SIX – The Emergence of the Social Problem
6.1 Defining the Problem of Historical-Society
6.1.a The First Major Problematic Stage of the Monopoly of Civilization
6.1.b From Rome to Amsterdam
6.1.c Eurocentric Civilization’s Hegemonic Rule
6.2 Social Problems
6.2.a The Problem of Power and the State
6.2.b Society’s Moral and Political Problem
6.2.c Society’s Mentality Problem
6.2.d Society’s Economic Problem
6.2.e Society’s Industrialism Problem
6.2.f Society’s Ecological Problem
6.2.g Social Sexism, the Family, Women, and the Population Problem
6.2.h Society’s Urbanization Problem
6.2.i Society’s Class and Bureaucracy Problem
6.2.j Society’s Education and Health Problems
6.2.k Society’s Militarism Problem
6.2.l Society’s Peace and Democracy Problem
7.1 Definition of Democratic Civilization
7.2 The Methodological Approach to Democratic Civilization
7.3 A Draft of the History of Democratic Civilization
7.4 Elements of Democratic Civilization
7.4.b The Family
7.4.c Tribes and Aşirets
7.4.d Peoples and Nations
7.4.e Village and City
7.4.f Mentality and Economy
7.4.g Democratic Politics and Self-Defense
EIGHT – Democratic Modernity versus Capitalist Modernity
8.1 Deconstructing Capitalism and Modernity
8.2 The Industrialism Dimension of Modernity and Democratic Modernity
8.3 The Nation-State, Modernity, and Democratic Confederalism
8.4 Jewish Ideology, Capitalism, and Modernity
8.5 The Dimensions of Democratic Modernity
8.5.a The Dimension of Moral and Political Society (Democratic Society)
8.5.b The Dimension of Eco-Industrial Society
8.5.c The Dimension of Democratic Confederalist Society
NINE – The Reconstruction Problems of Democratic Modernity
9.1 Civilization, Modernity, and the Problem of Crisis
9.2 The State of Anti-System Forces
9.2.a The Legacy of Real Socialism
9.2.b Reevaluating Anarchism
9.2.c Feminism: Rebellion of the Oldest Colony
9.2.d Ecology: The Rebellion of the Environment
9.2.e Cultural Movements: Tradition’s Revenge on the Nation-State
9.2.f Ethnicity and Movements of the Democratic Nation
9.2.g Religious Cultural Movements: Revival of Religious Tradition
9.2.h Urban, Local, and Regional Movements for Autonomy
Jewish Ideology, Capitalism, and Modernity
A correct narrative of the development of historical-society would be difficult without a proper understanding of the past and present story of the Hebrews. To regard the Hebrews in history and Jews in the present simply as one of many ethnic communities or nations would be totally inadequate. It is particularly important to evaluate them as a fundamental source of culture with roots in the Middle East but having a major impact and influence on the whole world. Here I am not talking about culture in the narrow sense, I am talking about the totality of material and immaterial culture. There are two serious errors that we must guard against: first, the overblown glorifying view that the Jews are a power that rules the world, which also includes the sobriquet “God’s chosen people.” The more we guard against such exaggerations, which are very susceptible to abuse, the easier it will be for us to grasp the subject realistically. The other view is one that demonizes Judaism, making it the scapegoat for all evil, as is often the case. This view, at least as much as the first, leads to faulty calculations, and staying clear of the effects of this view will better clarify the subject.
In the previous volumes of this manifesto, I have endeavored to present the Hebrews from different perspectives within the framework of the Abrahamic religions. Now, however, I will try to substantiate my view from other angles, essentially treating Judaism and the Jewish question in the context of capitalism and modernity.
The Jewish diaspora and its scattering around the world began after the second destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem around 70 CE and had significant consequences in the Middle East, Europe, and eventually the whole world. In fact, similar things had already happened. The problems caused by the exodus of the prophet Abraham from Urfa to the vicinity of Jerusalem have a continued and increased impact on a world scale. The Egyptian adventure of his descendants, the events surrounding Joseph, and the exodus of Moses from Egypt have left their mark on the world. The compilation of the Holy Scripture, even before that the establishment of the first Kingdom of the Hebrews, the Babylonian exile, and the relations with the Persians and Greeks that began at that time all had important consequences. All these developments together with their impact have their place in the history of civilization. The compilation of the Holy Scripture was a monumental undertaking in its own right, and it served to make the Abrahamic religions quasi-official. To have a book was an event of great historical influence.
From 70 CE onward, however, the diaspora had much more radical effects. It is not possible for me to write a comprehensive history here; I will have to content myself with a very brief assessment. It is generally accepted, for example, that as a result of diaspora and migration, there was a division into Sephardim in the East and Ashkenazim in the West.15 The influences were correspondingly different. The Eastern Jews first spread to present-day Syria, Iraq, and Iran, the shores of the Caspian Sea, in Russia, and probably later to Central Asia, where they lived in significant colonies. There was also constant migration to and colony building in the West, in the sphere of influence of the Roman Empire, from North Africa to Eastern Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balkans. Anatolia, on the other hand, appears as the center where the division into Eastern and Western diaspora took place. Until the fall of Rome, the religious dimension of Jewish influence was decisive. Both as a Mosaic faith and in the form of the Christianity that developed from it, it undoubtedly had a leading influence. It established a kind of spiritual empire of its time.
