I want someone to write 2000 words about ”  Which tradition provides a more convincing critique of liberalism – Marxism or Classical Realism? ”

I want you to see the Structure in the PowerPoint, and also the checklist.

I want to use the source that I attached as a starting point.

Essay Checklist


· Have you answered the question? Be specific. Say exactly what your conclusion will be.

· Have you explained how your argument is going to develop in the main part of the essay? What are the main steps you will go through?

· Have you explained exactly what you will say at each of your main steps?

· Is there any ambiguity in the question? Is there too much to cover? If so, explain what you will be focusing on and why.

Defining your terms

· Have you defined any keywords or concepts which might be ambiguous or controversial?
· Avoid using definitions from dictionaries or encyclopaedias for political concepts. We want you to engage with academic debates, so try to find a definition from an article/chapter/book you read.
· You don’t need to define all terms – if they are not the focus of the essay you can often assume that your reader knows what basic terms mean (e.g. ‘politics’ or ‘theory’). You will need to use your judgement.
· In some cases, e.g. where the essay question concerns a key concept, you might do this in the main part of the essay and at length (it might even be the focus of the essay). In other cases, if a shorter explanation is needed, you might do it in the introduction.

· Are these definitions clearly referenced?

· Is there disagreement about these definitions or concepts? If so, acknowledge this and say which definition will you be using.

Main body

· Does each paragraph help you support of your answer to the question?

· Are the links between each paragraph clear? Have you provided ‘signposts’ which make clear its role in your argument? Good links and signposts could include:
· ‘Another important question to consider is…’
· ‘The account of [e.g. hegemony] offered above helps us to understand that…’
· ‘While the previous section focused on [e.g. realist understandings of war] further insights can be gained from considering [e.g. the post-colonial perspective] …’

· Does the arrangement of the paragraphs correspond to the plan you outlined in your introduction?

· Is each paragraph roughly the same size? Does each correspond roughly to one topic or sub-topic?

· By the end of the main body have you provided a clear explanation of your position/answer to the question?

· Does your argument include critical analysis of key sources and theories?


· Does your conclusion provide a clear summary of your argument?
· Are equally clear statements of your position contained in your Introduction and the Main Body of the essay? If not, go back and insert them.

· Does your conclusion introduce any new ideas, concepts or examples that are not explained in the main body of the essay? If it does, go back and explain them.


· Are all your sources relevant and of good quality?
· As a starting point, use relevant key readings and link them to the subject of your essay.
· Next, use the module reading list to find further sources.
· Are there any important sources mentioned by the authors you have identified so far? If so, take a look at some of these.
· Find other sources using the Library website or Google Scholar
· News sites etc. might be useful for evidencing a point you are making but should not be used for analysis.

· Have you avoided unsuitable sources?
· Wikipedia is not appropriate for an academic essay!
· Avoid blogs, unless they contain material by reputable researchers (even in this case there will usually be articles you can read instead).
· Never use essay help websites.
· Never use the student essays on E-IR.info. These are clearly identified on the website.

· Are you using a good range of sources?
· Relying too heavily on one or two sources is problematic. There is no magic number, but it is hard to write a good essay with fewer than five good quality sources (and this is a bare minimum).

Referencing and bibliography

· Have you read over and understood the Harvard referencing guide or the referencing information in the PIR Red Book? Check all your references and bibliography entries against one of these guides.

· Is every point, quotation, or paraphrase referenced, usually with a page number?

· Have you consulted the source you are referencing yourself? If not, you should also include where you found the information. For example: (Smith 2009: 41; cited in Jones 2015: 59)

· Have you included a correctly formatted bibliography?

Theorising Politics and IR
Week 12

1. Preparation

Reflect on the Article Review
Look back at your article review and at the comments you have received. Identify areas which you need to work on. Think about what went well.

There will be a lot of similarities between the Article Review and the Essay:
You need clear summaries/interpretations of key theories, arguments, and sources;
You need a clear evaluation of key theories, arguments, and sources;
You might need to be selective about what you focus on;
You need to base your writing around a logical structure

But look out for the differences! This time:
You will need to answer the question, which means the scope is broader;
You will need to have conducted more research;
You will need to interpret the question;
You will need to explain in more detail what the essay is going to do;
The essay is longer – structure is even more important

Essay Rubric (Module Handbook, p.8)

    First (70-100) 2:1 (60-69) 2:2 (50-59) 3rd (40-49) Fail (0-39)

Knowledge and understanding of key theories, concepts, and sources 20% Confident engagement with relevant theories, concepts, and sources which demonstrates an excellent understanding. Identifies links between separate themes. Identifies wide range of appropriate sources. A good grasp of relevant theories, concepts, and sources covered on the module. Identifies a range of appropriate sources. Evidence of a good level of research. Reasonable grasp of relevant theories, concepts, and sources covered on the module but lacks some detail and might display minor errors. Engages with key readings but not in depth. Relatively little research. Insufficient engagement with relevant theories, concepts, and sources covered on the module. Significant errors and gaps in knowledge and understanding. Relies on some poor quality sources. Poor grasp of relevant theories, concepts, and sources covered on the module. Little to no use of appropriate sources. Significant errors and gaps in knowledge and understanding. Relies heavily on poor quality sources.

Depth of critical analysis and evaluation 20% Identifies main theoretical points and arguments, along with underlying assumptions. Subjects texts and arguments to confident, detailed analysis and evaluation. Identifies main theoretical points and arguments. Subjects them to careful analysis and evaluation. Identifies some important theoretical points and arguments but analysis and evaluation lack depth. Likely to be too descriptive. Neglects some important points or arguments. Analysis or evaluation is largely absent or incoherent. Almost entirely descriptive. Purely descriptive writing or with no comprehensible attempt at relevant analysis or evaluation.

Clarity of argument 20% Provides a clear answer to the question. Argument is persuasive, and presented clearly and logically, with excellent evidence and justification provided. Provides a clear answer to the question. Logic of argument is mostly clear, with appropriate evidence and justification provided. Addresses the question but may lack focus. Argument sometimes weak or unclear. Evidence and justification not always provided. Tenuous connection to the question. Argument is not supported with sufficient evidence and justification and/or is unclear. Ignores the question. Argument is either absent, entirely irrelevant, or not discernible.

Logic and clarity of structure 20% Carefully planned. Logical structure allows argument to develop effectively. Writing demonstrates excellent signposting. Well-planned.
Structure is clear and effective. Writing demonstrates good signposting. Evidence of limited planning. Structure is reasonably clear but not always effective. Writing uses some signposting. Appears unplanned. Structure is unclear and often lacks logic. Writing uses very little signposting. Structure is haphazard, illogical, or absent. Writing does not use signposting.

Quality of writing (grammar, punctuation) and referencing 20% Very few errors. Style is clear and engaging. Sentence structure is excellent. Referencing and bibliography are thorough and accurate. Quotes and paraphrased material are well incorporated into the text. Few errors of grammar or punctuation. Writing is clear and easy to follow. Sentence structure is very good. Referencing and bibliography are thorough and mostly accurate. Quotes and paraphrased material are mostly well incorporated into the text. Some errors of grammar or punctuation. Writing occasionally lacks clarity. Sentence structure is sometimes incorrect. Referencing and bibliography might not be accurate or sufficiently thorough. Quotes and paraphrased material are not always well incorporated. Consistent and serious errors of grammar or punctuation. Writing is hard to follow. Referencing and bibliography are mostly inaccurate or inadequate. Quotes and paraphrased material are not well incorporated into the text. Consistent and serious errors of grammar or punctuation which make the essay hard to understand. Referencing and bibliography are absent, inadequate, and/or inaccurate. If plagiarised material is in evidence, this will be reported to the Student Regulations Team.

When marking your essay, we are looking for:
To what extent have you demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the relevant theories and theorists covered on the module?
Have you shown evidence of extended reading and research using appropriate academic sources?

To what extent have you succeeded in explaining, interpreting, and evaluating the relevant theories, texts, and ideas? Have you done more than simply describe then?

To what extent have you answered the question? Have you presented a coherent argument in support of your answer?

Has the essay been carefully planned? Are the points it makes logically sequenced? Are these points adequately signposted?

Is the writing understandable and clear? Have quotations, ideas, and evidence been properly referenced? Is the essay well-presented?

2. How to get a good mark

Some simple dos and don’ts
DO: follow the Harvard referencing system
Referencing is easy to get right – use the Harvard guide on the University website or PIR Red Book as your ‘instructions’
DON’T: make-up your own referencing system as you go along

DO: start your research by looking at the module reading list, then the library website, Google Scholar, and the sources referenced in key sources
DON’T: Google the question or topic (it shows)

DO: use journal articles; academic books; textbooks
DON’T: use Sparknotes; UK Essays; Encyclopedia Brittanica; E-IR student essays

DO: read back through your work to check for errors

Some key words
Ideology: a set of political beliefs and ideals and/or the dominant ideas of a society which conceal its true nature and/or privilege those in power.

