Commentary by Jonas E. Alexis

Jonas E. Alexis: It’s always a pleasure to read Vladislav Krasnov’s work. The following article is quite long, but it is worth your time because it is essentially a meditation as well as a refutation of what Bret Stephens has deliberately excluded in his widely read article, “The Secrets of the Jewish Genius,” which was published last December.

Stephens risibly argues that “Jewish genius operates differently. It is prone to question the premise and rethink the concept; to ask why (or why not?) as often as how; to see the absurd in the mundane and the sublime in the absurd. Where Jews’ advantage more often lies is in thinking different.”[1]

If Stephens’ thesis is correct, then the next point follows: Jews are persecuted for what they are, not for what they do. As E. Michael Jones points out in his massive tome The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History, this is not the case at all. One safely say that Stephens is perpetuating a perverse version of history, and Krasnov shows why. Buckle your seatbelt.

Vladislav Krasnov graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in history and anthropology. He has a Master’s degree in Slavic languages and a Ph.D. in Russian literature from the University of Washington. He taught at numerous institutions, including the University of Texas (Austin), Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Hoover Institution (Standard University), etc. He was formerly a visiting scholar at Sapporo University, Japan.

Krasnov is the author of Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1980),  Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1985), and Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth (New York: Westview Press, 1991). He is the president of RAGA, Russia & America Goodwill Association. This is our first in a series of interviews. The second interview will be on Solzhenitsyn and his relation with Vladimir Putin.

Vladislav Krasnov: The most revealing part of Bret Stephens’s article The Secrets of Jewish Genius carried by The New York Times on December 27, 2019 is a list of outstanding Jews who have “contributed (to the world) so seminally to so many of its most path breaking ideas and innovations”.

Here they are:  “Sarah Bernhardt and Franz Kafka; Albert Einstein and Rosalind Franklin; Benjamin Disraeli and (sigh) Karl Marx”. I am not about to dispute any of them, nor Stephens’ right of choice. Granted, this rather short list of Jewish over-achievers in different fields for a hundred years can be easily augmented. Such world-famous Jews as Sigmund Freud and Leo Trotsky (1879-1940)[2] are very conspicuous by their absence.

And then that parenthetical “(sigh)” which Stephens emitted before placing it in front of Karl Marx! Does it not cancel the major part of Stephens’ argument about the great beneficial influence of Jews on world affairs?

According to a standard dictionary to sigh is to “emit a long, deep audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or similar”. In relation to Karl Marx (1818 – 1883),[3] one may not just sigh but weep for the millions of victims of the bloody violence his teaching of the necessity of class struggle and world revolution had unleashed world-wide.

A Soviet photograph proclaiming Red Terror and Death to the Bourgeoisie

One certainly feels immense sadness at the millions of lives lost in the USSR (GULAG and more), Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and wherever else Communists were allowed to take the reins.

It all started in my country, Russia, in 1917, when Lenin proclaimed “Let’s turn the Imperialist War into a Civil War”.  After the coup d’etat Lenin’s slogans changed to “Death to Bourgeoisie and its servants!” and “Long Live Red Terror!” (see the photograph).  Both slogans were fulfilled and over-fulfilled during the long Soviet rule. And not just in Russia and the USSR. The appeal to hatred and “terror” proved contagious world-wide.

As to Stephens’ sighing at “relief and tiredness,” both apply to Marx’s misguided condemnation of free enterprise as taught by Adam Smith (1723 – 1790)[4] among others. Certainly, the neoliberal economists, now in charge of the economy of the US and its allies, feel “relief” not to have to look back to Marx. Even Russia’s economy, tormented by the oligarchs (mostly Jewish) as it is, seems to be doing much better than in the USSR.

And yet, isn’t Bret Stephens making a major mistake by reducing the ongoing Marxist influence in the world to merely a “sigh”?  When one reads that in 2018 China’s government donated $200 million to have a monument to Marx erected in his birth city of Trier,[5] one is forced to emit not just “sigh”, but “awe”.

The PRC government still regards Marxism-Leninism as its official ideology.[6] The PRC rulers may no longer follow the precepts of Marxist economics, but they never renounced Marx’ justification and glorification of violence. Moreover, Stephens is hardly unaware of the ongoing influence of “Cultural Marxism” world-wide, especially, in the West.[7]

It’s no secret that the first Bolshevik government under Lenin was heavily Jewish. In his 1994 article “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia’s Early Soviet Regime. Assessing the Grim Legacy of Soviet Communism”, Mark Weber argued that “most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews.”[8]

Ron Unz, a Jewish Internet entrepreneur, who runs The Unz Review, an alternative interactive site, posted the above article, and added more “forgotten” information on the role of the Jews in the Bolshevik government. See his article American Pravda: the Bolshevik Revolution and Its Aftermath. [9]

Trotsky as the Red Army commander

The attraction of so many Jews world-wide to Marxism seems odd because Marx was no admirer of Jews as a people. He was, by all accounts a Jew-hating Jew. Read the latest discussion of the topic on the Internet:

<<Marx’s essay, On the Jewish Question, originally published in 1844, contains the following:

What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money… Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist.

Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.

Marx argues that, “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.[10]

Marx’s own words may sound as prejudicial toward Jews as anything that had been written about Jews from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Yet, I would not want to be unfair to the young Marx by calling him outright “anti-Semitic”, a term that should be avoid as a malicious misnomer designed to implicate all non-Jews in irrational hatred of racial or physical features common for the Jews and the Arabs.

But Marx’s attitude toward the Jewish preoccupation with money-lending and other financial machinations, negative as it was, deserves attention. (At this point I would expect Stephens to fill the brackets with a word much stronger than “sigh”).

The young Marx’s aversion to a common Jewish preoccupation with money was an important factor of his hostility to Capitalism in general. Nay, it was more than hostility: it was an obsessive desire to get rid of it, once and for all, preferably by violent revolutionary means.

Strange as it may seem, it was precisely this psychological need to free oneself from any association with “the Golden Calf” of Capitalism in a single stroke that attracted the young Karl Marx — and then thousands of young, idealistic and impatient Jews– to Communism, especially in Russia and Eastern Europe.

It seems like they badly wanted to get rid of their Jewishness, at least, of its “bad traits”, by joining The Communist International (Comintern)[11] whose members were not expected to notice, much less remark on, any physical or cultural traits of their comrades. Everybody was expected to concentrate instead on preparing for “the last and decisive battle” to free the world from Capitalism” and, by implication, from dependence on money.

There is more to Marx’s personality, and I suspect that Stephens will use the brackets again when he hears that. In my 1978 essay “Karl Marx as Dr. Frankenstein: Toward Genealogy of Communism,”[12] based on the novel of Mary Shelley, I tried to show how the young Karl was strongly drawn to Luceferian poetry[13] and dreamt of becoming a famous Devil-worshipping rebel-poet, rather than an economic scientist.

In a high-school the young Karl loved to write papers testifying to his Christian devotion (his parents, both of rabbinical families, had converted from Judaism to Lutheranism). However, as soon as he entered the University of Bonn as a student, he started carousing with his buddies and, when alone, wrote poetry full of the rebellious spirit. His favorite theme was a demonic rebellion against God. One of his poems was titled “Oulanem”, a sacrilegious distortion of Emanuel.[14]  In his letters, Marx’s father expressed concerns about his son’s obsession with “demons.”

His buddies, on the other hand, saw him as a modern Prometheus rebelling against all religions as “the opium of the people” to keep the proletariat dazed under Capitalism. However, when you analyze Karl’s poems, it becomes clear that his favorite Prometheus was not the one who just wanted to bestow on the people the gift of domesticated fire, the Prometheus Pyrphoros, but rather the Prometheus Plasticator who was the avenger of gods, filled with hatred of the world and ready to set it aflame with revolution.

Just like Shelley’s fictional Dr.Frankenstein, the young Karl is bright, knowledgeable, and full of a benevolent desire to free people from all the foibles of today by creating a New Mankind. But as Frankenstein was flabbergasted with the Monster produced in his Lab designed to produce a New Man, so Karl Marx would have been horrified seeing what his “offspring”, Marxism-Leninism, was in reality.

It was in Marx’s name that an attempt was made to create a new mankind. However, in reality the 73-years long heroic effort in Russia produced not only the horrors of Civil War,  destruction of churches, mosques and synagogues, forced collectivization, followed by Holodomor (not just in Ukraine!), the Show Trials, enormous losses in World War II, the GULAG, suppression of all dissent, but also –  new waves of Jewish emigration. Fatefully, just like Mary Shelley let Dr. Frankenstein drop his Monster in “the wilderness of Russia” where he had more space for mischiefs, so the adepts of Marx unleashed his monster on the landmass of the Russian Empire.

Would it not be natural in analyzing Marx’s personality to turn to the services of yet another great Jewish figure, Sigmund Freud (1856 -1939)[15] who somehow failed to make Stephens’ list? Freud’s absence from the list of famous Jews seems even more intriguing than Bret’s “sigh” in front of Marx. After all, Freud’s popularity outlived that of Marx.[16]  A younger contemporary of Marx, living in Austria and speaking the German language, Freud must have heard of Marx or read his works. What is known for sure, Freud did not invite Marx on his psycho-analytical couch.[17] He should have! After all, Marx was tormented by a number of psychological problems, and one of them was self-aggrandizement.

The problem of self-aggrandizement was probably rooted in his problems with his father who much preferred a quiet bourgeois life to his son’s obsession with changing the world. It seems, his father bothered Karl mostly as a tangible projection of the Universal God figure that all exploitative (Karl’s language) societies like to extoll. Karl was determined to overthrow that God by reducing the amount of religion – “the opiate of the people” that the proletariat consumed, because it diverted them from joining his intellectual comrades in world revolution.

