Derrida’s (Crypto-) Jewish Identity
(Occidental Observer) -- by Kevin MacDonald --
In Culture of Critique I had a brief section on philosopher Jacques Derrida’s strong Jewish identity and how that informed his writing. (See here, p. 198ff.) It emphasizes the point that Derrida thought of himself as a crypto-Jew. Despite his pose as “a leftist Parisian intellectual, a secularist and an atheist,” Derrida descended from a long line of crypto-Jews, and at one point he explicitly identifies himself as a crypto-Jew: “Marranos that we are, Marranos in any case whether we want to be or not, whether we know it or not.” Derrida changed his first name to the French Christian sounding ‘Jacques’ in order better blend into the French scene.
Indeed, one might say that Derrida’s crypsis is typical of Jews on the left:
[Leftist] universalism may thus be viewed as a mechanism for Jewish continuity via crypsis or semi-crypsis. The Jewish radical is invisible to the [non-Jew] as a Jew and thereby avoids anti-Semitism while at the same time covertly retains his or her Jewish identity. Lyons (1982, 73) finds that “most Jewish Communists wear their Jewishness very casually but experience it deeply. It is not a religious or even an institutional Jewishness for most; nevertheless, it is rooted in a subculture of identity, style, language, and social network. . . . In fact, this second-generation Jewishness was antiethnic and yet the height of ethnicity. The emperor believed that he was clothed in transethnic, American garb, but [non-Jews] saw the nuances and details of his naked ethnicity.” (Chapter 3 of CofC, p. 91)The Forward has an article on a recent biography of Derrida that adds to the portrait. It notes that Derrida was “acutely aware of his ethnic identity” and as a result much of his early writing was on “fellow Jews.” He took his crypto-Judaism to the grave:
Abundant details provided by Peeters prove Derrida’s lasting devotion to Yiddishkeit … When Derrida was buried, his elder brother, René, wore a tallit at the suburban French cemetery and recited the Kaddish to himself inwardly, since Jacques had asked for no public prayers. This discreet, highly personal, yet emotionally and spiritually meaningful approach to recognizing Derrida’s Judaism seems emblematic of this complex, imperfect, yet valuably nuanced thinker.In other words, Derrida was a crypto-Jew until the end and instructed his family to participate in the charade...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
I view the crypto-Jew phenomenon, particularly on the ostensibly universalistic Left, as an epically cynical ploy by Jewry to hoodwink and manipulate those in the West by pursing the Jewish nationalist interest under the auspices of pursing the universal interest.
For example, universal “social justice” was the pretense used by the Communists to break the Christian order in pre-Soviet Russia; crypto-Jews knew the main idea behind exaggerated claims of social Injustice was to discredit Christianity in order to get a Jewish foot in the door to open the floodgates for a crypto-Jewish nationalist takeover of the state, which is exactly what happened for a time with the Jewish Bolsheviks before Stalin brought down the hammer.
Of course in the West, the other institutionally tribal “minority” factions recognize Jewry’s angle as a vast scam and shakedown, and correctly view Jewry as an integral element of the larger left-wing swindle, but there are plenty of gullible and earnest Whites on the Left who honestly believe these Jewish-nationalist lefties are working for universal human rights AND Jewish rights, or even universal human rights and against Zionism.
The crypto-Jews make it possible to successfully ear whisper/pass off policies that are actually in the Jewish nationalist interest as being in the universal interest, similar to Joe Lieberman successfully passing off U.S. policies that are actually engineered to serve the Israeli interest and damaging to the American interest as being in U.S. interests. The crypto-Jews are simply more slippery and suave than the Lieberman Jews, just as certain Lefty Jewish billionaires like Bloomberg are more slippery and suave than, say, the Sheldon Adelsons and the Haim Sabans. Perhaps the lefty crypto-Jews are the slipperiest of them all.
IMO, unless a political Jew is aggressively anti-Zionist like Philip Weiss (who is nonetheless in deep denial about Leftism/liberalism as a Trojan horse for the Jewish nationalist interest in the West) or even “anti-Semitic”, he’s not to be trusted. History demonstrates as much.
I think its reasonable to strongly suspect Marx wrote “On the Jewish Question” merely to shore up his universalist cred with left-wing Gentiles, particularly given his close formative association with Jewish Zionist, anti-German racist Moses Hess. Weiss, on the other hand, basically threw away his career as a mainstream media journalist to take up the Jewish question as a full time occupation, and while openly leftist, he’ll often suboordinate the left-wing interest to nail the Jewish interest. Outside of the Jewish question, I wouldn’t trust Weiss on politics, but IMO, he “gets” the *problem. There are other Jewish ethnics who get it, as well: Gilad Atzmon, Nathanael Kapner, etc.
My personal rule of thumb is: If they’re regularly accused of anti-Semitism by the usual suspects, they might be trustworthy.
*When I refer the "problem," I don't mean the existence of Jews is a problem, I mean the existence of tenacious Jewish nationalism in the West is a problem for the same general reasons that the existence of tenacious Islamism in the West is a problem. To deny that either is a problem is intellectually dishonest and totally irresponsible, and is a betrayal of young Westerners and their entitlement to a Western civilization heritage.