[OPE-L:6480] Re: RE: Marx and the bible

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.in2home.co.uk)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 11:41:39 EST


Marx was not an anti semite. He was an athiest. He objected to religions on rational grounds. His barbs against Christianity wer  also in the same vein. One should be careful not to mix up the issue, it is as dangerous as confusing anti-Zionism with racism.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: gerald_a_levy <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
    To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
    Date: 30 January 2002 14:36
    Subject: [OPE-L:6465] RE: Marx and the bible
    In [6464] Andy asked about the meaning of the biblical 
    reference in Vol 1, Ch 24, Section 3:
    "Accumulate, accumulate! That is Marx and the prophets!"
    The bible is *not* my area of expertise, but the reference
    might be related to the command to "Go forth and multiply!".
    Some comments:
    1) Marx doesn't tell us why he used this reference.
    2) If my 'go forth and multiply' supposition is correct, then
    it is not a very good analogy, imo.  The biblical command
    to multiply was a command to reproduce *themselves* 
    (i.e. have more children).  As an ethic, this is certainly
    something that not just in the bible but in many other
    societies pre-dates capitalism.  The capitalist ethic of
    accumulation is not a call to reproduce themselves as
    a class in greater numbers. Indeed, the meaning of the
    concentration and centralization of capital and 
    proletarianization suggest that the capitalist class is
    *not* multiplied alongside the accumulation of capital.
    Perhaps the underlying problem has its origin in the
    character-mask assumption: i.e.  there is a distinction 
    between capital and capitalists which is not observed
    in the 'capital personified' assumption.  In other words,
    if capitalists were only capital personified, then they
    would be driven to multiply themselves ('living capital'
    so to speak).  Yet, this is not the case.
    3) Never one to shy away from controversy, let me
    note that the above reference -- given the prevailing
    anti-Semitism in Europe in Marx's time and given a
    history by Marx  of making anti-Semitic comments in 
    his personal correspondence  (of course this is known 
    to us but was not known to the contemporary readers
    of _Capital_) --  is suggestive of a popular prejudice
    in Europe at the time: the identification of Jews with
    money-making, saving, and lending. 
    In solidarity, Jerry

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