Theory: A set or system of ideas, often produced through research or reflection, formulated with the goal of explaining or understanding a given phenomenon, topic, or value, or goal.
There might be an ideological element to theory, but ‘ideology’ and ‘theory’ are not synonymous.
In your essays you should usually assume that you are talking about theory. If you want to talk about ideology, explain why.
Some theories (liberalism and Marxism) overlap with ideology in the first sense to a significant degree, but you should usually engage with them as theories
Some do not overlap in the same way. E.g. Realism or Constructivism (ever heard of a Realist or Constructivist political party?). These might have an ideological element, but it would be problematic to refer to them as ‘ideologies’ without explaining why.

Tradition: a ‘family’ of theories which might take quite diverse forms. E.g. ‘the Realist tradition’, ‘the Marxist tradition’.

Concept: An abstract idea. E.g. ‘Sovereignty’, ‘power’, or ‘rights’. One of the building blocks of theory. In the social sciences they are often contested – there is debate about their meaning.

To get a high mark, focus on… constructing your argument
Your goal is to answer the question not simply to write about the topic.

You need to tell us exactly what your answer is and to be specific. You need to do this in your introduction and then remind us at key points in the essay.

E.g. NOT ‘This essay will ask whether Realism or Marxism offers a stronger critique of liberalism. It will look at some authors from each tradition before reaching a conclusion’

BUT ‘This essay will argue that Realism offers a stronger critique of liberalism than Marxism. It will demonstrate this, first, by showing that like Liberalism Marxism is a utopian theory. Second, it will show that Realism offers a more flexible approach to politics. To make this argument it will draw on the work of Carr and Morgenthau’

Your argument in support of this answer should form the main body of the essay

Constructing your argument
Interpret the question
The questions are broad and there will be lots of ways of answering them. Your introduction should explain how you are going to do it and why – this is an important skill!
Be selective. You can’t do everything and we don’t expect you to. A good essay sometimes focuses on a particular issue or author.

What’s you answer? Write it down. You need to be clear, but nuance can be good. You might need to adjust your answer later.

What are the main steps you will go through to justify your answer? You will probably need two or three.
Identify these when planning
Make sure they are clearly explained in your introduction
Make sure they are signposted in the main part of the essay

Think about key arguments/theories/ideas which you will need to include
Which ones from the module do you need to write about? Sometimes these will be in the question, sometimes not
How might they support your argument, or even provide the basis for it? Which represent important alternative positions?

At each step, check that your argument is convincing. Why should the reader accept your position?
Have key concepts, theories, or ideas been clearly explained?
Have you provide convincing reasons and evidence?
Have you explained how any examples support your argument? Remember, people with opposing points of view will likely be aware of these but interpret them differently.
What are the alternative positions or possibilities? A convincing argument requires that you have considered alternatives or objections.

Some pitfalls
This isn’t a comment piece, Twitter post etc. There is no need to pretend to be ‘neutral’ but the standards of justification and evidence are higher. For the most part, assume that opposing views are rational even if they are problematic. Why might a reasonable person believe this thing? How might you persuade them that they are wrong?

Excessive generalisation
It’s good to make the connection to wider issues and to say if you think something is important… but statements like ‘for all of human history…’ or ‘all liberals promote imperialism’ are (a) probably untrue and (b) definitely hard to justify.

Historical context/age of the theory
Historical context is important, but ‘this was written a long time ago’ won’t do!
The age of a theory is not necessarily an indicator of its lack of relevance. Some theorists from the same era might ‘speak’ to us today, others might not
You need to explain why you think ideas from an earlier time aren’t relevant in our own. Be specific – in what ways has the world changed such that the theory no longer applies?
The length of an era can be hard to define. E.g. When does ‘modernity’ start – 1492, 1648, 1789, 1800, 1918, 1945, 1989?

Moral criticism
You are encouraged to think about the moral implications of theories but remember that moral outrage is not an argument!
Why should anyone share your concerns? How would you persuade someone who might be sceptical?
Possible reasons you might give to persuade them: the theory is at odds with widely held values; implementing the theory would be self-defeating or have unforeseen consequences; the theory prevents us from thinking about important moral problems/perspectives; the theory reflects the interests of one group at the expense of others

Taking the theory as a whole
Looking at a theory as a system is important but it is possible to agree or disagree with parts of a theory instead of dismissing the whole thing

To get a high mark, focus on… critical analysis
Constructing your argument will mean working with the academic literature. When engaging in-depth with sources you need to:

Interpret – ‘reconstructing’ someone else’s argument/idea/theory in your own words.
E.g. What do the English School mean by ‘international society’?
Aim is to capture the meaning and the nature of the idea or argument – these might not always be obvious
Helps you to emphasise points or contradictions which will be the focus on your argument
Needs to be accurate and coherent – be specific, refer to texts, give page numbers

Evaluate – do I find this argument/idea/theory convincing?
Is it logical?
Is it accurate?
What are its moral/political implications?
E.g. ‘Realism is a problem-solving theory which cannot tell us how we came to be living in a world of states’ (claim about limited accuracy and about political implications)

Essay Structure


Provide a clear and direct answer to the question. Be specific!
Summarise the steps of your argument. Be specific! What will you say/do at each point?

Main body

A series of steps providing arguments and evidence in support of your answer
What are your most interesting points? Include them here, not just in your conclusion!
Your explanations of key items of evidence
Your critical analyses of theories and ideas from the literature
Don’t try to include too much – maybe 2-4 key points you need to make
Signpost – make sure the reader can see why you are including things and why they have been placed where they are


Restate your answer to the question
No surprises or ‘plot twists’!
Recap the points and remind the reader how they support your answer

3. The Questions

The final deadline for the Essay is Thursday 6 January at 13:00. Grades and feedback will be available by 27 January.
Answer one of the following questions:

What are the most significant ways in which Western political thought has been shaped by the West’s colonial and imperial past? Your answer should refer to both Political Theory and International Relations theory.

Can cosmopolitanism help us address the main challenges of 21st century world politics? Your answer should compare cosmopolitanism and at least one other theory or school of thought covered on the module.

Which tradition provides a more convincing critique of liberalism – Marxism or Classical Realism?

What are the implications of Robert Cox’s claim that ‘theory is always for someone and for some purpose’? Discuss with reference to feminism and/or critical theory.

What is ‘international society’? What can the idea, or its limitations, tell us about the character of modern international relations? Your answer should refer to the English School of IR theory.

1. What are the most significant ways in which Western political thought has been shaped by the West’s colonial and imperial past? Your answer should refer to both Political Theory and International Relations theory.

Key lectures: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 7, Week 9

Key readings:
Week 4: Charles Mills The Racial Contract
Week 8: ‘The case against Woodrow Wilson’, Merze Tate
Week 10: Neta Crawford
Further readings:
Week 3 – further readings on Cosmopolitanism and Kant (see esp. Mignolo, Kleingeld, Gani, Jahn)
Week 4 – see further readings on ‘Race’ (Toscano, Mills, Buck-Morss)
Week 8 – see Further Readings on ‘Race, Eurocentrism, and the Origins of IR’
Week 9 – see ‘Globalization of International Society’ book

2. Can cosmopolitanism help us address the main challenges of 21st century world politics? Your answer should compare cosmopolitanism and at least one other theory or school of thought covered on the module.

Key Lectures: Week 2, Week 4, Week 8, Week 11

Week 3. Cosmopolitanism
Key readings by Kant and Benhabib
Further readings by Mignolo, Appiah, Nussbaum, Gani
Week 5. Marxism
Key readings Marx ‘On the Jewish question’ and O’Connell
Further readings by Lukes, Kolokowski
Week 9. Realism
Look at EH Carr in Realism Reader
Further reading – See Williams
Week 12.Planet Politics
see ‘The Planet Politics Manifesto’
See also Coole

3. Which tradition provides a more convincing critique of liberalism – Marxism or Classical Realism?

Key lectures: Week 2, Week 4, Week 7 (Liberalism and origins of IR), Week 8

Week 3. Kant ‘Perpetual Peace’
See Jahn on ‘Illiberal Legacies’
Week 5. Marx – critique of liberal rights in ‘On the Jewish Question’
Week 9. Morgenthau. See also Carr’s criticisms in Twenty Years Crisis (excerpts in The Realism Reader)
See Scheuerman on overlaps between Marxism and Classical Realism

4. What are the implications of Robert Cox’s claim that ‘theory is always for someone and for some purpose’? Discuss with reference to feminism and/or critical theory.

Key Lectures: Week 10

Key readings: Week 11 – Tickner on Morgenthau, Schindler on Post-Truth

Further readings: look at Cox’s ‘Social Forces, States, and World Orders’
On CT see especially Ashley, Linklater on ‘Achievements of Critical Theory’.
Feminism see Enloe, Steans, and Youngs
Poststructuralism – see Campbell

5. What is ‘international society’? What can the idea, or its limitations, tell us about the character of modern international relations? Your answer should refer to the English School of IR theory.

Lecture Week 9

Key readings: Bull The Anarchical Society and Crawford (a critical account)

Further readings: focus on English School readings. See The Globalization of International Society for discussion of concept’s wider application.

