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From hkatz@usa.net Sat Apr 20 09:14:28 PDT 1996
Article: 32051 of alt.revisionism
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From: hkatz@usa.net (Harry Katz)
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Subject: Mark Twain on Jews (was Re: A simple solution).
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WARNING:  All follow-ups have been set to alt.revisionism, where this
ought to have been confined from the beginning.

Someone posted this sig:

        To do something, say something, see something, before anybody
        else-these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which
        other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstacies cheap 
        and trivial. Mark Twain (1835-1910), US author. The Innocents 
        Abroad


In <4ksge2$fau@express.ior.com> tblocker@on-ramp.ior.com (Tom) wrote: 
        
        who I suspect would not like having you quote him.

        Did you ever study American History. The largest threat our 
        nation ever faced was that created by bigots like yourself. 
        (slavery and civil war)  I am white middle aged male republican 
        and you don't speak for me. With this much hate I would gladly 
        exchange you for a few illegals. The US would certainly be
        better off.

        The more I think about it the more I suspect you are joking.
        No one in the 20th century can be this hateful.

Unfortunately, Tom has no idea how hateful some people can be,even as the
Twentieth Century draws to a close.


In article <4kvhfa$es8@dfw-ixnews3.ix.netcom.com>,
ka_strom@ix.netcom.com(Kevin Alfred Strom) writes:

        Your opinion is way off, Tom. Here is a quote from Mark Twain:

No, Tom's opinion is not way off!  Mr. Strom has either stumbled onto a
deceptive anti-Semitic pamphlet, or he has himself carefully selected his
quotations from this article.

At the end of this post, Mr. Strom cites as his source:

        Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens]  "Concerning the
        Jews,"; Harper's Monthly Magazine, September 1899

I happen to have a copy of this article as reprinted in "The Man That
Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays," published by Harper
and Brothers, New York, 1901.

Before the article gets to the section quoted by Mr. Strom, Mark Twain
writes this:

        The Jew is not a disturber of the peace in any country.  Even his       
        enemies will concede that.  He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, 
        he is not noisy, he is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is not 
        quarrelsome.  In the statistics of crime his presence is 
        conspicuously rare -- in all countries.  With murder and other 
        crimes of violence he has little to do: he is a stranger to the 
        hangman.  In the police court's daily long roll of "assaults" and 
        "drunk and disorderlies" his name seldom appears.  That the 
        Jewish home is a home in the truest sense is a fact which no one 
        will dispute.  The family is knitted together by the strongest 
        affections; its members show each other every due respect; and 
        reverence for the elders is an inviolate law of the house.  The 
        Jew is not a burden on the charities of the state nor of the 
        city; these could cease from their functions without affecting 
        him.  When he is well enough, he works; when he is incapacitated, 
        his own people take care of him.  And not in a poor and stingy 
        way, but with a fine and large benevolence.  His race is entitled 
        to be called the most benevolent of all the races of men...  The 
        charitable institutions of the Jews are supported by Jewish 
        money, and amply.  The Jews make no noise about it; it is done 
        quietly; they do not nag and pester and harass for contributions; 
        they give us peace, and set us an example -- an example which we 
        have not found ourselves able to follow; for by nature we are not 
        free givers, and have to be patiently and persistently hunted 
        down in the interest of the unfortunate.

        ...These are the very quint-essentials of good citizenship.
        If you can add that he is as honest as the average of his 
        neighbors--  But I think that question is affirmatively answered 
        by the fact that he is a successful businessman.  The basis of 
        succesful business is honesty; a business cannot thrive where the 
        parties cannot trust each other.  In the matter of numbers the 
        Jew counts for little in the overwhelming population of New York; 
        but that his honesty counts for much is guaranteed by the fact 
        that the immense wholesale business houses of Broadway, from the 
        Battery to Union Square, is in his hands.


I will now skip ahead to the paragraph immediately preceding the one
quoted by Mr. Strom:

        When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the Mississippi    
        Valley, where a gracious and beautiful Sunday-school simplicity 
        and practicality prevailed, the "Yankee" (citizen of the New 
        England States) was hated with a splendid energy.  But religion 
        had nothing to do with it.  In  a trade, the Yankee was held to 
        be about five times the match of the Westerner.  His shrewdness, 
        his insight, his judgement, his knowledge, his enterprise, and 
        his formidable cleverness in applying these forces were frankly 
        confessed, and most competently cursed.