This question of how the relationship of the Jews to money developed, how they turned it into a material force equal to their immaterial influence, would undoubtedly be the subject of a longer investigation. One strategic issue they tackled was immaterial culture, including religion, literature, and science, while their second strategic effort was at the level of material culture. Both are historically significant. I suspect that during these centuries, Jews were very conscious of the importance of strategic leadership at both levels and, therefore, actively sought to achieve it. The main reason for this was their concrete living conditions. Their small number, their position in the clasp of two civilizations, one with Western roots and the other with Eastern roots, and their awareness of themselves as “God’s chosen people” (here we face a sharp ideological hegemony) required a constant strategic search. Their small population, their migration, their holy faith, and the constant threat of massacres sharpened their awareness of what they were doing and forced them to develop “liberation strategies”—oh, how this resembles revolutionary liberation strategies! Their way of life required them to think strategically and develop instruments of liberation. Otherwise, as happened to thousands of other tribes, they would have disappeared.
In this situation, their only salvation was constant resistance, which requires two things: faith and material means. Faith is the spiritual strategic element, money the material. Therefore, in Judaism, religion and money have become two indispensable resources that unite in the goal of liberation. If we look for the reason for the sovereignty of the Jews in questions of money and religion and meaning, the answer is clear: they have no other choice. Their circumstances require constant resistance if they are not to disappear, as well as to ensure a decent quality of life (because they believe they are God’s chosen subjects). Without strategies for liberation (ideological leadership) and without money as strategic material potential (material leadership), continued resistance would be a difficult art. To resist without these resources, you have to either be in the desert like the Arabs or in the mountains like the Kurds. The Jews have access to neither. What remains are ideological and material resources.
Although still debated, it seems quite clear that Christians within Rome played a major role in its collapse. In light of the Jewish roots of the very first Christian, Jesus of Nazareth, the role of a wing of the Jews in the decline of Rome is indisputable. In a sense, they took revenge for the double destruction of the Temple in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem. Also, the beheading of St. Paul (born in Tarsus, one of the first Christians, and the most important author of Christian doctrine) in Rome could not go unanswered. The fact that thousands of Christians were crucified or thrown to the lions was, so to speak, part of their resistance. The first successful offensive of the diaspora was to use Christianity as a strategic spiritual force. Objectively, therefore, we can confidently claim that the destruction of Rome from within was the consequence of the first major strategic spiritual offensive of the Jewish diaspora. Undoubtedly the attacks by the Germanic, Hunnish, and Frankish tribes also contributed to the fall of Rome. Nevertheless, the internal factors were decisive.
The next step in the development of Western Judaism after the fall of Rome took place on the material level with the founding of cities (the first European revolution from the tenth century onward) and the creation of markets around them. The increase in commodity, money, and trade relations provided the Jews with the opportunity to make a second move in which money was of strategic importance. Sovereignty over money meant having a role in the city, i.e., in the government of the new emerging states. But by the tenth century, the spiritual conquest of Europe—its Christianization—was complete. This conquest was to have a strong indirect influence on the Jews, both positively and negatively. The positive aspect was the conquest of Europe by an Abrahamic religion. The negative side was that the Mosaic faith, as a limited tribal religion, was increasingly cornered. From pagan tribal Europe to the times of Hitler and even until today, people have claimed that the spiritual power of the Mosaic faith and the financial power of Judaism is behind its many problems and crises. The decisions of the Third Lateran Council of 1179, which forced Jews into ghettos for the first time, were a consequence of this.16
From the tenth century onward, Judaism continued to develop as Europe’s (including Russia’s) strategic ideological and material force. In new cities, one of the rich and one of the intellectuals was often a Jew. This inevitably led to envy, contradictions, and conflicts. The formation of the first ghettos was a harbinger of future developments. In view of this new situation, Jews developed new strategies and tactics: conversion [dönme in Turkish] and the secular-laicist movement.17 Both were to have profound consequences. With these two new strategic moves, however, Jews initially successfully emerged from the Middle Ages. We must not forget that Abraham and Moses had already used the strategy of formally turning away from an earlier religion. The exoduses of Abraham from Urfa and of Moses from Egypt can be seen as strategic spiritual offensives.
The Masonic lodges, founded by—among others—Jewish stone masons in the Middle Ages, can be imagined as the first secular-laicist movement.18 In Amsterdam, one of the original temples of capitalist modernity, the great Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza became the mastermind of the first great secular-laicist philosophical awakening. Laicism is a hotly debated topic in Turkey and in other countries designated as Muslim. I think that terms such as capitalist society or socialist country are propaganda terms, and that terms such as secular, Muslim, Christian, or Buddhist country are also used with similar intentions. For societies, I find descriptions addressing whether or not they are “moral and political societies” to be a more realistic approach. Laicism in the sense of secularization has a positive function in creating a distance and liberation from religious dogmatism. However, if laicism is used in the sense of laïcité [France] or laiklik [Turkey], it can itself quickly become a dogmatic antipode. Laicism in this sense is no longer very different from other religionisms. The stronger anti-Judaism becomes, the more conversions (of faith) increase. Before I continue with the description of Judaism in the era of the nation-state, I must address the extremely influential and interesting events in the Middle and Far East.
Until the emergence of Islam, Jews had good relations with the Persian-Sasanian state. It is said that Jews had great influence in the palaces. Esther, the first prophetess mentioned in the Holy Scripture, was known to have played an important role in the Sasanian palace. It is likely that Jews were important for commercial and financial affairs, as well as for ideological developments in the empire. Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire,19 had liberated the Jews (exiled to Babylonia from 597 to 539 BCE by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar), which served to create a strong tradition. In the history of Iran, Judaism has always been a force not to be underestimated. This is similar for Arabia, North Africa, and even East Africa, especially Ethiopia. The Jewish influence on all developments in material and immaterial culture should also not be underestimated.