One might say that, as in his Oedipus complex poetic dreams, Marx wanted to slay not just his biological father, but also the Christian God Father of his youth, as well as Yahweh, the God of the Jews whom his ancestors had worshipped for centuries. In any case, his Bolshevik followers in Russia desecrated and destroyed untold numbers of houses of worship and religious relics, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever.

The persecution of the Russian Christians was especially vicious as Soviet leaders realized that the traditional Russian value system was a major obstacle to Marxist-Leninist ideology. One way or another, for all 73 years of Communist rule in Russia, the ideological trinity of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin not just overshadowed but virtually displaced the Christian Trinity of God Father, God Son and the Holy Spirit that had spiritually sustained Russia for a thousand years.

It is hardly accidental that in 1943, under the pressure of Hitler’s armies, Stalin nominally restored the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy in quest for national consolidation. To keep Soviet soldiers fighting, Stalin had to counter the rumors that in the occupied territories Germans were not as harsh on Russian Christians as the Bolsheviks were.

Ilya Glazunov’s painting “The return of the Prodigal Son”

Soviet propagandist always presented Marxist ideas not as ideological speculations but as an immutable science. The laws of surplus value, of ever increasing exploitation of the proletariat, and the concept of the inevitability of revolution as formulated by Marx, were presented as “science” on par with Newton’s or Einstein’s laws in physics. A student was called “stupid” is he disagreed.

Marxism was presented as the greatest achievement of Western civilization. It was superior to the “utopian socialist dreams” of such philosophers as Henri de Saint-Simon.[18] After a number of breakthroughs in science, with the ongoing industrial revolution in England, it was only a matter of time when science would displace religion.

As I have already shown, the young Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851)[19] has noticed early on that the abolition of God and replacement of religion with science was fraught with the risk of undermining the ethical foundation of society leading to its collapse.

Marx’s followers certainly over-reached when they proclaimed Marxism-Leninism in Russia, China and elsewhere as a SCIENCE. They claimed it was founded on the most advanced developments of the most advanced countries of the time: German philosophy, French socialist theories, and the experience of the British labor movement. They predicted that a victory of the world revolution was scientifically ordained and would end with the establishment of a world order that would guarantee everybody’s happiness.

While writing about Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1978, that is about fourteen years after my defection from the USSR in October 1962, I was constantly reminded of the fate of my fellow dissidents in the USSR, as well as of the ever-increasing flow of Jewish immigrants to the USA. Around 1973 an agreement was made with Soviet leaders that would allow a legal emigration of Soviet Jews[20]  for such humanitarian reasons as joining their families in Israel. (It later became adopted as Jackson-Vanik Amendment.)

However, as soon as the applicants arrived to Vienna, Austria, for sorting out their next destination, the majority claimed they had no relatives in Israel and would rather go to the United States. I had already met a number of them who came to live in Dallas, Texas, where I taught at the Southern Methodist University.

Now I wondered what would have happened to Karl Marx had he indeed settled in the country of his “scientific” dream where “there was no difference in either income or treatment due to one’s nationality or origin”. Would he have joined clandestine courses where Soviet Jews learned Hebrew before going to Israel?

Or would he have joined my Russian friends Lev Krasnopevtsev, Anatoly Ivanov, Vladimir Osipov or Andrei Amalrik[21]—to name just my fellow history students from Moscow State University—all of whom landed in the GULAG or the lunatic asylum? Or would Karl Marx have preferred to immigrate to the USA and join me on the faculty of SMU where he could teach not pol sci or economics—God Forbid, IMO—but “Life in the USSR” that I was teaching?

A Jewish Bolshevik disrupting an Easter midnight service. Detail from a larger monumental painting by Ilya Glazunov

Given the young Karl’s rebellious character, he would have tried to get out of the USSR where not all his works were allowed to be read, especially, not his article “On the Jewish Question”. I am sure he would have tried to escape from the trap he had set up for the future mankind by inspiring Lenin and his Bolshevik comrades to capture my native Russia.

Well, the world proletarian revolution did not start in the most advanced industrial countries of Europe, as Marx predicted, but in a relatively backward Russia. It would be a mistake to think that the Bolsheviks had any substantial support from either Russians or Jews in the Russian Empire when they seized power.

The widely democratic general election to the Constituent Assembly which Michael II, a tsar de-jure after Nicholas II’s abdication on March 12, 1917,[22] empowered to choose the form of government, took place within weeks after the Bolshevik coup on November 7, 1917. Getting no more than 25% of the vote, the Bolsheviks dissolved the Assembly by force. The rest is history.

Tsar Michael II was honored in his own palace in Petersburg on May 19, 2010

Not many Jews were voting for the Bolsheviks as they were happy with the abolition of the Pale of Settlement and other liberal reforms of the Provisional government. Besides, the Bolshevik “triumph” in shoving away the popularly elected Constituent Assembly was almost at once marred– at first symbolically and eventually fatefully–by the Balfour Declaration that was made virtually at the same time.[23]

Thus, now for more than 100 years the Jews of Russia—and of the world–have been drawn in opposite directions and forced to make a fateful decision: Communism or Zionism. I believe the majority of Jews would prefer never to have to make such decision between these two diametrically opposed extremist and violent positions.