The sections quoted by Mr. Strom follow this paragraph.  I have included
the sections he elided within square brackets.  I have taken it upon
myself to correct his minor errors without comment.

        In the U.S. cotton states, after the war[, the simple and 
        ignorant negroes made the crops for the white planter on shares.]  
        The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the plantation, 
        supplied all the Negroes' wants on credit, and at the end of the 
        season was the proprietor of the Negro's share of the present
        crop and part of the next one. Before long, the whites detested         
        the Jew [, and it is doubtful if the negro loved him].
        
        The Jew is being legislated out of Russia. The reason is not 
        concealed. The movement was instituted because the Christian 
        peasant [and villager] stood no chance against his commercial 
        abilities. The Jew was always ready to lend [money] on a crop[, 
        and sell vodka and other necessaries of life on credit while the 
        crop was growing]. When settlement day came, he owned the crop; 
        [and] next year [or year after] he owned the farm, like Joseph.

Note the large section that was cut out of this next paragraph:
        
        In the [dull and ignorant] England of John's time everybody got 
        into debt to the Jew. He gathered all lucrative enterprises into 
        his hands; he was the king of commerce; [he was ready to be 
        helpful in all profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the 
        rescue of the Sepulchre.  To wipe out his account with the nation 
        and restore business to its natural and incompetent channels] he 
        had to be banished from the realm.

        For like reasons, Spain had to banish him 400 years ago, and 
        Austria a couple of centuries later.

As the restored section clearly explains, the Jew was exiled from John's
England, "to wipe out his account" -- that is, to avoid paying off the
debts that were owed to honest Jewish businessmen.  Mr. Strom's highly
edited version seemed to imply that Jews were expelled for dishonest
business dealings, a clear violation of Mark Twain's plain meaning.

Likewise, large sections of the next paragraph had to be restored:
        
        In all ages Christian Europe has been obliged to curtail his 
        activities. If he entered upon a trade, the Christian had to 
        retire from it. If he set up as a doctor, [he was the best one, 
        and] he took the business. If he exploited agriculture, the other 
        farmers had to get at something else. [Since there was no way to 
        successfully compete with him,] the law had to step in to save 
        the Christian from the poor-house.  [Trade after trade was taken 
        away from the Jew by statute till practically none was left.  He 
        was forbidden to engage in agriculture; he was forbidden to 
        practise law; he was forbidden to practise medicine, except among 
        Jews; he was forbidden the handicrafts.  Even the seats of 
        learning and the schools of science had to be closed against this 
        tremendous antagonist.]  Still, almost bereft of employments, he 
        found ways to make money, even [ways] to get rich.  [Also ways to 
        invest his takings well, for usury was not denied him.  In the 
        hard conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not 
        survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep them in good 
        training and well sharpened up, or starve.  Ages of restriction 
        to the one tool which the law was not able to take from him -- 
        his brain -- have made that tool singularly competent; ages of 
        cumpulsory disuse of his hands have atrophied them, and he never 
        uses them now.] This history has [a very, very commercial look,] 
        a most sordid and practical commercial look[, the business aspect 
        of a Chinese cheap-labor crusade]. Religious prejudices may 
        account for one part of it, bit not for the other nine.
        
        Protestants have persecuted Catholics - but they did not take 
        their livelihoods away from them.  Catholics have persecuted 
        Protestants - but they never closed agriculture and the 
        handicrafts against them.

Note that in Mr. Strom's highly edited version of Mark Twain, this last
paragraph seems to imply that the Jews did take away the livelihoods of
both Catholics and Protestants, that the Jews closed agriculture and the
handicrafts against Catholics and Protestants.  With the elided sections
restored, it is plain that what Twain is saying is that Catholics and
Protestants never treated each other as badly as they treated the Jews! 
In other words, completely the opposite of the impression intended by the
editor who distorted Twain's words.

