WeeklyWorker

03.02.2022
Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon ‘New planet’ (1921)

Rightwing ‘Marxism’- a senile disorder

Michael Sommer’s 2014 essay 'Anti-Postone: or, Why Moishe Postone's Antisemitism Theory is Wrong, but Effective' has recently been translated into English by Maciej Zurowski (Cosmonaut Press 2021, Available on Amazon or in the Cosmonaut webstore). A more than useful contribution to the fightback against the ‘anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism’ big lie, which finds its most ‘sophisticated’ justification in the pseudo-Marxist writings of Moishe Postone. Here is the introduction provided by Mike Macnair

Comrade Zurowski’s preface indicates why it is desirable to translate Michael Sommer’s Anti-Postone.1 Witch-hunting anti-capitalism as anti-Semitic and therefore ‘fascist’, began as a significant tendency in Germany around the time of the 1989 reunification,2 and was intensified there with the rise of Die Linke after 2007 (with the practical result of capturing Die Linke for US Middle East policy).3 It spread beyond Germany with the campaign to reverse the continental European public opposition to the invasion of Iraq, reflected (after a tortuous process) in the intergovernmental International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance 2016 ‘Working Definition of Anti-Semitism’.4

With the 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn, a close associate of the Stop the War Coalition, as leader of the British Labour Party, a variety of smears were attempted: eg, Corbyn was said to be an agent of the Czech bureaucratic regime, and/or a friend of terrorists, and/or the left was claimed to be male-chauvinist. In 2016 this approach failed to deliver a successful parliamentary-Labour coup against Corbyn, and in 2017 it failed to deliver a majority for the Conservatives. But the anti-Semitism smear campaign continued without let-up, and the failure of the Corbyn leadership to actively denounce it or defend those targeted, together with the leadership’s allowing itself to be drawn into the trap of supporting ‘Conservative remainer’ initiatives in parliament (attempts to use procedural manoeuvres to prevent British exit from the EU), allowed a smashing victory for the Tories in December 2019. This has been followed by a yet-more-aggressive deployment of the ‘anti-Semitism’ defamation campaign, to ground an ongoing programme of expulsions by the new Labour leadership under securocrat (former director of public prosecutions) Sir Keir Starmer.

In the UK, the particular form of “Frankfurt School” narrative provided by Postone’s article is relatively weak.5

The Labour right by and large merely argue from ordinary western and UK loyalism, and parrot without much explanation the idea that anti-Zionism is ipso facto anti-Semitism. The ‘Eustonites’ proceeded fairly straightforwardly from Eurocommunism to common or garden ‘progressive’ liberalism and thence to a revival of late 19th-early 20th century “Liberal imperialism”.6 The Matgamnaites (Socialist Organiser, more recently Alliance for Workers’ Liberty) moved between 1979 and 1983 from the ‘anti-Pabloite Trotskyist’ dogma that ‘Stalinism is counterrevolutionary through and through’, to Max Shachtman-style ‘third campism’, and thus to ‘Soviet imperialism’ and hence to anti-anti-imperialism.7

The underlying reason for the difference is probably that the purchase of ‘critical theory’ in the British academic left is also weak.8 Nonetheless, vulgarised versions of Postone’s argument have appeared in Britain.9 In North America, ‘critical theory’ has more purchase - and Postone’s article is more celebrated.

Michael Sommer provides a very strong systematic critique of the intellectual deficiencies of Postone’s arguments, not least his central work Time, labour and social domination.10 Two sympathetic ‘third camp’ left reviewers of Time, labour and social domination, Martin Thomas of the AWL and left communist Loren Goldner, drew attention, for example, to Postone’s radical lack of engagement with the leftist literature critical of the USSR; Goldner also pointed out that Postone offered a radically selective quotation (of a passage Marx anyhow deleted from the final, French, edition of Capital) to be a central element of his case for capital as a system of ‘abstract’ domination.11 It can be added, again merely for example, that at page 4 of Time, labour and social domination, Postone attributed to Marx the view that labour is (under capitalism) “the source of all wealth” - a view that Marx explicitly denounced in the Critique of the Gotha Progamme.12 There are a variety of other defects; in sum, it is pretty clear there is no serious reason to attribute to Marx what Postone calls “Marx’s mature critical theory”, since Marx down to his death maintained claims clearly opposed to Postone’s interpretation. It thus equally seems likely that Cambridge University Press published Time, labour and social domination in 1991 not for the merits of its ‘Marx scholarship’ as scholarship, which is seriously weak, but for the congeniality of its central political conclusions - the rejection of any class politics - to those who advised the press to publish, in the ‘moment’ after the collapse of the eastern European bureaucratic regimes in 1989.

