Showing posts with label antisemitism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label antisemitism. Show all posts

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Note On Fascists and Antisemitism

This week, I was lucky enough to attend a two-day conference titled "Fascisms Across Borders" jointly hosted by Columbia University and the New School for Social Research (where I currently study). One of the presentations given by Michele Battaini focused on the role of antisemitism in the forms of fascism we've seen since the second world war. His major claim that what makes fascist antisemitism distinct from anti-Judaism of, for example, the Catholic Church prior to the Enlightenment or of the antisemitism that came out of the eugenics movement is the integration of antisemitism into an opposition to capitalism - what Battaini called "anticapitalist antisemitism."

He draws a sharp distinction between this anticapitalist antisemitism with xenophobia. On the one hand, I'm inclined to agree that fascist antisemitism, where it persists, is integral to their critique of capitalism, but I'm not entirely convinced of the distinction between antisemitism (as it manifests within fascist milieus) and xenophobia. To me, Battaini takes too narrow a view of antisemitism. For him, antisemitism is a hatred of Jews based on stereotypes of Jews as controlling finance and through this controlling governments and world economies. This is only half of the story.