Karl Marx on ‘The Jewish Question
By Karl Marx . “On the Jewish Question’ is a work by Marx, written in 1843, and first published in Paris in 1844 under the German title Zur Judenfrage in the Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher.It was one of Marx’s attempts to deal with the integration of Jews into society.
The essay criticizes two studies by Marx’s fellow Young Hegelian Bruno Bauer on the attempt by Jews to achieve political emancipation in Prussia. Bauer argued that Jews could achieve political emancipation only by relinquishing their particular religious consciousness, since political emancipation requires a secular state, which he assumes does not leave any room for social identities such as religion.
According to Bauer, such religious demands are incompatible with the idea of the “Rights of Man.” True political emancipation, for Bauer, requires the complete abolition of religion. Marx concludes that while individuals can be “spiritually” and “politically” free in a secular state, Jews, in particular, would have a hard time relinquishing the particular traits that have always prevented not only their own political and personal emancipation, but their true integration into Western society.
Softcover, 52 pages