At the time of the origin of Islam, the Jews emerged as a religious trading group with possessions in the fertile regions. They were apparently the most important of the non-Arab Semitic groups. The Assyrians found themselves in a situation similar to that of the Jews.
In a sense, with the Islamic awakening, the Arabs pursued, among other things, the goal of establishing their own trade and power monopolies opposing Jewish monopoly. That Islam is strongly influenced by Judaism only confirms this. We can compare this with the establishment of the nation-state in capitalist modernity. The Arabs responded to medieval modernity with Islam. This fact underlies the ideological and material conflict with Jews and Judaism. We must point out that the class dimension played a major role in the Islamic awakening, as did the ethnic dimension. The rapid spread of Islam and the harsh way the initial resistance of the Jews was crushed left the Jews fearing another catastrophe like that they had faced under Roman rule. They had two options: another exile or conversion. Some Jews probably fled to Iran, North Africa, and Anatolia. Others superficially accepted Islam but disguised themselves and practiced taqiyya,20 thus going in the direction of becoming dönme. It is very likely that Jewish converts were involved in many uprisings and denominational movements against the chauvinist Sunni Arab rulers. The involvement of Jews in the emergence of a number of oppositional currents, particularly in Iran and Mesopotamia, is certainly a subject worthy of more research.
The most significant development was the founding of the Jewish state of the Turkic Khazars on the northern shores of Caspian Sea in a part of today’s Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Seljuk Beg, the eponym of the Seljuks, is said to have held the position of a commander in this state. An important indication of a connection to Judaism is the fact that three of his sons had Jewish names.21 Given this, we can assume that, as in many movements coming from Iran and directed against Arab rule, Judaism played a role in the Seljuk movement that should not be underestimated. This too is an important issue that requires further research. Anatolia was already an important center for Judaism in ancient times. Like the Greeks, Jews were also involved in founding many cities. There was a competitive relationship among them. Traditionally, Jews gathered in Anatolia when they were in trouble in the West and in Arabia. The fact that they considered Anatolia a second home after Israel becomes clearer from this historical perspective. Moreover, Anatolia has always been a large market for money and trade, as well as being central to ideological movements in which Jews played a role.
Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1391,22 1492,23 and around 1550 settled in Anatolia in several waves of migration. When we consider the influence they gained in the Seljuk and Ottoman sultanates, we understand how firmly they were anchored. In addition, there were also a large number of dönme who converted to Islam. Within this dönme movement, Sabbatianism played a role from about 1650 onward (there was a strong dönme movement centered in the region of İzmir and Manisa).24 Sabbatians gained considerable influence over Ottoman monetary and financial policies. Perhaps they were also teachers who helped the Ottomans understand the importance of money and trade. Although there were occasional serious conflicts and the confiscation of their property (müsadere),25 their role in the appointment and removal of numerous sultans cannot be denied.
It turns out that conversion was the third strategic departure necessary for Judaism to survive. Without converting, the Jews could not have maintained their existence either within the Muslim majority in the East or the Christian majority in the West. Conversion should be seen as a survival strategy. As long as religious dogmatism persists and does not recognize freedom of expression, as with other similar ideologies, tendencies toward renegading and conversion will inevitably arise. With the help of these three strategies, the Jewish managed to survive the Middle Ages.
As well as in staying alive, their ideological power also allowed them to influence the spiritual sphere. The large number of Jewish intellectuals, writers, thinkers, ideologues, and scientists is connected with the intellectual leadership for which they always felt a need. That a number of religious, philosophical, and scientific movements developed in Judaism is an indispensable aspect of their survival strategy.
The conversion strategy would develop its true significance in the age of nation-states. England, as the first nation-state, is key to understanding this. The kings of the two great powers, Spain and France, who massacred and exiled both Jews and those who had converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, tried everything in the sixteenth century, including war, to neutralize England in Europe and prevent its rise. The Jews were safest in İzmir, Amsterdam, and London. They maintained close relations with each other, and there were also efforts to forge an alliance between England, Netherlands, and the Ottomans. In the sixteenth century, they increasingly made London their center, a position it continues to hold until this day.
It was in this century that the construction of the nation-state began in England. As pointed out earlier, the nation-state means that not only the cadres of the state but all citizens have a common ideological framework, as in a religion, with citizenship making every member of society also a member of the state. This means the further development of a characteristic that the Hebrew tribe has always had, first as a people [kavim], then as a nation-state. The Hebrews, first as a tribe, then as a people, and finally as a nation form a whole, both ethnically and religiously. More precisely, ethnicity is at the same time religiosity, and religiosity is ethnicity. Moreover, regardless of the division between those who rule and those who are ruled, they share a common goal. To put it clearly; nation-statism derives from Hebrew tribal ideology, which has been adopted in a modified and adapted form by all other peoples and nations. This is my personal interpretation, and I consider it important.
