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 Post subject: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:06 pm 
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German Question/Jewish Question: Revolutionary Antisemitism in Germany from Kant to Wagner (1990)
by Rose, P.L.
on p. 302 writes:

Marx admired Daumer's idiotic proofs that Jewish religion was “Moloch-mysticism.” See M. Nettlau, “Marxanalekten,” Archiv fur die Geschuchte des Sozialismus und der Arbetterbewegung 8 (1919), 389-401.

(Nettlau's article is online here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/sea ... &q1=daumer )

It's not surprising that the Moloch image/comparison is so often used by Marx (and others, eg anti-abortion people), it's definitely a powerful image. Of course Judaism condemns child sacrifice, so the antisemitic accusation against Jews is particularly nasty/false (and that antisemitism was strong at the time is eg clear from Rose's mention how the Damascus blood libel in 1840 was taken seriously by Germans).

Child sacrifice did (and still does) exist as a practice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice

It's the worst thing that a parent could do to their own kids of course. In case it happens against the parents's wish, it's the worst thing that can befall a parent. Hard to imagine a proper reaction to it (accept the fact and move on?).


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:16 am 
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Here's Marx recommendation (to the London German Workers’ Educational Society) of Daumer's book Geheimnisse des christlichen Altertums: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... /11/30.htm

The Workers’ Educational Society decided then to purchase the book.

Nettlau expresses amazement that such a person as Marx even reading a few chapters wouldn't notice that Daumer was a monomaniac.

Later Marx called Daumer a "Moloch-fighter":

Herr Daumer does not even know what struggles "of the lower classes of society against the upper classes" it took to bring forth even a Nuremberg "stage of culture" and to make possible a Moloch-fighter a la Daumer.

The second, "main", part contains the positive aspect of the new religion. It voices all the annoyance of the German philosopher over the oblivion into which his struggles against Christianity have fallen, over the people's indifference towards religion, the only object worthy to be considered by the philosopher. To restore credit to his trade, which has been ousted by competition, all our world-wise man can do is to invent a new religion, after long barking against the old.

http://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/marx ... daumer.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:54 am 
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That doesn't seem like Marx admired Daumer at all.

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"The death of the poor man is the worst eventuality for the creditor. It is the death of his capital together with the interest."
- Marx, Comments on James Mill -

"Citizen Weston illustrated his theory by telling you that a bowl contains a certain quantity of soup, to be eaten by a certain number of persons, an increase in the broadness of the spoons would produce no increase in the amount of soup. He must allow me to find this illustration rather spoony."
- Marx, Value, Price and profit -


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:11 pm 
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The negative quote I gave is from a review of another Daumer book in 1850. But three years earlier Marx did recommend Daumer's book (on the mysteries of ancient Christianity: https://www.scribd.com/doc/101444505/Da ... -Altertums ). According to Rose, Daumer believed in the Damascus blood libel etc. This particular book really focuses on Christianity though. It says that Israelite Judaism had abandoned Moloch worship and even that it was right to try to suppress the emerging Christian movement, which Daumer sees as a re-emergence of Moloch worship (with human sacrifices).

But you're right: Rose is incorrect to claim that Marx's admired Daumer's idiotic proofs that Jewish religion was Moloch-mysticism. In fact we see Marx (in his 1847 recommendation) only speak about the practice of human sacrifices in Christian religion. Be that true or not (and with so much history of the Church, I can understand why it'd seem plausible), in the end obviously there's the theology of God sacrificing his own son (Jesus).


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 8:20 am 
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Sacrifice is an integral part of all religion, whether real or deferred. The Greeks in the historical age practiced mostly animal sacrifice, and the offering of libations, but their mythology seems to contain a historical memory of human sacrifice. Before the Greek forces leave for the Trojan war, a storm prevents their safe passage. Agamemnon is forced to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia in order to appease the Gods and quell the storm.

In Christianity of course, Christ is the sacrificial figure, the son of God the Father, of one nature with him, whose sacrifice absolves the sins of the world and opens up the passage to eternal life for the living. Judaism and Islam contain more mundane features of ritual animal sacrifice, at least in their original historic forms.

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"The death of the poor man is the worst eventuality for the creditor. It is the death of his capital together with the interest."
- Marx, Comments on James Mill -

"Citizen Weston illustrated his theory by telling you that a bowl contains a certain quantity of soup, to be eaten by a certain number of persons, an increase in the broadness of the spoons would produce no increase in the amount of soup. He must allow me to find this illustration rather spoony."
- Marx, Value, Price and profit -


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:41 am 
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Zanthorus wrote:
Sacrifice is an integral part of all religion, whether real or deferred. The Greeks in the historical age practiced mostly animal sacrifice, and the offering of libations, but their mythology seems to contain a historical memory of human sacrifice. Before the Greek forces leave for the Trojan war, a storm prevents their safe passage. Agamemnon is forced to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia in order to appease the Gods and quell the storm.

In Christianity of course, Christ is the sacrificial figure, the son of God the Father, of one nature with him, whose sacrifice absolves the sins of the world and opens up the passage to eternal life for the living. Judaism and Islam contain more mundane features of ritual animal sacrifice, at least in their original historic forms.