The rest of this paragraph, which was also cut out, bears this out:

        [Why was that?  That has the candid look of genuine religious 
        persecution, not a trade-union boycott in a religious disguise.]

In other words, Twain is arguing that Jews were persecuted for being able
and talented, not for their religion.  His proof is that in true religious
persecution, Christians were not prepared to go as far as they are when
their pocketbooks are affected!  He is most certainly not arguing that
Jews were persecuted for their dishonesty, as he has already certified
Jews as more honest than their Christian neighbors.

The next passage has also been omitted from the anti-Semitic version:

        [The Jews are barred and obstructed in Austria and Germany, and 
        lately in France; but England and America give them an open field 
        and yet survive...]

Now to return to Mr. Strom's text:

        I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to do with the 
        world's attitude toward the Jew; that the reasons for it are much 
        older than that event...

Mr. Strom's version next skips ahead some pages, but before I deal with
them, I want to skip ahead only a few sentences, to this:

        I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths 
        of the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian's 
        inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in 
        business -- in either straight business or the questionable sort.

Twain follows this with a description of anti-Jewish agitation in Germany,
which he then summarizes as follows:

        You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation; the 
        argument is that the Christian cannot compete with the Jew, and 
        that hence his very bread is in peril.  To human beings this is a 
        much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected with 
        religion.  With most people, of a necessity, bread and meat take 
        first rank, religion second.

It is at this point that Mr. Strom's version starts up again:

        I am convinced that the persecution of the Jew is not in any 
        large degree due to religious prejudice.

Note that Mr. Strom's edited version gives the impression that Twain is
saying that Jews are persecuted because of some unfair advantage they take
of their Christian neighbors.  The full text clearly demonstrates that
Twain faults the Christians as poor businessmen and even poorer sports,
but he does not fault the Jews for persevering and overcoming all the
obstacles placed in our path. 

Note the heavy editing of his next section:

        No, the Jew is a money-getter[; and in getting his money he is a 
        very serious obstruction to less capable neighbors who are on the 
        same quest.  I think that that is the trouble.  In estimating 
        worldly values the Jew is not shallow, but deep.  With precocious 
        wisdom he found out in the morning of time that some men worship 
        rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, 
        and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite -- but they 
        all worship money; so,] he made it the end and aim of his life 
        [to get it]. [He was at it in Egypt thirty-six centuries ago;] he 
        was at it in Rome... he has been at it ever since. [The cost to 
        him has been heavy;] his success has made the whole human race 
        his enemy...

Note that in the restored original, Twain puts the Jews on an equal
footing with the rest of mankind in the motivation of going after money,
and does not fault the Jews for being more successful at it than their
equally avaricious neighbors.  Rather he faults the non-Jews for hobbling
the Jews in a desperate attempt to hide their own incompetence.

Finally, Mr. Strom's version ends with this gem:
        
        I am assured by men competent to speak that the Jews are
        exceedingly active in politics.

What Mr. Strom's post fails to include are several pages that preceed this
quote wherein Mark Twain castigates those Jews who are not exceedingly
active in politics, and holds up against the apolitical Jew the image of
the politically active Irish, who, though a small minority in America,
managed to capture the American political machinery through organization
and activism.  These are a paraphrase of Mark Twain's words and not my own
sentiments, but they do show that Twain was not condemning Jews for being
active in politics, as Mr. Strom's post deceptively insinuates.

        (Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens]  "Concerning the
        Jews,"; Harper's Monthly Magazine, September 1899)

But heavily edited and distorted beyond recognition!

I must conclude, along with Tom, that Mark Twain would be extremely upset
with the way that anti-Semitic bigots are distorting what he said for
their own depraved agenda.

-- 
Harry Katz


From hkatz@earth.usa.net Wed Apr 24 10:24:57 PDT 1996
Article: 32467 of alt.revisionism
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From: hkatz@earth.usa.net (Harry Katz)
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Subject: Re: Mark Twain and the Jews
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Kevin Alfred Strom (ka_strom@ix.netcom.com) posted excerpts from an
article written by Mark Twain for Harper's concerning Jews.  I posted
an article noting that Mr. Strom had picked up a highly edited
version of the Twain piece, and I added the deleted parts back in,
inside of square brackets.

