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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

The Origins of Antisemitism

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt




- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1958)

So, if I understand it, Hannah Adrent's theory of Antisemitism:

During feudal times, living in various nations as isolated communities, some Jews were in a position to lend money to aristocrats to fund state projects.

As feudal times gave way to capitalism, tradespeople became more interested in lending to state projects. This superseded the Jewish money-lending function, although the Jewish community had some diplomatic roles. While there's always a degree of animosity to outsiders, the alignment of some Jews with the state and aristocracy made them collateral damage in hatred of these groups. Nationalism was becoming imperialism which required the traditional state to give way for capitalist expansion, and aristocracy to give way for investors.

Particularly for Germany following defeat,
because Jews were somehow involved
in financing, they could be accused of
secretly pulling the string of the world,
and blamed for Germany's troubles.
The truth seemed to be that although a
few Jews lent money, they were
fairly apolitical.

Image by lulubell