Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Demagogue of Vienna

by Andrei Znamenski on July 23, 2013
[Part 2 of In the Shadow of Dr. Lueger, Independent Review, 2013. Click here for Part 1.]
Having discovered the enormous power of collective will, Dr. Lueger successfully blended into his propaganda work “three bigs”: nationalism, religion, and socialism. From early on, he billed himself as an advocate of the “little people.” Raised by a widowed mother, Lueger managed to get a law degree and quickly made a name for himself as a protector of the common folk against “big shots.” As mayor, he enjoyed the tremendous support of Vienna’s workers, shopkeepers, and underclass elements.
 These predominantly German-speaking Catholics felt that they were cheated by the rich and displaced by the influx of Slavic, Hungarian, and especially Jewish migrants to the city. The latter usually sided with another group of collectivists — Social Democrats, who challenged Lueger’s Christian socialism with their class-based Marxist socialism. The contest between these two groups of collectivists for the minds of the masses was epitomized in a personal tug of war between Dr. Lueger and Victor Adler, a Jewish Marxist and leader of the Austrian Social Democrats.
Culturally and ethnically, many in the large Jewish community of Vienna did not fit into Lueger’s movement, which was heavily loaded with “soil-based”Catholicism and Germanic tradition. Thus, they instinctively gravitated toward the cosmopolitan message of Marxism (the famous Marxian motto being “workers have no fatherland”), which perfectly resonated with the people residing in diasporas…..acquaintances sincerely wondered why Mises, being of Jewish origin, was somehow not a socialist....To Read More.....

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