Corbyn’s Gushing Praise for Deeply Anti-Semitic Book

Jeremy Corbyn is engulfed in another personal anti-Semitism storm after Danny Finkelstein uncovered yet another instance of Corbyn endorsing clearly anti-Semitic material. In 2011 Corbyn authored the foreword of a new edition of a 1902 book by John Hobson, Imperialism: A Study. A book Corbyn describes as a “great tome”…

What are Hobson’s views that Corbyn is so keen to endorse? Hobson first sets them out in his book of two years’ earlier on The War in South Africa, which he blames on:

“a small group of international financiers, chiefly German in origin and Jewish in race… The rich and powerful liquor trade… is entirely in the hands of Jews… the stock exchange is needless to say, mostly Jewish… the press of Johannesburg is chiefly their property… we are fighting in order to place a small international oligarchy of mine owners and speculators in power at Pretoria.”

Hobson builds on these theories in Imperialism itself, blaming the “house of Rothschild” for all European wars and railing against “men of a single and peculiar race” who in his view are “are in a unique position to control the policy of nations” and “harpies who suck their gains from every new forced expenditure and every sudden disturbance of public credit”:

“United by the strongest bonds of organisation, always in closest and quickest touch with one as other, situated in the very heart of the business capital of every state, controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience, they are in a unique position to control the policy of nations.”

“…there is not a war, a revolution, an anarchist assassination, or any other public shock, which is not gainful to these men; they are harpies who suck their gains from every new forced expenditure and every sudden disturbance of public credit.”

Enter Jeremy Corbyn eight years ago. Corbyn is gushing with praise for Hobson’s analysis which he describes as “both correct and prescient”:

“Hobson’s railing against the commercial interests that fuel the role of the popular press with tales of imperial might, that then lead on to racist caricatures of African and Asian peoples, was both correct and prescient.”

Corbyn also describes Hobson as “brilliant” for supposedly exposing the “pressures that were hard at work” behind imperialist expansion:

“…what is brilliant, and very controversial at the time, is his analysis of the pressures that were hard at work in pushing for a vast national effort, in grabbing new outposts of Empire on distant islands and shores.”

These views were not just “very controversial at the time”, they amount to an entire worldview based around the classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish bankers and the “house of Rothschild” control world affairs for their own profit. Corbyn’s full-throated praise for Hobson’s “analysis” speaks volumes about the ideas at the heart of his own worldview…


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