Sex and Character
It would not be surprising if to many it should seem from the foregoing arguments that "men" have come out of them too well, and, as a collective body, have been placed on an exaggeratedly lofty pedestal. The conclusions drawn from these arguments, however surprised every Philistine and young simpleton would be to learn that in himself he comprises the whole world, cannot be opposed and confuted by cheap reasoning; yet the treatment of the male sex must not simply be considered too indulgent, or due to a direct tendency to omit all the repulsive and small side of manhood in order to favourably represent its best points.
The accusation would be unjustified. It does not enter the author’s mind to idealise man in order more easily to lower the estimation of woman. So much narrowness and so much coarseness often thrive beneath the empirical representation of manhood that it is a question of the better possibilities lying in every man, neglected by him or perceived either with painful clearness or dull animosity; possibilities which as such in woman neither actually nor meditatively ever come to any account. And here the author cannot in any wise really rely on the dissimilarities between men, however little he may impugn their importance. It is, therefore, a question of establishing what woman is not, and truly in her there is infinitely much wanting which is never quite missing even in tile most mediocre and plebeian of men. That which is the positive attribute of the woman, in so far as a positive can be spoken of in regard to such a being, will constantly be found also in many men. There are, as has already often been demonstrated, men who have become women or have remained women; hut there is no woman who has surpassed certain circumscribed, not particularly elevated moral and intellectual limits. And, therefore, I must again assert that the woman of the highest standard is immeasurably beneath the man of lowest standard.
These objections may go even further and touch a point where the ignoring of theory must assuredly become reprehensible. There are, to wit, nations and races whose men, though they can in no wise be regarded as intermediate forms of the sexes, are found to approach so slightly and so rarely to the ideal of manhood as set forth in my argument, that the principles, indeed the entire foundation on which this work rests, would seem to be severely shaken by their existence. What shall we make, for example, out of the Chinese, with their feminine freedom from internal cravings and their incapacity for every effort? One might feel tempted to believe in the complete effeminacy of the whole race. It can at least be no mere whim of the entire nation that the Chinaman habitually wears a pigtail, and that the growth of his beard is of the very thinnest. But how does the matter stand with the negroes? A genius has perhaps scarcely ever appeared amongst tile negroes, and the standard of their morality is almost universally so low that it is beginning to be acknowledged in America that their emancipation was an act of imprudence.
If, consequently, the principle of the intermediate forms of the sexes may perhaps enjoy a prospect of becoming of importance to racial anthropology (since in some peoples a greater share of womanishness would seem to be generally disseminated), it must yet be conceded that the foregoing deductions refer above all to Aryan men and Aryan women. In how far, in the other great races of mankind, uniformity with the standard of the Aryan race may reign, or what has prevented and hindered this; to arrive more nearly at such knowledge would require in the first instance the most intense research into racial characteristics.
The Jewish race, which has been chosen by me as a subject of discussion, because, as will be shown, it presents the gravest and most formidable difficulties for my views, appears to possess a certain anthropological relationship with both negroes and Mongolians. The readily curling hair points to the negro; admixture of Mongolian blood is suggested by the perfectly Chinese or Malay formation of face and skull which is so often to he met with amongst the Jews and which is associated with a yellowish complexion. This is nothing more than the result of everyday experience, and these remarks must not be otherwise understood; the anthropological question of the origin of the Jewish race is apparently insoluble, and even such an interesting answer to it as that given by H. S. Chamberlain has recently met with much opposition. The author does not possess the knowledge necessary to treat of this; what will be here briefly, but as far as possible profoundly analysed, is the psychical peculiarity of the Jewish race.
This is an obligatory task imposed by psychological observation and analysis. It is undertaken independently of past history, the details of which must be uncertain. The Jewish race offers a problem of the deepest significance for the study of all races, and in itself it is intimately bound up with many of the most troublesome problems of the day.
I must, however, make clear what I mean by Judaism; I mean neither a race nor a people nor a recognised creed. I think of it as a tendency of the mind, as a psychological constitution which is a possibility for all mankind, but which has become actual in the most conspicuous fashion only amongst the Jews. Antisemitism itself will confirm my point of view.
The purest Aryans by descent and disposition are seldom Antisemites, although they are often unpleasantly moved by some of the peculiar Jewish traits; they cannot in the least understand the Antisemite movement, and are, in consequence of their defence of the Jews, often called Philosemites; and yet these persons writing on the subject of the hatred of Jews, have been guilty of the most profound misunderstanding of the Jewish character. The aggressive Antisemites, on the other hand, nearly always display certain Jewish characters, sometimes apparent in their faces, although they may have no real admixture of Jewish blood*.
The explanation is simple. People love in others the qualities they would like to have but do not actually have in any great degree; so also we hate in others only what we do not wish to be, and what notwithstanding we are partly. We hate only qualities to which we approximate, but which we realise first in other persons.
Thus the fact is explained that the bitterest Antisemites are to be found amongst the Jews themselves. For only the quite Jewish Jews, like the completely Aryan Aryans, are not at all Antisemitically disposed; among the remainder only the commoner natures are actively Antisemitic and pass sentence on others without having once sat in judgtuent on themselves in these matters; and very few exercise their Antisemitism first on themselves. This one thing, however, remains none the less certain: whoever detests the Jewish disposition detests it first of all in himself; that he should persecute it in others is merely his endeavour to separate himself in this way from Jewishness ; lie strives to shake it off and to localise it in his fellow-creatures, and so for a moment to dream himself free of it. Hatred, like love, is a projected phenomenon; that person alone is hated who reminds one unpleasantly of oneself.