Good Luck!

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Works of Karl Marx 1844

On The Jewish Question

Written: Autumn 1843;
First Published: February, 1844 in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher;

Proofed and Corrected: by Andy Blunden, Matthew Grant and Matthew Carmody, 2008/9.

See Citizen in the Encyclopedia of Marxism, for an explanation of the various words for


Bruno Bauer,

The Jewish Question,

Braunschweig, 1843

The German Jews desire emancipation. What kind of emancipation do they desire? Civic,
political emancipation.

Bruno Bauer replies to them: No one in Germany is politically emancipated. We
ourselves are not free. How are we to free you? You Jews are egoists if you demand a
special emancipation for yourselves as Jews. As Germans, you ought to work for the
political emancipation of Germany, and as human beings, for the emancipation of
mankind, and you should feel the particular kind of your oppression and your shame not
as an exception to the rule, but on the contrary as a confirmation of the rule.

Or do the Jews demand the same status as Christian subjects of the state? In that
case, they recognize that the Christian state is justified and they recognize, too, the
regime of general oppression. Why should they disapprove of their special yoke if they
approve of the general yoke? Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the
Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?

The Christian state knows only privileges. In this state, the Jew has the privilege of
being a Jew. As a Jew, he has rights which the Christians do not have. Why should he want
rights which he does not have, but which the Christians enjoy?

In wanting to be emancipated from the Christian state, the Jew is demanding that the
Christian state should give up its religious prejudice. Does he, the Jew, give up his
religious prejudice? Has he, then, the right to demand that someone else should renounce
his religion?


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By its very nature, the Christian state is incapable of emancipating the Jew; but, adds
Bauer, by his very nature the Jew cannot be emancipated. So long as the state is Christian
and the Jew is Jewish, the one is as incapable of granting emancipation as the other is of
receiving it.

The Christian state can behave towards the Jew only in the way characteristic of the
Christian state – that is, by granting privileges, by permitting the separation of the Jew
from the other subjects, but making him feel the pressure of all the other separate spheres
of society, and feel it all the more intensely because he is in religious opposition to the
dominant religion. But the Jew, too, can behave towards the state only in a Jewish way –
that is, by treating it as something alien to him, by counterposing his imaginary nationality
to the real nationality, by counterposing his illusory law to the real law, by deeming
himself justified in separating himself from mankind, by abstaining on principle from
taking part in the historical movement, by putting his trust in a future which has nothing
in common with the future of mankind in general, and by seeing himself as a member of
the Jewish people, and the Jewish people as the chosen people.

On what grounds, then, do you Jews want emancipation? On account of your religion?
It is the mortal enemy of the state religion. As citizens? In Germany, there are no citizens.
As human beings? But you are no more human beings than those to whom you appeal.

Bauer has posed the question of Jewish emancipation in a new form, after giving a
critical analysis of the previous formulations and solutions of the question. What, he asks,
is the nature of the Jew who is to be emancipated and of the Christian state that is to
emancipate him? He replies by a critique of the Jewish religion, he analyzes the religious
opposition between Judaism and Christianity, he elucidates the essence of the Christian
state – and he does all this audaciously, trenchantly, wittily, and with profundity, in a style
of writing that is as precise as it is pithy and vigorous.

How, then, does Bauer solve the Jewish question? What is the result? The formulation
of a question is its solution. The critique of the Jewish question is the answer to the Jewish
question. The summary, therefore, is as follows:

We must emancipate ourselves before we can emancipate others.

The most rigid form of the opposition between the Jew and the Christian is the religious
opposition. How is an opposition resolved? By making it impossible. How is religious
opposition made impossible? By abolishing religion. As soon as Jew and Christian
recognize that their respective religions are no more than different stages in the
development of the human mind, different snake skins cast off by history, and that man
is the snake who sloughed them, the relation of Jew and Christian is no longer religious

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but is only a critical, scientific, and human relation. Science, then, constitutes their unity.
But, contradictions in science are resolved by science itself.

The German Jew, in particular, is confronted by the general absence of political
emancipation and the strongly marked Christian character of the state. In Bauer’s
conception, however, the Jewish question has a universal significance, independent of
specifically German conditions. It is the question of the relation of religion to the state, of
the contradiction between religious constraint and political emancipation.
Emancipation from religion is laid down as a condition, both to the Jew who wants to be
emancipated politically, and to the state which is to effect emancipation and is itself to be

“Very well,” it is said, and the Jew himself says it, “the Jew is to become emancipated
not as a Jew, not because he is a Jew, not because he possesses such an excellent,
universally human principle of morality; on the contrary, the Jew will retreat behind
the citizen and be a citizen, although he is a Jew and is to remain a Jew. That is to
say, he is and remains a Jew, although he is a citizen and lives in universally human
conditions: his Jewish and restricted nature triumphs always in the end over his
human and political obligations. The prejudice remains in spite of being outstripped
by general principles. But if it remains, then, on the contrary, it outstrips everything

“Only sophistically, only apparently, would the Jew be able to remain a Jew in the life
of the state. Hence, if he wanted to remain a Jew, the mere appearance would
become the essential and would triumph; that is to say, his life in the state would be
only a semblance or only a temporary exception to the essential and the rule.” (“The
Capacity of Present-Day Jews and Christians to Become Free,” Einundzwanzig
Bogen, pp. 57)

Let us hear, on the other hand, how Bauer presents the task of the state.

“France,” he says, “has recently shown us” (Proceedings of the Chamber of Deputies,
December 26, 1840) “in the connection with the Jewish question – just as it has
continually done in all other political questions – the spectacle of a life which is free,
but which revokes its freedom by law, hence declaring it to be an appearance, and on
the other hand contradicting its free laws by its action.” (The Jewish Question, p.

“In France, universal freedom is not yet the law, the Jewish question too has not yet
been solved, because legal freedom – the fact that all citizens are equal – is restricted
in actual life, which is still dominated and divided by religious privileges, and this
lack of freedom in actual life reacts on law and compels the latter to sanction the
division of the citizens, who as such are free, into oppressed and oppressors.” (p. 65)

When, therefore, would the Jewish question be solved for France?

“The Jew, for example, would have ceased to be a Jew if he did not allow himself to
be prevented by his laws from fulfilling his duty to the state and his fellow citizens,
that is, for example, if on the Sabbath he attended the Chamber of Deputies and took

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part in the official proceedings. Every religious privilege, and therefore also the
monopoly of a privileged church, would have been abolished altogether, and if some
or many persons, or even the overwhelming majority, still believed themselves bound
to fulfil religious duties, this fulfilment ought to be left to them as a purely private
matter.” (p. 65)

“There is no longer any religion when there is no longer any privileged religion. Take
from religion its exclusive power and it will no longer exist.” (p. 66)

“Just as M. Martin du Nord saw the proposal to omit mention of Sunday in the law as
a motion to declare that Christianity has ceased to exist, with equal reason (and this
reason is very well founded) the declaration that the law of the Sabbath is no longer
binding on the Jew would be a proclamation abolishing Judaism.” (p. 71)

Bauer, therefore, demands, on the one hand, that the Jew should renounce Judaism, and
that mankind in general should renounce religion, in order to achieve civic emancipation.
On the other hand, he quite consistently regards the political abolition of religion as the
abolition of religion as such. The state which presupposes religion is not yet a true, real

“Of course, the religious notion affords security to the state. But to what state? To
what kind of state?” (p. 97)

At this point, the one-sided formulation of the Jewish question becomes evident.

It was by no means sufficient to investigate: Who is to emancipate? Who is to be
emancipated? Criticism had to investigate a third point. It had to inquire: What kind of
emancipation is in question? What conditions follow from the very nature of the
emancipation that is demanded? Only the criticism of political emancipation itself would
have been the conclusive criticism of the Jewish question and its real merging in the
“general question of time.”

Because Bauer does not raise the question to this level, he becomes entangled in
contradictions. He puts forward conditions which are not based on the nature of political
emancipation itself. He raises questions which are not part of his problem, and he solves
problems which leave this question unanswered. When Bauer says of the opponents of
Jewish emancipation: “Their error was only that they assumed the Christian state to be the
only true one and did not subject it to the same criticism that they applied to Judaism”
(op. cit., p. 3), we find that his error lies in the fact that he subjects to criticism only the
“Christian state,” not the “state as such,” that he does not investigate the relation of
political emancipation to human emancipation and, therefore, puts forward conditions
which can be explained only by uncritical confusion of political emancipation with general
human emancipation. If Bauer asks the Jews: Have you, from your standpoint, the right to
want political emancipation? We ask the converse question: Does the standpoint of
political emancipation give the right to demand from the Jew the abolition of Judaism and
from man the abolition of religion?

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The Jewish question acquires a different form depending on the state in which the Jew
lives. In Germany, where there is no political state, no state as such, the Jewish question is
a purely theological one. The Jew finds himself in religious opposition to the state, which
recognizes Christianity as its basis. This state is a theologian ex professo. Criticism here is
criticism of theology, a double-edged criticism – criticism of Christian theology and of
Jewish theology. Hence, we continue to operate in the sphere of theology, however much
we may operate critically within it.

