Hal Draper 1964

Review: Mary Schulman, Moses Hess, Prophet of Zionism

Source: New Politics, Volume 3, no 4, Fall 1964. Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

Mary Schulman, Moses Hess, Prophet of Zionism, Thomas Yoseloff, New York and London, 1963, pp 128

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I understand Yoseloff is a respectable publisher, and so the firm may be interested in finding out what it is they have on their hands. Also: have you ever wondered where those forged quotations from Marx (and others), which subsequently get currency in the writings of the looney fringe, come from originally?

This book is written as a Zionist tract, but Hess’ relations with Marx and Engels naturally come in for extensive presentation. I pass over the fact that, more often than not, in the chapters we are discussing, even simple historical matters are garbled into nonsense and peppered with elementary errors, at least two to a page. What is really noteworthy is that this little book is a regular treasure-trove of forged quotations from Marx.

For reasons to be seen, it is necessary to explain that Miss Schulman’s bibliography lists exactly one work about Marx. It is the notorious concoction by Leopold Schwarzschild entitled The Red Prussian (paperback edition Karl Marx, the Red Prussian). Schwarzschild never warns the reader that whole sections, pages in length, are literary inventions, that is, fictionalized ‘biography'; but he is too rusé to put his inventions into actual quotation-marks. His flights of fiction are sprinkled with ‘scholarly’ footnotes referring to such things as the Marx – Engels Gesammt-Ausgabe, etc, so that a pure ignoramus like Miss Schuman (who literally doesn’t know what is in the Communist Manifesto) might almost be excused for being unable to figure out the shadowy line between fact and fabrication in Schwarzschild. Almost but...

Schulman lists three titles by Marx in her bibliography. Besides the Communist Manifesto, one is given as: ‘Marx – Engels Gesammt-Ausgabe, Brüssel, 1846’. Sic. I have no theory about where she got this bit of nonsense (not from Schwarzschild). Another is: ‘A World Without Jews’, edited by Dabobert D Runes. This is the title Runes forged for Marx’s essay ‘On the Jewish Question’, which he translates with a crackpot introduction. Since Runes never informs his reader that the title is his own invention, Schulman treats it as the original title of Marx’s article. [1]

Now to the forgeries. First, a little one about Marx. In 1843 Marx (barely a socialist) and Arnold Ruge became co-editors in a joint publishing venture. Schwarzschild mentions that Ruge was not in sympathy with socialism: ‘He called the new order of which the socialists dreamed “a police and slave state.”’ Referring to this page in Schwarzschild as her source, Schulman fabricates her own version: Ruge ‘foresaw in Marx’s brand of socialism the danger of a “police state based on slave labor"’ (my emphasis). She copies with imagination.

Next: copying from Runes’ translation, Schulman strings together a brace of sentences picked here and there. This in itself is not rare. But her literary flair impels her to rewrite one of the passages herself, putting in what is not there even in Runes. Then again where Marx quotes a couple of sentences from the man he is attacking, Bauer, she strings them along with the rest as Marx’s own words. To this travesty she adds a touch: a ‘scholarly’ footnote which reads ‘Quoted in Karl Marx: Letter to Ruge, Marx – Engels Gesammt-Ausgabe, p 607.’ Of course, all these wrenched quotes are not from Letter to Ruge, and neither they nor Letter to Ruge occupy page 607 of the relevant volume of MEGA; and naturally our ‘scholar’ does not even know that MEGA is a set of many volumes.

On another page she quotes Marx as follows: ‘All the social difficulties of the Jews were attributed to themselves and to their mania for bargaining.’ Her reference is, of course, Schwarzschild; but in that novelist’s book we discover that this sentence is written by Schwarzschild, not Marx. We might as well mention also that, according to Schulman, the Communist Manifesto (which, by the way, she thinks was published by a group called League of the Just) was ‘filled with appeals to the baser emotions, with hatred towards the bourgeoisie, with slander of the propertied class and (in its unexpurgated edition) of the Jews, and labelling both the bourgeoisie and the Jews as seducers of wives and exploiters of human beings’. Is she referring to an unexpurgated edition entitled ‘Protocols of the Elders of Marxism'?

Last but not least, a triple play: Marx to Schwarzschild to Schulman:

In one of his scoops, Schwarzschild has a section (six pages long) in his sixth chapter in which he describes in detail a conversation between Karl and his wife Jenny. Karl (apparently in bed) expounds excitedly the ideas he has just thought up about economic factors in history, while Jenny thinks very anti-Marxian thoughts to herself (and to Schwarzschild). While the conversation is written out word for word, Schwarzschild (who is not an ignorant simpleton) eschews the use of quotation marks, except for little nuggets of real quotations which float in the soupy mixture like croutons.

Schulman builds on this opus in her own creative way. Marx, she says, ‘wrote in his Critique of Politics and Economics:’ – and after this garbled title, and after this ominous colon, she prints a blown-in-the-bottle quotation of considerable length. Since her footnote is as always to Schwarzschild, one might think that she merely strings together some jewels from Schwarzschild’s already sparkling romance, going beyond Schwarzschild only by her direct falsehood that Marx ‘wrote’ this nonsense. But no; this would be unjust. Comparing her ‘quotation’ passage by passage with Schwarzschild, one discovers with a start of admiration that she continually rewrites even Schwarzschild, while following his general idea. One realizes that in giving the garbled title, she had merely extended her privilege to ghost-writing even that for Marx.

The rest of this chapter has a brace of such ‘quotations’.

Now, as mentioned, I understand that Yoseloff is a respectable publishing house. I am wondering what it intends to do about this schanda...


1. In passing, since we're on the subject, we might mention that Runes is himself an old hand at inventing Marx-quotations. His book The Soviet Impact on Society (New York, 1953) has two whoppers. One (page 20) purports to be from Marx’s 1847 Address on Free Trade: it is written freehand by Runes himself, with the benefit only of a few phrases from the original, and stupidly represents Marx as writing that he is for free trade because it will reduce the worker’s wage! (Yes, between quotation-marks.) The other (page 11) is a vulgar version of ‘Economic Materialism’ which would be bad enough as a paraphrase, but which is here dressed up in quotation marks and introduced with ‘we hear from Karl Marx:’ ... In this case, however, there is no use appealing to the conscience of the publisher, which is the Philosophical Library – enough said!