The Antisemitism of the Jews bears testimony to the fact that no one who has had experience of them considers them loveable-not even the Jew, himself; the Antisemitism of the Aryans grants us an insight no less full of significance: it is that the Jew and the Jewish race must not be confounded. There are Aryans who are more Jewish than Jews, and real Jews who are more Aryan than certain Aryans. I need not enumerate those non-semites who had much Jewishness in them, the lesser (like the well-known Frederick Nicolai of the eighteenth century) nor those of moderate greatness (here Frederick Schiller can scarcely be omitted), nor will I analyse their Jewishness. Above all Richard Wagner-the bitterest Antisemite-cannot be held free from an accretion of Jewishness even in his art, however little one be misled by the feeling which sees in him the greatest artist enshrined in historical humanity; and this, though indubitably his Siegfried is the most un-Jewish type imaginable. As Wagner's aversion to grand opera and the stage really led to the strongest attract ion, an attraction of which he was himself conscious, so his music, which, in the unique simplicity of its motifs, is the most powerful in the world, cannot be declared free from obtrusiveness, loudness, and lack of distinction; from some consciousness of this Wagner tried to gain coherence by the extreme instrumentation of his works. It cannot be denied (there can be no mistake about it) that Wagner's music produces the deepest impression not only on Jewish Antisemites, who have never completely shaken off Jewishness, but also on Indo-Germanic Antisemites. From the music of “Parsifal," which to genuine Jews will ever remain as unapproachable as its poetry, from the Pilgrim's march and the procession to Rome in "Tannhaüser," and assuredly from many another part, they turn away. Doubtless, also, none but a German could make so clearly manifest the very essence of the German race as Wagner has succeeded in doing in the “Meistersingers of Nurnberg.” In Wagner one thinks constantly of that side of his character which leans towards Feuerbach, instead of towards Schopenhaner. Here no narrow psychological depreciation of this great man is intended. Judaism was to him the greatest help in reaching a clearer understanding and assertion of the extremes within him in his struggle to reach "Siegfried" and “Zola” was a typical case or a person absolutely without trace of the Jewish qualities, and, therefore, a philosemite. The greatest geniuses, on the other hand, have nearly always been antisemites ( Tacitus, Pascal, Voltaire, Herder, Goethe, Kant, Jean Paul, Schopenhauer, Grillparzer, Wagner); this comes about from the fact as geniuses they have something of everything in their natures, and so can understand Judaism. “Parsifal,” and in giving to German nature the highest means of expression which has probably ever been found in the pages of history. Yet a greater than Wagner was obliged to overcome the Jewishness within him before he found his special vocation ; and it is, as previously stated, perhaps its great significance in the world's history and the immense merit of Judaism that it and nothing else, leads the Aryan to a knowledge of himself and warns him against himself. For this the Aryan has to thank the Jew that, through him, he knows to guard against Judaism as a possibility within himself. This example will sufficiently illustrate what, in my estimation, is to be understood by Judaism.
I do not refer to a nation or to a race , to a creed or to a scripture. When I speak of the Jew I mean neither an individual nor the whole body, but mankind in general, in so far as it has a share in the platonic idea of Judaism. My purpose is to analyze this idea.
That these researches should be included in a work devoted to the characterology of the sexes may seem an undue extension of my subject. But some reflection will lead to the surprising result that Judaism is saturated with femininity, with precisely those qualities the essence of which I have shown to be in the strongest opposition to the male nature. It would not be difficult to make a case for the view that the Jew is more saturated with femininity than the Aryan, to such an extent that the most manly Jew is more feminine than the least manly Aryan.
This interpretation would be erroneous. It is most important to lay stress on the agreements and differences simply because so many points that become obvious in dissecting woman reappear in the Jew.
Let me begin with the analogies. It is notable that the Jews, even now when at least a relative security of tenure is possible, prefer moveable property, and, in spite of their acquisitiveness, have little real sense of personal property, especially in its most characteristic form, landed property. Property is indissolubly connected with the self, with individuality. It is in harmony with the foregoing that the Jew is so readily disposed to communism. Communism must be distinguished clearly from socialism, the former being based on a community of goods, an absence of individual property, the latter meaning, in the first place a co-operation of individual with individual, of worker with worker, and a recognition of human individuality in every one. Socialism is Aryan (Owen, Carlyle, Ruskin, Fichte). Communism is Jewish (Marx). Modern social democracy has moved far apart from the earlier socialism, precisely because Jews have taken so large a share in developing it. In spite of the associative element in it, the Marxian doctrine does not lead in any way towards the State as a union of all the separate individual aims, as the higher unit combining the purposes of the lower units. Such a conception is as foreign to the Jew as it is to the woman.
For these reasons Zionism must remain an impracticable ideal, notwithstanding the fashion in which it has brought together some of the noblest qualities of the Jews. Zionism is the negation of Judaism, for the conception of Judaism involves a world-wide distribution of the Jews. Citizenship is an un-Jewish thing, and there has never been and never will be a true Jewish State. The State involves the aggregation of individual aims, the formation of and obedience to self-imposed laws; and the symbol of the State, if nothing more, is its head chosen by free election. The Opposite conception is that of anarchy, with which present-day communism is closely allied. The ideal State has never been historically realised, but in every case there is at least a minimum of this higher unit, this conception of an ideal power which distinguishes the State from the mere collection of human beings in barracks. Rousseau's much-despised theory of the conscious co-operation of individuals to form a State deserves more attention than it now receives. Some ethical notion of free combination must always be included.
The true conception of the State is foreign to the Jew, because he, like the woman, is wanting in personality; his failure to grasp the idea of true society is due to his lack of a free intelligible ego. Like women, Jews tend to adhere together, but they do not associate as free independent individuals mutually respecting each other’s individuality.
As there is no real dignity in women, so what is meant by the word “gentleman” does not exist amongst the Jews. The genuine Jew falls in this innate good breeding by which alone individuals honor their own individuality and respect that of others. There is no Jewish nobility, and this is the more surprising as Jewish pedigrees can be traced back for thousands of years.
The familiar Jewish arrogance has a similar explanation; it springs from want of true knowledge of himself and the consequent overpowering need he feels to enhance his own personality by depreciating that of his fellow-creatures. And so, although his descent is incomparably longer than that of the members of Aryan aristocracies, he has an inordinate love for titles. The Aryan respect for his ancestors is rooted in the conception that they were his ancestors; it depends on his valuation of his own personality, and, in spite of the communistic strength and antiquity of the Jewish traditions, this individual sense of ancestry is lacking.
