The anti-semitism of the intellectuals

George Will takes up the subject that we at Power Line continue to obsess over — the left’s anti-semitism. (The column appears under a title that refers to “anti-semitic chic,” but I think Will is talking about something too profound to be called chic). Will starts his piece by observing that “It used to be said that anti-Catholicism was the anti-Semitism of the intellectuals. Today anti-Semitism is the anti-Semitism of the intellectuals.” He then offers this explanation for the phenomenon:
“All of the left’s prescriptions for curing what ails society — socialism, communism, psychoanalysis, “progressive” education, etc. — have been discarded, so now the left is reduced to adapting that hardy perennial of the right, anti-Semitism. This is a new twist to the left’s recipe for salvation through elimination: All will be well if we eliminate capitalists, or private property, or the ruling class, or “special interests,” or neuroses, or inhibitions. Now, let’s try eliminating a people, starting with their nation, which is obnoxiously pro-American and insufferably Spartan.”
I might put it a little differently and suggest that an ancient bias that was never the particular province of the European right has returned to the fore as a central part of leftist thinking because the Jewish state, once considered something of a leftist project, has defied current leftist orthodoxy.


Books to read from Power Line