The modern capitalist state, organized on the basis of Hebrew tribal ideology presents itself as a nation-state (currently Israel). More importantly, in ideological—not racial—terms the core of any nation-state is of a Zionist character (Zionism as Jewish nation-statism). The nation-state is the state form that Judaism has taken as its model in capitalist modernity. Werner Sombart probably exaggerates when he considers capitalism to be a work of Judaism.26 The great British philosopher of history R.G. Collingwood, on the other hand, when he remarked on the definition of nation-state nationalism—if I remember correctly—that “Jewish universalism has triumphed, but in the person of the one behind their genocide,”27 wanted, in my opinion, to express just this fact. The nation-state has won; this victory is based on Jewish ideology (tribalism, nationalism, Zionism). But with the nation-state, it has ultimately created the perpetrator of the genocide of its own people. This statement is significant and explains a general characteristic of nationalism. Every nationalism is Zionist. So Arab nationalism is also Zionist. It is not wrong to define Palestinian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Iranian-Shiite nationalism as essentially forms of Jewish ideology primarily used by nationalist monopolies. Anyone who studies English and Dutch nationalism will find that Jewish monopolies played a major role in its development, not only theoretically but also concretely through the power of money and capital.
We must not consider this to be a conspiracy or to be motivated by any ulterior motive. Jews, as merchants and bankers, concentrated a lot of capital in their hands and made enormous investments in the construction of every nation-state, thereby gaining a place to live. The nation-state led to the rapid growth of Jewish capital. If Werner Sombart had described the role of the Jews in the development of capitalism in this way, he might have been closer to the facts. As Jewish capital grew around the world, it, of course, produced its own counterpart. That is the origin of the present conflict between national monopolies and supranational monopolies. It is clear that while doing a historical service to the birth of the nation-state on the basis of their traditional ideological line, the Jewish accumulators of capital, always aware of their past difficulties, objectively laid the foundations for the genocide that would target the Jewish communities, which were not aware of what was going on and cannot be blamed for it. This is in a way reminiscent of Jesus and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. The Jews, who for three hundred years mobilized their material and immaterial cultures (the talk of similarities between German ideology and Jewish ideology are not without reason), were convinced German nationalists until Hitler’s period. The greatest Zionist nationalists were in various respects also the greatest representatives of German nationalism. Russia and the Ottoman Empire and Turkey are among the many similar examples that could be cited. The Jewish universalism of which Collingwood speaks (nationalism, positivism, religionism) had triumphed, but only by simultaneously creating those who perpetrated the genocide of the Jews and committed physical and cultural genocide throughout the world.
Because of the importance of this issue, we must look at it more closely.
Judaism is perhaps one of the first examples of a historical-society identity in which ethnic and religious characteristics are ideologically intertwined. From Abraham to the present day, it has preserved this particularity. If we add the belief that Jews are the “chosen people,” the third important characteristic of this ideology appears to be that Jews consider themselves above all other societies. Historically, this concept of superiority has always carried with it the potential for conflict with other societies and has often led to conflicts that frequently reached the level of genocide.
Jewishness has always retained the special feature of being an ideological society that developed in connection with this contradiction. As a natural consequence of the concept of the “chosen people,” Jews were forced to develop strategies to protect themselves and the related tactical instruments. The strategy to protect themselves, because of its structure, had to be developed theoretically and ideologically. The tactical instruments, on the other hand, are more a matter of material strength and are mainly money and weapons. While money is earned through trade and banking, weapons tend to be further developed by technical innovations. Jews have demonstrated their abilities in both areas. Leaving aside their contributions in antiquity and the Middle Ages, developments in modern times will undoubtedly be closely linked to the Jews, as they are an experienced and organized people. When the capitalist world-system began its hegemonic rise from the sixteenth century onward in Western Europe, especially in the centers of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and London (England), the strategically well-positioned Jewish financial and ideological strength played an important role. Anyone who takes a closer look at this period can easily see that.
To claim that capitalism is an invention of the Jews, as Werner Sombart does, is certainly an exaggeration, but it cannot be denied that they played a significant role in capitalism becoming a system and attaining hegemonic power. Research on the subject shows that Jewish traders and bankers were numerous at all the major marketplaces, stock exchanges, and fairs, starting with London and Amsterdam. The fact that the representatives of political economy are silent about this and ignore it is due to the blinding role of ideology. The fact that the ethnic and national origins of capital accumulation are barely dealt with in the works of political economy, including Marx’s Capital, is a significant shortcoming that at the same time makes one think. It is equally wrong to constantly rant that capital has no religion, belief, or nationality. Capital has a very close connection with religion, belief, and nationality. Those who belong to particular religions, hold specific beliefs, and are members of particular nationalities form a number of capital and power monopolies and colonize and exploit the majority. The bluntest example of this today is the US, whether in terms of religion, belief, or nationality, and it cannot be denied that most capitalists are from the US.
The role of the Jews cannot be argued away with a focus on the construction of the other two pillars of capitalist modernity: industrialism and the nation-state. The Jewish merchants and bankers, who emerged from the first urban revolution in Europe (1050–1350), gained importance in the era of commercial capitalism from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Similar developments took place in the cities of the East (Cairo, Aleppo, Damascus, İzmir, Tabriz, Antakya, Baghdad, Istanbul, etc.). When, with the Industrial Revolution, it became clear that industry was the most profitable sector, Jews did not hesitate to channel their capital into the industrial sector. We don’t need to explain the reason for this in detail. Capital goes on the offensive wherever profit is high. Isn’t that the so-called law of profit?
So how can we take lightly the leading role of Jewish capital monopolism in both commercial capitalism and industrial capitalism in the modern age and refrain from emphasizing it? Even if we do not assume a deliberate distortion, we can safely speak of it as the consequence of ideological blindness. Moreover, from a Jewish perspective, this role poses no problem. Trade and industrial monopolies can develop in any national, religious, or ethnic community. What is important here is the strategic role of Jewish trade and industrial monopolies. A Jewish monopoly has always existed in the financial sector. The fact that political economy avoids analyzing the connection between trade, industrial, and financial monopolism and ideology, especially nationalist, religious, scientistic, and sexist ideologies (liberalism is nothing more than propaganda), is not, as claimed, due to any desire to be “objective.” On the contrary, political economy hides the religionist, nationalist, scientistic, and sexist identity of all monopolies, including the monopolies of power, thus showing that it is not an objective science, that it conceals concrete facts at vital points and declares them insignificant, and that rather than being a science, it is an instrument of ideological propaganda.
