Duehring, Karl Eugen°

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DUEHRING, KARL EUGEN ° (1833–1921), German economist and philosopher, born in Berlin; one of the initial proponents of modern racial antisemitism. He studied economics, law, and philosophy at the University of Berlin. Although totally blind at 30, Duehring made significant contributions to philosophy and the theory of national-autarkic economics. A quarrelsome disposition, however, caused him to give up academic teaching in 1864. Eventually he developed a pathological aversion to such bêtes noires as academicians, Social Democrats, and all cosmopolitans, "whether Jews or Greeks." He propounded his theories on racial antisemitism in such scurrilous pieces as his Die Judenfrage als Rassen-Sitten-und Kultur-Frage (1881), Die Ueberschaetzung Lessings und dessen Antwaltschaft fuer die Juden (1881), Sache, Leben, und Feinde (1882), Der Ersatz der Religion durch Vollkommeneres und die Ausscheidung alles Judenthums durch den modernen Voelkergeist (1883). To Duehring, Karl Marx was the personification of evil, both because of his theories and his race. He had "taken his system from the Mosaic Law." Baptism had not prevented him from associating with his own kin (Sippe), namely "the descendants of Judas," in order to form a kind of international "Alliance Israélite." As to Social Democracy, its aim was to exploit and enslave the people in the interests of Jewry. Duehring had a paramount influence on the development of German antisemitism in the 1880s, whether indirect or active, and continues to inspire "voelkisch" elements to this day. In his Der Wert des Lebens (1865), Duehring rejected Zionism for strengthening Jewish "world power." Instead he recommended solving the Jewish question "by killing and extirpation" (durch Ertoetung und Ausrottung).


F. Engels, Herrn Eugen Duehring's Umwaelzung der Wissenschaft… (1878) (= Anti-Duehring); E. Silberner, Sozialisten zur Judenfrage… (1962), 150, 155ff.; A. Voelske, Die Entwicklung des rassischen Anti-semitismus zum Mittelpunkt der Weltanschaung Eugen Duehrings… (1936). add. bibliography: B. Mogge, Rhetorik des Hasses – Eugen Dühring und die Genese seines antisemitischen Wortschatzes (1976); R. Kirchhoff and T.I. Oisermann, 100 Jahre Anti"Dühring" – Marxismus, Weltanschauung, Wissenschaft (1978).