Socialism, Anti-Semitism, Thatcherism and Fascism

Anti-semitism on the Left is harmful to Jews and degrading to socialists, irrespective of the precise historical period in which it manifests itself. However, there is a particular urgency in facing up to it today. We are now witnessing a popular resurgence of the New Right, best exemplified by Thatcherism in the U.K. As well as being a direct attack on the working class this represents chauvinism in all aspects-racial, national and sexual. It is arguable whether anti-semitism could become an explicit part of Tory philosophy. It certainly has popular appeal and is an important component of the "Victorian Values" that this government is so fond of espousing. However, it may well be that even the Tory Party could not incorporate anti-semitism institutionally in the direct way that all parliamentary parties now incorporate anti-black racism. Arguably, this requires a party of open fascism.

In any event, it is inconceivable that a socialist movement which is shot through with its own anti-semitism could face up to any of the aspects of Tory, let alone fascist, chauvinism. Over the last few years, sections of the socialist movement, mainly stimulated by the ideas and attitudes of feminism, have been re-evaluating their practice in order to develop a socialist practice which is both aware of the aspirations of the oppressed and is unoppressive in itself. This book about Left anti-semitism is written in that spirit.

<< Back | Next >>


© 1984 Steve Cohen, edited and produced by Libby Lawson and Erica Bunnan.
This publication and parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, by any method, except for non-commercial use.
In citing the publication, please acknowledge author and source.