(From British Union Quarterly, April/June 1937, pp. 45-54.)
By A K Chesterton
Some years ago I was present at a pantomime in which an incredibly dirty and unkempt beggar haunted one scene after another, receiving condescending kindness from the heroine, but from everybody else the disdain which his state appeared to warrant. Then, when the crisis of the play arrived, with the hero in direst need, there was a blinding flash which consumed the beggar’s rags and revealed him, bright-eyed, marcel haired, and in a suit of glittering armor, as no less a personage than our patron Saint—St. George for Merrie England. Gazing at the heroic figure thus disclosed I saw that his smug countenance was beyond all question Jewish. Here, expressed in unconscious symbolism, was indeed the apotheosis of the Jew.
Not only was the symbolism in some ways spiritually true, it was almost physically true, in that when the Jew arrives in the new land of his opportunity it is very often in rags that he comes, and before he reaches the magnificence of his apotheosis, becoming more flamboyantly English than the English, or German than the German, there is often not merely one flash of fire to consume his rags and complete the metamorphosis, but the flashes of many fires, even more meticulously planned than in the pantomime.
More important, however, is the spiritual significance of the allegory, because it actually is a fact that Jewish mentality is fittingly expressed by the symbols of the beggar’s rags and gilded, paper maché suits of armor. In such coverings one would expect an inferiority complex to drape itself; in alternating moods donning one or the other as it shuffles or struts upon the stage of life. And the entire tragedy of the Jew—a tragedy no less sad because of its insufferable effects on the rest of mankind—is due to his devastating sense of inferiority, his subconscious awareness that he is always, and under all circumstances, the supreme bounder and the eternal parvenu. Because of this terrible knowledge that is aroused in him a compensatory itch to dominate the world, to which purpose he dedicates the whole of his effort. Deadly materialist that he is, he could not fail to conquer were it not for the inevitable arrogance that sooner or later attends upon his half-success, and defeats his aim, bringing him down once more to the cringing, servile state expressed by the beggar’s rags.
Had he stayed to swelter in the place of his origin there would have been no Jewish problem, for then he would have broken only the hearts of his own prophets. Unfortunately his migration to more temperate zones, and the consequent approximation of his skin to the color of white, has led to his finding himself both at home and not at home among races with a poise, a simplicity and a tradition of dash and daring, of love and song and laughter, which it is sometimes possible for him to ape but never to absorb.
This insuperable frustration plays the cat-and-fiddle with his soul. The nearer he approaches to feeling at home the more frantic the effort he expends to this end, but at the same time the mysterious knowledge that the consummation is fated always to lack completion exerts a pull in the opposite direction, towards his own race and his own separate traditions. In this latter unity he finds not only an admirable strength for the purpose of making money, which is the bribe with which he courts society, and the weapon with which he later seeks its destruction, but no less a moral safeguard against his ever-present sense of insecurity born of the knowledge that his race and the way of life of his race are inferior things. The race-consciousness of the Jew, so much vaunted in one of his moods, is in reality not the cause of his pride but the effect of his fear. The Jew arrives in his promised lands poverty stricken and bedraggled. He lives for a time on the smell of an oil rag while he brings his age long instincts of the bazaar to bear upon the peddling of old clothes, old bottles, old sacks or whatever it may be, until he secures some kind of a footing. Thereafter, by means which need not be quoted here, though often they invite closer inspection than the police are able to give them, he is able to replace his rags with a wardrobe of flashy suits and his shuffling gait with a Rolls-Royce car. This is the stage in which he shouts at a British nationalist in a British street:
“Vy don’t you go to Germany? Ve don’t vant you here!”
But the apotheosis is by no means complete. Though he has acquired wealth he has not acquired acceptance, and it is acceptance which his feeling of inferiority impels him at all costs to seek. As yet he is merely the guttural Yid, and as such not even meet for a knighthood, which is why he never experienced the pleasure of addressing a late lamented South African millionaire as Sir Solly Joel. The next stage is not negotiated without difficulty, but with the active assistance of Eton and Balliol, or of some equally efficacious transforming agency, the business is managed in the course of generation. The broken English is now gone: in its place is an accent which would bring no disgrace upon a B.B.C. announcer. The Jew has learned to shoot, to fish, to ride to hounds, to play golf, to wear a top hat at Ascot. He has learnt to flick an imaginary speck of dust off his sleeve with ineffable grace while the chairman pays him tribute, and thereafter to stand with hands correctly affixed to the lapels of his coat while he discourses on “our great Empiah,” “the inviolable principles of free trade,” “our free and democratic institutions” and all the other sacred phrases which are destined to put the letters M.P. after his name.