In France, a constitutional state, the Jewish question is a question of constitutionalism,
the question of the incompleteness of political emancipation. Since the semblance of a
state religion is retained here, although in a meaningless and self-contradictory formula,
that of a religion of the majority, the relation of the Jew to the state retains the
semblance of a religious, theological opposition.

Only in the North American states – at least, in some of them – does the Jewish
question lose its theological significance and become a really secular question. Only where
the political state exists in its completely developed form can the relation of the Jew, and
of the religious man in general, to the political state, and therefore the relation of religion
to the state, show itself in its specific character, in its purity. The criticism of this relation
ceases to be theological criticism as soon as the state ceases to adopt a theological attitude
toward religion, as soon as it behaves towards religion as a state – i.e., politically.
Criticism, then, becomes criticism of the political state. At this point, where the question
ceases to be theological, Bauer’s criticism ceases to be critical.

“In the United States there is neither a state religion nor a religion declared to be that
of the majority, nor the predominance of one cult over another. The state stands
aloof from all cults.” (Marie ou l’esclavage aux Etats-Unis, etc., by G. de Beaumont,
Paris, 1835, p. 214)

Indeed, there are some North American states where “the constitution does not
impose any religious belief or religious practice as a condition of political rights.” (op.
cit., p. 225)

Nevertheless, “in the United States people do not believe that a man without religion
could be an honest man.” (op. cit., p. 224)

Nevertheless, North America is pre-eminently the country of religiosity, as Beaumont,
Tocqueville, and the Englishman Hamilton unanimously assure us. The North American
states, however, serve us only as an example. The question is: What is the relation of
complete political emancipation to religion? If we find that even in the country of
complete political emancipation, religion not only exists, but displays a fresh and vigorous
vitality, that is proof that the existence of religion is not in contradiction to the perfection
of the state. Since, however, the existence of religion is the existence of defect, the source
of this defect can only be sought in the nature of the state itself. We no longer regard

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religion as the cause, but only as the manifestation of secular narrowness. Therefore, we
explain the religious limitations of the free citizen by their secular limitations. We do not
assert that they must overcome their religious narrowness in order to get rid of their
secular restrictions, we assert that they will overcome their religious narrowness once they
get rid of their secular restrictions. We do not turn secular questions into theological ones.
History has long enough been merged in superstition, we now merge superstition in
history. The question of the relation of political emancipation to religion becomes for us
the question of the relation of political emancipation to human emancipation. We criticize
the religious weakness of the political state by criticizing the political state in its secular
form, apart from its weaknesses as regards religion. The contradiction between the state
and a particular religion, for instance Judaism, is given by us a human form as the
contradiction between the state and particular secular elements; the contradiction
between the state and religion in general as the contradiction between the state and its
presuppositions in general.

The political emancipation of the Jew, the Christian, and, in general, of religious man, is
the emancipation of the state from Judaism, from Christianity, from religion in general. In
its own form, in the manner characteristic of its nature, the state as a state emancipates
itself from religion by emancipating itself from the state religion – that is to say, by the
state as a state not professing any religion, but, on the contrary, asserting itself as a state.
The political emancipation from religion is not a religious emancipation that has been
carried through to completion and is free from contradiction, because political
emancipation is not a form of human emancipation which has been carried through to
completion and is free from contradiction.

The limits of political emancipation are evident at once from the fact that the state can
free itself from a restriction without man being really free from this restriction, that the
state can be a free state [pun on word Freistaat, which also means republic] without man
being a free man. Bauer himself tacitly admits this when he lays down the following
condition for political emancipation:

“Every religious privilege, and therefore also the monopoly of a privileged church,
would have been abolished altogether, and if some or many persons, or even the
overwhelming majority, still believed themselves bound to fulfil religious duties, this
fulfilment ought to be left to them as a purely private matter.” [The Jewish
Question, p. 65]

It is possible, therefore, for the state to have emancipated itself from religion even if the
overwhelming majority is still religious. And the overwhelming majority does not cease
to be religious through being religious in private.

But, the attitude of the state, and of the republic [free state] in particular, to religion is,
after all, only the attitude to religion of the men who compose the state. It follows from

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this that man frees himself through the medium of the state, that he frees himself
politically from a limitation when, in contradiction with himself, he raises himself above
this limitation in an abstract, limited, and partial way. It follows further that, by freeing
himself politically, man frees himself in a roundabout way, through an intermediary,
although an essential intermediary. It follows, finally, that man, even if he proclaims
himself an atheist through the medium of the state – that is, if he proclaims the state to be
atheist – still remains in the grip of religion, precisely because he acknowledges himself
only by a roundabout route, only through an intermediary. Religion is precisely the
recognition of man in a roundabout way, through an intermediary. The state is the
intermediary between man and man’s freedom. Just as Christ is the intermediary to whom
man transfers the burden of all his divinity, all his religious constraint, so the state is the
intermediary to whom man transfers all his non-divinity and all his human unconstraint.

The political elevation of man above religion shares all the defects and all the
advantages of political elevation in general. The state as a state annuls, for instance,
private property, man declares by political means that private property is abolished as
soon as the property qualification for the right to elect or be elected is abolished, as has
occurred in many states of North America. Hamilton quite correctly interprets this fact
from a political point of view as meaning:

“the masses have won a victory over the property owners and financial wealth.”
[Thomas Hamilton, Men and Manners in America, 2 vols, Edinburgh, 1833, p.

Is not private property abolished in idea if the non-property owner has become the
legislator for the property owner? The property qualification for the suffrage is the last
political form of giving recognition to private property.

Nevertheless, the political annulment of private property not only fails to abolish private
property but even presupposes it. The state abolishes, in its own way, distinctions of birth,
social rank, education, occupation, when it declares that birth, social rank, education,
occupation, are non-political distinctions, when it proclaims, without regard to these
distinction, that every member of the nation is an equal participant in national
sovereignty, when it treats all elements of the real life of the nation from the standpoint of
the state. Nevertheless, the state allows private property, education, occupation, to act in
their way – i.e., as private property, as education, as occupation, and to exert the influence
of their special nature. Far from abolishing these real distinctions, the state only exists on
the presupposition of their existence; it feels itself to be a political state and asserts its
universality only in opposition to these elements of its being. Hegel, therefore, defines the
relation of the political state to religion quite correctly when he says:

“In order […] that the state should come into existence as the self-knowing, moral
reality of the mind, its distinction from the form of authority and faith is essential.

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But this distinction emerges only insofar as the ecclesiastical aspect arrives at a
separation within itself. It is only in this way that the state, above the particular
churches, has achieved and brought into existence universality of thought, which is
the principle of its form” (Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1st edition, p. 346).

Of course! Only in this way, above the particular elements, does the state constitute itself
as universality.

The perfect political state is, by its nature, man’s species-life, as opposed to his material
life. All the preconditions of this egoistic life continue to exist in civil society outside the
sphere of the state, but as qualities of civil society. Where the political state has attained its
true development, man – not only in thought, in consciousness, but in reality, in life –
leads a twofold life, a heavenly and an earthly life: life in the political community, in which
he considers himself a communal being, and life in civil society, in which he acts as a
private individual, regards other men as a means, degrades himself into a means, and
becomes the plaything of alien powers. The relation of the political state to civil society is
just as spiritual as the relations of heaven to earth. The political state stands in the same
opposition to civil society, and it prevails over the latter in the same way as religion
prevails over the narrowness of the secular world – i.e., by likewise having always to
acknowledge it, to restore it, and allow itself to be dominated by it. In his most immediate
reality, in civil society, man is a secular being. Here, where he regards himself as a real
individual, and is so regarded by others, he is a fictitious phenomenon. In the state, on the
other hand, where man is regarded as a species-being, he is the imaginary member of an
illusory sovereignty, is deprived of his real individual life and endowed with an unreal

Man, as the adherent of a particular religion, finds himself in conflict with his
citizenship and with other men as members of the community. This conflict reduces itself
to the secular division between the political state and civil society. For man as a bourgeois
[i.e., as a member of civil society, “bourgeois society” in German], “life in the state” is “only
a semblance or a temporary exception to the essential and the rule.” Of course, the
bourgeois, like the Jew, remains only sophistically in the sphere of political life, just as the
citoyen [‘citizen’ in French, i.e., the participant in political life] only sophistically remains
a Jew or a bourgeois. But, this sophistry is not personal. It is the sophistry of the political
state itself. The difference between the merchant and the citizen [Staatsbürger], between
the day-laborer and the citizen, between the landowner and the citizen, between the
merchant and the citizen, between the living individual and the citizen. The contradiction
in which the religious man finds himself with the political man is the same contradiction
in which the bourgeois finds himself with the citoyen, and the member of civil society with
his political lion’s skin.

This secular conflict, to which the Jewish question ultimately reduces itself, the relation
between the political state and its preconditions, whether these are material elements,



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such as private property, etc., or spiritual elements, such as culture or religion, the conflict
between the general interest and private interest, the schism between the political state
and civil society – these secular antitheses Bauer allows to persist, whereas he conducts a
polemic against their religious expression.