In a world system that has been hegemonic for four hundred years, the strategic position of Jews in commercial, industrial, financial, media, and intellectual capital monopolies continues to increase in importance. Without acknowledging this, we cannot theoretically analyze either a global or a local problem or solve it in practice. The role of Judaism, both as a strategic ideological and material force is even more evident in the construction of modernity and of the nation-state. Using the nation-state, Judaism brings to light the capitalist nature of modernity. It concretizes and fixes modernity as the nation-state, which constitutes the union of trade, finance, industry, and power monopolies. Of course, the Jews are not the god of the nation-state, but from the age of tribes to the present day, from its embryonic state to the present age and decay, they have masterfully developed it in their own sphere of influence.
I have no love for conspiracy theories. Certain allegations keep coming up to support such conspiracy theories: secret Masonic lodges that rule the world, meeting of the Bilderbergers or meetings in Davos, a “standing committee of the twelve” that rules the world, the UN and other entities as “Jewish tools.” What all these theories have in common is that they exaggerate, lapse into dogmatism, and are unscientific, even if they contain assertions that are partly true. But the facts are obvious. The important role of the Jews in all three pillars of capitalist modernity is beyond question.28 They have strategic, often even decisive, ideological and material influence in all these areas. Note the scope of these remarks: I am talking about the influence of the Jews in the field of capitalist modernity not about their place in democratic modernity, which is a wider historical and social reality. The Jews also exist in democratic modernity but have lost much of their strategic strength.
Before we move on to this topic, we should analyze the nation-state a little more. At the end of the Middle Ages, the Jewish ideology, in the sense of a survival strategy, always sought to neutralize its Christian and Muslim opponents. The nation-state, the concentrated form of all trade, financial, industrial, and ideological monopolies, as well as monopolies of power, together with the worship of the national god always contained within it (in Judaism Rabb fulfills this function),29 confronts us here as the most suitable model for a survival strategy. In the nation-state, laicism fulfills the function of the Jewish national god Rabb. Concepts developed by Jewish freemasonry are significant in this regard. In this sense, the nation-state is Judaism’s most important tool for universal governance.
To dissolve the French and Spanish empires through Anglo-Saxon monopolies, Jewish monopolies made effective use of the nation-state model. The French and Spanish empires had developed malevolent plans to subdue the other two powers, Netherlands and England. Netherlands and England were threatened with massacres and faced the danger of being effaced from history. The nation-state, as the most highly concentrated and unified monopoly power became the model for success in the fight against Spanish and French monopolism, which were not equivalently organized but tried to achieve their goals within the traditions of medieval empires. In his famous work The Modern World-System, Immanuel Wallerstein explains that the nation-state was the main factor in England’s superiority over France, thereby highlighting the importance of this factor.30
When the Austro-Habsburg dynasty collapsed, the Allied Powers proposed the formation of Prussian nation-state, with the leading role in the unification of Germany being passed from Austria to Prussia. At the time of the French Revolution, London was the center of opposition to the French king, England’s traditional enemy. The freemasons played an important role in the revolution in which the king lost his head. In the preceding revolutions in Netherlands and England there had been similar liquidations. The same game was played against the Prussian nation-state, which wanted to replace France as the new hegemonic power. Even Marx, an opponent, lived in London. During the two world wars, the Allies destroyed Germany’s hegemonic claim. One reason Hitler carried out the genocide of Jews may well be that he believed that Jewish capital had used its strategic strength on England’s side and played a major role in Germany’s defeat in World War I. During the Cold War, the same alliance, in a new configuration, would also destroy Russia’s hegemonic claims. There should be no doubt that if things continue in this vein, it is very likely that should China think of acting as a hegemonic power, as it is often imagined it eventually will, it will suffer the same fate.
Today, more than two hundred nation-states are represented at the UN, with its headquarters in New York City. It is widely known that the UN operates under the leadership of the same alliance, or at least that it does not make any decisions without the agreement of the alliance.
Let me make it clear once again: these two hundred nation-states are not run by Zionists or any other Jewish power, but they (including the mortal enemies of Israel, the nation-state of Iran and the Arab nation-states) were also founded on the basis of the Jewish nationalist paradigm, and, in the hands of the same core alliance, their threads have been interwoven over the course of four hundred years. Even if there is not a single Jew in a nation-state’s elite, its scope for independent action is still extremely limited—either for paradigmatic reasons or because of concrete arrangements made by the alliance. As long as they act according to the traditional ideological and structural templates developed over the course of four hundred years of capitalist modernity, everything is fine, and they can carry on. But if a nation-state becomes, as one US president put it, a “rogue state,” it will suffer the fate of Afghanistan under the rule of Taliban, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and dozens of other states and powers before them. This is what is referred to as the international system or the UN status quo.
Even Soviet Russia was only integrated into the system after seventy years of existence, once it fully adapted to the demands of capitalist modernity. China was integrated earlier. Clearly, the system draws its strength from the two strategic forces that I outlined above. In both of these, Judaism is close to authoritative, both historically and presently. The elements of strategic-ideological power are the cultural industry, intellectual capital, and the media, which are religionist, nationalist, scientistic, and sexist in content. The elements of strategic material power are the monopolistic structures of trade, industry, finance, and power. The international alliances of nation-states, as state systems, represent the official structure. We must not confuse the two huge areas of strategic power with the states and their systems as their official expression.
