: unter wilden: antisemitism - an analysis
Anti-Semite and Jew (French: Réflexions sur la question juive, "Reflections on the Jewish Question") is an essay about antisemitism written by Jean-Paul Sartre shortly after the Liberation of Paris from German occupation in 1944. The first part of the essay, "The Portrait of the Antisemite", was published in December 1945 in Les Temps modernes. The full text was then published in 1946.
Sartre deploys his concept of bad faith as he develops his argument. For Sartre, the anti-Semite has escaped the insecurity of good faith, the impossibility of sincerity. He has abandoned reason and embraced passion. Sartre comments that, "It is not unusual for people to elect to live a life of passion rather than of reason. But ordinarily they love the objects of passion: women, glory, power, money. Since the anti-Semite has chosen hate, we are forced to conclude that it is the state of passion that he loves." He chooses to reason from passion, to reason falsely "because of the longing for impenetrability. The rational man groans as he gropes for the truth; he knows that reasoning is no more than tentative, that other considerations may intervene to cast doubt on it." Anti-Semites are attracted by "the durability of a stone." What frightens them is the uncertainty of truth. "The anti-Semite has chosen hate because hate is a faith." He has escaped responsibility and doubt. He can blame anything on the Jew; he does not need to engage reason, for he has his faith.
The anti-Semite is a prime example of a person who has entered into bad faith to avoid responsibility. He attempts to relinquish his responsibility to anti-Semitism and a community of anti-Semites. He "fears every kind of solitariness? however small his stature, he takes every precaution to make it smaller, lest he stand out from the herd and find himself face to face with himself. He has made himself an anti-Semite because that is something one cannot be alone."