Friedrich Hayek and the Jews (Part 1 of 3)
by John I. Johnson
AUSTRIAN-BORN philosopher and economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) is well-known as an intellectual advocate of free markets. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974. Hayek’s best-known work is The Road to Serfdom, a dissent from socialism and Communism that caused an uproar when it was published in 1944. (Jewish collectivist Herman Finer immediately penned an attack called Road to Reaction.) Hayek’s greatest book is The Constitution of Liberty (1960). In addition to economics, he made enormous contributions to the study of political and legal philosophy.
Despite the fact that the tolerant and broadminded Hayek lived a life immersed in Jews — and despite the fact that he stated, “It is difficult to overestimate how much I owe to the fact that, almost from the beginning of my university career, I became connected with a group of contemporaries who belonged to the best type of the Jewish intelligentsia of Vienna and who proved to be far ahead of me in literary education and precociousness” — he has been labeled “anti-Semitic.”
Jewish economist Melvin W. Reder leveled the radioactive charge in “The Anti-Semitism of Some Eminent Economists,” History of Political Economy 32 (Winter 2000): 833-56. A rejoinder in the same journal, “A Note on Hayek and Anti-Semitism,” 34 (2002): 255-60 by Jewish libertarian Ronald Hamowy, termed Reder’s accusation “perverse.” Reder responded with “Reply to Hamowy’s Note on Hayek and Anti-Semitism,” History of Political Economy, 34 (2002): 261-272.
Reder based his charge on three or four isolated remarks made by Hayek in a series of interviews published as Stephen Kresge and Leif Wenar, eds., Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue (1994).
For example, Hayek said:
The Jewish problem in Vienna became acute only as a result of emigration from Poland. There was an old, established Jewish population in Vienna, partly of local origin, partly of Hungarian or Bohemian origin, who were fully accepted and recognized. The violent anti-Semitism occurred when very primitive, poor Polish Jews immigrated, already before the war and partly in flight from the Russians during the war. Vienna became filled with a type of Jew which hadn’t been known before, with cap on and long beards, which we hadn’t even seen before. And it was against them that anti-Semitism developed. (p. 61)
In a statement prefaced by the revealing plea, “Now please be discreet about this point, because it raises very touchy problems” (obviously Hayek, like most Whites, was inordinately circumspect where the topic of Jews was concerned), he impertinently disposed of the myth — rooted in the Jewish economist’s own claim — that Ludwig von Mises was denied a professorship in Vienna because of White anti-Semitism.
Actually I suspect it is not as simple as this, because half the law faculty consisted of Jews, and the problem why Mises didn’t get a professorship is a very peculiar one; and my answer to this, which I don’t think has ever been stated, but . . . for a Jew to get a professorship he had to get the support of his Jewish fellows. Any other Jews who were sufficiently eminent must be supported, because only appointed Jews could get a professorship. But the Jews who were teaching were all socialists, and Mises was an anti-socialist, so he could not get the support of his own fellows. So the reason why he did not get a professorship was not really anti-Semitism, but [that] he wasn’t liked by his Jewish colleagues. This is a very comic story, which I tell you with hesitation, because it’s the sort of thing you cannot prove. I’m quite certain it’s correct. (p. 59)
With respect to the foregoing observations, it would seem that Hayek’s thought crime actually consisted of mere sentience and cognizance of his surroundings — admittedly things most Whites cannot be accused of.
Hayek also said:
And there were several things which I must confess I resented among our Jewish friends. The worst was that I was not allowed [note Hayek’s tacit acceptance of the subservient role in the relationship — an unvarying characteristic of all Jewish-White interactions] to speak about Jewish things; they did that all the time. Even the theme of ‘Has he a Jewish accent?’ was constantly discussed among them; if I would have said a word about it, it would have been bitterly resented. (p. 61) (Emphasis added.)
In his rejoinder to Reder, Ronald Hamowy, who had known and worked closely with Hayek, says, “Not only was he not anti-Semitic but in most regards he was in fact pro-Semitic.”