At this point, I would like to add a brief and, as I see it, important assessment of the Anatolian Jewry. I have already briefly touched on the situation of Jews in the area in ancient and medieval times. Seljuk-Jewish and Greek-Jewish relations are important in this regard. The Eastern Jews spread from Andalusia to Central Asia in the Middle Ages, founding, for example, the Turkish Jewish state of Khazaria. In the Muslim states, conversion and the open practice of Judaism were not prohibited; the Jews, with their traditional ideological and material strength, were particularly influential in areas of strategic importance for power and states. Their position in trade and banking was in no way inferior to that of Jews in the West.
The Jews, who had longstanding conflicts with the Christians (e.g., around accusations that they had crucified Jesus and with the development of Christianity into the official religion of the West), were locked up in ghettos after the decision of the Third Lateran Council in 1179 and felt an increasing need for a home of their own after the pogroms of 1391 and the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The concept of the “promised land” was still alive. The relationships they established during the rise of the Ottoman sultanates and their circles proved useful. As banking and trade grew more important to the Ottomans, the Jews were further able to improve their position. The constant expansion of Ottoman power over Christian communities and the increasingly difficult situation Jews in the West faced in a Catholic and Orthodox Christian world led them to ally with the respective Ottoman sultans in much the same way they previously had with England. It is generally believed that this alliance grew stronger in the second half of the sixteenth century. During the same period, similar alliances developed in the Protestant countries of Netherlands and England. Exploring the relationship of Protestantism, capitalism, the nation-state, and modernity with Judaism would be a worthwhile undertaking.
The expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain and the Iberian Peninsula (completed in the seventeenth century), provoked the expulsion of Christians from Anatolia. As a result, the situation of some of the oldest peoples of Anatolia, with their strong history of material and immaterial culture, and who were Christianized early on, specifically, the Rûm Greeks, Pontic Greeks, Armenians, and Syriacs,31 began to take a turn for the worse. The two Mediterranean peninsulas, Turkey and Greece, liquidated peoples and cultures piecemeal in a succession of mutual retaliatory strikes. The second Jewish maneuver—the first having occurred in the years 1550–1600—resulted in the Committee of Union and Progress, (CUP).32 (The party was founded in the 1890s, at approximately the same time as the first Zionist Congress of 1897.)33 At least one wing of the CUP, centered in Thessaloniki, which developed in collaboration with the conversion movement led by Sabbatai Zevi beginning in the 1650s, was Jewish. In the nationalism that they constructed (Moiz Kohen, Armin Vambery),34 Turkish exists only as a word; in this Turkish national movement there were freemasons and converted Kurds, Albanians and Jews. This had very little to do with Turkishness as a sociological phenomenon. It was exclusively about a political Turkishness. Another important factor was that the Jews from Germany and England competed to theorize and frame Turkishness. However, the history is complex, and this is not the place for it.
After all, the Jews, whose existence goes back to antiquity, and who combined the lessons they learned in exile and their experience in building nation-states with their strategic, ideological, and material strength, played a major role both in founding of the Republic of Turkey and its rapid transformation into a nation-state (probably around 1926). They essentially repeated the role they had played in the seventeenth century in the Netherlands and England. To present the rapid transformation of the republic into a nation-state and the cultural liquidation of traditional Islam and the Kurds, which began after the (also physical) liquidation of Anatolian Christians, merely as a nation-building project of the Turks would be a serious mistake. The topic is more nuanced and is related to the fact that the Jews accepted Anatolia as their Jewish home before turning to Israel. The project of a Jewish home with a center in Thessaloniki or Edirne, which Jews urged Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to embrace, is a subject shrouded in silence. We can, however, say that it only faded in significance with the foundation of Israel. Nevertheless, Israel and the Jews still have a strategic interest in Anatolia and Turkey.
The role of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the establishment of the Republic of Turkey is beyond question. However, the fact that he was deified against his will is a fiction of Jewish ideology, one that has been applied in many times in different places throughout history. In Jewish universalism (levh-i mahfuz, fate, belief in law, determinism, belief in progress; the form of the Sumerian god constructions transformed into monotheistic religions) deification became a highly developed and frequently implemented concept. All literary utopias and spiritual concepts, including that of the Golden Age, and all theories, hypotheses, and laws, whether formulated by prophets or modern intellectuals, are closely related to this tradition. As long as we do not correctly analyze the role Jews played in developing the divine and secular hegemonic dogmas that were established over the Turks and over all peoples of the Middle East, any understanding of the region will be difficult to formulate and will remain deficient.
Of course, the Jews’ material power was also strategically important. While I do not believe that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk capitulated to this current, I am also convinced that despite all his reading and research (it is not without reason that he went back to the Sumerians and Hittites), he did not fully analyze it. I have no doubt that he wanted to be a good republican and to develop the republic not as a nation-state but as a democracy. He was also not, as claimed, anti-Kurdish and anti-Islamic. However, it is clear that he could not persist with his initial liberal approach to the question of Islam and laicism (added to the constitution in 1937) or the Kurdish question. It should be noted that this was because he was thoroughly encircled by the CUP’s convert cadres.