It may be useful to add here, to Sommer’s substantive critique of Postone on anti-Semitism and of the epigones of this article, a little about the possible backgrounds to Postone’s argument; on the one side, on the issue of anti-Semitism and the 1970s; on the other, the background to Postone’s theoretical framework in the appropriation of the ideas of the ‘Frankfurt School’ by the German and American SDS groups (Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund; Students for a Democratic Society) in the 1960s.

Anti-Semitism

All ideologies need something to give them a degree of plausibility. There is, for example, no known religion or political credo which asserts that the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east. The ideology of Postone is about anti-Semitism as a mode of figuring capitalism as such, which is identified with ‘industrial modernity’ and - in the move-too-far which is central to Sommer’s critiques of Postone and his epigones - with ‘abstraction’ considered as a property of capitalism as a social formation as such.

The rational core of this Postonean ideology is that in ‘classical’ late 19th century anti-Semitism (as Sommer points out) money and finance capital is figured as ‘the Jew’ and ‘unproductive’, as opposed to the potentially virtuous ‘productive’ and ‘national’ industrial capital. Postone adopts some of the evidence of this trope, but denies the opposition, projecting the anti-Semites’ endorsement of industrial capital onto industrial labour. At least part of the background to this choice is Postone’s prior rejection of class politics, which emerges from his SDS-Frankfurt School background - to be discussed later. However, Postone’s claimed evidence for the choice is that the Nazis claimed that Marxism and communism were ‘Jewish’; and the particularity of the Jewish holocaust, as the only case of sustained efforts to eradicate a whole culture, which (it is said) cannot be explained by capitalist (or state) interests.13

The first of these arguments is trivially useless: the core of classical anti-Semitism was Catholic social teaching, and it was already directed from the 1880s as much against social democracy as against liberalism.14 The political objection to ‘money capital’ was, in fact, older within capitalism, forming the basis of Tory objections to the ‘Jew Bill’ (for naturalization of wealthy Jewish immigrants) of 1753 - and before that to the political role of the supposedly unstable and non-national ‘moneyed interest’ (as opposed to the virtuous and national ‘landed interest’) in the 1690s-1700s.15 The argument is from the national, eliding the actual clerical-traditional interest; and this argument is as much an objection against the internationalism of the Second and Third Internationals as against the Jews as a non-national group, and so on. The organic unity of the nation is strikingly downplayed from Postone’s account of anti-Semitism, but strikingly present in actual anti-Semitisms, ‘national socialism’ and Stalinist campaigns against ‘cosmopolitanism’ included.

The second point is more important: it is a variant on ‘Holocaust uniqueness’, which, though it had a limited constituency before the 1970s, became much more widely publicised from the 1970s.16 Postone’s starting point, in fact, is one of the products of this radical expansion of ‘Holocaust culture’: the impact in Germany of the US TV mini-series Holocaust.17

Whatever the merits of ‘Holocaust uniqueness’ in general, Postone’s use of it is not historically defensible. The attempt to extirpate a whole minority ethno-religio-culture or cultures, considered as polluting the nation, was made in Spanish 17th century limpieza di sangre projects; this did not create a genocide merely because at the time the technology did not exist to close borders.18 Closer in time to the holocaust, the Armenian genocide of 1915-17 certainly had the object of purifying the Turkish nation, and did largely wipe out the Armenian minority in Turkey, with a substantially lower technical base than 1940s Germany.19 Similar national-social purification aims were present in Young Turk and Kemalist policy towards the Anatolian Greeks during and after World War I, though here the relation of forces forced mass deportations rather than mass killings.20