Even though Jews became dominant in Lenin’s government, it does not mean they were pacified. As a matter of fact, the two most audacious terrorist acts against the Bolsheviks were carried out by Jews. Fanny Kaplan,[24] a Jewish revolutionary, attempted to kill Lenin, and Leonid Kannegisser[25] succeeded in assassinating the most hated killer Moisei Uritsky, a Jew and the head of the feared CHEKA in Petrograd.[26]

Maxim Gorky, the most famous Russian writer who was friends with Lenin and a judeophile, condemned the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and suppression of popular protest on the streets of Petrograd with gun-fire in January 1918. One might say that this was the end of whatever popular appeal Lenin’s Marxist revolution may have had for the Russian masses, Jews and Gentiles alike. The Civil War ensued (1918-1922) in which Russia lost more people than in World War I.

It became apparent that the Communist revolution in Russia was made not for the benefit of the working masses but to serve as an ego trip for a cohort of intellectuals aspiring to lead the whole world into the Utopia of world communism. Nobody expressed the disillusionment with Communism better than the Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884 – 1937)[27] who as early as 1921 published the first anti-Utopian novel, symbolically titled “WE”, in which he foretold the emergence of a totalitarian state as a consequence of Bolshevik rule.  The book had to be published abroad.

It took quite a while before the West woke up to the threat if Communism. In 1945 George Orwell published “Animal farm” and in 1949 “Nineteen-Eighty-four.” He wrote these dystopian classics in the wake of Zamyatin, but he did not have to go to the USSR: as a British Communist he joined the civil war in Spain and witnessed bloody infighting among his comrades, an experience which gave him perspective into what Communist future would likely look like. Even before Orwell, Arthur Koestler, a former Jewish Communist, described his ultimate rejection of Communism in his anti-totalitarian novel “Darkness at Noon”.

Of course, the essence of Communist rule was in plain sight since 1917. And yet, after initial assistance to the so-called “White Russian Armies” of insurgents against Bolshevik rule during the Russian Civil War (1918-1922), the United States and the rest of the Free World did little to resist the virus of Communism until the USSR fell under its own weight at the end of 1991. This was in spite of some early warnings from British journalists and even Winston Churchill himself who in as early as 1920 warned of a “worldwide (Bolshevik) conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization.”

Churchill pointed out that even in the UK “In every city there are small bands of eager men and women, watching with hungry eyes any chance to make a general overturn in the hopes of profiting themselves in the confusion, and these miscreants are fed by Bolshevist money. [Cheers.] They are ceaselessly endeavoring by propagating the doctrines of communism, by preaching violent revolution, by inflaming discontent, to infect us with their disease.[28]

To begin with, Imperial Germany helped smuggle Lenin and dozens of his comrades across German territory and Sweden to the rebellious Petrograd in April 1917, and supplied them with money. America was not far behind. In his comprehensive article “American Pravda: the Bolshevik Revolution and Its Aftermath” Ron Unz quotes Henry Wickham Steed, editor of The Times of London that “(Jacob) Schiff, Warburg and the other top Jewish international bankers were among the leading backers of the Jewish Bolsheviks, through whom they hoped to gain an opportunity for the Jewish exploitation of Russia, and he describes their lobbying efforts on behalf of their Bolshevik allies at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference following the end of the First World War”.[29]

According to Unz, “Even the very recent and highly skeptical 2016 analysis in Kenneth D. Ackerman’s 2016 book Trotsky in New York, 1917 notes that U.S. Military Intelligence reports (were) pointing to Trotsky as the conduit for the heavy financial backing of Schiff and numerous other Jewish financiers” and that Schiff “gave a refuge to Trotsky and other revolutionaries and gave them funds to foment revolution in Russia”.

Armand Hammer (1898 – 1990), also a US Jewish businessman, had provided funds for the Soviets longer than anybody else. But he did not do it just for an idea. Read about him in “The Bolshevik Billionaire” by Steve Sailer.[30]

Both the Communist Party and the Trotsky adherents operated freely in the States when I arrived here in 1966. I witnessed how the country was being torn apart by the Vietnam antiwar movement. Still, I enjoyed the year at the University of Chicago where I was free to go where I wanted, to meet people I liked, and read books unavailable in the USSR. One day I bought Hitler’s book “Main Kampf” (in English translation) at the university bookstore; then went to a lecture by Hanna Arendt (1906 – 1975), who pointed out the similarity of both the Nazi and Soviet regimes in their totalitarian essence; then approached a stand that peddled Trotsky’s books and engaged his young adherents who were glad I defected from the USSR; then visited a former White Army officer who still wore the Tsarist military cap in his tiny apartment, and we had a drink to Communism’s  defeat in Russia and elsewhere; then I spoke before a Lithuanian club whose members listened to me eagerly as they not had a Lithuanian defector for a while.