Don't forget the "interrupted" sacrifice of Yithzhak by Abraham, embodied and embedded in circumcision.
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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:06 am 
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On sacrifice of Yithzhak, Rabbi Sacks explains it like this:

Quote:
What G‑d was doing when he asked Abraham to offer up his son was not requesting a child sacrifice but something quite different. He wanted Abraham to renounce ownership of his son. He wanted to establish as a non-negotiable principle of Jewish law that children are not the property of their parents.

http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_c ... rifice.htm

Engels in 1845 cited a poem using the Moloch-metaphor https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... /index.htm

At the close a few stanzas of a poem which voices the sentiments of the workers themselves about the factory system. Written by Edward P. Mead of Birmingham, it is a correct expression of the views prevailing among them.

Quote:
There is a King, and a ruthless King; Not a King of the poet’s dream; But a tyrant fell, white slaves know well, And that ruthless King is Steam.

He hath an arm, an iron arm, And tho’ he hath but one, In that mighty arm there is a charm, That millions hath undone.

Like the ancient Moloch grim, his sire In Himmon’s vale that stood, His bowels are of living fire, And children are his food.

His priesthood are a hungry band, Blood-thirsty, proud, and bold; ’Tis they direct his giant hand, In turning blood to gold.

For filthy gain in their servile chain All nature’s rights they bind; They mock at lovely woman’s pain, And to manly tears are blind.

The sighs and groans of Labour’s sons Are music in their ear, And the skeleton shades, of lads and maids, In the Steam King’s hell appear.

Those hells upon earth, since the Steam King’s birth, Have scatter’d around despair; For the human mind for Heav’n design’d, With the body, is murdered there.

Then down with the King, the Moloch King, Ye working millions all; O chain his hand, or our native land Is destin’d by him to fall.

And his Satraps abhor’d, each proud Mill Lord, Now gorg’d with gold and blood, Must be put down by the nation’s frown, As well as their monster God.


To repeat myself, the Moloch-theme is a powerful metaphor, so powerful that I think the reaction which it calls forth in an outside audience must take the form of blind murderous rage (lynchings, pogroms, genocide) or absolute demoralizing shock.

Moreover, the problem is that the Moloch-worshippers themselves don't see the problem in their practice or religious ideology of sacrifice: it is seen as a proof of courage, faith in convictions, willingness to give up one's most precious (ie one's children).


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:26 am 
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So, like, have you ever read Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling?

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"The death of the poor man is the worst eventuality for the creditor. It is the death of his capital together with the interest."
- Marx, Comments on James Mill -

"Citizen Weston illustrated his theory by telling you that a bowl contains a certain quantity of soup, to be eaten by a certain number of persons, an increase in the broadness of the spoons would produce no increase in the amount of soup. He must allow me to find this illustration rather spoony."
- Marx, Value, Price and profit -


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:23 pm 
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It's mentioned in the Jonathan Sacks article I linked. Btw Artesian, circumcision does not relate to this sacrifice-story (Genesis 22: http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo ... rashi=true), but FWIW the Dutch leftcom Abraham Soep did a study on circumcision: De besnijdenis, Een ethnologische studie (Amsterdam 1947).

Funny Rabbinic commentary tho:

And some say,“ after the words of Ishmael,” who was boasting to Isaac that he was circumcised at the age of thirteen, and he did not protest. Isaac said to him,“ With one organ you intimidate me? If the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, ‘Sacrifice yourself before Me,’ I would not hold back.”
--

My issue with this topic is more about the response to it once it actually happens, when it kinda seems to late already (can't bring the victim back). Kind of hard to turn the other cheek on this one and move on.


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 Post subject: Re: Moloch (child sacrifice)
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:59 am 
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Zanthorus wrote:
Sacrifice is an integral part of all religion, whether real or deferred.


Certain animals were sacred in pagan religions. The most obvious example is the cow in Hinduism, but also the ram in Ancient Egypt, so that Jewish animal sacrifice is even described as a reaction to this:

Quote:
Sacrifices also served to nullify belief in idol worship. Maimonides notes that all species used for sacrifices were animals worshipped by pagans. By sacrificing them we declare: "Don't worship these animals! Use them in the service of Hashem!" For example, the Egyptian's believed in a ramgod; hence, the Passover sacrifice is a lamb, which is then eaten at the Passover 'seder' celebration.


https://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/161/Q1/

And it's important to note that in Judaism (most of) the animal sacrifices were eaten by the people themselves (ie not burnt/wasted for the appeasement of a god):

Quote:
In addition there were the sacrifices. Formerly those who offered up victims had eaten them themselves in a joyous feast, and the priests were merely partakers. After the Exile the share of those making the offerings became smaller and smaller, and the share of the priests larger and larger. What had been a gift to a festival of joy, which the giver himself consumed in merry company, pleasing not only God but himself as well, now became a tax in kind, which God claimed for himself, that is, his priests.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsk ... /ch08b.htm


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