Reder, however, was clever enough to leave himself some weasel room. In small print, he convicts his White thought criminals not of unadulterated anti-Semitism, but of “ambivalent anti-Semitism.” (A necessary proviso, it would seem, inasmuch as all three of his subjects — Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, and Joseph Schumpeter — exhibited pronounced philo-Semitic behavior — notably, the shared attribute of advancing Jewish interests professionally and institutionally by assisting individual Jews when the chips were down.)
“Whether mild or astringent,” Reder says, “typically the anti-Semitism of educated [White] people was ambivalent, manifested in some contexts and toward some individuals, but not in others.” “The criterion I have tried to apply is that the mind-set of an ambivalent anti-Semite (which I consider all three of our subjects to have been) is characterized by (1) a dichotomy between ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ Jews and (2) a tendency, varying with mood and circumstance, to apply an adverse stereotype to any Jew who arouses distaste.”
To Reder’s last criterion might be added “A tendency to apply an exaggeratedly positive stereotype to any Jew who arouses sympathy.” In other words, I do think that Reder is onto something here — namely, “ambivalent philo-Semitism.”
Nevertheless, Reder’s title (“The Anti-Semitism of Some Eminent Economists”), together with the overall thrust of his article, reveals that his real purpose is to tar his subjects with the “anti-Semitic” brush. Therefore, Hamowy’s judgment appears apt: “It seems clear from this list that Reder is equating anti-Semitism with any characterization of Jews by a non-Jew that is not explicitly laudatory. Even statements of historical fact are not exempt.”
Classical Liberalism, “Anti-Racism,” and Anti-Anti-Semitism
Any assertion of liberal universalism coupled with either implicit or explicit double standards favoring Jews or other non-Whites over Whites is untenable. Basically, three options are available.
First: public hypocrisy combined with private adherence to Jewish supremacism. (This is far and away the most common stance.)
Second, adherence to a universally destructive ideology of the type Richard McCulloch calls “racial nihilism” — a policy encompassing the destruction of all races, not just the White race. (Note that the principle remains the same if the category chosen is that of “social construct” instead of race. There is no acceptable reason why the “social constructs” of “Jewry,” “Jewishness” and “Judaism” should not be abolished right along with “Whiteness.”)
Alternatively, one could consistently advocate “liberalism inside the borders” — political, economic, and social liberty within a larger framework of global racial separation and preservation.
Jewishness is the very antithesis of individualism and universalism. It is collectivist, chauvinist, and totalitarian. As everyone secretly knows, if Jews were compelled to abide by the same legal and moral standards as everybody else, Jewry would cease to exist as an organized entity. Jews and Jewry exist and possess superior power and privilege because of the willful non-application to them, by the state and by society generally, of the normative rules that other members of society are coerced into obeying.
If Jews are allowed to operate as a secretive, tight-knit, racially-conscious unit habitually exploiting others, then on what grounds can this possibly be justified? The fact that society and its citizens (or subjects) completely avoid talking or thinking about the situation will not make it go away. On the contrary, silence is, at minimum, an implicit endorsement of the injustice inherent in the social arrangement.
This glaring discrepancy between liberal thought and behavior was exposed when English statesman Enoch Powell was forced from the Mont Pelerin Society because of his belief in racial and cultural preservation. (Hayek founded the Society in 1947 as a forum to promote the values of classical liberalism among scholars, journalists, politicians, and others, and was its leading personality for many decades.) The irony of a largely Jewish group ostensibly devoted to freedom venting its spleen on a White member for having the temerity to publicly suggest that his people have a right to exist was not lost upon discerning observers.
In his private life, Hayek, too, implicitly accepted a non-reductionist approach to racial matters. During the Battle of Britain, for example, when he had to choose between sending his children to live in the U.S., Argentina, or Sweden, he chose the United States, “based on the tacit assumption that my children would there be placed with a white and not with a coloured family.” Law, Legislation and Liberty, Vol. 2: The Mirage of Social Justice (1976), p. 189, n. 25.
In the intellectual arena, by contrast, Hayek took the easy way out, refusing to acknowledge the need for even a minimum of collective self-regard among Europeans, while simultaneously tacitly endorsing a socially pathological level of racial collectivism for Jews. This required either significant intellectual dishonesty or willful blindness on his part. Then again, perhaps Hayek felt that he could afford to indulge himself in this manner in the still-White world of the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Unfortunately, we no longer have that luxury.
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