The faults of the Jewish race have often been attributed to the repression of that race by Aryans, and many Christians are still disposed to blame themselves in this respect. But the self-reproach is not justified. Outward circumstances do not mould a race in one direction, unless there is in the race the innate tendency to respond to the moulding forces; the total result comes at least as much from the natural disposition as from the modifying circumstances. We know now that the proof of the inheritance of acquired characters has broken down, and, in the human race still more than the lower forms of life, it is certain that individual and racial characters persist in spite of all adaptive moulding. When men change, it is from within, outwards, unless the change, as in the case of women, is a mere superficial imitation of real change, and is not rooted in their natures. And how can we reconcile the idea that the Jewish character is a modern modification with the history of the foundation of the race, given in the Old Testament without any disapprobation of how the patriarch Jacob deceived his dying father, cheated his brother Esau and over-reached his father-in-law, Laban?
The defenders of the Jew have rightly acquitted him of any tendency to heinous crimes, and the legal statistics of different countries confirm this. The Jew is not really anti-moral. But, none the less, he does not represent the highest ethical type. He is rather non-moral, neither very good nor very bad, with nothing in him of either the angel or the devil. Notwithstanding the Book of Job and the story of Eden, it is plain that the conceptions of a Supreme Good and a Supreme Evil are not truly Jewish; I have no wish to enter upon the lengthy and controversial topics of Biblical criticism, but at the least I shall be on sure ground when I say that these conceptions play the least significant part in modern Jewish life. Orthodox or unorthodox, the modern Jew does not concern himself with God and the Devil, with Heaven and Hell. If he does not reach the heights of the Aryan, he is also less inclined to commit murder or other crimes of violence.
So also in the case of the woman; it is easier for her defenders to point out the infrequency of her commission of serious crimes than to prove her intrinsic morality. The homology of the Jew and woman becomes closer the further the explanation goes. There is no female devil, and no female angel; only love, with its blind aversion to actuality, sees in woman a heavenly nature, and only hate sees in her a prodigy of wickedness. Greatness is absent from the nature of the woman and the Jew, the greatness of morality, or the greatness of evil. In the Aryan man, the good and bad principles of Kant’s religious philosophy are ever present, ever in strife. In the Jew and the woman, good and evil are not distinct from each one another.
Jews, then, do not live as free, self-governing individuals, choosing between virtue and vice in the Aryan fashion. They are a mere collection of similar individuals, each cast in the same mould, the whole forming as it were a continuous plasmodium. The Antisemite has often thought of this as a defensive and aggressive union, and has formulated the conception of a Jewish "solidarity." There is a deep confusion here. When some accusation is made against some unknown member of the Jewish race, all Jews secretly take the part of the accused, and wish, hope for, and seek to establish his innocence. But it must not be thought that they are interesting themselves more in the fate of the individual Jew than they would do in the case of an individual Christian. It is the menace to Judaism in general, the fear that the shameful shadow may do harm to Judaism as a whole, which is the origin of the apparent feeling of sympathy. In the same way, women are delighted when a member of their sex is depreciated, and will themselves assist, until the proceeding seems to throw a disadvantageous light over the sex in general, so frightening men from marriage. The race or sex alone is defended, not the individual.
It would be easy to 'understand why the family (in its biological not its legal sense) plays a larger role amongst the Jews than amongst any other people; the English, who in certain ways are akin to the Jews, coming next. The family, in this biological sense, is feminine and maternal in its origin, and has no relation to the State or to society. The fusion, the continuity of the members of the family, reaches its highest point amongst the Jews. In the Indo-Germanic races, especially in the case of the more gifted, but also in quite ordinary individuals, there is never complete harmony between father and son; consciously, or unconsciously, there is always in the mind of the son a certain feeling of impatience against the man who unasked, brought him into the world, gave him a name, and determined his limitations in this earthly life. It is only amongst the Jews that the son feels deeply rooted in the family and is fully at one with his father. It scarcely ever happens amongst Christians that father and son are really friends. Amongst Christians even the daughters stand a little further apart from the family circle than happens with Jewesses, and more frequently take up some calling which isolates them and gives them independent interests.
We reach at this point a fact in relation to the argument of the last chapter. I showed there that the essential element in the pairing instinct was an indistinct sense of individuality and of the limits between individuals. Men who are match-makers have always a Jewish element in them. The Jew is always more absorbed by sexual matters than the Aryan, although he is notably less potent sexually and less liable to be enmeshed in a great passion. The Jews are habitual match-makers, and in no race does it so often happen that marriages are arranged by men. This kind of activity is certainly peculiarly necessary in their case, for, as I have already stated, there is no people amongst which marriages for love are so rare. The organic disposition of the Jews towards match-making is associated with their racial failure to comprehend asceticism. It is interesting to note that the Jewish Rabbis have always been addicted to speculations as to the begetting of children and have a rich tradition on the subject, a natural result in the case of the people who invented the phrase as to the duty of “multiplying and replenishing the earth."
The pairing instinct is the great remover of the limits between individuals; and the Jew, par excellence, is the breaker down of such limits. He is at the opposite pole from aristocrats, with whom the preservation of the limits between individuals is the leading idea. The Jew is an inborn communist. The Jew's careless manners in society and his want of social tact turn on this quality, for the reserves of social intercourse are simply barriers to protect individuality.
I desire at this point again to lay stress on the fact, although it should be self-evident, that, in spite of my low estimate of the Jew, nothing could be further from my intention than to lend the faintest support to any practical or theoretical persecution of Jews. I am dealing with Judaism, in the platonic sense, as an idea. There is no more an absolute Jew than an absolute Christian. I am not speaking against the individual, whom, indeed, if that had been so, I should have wounded grossly and unnecessarily. Watchwords, such as "Buy only from Christians," have in reality a Jewish taint; they have a meaning only for those who regard the race and not the individual, and what is to be compared with them is the Jewish use of the word "Goy," which is now almost obsolete. I have no wish to boycott the Jew, or by any such immoral means to attempt to solve the Jewish question. Nor will Zionism solve that question; as II. S. Chamberlain has pointed out, since the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, Judaism has ceased to be national, and has become a spreading parasite, straggling all over the earth and finding true root nowhere. Before Zionism is possible, the Jew must first conquer Judaism.