One section I restored went (note that "he" means "the Jew"):

	"He gathered all lucrative enterprises into his hands;
	he was the king of commerce; [he was ready to be helpful in all
	profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the rescue of the
	Sepulchre.  To wipe out his account with the nation and restore
	business to its natural and incompetent channels] he
        had to be banished from the realm.

	"For like reasons, Spain had to banish him 400 years ago, and
	Austria a couple of centuries later."

These were Mark Twain's words.  My comment was:

	As the restored section clearly explains, the Jew was exiled
	from John's England, "to wipe out his account" -- that is, to
	avoid paying off the debts that were owed to honest Jewish
	businessmen.  Mr. Strom's highly edited version seemed to imply
	that Jews were expelled for dishonest business dealings, a clear
	violation of Mark Twain's plain meaning.

In article <4lcuc8$jdm@dfw-ixnews2.ix.netcom.com>,
Kevin Alfred Strom (ka_strom@ix.netcom.com) comments:

	If Katz is truthfully restoring the context of the excerpts,
	as I assume he is, then Twain did indeed want to emphasize the
	inability of the European to compete with this cohesive alien
	minority, who found a way to legally "own the farm" after a few
	years while countless generations of the native population had
	found such manipulations unnecessary and almost unknown.

Mr. Strom is distorting Twain's words.  Nowhere does Twain write of
any Jewish "cohesiveness," much less pass it off as the main reason
for Jewish business success.  On the contrary, Twain makes it clear
that he regards Jewish business success to be the result of Jewish
honesty, hard work, and intelligence.

Nor does Twain write anything remotely resembling the accusation of
"manipulations" that Mr. Strom has introduced.  On the contrary, the
way that Jews got to "own the farm" was by extending credit to farmers.
What the farmers did not do for countless generations was to live
beyond their means.  After they enriched themselves at the expense of
native Jewish businessmen, they decided to cancel their debts by
exiling the Jews.  Nowhere is such action considered moral today.


Mr. Strom continues:

	Twain was also clearly implying that Jews act as a cohesive
	group, unlike Europeans. "The Jew came down in force..." "The
	Jew was always ready..." "He gathered all lucrative enterprises
	into his hands..."

Of the three quotes that Mr. Strom cites from Twain, only the first
could possibly be stretched to imply that Twain is saying that Jews
act as a cohesive group, and even that falls apart upon closer
examination.  The full sentence is, "The Jew came down in force, set
up shop on the plantation..."  Clearly, this means that many Jews
came down, not that they were organized.  Moreover, Twain never
specifically mentions Jewish cohesion as a business force, but he
does mention honesty, hard work, and intelligence as factors.


My post of Mark Twain's article continued:

	Twain follows this with a description of anti-Jewish agitation
	in Germany, which he then summarizes as follows:

	"You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation; the
	argument is that the Christian cannot compete with the Jew,
	and that hence his very bread is in peril.  To human beings
	this is a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail
	connected with religion.  With most people, of a necessity,
	bread and meat take first rank, religion second."

Mr. Strom comments:

	This is very illuminating, and I am glad that Mr. Katz brought
	it to my attention. He also quotes and summarizes other material
	from Twain's article on Jews, all to the same basic purpose: to
	show that Twain was saying that Europeans felt hostility toward
	the Jew because he was beating them in the competition
	for money.

	My comment on that situation: Whites are excessively
	individualistic and are always at cross-purposes with each
	other, whereas the Jew is much more united -- and he is
	race-conscious like no other people.

Mr. Strom has never heard the joke about two Jews, three opinions!
The unity of Jews is very exaggerated and is usually imposed upon
Jews by the need to make a common defense against Jew haters.

As for "race-conscious," that is a typical anti-Semitic
characterization that conveniently ignores the many races that
constitute the Jewish people.


	If Jews or Jewish interests are threatened anywhere in the
	world, a huge, well-oiled machine comes into play, demanding
	capitulation or retribution.