“It is precisely the basis of civil society, the need that ensures the continuance of this
society and guarantees its necessity, which exposes its existence to continual dangers,
maintains in it an element of uncertainty, and produces that continually changing
mixture of poverty and riches, of distress and prosperity, and brings about change in
general.” (p. 8)

Compare the whole section: “Civil Society” (pp. 8-9), which has been drawn up along the
basic lines of Hegel’s philosophy of law. Civil society, in its opposition to the political state,
is recognized as necessary, because the political state is recognized as necessary.

Political emancipation is, of course, a big step forward. True, it is not the final form of
human emancipation in general, but it is the final form of human emancipation within the
hitherto existing world order. It goes without saying that we are speaking here of real,
practical emancipation.

Man emancipates himself politically from religion by banishing it from the sphere of
public law to that of private law. Religion is no longer the spirit of the state, in which man
behaves – although in a limited way, in a particular form, and in a particular sphere – as a
species-being, in community with other men. Religion has become the spirit of civil
society, of the sphere of egoism, of bellum omnium contra omnes. It is no longer the
essence of community, but the essence of difference. It has become the expression of
man’s separation from his community, from himself and from other men – as it was
originally. It is only the abstract avowal of specific perversity, private whimsy, and
arbitrariness. The endless fragmentation of religion in North America, for example, gives
it even externally the form of a purely individual affair. It has been thrust among the
multitude of private interests and ejected from the community as such. But one should be
under no illusion about the limits of political emancipation. The division of the human
being into a public man and a private man, the displacement of religion from the state
into civil society, this is not a stage of political emancipation but its completion; this
emancipation, therefore, neither abolished the real religiousness of man, nor strives to do

The decomposition of man into Jew and citizen, Protestant and citizen, religious man
and citizen, is neither a deception directed against citizenhood, nor is it a circumvention
of political emancipation, it is political emancipation itself, the political method of
emancipating oneself from religion. Of course, in periods when the political state as such
is born violently out of civil society, when political liberation is the form in which men
strive to achieve their liberation, the state can and must go as far as the abolition of

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religion, the destruction of religion. But it can do so only in the same way that it proceeds
to the abolition of private property, to the maximum, to confiscation, to progressive
taxation, just as it goes as far as the abolition of life, the guillotine. At times of special self-
confidence, political life seeks to suppress its prerequisite, civil society and the elements
composing this society, and to constitute itself as the real species-life of man, devoid of
contradictions. But, it can achieve this only by coming into violent contradiction with its
own conditions of life, only by declaring the revolution to be permanent, and, therefore,
the political drama necessarily ends with the re-establishment of religion, private
property, and all elements of civil society, just as war ends with peace.

Indeed, the perfect Christian state is not the so-called Christian state – which
acknowledges Christianity as its basis, as the state religion, and, therefore, adopts an
exclusive attitude towards other religions. On the contrary, the perfect Christian state is
the atheistic state, the democratic state, the state which relegates religion to a place
among the other elements of civil society. The state which is still theological, which still
officially professes Christianity as its creed, which still does not dare to proclaim itself as
a state, has, in its reality as a state, not yet succeeded in expressing the human basis – of
which Christianity is the high-flown expression – in a secular, human form. The so-called
Christian state is simply nothing more than a non-state, since it is not Christianity as a
religion, but only the human background of the Christian religion, which can find its
expression in actual human creations.

The so-called Christian state is the Christian negation of the state, but by no means the
political realization of Christianity. The state which still professes Christianity in the form
of religion, does not yet profess it in the form appropriate to the state, for it still has a
religious attitude towards religion – that is to say, it is not the true implementation of the
human basis of religion, because it still relies on the unreal, imaginary form of this
human core. The so-called Christian state is the imperfect state, and the Christian religion
is regarded by it as the supplementation and sanctification of its imperfection. For the
Christian state, therefore, religion necessarily becomes a means; hence, it is a hypocritical
state. It makes a great difference whether the complete state, because of the defect
inherent in the general nature of the state, counts religion among its presuppositions, or
whether the incomplete state, because of the defect inherent in its particular existence as
a defective state, declares that religion is its basis. In the latter case, religion becomes
imperfect politics. In the former case, the imperfection even of consummate politics
becomes evident in religion. The so-called Christian state needs the Christian religion in
order to complete itself as a state. The democratic state, the real state, does not need
religion for its political completion. On the contrary, it can disregard religion because in it
the human basis of religion is realized in a secular manner. The so-called Christian state,
on the other hand, has a political attitude to religion and a religious attitude to politics. By

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degrading the forms of the state to mere semblance, it equally degrades religion to mere

In order to make this contradiction clearer, let us consider Bauer’s projection of the
Christian state, a projection based on his observation of the Christian-German state.

“Recently,” says Bauer, “in order to prove the impossibility or non-existence of a
Christian state, reference has frequently been made to those sayings in the Gospel
with which the [present-day] state not only does not comply, but cannot possibly
comply, if it does not want to dissolve itself completely [as a state].” “But the matter
cannot be disposed of so easily. What do these Gospel sayings demand? Supernatural
renunciation of self, submission to the authority of revelation, a turning-away from
the state, the abolition of secular conditions. Well, the Christian state demands and
accomplishes all that. It has assimilated the spirit of the Gospel, and if it does not
reproduce this spirit in the same terms as the Gospel, that occurs only because it
expresses this spirit in political forms, i.e., in forms which, it is true, are taken from
the political system in this world, but which in the religious rebirth that they have to
undergo become degraded to a mere semblance. This is a turning-away from the
state while making use of political forms for its realization.” (p. 55)

Bauer then explains that the people of a Christian state is only a non-people, no longer
having a will of its own, but whose true existence lies in the leader to whom it is subjected,
although this leader by his origin and nature is alien to it – i.e., given by God and imposed
on the people without any co-operation on its part. Bauer declares that the laws of such a
people are not its own creation, but are actual revelations, that its supreme chief needs
privileged intermediaries with the people in the strict sense, with the masses, and that the
masses themselves are divided into a multitude of particular groupings which are formed
and determined by chance, which are differentiated by their interests, their particular
passions and prejudices, and obtain permission as a privilege, to isolate themselves from
one another, etc. (p. 56)

However, Bauer himself says:

“Politics, if it is to be nothing but religion, ought not to be politics, just as the
cleaning of saucepans, if it is to be accepted as a religious matter, ought not to be
regarded as a matter of domestic economy.” (p. 108)

In the Christian-German state, however, religion is an “economic matter” just as
“economic matters” belong to the sphere of religion. The domination of religion in the
Christian-German state is the religion of domination.

The separation of the “spirit of the Gospel” from the “letter of the Gospel” is an
irreligious act. A state which makes the Gospel speak in the language of politics – that is,
in another language than that of the Holy Ghost – commits sacrilege, if not in human eyes,
then in the eyes of its own religion. The state which acknowledges Christianity as its
supreme criterion, and the Bible as its Charter, must be confronted with the words of

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Holy Scripture, for every word of Scripture is holy. This state, as well as the human
rubbish on which it is based, is caught in a painful contradiction that is insoluble from the
standpoint of religious consciousness when it is referred to those sayings of the Gospel
with which it “not only does not comply, but cannot possibly comply, if it does not want to
dissolve itself completely as a state.” And why does it not want to dissolve itself
completely? The state itself cannot give an answer either to itself or to others. In its own
consciousness, the official Christian state is an imperative, the realization of which is
unattainable, the state can assert the reality of its existence only by lying to itself, and
therefore always remains in its own eyes an object of doubt, an unreliable, problematic
object. Criticism is, therefore, fully justified in forcing the state that relies on the Bible into
a mental derangement in which it no longer knows whether it is an illusion or a reality,
and in which the infamy of its secular aims, for which religion serves as a cloak, comes
into insoluble conflict with the sincerity of its religious consciousness, for which religion
appears as the aim of the world. This state can only save itself from its inner torment if it
becomes the police agent of the Catholic Church. In relation to the church, which declares
the secular power to be its servant, the state is powerless, the secular power which claims
to be the rule of the religious spirit is powerless.

It is, indeed, estrangement which matters in the so-called Christian state, but not man.
The only man who counts, the king, is a being specifically different from other men, and is,
moreover, a religious being, directly linked with heaven, with God. The relationships
which prevail here are still relationships dependent of faith. The religious spirit, therefore,
is still not really secularized.

But, furthermore, the religious spirit cannot be really secularized, for what is it in itself
but the non-secular form of a stage in the development of the human mind? The religious
spirit can only be secularized insofar as the stage of development of the human mind of
which it is the religious expression makes its appearance and becomes constituted in its
secular form. This takes place in the democratic state. Not Christianity, but the human
basis of Christianity is the basis of this state. Religion remains the ideal, non-secular
consciousness of its members, because religion is the ideal form of the stage of human
development achieved in this state.