To defeat Judaism, the Jew must first understand himself and war against himself. So far, the Jew has reached no further than to make and enjoy jokes against his own peculiarities. Unconsciously he respects the Aryan more than himself. Only steady resolution, united to the highest self respect, can free the Jew from Jewishness. This resolution, be it ever so strong, ever so honourable, can only be understood and carried out by the individual, not by the group. Therefore the Jewish question can only be solved individually; every single Jew must try to solve it in his proper person.
There is no other solution to the question and can be no other; Zionism will never succeed in answering it.
The Jew, indeed, who has overcome, the Jew who has become a Christian, has the fullest right to be regarded by the Aryan in his individual capacity, and no longer be condemned as belonging to a race above which his moral efforts have raised him. He may rest assured that no one will dispute his well-founded claim. The Aryan of good social standing always feels the need to respect the Jew; his Antisemitism being no joy, no amusement to him. Therefore he is displeased when Jews make revelations about Jews, and he who does so may expect as few thanks from that quarter as from over-sensitive Judaism itself. Above all, the Aryan desires that the Jew should justify Antisemitism by being baptized. But the danger of this outward acknowledgment of his inward struggles need not trouble the Jew who wishes for liberty within him. He will long to reach the holy baptism of the Spirit, of which that of the body is but the outward symbol.
To reach so important and useful a result as what Jewishness and Judaism really are, would be to solve one of the most difficult problems; Judaism is a much deeper riddle than the many Antisemites believe, and in very truth a certain darkness will always enshroud it. Even the parallel with woman will soon fail us, though now and then it may help further in Christians pride and humility, in Jews haughtiness and cringing, are ever at strife; in the former self-consciousness and contrition, in the latter arrogance and bigotry. In the total lack of humility of the Jew lies his failure to grasp the idea of grace. From his slavish disposition springs his heteronomous code of ethics, the "Decalogue," the most immoral book of laws in the universe, which enjoins on obedient followers, submission to the powerful will of an exterior influence, with the reward of earthly well-being and the conquest of the world. His relations with Jehovah, the abstract Deity, whom he slavishly fears, whose name lie never dares to pronounce, characterise the Jew; he, like the woman, requires the rule of an exterior authority. According to the definition of Schopenhauer, the word 'God' indicates a man who made the world. This certainly is a true likeness of the God of the Jew. Of the divine in man, of "the God who in my bosom dwells," the true Jew knows nothing; for what Christ and Plato, Eckhard and Paul, Goethe and Kant, the priests of the Vedas, Fechner, and every Aryan have meant by divine, for what the saying, "I am with you always even to the end of the world "-for the meaning of all these the Jew remains without understanding. For the God in man is the human soul, and the absolute Jew is devoid of a soul.
It is inevitable, then, that we should find no trace of belief in immortality in the Old Testament. Those who have no soul can have no craving for immortality, and so it is with the woman and the Jew; "Anima naturaliter Christiana," said Tertullian.
The absence from the Jew of true mysticism- Chamberlain has remarked on this-has a similar origin. They have nothing but the grossest superstition and the system of divinatory magic known as the "Kabbala." Jewish monotheism has no relation to a true belief in God; it is not a religion of reason, but a belief of old women founded on fear.
Why is it that the Jewish slave of Jehovah should become so readily a materia1ist or a freethinker? It is merely the alternative phase to slavery; arrogance about what is not understood is the other side of the slavish intelligence. When it is fully recognised that Judaism is to be regarded rather as an idea in which other races have a share, than the absolute property of a particular race, then the Judaic element in modern materialistic science will be better understood. Wagner has given expression to Judaism in music; there remains to say something about Judaism in modern science.
Judaism in science, in the widest interpretation of it, is the endeavour to remove all transcendentalism. The Aryan feels that the effort to grasp everything, and to refer everything to some system of deductions, really robs things of their true meaning; for him, what cannot he discovered is what gives the world its significance. The Jew has no fear of these hidden and secret elements, for he has no consciousness of their presence. He tries to take a view of the world as flat and commonplace as possible, and to refuse to see all the secret and spiritual meanings of things. His view is non-philosophical rather an anti-philosophical.
Because fear of God in the Jew has no relation with real religion, the Jew is of all persons the least perturbed by mechanical, materialistic theories of the world; he is readily beguiled by Darwinism and the ridiculous notion that
men are derived from monkeys; and now he is disposed to accept the view that the soul of man is an evolution that has taken place within the human race; formerly, he was a mad devotee of Buchner, now he is ready to follow Ostwald.
It is due to a real disposition that the Jews should be so prominent in the study of chemistry; they cling naturally to matter, and expect to find the solution of everything in its properties. And yet one who was the greatest German investigator of all times, Kepler himself, wrote the following hexameter on chemistry:
0 curas Chrymicorum! O quantum in pulvere inane!
The present turn of medical science is largely due to the influence of the Jews, who in such large numbers have embraced the medical profession. From the earliest times, until the dominance of the Jews, medicine was closely allied with religion. But now they would make it a matter of drugs, a mere administration of chemicals. But it can never be that the organic will be explained by the inorganic. Fechner and Preyer were right when they said that death came from life, not life from death. We see this taking place daily in individuals (in human beings, for instance, old age prepares for death by a calcification of the tissues). And as yet no one has seen the organic arise from the inorganic. From the time of Schwammerdam to that of Pasteur it has become more and more certain that living things never arise from what is not alive. Surely this ontogenetic observation should be applied to phylogeny, and we should be equally certain that, in the past, the dead arose from the living. The chemical interpretation of organisms sets these on a level with their own dead ashes. We should return from this Judaistic science to the nobler conceptions of Copernicus and Galileo, Kepler and Euler, Newton and Linneus, Limarek and Faraday, Sprengel aud Cuvier. The freethinkers of today, soulless and not believing in the soul, are incapable of filling the places of these great men and of reverently realising the presence of intrinsic secrets in nature.