The name of this "well-oiled machine" might prove helpful in verifying
its existence.  My experience is that there are Jewish organizations
that do attempt to stand up for Jewish interests in the world, but if
not for them, who would stand up for Jews?  We do not ask for anyone
else to fight our battles for us.  Every other group in the world is
entitled to organize for their own defense and benefit without comment,
but only Jews are taken to task for defending their own interests as
best they might.

Furthermore, this "well-oiled machine" seldom is effective unless the
rest of the world joins in the protest.  Jewish organizations are
nothing more than publicity agents, informing the world of events
that they consider unfair or anti-Semitic.  If the rest of the world
does not respond, then the Jews lose!

Finally, Mr. Strom does not clarify what he means by "Jewish interests."
He does seem to imply that there is something wrong with having a
"well-oiled machine" ready to respond if "Jews... are threatened!"


	Against such competition, the befuddled and divided Whites are
	almost always a pushover. If White interests are threatened,
	where are the multibillion-dollar agencies jumping to our aid?

Hasn't Mr. Strom ever heard of the CIA and the Pentagon?


	Most Whites are so stupid that they would vociferously deny that
	any such thing as "White interests" exists or could ever exist.

Unlike Mr. Strom, I do not have such a jaundiced view of "Whites."
I happen to place great faith in the intelligence of ordinary,
everyday people.


	I agree with Mr. Katz that the additional text he provides shows
	that Twain felt admiration for the Jew's business acumen and
	racial solidarity,...

Just to clarify, Mr. Strom is making an erroneous assumption here.  I
do not agree that Twain felt any admiration for Jewish "racial
solidarity," and I am sure that Twain felt more admiration for the
Jews' honesty and hard work, than for his business acumen.


	...and embarrasment at the dimwitted boobs who make up such a
	large proportion of the White European peoples and who utterly
	lack such qualities. These are sentiments I entirely share.

I believe that Twain was referring to the Medieval past in Europe and
its lingering effects in certain parts of Europe in his day.  He did
say that in America Jews are given free rein without any damage to
American society or economics.  Therefore, I do not believe that he
was characterizing all "White" people of all epochs as business
failures.


	My main point, which I feel has been made even stronger by
	Mr. Katz's post, was that Mark Twain wrote frankly on the Jews,
	praising and criticizing exactly as his free mind saw fit.

My main point would be that Mark Twain did not pull his ideas out of
a hat, but based them on his readings and observations, which were,
of course, formidable.  Furthermore, he goes to great pains to
establish that he is free from any prejudice towards Jews.  Just
having a "free mind" and expressing it does not prevent one from
disseminating lies and falsehoods.


	Clearly he saw them as a distinct people from his own, with many
	distinct characteristics and interests.

Mark Twain was a product of his times.  At that time, no Jew would
have argued against the idea that Jews are a distinct "race," except
possibly for atheists breaking away from the religion.


	Today, Jewish power is so great that you cannot even state the
	formerly commonplace truth that Jews are a distinct race or that
	they might have diffferent interests and values from ordinary
	White Americans -- without losing your job or position for
	committing the cardinal sin of "anti-Semitism."

This has nothing to do with so-called, "Jewish power."  The only
power available to Jews is the moral power of the majority.
Furthermore, it is science, not "Jewish power" that has postulated
that the concept of race itself is erroneous and deceptive.  Finally,
Mr. Strom does not elaborate on what the "different interests and
values" that Jews are supposed to consist of.  Mark Twain clearly felt
that honesty was one of these "different values!"


	We have come to the point where criticism of Jews by non-Jews is
	essentially excluded from public debate. It was not always so.

I have heard this accusation many times recently, but the substance
always turns out that anti-Semites are not as free to tell lies about
Jews as they used to be.


	I will leave with another quote from Twain, which might put it
	all in perspective. Twain says in the letter I quote that Jews
	are a remarkable race and if anything he favors them over
	Christians. But he adds:

	"For I am without prejudice. It is my hope that both the
	Christians and the Jews will be damned; and to that end I am
	working all my influence." (Letter to Henry Huddleston Rogers)

--
Harry Katz

How may a man obtain greatness?  By fidelity, truth,
and lofty thoughts.
	-- The Wit and Wisdom of the Talmud, Madison C. Peters, ed.



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