Anti-Semite and Jew by Jean-Paul Sartre

By Jean-Paul Sartre

Anti-Semite and Jew (French: Réflexions sur l. a. query juive) is an essay approximately antisemitism written by means of Jean-Paul Sartre presently after the liberation of Paris from German profession in 1944. the 1st a part of the essay, "The Portrait of the Antisemite", used to be released in December 1945 in Les Temps modernes. the total textual content used to be then released in 1946.

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Example text

If nations war with each other, the conflict does not arise from the fact that the idea of nationality, in its present form, implies imperialism and the clash of interests. No, it is because the Jew is there, behind the governments, breathing discord. If there is a class struggle, it is not because the economic organization leaves something to be desired. It is because Jewish demagogues, hook‐nosed agitators, have seduced the workers. Anti‐Semitism is thus seen to be at bottom a form of Manichaeism.

We must remember that a man is not necessarily humble or even modest because he has consented to mediocrity. On the contrary, there is a passionate pride among the mediocre, and anti‐Semitism is an attempt to give value to mediocrity as such, to create an elite of the ordinary. To the anti‐Semite, intelligence is Jewish; he can thus disdain it in all tranquillity, like all the other virtues which the Jew possesses. They are so many ersatz attributes that the Jew cultivates in place of that balanced mediocrity which he 15 will never have.

The only things that count are irrational values, and it is just these things which are denied the Jews forever. Thus the anti‐Semite takes his stand from the start on the ground of irrationalism. He is opposed to the Jew, just as sentiment is to intelligence, the particular to the universal, the past to the present, the concrete to the abstract, the owner of real property to the possessor of negotiable securities. Besides this, many anti‐Semites — the majority, perhaps — belong to the lower middle class of the towns; they are functionaries, office workers, small businessmen, who possess nothing.

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