Now is the Jew arrived at the stage of his greatest menace to civilization, though still the stage of his apotheosis has not been reached. Education in the social graces has made of him to all outward appearances, except facially, a typical English gentleman, and so punctilious is he in the use of this asset, conforming at every point to approved custom, that he is able to present himself to the British people as one of themselves, if not blood of their blood at any rate seemingly spirit of their spirit. Equally important is the fact that he has in no way allowed this social ascent to impair the sound business instincts which are the heritage he derives from the Oriental bazaar, and by successfully cornering the essential commodities of the people, or by otherwise making dexterous use of his own or his father’s fortune, he is able to amass a stupendous amount of money with which to knock with confidence at the doors of “high society,” which has already abandoned its aristocratic virtues and become wedded to the plutocratic values of which he is the natural custodian. No wonder, therefore, that having acquired both the cash and the manner Mr. Isaac Kantorowitch now passes easily through each glorious stage which leads him to Sir Isaac Kantor, M.P. and thence to Viscount Kentridge.
Moreover during their particular metamorphosis his sound common sense does not desert him. Though now he is a financier on an international scale, thanks to his retention of the race consciousness which keeps him in close and sympathetic touch with similar upstarts in every part of the world, he is wise enough to conceal these ramifications, letting only his business in Britain become generally known. And even here he contrives with astonishing success to identify that business in the public mind with the interests of the British people, causing them to take a quaint pride in it as though it were a national asset. Should he be cornering chemicals, for instance, he does not call his concern “Jewish Chemical Industries,” but makes use of the word “Imperial” in order to win for his activities a patriotic acceptance from the citizens of the Empire. In the same way, should his business be films, he leads the nation to believe that the industry offers a sterling British challenge to the slop and slush of Hollywood, whereas in his hands the slop becomes sloppier and the slush slushier, and whereas behind his impudent British title lie the realities of Jewish American capital and control.
It is now that the Jew stands on the verge of world domination. Accepted by society in its decadence he is able to move among highly placed people and pull political strings for the international financiers; in return he can conspire with his fellow racials all over the world to pull financial strings for the politicians. So long as his essential “Jewishness” is concealed there is no mischief which he cannot encompass by the subtle exercise of his power; no market he cannot “rig,” no government he cannot crash, no foreign relationship he cannot foul, and with skill and patience no war he cannot engineer. The whole world stretches before him as his promised land.
And at this precise moment the collective neurosis of his race, its age-long sense of inferiority, arises in the form of unparalleled effrontery and arrogance to bring about his defeat. Looking around he finds his own people everywhere rich and in control of the sources of riches. He finds them occupying civic positions of dizzy importance and almost unsurpassed dignity. He realizes that they have passed every barrier which former and more virile times erected against them; that the atmosphere of “aristocracy” is rank with their breath; that the usurer’s paradise has been triumphantly ushered into being. Common sense deserts him completely as he contemplates the glorious sight, and he steps forward from cover brazenly to claim his heritage. He scorns to conceal any longer his “Jewishness”; so successful has he been that he brings himself to believe that people love him because of it, and that the flaunting of it in their faces will redound to his profit. The Jew who has already “arrived” becomes careless of concealment; indeed, in an age which exalts commercial values above all else it is only natural that he should wish to acquire added status by revealing the magnitude of his enterprise, so that it is with pride that he discloses his own identity behind puppet directors or even openly takes their places, being no longer apprehensive of public resentment at this proclamation that he owns half the world.
Still more disastrous for Jewry is the action of the Jew who has not yet socially “arrived.” The star of his race begins to shine so brightly that he discerns no need for meticulous conformity with the social customs of the nations among whom he is domiciled. Eton and Balliol are short-circuited, and the “English” Jew finds beside him, rubbing shoulders in high places, the semiliterate, semi-Anglicized Yid. No longer is any attempt made to establish contact with the main body of the community upon a passable cultural level, and indeed such effort would be superfluous in view of the fact that the various international movements have now combined to produce the most blatant of all the Internationales—the International of sheer vulgarity. This debasement of culture to the lowest levels gives him a tremendous advantage, since in the universal language of vulgarity the Jew is the world’s master Esperantist. Is there a wide-spread passion for jazz and stomach turning “love-lilts”? Then the little Jew becomes superbly happy, finding for his soul complete beatitude in turning out the tunes and selling his voice for the croons—ally for hard cash. Has the diffusion of mass literacy led to a taste for cheap and nasty journalism? Then the Jew leaves even Lord Beaverbrook at the starting-post in the dash to make it still cheaper and nastier. Is there a method of distortion and omission employed for political and economic purposes by the newspapers? Then the Jew rejoices to improve upon it by fashioning the method of stark invention. Are the films trash? Then the Jew makes a fortune out of them, because it is his natural gift to purvey trash. Is the theatre dominated by box-office values? Then one may be sure that the Jew dominates the box office. Have the noble functions of art been degraded to find scope for the “stunt”? Then the Jew readily displays his talent — and even his genius — as an artist—again for hard cash. Have public manners become as deplorable as public taste? Then the Jew walks the world as their perfect exponent.
