State Control

The post-war era has been dominated by the idea of State corporateness to an amazing degree. The power and authority of the State have been augmented even in those countries where no actual dictatorship exists. Everywhere the State is stepping in to check the power and scope of the individual. The democratic apparatus which middle class individualism advanced to safeguard its rights is being pushed aside or discarded. There are no areas which are exempt from group control and interference. The individual is steadily being deprived of his “inalienable rights.” The State is beginning to dominate not only the political fortunes of its people but their economic fortunes as well—and their cultural and spiritual lives, too.

The slogan of “State Control” has become popular in recent years, especially among those sections of our population who dislike to use the more forthright and definitive term “Socialism.” Young Jews are especially captivated by it. But few of them have taken the trouble to inquire what a maximum state control would mean to a minority group like ours. In Russia it has destroyed the Jewish group culturally and religiously. In Germany it is destroying it politically, socially and economically. In Poland, whenever a government monopoly is established over a trade or an industry, the Jew is almost always squeezed out.

As a free individual, secure in his constitutional rights, in an open, competitive market, the Jewish business man and working man could hold his own with the non-Jew. But where government in a capitalistic country controls and determines its economic life, it will represent, as a matter of course, the preferences and prejudices of the majority, and the Jewish minority group will always be disfavored. Our political and economic security in the last century lay in constitutional guarantees, in charters of fundamental human liberties, in the doctrine of man’s inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” When these liberal doctrines are discarded, and all constitutional guarantees are scrapped, we become an unprotected and defenseless minority, left to the mercies and the moods of dictators or their underlings.

Liberalism and democracy in the 19th and early 20th centuries gave us the opportunity in the Western World to live free lives and to advance to new positions of equality in all fields of human endeavor. The recent tendency towards state absolutism with its mystic yearnings towards “coordination,” “Gleichschaltung” and the “monolithic society” has begun to play havoc with our people both materially and spiritually.

Those Jews who sing the praises of state control are, of course, thinking exclusively in terms of the Russian model. They should bear in mind, however, that long before the Russian model will become the dominant form in the world (if ever) the other form of maximum state control—the Fascist and the Nazi—will, unless it is strenuously opposed, come to master the countries of the earth. And Fascist state control is everywhere anti-Jewish. If Italian Fascism, on the face of it, seems to be an exception, it is only because the Jewish group in Italy is numerically negligible. Everywhere else, Fascism is avowedly and determinately anti-Semitic.

State absolutism may be inevitable but what reason is there for Jews to welcome it with hallelujahs? . . .

In all Fascist lands, side by side with the absolute totalitarian state, runs the doctrine of militant and aggressive nationalism which always claims as its first, victim the Jewish group. Fascist nationalism automatically makes the Jewish group suspect and tends to ghettotize and disfranchise it anew. For state control, carried to its logical conclusions, does not stop at economics. It is omnivorous and insatiable. . . .

In Germany, Fascist nationalism is still further narrowed by the concept of race. Nationalism is made synonymous with racialism. Only those belonging to the racial stock of the dominant majority are recognized as citizens. It is clear that in a state where race becomes the criterion and prerequisite for rights and preferments the Jew is sacrificed. It is no longer a question of personal character or of ability but of hereditary fatalism. One’s claim to equality can no longer be based upon constitutional rights or upon a shared human destiny or upon worth or merit but upon a factor which is beyond the individual’s control—ancestry.

The Jew would do well not to permit himself to be beguiled in his quest for social justice by the millennial promises of state messianism. All dictators promise so much and achieve so little. They ask men to surrender all their rights and liberties on the glowing promise of achieving “Kingdom Come”—the Golden Age—in no time. And hard-pressed men are easily beguiled. They yearn for some quick escape from all their difficulties. They surrender their charters of liberty. They even condone at first the terroristic means which #ictators employ to achieve the promised goal. But somehow the promised goal is never achieved. They never behold that But the means they do behold and experience—all the brutalities and oppressions which devastate their lives.

Liberals seem to have forgotten that liberalism is as much a matter of means as of ends. Liberalism is decidedly a matter of method and technique. If the methods are those of democratic justice, fairness, tolerance and freedom, then human life is enriched in the very process of attaining the far-off goal. But if the methods are those of tyrannic force, oppression and intolerance, then human life becomes brutalized in the process and the goal becomes increasingly more difficult of approximation. Liberals undermined their own position in the world because a great hope prompted them to sanction the sacrifice of means to ends, leading them into the tragic intellectual morass of endorsing and condoning illiberal and dictatorial methods and practices in one part of the world and of condemning the self-same methods and practices in another.

They were taken to an exceedingly high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and—they succumbed to the great temptation. . . .

Jewish liberals, with so much more at stake, seem to be committing the same folly.

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