Finally, I celebrated Christmas at a Ukrainian church and saw no difference with Russian churches in the USSR, except that it was full. It was a year of liberty to discover. I felt like a Columbus.

Sometime during the 1980s when I moved to California to teach Russian language and Soviet studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies I came across the book Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties by Peter Collier  and David Horowitz. As in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I witnessed insurgent activities, including bombing attacks, on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, and I was curious how the two would describe those events.

One chapter attracted my attention. It was about David’s family life in a provincial American town. Both his father and mother, Jewish to be sure, were members of the CPUSA. And so were virtually all of their friends. All their endless meetings were about how to defeat “American imperialism” and to advance the cause of the Communist Party.

Even though for the public they projected themselves as “The New Left,” writes Horowitz, in reality they were the same “old Stalinists”. He describes his upbringing as a self-imposed ideological ghetto because his parents shunned the newspapers and did not talk to non-Communist neighbors.

As to “Second Thoughts” in the title, I remember David’s decisive rejection of the subversive Communist ideology that indeed produced the “destructive generation” in the USA. I cannot help noticing, however, that after abandoning one extreme, Communism, David has joined the other, Zionism.[31]

It took a while for the best minds of the West to recognize that Zamyatin was right in describing the Soviet regime as totalitarian and issuing a warning as early as 1921. The West simply ignored several attempt to advance the Bolshevik Revolution in Hungary (the leader was Bela Kun) and Germany (Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg), and the emergence of fascism in Italy and National-Socialism in Germany, both trying to build a right-wing totalitarian regimes as a wall against the spread of left-wing Communist totalitarianism.

Apparently, nobody paid much attention to the book The Origin of Totalitarian Democracy by Jacob Leib Talmon (1916 –1980), Professor of Modern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Reviewing genealogy of totalitarianism, Talmon argued that Communist political Messianism stemmed from the French Revolution, and stressed the similarities between Jacobinism and Stalinism.

Even though Germany’s and Italy’s economies were more free-market oriented that that of the USSR, Western governments chose to side with the Left-Totalitarian Soviet Communism. The common denominator of the two kinds of totalitarianism was reliance on violence in domestic and foreign affairs. Not for nothing the Soviet writer Vasily Grossman (1905 – 1964) [32] summed up his World War II experience in his novel “Life and Fate,” including description of German extermination camps, by wondering about “Why is the class warfare we unleashed morally superior to the race war of the Nazis?”

Not only were Western democracy in alliance with Stalin during WWII, but they were eager to please him even when the war ended. As Julius Epstein (1901-1975) showed in his ground-breaking book “Operation Keelhaul”, they systematically violated international rules on prisoners of war and even the Yalta Accords by surrendering to Stalin thousands of former White Army soldiers and Cossacks who never were Soviet citizens as the Yalta Accords required.

One may call it a Western “democratic” contribution to keeping the GULAG filled! Few years later, Nikolai Tolstoy, a British descendant of the famed Russian writer, elaborated on Epstein’s topic in his book, Victims of Yalta, originally published in London, 1977. I suppose, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, also learned few things about the West’s cooperation with the Soviet totalitarian regime, even beyond the call of duty.

Here I must interject the name of Benjamin H Freedman, who has shed a lot of new light on the most obscure dealings between the Communists and Capitalists, who are usually thought to be mortal enemies. According to Wikipedia, <<”Benjamin Harrison Freedman (1890 –1984) was an American businessman, Holocaust denier, and vocal anti-Zionist. Born in a Jewish family, he converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism. Outside of political activism, Freedman was a partner in a dermatological institute and investor for small businesses.”>>[33]

I first heard about Freedman some years ago, but then there were no accusations of him being a Holocaust denier. What attracted my attention was his introduction as “a Jewish Defector (who) Warns America.” Being a defector myself, and actually the author of Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List[34] (though I defected in 1962 not from Judaism, but Soviet Communism), I could not help admiring that a few months before my defection, in October 1961 Freedman gave a speech before a patriotic audience at the Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C.,[35] on behalf of Conde McGinley‘s patriotic newspaper, “Common Sense”.

Here’s what Freedman said: “Here in the United States, the Zionists and their co-religionists have complete control of our government. For many reasons, too many and too complex to go into here at this time, the Zionists and their co-religionists rule these United States as though they were the absolute monarchs of this country. Now you may say that is a very broad statement, but let me show you what happened while we were all asleep.

Is it not surprising, even baffling, to realize that the Jews as a people whom we, the Gentiles, often associate with the jewelry business, – that is, dealing with gold, silver, pearls and diamonds,- nonetheless seem not to strive for the Golden Mean as the goal of their own individual or national existence?

In any case, Lenin (partly Jewish) and his Jewish Bolsheviks abhorred the very word of “compromise” (компромис in Russian) as a “bourgeois trick” designed to emasculate revolutionary fervor. Methinks, this kind of ideological rigidness prevented Mikhail Gorbachev and his perestroika comrades from even seeking in the late 1980s a compromise between the then exiting socialist planned economy and collective farming, on the one hand, and the remnants of individual free enterprise which were not yet fully eradicated in the USSR, on the other. As I had lived in Sweden, I imagined that the Swedish national experience of merging free enterprise with a welfare state could serve as a model for post-Communist Russia.

