“The Jewish Problem as a Problem of Race, Morals and Culture,” by Eugen Dühring (1881)
Eugen Dühring (1833-1921) was one of the most significant of the early socialist theoreticians, economists, and positivist philosophers who opposed the hijacking of original socialist thought by what Dühring called “Jewish agitators and intriguers” such as Ferdinand Lassalle and Karl Marx.
Dühring’s treatise on the Jews was the first major work to identify the Jewish Question not as a religious and cultural problem but, rather, as one based on the inherent and unchangeable character of the Jewish people. One important feature of Dühring’s “anti-Semitism” is his clear distinction between the Jews and other Semites, and his consideration of the former as “the most vicious minting of the entire Semitic race.” The Jewish religion, Dühring said, has no truly religious character but, instead, a markedly economic-political one which aims to dominate and exploit non-Jews. Indeed, the Jewish god Jehovah is nothing but an embodiment of the Jewish self-interest and represents the opposite of the Indo-European natural pantheon.
Dühring was also firmly against the Marxist doctrine of class-warfare since he considered this to be a subversive strategy that furthered the opposition between the powerful warrior nobilities of the past and powerless social groups – to the advantage of the Jews.
As a solution to the Jewish problem, Dühring demanded the complete expulsion of Jews from Western society. Dühring’s radical realist and anti-religious worldview thus served as the philosophical backdrop to the emergence of Hitlerian anti-Semitism and marked a turning point in world history.