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had famously and contemptuously dismissed the 'philosophy of the Hebrews' as
non-existent and the Jews themselves, 'nos maîtres et nos ennemis'
Like Voltaire, Cobbett, Bauer, Michelet, and countless others, Proudhon had no
doubt at all that deep and continual connections subsisted between the Jews of
antiquity and the Jews of his own day and that these bore directly on what he
took to be the evident fact that they were central figures in the evil world
surrounding him. They were and always had been, an 'unsociable, obstinate,
infernal race', he wrote, 'the first authors of that evil superstition called
Catholicism in which the furious, intolerant Jewish element consistently
overwhelmed the other Greek, Latin, barbarian, etc. elements and served to
torture humankind for so long.'
Some thirty of the one hundred eighteen articles in his (Voltaires)
Philosophical Dictionary (1764) contain virulent attacks against the Jews
To Diderot, Jews were capable of any villainy; to D'Holbach, they were the
vilest people on earth; to Rousseau, furious fanatics.
focusing on Alsace (which hosted the largest Jewish community--roughly 20,000
at the time), argued that Jews had a degenerating influence on rural Alsatian
society. Jews were parasitical, prone to illness, and indoctrinated by their
religion to hate gentiles. Their rabbis, he claimed, had perverted biblical
morality. However, Grégoire was confident that persecution was the root of
Jewish degeneracy, and that granting the Jews more right would
"regenerate" them. "Let us make Jews into citizens,"
Grégoire declared, "regenerated both physically and morally, they will
acquire a healthier and more robust temperament, enlightenment, probity: their
hearts corrected by virtue, their hands hardened by labor, they will come to
profit all society."
Society for Arts and Sciences of Metz (in Lorraine) in 1787' had een essay-wedstrijd uitgevaardigd. 'The subject set
the competitors had been: 'Est-il des moyens de rendre les juifs plus heureux
et plus utiles en France?' ('Are there ways and means of rendering the Jews
[both] happier and more useful in France?').
Het is precies de discussie als over de islam. Lang leve de