Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:18 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: “The Jew Question”
I read this article just recently and would like your take on it.
Dear R: I disagree with that otherwise excellent essay. It says: “It’s Time to Drop the Jew Taboo.” That is, to be able to criticize Jews. I disagree since I think it is long past time to do so. The major media will jump down the throat of anyone who dares criticize any of the Chosen People. Well, I dare.
No individual, nor group of people, should be beyond criticism. And this includes blacks, whites, males, females, gays, straights, Christians, Muslims, the tall, the short, the skinny, the fat, the able, the disabled, commies, capitalists, and, certainly, also, Jews.
I have written about this subject before on this blog:
To show how strongly I feel about this, here is a small part of my chapter defending the anti-Semite, which I plan on including in my forthcoming book, Defending III:
The Anti Semite
The inception for this chapter is that someone wrote me saying “I have to say Dr. Block, that I have deep feelings of resentment toward Zionist Jews.”
My immediate visceral response to that person was this:
I have great resentment not only for Zionist Jews, but against virtually ALL Jews. Why? Because most of them are socialists, progressives, communists, liberals, Bernie and Hillary supporters, Democrats, devotees of labor unions; ugh. As it happens, I am myself Jewish. I’m not practicing, but I was born to Jewish parents, I was bar-mitzvahed, and when and if the next Hitler comes along, I will be undoubtedly on his list.
Anti-Semitism is sometimes defined as suspicion of, hatred toward, or/or discrimination against Jews based on their Jewish heritage. If so, I am not an anti-Semite. I don’t hate my people because of our common heritage. I hate most (but of course not all) of them since they are leading commies, labor leaders, feminists, lefties.
In the 1930s, the then Canadian Prime Minister was asked something to the effect of how many Jewish immigrants to his country from Germany who were fleeing Nazism would he accept. Came the answer: “None is too many.” When I first heard that, I was incensed. Members of my family were killed by Hitler, may his evil name be erased. But upon more sober reflection, I can (almost) empathize with him. Who wants a bunch of commie pinkos besmirching one’s country? Those people, gulp!, my co-religionists, are really despicable people. They want to overturn capitalism, promote social justice and egalitarianism, ride roughshod over private property rights, enrage the masses against the highly accomplished elite, will donate gobs of money to the most left wing politicians available, and all the rest. “You can have them,” I now think, was an eminently sensible initial response to their threatened arrival in Canada (I here abstract from the fact that this decision indirectly lead to the murder of many innocent people).
Undoubtedly, I will be called a self-hating Jew. I am nothing of the sort. I think very highly of myself, probably too much so. The people I hate are those who would undermine what little remains of our economic liberty, and, unhappily, they are disproportionately of the Jewish faith.
How did it come about that members of this religion are so bitterly opposed to free markets and private property rights? As Milton Friedman once said (paraphrase), “It is an anomaly that a people that has benefitted so markedly from laissez faire capitalism should be so bitterly opposed to this system.”
Why then is this the case? What is the explanation for this bitter opposition to the marketplace? Explanations abound, but none of them, I think, fully acounts for this phenomenon.4:23 pm on January 22, 2018