Jerusalem and moral enlightenment, the epiphanies of Moses Mendelsohn. 18th century literature by a Jewish philosopher.

jerusalemworshipjerusalemandmosesmendelsohnWhile the humanists felt threatened by the industrial revolution, also because they simply feared to lose their privileges, it was no longer the parvenu (as Bernard Lazare would call the rich minority later) who needed to be “ameliorated”.  Moses Mendelssohn was not mentioned in Marx’s answer to the Jewish question, but Marx might have regarded his arguments as an important part of the humanists’ approach to ameliorate the Prussian constitution. Nevertheless, Mendelssohn had already discussed the problem of injustice caused by material needs in his way: In Jerusalem he advised to recompense politicians according to the loss of their regular income. It should not be lower for a rich man, and not higher for a poor. Because if anyone will have a material advantage, just by being a member of parliament, the result cannot be a fair state governing a just society. Only an idealistic citizen who was engaging in politics according to his modern religious education, was regarded as a politician by Moses Mendelssohn.

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