The members of the political state are religious owing to the dualism between individual
life and species-life, between the life of civil society and political life. They are religious
because men treat the political life of the state, an area beyond their real individuality, as if
it were their true life. They are religious insofar as religion here is the spirit of civil society,
expressing the separation and remoteness of man from man. Political democracy is
Christian since in it man, not merely one man but everyman, ranks as sovereign, as the
highest being, but it is man in his uncivilized, unsocial form, man in his fortuitous
existence, man just as he is, man as he has been corrupted by the whole organization of

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our society, who has lost himself, been alienated, and handed over to the rule of inhuman
conditions and elements – in short, man who is not yet a real species-being. That which is
a creation of fantasy, a dream, a postulate of Christianity, i.e., the sovereignty of man – but
man as an alien being different from the real man – becomes, in democracy, tangible
reality, present existence, and secular principle.

In the perfect democracy, the religious and theological consciousness itself is in its own
eyes the more religious and the more theological because it is apparently without political
significance, without worldly aims, the concern of a disposition that shuns the world, the
expression of intellectual narrow-mindedness, the product of arbitrariness and fantasy,
and because it is a life that is really of the other world. Christianity attains, here, the
practical expression of its universal-religious significance in that the most diverse world
outlooks are grouped alongside one another in the form of Christianity and still more
because it does not require other people to profess Christianity, but only religion in
general, any kind of religion (cf. Beaumont’s work quoted above). The religious
consciousness revels in the wealth of religious contradictions and religious diversity.

We have, thus, shown that political emancipation from religion leaves religion in
existence, although not a privileged religion. The contradiction in which the adherent of a
particular religion finds himself involved in relation to his citizenship is only one aspect of
the universal secular contradiction between the political state and civil society. The
consummation of the Christian state is the state which acknowledges itself as a state and
disregards the religion of its members. The emancipation of the state from religion is not
the emancipation of the real man from religion.

Therefore, we do not say to the Jews, as Bauer does: You cannot be emancipated
politically without emancipating yourselves radically from Judaism. On the contrary, we
tell them: Because you can be emancipated politically without renouncing Judaism
completely and incontrovertibly, political emancipation itself is not human emancipation.
If you Jews want to be emancipated politically, without emancipating yourselves humanly,
the half-hearted approach and contradiction is not in you alone, it is inherent in the
nature and category of political emancipation. If you find yourself within the confines of
this category, you share in a general confinement. Just as the state evangelizes when,
although it is a state, it adopts a Christian attitude towards the Jews, so the Jew acts
politically when, although a Jew, he demands civic rights.

[ * ]

But, if a man, although a Jew, can be emancipated politically and receive civic rights,
can he lay claim to the so-called rights of man and receive them? Bauer denies it.

“The question is whether the Jew as such, that is, the Jew who himself admits that he
is compelled by his true nature to live permanently in separation from other men, is

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capable of receiving the universal rights of man and of conceding them to others.”

“For the Christian world, the idea of the rights of man was only discovered in the last
century. It is not innate in men; on the contrary, it is gained only in a struggle against
the historical traditions in which hitherto man was brought up. Thus the rights of
man are not a gift of nature, not a legacy from past history, but the reward of the
struggle against the accident of birth and against the privileges which up to now have
been handed down by history from generation to generation. These rights are the
result of culture, and only one who has earned and deserved them can possess them.”

“Can the Jew really take possession of them? As long as he is a Jew, the restricted
nature which makes him a Jew is bound to triumph over the human nature which
should link him as a man with other men, and will separate him from non-Jews. He
declares by this separation that the particular nature which makes him a Jew is his
true, highest nature, before which human nature has to give way.”

“Similarly, the Christian as a Christian cannot grant the rights of man.” (p. 19-20)

According to Bauer, man has to sacrifice the “privilege of faith” to be able to receive the
universal rights of man. Let us examine, for a moment, the so-called rights of man – to be
precise, the rights of man in their authentic form, in the form which they have among
those who discovered them, the North Americans and the French. These rights of man are,
in part, political rights, rights which can only be exercised in community with others.
Their content is participation in the community, and specifically in the political
community, in the life of the state. They come within the category of political freedom, the
category of civic rights, which, as we have seen, in no way presuppose the incontrovertible
and positive abolition of religion – nor, therefore, of Judaism. There remains to be
examined the other part of the rights of man – the droits de l’homme, insofar as these
differ from the droits du citoyen.

Included among them is freedom of conscience, the right to practice any religion one
chooses. The privilege of faith is expressly recognized either as a right of man or as the
consequence of a right of man, that of liberty.

Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen, 1791, Article 10: “No one is to be
subjected to annoyance because of his opinions, even religious opinions.” “The
freedom of every man to practice the religion of which he is an adherent.”

Declaration of the Rights of Man, etc., 1793, includes among the rights of man,
Article 7: “The free exercise of religion.” Indeed, in regard to man’s right to
express his thoughts and opinions, to hold meetings, and to exercise his religion,
it is even stated: “The necessity of proclaiming these rights presupposes either the
existence or the recent memory of despotism.” Compare the Constitution of 1795,
Section XIV, Article 354.

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Constitution of Pennsylvania, Article 9, § 3: “All men have received from nature
the imprescriptible right to worship the Almighty according to the dictates of their
conscience, and no one can be legally compelled to follow, establish, or support
against his will any religion or religious ministry. No human authority can, in any
circumstances, intervene in a matter of conscience or control the forces of the

Constitution of New Hampshire, Article 5 and 6: “Among these natural rights
some are by nature inalienable since nothing can replace them. The rights of
conscience are among them.” (Beaumont, op. cit., pp. 213,214)

Incompatibility between religion and the rights of man is to such a degree absent from the
concept of the rights of man that, on the contrary, a man’s right to be religious, in any
way he chooses, to practise his own particular religion, is expressly included among the
rights of man. The privilege of faith is a universal right of man.

The droits de l’homme, the rights of man, are, as such, distinct from the droits du
citoyen, the rights of the citizen. Who is homme as distinct from citoyen? None other than
the member of civil society. Why is the member of civil society called “man,” simply man;
why are his rights called the rights of man? How is this fact to be explained? From the
relationship between the political state and civil society, from the nature of political

Above all, we note the fact that the so-called rights of man, the droits de l’homme as
distinct from the droits du citoyen, are nothing but the rights of a member of civil society
– i.e., the rights of egoistic man, of man separated from other men and from the
community. Let us hear what the most radical Constitution, the Constitution of 1793, has
to say:

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Article 2. “These rights, etc., (the natural and imprescriptible rights) are: equality,
liberty, security, property.”

What constitutes liberty?

Article 6. “Liberty is the power which man has to do everything that does not
harm the rights of others,” or, according to the Declaration of the Rights of Man
of 1791: “Liberty consists in being able to do everything which does not harm

Liberty, therefore, is the right to do everything that harms no one else. The limits within
which anyone can act without harming someone else are defined by law, just as the
boundary between two fields is determined by a boundary post. It is a question of the

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liberty of man as an isolated monad, withdrawn into himself. Why is the Jew, according to
Bauer, incapable of acquiring the rights of man?

“As long as he is a Jew, the restricted nature which makes him a Jew is bound to
triumph over the human nature which should link him as a man with other men, and
will separate him from non-Jews.”

But, the right of man to liberty is based not on the association of man with man, but on the
separation of man from man. It is the right of this separation, the right of the restricted
individual, withdrawn into himself.

The practical application of man’s right to liberty is man’s right to private property.

What constitutes man’s right to private property?

Article 16. (Constitution of 1793): “The right of property is that which every citizen
has of enjoying and of disposing at his discretion of his goods and income, of the
fruits of his labor and industry.”

The right of man to private property is, therefore, the right to enjoy one’s property and to
dispose of it at one’s discretion (à son gré), without regard to other men, independently of
society, the right of self-interest. This individual liberty and its application form the basis
of civil society. It makes every man see in other men not the realization of his own
freedom, but the barrier to it. But, above all, it proclaims the right of man

“of enjoying and of disposing at his discretion of his goods and income, of the
fruits of his labor and industry.”

There remain the other rights of man: égalité and sûreté.

Equality, used here in its non-political sense, is nothing but the equality of the liberté
described above – namely: each man is to the same extent regarded as such a self-
sufficient monad. The Constitution of 1795 defines the concept of this equality, in
accordance with this significance, as follows:

Article 3 (Constitution of 1795): “Equality consists in the law being the same for
all, whether it protects or punishes.”

And security?

Article 8 (Constitution of 1793): “Security consists in the protection afforded by
society to each of its members for the preservation of his person, his rights, and his

Security is the highest social concept of civil society, the concept of police, expressing the
fact that the whole of society exists only in order to guarantee to each of its members the

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preservation of his person, his rights, and his property. It is in this sense that Hegel calls
civil society “the state of need and reason.”

The concept of security does not raise civil society above its egoism. On the contrary,
security is the insurance of egoism.

None of the so-called rights of man, therefore, go beyond egoistic man, beyond man as a
member of civil society – that is, an individual withdrawn into himself, into the confines of
his private interests and private caprice, and separated from the community. In the rights
of man, he is far from being conceived as a species-being; on the contrary, species-life
itself, society, appears as a framework external to the individuals, as a restriction of their
original independence. The sole bond holding them together is natural necessity, need and
private interest, the preservation of their property and their egoistic selves.