It is this want of depth which explains the absence of truly great Jews; like women they are without any trace of genius. The philosopher Spinoza, about whose purely Jewish descent there can be no doubt, is incomparably the greatest Jew of the last nine hundred years, much greater than the poet Heine (who, indeed, was almost destitute of any quality of true greatness) or than that original, if shallow painter, Israels. The extraordinary fashion in which Spinoza has been over-estimated is less due to his intrinsic merit that to the fortuitous circumstance that he was the only thinker to whom Goethe gave his attention.
For Spinoza himself there was no deep problem in nature (and in this he showed his Jewish character), as, otherwise, he would not have elaborated his mathematical method, a method according to which the explanation of things was to be found in themselves. This system formed a refuge into which Spinoza could escape from himself, and it is not unnatural that it should have been attractive to Goethe, one of the most introspective of men, as it might have seemed to offer him tranquility and rest.
Spinoza showed his Jewishness and the limits that always confine the Jewish spirit in a still plainer fashion; I am not thinking of his failure to comprehend the State or of his adhesion to the Hobbesiab doctrine of the universal warfare as the primitive condition of mankind. The matter goes deeper. I have in mind his complete rejection of free-will – the Jew is always a slave and a determinist- and his view that individuals were mere accidents into which the universal substance had fallen. The Jew is never a believer in monads. And so there is no wider philosophical gulf than that between Spinoza and his much more eminent contemporary, Leibnitz, the protagonist of the monad theory, or its still greater creator, Bruno, whose superficial likeness with Spinoza has been exaggerated in the most grotesque fashion.
Just as Jews and women are without extreme good and extreme evil, so they never show either genius or the depth of stupidity of which mankind is capable. The specific kind of intelligence for which Jews and women alike are notorious is due simply to the alertness of an exaggerated egotism; it is due, moreover, to the boundless capacity shown by both for pursuing any object with equal zeal, because they have no intrinsic standard of value – nothing in their own souls by which to judge of the worthiness of any particular object. And so they have unhampered natural instincts, such as are not present to help the Aryan man when his transcendental standard fails him.
I may now touch upon the likeness of the English to the Jews, a topic discussed at length by Wagner. It cannot be doubted that of the Germanic races the English are in closest relationship to the Jews. Their orthodoxy and their devotion to the Sabbath afford a direct indication. The religion of the English is always tinged with hypocrisy, and his asceticism is largely prudery. The English, like women, have been the most unproductive in religion and in music; there may be irreligious poets, although not great artists, but there is no irreligious musician. So, also, the English have produced no great architects or philosophers. Berkeley, like Swift and Sterne, were Irish; Carlyle, Hamilton and Burns were Scotch. Shakespeare and Shelley, the two greatest Englishmen, stand far from the pinnacle of humanity; they do not reach so far as Angelo and Beethoven. If we consider English philosophers we shall see that there has been a great degeneration since the Middle Ages. It began with William of Ockham and Duns Scotus; it proceeded through Roger Bacon and his namesake, the Chancellor; through Hobbes, who, mentally was so near akin to Spinoza; through the superficial Locke to Hartley, Priestley, Bentham, the two Mills, Lewes, Huxley and Spencer. These are the greatest names in the history of English philosophy, for Adam Smith and David Hume were Scotchmen. It must always be remembered against England that from her came the soulless psychology. The Englishman has impressed himself on the German as a rigorous empiricist and as a practical politician, but these two sides exhaust his importance in philosophy. There has never yet been a true philosopher who made empiricism his basis, and no Engishman has got beyond empiricism without external help.
None the less, the Englishman must not be confused with the Jew. There is more of the transcendental element in him, and his mind is directed rather from the transcendental to the practical, than from the practical towards the transcendental. Otherwise he would not be so readily disposed to humor, unlike the Jew who is ready to be witty only at his own expense or on sexual things.
I am well aware how difficult are the problems of laughter and humor- just as difficult as any problems that are peculiar to man and not shared by him with the beasts; so difficult that neither Schopenhauer nor Jean Paul himself were able to elucidate them. Humour has many aspects; in some men it seems to be an expression of pity for them-selves or for others, but this element is not sufficient to distinguish it.
The essence of humour appears to me to consist in a laying of stress on empirical things, in order that their unreality may become more obvious. Everything that is realized is laughable, and in this way humour seems to be the antithesis of eroticism. The latter welds men and the world together, and unites them in a great purpose; the former loses the bonds of synthesis and shows the world as a silly affair. The two stands somewhat in the relation of polarised aud unpolarised light.
When the great erotic wishes to pass from the limited to the illimited, humour pounces down on him, pushes him in front of the stage, and laughs at him from the wings. The humourist has not the craving to transcend space; he is content with small things; his dominion is neither the sea nor the mountains, but the flat level plain. He shuns the idyllic, and plunges deeply into the commonplace, only, however, to show its unreality. He turns from the immanence of things and will not hear the transcendental even spoken of. Wit seeks out contradictions in the sphere of experience; humour goes deeper and shows that experience is a blind and closed system; both compromise the phenomenal world by showing that everything is possible in it. Tragedy, on the other hand, shows what must for all eternity be impossible in the phenomenal world; and thus tragedy and comedy alike, each in their own way, are negotiations of the empire.
The Jew who does not set out, like the humourist, from the transcendental and does not move towards it, like the erotic, has no interest in depreciating what is called the actual world, and that never becomes for him the paraphernalia of a juggler or the nightmare of the madhouse. Humour, because it recognises the transcendental if only by the mode of resolutely concealing it is essentially tolerant; satire, on the other hand, is essentially tolerant, and is congruous with the disposition of the Jew and the woman. Jews and women are devoid of humour but addicted to mockery. In Rome there was even a woman (Sulpicia) who wrote satires. Satire, because of its intolerance is impossible to men in society. The humorist, who knows how to keep the triffles and littlenesses of phenomena from troubling himself or others, is a welcome guest. Humour, like love, moves away obstacles from our path; it makes possible a way of regarding the world. The Jew, therefore, is least addicted to society, and the Englishman most adapted for it.