Instead, after the dissolution of the USSR, Russia under Boris Yeltsin plunged, on the advice of a Harvard team of Jewish economists, into “privatization, that is whole-sale dissolution of state enterprises and transferring them into the hands of oligarchs, almost all Jewish, whose main “skill” was having accounts overseas.[36]

Just before the dissolution, I finished my book Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth.[37] In it I took the issue with Western sovietologists who were so enthused with Gorbachev’s perestroika that saw no other but a Communist future.

Certainly they abhorred the idea that a new Russia would identify with its Christian roots. In fact, my book was dedicated to the thousand-year anniversary of Russia’s baptism in tand he year 988. The book came out just in time for me to visit Moscow during the turbulent August 1991 give a copy to Boris Yeltsin following his victory speech after dispersing an abortive coup by Communist hardliners on August 22. It was a symbolic gift because during the speech Yeltsin announced that the Russian Federation would replace the Red flag of Communism with Russia’s national tricolor.

The book was a review of the “polyphonic choir” consisting of the voices of glasnost, that is, Soviet authors of different political persuasions searching for possible sources of national renewal.  The main focus was on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “Letter to the Soviet Leaders”(1973) and “Rebuilding Russia”(1990).

In both works Solzhenitsyn proposed a peaceful, gradual, and Non-Violent evolution of the country away from its Marxist-Leninist fetters. In Chapter Four I included a discussion of the role of Jews in the revolution and Jewish –Russian relations in general.

As it turned out, near the end of his career, Solzhenitsyn turned to the same topic in his two-volume book “Two Hundred Years Together” in which he put the role of Jews in the Communist revolution into a deeper historical context. Strangely, the English translation is not readily available for American readers. For the lack of it, I recommend an essay by Vladimir Moss titled “Russia and the Jews: 1856-1917.” It’s available for downloading on Dr. Moss is actually a British scholar and converted Russian Orthodox Christian. He frankly admits that his book is “based largely on (Solzhenitsyn’s) research – which is derived to a great extent from Jewish sources. For it is only on the basis of such balanced and truthful historiography that real peace can be established between the nations”. I agree with Dr. Moss that the truth about the greatest tragedy of the 20th century should be sought via a dialogue between, first and foremost, Jews and Russians, for the sake of peace on earth.

Yet there are some Jews who have welcomed Solzhenitsyn’s challenge for a dialogue. One of them is Avigdor Eskin. A former Soviet Jew who now lives in Israel but often appears in talk shows on Russian TV channels. He is the author of “The Jewish View on the Russian Question” (in«Еврейский взгляд на русский вопрос»). A former Soviet dissident who fought for the right of Jews to learn Hebrew and was once arrested for distributing Solzhenitsyn’s works, Eskin asks a bold, albeit paradoxical question: “What are the causes of the joint Russian-Jewish fall from Grace into the Sin of communism and liberalism?” I am prepared to agree with him about the “joint fall”, but disagree that communism and liberalism should be lumped together.

Eskin is not alone in admitting a Jewish guilt in creating and running Communism. The Israeli Rabbi Yosef Tzvi ben Porat went as far as accepting the main blame and apologizing to the Russian people: “We are to blame for everything and we must know why we are being driven away. We created Marxism and Leninism. We captured Russia. We killed 30 million educated Russians. We are wise men and sat down to rule over them.” Moreover, he believes that revolutionary atheist Jews provoked Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. Ben Porat is not alone. Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi,[2] the American rabbi of the Orthodox denomination has been making similar statements. (Read more in Emperor Michael II in the Solzhenitsyn House – Author: Vladislav Krasnov.

Now back to “The Secrets of Jewish Genius”. I may not have written this rebuttal to Bret Stephens had I not checked my email on January 3, 2020. There was a letter from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) of which I have been an eager (non-Jewish) member for a number of years. The letter said:

<<Tallie Ben Daniel <>

TO:    W George Krasnow <>

DATE:          January 3, 2020

Dear W George (my common American appellation),

I was appalled when I saw the latest column from New York Times writer Bret Stephens. He claims that white Ashkenazi Jews have genetically superior intellects, and backs up this claim with a bogus study from a white supremacist eugenics “expert.”

This is race science – the same ideology that has inspired violence and genocide against Jewish people – and we can’t let it stand. Sign our petition to demand The New York Times fire Bret Stephens for this gross abuse of his platform>>.

