Anti-liberal Liberals, the Nation and Liberal Antisemitism

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Palabras clave:

Liberalism, Antisemitism, Nationalism, Capitalism, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Critical Theory, Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Treitschke

Resumen

Starting from a discussion of remarks on liberalism in Horkheimer and Adorno’s ‘Elements of Antisemitism’ in Dialectic of Enlightenment, Stoetzler explores the relationship between liberalism, nationalism and antisemitism, using as source material an emblematic discussion among German liberals around 1880 known as the ‘Berlin Antisemitism Dispute’. In this dispute, leading political and academic figures including Theodor Mommsen, Moritz Lazarus and Ludwig Bamberger responded to anti-Jewish remarks by the historian and National-Liberal politician Heinrich von Treitschke. Treitschke’s texts have been central to the development of modern antisemitism in Germany, while analysis of the debate they provoked illustrates the limitations of the liberal critique of antisemitism. The article suggests that both Treitschke’s support for antisemitism and the ambivalence evident in the views of his opponents are rooted in the contradiction between inclusionary and exclusionary tendencies inherent in the nation-form: to the extent that liberal society constitutes itself in the form of a national state, it cannot but strive to produce some degree of homogeneity of a national culture, which in turn cannot be separated from issues of morality and religion. Discussion of the ‘Berlin Antisemitism Dispute’ can help interpreting an important dimension of Horkheimer and Adorno’s ‘Elements of Antisemitism’ and putting both together to work for current debates on crucial aspects of liberal thought such as nationalism, patriotism, ethnic minorities, immigration and ‘multicultural society’, in addition to antisemitism.

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Publicado

2022-01-08

Cómo citar

Stoetzler, M. (2022). Anti-liberal Liberals, the Nation and Liberal Antisemitism. Constelaciones. Revista De Teoría Crítica, (13). Recuperado a partir de http://constelaciones-rtc.net/article/view/4501