Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Glenn Beck, Soros & political paranoia

For such a small minority, it is amazing that Jews figure prominently on all sides of great economic and political debates.  We've got Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Misses on the laissez-faire right; we've got Jewish neocons; we've got Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernancke at the Federal Reserve; and Bob Rubin and Larry Summers left over from the Clinton administration--with Robert Reich, also a Clinton alum, on their left flank. Then of course, we've got the old-line Jewish banking families, like Rothschild, Lehman, Goldman, Schiff, Warburg, Loeb and a few others.  Not to mention the Jewish commies like Trotsky, Luxembourg (and Marx, of course, at least at his birth). 

Since these Jews are of all colors (politically speaking), shouldn't this refute Jewish conspiracy theorists? Instead, it likely reinforces antisemitic notions of Jews as all-powerful.  And antisemitic tropes are again seeping into anti-Federal Reserve and anti-Wall Street attitudes.

Glenn Beck's analysis is quite nutty and inadvertently borders on antisemitism (I believe it's inadvertent).  His attacks on the "demonic" influence of George Soros are truly idiotic, and his notion that this boyhood survivor of the Holocaust worked with the Nazis is outrageous.  For one thing, Jewish collaborators were virtually all eventually murdered anyway (it was just a matter of when for the Nazis).  For another, what on earth could a mere boy do for them anyway?

Haaretz columnist Carlo Strenger has just posted a new piece on the Huffington Post that addresses right-wing populist conspiratorial thinking.  While focusing upon Beck's obsession with Soros, Strenger also touches upon other international manifestations, including Avigdor Lieberman in Israel.

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