Frankly, I was a bit baffled, for I did not see in the article any reference to <<a white supremacist eugenics “expert.”>>

Then I re-read Editors’ Note which indeed says (here abbreviated)    that Stephens quoted “a 2005 paper that advanced a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence among Ashkenazi Jews. Mr. Stephens was not endorsing the study or its authors’ views, but it was a mistake to cite it uncritically. The effect was…an impression with many readers that Mr. Stephens was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. That was not his intent. He went on instead to argue that culture and history are crucial factors in Jewish achievements…“What makes Jews special is that they aren’t. They are representational.”[38]

After reading the above I decided not to honor JVP’s request, even though, as a JVP member, I have signed many of its appeals, including those on behalf of Palestinians. In fact, I would recommend JVP to anyone as an organization that is both high-minded and effective. But in this case, I felt it was a mistake to punish Stephens for his free speech and for being proud of his people. I also felt he was already punished by the Editors who nearly emasculated his article.

I say so in spite of strongly objecting to Stephens’ contention that any disagreement with or critique of either Zionism or the state of Israel amounts to Jew-hatred or, as he says, “anti-Semitism”.  In this respect, I am in full agreement with Jewish Voice for Peace created to promote peace between Israel and Palestine. In effect, it also promotes peace between the USA and Russia. As president of the Russia & America Goodwill Association ( which I have run since 1992, I have primarily focused on the improvement of US-Russia relations after the collapse of the USSR. However, it soon became clear that the US foreign policy was high-jacked by the Neocons (several of whom were former Trotskyists)[39] whose goal is world domination for which Israel’s supremacy in the Middle East is the main linchpin.

In RAGA’s quest for peace we do not discriminate between Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal, Protestant, Catholic or Muslim, Gentile or Jew. We welcome thinking people of all persuasions as long as they are truthful, honest, and non-violent.

I have been fortunate in finding many like-minded Jewish peace activists such as Noam Chomsky; Allan Brownfeld (American Council for Judaism); Naomi Klein; Law Professor Marjorie Cohn (a former president of the National Lawyers Guild); Professor Stephen Cohan, a Russia scholar; Norman Finkelstein, the author of THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish Suffering and, most recently, GAZA: An inquest into its martyrdomGlenn Greenwald of The Intercept who assisted Ed Snowden’s escape, and denounces US religious fanaticism[40]; Dan Lieberman, my Washington DC tennis buddy who runs the indomitable Alternative Insight;  Gilad Atzmon, a jazz saxophonist who freed himself from the Zionist straitjacket; the Mondoweiss News Site; the emphatically Non-Violent branch of Judaism Neturei Karta;[41] the two of my colleagues at the conservative Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation Professor Paul Gottfried and Jon Utley, publisher of The American Conservative ; Ed Lozansky, a former Soviet nuclear scientist and dissident who immigrated to the US and now runs think-tank and American University in Moscow; Gilbert Doctorow, a Russia scholar and RAGA contributor; Israel Shamir,[42] Ron Unz, who proposed a strategy to defeat mainstream media;[43] Nomi Prins, former Wall Street insider, now a geopolitical financial expert and critic of financial manipulators; and, finally,  Brother Nathanael,[44] a former New York Jew and now a hermit Christian monk who rallies on his YouTube somewhere in Iowa against corrupt Jewish media moguls and politicians with such precision, passion and Chutzpah that any Gentile “anti-Semite” could envy.

Sadly, after this article was posted on, Jon Utley passed away. He was my dear friend and peace-loving RAGA supporter. The COVID-19 contingency does not allow me write a eulogy. But I want to share with you my recollection of how Jon and I worked together in trying to find out what happened to his Russian Jewish father after he was arrested in Moscow in 1936.

Jon Basil Utley at 80 “He is One of Us” (Memoirs of Two Trips to Russia) Tribute by W. George Krasnow at Jon’s birthday party in Washington on March 12, 2014 John Basil Utley at 80 “He is One of Us”. You may also like to see a DVD about our search for   his father’s remains Return to the Gulag: Jon Utley’s Search for His Father

To come back to the list of RAGA associated and my friends of Jewish origin, I am proud to say that some of their articles I have posted or quoted in RAGA newsletter and even translated into Russian. Not all of the above are concerned with Israel or Zionism. But those who are concerned are not working in a vacuum. As early as 2001 the research of two great scholars, John Mearshimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard resulted in the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy in which the linkage of the two was made uncontestable.

We are very fortunate to have on our side the authority of Jimmy Carter, the US president and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, the first to pay attention to human rights in the USSR and the one who brought Israel and Palestine closest to a peaceful agreement. To his great credit, after the deal failed, Carter did not fall silent but wrote a book to leave Israel with the choice, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.[45] Alas, the greatest electoral support for a short-sightred pro-Israel US foreign policy under Donald Trump comes not from US Jews but from the evangelical wing of Protestantism, the so called Christian Zionists.[46]

I believe that the strongest defense against prejudice toward Jews around the world, as well as for Israel’s statehood, comes not from Israel’s armed forces (IDF), nor from its nuclear weapons,[47] and certainly not from the US Department of Defense, but from the righteous Jews like those listed above. Because when the non-Jews meet, read or hear the people like those listed above, they know that in the search for truth and justice what counts most is not the difference in IQs between Jews and Gentiles but their commitment to decency.