It is puzzling enough that a people which is just beginning to liberate itself, to tear down
all the barriers between its various sections, and to establish a political community, that
such a people solemnly proclaims (Declaration of 1791) the rights of egoistic man
separated from his fellow men and from the community, and that indeed it repeats this
proclamation at a moment when only the most heroic devotion can save the nation, and is
therefore imperatively called for, at a moment when the sacrifice of all the interest of civil
society must be the order of the day, and egoism must be punished as a crime.
(Declaration of the Rights of Man, etc., of 1793) This fact becomes still more puzzling
when we see that the political emancipators go so far as to reduce citizenship, and the
political community, to a mere means for maintaining these so-called rights of man, that,
therefore, the citoyen is declared to be the servant of egotistic homme, that the sphere in
which man acts as a communal being is degraded to a level below the sphere in which he
acts as a partial being, and that, finally, it is not man as citoyen, but man as private
individual [bourgeois] who is considered to be the essential and true man.

“The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and
imprescriptible rights of man.” (Declaration of the Rights, etc., of 1791, Article 2)

“Government is instituted in order to guarantee man the enjoyment of his natural
and imprescriptible rights.” (Declaration, etc., of 1793, Article 1)

Hence, even in moments when its enthusiasm still has the freshness of youth and is
intensified to an extreme degree by the force of circumstances, political life declares itself
to be a mere means, whose purpose is the life of civil society. It is true that its
revolutionary practice is in flagrant contradiction with its theory. Whereas, for example,
security is declared one of the rights of man, violation of the privacy of correspondence is
openly declared to be the order of the day. Whereas “unlimited freedom of the press”
(Constitution of 1793, Article 122) is guaranteed as a consequence of the right of man to
individual liberty, freedom of the press is totally destroyed, because “freedom of the press

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should not be permitted when it endangers public liberty.” (“Robespierre jeune,” Historie
parlementaire de la Révolution française by Buchez and Roux, vol.28, p. 159) That is to
say, therefore: The right of man to liberty ceases to be a right as soon as it comes into
conflict with political life, whereas in theory political life is only the guarantee of human
rights, the rights of the individual, and therefore must be abandoned as soon as it comes
into contradiction with its aim, with these rights of man. But, practice is merely the
exception, theory is the rule. But even if one were to regard revolutionary practice as the
correct presentation of the relationship, there would still remain the puzzle of why the
relationship is turned upside-down in the minds of the political emancipators and the aim
appears as the means, while the means appears as the aim. This optical illusion of their
consciousness would still remain a puzzle, although now a psychological, a theoretical

The puzzle is easily solved.

Political emancipation is, at the same time, the dissolution of the old society on which
the state alienated from the people, the sovereign power, is based. What was the character
of the old society? It can be described in one word – feudalism. The character of the old
civil society was directly political – that is to say, the elements of civil life, for example,
property, or the family, or the mode of labor, were raised to the level of elements of
political life in the form of seigniory, estates, and corporations. In this form, they
determined the relation of the individual to the state as a whole – i.e., his political
relation, that is, his relation of separation and exclusion from the other components of
society. For that organization of national life did not raise property or labor to the level of
social elements; on the contrary, it completed their separation from the state as a whole
and constituted them as discrete societies within society. Thus, the vital functions and
conditions of life of civil society remained, nevertheless, political, although political in the
feudal sense – that is to say, they secluded the individual from the state as a whole and
they converted the particular relation of his corporation to the state as a whole into his
general relation to the life of the nation, just as they converted his particular civil activity
and situation into his general activity and situation. As a result of this organization, the
unity of the state, and also the consciousness, will, and activity of this unity, the general
power of the state, are likewise bound to appear as the particular affair of a ruler and of
his servants, isolated from the people.

The political revolution which overthrew this sovereign power and raised state affairs to
become affairs of the people, which constituted the political state as a matter of general
concern, that is, as a real state, necessarily smashed all estates, corporations, guilds, and
privileges, since they were all manifestations of the separation of the people from the
community. The political revolution thereby abolished the political character of civil
society. It broke up civil society into its simple component parts; on the one hand, the

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individuals; on the other hand, the material and spiritual elements constituting the
content of the life and social position of these individuals. It set free the political spirit,
which had been, as it were, split up, partitioned, and dispersed in the various blind alleys
of feudal society. It gathered the dispersed parts of the political spirit, freed it from its
intermixture with civil life, and established it as the sphere of the community, the general
concern of the nation, ideally independent of those particular elements of civil life. A
person’s distinct activity and distinct situation in life were reduced to a merely individual
significance. They no longer constituted the general relation of the individual to the state
as a whole. Public affairs as such, on the other hand, became the general affair of each
individual, and the political function became the individual’s general function.

But, the completion of the idealism of the state was at the same time the completion of
the materialism of civil society. Throwing off the political yoke meant at the same time
throwing off the bonds which restrained the egoistic spirit of civil society. Political
emancipation was, at the same time, the emancipation of civil society from politics, from
having even the semblance of a universal content.

Feudal society was resolved into its basic element – man, but man as he really formed
its basis – egoistic man.

This man, the member of civil society, is thus the basis, the precondition, of the political
state. He is recognized as such by this state in the rights of man.

The liberty of egoistic man and the recognition of this liberty, however, is rather the
recognition of the unrestrained movement of the spiritual and material elements which
form the content of his life.

Hence, man was not freed from religion, he received religious freedom. He was not
freed from property, he received freedom to own property. He was not freed from the
egoism of business, he received freedom to engage in business.

The establishment of the political state and the dissolution of civil society into
independent individuals – whose relation with one another epend on law, just as the
relations of men in the system of estates and guilds depended on privilege – is
accomplished by one and the same act. Man as a member of civil society, unpolitical man,
inevitably appears, however, as the natural man. The “rights of man” appears as “natural
rights,” because conscious activity is concentrated on the political act. Egoistic man is the
passive result of the dissolved society, a result that is simply found in existence, an object
of immediate certainty, therefore a natural object. The political revolution resolves civil
life into its component parts, without revolutionizing these components themselves or
subjecting them to criticism. It regards civil society, the world of needs, labor, private
interests, civil law, as the basis of its existence, as a precondition not requiring further

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substantiation and therefore as its natural basis. Finally, man as a member of civil society
is held to be man in the proper sense, homme as distinct from citoyen, because he is man
in his sensuous, individual, immediate existence, whereas political man is only abstract,
artificial man, man as an allegorical, juridical person. The real man is recognized only in
the shape of the egoistic individual, the true man is recognized only in the shape of the
abstract citizen.

Therefore, Rousseau correctly described the abstract idea of political man as follows:

“Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself
capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who
by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which,
in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and
mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from
man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ
without the help of other men.”

All emancipation is a reduction of the human world and relationships to man himself.

Political emancipation is the reduction of man, on the one hand, to a member of civil
society, to an egoistic, independent individual, and, on the other hand, to a citizen, a
juridical person.

Only when the real, individual man re-absorbs in himself the abstract citizen, and as an
individual human being has become a species-being in his everyday life, in his particular
work, and in his particular situation, only when man has recognized and organized his
“own powers” as social powers, and, consequently, no longer separates social power from
himself in the shape of political power, only then will human emancipation have been


Bruno Bauer,

“The Capacity of Present-day Jews and Christians to Become Free,”

Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz, pp. 56-71

It is in this form that Bauer deals with the relation between the Jewish and the Christian
religions, and also with their relation to criticism. Their relation to criticism is their
relation “to the capacity to become free.”

The result arrived at is:

“The Christian has to surmount only one stage, namely, that of his religion, in order
to give up religion altogether,”

and therefore become free.

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“The Jew, on the other hand, has to break not only with his Jewish nature, but also
with the development towards perfecting his religion, a development which has
remained alien to him.” (p. 71)

Thus, Bauer here transforms the question of Jewish emancipation into a purely religious
question. The theological problem as to whether the Jew or the Christian has the better
prospect of salvation is repeated here in the enlightened form: which of them is more
capable of emancipation. No longer is the question asked: Is it Judaism or Christianity
that makes a man free? On the contrary, the question is now: Which makes man freer, the
negation of Judaism or the negation of Christianity?

“If the Jews want to become free, they should profess belief not in Christianity, but in
the dissolution of Christianity, in the dissolution of religion in general, that is to say,
in enlightenment, criticism, and its consequences, free humanity.” (p. 70)

For the Jew, it is still a matter of a profession of faith, but no longer a profession of belief
in Christianity, but of belief in Christianity in dissolution.

Bauer demands of the Jews that they should break with the essence of the Christian
religion, a demand which, as he says himself, does not arise out of the development of

Since Bauer, at the end of his work on the Jewish question, had conceived Judaism only
as crude religious criticism of Christianity, and therefore saw in it “merely” a religious
significance, it could be foreseen that the emancipation of the Jews, too, would be
transformed into a philosophical-theological act.