Postone was writing at a time when there were in circulation both extensive propaganda exploitation of ‘anti-Semitism’ by the US and its Israeli client, and actual anti-Semitic discourses. The propaganda aspect was ‘new anti-Semitism’, an idea promoted by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban in 1973 and enthusiastically taken up by US writers. The idea was that ‘Israel is the Jew of the nations’, ie, that the hostility of the left to the Israeli state was, as such, discriminatory against Jews. The problem with this line was that even if the 1967 war was really “pre-emptive self-defence” at its start, by annexing East Jerusalem and embarking on settlements in the occupied territories, Israel retrospectively became a “trespasser ab initio” and converted the war into a war of aggression in violation of the Nuremberg Principles and UN Charter. Israel was therefore not claiming only the rights allowed to all states/peoples, but a special right to territorial expansionism not available to other states or peoples. The general perception of this was reflected not only in immediate sympathy for the Palestinians, but also in a widespread leftist retrospective negative re-evaluation of 1948.

The spinal core driver of the actual circulation of anti-Semitic ideas was also the Israel-Palestine issue. The underlying problem was that the US state pretended not to support its Israeli client and to act as an ‘honest broker’ between Israel and the Arab states, and between Israel and the Palestinians. In fact, however, the US had and has geopolitical interests in veto control of the Middle East as an oil-producing area, in order to hold potential rivals in military subordination by controlling access to oil, which powers armed forces. These interests led the Kennedy administration to introduce large-scale US military aid to Israel, and ever since then US policy has been governed by maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours.21

The flat conflict between what the US says, about pursuing ‘peace’, what it doesn’t say, by failing to openly avow its security interests in veto control of the region, and what it does, by pretty much consistently backing Israel, naturally produces theories according to which the US’s practice is really governed not by US interests but by the ‘Zionist lobby’ - Israeli tail wags American dog,22 or, worse, that Washington is being run by an international Jewish conspiracy or ‘Jewish-capitalist class’.23 This is, broadly, the context of the expansion of European anti-Semitic ideas in the Middle East.24

The Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR, moreover, in the wake of the 1967 war, revived the nationalist anti-Semitism of the late Stalin years.25 And it has to be noticed that Hilferding’s Finance capital, heavily deployed by Lenin in Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, the latter a text which was very influential on the left in the later 1960s to 1970s, slips somewhat into the frame of finance = unproductive, so as to be susceptible of a Catholic social teaching reading; not, in fact, Marx’s view (for which finance is a necessary phase or component of the circuit of capital, merely separated-off to accelerate returns).26

The 1967 war also took place towards the end of the period of ‘demonstrative direct actions’ by the New Left, and not long before the British scuttle out of Aden (November 1967) and the Tet Offensive in Vietnam (starting January 31 1968). The Palestinians therefore - like very many radicals all around the world - hoped that the methods of guerrilla struggle and ‘prolonged people’s war’ could win: in their case, bring down the Zionist state. But cross-border raiding failed: Israel’s “qualitative military edge” was too strong. Palestinian organisations therefore turned to ‘demonstrative’ terror against softer Israeli-overseas targets.27 But the extent of Israeli state involvement in Jewish organisations internationally is such that it was fatally easy to slide from targeting Israeli overseas assets, to targeting simply Jewish assets.28 We arrive here at Postone’s reference to the 1976 Entebbe hijacking and the Israeli Defence Force hostage rescue, involving the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine working with the German far-left terrorist Revolutionäre Zellen - who Postone argues inverted German guilt for the Holocaust.29

My point here is not to make anti-Semitic ideas into some sort of sin against the holy ghost. Not all anti-Semitic ideas inexorably produce the Holocaust. But what I have just been discussing in relation to left politics and ‘anti-imperialism’ is largely antediluvian 1970s politics, which is antediluvian to modern eyes because of its radical failure. The point is then, in fact, the opposite of Postone’s anti-class politics argument: the fundamental problem with ‘left anti-Semitism’ is that it places confidence in some section of the capitalist class or the state bureaucracy: in this case, the nationalists/traditionalists. Those who hold out hopes for the populism of the nationalists/traditionalists will inevitably be betrayed; as happened to the large majority of the Iranian left in 1979-81, and more recently to those who imagined the Muslim Brotherhood as an alternative to the military regime in Egypt, or held out hope in Donald Trump to restore the ‘rustbelt’.