While I do not wish to dispute the importance of high IQ scores for Jewish provenance in business, arts and science, I doubt that higher IQs lead automatically to higher ethical standards or wisdom. Quite to the contrary: a person of higher intelligence is more likely to succumb to excessive pride and egotism leading to the foibles of hubris and self-destruction as has been known since antiquity. On a mundane level Bernie Madoff [48] was probably a lot cleverer than the average American, but this did not prevent him from robbing his investors, Jews and Gentiles alike, including even charitable associations in Israel. Nor did his cleverness prevent him from causing a tragedy for himself and his family. And Kosher Mafia, alas, is not an “anti-Semitic” trope. I heard about it way back, from my Jewish friends in 1966 when I lived in Chicago. Now I learn more about Jewish mafia in America not from “The New York Times” but from the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”.

However, I am amenable to Stephens’s correction, suggested by NYT editors, that “The Secrets of Jewish Genius” must be sought not so much in racial characteristics, but rather in the idea that “culture and history are crucial factors in Jewish achievements”.  But I would add “religion” as well and recommend he reads The Jewish Century [49] by Yuri Slezkine, my former Soviet countryman and now American professor. Below is the publisher’s teaser: “<<This masterwork of interpretative history begins with a bold declaration: The Modern Age is the Jewish Ageand we are all, to varying degrees, Jews. The assertion is, of course, metaphorical. But it underscores Yuri Slezkine’s provocative thesis. Not only have Jews adapted better than many other groups to living in the modern world, they have become the premiere symbol and standard of modern life everywhere.>>”

Also to be recommended is Max Weber’s (1864-1920)[50] classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.[51] Weber was a German economist who wrote a number of essays in the early 1900s in which he linked levels of economic development to the prevailing religious beliefs and ethical standards of various nations. His observation was that the countries of Northern Europe (Germany, Scandinavia, and the UK) and North America – were doing much better in economic development because people there were guided by Protestant values such as individualism, entrepreneurship, and thrift to a greater extent than the countries of Southern Europe, where Catholicism did not emphasize such values.

Of course, Weber’s was a challenge to Marx’s class struggle theory that discounted the connection. For the sake of argument I would also add the book “Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism And The Rise Of The Jews”[52] by Albert Lindemann, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

If Stephens assumes that the interaction of Jews and non-Jews has involved just one guilty party, Lindemann, reviewing outbreaks of modern “Anti-Semitism”, allows that sometimes it was a reaction to certain patterns of Jewish behavior about which even Karl Marx complained. Metaphorically, Lindemann links it with the cultural habits derived from the Jewish Bible, such as the story of Jacob cheating his tween brother Esau of his first-born right by conspiring with his mother Rebecca to deceive her husband Isaac in order “to get her way.[53]

Where I do agree with Bret Stephens is his statement quoting Einstein: “There is a moral belief, “incarnate in the Jewish people” according to Einstein, that “the life of the individual only has value [insofar] as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.” Einstein is indeed so important for modern thinking that when I was recently writing the essay Mahatma Gandhi and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Two Giants Who Blessed the 20th Century, suggesting the need to replace Professor Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” with a Saving the Planet paradigm, I was tempted to add Albert Einstein to the duo.

Einstein cherished his friendship with Gandhi. Indeed, all three—Gandhi, Solzhenitsyn and Einstein—lifted themselves above one’s ethnicity, country and religion to show the ways for Saving the Planet. I also added Martin Luther King Jr., who reproached America for ignoring the Christian commandment “to turn the other cheek,” but instead rushing into unprovoked wars.

It was not accidental that Einstein befriended Gandhi: both were ardent critics of the violent roots of the Israeli state. Einstein was among those outstanding Jewish American thinkers who on December 4, 1948 signed a letter to The New York Times condemning Menahem Begin’s visit to the USA, “Lest America be fooled by post-Independence rhetoric, the Herut party Begin led was ‘closely akin to the Nazi and Fascist parties,” they wrote.[54]

Alas, the 20th century showed that, very tragically, the most dynamic young Jews of the world were attracted to two opposite extremes: either exclusive race-based Zionist nationalism or all-embracing abstract Communist internationalism. Both extremes rely on violence. Both pretend to have a strong popular mandate. It does not help that lately Zionism got a tremendous boost from the American Neocons trying to turn it into Zionist globalism.

If Israel is to continue to exist, it is only on the terms of Martin Buber, perhaps the greatest Jewish philosopher: “The task of Israel as a distinct nation (is) inexorably linked to the task of humanity in general“. For starters, we all should follow the Golden Rule: “Do not do onto the other what you don’t want to be done to you”. It is expected from the Jews no less. As Hillel the Elder (c. 110 BC – 10 AD) advised someone who wanted to convert to Judaism, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn“.

[1] Bret Stephens, «The Secrets of Jewish Genius,» NY Times, December 27, 2019.

[40] Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans’ Support for Israel. By Glenn Greenwald April 15, 2015 “ICH” – “The Intercept”


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