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Political and social dimensions of worker antisemitism

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Chapter Summary

The Institute identified three areas of worker hostility toward Jews broadly conceived as social and political factors: power, education, and perceived lack of war effort. This chapter explores the aspects of power, education, and "war effort" in working-class antisemitism. For most workers, power was exercised in specific domains and in more mundane forms, especially the realms of business, national politics, and the functions of state and local governments. An important consideration in relation to antisemitic beliefs centering on global conspiracy is the relation between the ?Jew' and conceptions of cosmic order, justice, and divine rule. Antisemitism is not a religion for these workers but, as it emerges in the interviews, this abstract belief in global conspiracy would clearly be impossible in a world unconditioned by religious conceptions like a cosmic struggle between good and evil, soldiering for good, divine law and justice, etc.

Keywords: business; education; Jews; justice; national politics; power; war effort; worker hostility; working-class antisemitism



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