French, and American political figures in the 1920s (Sir Winston Churchill , Woodrow Wilson , and David Lloyd George ), and , in its most extreme form, by Adolf Hitler , who wrote:

“Now begins the last great revolution.” By wresting political power for himself, the Jewish faith in the blood is still alive. try to exterminate the national pillars of intelligence, by robbing the peoples of their natural spiritual leadership, will make them ripe for the slavish lot of a permanent subjugation.The most terrible example of this is Russia. “

See also

  • General Jewish Labor Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia
  • Jewish Socialist Federation
  • Jewish Socialist Verband
  • Workmen’s Circle


  1. Jump up^   Johnson, Paul (1988).  A History of the Jews  . pp. 340-341.

Further reading

  • Salo W. Baron,  The Russian Jews Under Tsars and Soviets.  New York: Macmillan, 1964.
  • Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg,  Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism.  David Fernbach, trans. New York: Verso, 2016.
  • Robert J. Brym,  The Jewish Intelligentsia and Russian Marxism.  New York: Schocken Books, 1978.
  • Melech Epstein,  Jewish Labor in the USA: An Industrial, Political, and Cultural History of the Jewish Labor Movement.  New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1969.
  • Jonathan Frankel,  Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism, and the Russian Jews, 1862-1917.  Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Zvi Y. Gitelman,  Jewish Nationality and Soviet Politics: The Jewish Sections of the CPSU, 1917-1930.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972.
  • Nathan Glazer,  The Social Basis of American Communism.  New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961.
  • Arthur Gorenstein, “A Portrait of Ethnic Politics: The Socialists and the 1908 and 1910 Congressional Elections on the East Side,”  American Jewish Historical Quarterly,  vol. 50, no. 3 (March 1961), pp. 202-238. In JSTOR
  • Ben Halpern and Jehuda Reinharz, “Nationalism and Jewish Socialism: The Early Years,”  Modern Judaism,  vol. 8, no. 3 (Oct. 1988), pp. 217-248. In JSTOR
  • JBS Hardman [J. Salutsky], “The Jewish Labor Movement in the United States: Jewish and Non-Jewish Influences,”  American Jewish Historical Quarterly,  vol. 52, no. 2 (Dec. 1962), pp. 98-132. In JSTOR
  • Will Herberg, “Jewish Labor Movement in the United States: Early Years to World War I,”  Industrial and Labor Relations Review,  Vol. 5, no. 4 (July 1952), pp. 501-523. In JSTOR
  • Will Herberg, “The Jewish Labor Movement in the United States,”  American Jewish Year Book,  vol. 53 (1952), pp. 1-74. In JSTOR
  • Irving Howe,  World of Our Fathers.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970.
  • Ehud Manor,  Forward: The Jewish Daily Forward (Forverts) Newspaper: Immigrants, Socialism, and Jewish Politics in New York, 1890-1917.  Brighton, England: Sussex Academic Press, 2009.
  • Ezra Mendolsohn,  Class Struggle in the Pale: The Formative Years of the Russian Workers Movement in Tsarist Russia.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1970.
  • Ezra Mendolsohn, “The Russian Roots of the American Jewish Labor Movement,”  YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science,  vol. 26 (1976), pp. 150-177.
  • Tony Michels,  A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.
  • Lawrence Fuchs, “Sources of Jewish Internationalism and Liberalism,” in Marshall Sklare (ed.),  The Jews: Social Patterns of an American Group.  Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1956; pp. 598-611.
  • Sharman Kadish,  Bolsheviks and British Jews: The Anglo-Jewish Community, Britain and the Russian Revolution.  London: Frank Cass, 1992.
  • Daniel Katz,  All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism.  New York: New York University Press, 2011.
  • Nora Levin,  While Messiah Tarried: Jewish Socialist Movements, 1871-1917.  New York: Schocken Books, 1977.
  • S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, “Jews on the Left: The Student Movement Reconsidered,”  Polity,  vol. 14, no. 2 (Winter 1981), pp. 347-366. In JSTOR
  • Arthur Liebman,  Jews and the Left.  New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1979.
  • Abraham Meyer Rogoff,  Formative Years of the Jewish Labor Movement in the United States (1890-1900).  [1945] Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.
  • Louis Ruchames, “Jewish Radicalism in the United States,” in Peter I. Rose (ed.),  The Ghetto and Beyond: Essays on Jewish Life in America.  New York: Random House, 1969; pp. 228-252.
  • Leonard Schapiro, “The Role of the Jews in the Russian Revolutionary Movement,”  Slavonic and East European Review,  vol. 40, no. 4 (Dec. 1961), pp. 148-167. In JSTOR
  • Zosa Szajkowski,  Jews, Wars, and Communism, Vol. 1: The Attitude of American Jews to World War I, the Russian Revolutions of 1917, and Communism (1914-1945).  New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1972.
  • Zosa Szajkowski,  Jews, Wars, and Communism, Vol. 2.New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1974.
  • Henry J. Tobias,  The Jewish Bund in Russia: From Its Origin to 1905.  Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972.
  • Robert S. Wistrich,  Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky.  New York: Harper and Row, 1976.

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