But this is also a problem with the other side of the coin, which is to attach the left to liberalism. Tony Blair’s New Labour turned out to be a combination of privatisation, strong-state measures, and war abroad. Voting for ‘hope’ in the elections of Obama achieved … more drone assassinations, and the most minimalist possible health reform. Choosing Hilary Clinton as the ‘electable’ Democrat led to the election of Trump. But hitching the left’s wagon to the liberals was already the logic of Postone’s sub-Frankfurt-School theoretical approach.

1960s new left

One might easily assume that Postone was writing pure theory without political antecedents and involvements (beyond the critique of ‘traditional Marxism’). But this is misleading - or, rather, reflects the fact that the failure of the political trend in which Postone was involved was so complete that pretty much nothing is left except academic traces. This trend is the German and American SDS groups.

Postone’s connection is not entirely clear in materials online, but can pretty reasonably be inferred from the people (other than his teachers) he credited in the acknowledgements to Time, labour and social domination (at xi) - in particular his contemporary and coauthor of his earliest published piece, Helmut Reinicke, who was active in the US civil rights movement in 1963-64, and in German SDS from 1965; Wolfram Wolfer-Melior, author of a 1981 introduction to a reprint of SDSer Rudi Dutschke on organisation; and Dan Diner, who “came of political age within the New Left of the 1960s”.30 The relationship is also visible in Postone’s early writing for the journal Telos, originally launched in 1968 as a “New Left theory journal”.31 And it is visible in the structure and substance of the arguments.

In one of his interviews, Postone said that he radicalised in the early-mid 1960s, which would place him in the ‘high tide’ of SDS:

I was a student, a very long time ago, in the fabled 60s, and like many students of that generation, I was in some general ways politically progressive. There was a strange - retrospectively very strange - sense of optimism, that was fairly broad and that perhaps was associated with the election of John Kennedy, which seem to have changed the general atmosphere in the country, on the one hand, and the civil rights movement, on the other. Many of us strongly felt that segregation and racism were not just wrong, but were on the losing end of history. That, in a sense, went along with a kind of optimism. …32

The mid-60s SDS groups had a basic common ideological aspect. This was the influence of left-Weberian sociologist C Wright Mills, and of ‘Frankfurt School’ writer Herbert Marcuse’s 1964 One-dimensional man. The general frame was the (Weberian) characterisation of the social problem as ‘industrial rationality’ (‘east’ and ‘west’) and rejection of the idea of the leading role of the working class in the emancipation of humanity, in favour of a leading role for intellectuals or students, or for those at the margins.33

In spite of the considerable mid-60s success of SDS and similar projects, by 1969 this strategic conception was busted. ‘Wildcat strikes’ beginning in the mid-60s seriously undermined the idea that the working class was fully integrated in capitalist society, and May ’68, the ‘creeping May’ in Italy, and the late 1960s-early 1970s strike wave in Britain, knocked it on the head. Meanwhile, the Chinese ‘Cultural Revolution’ gave a spurious new image of radicalism to Maoism, while Vietnam and other events added to the apparent plausibility of the ‘prolonged people’s war’ perspective. In 1969, both the US and German SDS split and collapsed, leaving behind some Maoist and sub-Maoist groups, famously some terrorists (the Weather Underground in the US and the Red Army Fraction in Germany) - but nothing but political gravel out of the ‘Marcusian’-‘Millsian’ cores.34 Part of that gravel must have been the - presumably informal - group working on Frankfurt-School theory in the 1970s which is reflected in Postone’s coauthorships and his acknowledgements to Germans for discussion and support in Time, labour and social domination.