Bauer considers that the ideal, abstract nature of the Jew, his religion, is his entire
nature. Hence, he rightly concludes:

“The Jew contributes nothing to mankind if he himself disregards his narrow law,” if
he invalidates his entire Judaism. (p. 65)

Accordingly, the relation between Jews and Christians becomes the following: the sole
interest of the Christian in the emancipation of the Jew is a general human interest, a
theoretical interest. Judaism is a fact that offends the religious eye of the Christian. As
soon as his eye ceases to be religious, this fact ceases to be offensive. The emancipation of
the Jew is, in itself, not a task for the Christian.

The Jew, on the other hand, in order to emancipate himself, has to carry out not only his
own work, but also that of the Christian – i.e., the Critique of the Evangelical History of
the Synoptics and the Life of Jesus, etc.

“It is up to them to deal with it: they themselves will decide their fate; but history is
not to be trifled with.” (p. 71)

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We are trying to break with the theological formulation of the question. For us, the
question of the Jew’s capacity for emancipation becomes the question: What particular
social element has to be overcome in order to abolish Judaism? For the present-day Jew’s
capacity for emancipation is the relation of Judaism to the emancipation of the modern
world. This relation necessarily results from the special position of Judaism in the
contemporary enslaved world.

Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew – not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the
everyday Jew.

Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of
his religion in the real Jew.

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly
religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.

Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from
practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.

An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and
therefore the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible. His religious
consciousness would be dissipated like a thin haze in the real, vital air of society. On the
other hand, if the Jew recognizes that this practical nature of his is futile and works to
abolish it, he extricates himself from his previous development and works for human
emancipation as such and turns against the supreme practical expression of human self-

We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time,
an element which through historical development – to which in this harmful respect the
Jews have zealously contributed – has been brought to its present high level, at which it
must necessarily begin to disintegrate.

In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from

The Jew has already emancipated himself in a Jewish way.

“The Jew, who in Vienna, for example, is only tolerated, determines the fate of the
whole Empire by his financial power. The Jew, who may have no rights in the
smallest German state, decides the fate of Europe. While corporations and guilds
refuse to admit Jews, or have not yet adopted a favorable attitude towards them, the
audacity of industry mocks at the obstinacy of the material institutions.” (Bruno
Bauer, The Jewish Question, p. 114)

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This is no isolated fact. The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only
because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart
from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become
the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves
insofar as the Christians have become Jews.

Captain Hamilton, for example, reports:

“The devout and politically free inhabitant of New England is a kind of Laocoön who
makes not the least effort to escape from the serpents which are crushing him.
Mammon is his idol which he adores not only with his lips but with the whole force
of his body and mind. In his view the world is no more than a Stock Exchange, and he
is convinced that he has no other destiny here below than to become richer than his
neighbor. Trade has seized upon all his thoughts, and he has no other recreation than
to exchange objects. When he travels he carries, so to speak, his goods and his
counter on his back and talks only of interest and profit. If he loses sight of his own
business for an instant it is only in order to pry into the business of his competitors.”

Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world
has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel
itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade, and the bankrupt trader
deals in the Gospel just as the Gospel preacher who has become rich goes in for business

“The man who you see at the head of a respectable congregation began as a trader;
his business having failed, he became a minister. The other began as a priest but as
soon as he had some money at his disposal he left the pulpit to become a trader. In
the eyes of very many people, the religious ministry is a veritable business career.”
(Beaumont, op. cit., pp. 185,186)

According to Bauer, it is

“a fictitious state of affairs when in theory the Jew is deprived of political rights,
whereas in practice he has immense power and exerts his political influence en gros,
although it is curtailed en détail.” (Die Judenfrage, p. 114)

The contradiction that exists between the practical political power of the Jew and his
political rights is the contradiction between politics and the power of money in general.
Although theoretically the former is superior to the latter, in actual fact politics has
become the serf of financial power.

Judaism has held its own alongside Christianity, not only as religious criticism of
Christianity, not only as the embodiment of doubt in the religious derivation of
Christianity, but equally because the practical Jewish spirit, Judaism, has maintained
itself and even attained its highest development in Christian society. The Jew, who exists
as a distinct member of civil society, is only a particular manifestation of the Judaism of
civil society.

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Judaism continues to exist not in spite of history, but owing to history.

The Jew is perpetually created by civil society from its own entrails.

What, in itself, was the basis of the Jewish religion? Practical need, egoism.

The monotheism of the Jew, therefore, is in reality the polytheism of the many needs, a
polytheism which makes even the lavatory an object of divine law. Practical need,
egoism, is the principle of civil society, and as such appears in pure form as soon as civil
society has fully given birth to the political state. The god of practical need and self-
interest is money.

Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money
degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal
self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world – both the
world of men and nature – of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man’s
work and man’s existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.

The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The
bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange.

The view of nature attained under the domination of private property and money is a
real contempt for, and practical debasement of, nature; in the Jewish religion, nature
exists, it is true, but it exists only in imagination.

It is in this sense that [in a 1524 pamphlet] Thomas Münzer declares it intolerable

“that all creatures have been turned into property, the fishes in the water, the birds in
the air, the plants on the earth; the creatures, too, must become free.”

Contempt for theory, art, history, and for man as an end in himself, which is contained in
an abstract form in the Jewish religion, is the real, conscious standpoint, the virtue of the
man of money. The species-relation itself, the relation between man and woman, etc.,
becomes an object of trade! The woman is bought and sold.

The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of
money in general.

The groundless law of the Jew is only a religious caricature of groundless morality and
right in general, of the purely formal rites with which the world of self-interest surrounds

Here, too, man’s supreme relation is the legal one, his relation to laws that are valid for
him not because they are laws of his own will and nature, but because they are the
dominant laws and because departure from them is avenged.

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Jewish Jesuitism, the same practical Jesuitism which Bauer discovers in the Talmud, is
the relation of the world of self-interest to the laws governing that world, the chief art of
which consists in the cunning circumvention of these laws.

Indeed, the movement of this world within its framework of laws is bound to be a
continual suspension of law.

Judaism could not develop further as a religion, could not develop further theoretically,
because the world outlook of practical need is essentially limited and is completed in a few

By its very nature, the religion of practical need could find its consummation not in
theory, but only in practice, precisely because its truth is practice.

Judaism could not create a new world; it could only draw the new creations and
conditions of the world into the sphere of its activity, because practical need, the rationale
of which is self-interest, is passive and does not expand at will, but finds itself enlarged as
a result of the continuous development of social conditions.

Judaism reaches its highest point with the perfection of civil society, but it is only in the
Christian world that civil society attains perfection. Only under the dominance of
Christianity, which makes all national, natural, moral, and theoretical conditions extrinsic
to man, could civil society separate itself completely from the life of the state, sever all the
species-ties of man, put egoism and selfish need in the place of these species-ties, and
dissolve the human world into a world of atomistic individuals who are inimically opposed
to one another.

Christianity sprang from Judaism. It has merged again in Judaism.

From the outset, the Christian was the theorizing Jew, the Jew is, therefore, the
practical Christian, and the practical Christian has become a Jew again.

Christianity had only in semblance overcome real Judaism. It was too noble-minded,
too spiritualistic to eliminate the crudity of practical need in any other way than by
elevation to the skies.

Christianity is the sublime thought of Judaism, Judaism is the common practical
application of Christianity, but this application could only become general after
Christianity as a developed religion had completed theoretically the estrangement of man
from himself and from nature.

Only then could Judaism achieve universal dominance and make alienated man and
alienated nature into alienable, vendible objects subjected to the slavery of egoistic need
and to trading.

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Selling [verausserung] is the practical aspect of alienation [Entausserung]. Just as
man, as long as he is in the grip of religion, is able to objectify his essential nature only by
turning it into something alien, something fantastic, so under the domination of egoistic
need he can be active practically, and produce objects in practice, only by putting his
products, and his activity, under the domination of an alien being, and bestowing the
significance of an alien entity – money – on them.

In its perfected practice, Christian egoism of heavenly bliss is necessarily transformed
into the corporal egoism of the Jew, heavenly need is turned into world need, subjectivism
into self-interest. We explain the tenacity of the Jew not by his religion, but, on the
contrary, by the human basis of his religion – practical need, egoism.

Since in civil society the real nature of the Jew has been universally realized and
secularized, civil society could not convince the Jew of the unreality of his religious
nature, which is indeed only the ideal aspect of practical need. Consequently, not only in
the Pentateuch and the Talmud, but in present-day society we find the nature of the
modern Jew, and not as an abstract nature but as one that is in the highest degree
empirical, not merely as a narrowness of the Jew, but as the Jewish narrowness of society.

Once society has succeeded in abolishing the empirical essence of Judaism –
huckstering and its preconditions – the Jew will have become impossible, because his
consciousness no longer has an object, because the subjective basis of Judaism, practical
need, has been humanized, and because the conflict between man’s individual-sensuous
existence and his species-existence has been abolished.

The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism.


1844 Index | Deutscher-Fransösischer Jahrbücher Index | Marx/Engels Archive

Hegel’s Philosophy of Right





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