In my opinion, it would not be realistic to link the hegemonic conflict between the laicists and Islamists over the Republic of Turkey, which began as early as 1926 and is still being fought with full force today, to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and to present it as something that was done according to his will. There are many indications and substantial evidence that he himself tended toward a democratic republic.35 I don’t think that this hegemonic conflict will end in the short term with the complete victory of one side or the other. However, I would like to reaffirm my growing confidence that in Anatolia, with its great democratic tradition, a strong breakthrough toward the goal of a democratic republic will be successful this time. I hope to be able to present some insights into the struggle for hegemony over Anatolia and Turkey in the section on the Middle East, which I plan to publish as a separate volume of this manifesto.36
It would be insufficient and wrong to think of Judaism only in connection to capitalism, modernity, and the nation-state. It also exerted a strong influence on democratic modernity. Even if this influence fails to match that of the power-oriented, statist wing (e.g., the Kingdom of Judah and the State of Israel), there has always been a strong Jewish wing of democratic civilization and modernity. Historical mention of the Judaism that lived in poverty and lacked strong tribal ties has been consistent. From the time of Ishmael, the son of the Prophet Abraham and his concubine Hagar, to Joseph, who was taken to Egypt as a slave, and from Miriam, the sister of Moses, through Mary,37 the mother of Jesus, to the present, the list encompasses prophets, scribes, intellectuals, social anarchists, feminists, philosophers, scientists, and, together with its laborers, the other side of Judaism has produced great discoveries, inventions, theories, revolutions, and works of art in the struggle for democratic civilization and modernity. The Jews have not always devoted their ideological and material strength to the monopolies. They have also made significant efforts and achieved important successes for a more enlightened, just, free, and democratic world. What prophetic movement, what fraternity and solidarity of the poor, what utopian, socialist, anarchist, feminist, or ecological movement is conceivable without Jews? Likewise, philosophical schools, scientific and artistic movements, and religious denominations are hardly conceivable without Jews. How far could socialism have developed against capitalism, internationalism against nation-statism, communalism against liberalism, feminism against social sexism, ecological economy against industrialism, laicism against religionism, or relativism against universalism without Jews?
Clearly, Judaism is important for both worlds of modernity. At key periods in history, as well as today, Jews have retained their significance. Nevertheless, the Jewish question still exists. As mentioned above, either considering the Jews to be “God’s chosen community” or ascribing to them a scapegoat role leads to serious misjudgments and dangerous consequences, as we have experienced aplenty. This is why I considered it necessary to at least briefly outline this important topic. Neither local nor global analyses will be accurate or purposeful if we do not consider Jewish reality.
I would like to close this theme by repeating something Karl Marx said: “If the proletariat wants to liberate itself, it must proceed in the knowledge that this is not possible without liberating the world.”38 I say that if Judaism wants to liberate itself, it must understand that to do so it must necessarily liberate the world, using its strategic ideological and material resources to this end, which above all, includes democratic modernity.
1 Elah is the Aramaic word for God. The word Elah is also an Arabic word which means God. Elah is etymologically related to Allah.
2 See Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1990); see also Abdullah Öcalan, Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization Volume II: Capitalism: The Age of Unmasked Gods and Naked Kings, 2nd rev. ed. (Oakland, PM Press, forthcoming 2020).
3 Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (London: Routledge, 1989), 373, accessed July 31, 2019, https://is.muni.cz/el/1423/jaro2013/SOC911/um/Michel_Foucault_The_Order_of_Things.pdf.
4 In Andre Gunder Frank and Barry K. Gills, eds., The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (London: Routledge, 1993); several authors argue for an extension of world system analysis beyond the last five hundred years. The concept of central civilization is also developed in this book.
5 Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 BCE until his defeat by the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 546 BCE.
6 Karum, meaning port, or commercial district, the word used for ancient Assyrian trade posts in Anatolia (present-day Turkey) from the twentieth to eighteenth centuries BCE.
7 An expression used in Turkish to refer to the “three ‘F’s” (Fado, Fátima, Futebol—music, religion, sports), the three pillars of the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal.
8 Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections from the Damaged Life (London: Verso, 2006 ).
9 Immanuel Wallerstein, Historical Capitalism and Capitalist Civilization (London: Verso, 1995), 98; the complete quote correctly reads: “Even as I write this, I feel the tremor that accompanies the sense of blasphemy. I fear the wrath of the gods, for I have been molded in the same ideological forge as all my compeers and worshiped at the same shrines.”
10 In sociology, demos from Greek δῆμος, describes a political and legal concept of people, in contrast to ethnos as an ethnic concept of people.
11 Lenin completed his work “The State and Revolution,” which the author alludes to here, in September 1917, just before the October Revolution; see V.I. Lenin, “The State and Revolution,” in Collected Works, vol. 25 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), 381–492, accessed December 23, 2019, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev.
12 The original quote is: “Power is accumulated like money”; Fernand Braudel, Civilisation and Capitalism 15th to 18th Century: Volume 3: The Perspective of the World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 50. Elsewhere he also says that capitalism is an accumulation of power; see Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World: Civilisation and Capitalism 15th to 18th Century, Volume 2: The Wheels of Commerce (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).
13 Ewen MacAskil, “George Bush: ‘God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq’” Guardian, October 7, 2005, accessed August 1, 2019, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa.
14 G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 219.
15 David Shasha, “Understanding the Sephardi-Ashkenanzi Split,” Huffington Post,” May 25, 2011, accessed September 9, 2019, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-shasha/understanding-the-sephard_b_541033.html.
16 The decisions of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 were even more radical. For example, it became mandatory for Jews and Muslims to dress differently from Christians and to wear badges.