It is thus clear that Postone’s rejection of class politics, explicit in Time, labour and social domination and implicit in his anti-Semitism articles, is not a conclusion from this work, but rather a dogmatic presupposition of it, derived from the SDS milieu and their appropriations of Marcuse, Wright Mills, and so on. This is, in fact, already visible in the 1974 Postone-Reinicke critique of Nicolaus’s introduction to his translation of Marx’s Grundrisse, which is the first piece in the Postone corpus:

The Grundrisse has become known … also when the revolt of the 1960s has largely subsided and when increasing numbers of young leftists turn to a traditional Marxist theory and practice whose inadequacies had been practically demonstrated by the newer forms of struggle. (emphases added)35

These statements, as written in 1973-74 (thus, for example, published in the midst of the Portuguese revolution) could only make sense if ‘revolt’ meant the 1960s student movement and nothing else, and the ‘newer forms of struggle’ the same.

The context of the defeat of the actual political perspectives then helps to explain the curious claim in the Postone-Reinicke piece, repeated in Postone’s later work, that the ‘Marxian critique’ is fundamentally an epistemology which rules out any knowledge which cannot be derived out of the unfolding of the contradictions of the commodity-form. Thus:

The Marxian dialectic presents a critical epistemology in which forms of thought are understood historically rather than as resulting from the interactions of indeterminate subjects and indeterminate objects outside of history.36

And

The mature Marxian dialectic critically grasps and expresses developed bourgeois society as the first real social totality: one whose entire determinate reality can be unfolded logically from a single abstract structuring form - the commodity in its double character as a total system.37

These are merely quotations illustrative of a point elaborated, but not really justified.

This argument is an extension of a point which is already written into the foundations of the ‘Frankfurt School’: right at the beginnings of György Lukács’s History and class consciousness:

Let us assume for the sake of argument that recent research had disproved once and for all every one of Marx’s individual theses. Even if this were to be proved, every serious ‘orthodox’ Marxist would still be able to accept all such modern findings without reservation and hence dismiss all of Marx’s theses in toto - without having to renounce his orthodoxy for a single moment. Orthodox Marxism, therefore, does not imply the uncritical acceptance of the results of Marx’s investigations. It is not the ‘belief’ in this or that thesis, nor the exegesis of a ‘sacred’ book. On the contrary, orthodoxy refers exclusively to method.38

It is necessary to point out that this argument was already a means of intellectual closure against adverse evidence - as is, in fact, here transparent. The background is the influence of Max Weber on Lukács: what Lukács does is to concede the bulk of Weber’s and other contemporary criticisms of Marx and Marxism, while holding onto an image of the proletariat as an imagined ‘revolutionary subject’ which can escape the toils of Weberian industrial ‘rationalism’.39 What was involved was not the actual warts-and-all workers’ movement of trade unions, coops, campaigns and collectivist parties, growing out of class conflict driven by capitalists’ drive to increase exploitation; it was this warts-and-all movement which Marx and Engels conceived as showing the potential emancipatory role of the proletariat as pointing, in a very approximate way, towards the possibility of human cooperative activity in general. Rather, Lukács posited an imagined proletarian consciousness, achievable only by the ‘Leninist party’, as a form of Hegelian subject in a subject-object dialectic. In the cold war period Stalinism in the east, and the apparent capture of the trade unions by the capitalist states in the west, killed this utopian image of the working class as an emancipatory ‘knowing Subject’; hence the SDS‑ers Marcusian alternatives.40

The death of the SDS projects then meant that there was a need for a further intellectual closure against adverse evidence, going beyond that already contained in Lukács. In Postone and Reinicke, and in Postone’s later work, we get additional and increasingly elaborate theorization of why the working class movement is purely internal to capitalism - and an intellectual closure against any evidence within Marx which might be adverse to this interpretation. Even if the SDS projects are now dead as a dodo, Postone and Reinicke tell us, we are still to cling to Marcusian ‘Marxian’ thought against the substantial evidence for ‘traditional Marxism’. But whence is an emancipatory project to come from in this ‘critical theory’? The nearest approach is in Postone’s ‘Anti-Semitism’ article:

… the abstract domination of capital, which - particularly with rapid industrialization - caught people up in a web of dynamic forces they could not understand, became perceived as the domination of International Jewry. This was particularly true in countries such as Germany, in which the development of industrial capitalism was not only very rapid, but occurred in the absence of a previous bourgeois revolution and its consequent hegemonic liberal values and political culture.41

