One of the most interesting subjects to me is the connection between politics and mysticism, or in other words, to what extent practical policies are rooted in the highest reality. So I bring to your attention one of the “telling signs” of the 20th century
By the time Gershom Scholem, the distinguished authority on Jewish mysticism, published Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship in Germany in 1975, the friendship in question had acquired symbolic proportions.
Benjamin is one of the most influential Marxists that ever lived, and he was a sort of mentor to Scholem, besides being his friend. While Benjamin did die young (by suicide, fleeing the Nazis) they still knew each other for 25 years. Scholem believed Benjamin’s politics were religious in nature. “I don’t need a goy to tell me about my own people.” Are you sure about that?
Is it telling at all that both were Kafka stans?
Why does ZOGworld turn the way it does? What’s at the axis of its rotation? That’s what we’re always trying to figure out here. It’s the ultimate Sherlock mystery if you ask me.
I’m not psychic, so unfortunately I think only a confessional Jew could tell us the answer to that, and they of course are not going to do that because they are committed to the cause of their tribe and have sworn an oath of silence on the matter. Hence I study their personal correspondence. Maybe one of these days I’ll have to “jew a jewess” into divulging these things to me by calling her “my desert flower” or some such manipulation. It’s sort of like the “Veil of Isis”. They’re living secret-holders that will never give it up. Granted you do have to be at least half-psychic to see that about them. To fill in the blanks we have the letters of Scholem, and others. I for one think the name “Jacob Frank” tells us a lot about this “secret”, but I digress.
During my visit, we played chess several times. Benjamin played blindly and took forever to make a move….
Wouldn’t you have wanted to play chess with Scholem? What do you think he would’ve thought of you? He considered his friend Benjamin a decadent in certain respects.
Here’s another spicy one we might get to
Arendt’s frank antagonism toward the state of Israel, and her judgment of the Jews of Europe as passive sheep who went spinelessly to the slaughter, had driven Scholem into a fury. From Jerusalem, he excoriated her in several letters and then ceased communication.
Pretty much the only time I see eye to eye with a Jew is when I reflect on how we both have to deal with women. Anyway though, Arendt also knew Benjamin personally, and she had a contrasting view of his politics. These figures are important to understand because–as my constant refrain goes, “Everyone lost WW2”–there’s no equivalent to them today. There’s no Arendt, Idel is merely Scholem’s golem, any potential “Benjamin” is a corporate whore, to put it bluntly. Found out!
Scholem, as an old man, felt the need to write a memoir about Benjamin. To put it in perspective, Strauss and Adorno were dead at the time he wrote it, and apparently he didn’t feel a need to write a memoir about them.
What’s interesting about the dynamic in question is that the typical American Jew relates much more to Benjamin than to Scholem. So that’s what I see the memoir and correspondence as essentially being about.
Scholem had much world-historical, as well as personal, business to accomplish in his memoir
The question of questions is why a Kabbalist found such affinity with a Marxist to write such a thing.
This is about the first time they met
He told me that he occupied himself a great deal with the nature of the historical process and had also been reflecting on the philosophy of history; that is why my remarks had interested him.
I think their friendship tells us something about Kabbalah scholarship at large. Who your friends are tells you who YOU are, and Scholem is the fountainhead of this field of research. To put it in contrast, he doesn’t have a correspondence with someone like Evola. The great Kabbalist of the 20th century was magnetized toward a Communist.
“And I already know this about them, that’s why I protect the egregore!!”
Good, just trying to solve a mystery here, and you’re part of it.
The best friends are frenemies- these two had lots of fiery arguments
Benjamin declared that people like us had obligations only to our own kind and not to the rules of a society we repudiated. He said that my ideas of honesty… should be rejected totally.
Benjamin accused Scholem of an excessive “wholesomeness”.
I can’t think of a single Jew who is closer to Scholem than Benjamin in terms of the above antagonism.
Some probably see me as childishly naive for being so honest. No, you’re just trying to justify why you have embraced sin. You have no right to hate dirty people if you are one yourself. There is a coat of slime upon the globe and it is called “humanity”. One day the slime will part and an angel of light will rise out and be part of my life, this is my hope.
“Only communists are angels!” I think there’s something questionable lurking in the motivations of communists. An ill-will. They dress it up as being about loving, and maybe that is part of it, just not all of it. Confess!
Something ugly and hateful can be perceived there. Definitely a self-centeredness in many cases too. A greed of wanting more than they deserve. Only Normans can see this about them probably, since their thoughts are inescapably smothered by delusion. When I look at a communist I often see a spiteful, scowling midget. Typically a lazy temperament that is confined to the realm of the senses. Their cognitive inability to form abstractions explains their political perspective. “Abstractions, what are those?” You need to be able to think abstractly to even know what abstractions are, so…
Benjamin is brilliant, so they’re obviously not all like that, I just mean generally speaking, and especially in the case of women.
Anyway I think this symptom tells us something about Jewry
To me, communism in its Marxist form constituted the diametrically opposite position to the anarchistic convictions that Benjamin and I hitherto had shared politically.
If they’re not communists they’re anarchists who are friends with communists. Some exceptions exist, just not enough to matter. Further, “reactionary Jews” simply have another style of erosion. The reason they don’t have their own country is because they can never get out of that “mode” which seeks to “chip away”.
Back to the topic here- it’s not just Scholem having an affinity with Benjamin that is intriguing, it’s also the other way around that should be contemplated
I was bound to appear as the more secure person, a man who had been guided by a more accurately functioning compass in his absorption in Jewish studies. At the same time [Benjamin] was greatly taken with what I had to tell him about my studies
I have no doubt that if a typical libberrull read Luzzatto or other Kabbalists they’d find “soul food”. Whereas someone like me grimaces at the presuppositions.
Way too many symptoms in this memoir
Benjamin was the first person I told about a very surprising discovery I had made: Sabbatian theology
I just want to ask a communist reading this if they have pure intentions. Maybe they do, I just don’t think they do. Ask yourself.
How to say this… It’s like someone who got third place in a contest trashing the one who won first place, and saying they are actually the ones who deserve first place, even when it is clearly obvious they don’t.
Just more symptoms
We remained at odds, but Benjamin’s championship of Brecht did impress me; [however] I was not ready to believe in Marxism
Contrast Scholem here with the nature of Strauss- the latter was not the kind of person who would be “buddy buddy” with a communist. And recall in a late letter that Scholem reproached Strauss for being a pagan and essentially anti-Jewish. What I’m trying to get at here is that someone thoroughly steeped in the Jewish tradition (which is an understatement in regard to Scholem) was able to have a grand old time for years with a card-carrying communist.