A fantasy: Barabas, the Jew of Malta, had two children. The eldest, Abigail, sickened by the revelation that her father had murdered her Christian suitor, converted and entered a nunnery. The other child, a son, likewise apostatised; indeed he wrote a violently anti-Semitic pamphlet denouncing the essence of his father’s religion as huckstering, its basis self-interest, its jealous god money. The pamphlet concluded with a call for the emancipation of mankind from Judaism, but, curiously, the son did not convert to Christianity and try to assimilate. On the contrary, he insisted that his father’s hated religion was simply the practical essence of Christianity, the thing itself stripped of its spiritual mystifications. The Christians who prided themselves on their superiority to Jews were themselves practising Judaism in their daily lives, worshipping money, serving egoistic need, buying and selling men as commodities, as so many pounds of flesh. The son’s name, of course, was Karl Marx.
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