Here “bourgeois revolution” must mean the American revolution, given the difficulties of analysis of the English revolution and the extensive French complicity in the Holocaust. And “hegemonic liberal values and political culture” - again an appeal to the USA, given the weight of Conservatism in British politics - is to be understood as the essential prophylactic against anti-Semitism as “foreshortened anti-capitalism”.42

The fall of the Soviet bloc, and the brief ascendancy of ideas that history had come to an end in liberalism, and so on,43 renewed the plausibility of this sort of reasoning. Thus, for example, Postone’s adherents in the Platypus Affiliated Society.44 But class has again returned - this time not in the form of working class mass actions, as in the late 1960s to 1970s, but in the restoration of the ‘reserve army of labour’ and intensifying exploitation of increasingly precarious labour, returning us to ‘19th century’ conditions. And liberalism tied to this project of intensified exploitation has in consequence issued in growing nationalism and illiberalism in politics world-wide. This side of the coin ideologically reflects the aspect of personal domination in capitalism, which is in fact as prominent in Marx as capitalism as freedom and impersonal rules, but which Postone attempted to exclude from ‘Marxian’ analysis by his intellectual closure in the definition of the dialectic.

This intellectual closure, then takes us back to the beginning: the severe deficiencies of the argument of the ‘Anti-Semitism’ article, and those of its followers, which are closed against both evidence and alternative analyses; which Michael Sommer has exposed for us in the article translated here.

mike.macnair@weeklyworker.co.uk


  1. cosmonautmag.com/2022/01/anti-postone-translators-preface.↩︎

  2. Convenient discussion in Wikipedia ‘Anti-Germans’: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Germans_(political_current). It should be noted that in the USA, efforts to illegalise and no-platform Palestine solidarity initiatives go back to the 1970s. Eg: www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/enforcement/oac, cited in Anon Note, ‘Wielding antidiscrimination law to suppress the movement for Palestinian rights’ 133 Harv. L. Rev. 1360 (2020) at n.33.↩︎

  3. See, eg: www.die-linke.de/partei/parteidemokratie/parteivorstand/parteivorstand/detail/stoppt-die-gewalt-in-israel-und-palaestina (15 May 2021); www.jns.org/german-politicians-sound-unprecedented-pro-israel-rhetoric-at-berlin-rally (25 May 2021).↩︎

  4. www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-anti-Semitism. For the earlier stages of production, beginning with the American Jewish Committee and the European Union Monitoring Committee, see www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/Submissions/JBI-Annex1.pdf.↩︎

  5. Moishe Postone, 1979 ‘Anti-Semitism and National Socialism’, available from the Anarchist Library, at: theanarchistlibrary.org/library/moishe-postone-anti-semitism-and-national-socialism ↩︎

  6. Convenient outline reference at Wikipedia ‘Euston manifesto’: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euston_Manifesto. On ‘Liberal imperialism’: HCG Matthew, The Liberal imperialists. The ideas and politics of a post-Gladstonian elite (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973).↩︎

  7. As a contemporary outside observer of this change, it seems to me that the reason is that the Mandelite Trotskyist International Marxist Group-Socialist League in 1980 pulled out of student politics in order to conduct a ‘turn to industry’. The Matgamnaites saw a gap in the political market, and moved into student politics. But as a purely British group, they did not have the Mandelites’ ‘unique selling point’ against the larger Socialist Workers’ Party of the Fourth International. To fill this gap, they allied with the Union of Jewish Societies against the SWP’s support for “no platform for Zionists”. This position was correct in itself (no-platforming does not suppress fascism, but merely hands weapons to the state; ‘no platform for racists’ lacked even the sort-of justification of ‘no platform for fascists’). But since the Matgamanites supported (and still support) “no platform for fascists” they needed to reverse their pre-existing line on ‘anti-imperialism’ if they were to justify their bloc with the J-Socs.↩︎

  8. On the limited influence of the Frankfurt School in Britain, see, eg, Douglas Kellner: pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/Illumina%20Folder/kell16.htm; Tom Steele ‘Critical theory and British cultural studies’ Counterpoints Vol 168 (2003), pp222-237.↩︎