17 The term dönme (convert) is generally used in Turkish to describe converted Jews, especially those who continue to practice Judaism in secret, so-called crypto-Jews. Among them were the followers of the self-declared Messiah Shabbtai Zevi in the seventeenth century, the Sabbatians, many of whom, like him, later converted to Islam.
18 Membership in Masonic lodges requires a belief in a single God, but the Lodges are neutral with regard to the individual religions. That is why Jews and Muslims were accepted relatively early. The discussion of religious matters in the lodges is forbidden.
19 This refers to Cyrus II, also known as Cyrus the Great, c. 585–530 BCE.
20 Taqiyya, which literally means fear or caution, describes the Islamic practice of Muslims denying their faith to the outside world in the event of danger, while in reality continuing to practice their faith.
21 His sons were called Mikâ’îl (Michael), Arslan Isrâ’îl (Israel), Mûsâ (Moses), and Yûnus (Jonah).
22 In 1391, extensive pogroms against Jews took place in Spain, with tens of thousands of them murdered.
23 In 1492, after the Reconquista ended, the Alhambra Decree was issued. As a result, tens of thousands of Sephardic Jews who did not want to be baptized were expelled from Spain.
24 Sabbatians (sometimes rendered Sabbateans) is a complex general term that refers to a variety of followers of and, disciples and believers in Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), a Jewish rabbi who was proclaimed to be the Jewish Messiah in 1665 by Nathan of Gaza.
25 Müsadere refers to the ruler’s right to confiscate unfairly acquired property, which is common in many Muslim states.
26 In reference to Max Weber, who saw capitalism favored by certain forms of Protestantism, Werner Sommbart postulates this applies even more to Judaism; Werner Sombart, Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 1911).
27 In 1938–1939, R.G. Collingwood wrote: “Modern Germany thus stands officially committed to the same error which infected ancient Jewish thought, and which Paul exploded—the error of regarding a given community’s historical function as bound up with its biological character, i.e. with the common pedigree of its members—and thus persecutes the Jews because it agrees with them. Intellectually, the Jew is the victor in the present-day conflict (if you can call it that) in Germany. He has succeeded in imposing his idea of a chosen people (in the biological sense of the word people) on modern Germany: and this may explain why the victims of this persecution take it so calmly.” R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of History and Other Writings in Philosophy of History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 7S.7.
28 These three pillars are capitalism, industrialism, and the nation-state.
29 Rabb translates approximately as the Lord or, the Great. The term is a common name of God in the Islamic world, the Hebrew form is rav. It corresponds in meaning to the Hebrew adonai; perhaps this is what is meant here.
30 Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1976).
31 This is another name used for the people previously known as the Assyrians.
32 The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP: İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti), later the Party of Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki Fırkası), began as a secret society established as the “Committee of Ottoman Union” (İttihad-ı Osmanî Cemiyeti) in Istanbul, on February 6, 1889, by medical students İbrahim Temo, Çerkez Mehmed Reşid, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti, Ali Hüsyinzade, Kerim Sebatî, Mekkeli Sabri Bey, Selanikli Nazım Bey, Şerafettin Mağmumi, Cevdet Osman, and Giritli Şefik. This was the political party of the so-called Young Turks, and the ruling party in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.
33 From 1897 onward, Geneva was CUP’s headquarters, while the first Zionist congresses were held in Basel.
34 Moiz Cohen was a Turkish writer and philosopher of Jewish origin active in pan-Turkism movement. Born to a Jewish family, he later changed his name to Munis Tekinalp. He was a proponent of the assimilation of minorities within the Turkish Republic into Turkish culture, and in 1928 issued a pamphlet on the subject titled Türkleştirme. Hungarian Ármin Vámbéry, also known as Arminus Vámbéry, was a prominent Turkologist.
35 Öcalan’s thesis of the Democratic Republic is detailed in Abdullah Öcalan: Declaration on the Democratic Solution of the Kurdish Question (Neuss: Mesopotamian Publishers, 1999).
36 The question is addressed in Abdullah Öcalan, Manifesto of Democratic Civilization, Volume IV: Civilizational Crisis in the Middle East and the Democratic Civilization Solution (Oakland: PM Press, forthcoming).
37 In Turkish Miryam and Maria are both rendered as Meryem.
38 The Marx and Engels passage referenced here, reads “When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”; Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Chapter 2, accessed February 8, 2020, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm.
39 Biologism is the use or emphasis of biological principles or methods to explain human, especially social, behavior; “Biologism,” ScienceDirect, accessed September 5, 2019, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/biologism.
40 Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–76 (New York: Picador, 1997).
41 “Braudel’s influence was crucial in two regards. First, in his later work on capitalism and civilization, Braudel would insist on a sharp distinction between the sphere of the free market and the sphere of monopolies. He called only the latter capitalism and, far from being the same thing as the free market, he said that capitalism was the “anti-market.” This concept marked a direct assault, both substantively and terminologically, on the conflation by classical economists (including Marx) of the market and capitalism. And secondly, Braudel’s insistence on the multiplicity of social times and his emphasis on structural time-what he called the longue durée became central to world-systems analysis.” Immanuel Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), 19.
42 A Turkish idiom: “biri yer biri bakar kıyamet ondan kopar.” It literally means “some sections of society live in hardship, others live in luxury, this creates a contradiction that will lead to doomsday.”
43 The author uses here his own term for an autonomous unit, which subsequently became popular, especially in its Kurdish language form, xwebûn.
44 One of several militaristic terms commonly used in Turkey to describe the Turkish nation. It is also formulated as “every Turk is born a soldier.”