Financially, socially, politically, culturally, the Jew has brought all things down to the level on which he feels most at home. It is now impossible for him to keep his personality within the confines of a seemly discipline. He becomes as ostentatious as a bare Bantu who is suddenly bequeathed a bowler hat. He surges with his kind throughout the land, and always with an ineffable air of proprietorship. To go to a swimming pool anywhere near London or the large cities is as efficacious as baptism in the Jordan; one becomes positively anointed with Semitic grease. To go to the sea, especially if it be a fashionable resort, is to find the Jews in possession of almost all the hotels, swarming over the beaches, overcrowding the cafes, and always making themselves conspicuous, always drawing attention to themselves by loud clothes, loud cars and loud behavior. It is the same in town. Wherever a “fashionable” function takes place, offering the opportunity for display, there will be found the inevitable Jew reeking of self satisfaction and throwing his weight about as happily as a new school prefect with a taste for power, and far more heavily. The more flamboyantly he can proclaim himself the better he is pleased. Indeed, one Jew has been known to acquire a newspaper, publish the most superlative blurbs about himself, boost his other concerns, allow the gossip-man to write sycophantic chit-chat about his family, espouse the cause of his race and enliven the whole business by printing recurrent photographs of himself, a favorite one revealing him in flannel trousers, cricketing shirt and braces.
The braces are important, showing by what a margin Eton and Oxford have been short- circuited.
At last the day of the Jew has come—the day of his apotheosis. His conscious mind no longer registers any difference between his own way of thinking and the traditions of the country in which he has found his feet. Though mostly unversed in Jewish culture and though entirely failing to absorb the culture of the nations which fatten him, his apparent strength is intensified rather than lessened on that account, since in the general confusion which attends the decay of national values he is able to put forward his own bastardized concept of the national culture and get away with it by sheer weight of impudence and money. Striving no more to approximate to “a perfect English gentleman” he really does become a sort of Jewish St. George for Merrie England, taking over a good deal of the leadership and away—blandly assuming a conscious proprietorship of the country, identifying the country’s interest always with his own interest and thinking of himself as the new patron Saint of a new synthesized race, consisting of a lot of Englishmen vaguely in the background as consumers and borrowers, and occasionally as equals, while fellow Jews stand very vividly in the foreground as the powerful hierarchy of the men who sell, and lend, and control. In this stage of autointoxication there is no folly that he will not commit, even to protesting on behalf of Britain against British sportsmen meeting in the friendly rivalry of sport men of other nations whom he hates and fears. The Jew may diddle the British people over money, corner their food, corrupt their politicians, degrade their culture and do a thousand and one other things besides, but once he tries to dictate to them on the field of sport he shows that he is marked down by the gods as their victim; that he has first been made mad.
The fact that the Jew in his apotheosis becomes blind to all lines of demarcation reveals the continuous subconscious working of his neurosis; all the time there is a part of himself which whispers that his triumph is too good to be true, and in the full flood of his hysteria there is nothing he will not do to make it true, screeching his fears over all the world, inciting nations to war on his behalf, and most desperately doing his utmost to perpetuate the confusion which has made his triumph possible. Dreading more than anything else a virile nationalism, a resurgence of the spirit of the people, he encourages every factor that makes for disunity, disruption and decay. And because his neurosis produces in him such high tension—a tension responsible for both his excessive fright and his excessive arrogance—he throws caution to the winds as he comes forth to hold his own and to keep the world a fit place for the habitation of parasites. Thus does he eventually show up his entire racket. Thus does he turn anti-Semitism from a mild disdain to a passionate and wholesome rage. Thus does he destroy himself.
Even when his acceptance seemed most absolute, however, the Jew was never quite accepted. He was not even liked by the fatuous and shallow members of a degraded Autocracy who fawned upon him because of his money and his power. It is doubtful if he was even liked by the self styled “Intellectuals” who make a cult of perverse affections. And certainly he was not liked by the vast majority of the population who tolerated him, knowing little about him and still less about his activities. Had his common sense not left him in the hour of success he would have recognized, and made provision for the fact, that the spark of antiSemitism was always present. Instead, he has turned the spark into a roaring fire that fortunately for the survival of the superior races will never be extinguished.
So conspicuous has he become that men everywhere are beginning to think about him, to study what he says, as far as possible to watch what he does, to consult directories and shareholders lists, and to an ever increasing extent to fasten upon him his full share of the responsibility for the whole capitalist racket and the attempted destruction of great peoples. These men of research are joined by others from the East End of London and many another district where the physical facts of the Jew scarcely escape attention, and this march goes on, coming more and more under the direction of the nationalist movement.
The day of the great reckoning is at hand; the day when there is another flash swallowing up the Yiddish St. George with all his foul values of profit, exploitation and decay; the day when the people of England regain possession of England and assert once more their ancient values of patriotism and service, and square dealing among men.