  9. Eg: labourlist.org/2019/03/siobhain-mcdonagh-links-anti-capitalism-to-anti-Semitism-in-labour.↩︎

  10. Cambridge UP 1991.↩︎

  11. Martin Thomas (writing after Postone’s death): www.workersliberty.org/story/2018-12-30/postone-capitalism-and-working-class; Goldner: breaktheirhaughtypower.org/review-time-labor-and-social-domination-by-moishe-postone - the individual point at n1.↩︎

  12. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm - the very first paragraph of the text.↩︎

  13. In the version in New German Critique No19 (December 1980), pp97-115, at 108, 105.↩︎

  14. David I Kertzer, Unholy War: The Vatican’s role in the rise of modern anti-Semitism Macmillan 2002.↩︎

  15. Jew Bill: eg, Avinoam Yuval-Naeh ‘The 1753 Jewish Naturalization Bill and the Polemic over Credit’ 567 J Brit. Stud. pp467–492 (2018). ‘Landed’ and ‘moneyed’ interests: eg, Richard I Cook, Jonathan Swift as a Tory pamphleteer (University of Washington Press, 1967). The discourse persisted in Burke’s Reflections on the revolution in France and down to the Commons debate in 1854 on the repeal of the Usury Acts: api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1854/aug/04/usury-laws-repeal-bill.↩︎

  16. Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry 2nd edition Verso 2014 chapter 2. The objections which have been made to Finkelstein’s argument, so far as these objections have a good-faith character, do not displace this dating point.↩︎

  17. Summary account of the mini-series and its reception at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_(miniseries).↩︎

  18. Discussion: eg, in François Soyer Antisemitic conspiracy theories in the Early Modern Iberian world Brill 2019.↩︎

  19. Discussion: eg, Donald Bloxham, ‘The Armenian genocide of 1915-1916: cumulative radicalization and the development of a destruction policy’ Past & Present No181 November 2003 pp141-191.↩︎

  20. Discussion: eg, Sarah Shields ‘The Greek-Turkish population exchange’ Middle East Report No267 Summer 2013: merip.org/2013/06/the-greek-turkish-population-exchange.↩︎

  21. www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/us-foreign-policy-and-israels-qualitative-military-edge-need-common-vision. This dates at least the expression to after the 1967 war; but the decisive steps taken by the Kennedy administration, as part of cold war policy, are discussed by Vaughn P Shannon Balancing act: US foreign policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict Ashgate 2003 (Kindle edition 2020) chapter 2, text at nn45-49.↩︎

  22. . Discussion by Moshé Machover ‘Imperialism, Palestine and Israel’ Weekly Worker September 6 2007: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/687/imperialism-palestine-and-israel; and ‘A very special relationship’ The Project May 2 2015.↩︎

  23. For a (trivial) example: commexplor.com/2014/09/06/draft-theses-on-the-jews-and-modern-imperialism.↩︎

  24. Discussion: eg, Norman A Stillman ‘New attitudes toward the Jew in the Arab world’ Jewish Social Studies Vol 37 1975 pp197-204.↩︎

  25. Cf L Trotsky ‘Thermidor and anti-Semitism’ 1937: www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1937/02/therm.htm; Konstantin Azadovskii and Boris Egorov ‘From Anti-Westernism to Anti-Semitism’ Journal of Cold War Studies Vol 4 2002 pp66-80; William Korey ‘The origins and development of Soviet anti-Semitism: an analysis’ Slavic Review Vol 31 1972 pp111-135.↩︎

  26. David Harvey The Limits to capital new edition Verso 2006 chapter 10; Matari Pierre Manigat ‘Finance capital and financialization: a comparative reading of Marx and Hilferding’: journals.openedition.org/oeconomia/9122 (2020).↩︎

  27. On New Left ‘demonstrative actions’: Todd Gitlin, The whole world is watching: mass media in the making and unmaking of the New Left 2003 edition, University of California Press is useful. Palestinian guerrilla efforts: convenient narrative in Daniel L Byman ‘The 1967 war and the birth of international terrorism’ May 30 2017: www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2017/05/30/the-1967-war-and-the-birth-of-international-terrorism.↩︎

