…by Jonas E. Alexis and Richard C. Cook
On retirement in 2007, Cook published a book on monetary policy entitled We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform.
Jonas E. Alexis: In a previous article, Richard C. Cook and I historically argued that capitalism is a quick way to destroy any balanced and sustainable economy which is based on practical reason. We also learned that it is impossible to exclude practical reason from any economic enterprise. As a corollary, the job of the capitalist system is to sophistically kill practical reason in the economy. But is there a group of people who have been using the capitalist spirit to bring about an evil feeling in much of the West and even the world?
Werner Sombart’s The Jews and Modern Capitalism linked Jews to capitalism, arguing that “no colonial enterprise was complete without” Jewish participation. Sombart predicted that capitalism would eventually be pursued largely by Jewish intellectuals and businessmen, ultimately leading to the decline of culture.
All we have to do is to read the newspaper to see whether Sombart was right or not. For example, while millions of people were suffering from the economic collapse in 2014, while companies like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were screwing people up, CEO Jamie Dimon got a $20-million-dollar raise. By January of this year, “Dimon, who was already the best paid Wall Street CEO in the prior year, received $28 million in total compensation for 2016.”
Sombart was right when he documented that Jewish ideologues have always jumped to the capitalist system, presumably because capitalism again excludes practical reason. As Kant predicted in a philosophically convincing way, practical reason does not allow anyone—not even the oligarchs and masters of the universe—to play double standards and to oppress the weak. This is one reason why the oligarchs have deliberately dumped practical reason and have adopted an essentially irrational system. Sombart does say that Jewish intellectuals and businessmen have played a major role in bringing that irrational system into economic dealings.
However, intellectual historian Richard Wolin condemns Sombart for linking American capitalism with the Jewish spirit and declares that “for the fascist intelligentsia during the 1930s, such associations would become commonplace.”
Jewish historian Walter Laqueur declares that Sombart had a skewed view of Jewish history and faults Sombart for not talking about “the entrepreneurs who had been instrumental in developing the American economy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” Why would Sombart spend time talking about the twentieth century when his book came out in 1913? Jewish historian Jerry Z. Muller likewise declared that
“Sombart’s identification of the Jews with the elements of capitalism that he most deplored provided a scholarly patina for what was already one of the most frequent motifs of anti-Semites…who held the Jews responsible for everything they despised about capitalism and the modern world.”
Yet in the very next chapter Muller quotes Milton Friedman saying that capitalism has been good to the Jews. So, which is it, Muller?
Sombart quotes Marx frequently, who in his essay “On the Question of the Jews” wrote, “What is the worldly basis of Jewdom? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly cult of the Jew? Bargaining. What is his worldly god? Money.” For Sombart to connect Jewish participation with capitalism would have been a problem had he provided no evidentiary foundation.
Yet Sombart spent page after page laying out the historical backdrop, naming Jewish figures in the nineteenth century who had an influential role in colonial enterprise in South Africa and Australia. Sombart, as a German economist and sociologist, was well aware of the scholarly literature in that particular field and cited many other scholars who document the same thing.
Moreover, Sombart’s analysis was not all negative, for he declared that
“it was the scientific knowledge of Jewish scholars which so perfected the art of navigation that voyages across the ocean became at all possible. Abraham Zacuto, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of Salamanca, completed his astronomical tables and diagrams, the Almanach perpetuum, in 1473.
“On the basis of these tables two other Jews, Jose Vecuho, who was court astronomer and physician to John II of Portugal, and one Moses the Mathematician (in collaboration with two Christian scholars), discovered the nautical astrolabe, an instrument by which it became possible to measure from the altitude of the sun the distance of a ship from the Equator…The scientific facts which prepared the way for the voyage of Columbus were thus supplied by Jews.”
It is therefore irresponsible to say that Sombart’s book displays flashes of anti-Semitism for the same reason a person does not display anti-Americanism for criticizing American policies or even Donald Trump for that matter.
John Maynard Keynes, one of the leading economists in the twentieth century, also negatively linked Jews and capitalism, asking for a return to traditional religions where usury and avarice are treated as vices. Previously, Keynes had been a proponent of usury.
We have already seen how companies such as Goldman Sachs cheated clients in order to build their earthly kingdom of Mammon. This is why huge companies whose central focus is Mammon can use the economy for their own ends and make the poor suffer. Jewish economist Lawrence Dudlow admits,
“The heart of the business situation is always the outlook for profits. When the combination of rising costs and falling inflation squeezes profits, then production and employment must be cut back.”
Even people trying to apply Darwinian ideology to economics, such as Thorstein Veblen, saw problems with it, calling it “the legal right to sabotage.” The idea is that the rich and the powerful can ultimately stop “the free flow of economic activity in order to maintain the maximum net gain for invested capital.” Veblen saw that when the “industrial forces” run the country, they can manipulate the economy as they see fit and in the end it will “be ruinous for business.” What’s your take on this whole issue, Richard?
Richard C. Cook: Whatever movement we take in the direction of world unity, there is still a requirement for all parties to recognize that we are in a multipolar world and will remain so if there is to be a world at all.
Not only does the idea of one world under military conquest have to be abandoned, so too does that of one world under global financial control.
The international banking system seeks to unite the world under a suffocating blanket of usury that diverts all of the world’s cash flow into the hands of the monetary controllers. This is what globalism and the New World Order are all about—worldwide slavery to materialism and money. It’s a system of totalitarian control based on violence and greed, but it also uses tools like entertainment, drugs, and pornography to corrupt, exhaust, and control the population.
The financial system is even more insidious than outright military aggression, but it is just as deadly. “Full spectrum superiority” of international finance is leading to massive species extinction, drastic climate change, and a threat to the survival of humanity itself.
Alternatives to the system have been increasingly researched and discussed. Turning economic power back to the level of autonomous localities which are yet part of the worldwide marketplace is urgently needed. So is the kind of spirituality whereby humans don’t just escape into their own personal cloud but take responsibility for the consequences of their presence on earth.
I believe that creating and facilitating a vibrant multipolar world that supports a healthy human freedom is our spiritual duty. Let’s tell that to the politicians, the militarists, and the financiers. And let’s ask them to donate their skills and resources to help bring it about before they destroy us all.
 Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1913), 29.
 Halah Touryalai, “Jamie Dimon Gets $20 Million For His Worst Year As CEO, Why The Big Raise?,” Forbes, January 25, 2014; “Billions Of Dollars In Fines Later, Jamie Dimon Gets A Raise,” Reuters, Januar 24, 2014.
 Chris Isidore, “Jamie Dimon gets $1 million raise,” CNN, January 20, 2017.
 Richard Wolin, The Seduction of Unreason (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 300.
 Walter Laqueur, The Modern Face of Anti-Semitism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 25.
 Jerry Z. Muller, Capitalism and the Jews (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 60.
 Ibid., 72.
 Ibid., 58.
 Sombart, Jews and Modern Capitalism, 31.
 Visser and McIntosh, “Historical Critique of Usury.” For a scholarly assessment on Keynes’ views, see E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2014).
 See for example Greg Smith, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” NY Times, March 14, 2012.
 William Greider, Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989), 450.
 Ibid., 451.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.