The comparison of the Jew with the Englishman fades out much more quickly than that with the woman. Both comparisons first arose in the heat of the conflict as to the worth and the nature of Jews. I may again refer to Wagner, who not only interested himself deeply in the problem of Judaism, but rediscovered the Jew in the Englishman, and threw the shadow of Ahasuerus over his Kundry, probably the most perfect representation of woman in art.
The fact that no woman in the world represents the idea of the wife so completely as the Jewess (and not only in the eyes of Jews) still further supports the comparison between Jews and women. In the case of the Aryans, the metaphysicaI qualities of the male are part of his sexual attraction for the woman, and so, in a fashion, she puts on an appearance of these. The Jew, on the other hand, has no transcendental quality and in the shaping aud mouldiug of the wife leaves the natural tendencies of the female nature a more unhampered sphere; and the Jewish woman, accordingly, plays the part required of her, as house-mother or odalisque, as Cybele or Cyprian, in the fullest way.
The congruity between Jews and women further reveals itself in the extreme adaptability of the Jews, in their great talent for journalism, the " mobility " of their minds1 their lack of deeply-rooted and original ideas, in fact the mode in which, like women, because they are nothing in themselves, they can become everything. The Jew is an individual, not an individuality ; lie is in constant close relation with the lower life, and has no share in the higher metaphysical life.
At this point the comparison between the Jew and the woman breaks down ; the being-nothing and becoming-all-things differs in the two. The woman is material which passively assumes any form impressed upon it. In the Jew there is a definite agressiveness ; it is not because of the great impression that others make on him that he is receptive; he is no more subject to suggestion than the Aryan man, but he adapts himself to every circumstance and every race, becoming, like the parasite, a new Creature in every different host, although remaining essentially the same. He assimilates himself to everything, and assimilates everything ; he is not dominated by others, but submits himself to them. The Jew is gifted, the woman is not gifted, and the giftedness of the Jew reveals itself in many forms of activity, as, for instance, in jurisprudence; but these activities are always relative and never seated in the creative freedom of the will.
The Jew is as persistent as the woman, but his persistence is not that of the individual but of the race. He is not unconditioned like the Aryan, but his limitations differ from those of the woman.
The true peculiarity of the Jew reveals itself best in his essentially irreligious nature. I cannot here enter on a discussion as to the idea of religion; but it is enough to say that it is associated essentially with an acceptance of the higher and eternal in man as different in kind, and in no sense to be derived from the phenomenal life. The Jew is eminently the unbeliever. Faith is that act of man by which he enters into relation with being, and religious faith is directed towards absolute, eternal being, the "life ever-lasting" of the religious phrase. The Jew is really nothing, because he believes in nothing.
Belief is everything. It does not matter if a man does not believe in God; let him believe in atheism. But the Jew believes nothing; he does not believe his own belief; he doubts as to his own doubt. He is never absorbed by his own joy, or engrossed by his own sorrow. He never takes himself in earnest, and so never takes any one else in earnest He is content to be a Jew, and accepts any disadvantages that come from the fact.
We have now readied the fundamental difference between the Jew and the woman. Neither believe in themselves; but the woman believes in others, in her husband, her lover, or her children, or in love itself ; she has a centre of gravity, although it is outside her own being. The Jew believes in nothing, within him or without him. His want of desire for permanent landed property and his attachment to movable goods are more than symbolical.
The woman believes in the man, in the man outside her, or in the man from whom she takes her inspiration, and in this fashion can take herself in earnest. The Jew takes nothing seriously; lie is frivolous, and jests about anything, about the Christian's Christianity, the Jew's baptism. He is neither a true realist nor a true empiricist. Here I must state certain limitations to my agreement with Chamberlain's conclusions. The Jew is not really a convinced empiricist in the fashion of the English philosophers. The empiricist believes in the possibility of reaching a complete system of knowledge on an empirical basis; he hopes for the perfection of science. The Jew does not really believe in knowledge, nor is he a sceptic, for he doubts his own scepticism. On the other hand, a brooding care hovers over the non-metaphysical system of Avenarius, and even in Ernst Mach's adherence to relativity there are signs of a deeply reverent attitude. The empiricists must not be accused of Judaism because they are shallow.
The Jew is the impious man in the widest sense. Piety is not something near things nor outside things ; it is the groundwork of everything. The Jew has been incorrectly called vulgar, simply because lie does not concern himself with metaphysics. All true culture that comes from within, all that a man believes to be true and that so is true for him, depend on reverence. Reverence is not limited to the mystic or the religious man ; all science and all scepticism, everything that a man truly believes, have reverence as the fundamental quality. Naturally it displays itself in different ways, in high seriousness and sanctity, in earnestness and enthusiasm. The Jew is never either enthusiastic or indifferent, he is neither ecstatic nor cold. He reaches neither the heights nor the depths. His restraint becomes meagreness, his copiousness becomes bombast. Should he venture into the boundless realms of inspired thought, he seldom reaches beyond pathos. And although he cannot embrace the whole world, he is for ever covetous of it.
Discrimination and generalisation, strength and love, science and poetry, every real and deep emotion of the human heart, have reverence as their essential basis. It is not necessary that faith, as in men of genius, should be in relation only to metaphysical entity; it can extend also to the empirical world and appear fully there, and yet none the less be faith in oneself, in worth, in truth, in the absolute, in God.
As the comprehensive view of religion and piety that I have given may lead to misconstruction, I propose to elucidate it further. True piety is not merely the possession of piety, but also the struggle to possess it; it is found equally in the convinced believer in God (Handel or Fechner), and also in the doubting seeker (Lenau and Dürer); it need not be made obvious to the world (as in the case of Bach) it may display itself only in a reverent attitude (Mozart). Nor is piety necessarily connected with the appearance of a Founder; the ancient Greeks were the most reverent people that have lived, and hence their culture was highest; but their religion had no personal Founder.
