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Constantin Brunner: Quotations

  The Tyranny of Hate
  Our Christ
  Walter Bernard
  Errol Harris
  Yehudi Menuhin
Reference notices
  The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia 1940
  Encyclopedia Judaica 1971

The tyranny of hate : the roots of antisemitism : a translation into English of Memsheleth sadon / by Constantin Brunner. Transl. by Graham Harrison. Abridged and ed. by Aron M. Rappaport. - Lewiston : Edwin Mellen Press, c1992.

We must fear calumnies and insults; hence we must make ourselves feared, so that people will be slow to trouble us. We must make people afraid of our anger, or—if this is powerless—of our hatred and revenge. We must defend ourselves against insults and slanders with all available means, by our own efforts and, if it comes to it, by claiming the public protection of the law. (p. 9)

People reserve their fiercest contempt for those of their fellow men who most provoke them to thought. (p.15)

Socrates, Christ and Spinoza were the most infamous men of their times; Spinoza was accursed, Christ was crucified, Socrates was poisoned—because of their alleged spiritual inferiority and moral unworthiness. (p.15)

The usual judgments are judgments of interest and they tell us less about the nature of the person judged than about the interest of the one who judges. (p.18)

Man is distinguished from the other animals only through his incomparably more extensive interest and his incomparably greater rationality and irrationality. Every animal has reason in its own degree—reason is what enables the animal to survive—but no animal harms its own species by so much unreason as man, and mostly as a result of his pride and hatred arising from moralistic criticism. (p. 23)

If we want to use the word ‘moral’ in the usual sense, we must say that man is morally the lowest of all animals; for he is the torturer and murderer of every possible animal, of myriad other species. To some extent he does this out of the interest of sheer necessity, but largely out of the unrestrained interest of his own pleasure. He is also the one who tortures and murders within his own species, out of the conviction that he is better than his brothers and sisters. (p.23)

We are the most immoral animals because we cultivate moralism, and the most irrational because the interest of the moment overwhelms us. (p.23)

In the presence of interest, man forgets all reason; he literally forgets his former interests once he no longer has them. Thus he becomes intolerant or at least impatient with his dearest, even with his children, e.g., with their noise and fidgeting, in spite of the fact that he was once a child. But how little do we learn from our own childhood about how to manage children! (p.23)

What then of the antisemitic judgment on Jews? Essentially, it is that Jews are spiritually inferior and morally degenerate human beings. (p. 26)

More Jewish scholars have received the Nobel Prize for scientific endeavour than those of France and England together (and incidentally no antisemitic scholar has received the Nobel Prize). Quite clearly, the word’s actual interest in the benefits coming from Jewish talent is greater than the judgment of antisemitism, greater than all the other anti-Jewish prejudice which, though not explicitly antisemitic, is widely found. In the face of this irrefutable wealth of talent, therefore, the notion that Jews are spiritually inferior is clearly nonsense and we need say no more about it; the antisemitic assertion collapses when confronted with the world’s consistent experience of Jews. (p. 29)

Men are forever doing two things at the same time: acting egoistically and talking moralistically. (p. 25)