  28. I should add that this is not a point specific to Israel. States generally have so much more resources available than voluntary associations that they will naturally tend, in the absence of clear resistance to accepting state funding, to ‘take over’ voluntary associations for their own ends. Thus the ‘official’ communist parties and the USSR.↩︎

  29. Above n11, pp103-104.↩︎

  30. Reinicke’s Wikipedia page: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Reinicke; Wolfer-Melior ‘Organisation als Problem revolutionärer Existenz’ in Basisgruppen Internationalismus-Tage Tübingen 11 Dez bis 13 Dez 1981 Köln/Bonn 1981; on Diner, Jeffrey Herf ‘The struggle continues’ New Republic Aug 5 2002: newrepublic.com/article/66401/the-struggle-continues.↩︎

  31. Postone in Telos: ‘On Nicolaus “Introduction” to the Grundrisse’ Telos No22 1974 pp130-148; ‘Revolt im bürgerliche Erbe: Gebrauchswert und Mikrologie’ Telos 1976, pp239-245’; John Alt ‘Radical and conservative critique: a conference report’ Telos 1985 No63 pp121-138 (Postone’s commentary on papers and discussion on it at pp134-35). On the origins of Telos, the quote here is from kennethandersonlawofwar.blogspot.com/2007/11/telos-critical-theory-journal-and-its.html; cf also Danny Postel, ‘The metamorphosis of Telos’ In these times 1991: dev.autonomedia.org/node/3049; Timothy Luke, ‘The trek with Telos’ fastcapitalism.uta.edu/1_2/luke.html.↩︎

  32. ucpr.blog/2018/09/13/an-interview-with-moishe-postone-marx-capitalism-and-the-possibility-of-activism-today. Two other interviews gave a date of 1969: www.workersliberty.org/story/2018-12-30/postone-capitalism-and-working-class, and: www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2018/10/19/moishe-postone-marxist-scholar-social-theorist-194. Postone graduated with a BSc in biochemistry in 1963, and returned to Chicago University to study history at Masters’ level in 1965 or 1966 (MA 1967; ABD 1969). This history suggests that the earlier date in the UCPR blog interview is the right one.↩︎

  33. Eg, Wright Mills’s 1960 Letter to the New Left: www.marxists.org/subject/humanism/mills-c-wright/letter-new-left.htm; Marcuse One dimensional man chapter 2: www.marxists.org/ebooks/marcuse/one-dimensional-man.htm#s2. More general discussion of the politics of the two SDSs in, eg, Martin Klimke The other alliance: student protest in West Germany and the United States in the global sixties Princeton UP 2010; Paul Heideman, ‘Half the way with Mao Zedong’ Jacobin May 23 2018: jacobinmag.com/2018/05/half-the-way-with-mao-zedong.↩︎

  34. Third camp Trotskyist perspective on the American split from the ‘Independent Socialist Clubs’: www.workersliberty.org/story/2019-11-13/split-sds. Feminist perspective on the German split feministberlin1968ff.de/leftist-debates/1968er-movement-splits-1969.↩︎

  35. Above n29 at p131.↩︎

  36. Above n29 at p135.↩︎

  37. Id p136.↩︎

  38. www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/history/orthodox.htm.↩︎

  39. Discussion, eg, Gareth Stedman Jones ‘The Marxism of the early Lukacs: an evaluation’ NLR I/70 1971 pp27-64; Zoltan Tarr ‘A note on Weber and Lukács’ Int J Politics, Culture, and Society Vol 3 1989 pp131-139.↩︎

  40. Some useful critical perspective on this evolution in Tom Bottomore The Frankfurt School and its critics new edition Routledge 2002; also Stuart Jeffries Grand Hotel Abyss Verso 2016.↩︎

  41. Above n.29 p107.↩︎

  42. Postone’s 1985 ‘Review: Jean Cohen on Marxian critical theory’ Theory and Society Vol 14 pp233-246 makes the point that liberalism is essentially more explicit.↩︎

  43. Francis Fukuyama ‘The end of history?’ The National Interest No16 1989 pp3-18 is only the most celebrated such product.↩︎

  44. Eg, Chris Cutrone, ‘Lenin’s liberalism’ 2011: platypus1917.org/2011/06/01/lenins-liberalism.↩︎