Religion is the creation of the all; and all that humanity can be is only through religion. So far from the Jew being religious, as has been assumed, he is profoundly irreligious. Were there need to elaborate my verdict on the Jews I might point out that the Jews, alone of peoples, do not try to make converts to their faith, and that when converts are made they serve as objects of puzzled ridicule to them. Need I refer to the meaningless formality and the repetitions of Jewish prayer ? Need I remind readers that the Jewish religion is a mere historical tradition, a memorial of such incidents as the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, with the consequent thanks of cowards to their Saviour; and that it is no guide to the meaning and conduct of life? The Jew is truly irreligious and furthest of mankind from faith. There is no relation between the Jew himself and the universe ; he has none of the heroism of faith, just as he has none of the disaster of absolute unbelief.
It is not, then, mysticism that the Jew is without, as Chaimberlain insists, but reverence. If he were only .an honest-minded materialist.or a frank evolutionist! He is not a critic, but only critical ; lie is not a sceptic in the Cartesian sense, but a doubter who sets out from doubt towards truth, but an ironist ; as, for instance, to take a conspicuous example, Heine.
What, then, is the Jew if he is nothing that a man can be ? What goes on within him if he is utterly without finality, if there is no ground in him which the plumb line of psychology may reach ?
The psychological contents of the Jewish mind are always double or multiple. There are always before him two or many possibilities, where the Aryan, although he sees as widely, feels himself limited in his choice. I think that the idea of Judaism consists in this want of reality, this absence of any fundamental relation to the thing-in-itself. He stands, so to speak, outside reality, without ever entering it. He can never make himself one with anything-never enter into real relationships. He is a zealot without zeal; he has no share in the unlimited, the unconditioned. He is without simplicity of faith, and so is always turning to each new interpretation, so seeming more alert than the Aryan. Internal multiplicity is the essence of Judaism, internal simplicity that of the Aryan.
It might be urged that the Jewish double-mindedness is modern, and is the result of new knowledge struggling with the old orthodoxy. The education of the Jew, however, only accentuates his natural qualities, and the doubting Jew turns with a renewed zeal to money-making, in which only lie can find his standard of value. A curious proof of the absence of simplicity in the mind of the Jew is that he seldom sings, not from bashfulness, but because he does not believe in his own singing. Just as the acuteness of Jews has nothing to do with true power of differentiating so his shyness about singing or even about speaking in clear positive tones has nothing to do with real reserve. It is a kind of inverted pride; having no true sense of his own worth, he fears being made ridiculous by his singing or speech. The embarrassment of the Jew extends to things which have nothing to with the real ego.
It has been seen how difficult it is to define the Jew. He has neither severity nor tenderness. He is both tenacious and weak. He is neither king nor leader, slave nor vassal. He has no share in enthusiasm, and yet he has little equanimity. Nothing is self-evident to him, and yet he is astonished at nothing. He has no trace of Lohengrin in him, and none of Telramund. He is ridiculous as a member of a students corps and he is equally ridiculous is a "philister." Because he believes in nothing, he takes refuge in materialism ; from this arises his avarice, which is simply an attempt to convince himself that something has a permanent value. And yet he is no real tradesman ; what is unreal, insecure in German commerce, is the result of the Jewish speculative interest.
The erotics of the Jew are sentimentalism, and their humour is satire. Perhaps examples may help to explain my interpretation of the Jewish character, and I point readily to Ibsen's King Hakon in the "Pretenders," and to his Dr. Stockmann in "The Enemy of the People." These may make clear what is for ever absent in the Jew. Judaism and Christianity form the greatest possible contrasts; the former is bereft of all true faith and of inner identity, the latter is the highest expression of the highest faith. Christianity is heroism at its highest point ; Judaism is the extreme of cowardliness.
Chamberlain has said much that is true and striking as to the fearful awe-struck want of understanding that the Jew displays with regard to the person and teaching of Christ, for the combination of warrior and sufferer in Him, for His life and death. None the less, it would be wrong to state that the Jew is an enemy of Christ, that he represents the anti-Christ; it is only that lie feels no relation with him. It is strong-minded Aryans, malefactors, who hate Jesus. The Jew does not get beyond being bewildered and disturbed by Him, as something that passes his wit to understand.
And yet it has stood the Jew in good stead that the New Testament seemed the outcome and fine flower of the Old, the fulfilment of its Messianic prophecies. The polar opposition between Judaism and Christianity makes the origin of the latter from the former .1 deep riddle; it is the riddle of the psychology of the founder of religions.
What is the difference between the genius who founds a religion and other kinds of genius ? What is it that has led him to found the religion ?
The main difference is no other than that he did not always believe in the God he worships. Tradition relates of Buddha, as of Christ, that they were subject to greater temptations than other men. Two others, Mahomet and Luther, were epileptic. Epilepsy is the disease of the criminal; Caesar, Narses, Napoleon, the greatest of the criminals, were epileptics.
The founder of a religion is the man who has lived without God and yet has struggled towards the greatest faith. How is it possible for a bad man to transform himself ? As Kant, although he was compelled to admit the fact, asked in his " philosophy of Religion," how can an evil tree bring forth good fruit ? The inconceivable mystery of the transformation into a good man of one who has lived evilly all the days and years of his life has actually realised itself in the case of some six or seven historical personages. These have been the founders of religions.
Other men of genius are good from their birth; the religious founder acquires goodness. The old existence ceases utterly and is replaced by the new. The greater the man, the more must perish in him at the regeneration. I am inclined to think that Socrates, alone amongst the Greeks, approached closely to the founders of religion; perhaps he made the decisive struggle with evil in the four-and-twenty hours during which he stood alone at Potidaea.
The founder of a religion is tile man for whom no problem has been solved from his birth. He is the man with the least possible sureness of conviction, for whom everything is doubtful and uncertain, and who has to conquer everything for himself in this life. One has to struggle against illness and physical weakness, another trembles on the brink of the crimes which are possible for him, yet another has been in the bonds of sin from his birth. It is only a formal statement to say that original sin is the same in all persons; it differs materially for each person. Here one, there another, each as he was born, has chosen what is senseless and worthless, has preferred instinct to his will, or pleasure to love; only the founder of a religion has had original sin in its absolute form; in him everything is doubtful, everything is in question. He has to meet every problem and free himself from all guilt. He has to reach firm ground from the deepest abyss; he has to surmount the nothingness in him and bind himself to the utmost
reality. And so it may be said of him that he frees himself of original sill, that in him God becomes man, but also that the man becomes God; in him was all error and all guilt; in him there comes to be all expiation and redemption.
Thus the founder of a religion is the greatest of the geniuses, for he has vanquished the most. He is the man who has accomplished victoriously what the deepest thinkers of mankind have thought of only timorously as a possibility, the complete regeneration of a man, the reversal of his will. Other great men of genius have indeed, to fight against evil, but the bent of their souls is towards the good. The founder of a religion has so much in him of evil, of the perverse, of earthly passion, that he must fight with the enemy within him for forty days in the wilderness, without food or sleep. It was only thus that he can conquer and overcome the death within him and free himself for the highest life. Were it otherwise there would be no impulse to found a faith. The founder of a religion is thus the very antipodes of the emperor ; emperor and Galilean are at two poles of thought. In Napoleon’s life, also, there was a moment when a conversion took place ; but this was not a turning away from earthly life, but the deliberate decision for the treasure and power and splendour of the earthly life. Napoleon was great in the colossal intensity with which he flung from him all the ideal, all relation to the absolute, in the magnitude of his guilt. The founder of religion, on the other hand, cannot and will not bring to man anything except that which was most difficult for himself to attain, the reconciliation with God. He knows that he himself was the man most laden with guilt, and he atones for the guilt by his death on the cross.
There were two possibilities in Judaism. Before the birth of Christ, these two, negation and affirmation, were together awaiting choice. Christ was the man who conquered in Himself Judaism, the greatest negation, and created Christianity, the strongest affirmation and the most direct opposite of Judaism. Now the choice has been made; the old Israel has divided into Jews and Christians and Judaism has lost the possibility of producing greatness. The new Judaism has been unable to produce men like Samson and Joshua the least Jewish of the old Jews. In the history of the world, Christendom and Jewry represent negation and affirmation. In old lsrael there was the highest possibility of mankind, the possibility of Christ. The other possibility is the Jew.
I must guard against misconception ; I do not mean that there was any approach to Christianity in Judaism; the one is the absolute negation of the other; the relation between the two is only that which exists between all pairs of direct opposites. Even more than in the case of piety and Judaism, Judaism and Christianity can best be contrasted by what each respectively excludes. Nothing is easier than to be Jewish, nothing so difficult as to be Christian. Judaism is the abyss over which Christianity is erected, and for that reason the Aryan dreads nothing so deeply as the Jew.
I am not disposed to believe, with Chamherlain, that the birth of the Saviour in Palestine was an accident. Christ was a Jew, precisely that He might overcome the Judaism within Him, for he who triumphs Over the deepest doubt reaches the highest faith; he who has raised himself above the most desolate negation is most sure in his position of affirmation. Judaism was the peculiar, original sin of Christ; it was His victory over Judaism that made Him greater than Buddha or Confucius. Christ was the greatest man because He conquered the greatest enemy. Perhaps he was, and will remain, the only Jew to conquer Judaism. The first of the Jews to become wholly the Christ was also the last who made the transition. It may be, however, that there still lies in Judaism the possibility of producing a Christ, and that the founder of the next religion will pass through Jewry.
On no other supposition can we account for the long persistence of the Jewish race which has outlived so many other peoples. Without at least some vague hope, the Jews could not have survived, and the hope is that there must be something in Judaism for Judaism ; it is the idea of a Messiah, of one who shall save them from Judaism. Every other race has had some special watchword, and, on realising their watchword, they have perished. The Jews have failed to release their watchword, and so their vitality persists. The Jewish nature has no other metaphysical meaning thann to be the spring from which the founders of religion will come. Their tradition to increase and multiply is connected with this vague hope, that out of them shall come the Messiah. The possibility of begetting Christs is the meaning of Judaism.
As in the Jew there are the greatest possibilities, so also in him are the meanest actualities; he is adapted to most things and realises fewest.
Judaism, at the present day, has reached its highest point since the time of Herod. Judaism is the spirit of modern life. Sexuality is accepted; and contemporary ethics sing the praises of pairing. Unhappy Nietzsche must not be made responsible for the shameful doctrines of Wilhelm Bölsche. Nietzsche himself understood asceticism, and perhaps it was only as a revulsion from the evils of his own asceticism that he attached value to the opposite conception. It is the Jew and the woman who are the apostles of pairing to bring guilt on humanity.
Our age is not only the most Jewish but the most feminine. It is a time when art is content with daubs and seeks its inspiration in the sports of animals; the time of a superficial anarchy, with no feeling for Justice and the State; a time of communistic ethics, of the most foolish of historical views, the materialistic interpretation of history ; a time of capitalism and of Marxism; a time when history, life, and science are no more than political economy and technical instruction, a time when genius is supposed to be a form of madness; a time with no great artists and no great philosophers; a time without originality and yet with the most foolish craving for originality; a time when the cult of the Virgin has been replaced by that of the Demivierge. It is the time when pairing has not only been approved but has been enjoined as a duty.
But from the new Judaism the new Christianity may be pressing forth; mankind waits for the new founder of religion, and, as in the year one, the age presses for a decision. The decision must be made between Judaism and Christianity, between business and culture, between male and female, between the race and the individual, between un-worthiness and worth, between the earthly and the higher life, between negation and the God-like. Mankind has the choice to make. There are only two poles, and there is no middle way.